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through the medium of music. The sounds might also be my apology should I be observed in the balcony. But last night, while I was eagerly enforcing my plan of a full confession to my father, which he as earnestly deprecated, we heard the window of Mr Mervyn's library, which is under my room, open softly. I signed to Brown to make his retreat, and immediately re-entered, with some faint hopes that our interview had not been observed.
“But, alas! Matilda, these hopes vanished the instant I beheld Mr Mervyn's countenance at breakfast the next morning. He looked so provokingly intelligent and confidential, that, had I dared, I could have been more angry than ever I was in my life; but I must be on good behaviour, and my walks are now limited within his farm precincts, where the good gentleman can amble along by my side without inconvenience. I have detected him once or twice attempting to sound my thoughts, and watch the expression of my countenance. . He has talked of the -flageolet more than once; and has, at different times, made eulogium 'upon the watchfulness and ferocity of his dogs, and the regularity with which the keeper makes his rounds with a loaded fowling-piece. He mentioned even men-traps and spring. guns. I should be toth to affront my father's old friend in his own house, but I do long to show him that I am my father's daughter, a fact of which Mr Mervyn will certainly be convinced, if ever I trust my voice and temper with a reply to these indirect hints. Of one thing I am certain -I am grateful to him on that accounts he has not told Mrs Mervyn. Lord help me, I should have had such lectures about the dangers of love and the night air on the lake, the risk arising from colds and fortune-hunters, the comforts and conveni. ence of sack-whey and closed windows ! I cannot help trifling, Matilda, though my heart be sad enough. What Brown will do I cannot guess. I presume, however, the fear of detection prevents his resuming his nocturnal visit. He lodges at an inn on the opposite shore of the lake, under the name, he tells me, of Dawson,-he has a bad choice in names, that must be allowed. He has not left the army, I believe, but he says nothing.of his present views. - “ To complete my anxiety, my father is returned suddenly, and in high displeasure. Our good hostess, as I learned from a bustling conversation between her housekeeper and her, had no expectation of seeing him for a week, but I rather suspect his arrival was no surprise to his friend Mr Meryyn. His manner to me was singularly cold and constrained-sufficiently so to have damped all the courage with which I once resolved to throw myself on his generosity. He lays the blame of his being discomposed and out of humour to the loss of a purchase in the south-west of Scotland, on which he had set his heart; but I do not suspect his equanimity of being so easily thrown off its balance. His first ex
cursion was with MrMervyn's barge across the lake to the inn I have mentioned. You may imagine the agony with which I awaited his return-Had he recognized Brown, who can guess the consequence? He returned, however, apparently without having made any discovery. I understand, that, in consequence of his late disappointment, he means now to hire a house in the neighbourhood of this same Ellangowan, of which I am doomed to hear so much_he seems to think it probable that the estate for which he wishes may soon be again in the market. I will not send away this leto ter until I hear more distinctly what are his intentions."
“ I have now had an interview with my father, as confidential, as, I presume, he means to allow me. He requested me to-day after breakfast, to walk with him into the library; my knees, Matilda, shook under me, and, it is no exaggeration to say, I could scarce follow him into the
room. I feared I knew not what-From my childhood I had seen all tremble around him at his frown-He motioned me to seat myself, and I never obeyed a command so readily, for, in truth, I could hardly stand. He himself continued to walk up and down the room. You have have seen my father, and noticed, I recollect, the remarkably expressive cast of his features. His eyes are rather naturally light in colour, but agitation or anger gives them a darker and more fiery glance; he has a custom also of drawing in his lips, when much moved, which implies a combat between native ardour of temper and the habitual power of self-command. This was the first time we had been alone since his return from Scotland, and, as he betrayed these tokens of agitation, I had little doubt that he was about to enter upon the subject I most dreaded..
“To my unutterable relief, I found I was mistaken, and that whatever he knew of Mr Mervyn's suspicions or discoveries,