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tleman, who has been, though not the cause entirely, yet the accomplice of my folly, in your presence.” Here she made a full stop.
"I am to understand, then," said Mannering, “that this was the author of the serenade at Mervyn-Hall ?”
There was something in this. allusive change of epithet, that
Julia a little more courage—“He was indeed, sir ; and if I am very wrong, as I have often thought, I have some apology.”
“ And what is that ?" answered the Colonel, speaking quick, and with something of harshness.
“I will not venture to name it, sir— but”. -She opened a small cabinet, and put some letters into his hands ; “I will give you these, that you may see how this intimacy began, and by whom it was encouraged.”
Mannering took the packet to the window—his pride forbade a more distant retreat. He glanced at some passages of the letters with an unsteady eye and an agitated mind. His stoicism, however, came in time to his aid—that philosophy, which, rooted in pride, yet frequently bears the fruits of virtue. He returned towards his daughter with as firm an air as his feelings permitted him to assume.
“There is great apology for you, Julia, as far as I can judge from a glance at these letters — you have obeyed at least one parent. Let us adopt a Scotch proverb the Dominie quoted the other day—“Let bygones be bygones, and fair play for the future.'- I will never upbraid you with your past want of confidencedo you judge of my future intentions by my actions, of
you have surely had no reason to complain. Keep these letters—they were never intended for my eye, and I would not willingly read more of them than I have done, at your desire and for your exculpation. And now, are we friends ? Or rather, do you understand me ?"
“O my dear, generous father,” said Julia, throwing herself into his arms, “why have I ever, for an instant, misunderstood you ?"
“No more of that, Julia," said the Colonel : “ have both been to blame. He that is too proud to vindicate the affection and confidence which he conceives should be given without solicitation, must meet much, and perhaps deserved disappointment. It is enough that one dearest and most regretted member of my family has gone to the grave without knowing me ; let me not lose the confidence of a child, who ought to love me if she really loves herself.”
“O! no danger—no fear !” answered Julia—“let me but have your approbation and my own, and there is no rule you can prescribe so severe that I will not follow.”
“Well, my love," kissing her forehead, “I trust we shall not call upon you for any thing too heroic. With respect to this young gentleman's addresses, I expect in the first place that all clandestine correspondencewhich no young woman can entertain for a moment without lessening herself in her own eyes, and in those of her lover-I request, I say, that clandestine correspondence of every kind may be given up, and that you will refer Mr. Bertram to me for the reason. You will
naturally wish to know what is to be the issue of such a reference. In the first place, I desire to observe this young gentleman's character more closely than circumstances, and perhaps my own prejudices, have permitted formerly-I should also be glad to see his birth established. Not that I am anxious about his getting the estate of Ellangowan, though such a subject is held in absolute indifference nowhere except in a novel ; but certainly Henry Bertram, heir of Ellangowan, whether possessed of the property of his ancestors or not, is a very different person from Vanbeest Brown, the son of nobody at all. His fathers, Mr. Pleydell tells me, are distinguished in history as following the banners of their native princes, while our own fought at Cressy and Poictiers. In short, I neither give nor withhold my approbation, but I expect you will redeem past errors ; and as you can now unfortunately only have recourse to one parent, that you will show the duty of a child, by reposing that confidence in me, which I will say my inclination to make you happy renders a filial debt upon your part.”
The first part of this speech affected Julia a good deal ; the comparative merit of the ancestors of the Bertrams and Mannerings excited a secret smile, but the conclusion was such as to soften a heart peculiarly open to the feelings of generosity. “No, my dear sir,” she said, extending her hand, “receive my faith, that from this moment you shall be the first person consulted respecting what shall pass in future between Brown-I mean Bertram—and me; and that no engagement shall
be undertaken by me, excepting what you shall immediately know and approve of. May I ask if Mr. Bertram is to continue a guest at Woodbourne ?"
“Certainly," said the Colonel, “while his affairs render it advisable.”
“Then, sir, you must be sensible, considering what is already past, that he will expect some reason for my withdrawing-I believe I must say the encouragement, which he may think I have given.”
"I expect, Julia," answered Mannering, “that he will respect my roof, and entertain some sense perhaps of the services I am desirous to render him, and so will not insist upon any course of conduct of which I might have reason to complain ; and I expect of you, that you will make him sensible of what is due to both."
“Then, sir, I understand you, and you shall be implicitly obeyed.”
“ Thank you, my love ; my anxiety (kissing her) is on your account.--Now. wipe these witnesses from your eyes, and so to breakfast.”
CHAPTER THE FIFTY-SECOND.
And, Sheriff, I will engage my word to you,
FIRST PART OF HENRY IV.
WHEN the several by-plays, as they may be termed, had taken place among the individuals of the Woodbourne family, as we have intimated in the preceding chapter, the breakfast party at length assembled, Dandie excepted, who had consulted his taste in viands, and perhaps in society, by partaking of a cup of tea with Mrs. Allan, just laced with two tea-spoonfuls of Cogniac, and reinforced with various slices from a huge round of beef. He had a kind of feeling that he could eat twice as much, and speak twice as much, with this good dame and Barnes, as with the grand folk in the parlour. Indeed, the meal of this less distinguished party was much more mirthful than that in the higher circle, where there was an obvious air of constraint on the greater part of the assistants. Julia dared not raise her voice in asking Bertram if he chose another cup of tea. Bertram felt embarrassed while eating his toast and butter under the eye of Mannering. Lucy, while she indulged to the uttermost her affection for her