Page images

es the night is, as you say, settled and fair, I shall timorous had seen sights and heard sounds there walk in the garden until he comes ; the moon will when all the rest of the house was quiet; and even soon rise over the fells. You may bring him to the the young squires were far from having any wish little back-gate ; and I shall have pleasure, in the to enter these formidable precincts after nightfall meanwhile, in looking on the bushes and evergreens without necessity. by the bright frosty moon-light."

That the library had at one time been a favour“Vara right, vara right— that's what I hae aften ite resource of Rashleigh — that a private door out said; a kail-blaid, or a colliflour, glances sae glegly of one side of it communicated with the sequestered by moonlight, it's like a leddy in her diamonds." and remote apartment which he chose for himself,

So saying, off went Andrew Fairservice with great rather increased than disarmed the terrors which glee. He had to walk about two miles, a labour he the housenoid had for the dreaded library of Osbalundertook with the greatest pleasure, in order to distone-Hall. His extensive information as to what secure to his kinsman the sale of some articles of passed in the world— his profound knowledge of his trade, though it is probable he would not have science of every kind-a few physical experiments given him sixpence to treat him to a quart of ale. which he occasionally showed off, were, in a house

The good-will of an Englishman would have dis- of so much ignorance and bigotry, esteemed good played itself in a manner exactly the reverse of An reasons for supposing him endowed with powers drew's," thought I, as I paced along the smooth-cut over the spiritual world. He understood Greek, velvet walks, which, embowered with high hedges Latin, and Hebrew; and, therefore, according to of yew and of holly, intersected the ancient garden the apprehension, and in the phrase of his brother of Osbaldistone-Hall.

Wilfred, needed not to care " for ghaist or barAs I turned to retrace my steps, it was natural ghaist, devil or dobbie." Yea, the servants perthat I should lift up my eyes to the windows of the sisted that they had heard him hold conversations old library; which, smail in size, but severai in num in the library, when every varsal soul in the family ber, stretched along the second story of that side were gone to bed; and that he spent the night in of the house which now faced me. Light glanced watching for bogles, and the morning in sleeping from their casements. I was not surprised at this, in his bed, when he should have been heading the for I knew Miss Vernon often sat there of an even hounds like a true Osbaldistone. ing, though from motives of delicacy I put a strong All these absurd rumours I had heard in broken restraint upon myself, and never sought to join her hints and imperfect sentences, from which I was at a time when I knew, all the rest of the family left to draw the inference; and, as easily may be being engaged for the evening, our interviews must supposed, I laughed them to scorn. But the es. necessarily have been strictly tête-à-tête. In the treme solitude to which this chamber of evil fame mornings we usually read together in the same was committed every night after curfew time, was room; but then it often happened that one or other an additional reason why I should not intrude ou of our cousins entered to seek some parchment duo- Miss Vernon when she chose to sit there in the decimo that could be converted into a fishing-book, evening. despite its gildings and illumination, or to tell us of To resume what I was saying,- I was not sursome “sport toward,” or from mere want of know- prised to see a glimmering of light from the library ing where else to dispose of themselves. In short, windows ; but I was a little struck when I disin the mornings the library was a sort of public tinctly perceived the shadows of two persons pass room, where man and woman might meet as on along and intercept the light from the first of the neutral ground. In the evening it was very differ- windows, throwing the casement for a moment inent; and, bred in a country where much attention to shade. “ It must be old Martha," thought I, is paid, or was at least then paid, to bienséance, I “whom Diana has engaged to be her companion for was desirous to think for Miss Vernon concerning the evening; or I must have been mistaken, and those points of propriety where her experience did taken Diana's shadow for a second person. No, by not afford her the means of thinking for herself. I Heaven ! it appears on the second window,-tuo made her therefore comprehend, as delicately as I figures distinctly traced; and now it is lost againcould, that when we had evening lessons, the pre- it is seen on the third-on the fourth-the darkened sence of a third party was proper

forms of two persons distinctly seen in each window Miss Vernon first laughed, then blushed, and was as they pass along the room, betwixt the windows disposed to be displeased; and then, suddenly check and the lights. Whom can Diana have got for a coming herself, said, “I believe you are very right; and panion?” — The passage of the shadows between the when I feel inclined to be a very busy scholar, I lights and the casements was twice repeated, as if will bribe old Martha with a cup of teo to sit by to satisfy me that my observation served me truly; me and be my screen.”

after which the lights were extinguished, and the Martha, the old housekeeper, partook of the shades, of course, were seen no more. taste of the family at the Hall. A toast and tan Trifling as this circumstance was, it occupied kard would have pleased her better than all the tea my mind for a considerable time. I did not allow in China. However, as the use of this beverage myself to suppose that my friendship for Miss Verwas then confined to the higher ranks, Martha felt non had any directly selfish view; yet it is incredible some vanity in being asked to partake of it; and the displeasure I felt at the idea of her admitting by dint of a great deal of sugar, many words scarce any one to private interviews, at a time, and in a less sweet, and abundance of toast and butter, she place, where, for her own sake, I had been at soine was sometimes prevailed upon to give us her coun trouble to show her that it was improper for me to tenance. On other occasions, the servants almost meet with her. unanimously shunned the library after nightfall, be “ Silly, romping, incorrigible girl!” said I to cause it was their foolish pleasure to believe that it myself, “ on whom all good advice and delicacy are lay on the haunted side of the house. The more thrown away! I have been cheated by the simpli


city of her manner, which I suppose she can as

CHAPTER XV. sume just as she could a straw bonnet, were it the fashion, for the mere sake of celebrity. I suppose,

Whence, and what art thou ? notwithstanding the excellence of her understanding, the society of half a dozen of clowns to play After exhausting a sleepless night in meditaat whisk and swabbers would give her more plea- ting on the intelligence I had received, I was at sure than if Ariosto himself were to awake from the first inclined to think that I ought, as speedily as dead."

possible, to return to London, and by my open apThis reflection came the more powerfully across pearance repel the calumny which had been spread my mind, because, having mustered up courage to against me. But I hesitated to take this course on show to Diana my version of the first books of recollection of my father's disposition, singularly Ariosto, I had requested her to invite Martha to a absolute in his decisions as to all that concerned his tea-party in the library that evening, to which ar family. He was most able, certainly, from experangement Miss Vernon had refused her consent, rience, to direct what I ought to do, and from his alleging some apology which I thought frivolous at acquaintance with the most distinguished Whigs the time. I had not long speculated on this disagree- then in power, had influence enough to obtain a able subject, when the back garden-door opened, hearing for my cause. So, upon the whole, I judged and the figures of Andrew and his countryman it most safe to state my whole story in the shape bending under his pack--crossed the moonlight of a narrative, addressed to my father; and as the alley, and called my attention elsewhere.

ordinary opportunities of intercourse between the I found Mr Macready, as I expected, a tough, Hall and the post-town recurred rarely, I detersagacious, long-headed Scotchman, and a collector mined to ride to the town, which was about ten miles' of news both from choice and profession. He was distance, and deposit my letter in the post-office able to give me a distinct account of what had passed with my own hands. in the llouse of Commons and House of Lords on Indeed I began to think it strange, that though the affair of Morris, which, it appears, had been several weeks had elapsed since my departure from made by both parties a touchstone to ascertain the home, I had received no letter, either from my fatemper of the Parliament. It appeared also, that, ther or Owen, although Rashleigh had written to as I had learned from Andrew by second hand, the Sir Hildebrand of his safe arrival in London, and ministry had proved too weak to support a story of the kind reception he had met with from his involving the character of men of rank and im- uncle. Admitting that I might have been to blame, portance, and resting upon the credit of a person of I did not deserve, in my own opinion at least, to such indifferent fame as Morris, who was, more be so totally forgotten by my father; and I thought over, confused and contradictory in his mode of my present'excursion might have the effect of bringtelling the story. Macready was even able to sup- ing a letter from him to hand more early than it ply me with a copy of a printed journal, or News- would otherwise have reached me. But before conLetter, seldom extending beyond the capital, in cluding my letter concerning the affair of Morris, which the substance of the debate was mentioned; I failed not to express my earnest hope and wish and with a copy of the Duke of Argyle's speech, that my father would honour me with a few lines, printed upon a broadside, of which he had pur were it but to express his advice and commands in chased several from the hawkers, because, he said, an affair of some difficulty, and where my knowit would be a saleable article on the north of the ledge of life could not be supposed adequate to my Tweed. The first was a meagre statement, full of own guidance. I found it impossible to prevail on blanks and asterisks, and which added little or myself to urge my actual return to London as a nothing to the information I had from the Scotch- place of residence, and I disguised my unwillingman; and the Duke's speech, though spirited and ness to do so under apparent submission to my faeloquent, contained chiefly a panegyric on his ther's will, which, as I imposed it on myself as a country, his family, and his clan, with a few com sufficient reason for not urging my final departure pliments, equally sincere, perhaps, though less glow- from Osbaldistone-Hall, would, I doubted not, be ing, which he took so favourable an opportunity of received as such by my parent. But I begged perpaying to himself. I could not learn whether my mission to come to London, for a short time at own reputation had been directly implicated, al- least, to meet and refute the infamous calumnies though I perceived that the honour of my uncle's which had been circulated concerning me in so family had been impeached, and that this person public a manner. Having made up my packet, in Campbell, stated by Morris to have been the most which my earnest desire to vindicate my character active robber of the two by whom he was assailed, was strangely blended with reluctance to quit my was said by him to have appeared in the behalf of present place of residence, I rode over to the posta Mr Osbaldistone, and by the connivance of the town, and deposited my letter in the office. By Justice, procured his liberation. In this particu- doing so, I obtained possession, somewhat earlier lar, Morris's story jumped with my own suspicions, than I should otherwise have done, of the following which had attached to Campbell from the moment letter from my friend Mr Owen :I saw him appear at Justice Inglewood's. Vexed upon the whole, as well as perplexed, with this ex

“ Dear Mr Francis, traordinary story, I dismissed the two Scotchmen, “ Yours received per favour of Mr R. Osbaldisafter making some purchases from Macready, and tone, and note the contents. Shall do Mr R. O. a small compliment to Fairservice, and retired to such civilities as are in my power, and have taken my own apartment to consider what I ought to do him to see the Bank and Custom-house. He seems in defence of my character thus publicly attacked. a sober, steady young gentleman, and takes to busi

ness ; so will be of service to the firin. Could have

wished another person kad turned his mind that

way; but God's will be done. As cash may be as I have already mentioned, was situated in a sescarce in those parts, have to trust you will excuse questered part of the house, communicating with my enclosing a goldsmith's bill at six days' sight, the library by a private entrance, and by another on Messrs Hooper and Girder of Newcastle, for intricate and dark vaulted passage with the rest of £100, which I doubt not will be duly honoured. — the house. A long narrow turf walk led, between I remain, as in duty bound, dear Mr Frank, your two high holly hedges, from the turret-door to a very respectful and obedient servant,

little postern in the wall of the garden. By means

“ JOSEPH OWEN. of these communications, Rashleigh, whose movePostscriptum.—Hope you will advise the above ments were very independent of those of the rest coming safe to hand. Am sorry we have so few of of his family, could leave the Hall or return to it yours. Your father says he is as usual, but looks at pleasure, without his absence or presence atpoorly."

tracting any observation. But during his absence

the stair and the turret-door were entirely disused, From this epistle, written in old Owen's formal and this made Andrew's observation somewhat restyle, I was rather surprised to observe that he markable. made no acknowledgment of that private letter “Have you often observed that door open ?" was which I had written to him, with a view to possess my question. him of Rashleigh's real character, although, from « No just that often neither; but I hae noticed the course of post, it seemed certain that he ought it ance or twice. I'm thinking it maun hae been to have received it. Yet I had sent it by the usual the priest, Father Vaughan, as they ca' him. Ye'll conveyance from the Hall, and had no reason to no catch ane o' the servants ganging up that stair, suspect that it could miscarry upon the road. As puir frightened heathens that they are, for fear of it comprised matters of great importance, both to bogles and brownies, and lang-nebbit things frae my father and to myself, I sat down in the post- the neist warld. But Father Vaughan thinks himoffice, and again wrote to Owen, recapitulating the self a privileged person-set him up and lay him heads of my former letter, and requesting to know, down !--- I’se be caution the warst stibbler that ever in course of post, if it had reached him in safety. I stickit a sermon out ower the Tweed yonder, wad also acknowledged the receipt of the bill, and pro- lay a ghaist twice as fast as him, wi' his holy water mised to make use of the contents if I should have and his idolatrous trinkets. I dinna believe he any occasion for money. I thought, indeed, it was speaks gude Latin neither; at least he disna take odd that my father should leave the care of supply- me up when I tell him the learned names o' the ing my necessities to his clerk; but I concluded it plants.” was a matter arranged between them. At any rate, Of Father Vaughan, who divided his time and Owen was a bachelor, rich in his way, and passion- his ghostly care between Osbaldistone-Hall, and ately attached to me, so that I had no hesitation in about half-a-dozen mansions of Catholic gentlemen being obliged to him for a small sum, which I re- in the neighbourhood, I have as yet said nothing, solved to consider as a loan, to be returned with for I had seen but little. He was aged about sixty, my earliest ability, in case it was not previously re - of a good family, as I was given to understand, paid by my father; and I expressed myself to this in the north,-of a striking and imposing presence, purpose to Mr Owen. A shopkeeper in a little grave in his exterior, and much respected among town, to whom the postmaster directed me, readily the Catholics of Northumberland as a worthy and gave me in gold the amount of my bill on Messrs upright man. Yet Father Vaughan did not altogeHooper and Girder, so that I returned to Osbaldis- ther lack those peculiarities which distinguish his tone-Hall a good deal richer than I had set forth. order. There hung about him an air of mystery, This recruit to my finances was not a matter of which, in Protestant eyes, savoured of priestcraft. indifference to me, as I was necessarily involved | The natives (such they might be well termed) of in some expenses at Osbaldistone-Hall; and I had Osbaldistone-Hall looked up to him with much more seen, with some uneasy impatience, that the sum fear, or at least more awe, than affection. His conwhich my travelling expenses had left unexhausted demnation of their revels was evident, from their at my arrival there, was imperceptibly diminish- being discontinued in some measure when the priest ing. This source of anxiety was for the present was a resident at the Hall. Even Sir Hildebrand removed. On my arrival at the Hall, I found that himself put some restraint upon his conduct at such Sir Hildebrand and all his offspring had gone down times, which, perhaps, rendered Father Vaughan's to the little hamlet, called Trinlay-knowes, “to see," presence rather irksome than otherwise. He had the as Andrew Fairservice expressed it, “a wheen mid- well-bred, insinuating, and almost flattering address den cocks pike ilk ithers harns out.”

peculiar to the clergy of his persuasion, especially “ It is indeed a brutal amusement, Andrew; I in England, where the lay Catholic, hemmed in by suppose you have none such in Scotland ?”

penal laws, and by the restrictions of his sect and “Na, na," answered Andrew, boldly; then sha- recommendation of his pastor, often exhibits a reded away his negative with, "unless it be on Fas- served, and almost a timid manner, in the society tern’s-e'en, or the like o' that — But indeed it's no of Protestants; while the priest, privileged by his muckle matter what the folk do to the midden order to mingle with persons of all creeds, is open, pootry, for they had siccan a skarting and scraping alert, and liberal in his intercourse with them, dein the yard, that there's nae getting a bean or pea sirous of popularity, and usually skilful in the mode keepit for them. But I am wondering what it is of obtaining it. that leaves that turret-door open ;-now that Mr Father Vaughan was a particular acquaintance Rashleigh's away, it canna be him, I trow.” of Rashleigh's, otherwise, in all probability, he

The turret-door, to which he alluded, opened to would scarce have been able to maintain his footing the garden at the bottom of a winding-stair, lead at Osbaldistone-Hall. This gave me no desire to ing down from Mr Rashleigh's apartments. This, cultivate his intimacy, nor did he seem to make

any advances towards mine ; so our occasional in- stinately affirming it to be impossible that they can tercourse was confined to the exchange of mere have missed the way. civility. I considered it as extremely probable that Mr Vaughan might occupy Rashleigh's apartment during his occasional residence at the Hall; and his profession rendered it likely that he should

CHAPTER XVI. occasionally be a tenant of the library. Nothing

" It happened one day about noon, going to my boat, I was was more probable than that it might have been

exceedingly surprised with the print of a man's naked his candle which had excited my attention on a foot on the shore, which was very plain to be seen on

the sand."

Robinson Crusoe. preceding evening. This led me involuntarily to recollect that the intercourse between Miss Ver With the blended feelings of interest and jeanon and the priest was marked with something lousy which were engendered by Miss Vernon's sinlike the same mystery which characterized her com- gular situation, my observations of her looks and munications with Rashleigh. I had never heard actions became acutely sharpened, and that to a her mention Vaughan's name, or even allude to him, degree which, notwithstanding my efforts to conceal excepting on the occasion of our first meeting, it, could not escape her penetration. The sense when she mentioned the old priest and Rashleigh that she was observed, or, more properly speaking, as the only conversible beings, besides herself, in that she was watched by my looks, seemed to give Osbaldistone-Hall. Yet although silent with respect Diana a mixture of embarrassment, pain, and petto Father Vaughan, his arrival at the Hall never tishness. At times it seemed that she sought an failed to impress Miss Vernon with an anxious and opportunity of resenting a conduct which she could futtering tremor, which lasted until they had ex not but feel as offensive, considering the frankness changed one or two significant glances.

with which she had mentioned the difficulties that Whatever the mystery niynt be which over surrounded her. At other times she seemed preclouded the destinies of this beautiful and interest- pared to expostulate upon the subject. But either ing female, it was clear that Father Vaughan was her courage failed, or some other sentiment impeimplicated in it; unless, indeed, I could suppose ded her seeking an eclaircissement. Her displeathat he was the agent employed to procure her set sure evaporated in repartee, and her expostulations tlement in the cloister, in the event of her rejecting died on her lips. We stood in a singular relation a union with either of my cousins,- an office which to each other, --spending, and by mutual choice, would sufficiently account for her obvious emotion much of our time in close society with each other, at his appearance. As to the rest, they did not yet disguising our mutual sentiments, and jealous seem to converse much together, or even to seek of, or offended by, each other's actions. There was each other's society. Their league, if any subsisted betwixt us intimacy without confidence ;-on one between them, was of a tacit and understood nature, side, love without hope or purpose, and curiosity operating on their actions without any necessity of without any rational or justifiable motive ; and on speech. "I recollected, however, on reflection, that the other, embarrassment and doubt, occasionally I had once or twice discovered signs pass betwixt mingled with displeasure. Yet I believe that this them, which I had at the time supposed to bear agitation of the passions (such is the nature of the reference to some hint concerning Miss Vernon's human bosom), as it continued by a thousand irrireligious observances, knowing how artfully the tating and interesting, though petty circumstances, Catholic clergy maintain, at all times and seasons, to render Miss Vernon and me the constant objects their influence over the minds of their followers. of each other's thoughts, tended, upon the whole, But now I was disposed to assign to these commu to increase the attachment with which we were nanications a deeper and more mysterious import. turally disposed to regard each other. But although Did he hold private meetings with Miss Vernon in my vanity early discovered that my presence at the library was a question which occupied my Osbaldistone-Hall had given Diana some additional thoughts; and if so, for what purpose? And why reason for disliking the cloister, I could by no means should she have admitted an intimate of the deceita confide in an affection which seemed completely ful Rashleigh to such close confidence?

subordinate to the mysteries of her singular situaThese questions and difficulties pressed on my tion. Miss Vernon was of a character far too formed mind with an interest which was greatly increased and determined, to permit her love for me to overby the impossibility of resolving them. I had al- power either her sense of duty or of prudence, and ready begun to suspect that my friendship for Diana she gave me a proof of this in a conversation which Vernon was not altogether so disinterested as in we had together about this period. wisdom it ought to have been. I had already felt We were sitting together in the library. Miss myself becoming jealous of the contemptible lout Vernon, in turning over a copy of the Orlando Fu'Thorncliff, and taking more notice, than in prudence rioso, which belonged to me, shook a piece of writor dignity of feeling I ought to have done, of his ten paper from between the leaves. I hastened to silly attempts to provoke me. And now I was lift it, but she prevented me.--" It is verse," she scrutinizing the conduct of Miss Vernon with the said, on glancing at the paper; and then unfolding most close and eager observation, which I in vain it, but as if to wait my answer before proceedingendeavoured to palm on myself as the offspring of “May I take the liberty?- Nay, nay, if you blush idle curiosity. All these, like Benedick's brushing and stammer, I must do violence to your modesty, his hat of a morning, were signs that the sweet and suppose that permission is granted." youth was in love; and while my judgment still “ It is not worthy your perusal--a scrap of a denied that I had been guilty of forming an attach- translation - My dear Miss Vernon, it would be ment so imprudent, she resembled those ignorant too severe a trial, that you, who understand the guides, who, when they have led the traveller and original so well, should sit in judgment.” themselves into irretrievable error, persist in ob " Mine honest friend,” replied Diana, “ do not,

If you will be guided by my advice, bait your hook " That is strange ! - you are a singular race, with too much humility; for, ten to one, it will not you bold Osbaldistones. Then you are not aware catch a single compliment. You know I belong to that he has gone to Holland, to arrange some the unpopular family of Tell-truths, and would not pressing affairs which required his own immediato Hatter Apollo for his lyre.”

presence?” She proceeded to read the first stanza, which was “ I never heard a word of it until this moment." nearly to the following purpose :

“ And farther, it must be news to you, and I " Ladies, and knights, and arms, and love's fair flame, presume scarcely the most agreeable, that he has Deeds of emprize and courtesy, I sing;

left Rashleigh in the almost uncontrolled manageWhat time the Moors from sultry Africk came, ment of his affairs until his return?”

Led on by Agramant, their youthful king He whom revenge and hasty ire did bring

I started, and could not suppress my surprise O'er the broad wave, in France to waste and war; and apprehension. Such ills from old Trojano's death did spring,

“ You have reason for alarm,” said Miss Vernon, Which to avenge he came from realms afar, And menaced Christian Charles, the Roman Emperor. very gravely; "and were I you, I would endeavour “Of dauntless Roland, too, my strain shall sound,

to meet and obviate the dangers which arise from In import never known in prose or rhyme,

so undesirable an arrangement." How He, the chief, of judgment deem'd profound, “ And how is it possible for me to do so ?” For luckless love was crazed upon a time, -"

“ Everything is possible for him who possesses “ There is a great deal of it,” said she, glan- courage and activity,” she said, with a look resemcing along the paper, and interrupting the sweetest bling one of those heroines of the age of chivalry, sounds which mortal ears can drink in,- those of a whose encouragement was wont to give champions youthful poet's verses, namely, read by the lips which double valour at the hour of need; "and to the are dearest to them.

timid and hesitating, everything is impossible, be“ Much more than ought to engage your atten cause it seems so." tion, Miss Vernon," I replied, something mortified; “ And what would you advise, Miss Vernon !" I and'I took the verses from her unreluctant hand-replied, wishing, yet dreading, to hear her answer. “ And yet,” I continued, "shut up as I am in this She paused a moment, then answered firmly retired situation, I have felt sometimes I could not “ That you instantly leave Osbaldistone-Hall, and amuse myself better than by carrying on — merely return to London. You have perhaps already," she for my own amusement, you will of course under continued, in a softer tone, “ been here too long ; stand—the version of this facinating author, which that fault was not yours. Every succeeding moment I began some months since, when I was on the you waste here will be a crime. Yes, a crime: banks of the Garonne."

for I tell you plainly, that if Rashleigh long ma“ The question would only be,” said Diana, grave- nages your father's affairs, you may consider his ly,“ whether you could not spend your time to bet- ruin as consummated.” ter purpose ?”

“ How is this possible?” “'You mean in original composition ?” said I, “ Ask no questions,” she said; “ but, believe me, greatly flattered—“But, to say truth, my genius Rashleigh's views extend far beyond the possession rather lies in finding words and rhymes than ideas; or increase of commercial wealth : He will only and therefore I am happy to use those which Ariosto make the command of Mr Osbaldistone's revenues has prepared to my hand. However, Miss Vernon, and property the means of putting in motion his with the encouragement you give”.

own ambitious and extensive schemes. While your “ Pardon me, Frank-it is encouragement not father was in Britain this was impossible; during of my giving, but of your taking. I meant neither his absence, Rashleigh will possess many opportuoriginal composition nor translation, since I think nities, and he will not neglect to use them.” you might employ your time to far better purpose “ But how can I, in disgrace with my father, and than in either. You are mortified,” she continued, divested of all control over his affairs, prevent this “ and I am sorry to be the cause."

danger by my mere presence in London?” “ Not mortified, -certainly not mortified,” said “ That presence alone will do much. Your claim I, with the best grace I could muster, and it was to interfere is a part of your birthright, and is inbut indifferently assumed; “I am too much obliged alienable. You will have the countenance, doubtby the interest you take in me.”

less, of your father's head-clerk, and confidential "Nay, but,” resumed the relentless Diana,“ there friends and partners. Above all, Rashleigh'sschemes is both mortification and a little grain of anger in are of a nature that”- (she stopped abruptly, as if that constrained tone of voice ; do not be angry if I fearful of saying too much) —"are, in short," she probe your feelings to the bottom- perhaps what resumed, “ of the nature of all selfish and unconI am about to say will affect them still more." scientious plans, which are speedily abandoned as

I felt the childishness of my own conduct, and soon as those who frame them perceive their arts the superior manliness of Miss Vernon's, and as are discovered and watched. Therefore, in the sured her, that she need not fear my wincing language of your favourite poetunder criticism which I knew to be kindly meant. “ That was honestly meant and said," she re

• To horse ! to horse! Urge doubts to those that fear.** plied; “I knew full well that the fiend of poeti A feeling, irresistible in its impulse, induced me cal irritability flew away with the little preluding to reply - " Ah! Diana, can you give me advice cough which ushered in the declaration. And now to leave Osbaldistone-Hall 1- then indeed I have I must be serious. — Have you heard from your already been a resident here too long!” father lately?"

Miss Vernon coloured, but proceeded with great “ Not a word,” I replied ; "he has not honoured firmness—“ Indeed, I do give you this advice not me with a single line during the several months of only to quit Osbaldistone Hall, but never to return my residence here."

to it more. You have only one friend to regret

« PreviousContinue »