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hardest trials; but when no ray of hope gilds the remainder of our pilgrimage, it requires more than mortal courage to bear up against our sad destiny.
Mrs. Derby had left Como, with her family, very shortly after Teresa's domestication in it, and they had travelled through various parts of Italy, all of which Teresa had before traversed as Lady St. John.
A great change had taken place in the manners and dispositions of her pupils, and Mrs. Derby saw, with pleasure, the improvement in her daughters' deportment. Admiring and loving Teresa, they strove to imitate her movements and bearing, and threw off all their hoydenish man
At length they arrived at Genoa, on their way to Florence, and the day of their arrival was that on which Lady Sedley had fancied she saw Lady St John at the theatre. The people at the hotel had told the English travellers of the celebrated actress, who was then delighting crowded audiences at Genoa, and as Mrs. Derby
was suffering from a headache, she sent her two eldest girls, with Teresa and Mr. Derby, to the theatre.
For some time Teresa's attention was quite absorbed by the admirable acting, and the remarks and questions of her young pupils, who, never having witnessed a play before, were full of delight and curiosity. At length Teresa happened casually to cast her eyes on the opposite box, and discovered, seated in the front of it, her beloved friend Lady Sedley.
Lady Sedley was looking intently on the stage at the moment, but there was no mistaking her profile. In great agitation and confusion Teresa retired quite to the back of the box, and there continued to gaze unobserved on the opposite party. Oh! what hosts of recollections, and hopes, and sorrows that dear face recalled!
For some moments she dared not trust herself to look at the other figures in the box ; she felt that Sedley was probably there, and the very thought made her turn faint. At length she summoned resolution, and turned her eyes upon Chiara's lovely countenance. She gazed long and wistfully on this beautiful young girl, and then looked up at the form which hung over the back of Chiara's chair. It was Sedley himself; but even at this distance she remarked the change in his appearance. Her feelings could no longer be repressed, and she sobbed audibly; but, fortunately for her, the tragedy was at its most harrowing part, and her emotion was attributed by the Derbys to the scene passing on the stage.
Gradually she subdued her agitation, and ventured to contemplate the group opposite once more. She saw Chiara's glowing countenance frequently turned towards Sedley, and she noted the expression of gentle affection with which he looked on her in return. These looks were construed by Teresa into those of fond admiration, and though Sedley was separated irretrievably from herself, the sight of his devotion to another was too painful to be endured.
The evening seemed interminable to her, and
she felt inexpressibly relieved when her party rose to leave the box.
This glimpse of Sedley, raised feelings in Teresa's breast which had long lain dormant, but she soon brought herself to consider him as engaged to another, and strove to forget his professions to herself.
The Derbys left Genoa the next day, and, after passing the winter and spring in travelling, proceeded to their own place in Wales.
Mr. Derby's family estate was situated near the coast, and the stern grandeur of the surrounding scenery was beautifully contrasted by the high cultivation and reposing loveliness of his fine park. The house was a noble pile of building ; yet there was a gloomy grandeur in the air of the house, the furniture, the very park and gardens, which struck a chill to Teresa's heart on her arrival. The trees on the estate were particularly fine, and the plantations in some places so densely thick that the sun never penetrated into their dark, damp shades. The house was backed by a wood almost entirely composed of firs and cedars, which added to the gloom of its aspect. In front, an extensive and velvety lawn was laid out with considerable taste, and at its foot a broad and clear river swept along, on the opposite side of which the far-spreading park, dotted with deer, meadows filled with grazing cattle, and mountains planted to their summits met the eye.
There is a peculiar charm attached to English parks which we have vainly sought in other countries. The repose of the vast woods, the solitudes where none but the deer intrude, the ancient trees which have survived many generations, the green vistas where the eye loses itself, or where some temple or pleasure-house terminates the view, the fine approach to the mansion, winding through forest glades, then displaying the extensive view of pastures, wood, and water - where shall we see such an union save in England ?
We have, from childhood, loved to roam through such scenes, and envied the possessors of such proud domains.