Изображения страниц

ing. How eagerly she watched her father's changing countenance, and read almost his secret thoughts. When she saw him in deep reflection, planning and resolving on the future, she kept intruders away, and left him to solitude and silence; but when she found him giving way to doubt and sorrow, she brought his young children to his arms, and their lively prattle and tender caresses for a while dispelled his gloom. She refused all Lady Seraphine's invitations,-resolved not again to encounter Lord Hewiston; but spite of her endeavours her spirits gave way-sorrow preyed upon her. Her father perceived the change, and blamed himself for having thus clouded her youthful happiness by his unfortunate confidence. He insisted on her fulfilling Lady Seraphine's wishes, by accompanying her during her visit to Norford. He hoped the change would dissipate her anxieties; and Juliet reluctantly complied.

It was with a mixed feeling of joy and sorrow that she found Lord Hewiston on a visit there. She struggled in vain with her feelings,—she could not conceal from herself that she loved him. Her only hope now was to prevent him from sharing her attachment; yet, in this hope, she fancied she was deceived. The frank and ardent temperament of Lord Hewiston rendered

his sentiments easy to read; and the evening on which Charles Arbridge arrived at Norford, poor Juliet had retired to her chamber, to weep over the unfortunate issue of her plans. Yet amid her tears, she could not refrain from smiling -he loved her, she was sure he loved her: what sorrow could efface the exquisite delight that certainty afforded. But, oh! if he knew all! When the day of ruin came,-when all the world would turn from the wretched beggars,would he, the proud, the high, the noble, stoop to think of her? Or even if, for she knew his generous nature,-if he cared not for fortune's frowns, what would his parents say? The proud earl, the noble countess, the haughty family, would turn away in horror,-and blame him. And should she bring this sorrow on his head? -Should she alienate him from his fond parents? Not so!-she would check her feelings: she would conceal them from him; and when he saw her no more, he would, perhaps, forget her. Bitter thought! but it must be, it was for his good, and all her endeavours now must be, to be as cold and distant as she could.-Alas!


A man may do what he likes, with his own.

They shall take, who have the power,
And they may keep, who can!


THE breakfast was over, and all were preparing for the different amusements of the morning, when Lord Hewiston entered the room with a bundle of pink rosettes.

"Now!" he cried, "here are my colours, but where are my supporters? Lord Norford, of course you will have one. It's a chivalrous custom you know, for rival candidates to wear each other's colours. Will you have one?"

"I am much obliged to you, but I must decline. It may be a chivalrous custom, but I cannot approve of it. Besides, this is not a regular contest; it's child's play-folly."

"Oh! you are confident. Now I should like,

-but no matter. I have been very busy this morning. I have written out several addresses and sent them about the town: they will be more prized than printed ones. But, ladies, you at least will wear my colours?"

And among the ladies he found many votaries, for he was their peculiar favourite; and, besides, they could not all aspire to please the young Marquis; and Lord Hewiston was nearly as rich, and ten times as agreeable.

"Here give me one!" exclaimed Lady Seraphine gaily; "but don't break your heart, Lord Norford, I shall still wear yours, I will wear them both I will be impartial like justice. And, Juliet, you will have one too-you must have one."

Thus urged, Juliet could not refuse; perhaps, she had no wish. But she did not venture to raise her eyes, as she took the pink ribbon from the young candidate.

"I think I must go and canvass now?" he continued; "you do not seem to care much about it, Lord Hetherford; but I assure you, you are in great danger. I am now going to speak to the electors. I shall walk over to the town: will any one come with me?-Will you, Charles ?"

"No! I am going to ride with the Duke; and, besides, I hardly understand what you are about."

"You will understand it by and bye; but after all, I think I had perhaps better go by myself. I have the honour to salute you. Your servant -au revoir."

And he hurried away to canvass as he called it. Arbridge felt rather disappointed, he thought his friend would make himself appear ridiculous,yet he knew remonstrance would be vain. All now dispersed in various directions,-riding on horseback, in carriages, shooting, &c. &c.

They all assembled again at the dinner table, all eagerly relating the adventures of the morning. Lord Hewiston seemed graver, and more silent than his wont; he strove, though in vain, to appear as gay as usual.

"And how did you get on with your canvassing?" asked his host. "Shall we find you a very formidable opponent?"

"On the contrary, I have resolved to retire from the field. Do not think me beaten, but rejoice at your good fortune."

"Ah! Lord Hewiston, how are you? I did not know you were here," exclaimed Sir Richard Morris, a great landed proprietor, whose estates lay in the neighbourhood. He had arrived that morning, and was very loquacious and self-important. He was another Lord Hetherford in his small way, but he had not the skill or the tact to

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »