Precaution, Vol. 2
by James Fenimore Cooper
Although the affections of Jane had sustained a heavy blow, her
pride had received a greater, and no persuasions of her mother or
sister, could induce her to leave her room; she talked but little, but
once or twice she yielded to the affectionate attentions of Emily, and
poured out her sorrows into the bosom of her sister; at such moments,
she would declare her intention of never appearing in the world again.
One of these paroxysms of sorrow was witnessed by her mother, and, for
the first time, self-reproach mingled in the grief of the matron; had
she trusted less to appearances, and the opinions of indifferent and
ill-judging acquaintances, her daughter might have been apprised in
season, of the character of the man who had stolen her affections. To
the direct exhibition of misery, Lady Moseley was always sympathetic,
and for the moment, alive to its causes and consequences; but a timely
and judicious safeguard against future moral evils, was a forecast
neither her inactivity of mind or abilities were equal to.
We shall leave Jane to brood over her lover's misconduct, while we
regret she is without the consolation, alone able to bear her up
against the misfortunes of life, and return to the other personages of
The visit to Mrs. Fitzgerald had been postponed in consequence of
Jane's indisposition; but a week after the Colonel's departure, Mrs.
Wilson thought, as Jane had consented to leave her room, and Emily
really began to look pale from her confinement by the side of a sick
bed, she would redeem the pledge she had given the recluse, on the
following morning. They found the ladies at the cottage happy to see
them, and anxious to hear of the health of Jane, of whose illness they
had been informed by note. After offering her guests some refreshments,
Mrs. Fitzgerald, who appeared labouring under a greater melancholy than
usual, proceeded to make them acquainted with the incidents of her
The daughter of an English merchant at Lisbon, had fled from the
house of her father to the protection of an Irish officer in the
service of his Catholic Majesty; they were united, and the colonel
immediately took his bride to Madrid. The offspring of this union were
a son and daughter. The former, at an early age, had entered into the
service of his king, and had, as usual, been bred in the faith of his
ancestors; but the Signora M'Carthy had been educated, and yet
remained, a protestant, and, contrary to her faith to her husband,
secretly instructed her daughter in the same belief. At the age of
seventeen, a principal grandee of the court of Charles, sought the hand
of the general's child. The Conde D'Alzada was a match not to be
refused, and they were united in that heartless and formal manner,
marriages are too often entered into, in countries where the customs of
society prevent an intercourse between the sexes. The Conde never
possessed the affections of his wife; of a stern and unyielding
disposition his harshness repelled her love; and as she naturally
turned her eyes to the home of her childhood, she cherished all those
peculiar sentiments she had imbibed from her mother. Thus, although she
appeared to the world a catholic, she lived in secret a protestant. Her
parents had always used the English language in their family, and she
spoke it as fluently as the Spanish. To encourage her recollections of
this strongest feature, which distinguished the house of her father
from the others she entered, she perused closely and constantly those
books which the death of her mother placed at her disposal; these were
principally protestant works on religious subjects, and the countess
became a strong sectarian, without becoming a christian. As she was
compelled to use the same books in teaching her only child, the Donna
Julia, English, the consequences of the originalfalse step of her
grandmother, were perpetuated in the person of this young lady. In
learning English, she also learnt to secede from the faith of her
father, and entailed upon herself a life, of either persecution or
hypocrisy. The countess was guilty of the unpardonable error of
complaining to their child, of the treatment she received from her
husband; and as these conversations were held in English, and were
consecrated by the tears of the mother, they made an indelible
impression on the youthful mind of Julia; who grew up with the
conviction, that next to being a catholic herself, the greatest evil of
life, was to be the wife of one.
On her attaining her fifteenth year, she had the misfortune (if it
could be termed one) to lose her mother, and within the year, her
father presented to her a nobleman of the vicinity as her future
husband; how long the religious faith of Julia would have endured,
unsupported by example in others, and assailed by the passions,
soliciting in behalf of a young and handsome cavalier, it might be
difficult to pronounce; but as her suitor was neither very young, and
the reverse of very handsome, it is certain, the more he woo'd, the
more confirmed she became in her heresy, until, in a moment of
desperation, and as an only refuge against his solicitations, she
candidly avowed her creed. The anger of her father was violent and
lasting; she was doomed to a convent, as both a penance for her sins,
and a mean of reformation. Physical resistance was not in her power,
but mentally, she determined never to yield. Her body was immured, but
her mind continued unshaken, and rather more settled in her belief, by
the aid of those passions which had been excited by injudicious
harshness. For two years she continued in her noviciate, obstinately
refusing to take the vows of the order, and at the end of that period,
the situation of her country had called her father and uncle to the
field, as defenders of the rights of their lawful prince; perhaps to
this, it was owing that harsher measures were not adopted in her case.
The war now raged around them in its greatest horrors, until, at
length, a general battle was fought in the neighbourhood, and the
dormitories of the peaceful nuns were crowded with wounded British
officers. Amongst others of his nation, was a Major Fitzgerald, a young
man of strikingly handsome countenance, and pleasant manners; chance
threw him under the more immediate charge of Julia; his recovery was
slow, and for a time doubtful, and as much owing to good nursing, as
science. The Major was grateful, and Julia, unhappy as she was
beautiful. That love should be the offspring of this association, will
excite no surprise. A brigade of British encamping in the vicinity of
the convent, the young couple sought its protection from Spanish
vengeance, and Romish cruelty. They were married by thechaplain of the
brigade, and for a month they were happy.
As Napoleon was daily expected in person at the seat of war, his
generals were alive to their own interests, if not to that of their
master. The body of troops in which Fitzgerald had sought a refuge,
being an advanced party of the main army, were surprised and defeated
with loss. After doing his duty as a soldier at his post, the major in
endeavouring to secure the retreat of Julia, was intercepted, and they
both fell into the hands of the enemy. They were kindly treated, and
allowed every indulgence their situation admitted of, until a small
escort of prisoners were sent to the frontiers; in this they were
included, and had proceeded to the neighbourhood of the Pyrenees,
where, in their turn, the French were assailed suddenly, and entirely
routed; and the captive Spaniards, of which the party, with the
exception of our young couple, consisted, released. As the French guard
made a resistance until overpowered by numbers, an unfortunate ball
struck Major Fitzgerald to the earth——he survived but an hour, and died
where he fell, on the open field. An English officer, the last of his
retiring countrymen, was attracted by the sight of a woman weeping over
the body of a fallen man, and approached them. In a few words
Fitzgerald explained his situation to this gentleman, and exacted
apledge from him to guard his Julia, in safety, to his mother in
The stranger promised every thing the dying husband required of
him, and by the time death had closed the eyes of Fitzgerald, had
procured from some peasants a rude conveyance, into which the body,
with its almost equally lifeless widow, were placed. The party which
intercepted the convoy of prisoners, had been out from the British camp
on other duty, but its commander hearing of the escort, had pushed
rapidly into a country covered by the enemy to effect their rescue; and
his service done, was compelled to a hasty retreat to insure his own
security; to this was owing the indifference, which left the major to
the care of the Spanish peasantry who had gathered to the spot, and the
retreating troops had got several miles on their return, before the
widow and her protector commenced their journey; it was impossible to
overtake them, and the inhabitants acquainting the gentleman that a
body of French dragoons were already harassing their rear, he was
compelled to seek another route to the camp; this, with some trouble,
and no little danger, he at last effected, and the day following the
skirmish, Julia found herself lodged in a retired Spanish dwelling,
several miles within the advanced posts of the British army. The body
of her husband was respectfully interred, and Julia left to mourn her
irretrievable loss, uninterrupted by anybut hasty visits of the officer
in whose care she had been left, which he stole from his more important
duties as a soldier.
A month glided by in this melancholy manner, leaving to Mrs.
Fitzgerald the only consolation she would receive——her incessant visits
to the grave of her husband. The cells of her protector, however,
became more frequent; and at length he announced to her his intended
departure for Lisbon, on his way to England. A small covered vehicle,
drawn by one horse, was to convey them to the city, at which place he
promised to procure her a female attendant, and necessaries for the
voyage home. It was no time or place for delicate punctilio; and Julia
quietly, but with a heart nearly broken, prepared to submit to the
wishes of her late husband. After leaving the dwelling, the manners of
her guide sensibly altered: he became complimentary and assiduous to
please, but in a way rather to offend than conciliate; until his
attentions became so irksome, that Julia actually meditated stopping at
some of the villages through which they passed, and abandoning the
attempt of visiting England entirely. But the desire to comply with
Fitzgerald's wish, she would console his mother for the loss of an only
child, and the dread of the anger of her relatives, determined her to
persevere until they reached Lisbon, where she was resolved to separate
forever from this disagreeable and unknown guardian, chance had thrown
her into the keeping of.
The last day of their weary ride, in passing a wood, the officer so
far forgot his own character and Julia's misfortunes, as to offer
personal indignities. Grown desperate from her situation, Mrs.
Fitzgerald had sprung from the vehicle, and by her cries, had attracted
the notice of an officer, who was riding express on the same road with
themselves. He advanced to her assistance at speed, but as he arrived
near them, a pistol fired from the carriage brought his horse down, and
the treacherous friend was enabled to escape undetected. Julia
endeavoured to explain her situation to her rescuer; and by her
distress and appearance, satisfied him at once of its truth. Within a
short time, a strong escort of light dragoons came up, and the officer
despatched some for a conveyance, and others in pursuit of that
disgrace to the army, the villanous guide; the former was soon
obtained, but no tidings could be had of the latter. The carriage was
found at a short distance, without the horse and with the baggage of
Julia, but no vestige of its owner. She never knew his name, and either
accident or art had so completely enveloped him in mystery, that all
efforts to unfold it then, were fruitless, and had continued so ever
On their arrival in Lisbon, every attention was shown to the
disconsolate widow the most refined delicacy could dictate, and every
comfort and respect procuredfor her, which the princely fortune, high
rank, and higher character, of the Earl of Pendennyss, could command.
It was this nobleman, who, on his way from head quarters with
despatches for England, had been the means of preserving Julia from a
fate worse than death. A packet was in waiting for the earl, and they
proceeded in her for home. The Donna Lorenza was the widow of a
subaltern Spanish officer, who had fallen under the orders and near
Pendennyss, and the interest he took in her brave husband, had induced
him to offer her, in the destruction of her little fortune by the
enemy, his protection: for near two years he had maintained her at
Lisbon, and now judging her a proper person, had persuaded her to
accompany Mrs. Fitzgerald to England for a time.
On the passage, which was very tedious, the earl became more
intimately acquainted with the history and character of his young
friend, and by a course of gentle, yet powerful expedients, had drawn
her mind gradually from its gloomy contemplation of futurity, to a just
sense of good and evil. The peculiarity of her religious persuasion,
being a Spaniard, afforded an introduction to frequent discussions of
the real opinions of that church, to which Julia had hitherto belonged,
although ignorant of all its essential and vital truths. These
conversations, which were renewed repeatedly in their intercourse while
under the protection of his sister in London, laidthe foundations of a
faith, which left her nothing to hope for, but the happy termination of
her earthly probation.
The mother of Fitzgerald was dead, and as he had no near relative
left, Julia found herself alone in the world; her husband had taken the
precaution to make a will in season; it was properly authenticated, and
his widow, by the powerful assistance og Pendennyss, was put in quiet
possession of a little independency. It was while waiting the decision
of this affair, that Mrs. Fitzgerald resided for a short time near
Bath; as soon as it was terminated, the earl and his sister had seen
her settled in her present abode, and once since had they visited her;
but delicacy had kept him away from the cottage, although his attempts
to serve her had been constant, but not always successful. He had, on
his return to Spain, seen her father, and interceded with him on her
behalf, but in vain; his anger remained unappeased, and for a season
she did not renew her efforts; but having heard that her father was
indisposed, she had employed the earl once more to make her peace with
him, without prevailing. The letter the ladies had found her weeping
over, was from Pendennyss, informing her of his want of success on that
The substance of the foregoing narrative was related by Mrs.
Fitzgerald to Mrs. Wilson, who repeated it to Emily in their ridehome.
The compassion of both ladies was strongly moved in behalf of the young
widow, yet Mrs. Wilson did not fail to point out to her niece the
consequences of deception, and chiefly the misery which had followed
from an abandonment of one of the primary duties of life——disobedience
and disrespect to her parent. Emily, though keenly alive to all the
principles inculcated by her aunt, found so much to be pitied in the
fate of her friend, that her failings lost their proper appearance in
her eyes; and for a while, she could think of nothing but Julia and her
misfortunes. Previously to their leaving the cottage, Mrs. Fitzgerald,
with glowing cheeks, and some hesitation, informed Mrs. Wilson she had
yet another important communication to make, but would postpone it
until her next visit, which Mrs. Wilson promised should be on the
Emily threw a look of pleasure on Denbigh, as he handed her from
the carriage, which would have said, if looks could talk, "in the
principles you have displayed on more than one occasion, I have a
pledge of your worth." As he led her into the house, he laughingly
informed her, he had that morning received a letter which would make
his absence from L——necessary for a short time, and that he must
remonstrate against these long and repeated visits to a cottage, where
all attendants of the male sex were excluded, as they encroached
greatly on his pleasures——and improvements, bowing, as he spoke, to
Mrs. Wilson. To this Emily replied, gayly, that possibly, if he
conducted himself to their satisfaction, they would intercede for his
admission. Expressing his pleasure for the promise, as Mrs. Wilson
thought rather awkwardly, Denbigh changed the conversation. At dinner,
he repeated to the family what he had mentioned to Emily of his
departure, and also his expectation of meeting with Lord Chatterton
during his journey.
"Have you heard from Chatterton lately, John?" inquired Sir Edward
of his son.
"Yes sir, to-day; he had left DenbighCastle a fortnight since, and
writes, he is to meet his friend, the duke, at Bath."
"Are you connected with his grace, Mr. Denbigh?" asked Lady
A smile of indefinite meaning played on the expressive face of
Denbigh as he answered slightly,
"On the side of my father, madam."
"He has a sister," continued Lady Moseley, willing to know more of
Chatterton's friends and Denbigh's relatives.
"He has, my lady," was the brief reply.
"Her name is Harriet," observed Mrs. Wilson——Denbigh bowed his
assent in silence, as Emily timidly remarked,
"Lady Harriet Denbigh?"
"Lady Harriet Denbigh, Miss Emily; will you do me the favour to
The manner of the gentleman during this dialogue, had not been in
the least unpleasant, but peculiar; it prohibited any thing further on
the subject, and Emily was obliged to be content without knowing who
Marian was; or whether her name was to be found in the Denbigh family
or not. Emily was not in the least jealous, but she wished to know all
to whom her lover was dear.
"Do the dowager and the young ladies accompany Chatterton?" asked
Sir Edward, as he turned to John, who was eating his fruit in silence.
"Yes, sir——I hope——that is, I believe she will," was the answer.
"Who will, my son?"
"Grace Chatterton," said John, starting from his meditations; "did
you not ask me about Grace, Sir Edward?"
"Not particularly, I believe," said the baronet dryly. Denbigh
again smiled; it was a smile different from any Mrs. Wilson had ever
seen on his countenance, and gave an entirely novel expression to his
face; it was full of meaning——it was knowing——spoke more of the man of
the world than any thing she had before noticed in him, and left on her
mind, one of those vague impressions she was often troubled with, that
there was something about Denbigh in character, or condition, or both,
that was mysterious.
The spirit of Jane was too great to leave her a pining or a pensive
maiden; yet her feelings had sustained a shock that time alone could
cure. She appeared again amongst her friends, but the consciousness of
her expectations, with respect to the colonel, being known to them,
threw around her a hauteur and distance, very foreign to her natural
manner. Emily alone, whose every movement sprung from the spontaneous
feelings of her heart, and whose words and actions were influenced by
the finest and most affectionate delicacy, such as she was not
conscious of possessing herself, won upon the better feelings of her
sister so far, as to restore between them the usual exchange of
kindness and sympathy. But Jane admitted no confidence; she found
nothing consoling——nothing solid, to justify her attachment to Egerton;
nothing, indeed, excepting such external advantages as she was now
ashamed to admit, had ever the power over her, they in reality had
possessed. The marriage of the fugitives, in Scotland, had been
announced; and as the impression that Egerton was to be connected with
the Moseleys, was destroyed of course, their every day acquaintances,
feeling the restraints removed such an opinion had once imposed, were
free in their comments on his character. Sir Edward and Lady Moseley
were astonished to find how many things to his disadvantage were
generally known; that he gambled——intrigued—— and was in debt——were no
secrets, apparently, to any body, but those who were most interested in
knowing the truth; while Mrs. Wilson saw in these facts, additional
reasons for examining and judging for ourselves; the world uniformly
concealing from the party and his friends, their honest opinions of his
character. Some of these insinuations had reached the ears of Jane: her
aunt had rightly judged, that the surest way to destroy Egerton's power
over the imagination of her niece, was to strip him of his fictitious
qualities, and had suggested the expedient to Lady Moseley; and some of
their visiters had thought, as the colonel had certainly been attentive
to Miss Moseley, it would give her pleasure to know that her rival had
not made the most eligible match in the kingdom. The project of Mrs.
Wilson succeeded in a great measure; but although Egerton fell, Jane
did not find she rose in her own estimation; and her friends wisely
concluded, that time only would be the remedy that could restore her to
her former serenity.
In the morning Mrs. Wilson, unwilling to have Emily present at a
conversation she intended to hold with Denbigh, with a view to satisfy
her annoying doubts as to some minor points in his character, after
excusing herself to her niece, invited the gentleman to a morning ride;
he accepted her invitation cheerfully; and Mrs. Wilson saw, it was only
as they drove from the door without Emily, that he betrayed the
faintest reluctance to the jaunt. When they had got a short distance
from the lodge, she acquainted him with her intention of presenting him
to Mrs. Fitzgerald, whither she had ordered the coachman to drive.
Denbigh started as she mentioned the name, and after a few moments of
silence, desired Mrs. Wilson to allow him to stop the carriage; he was
not very well——was sorry to be so rude——but with her permission, he
would alight and return to the house. As he requested in an earnest
manner, that she would proceed without him, and by no means disappoint
her friend, Mrs. Wilson complied; yet somewhat at a loss to account for
his sudden illness, she turned her head to see how the sick man fared,
a short time after he left her,and was not a little surprised to see
him talking very composedly with John, who had met him on his way to
the fields with his gun. Love-sick——thought Mrs. Wilson, with a smile;
and as she rode on, she came to the conclusion, that, as Denbigh was to
leave them soon, Emily would have an important communication to make on
her return. "Well," thought Mrs. Wilson with a sigh, "if it is to
happen, it may as well be done at once."
Mrs. Fitzgerald was expecting her, and appeared rather pleased than
otherwise, that she had come alone. After some introductory
conversation, the ladies withdrew by themselves, and Julia acquainted
Mrs. Wilson with a new source of uneasiness. The day the ladies had
promised to visit her, but had been prevented by the arrangements for
the ball, the Donna Lorenza had driven to the village to make some
purchases, attended, as usual, by their only man servant, and Mrs.
Fitzgerald was sitting in the little parlour in momentary expectation
of her friends by herself. The sound of footsteps drew her to the door,
which she opened for the admission of——the wretch, whose treachery to
her dying husband's requests, had given her so much uneasiness.
Horror——fear——surprise——altogether, prevented her from making any alarm
at the moment, and she sunk into a chair. He stood between her and the
door, as he endeavoured to draw her into a conversation; he assured her
she had nothing to fear, that he lovedher, and her alone; that he was
about to be married to a daughter of Sir Edward Moseley, but would give
her up, fortune, every thing, if she would consent to become his wife
——That the views of her protector, he doubted not, were
dishonourable——that he, himself, was willing to atone for his former
excess of passion, by a life devoted to her.
How much longer he would have gone on, and what further he would
have offered, is unknown; for Mrs. Fitzgerald having recovered herself
a little, darted to the bell on the other side of the room; he tried to
prevent he ringing it, but was too late; a short struggle followed,
when the sound of the footsteps of the maid compelled him to retreat
precipitately. Mrs. Fitzgerald added, that his assertion concerning
Miss Moseley, had given her incredible uneasiness, and prevented her
making the communication yesterday; but she understood this morning
through her maid, that a Colonel Egerton, who had been supposed to be
engaged to one of Sir Edward's daughters, had eloped with another lady;
that Egerton was her persecutor, she did not now entertain a doubt, but
that it was in the power of Mrs. Wilson probably to make the discovery,
as in the struggle between them for the bell, a pocket book had fallen
from the breast pocket of his coat, and his retreat was too sudden to
As she put the book into the hands of Mrs. Wilson, she desired she
would takemeans to return it to its owner; its contents might be of
value, but she had not thought it correct to examine into it. Mrs.
Wilson took the book, and as she dropped it into her work-bag, smiled
at the Spanish punctilio of her friend, in not looking into her prize,
under the peculiar circumstances.
A few questions as to the place and year of his first attempts,
soon convinced her it was Egerton, whose unlicensed passion had given
so much trouble to Mrs. Fitzgerald. He had served but one campaign in
Spain, and in that year, and that division of the army; and surely his
principles were no restraint upon his conduct. Mrs. Fitzgerald begged
the advice of her more experienced friend as to the steps she ought to
take; to which the former inquired, if she had made Lord Pendennyss
acquainted with the occurrence: the young widow's cheek glowed as she
answered, that at the same time she felt assured the base insinuation
of Egerton was unfounded, it had created a repugnance in her, to
troubling the early any more than was necessary in her affairs; and as
she kissed the hand of Mrs. Wilson, she added——"besides, your goodness,
my dear madam, renders any other adviser unnecessary to me now." Mrs.
Wilson pressed her hand affectionately, as she assured her of her good
wishes and unaltered esteem. She commended her delicacy, and plainly
told the young widow, that however unexceptionable the character of
Pendennyss might be, a female friend was the only one awoman in her
situation could repose her confidence in, without justly incurring the
sarcasms of the world.
As Egerton was now married, and would not probably offer any
further molestation to Mrs. Fitzgerald, for the present, at least, it
was concluded to be unnecessary to take any immediate measures of
precaution; and Mrs. Wilson thought, the purse of Mr. Jarvis might be
made the means of keeping him within proper bounds in future. The
merchant was prompt, and not easily intimidated, and the slightest
intimation of the truth would, she knew, be sufficient to engage him on
their side, heart and hand.
The ladies parted, with a request and promise of meeting soon
again, and an additional interest in each other by the communication of
that and the preceding day.
Mrs. Wilson had ridden half the distance between the cottage and
the lodge, before it occurred to her, they had not absolutely
ascertained by the best means in their possession, the identity of
Colonel Egerton with Julia's persecutor. She accordingly took the
pocket book from her bag, and opened it for examination; a couple of
letters fell from it into her lap, and conceiving their direction would
establish all she wished to know, as they had been read, she turned to
the superscription of one of them, and saw——-"George Denbigh, Esq." in
the well known hand-writing of Dr. Ives.——-Mrs. Wilson felt herself
overcome to a degree that compelled her to lower a glassof the carriage
for air. She sat gazing on the letters until the characters swam before
her eyes in undistinguished confusion; and with difficulty she rallied
her thoughts to the necessary point of investigation. As soon as she
found herself equal to the task, she examined the letters with the
closest scrutiny, and opened them both to be sure there was no mistake.
She saw the dates, the "dear George" at the commencements, and the
doctor's name subscribed, before she would believe they were real: it
was then the truth appeared to break upon her in a flood of light. The
aversion of Denbigh to speak of Spain, or his services in that
country——-his avoiding Sir Herbert Nicholson, and that gentleman's
observations respecting him——-Colonel Egerton's and his own
manners——-his absence from the ball, and startling looks on the
following morning, and at different times before and since——-his
displeasure at the name of Pendennyss on various occasions——-and his
cheerful acceptance of her invitation to ride until he knew her
destination, and singular manner of leaving her——-were all accounted
for by this dreadful discovery, and Mrs. Wilson found the solution of
her doubts rushing on her mind with a force and rapidity that sickened
The misfortunes of Mrs. Fitzgerald——- the unfortunate issue to the
passion of Jane ——-were trifles in the estimation of Mrs. Wilson,
compared to the discovery of Denbigh's unworthiness. She revolved in
hermind his conduct on various occasions, and wondered how one who
could behave so well in common, could thus yield to temptation on a
particular occasion. His recent attempts——- his hypocrisy——-however,
proved his villany was systematic, and she was not weak enough to hide
from herself the evidence of his guilt, or its enormity. His
interposition between Emily and death, she attributed now to natural
courage, and perhaps in some measure, chance; but his profound and
unvarying reverence for holy things——-his consistent charity——-his
refusing to fight——-to what were they owing? And Mrs. Wilson mourned
the weakness of human nature, while she acknowledged to herself, there
might be men, qualified by nature, and even disposed by reason and
grace, to prove ornaments to religion and the world, who fell beneath
the maddening influence of their besetting sins. The superficial and
interested vices of Egerton, vanished before these awful and deeply
seated offences of Denbigh; and the correct widow saw at a glance, that
he was the last man to be entrusted with the happiness of her niece;
but how to break this heart-rending discovery to Emily, was a new
source of uneasiness to her, and the carriage stopt at the door of the
lodge, ere she had determined on the first step her duty required of
Her brother handed her from it; and, filled with the dread that
Denbigh had availed himself of the opportunity of her absence, topress
his suit with Emily, she inquired after him: she was rejoiced to hear
he had returned with John for a fowling piece, and together they had
gone in pursuit of game, although she saw in it a convincing proof,
that a desire to avoid Mrs. Fitzgerald, and not indisposition, had
induced him to leave her. As a last alternative, she resolved to have
the pocket book returned to him in her presence, to see if he
acknowledged it to be his property; and accordingly she instructed her
own man to hand it to him while at dinner, simply saying he had lost
The open and unsuspecting air with which her niece met Denbigh on
his return, gave Mrs. Wilson an additional shock, and she could hardly
command herself sufficiently, to extend the common courtesies of
good-breeding, to Mr. Benfield's guest.
While sitting at the dessert, her servant handed the pocket book,
as directed by his mistress to its owner, saying, "your pocket book, I
believe, Mr. Denbigh." Denbigh took the book, and held it in his hand
for a moment in surprise, and then fixed his eye keenly on the man, as
he inquired where he found it, and how he knew it was his: these were
interrogatories Francis was not prepared to answer, and in his
confusion he naturally turned his eyes on his mistress. Denbigh
followed their direction with his own, and in encountering the looks of
the lady, he asked in a stammering manner, and with a face of scarlet,
"Am I indebted to you, madam, for my property?"
"No, sir; it was given me by some one who found it, to restore to
you," said Mrs. Wilson gravely in reply, and the subject was dropt,
both appearing willing to say no more. Yet Denbigh was abstracted and
absent during the remainder of the repast, and Emily spoke to him once
or twice without obtaining an answer. Mrs. Wilson caught his eye
several times fixed on her with an inquiring and doubtful expression,
that convinced her, he was alarmed. If any confirmation of his guilt
had been wanting, the consciousness he betrayed during this scene
afforded it; and she sat seriously about considering the shortest and
best method of interrupting his intercourse with Emily, before he had
drawn from her an acknowledgment of her love.
On withdrawing to her dressing-room after dinner, attended by
Emily, Mrs. Wilson commenced her disagreeable duty, of removing the
veil from the eyes of her niece, by recounting to her the substance of
Mrs. Fitzgerald's last communication. To the innocence of Emily, such
persecution could excite no other sensations but surprise and horror;
and as her aunt omitted the part, concerning the daughter of Sir Edward
Moseley, she naturally expressed her wonder at who the wretch could be.
"Possibly, aunt," she said, with an involuntary shudder, "some of
the many gentlemen we have lately seen, and one who has had art enough
to conceal his real character from the world."
"Concealment, my love," replied Mrs. Wilson, "would be hardly
necessary; such is the fashionable laxity of morals, that I doubt not
many of his associates would laugh at his misconduct, and that he would
still continue to pass with the world as an honourable man."
"And ready," cried her niece, "to sacrifice human life, in the
defence of any ridiculous punctilio of that honour."
"Or," added Mrs. Wilson, striving to draw nearer to her subject,
"with a closerveil of hypocrisy wear even an affectation of principle
and moral feeling, that would seem to forbid such a departure from duty
in favour of custom."
"Oh! no, dear aunt," exclaimed Emily, with glowing cheeks, and eyes
dancing with pleasure, "he would hardly dare to be so very base——it
would be profanity." Mrs. Wilson sighed heavily as she witnessed the
confiding esteem of Emily, which would not permit her even to suspect,
that an act, which in Denbigh had been so warmly applauded, could, even
in another, proceed from unworthy motives; and found it would be
necessary to speak in the plainest terms, to rouse her suspicion of his
demerits;——willing, however, to come gradually to the distressing
truth, she replied——
"And yet, my dear, men who pride themselves greatly on their
morals, nay, even some who wear the mask of religion, and perhaps
deceive themselves, admit and practice this very appeal to arms; such
inconsistencies are by no means uncommon; and why then might there not,
with equal probability, be others, who would revolt at murder, and yet
not hesitate being guilty of lesser enormities; this is in some measure
the case of every man; and it is only to consider killing in unlawful
encounters, as murder, to make it one in point."
"Hypocrisy is so mean a vice, I should not think a brave man would
stoop to it,"said Emily, "and Julia admits he was brave."
"And would not a brave man revolt at the cowardice of insulting an
unprotected woman; and your hero did that too," replied Mrs. Wilson
bitterly, losing her self-command in indignation.
"Oh! do not call him my hero, I beg of you, dear aunt," said Emily,
starting; and then losing the unpleasant sensations, in the delightful
consciousness of the superiority of the man on whom she bestowed her
"In fact, my child," continued her aunt, "our natures are guilty of
the grossest inconsistencies——the vilest wretch has generally some
property on which he values himself; and the most perfect are too often
frail on some tender point; long and tried friendships are those only
which can be trusted to, and these oftentimes fail."
Emily looked at her aunt in surprise, to hear her utter such
unusual sentiments; for Mrs. Wilson, at the same time she had, by
divine assistance, deeply impressed her niece with the frailty of her
nature, had withheld the disgusting representation of human vices from
her view, as unnecessary to her situation, and dangerous to her
After a short pause, Mrs. Wilson continued, "marriage is a fearful
step in a woman; and one she is compelled, in some measure, to
adventure her happiness on, without fitting opportunities always, of
judging of the merit of the man she confides in; Jane is an instance,
and I hope you are not doomed to be another."
While speaking, Mrs. Wilson had taken the hand of Emily, and by her
looks and solemn manner, had succeeded in creating an alarm in her
niece, of some apprehended evil, although Denbigh was yet farthest from
her thoughts as connected with danger to herself; the aunt reached her
a glass of water, and willing to get rid of the hateful subject, she
continued, "did you not notice the pocket-book Francis gave Mr.
Denbigh?" Emily fixed her inquiring eyes on her aunt, wildly, as she
added, "it was the one Mrs. Fitzgerald gave me to-day." Something like
an indefinite glimpse of the facts crossed the mind of Emily——and as it
most obviously involved a separation from Denbigh, she sunk lifeless
into the extended arms of her aunt. This had been anticipated by Mrs.
Wilson, and a timely application of restoratives soon brought her back
to a consciousness of her misery. Mrs. Wilson, unwilling any one but
herself should witness the first burst of the grief of her charge,
succeeded in getting her to her own room and in bed. Emily made no
lamentations——shed no tears——asked no questions——her eye was fixed, and
her every faculty appeared oppressed with the load on her heart. Mrs.
Wilson knew her situation too well, to intrude with
unseasonableconsolation or useless reflections, but sat patiently by
her side, waiting anxiously for the moment she could be of service; at
length the uplifted eyes and clasped hands of Emilly, assured her she
had not forgotten herself or her duty, and she was rewarded for her
labour and forbearance by a flood of tears; greatly relieved, Emily was
now able to listen to a more full statement, of the reasons her aunt
had for believing in the guilt of Denbigh; and she felt as if her heart
was frozen up forever, as the proofs followed each other until they
amounted to demonstration; as there was some indications of fever from
her agitated state of mind, her aunt required she should remain in her
room until morning, and Emily feeling every way unequal to a meeting
with Denbigh, gladly assented; after ringing for her maid to sit in the
adjoining room, Mrs. Wilson went below, and announced to the family the
indisposition of her charge, and her desire to obtain a little sleep.
Denbigh looked anxious to inquire after the health of Emily, but there
was a visible restraint on all his actions, since the return of his
book, that persuaded Mrs. Wilson, he apprehended a detection of his
conduct had taken place. He did venture to ask, when they were to have
the pleasure of seeing Miss Moseley again——hoping it would be that
evening, as he had fixed the morning for his departure; and when he
learnt that Emily had retired for the night, his anxietywas sensibly
increased, and he instantly withdrew. Mrs. Wilson was alone in the
drawing-room, and about to join her niece, as Denbigh entered it with a
letter in his hand; he approached her with a diffident and constrained
manner, as he commenced with saying——
"My anxiety and situation will plead my apology for troubling Miss
Moseley at this time——may I ask you, madam, to deliver this letter——I
dare not ask you for your good offices in my favour."
Mrs. Wilson took the letter as she coldly replied, "certainly, sir,
and I sincerely wish I could be of any real service to you."
"I perceive, madam," said Denbigh, hesitatingly, "I have forfeited
your good opinion ——that pocket-book——"
"Has made a dreadful discovery," echoed Mrs. Wilson, shuddering.
"Will not one offence be pardoned, dear madam?" cried Denbigh, with
warmth; "if you knew my circumstances——-the cruel reasons——-why——-why
did I neglect the paternal advice of Doctor Ives."
"It is not yet too late, sir," said Mrs. Wilson, more midly, "for
your own good——but as for us, your deception——"
"Is unpardonable——I see it——I feel it," cried he, with the accent
of despair; "yet Emily——Emily may relent——you will give her my
letter——any thing is better than this suspense."
"You shall have an answer from Emily this evening, and entirely
unbiassed by me," said Mrs. Wilson; and as she closed the door, she
observed Denbigh standing gazing on her retiring figure, with a
countenance of despair, that mingled a feeling of pity, with her
detestation of his vices.
On opening the door of Emily's room, she found her in tears, and
her anxiety for her health was alleviated; she knew or hoped, that if
she could once call in the assistance of her judgment and piety to
lessen her sorrows, Emily, however she might mourn, would become
resigned to her situation; and the first step to attain this was the
exercise of those faculties, which had at first been, as it were,
annihilated. Mrs. Wilson kissed her with tenderness, as she placed in
her hand the letter, and told her within an hour she would call for her
answer. Employment, and the necessity of acting, would be, she thought,
the surest means of reviving her energies; nor was she disappointed.
When the aunt returned for the expected answer, she was informed by the
maid in the antichamber, Miss Moseley was up, and had been writing she
believed. On entering, Mrs. Wilson stood a moment in admiration of the
picture before her. Emily was on her knees, and by her side, on the
carpet, lay the letter and its answer; her face was hid by her hair,
and her hands were closed in the fervent grasp of petition; in a minute
sherose, and approaching her aunt, with an air of profound resignation,
but great steadiness, handed her the letters, her own unsealed: "read
them, madam, and if you approve of mine, I will thank you to deliver
it." Her aunt folded her in her arms, until Emily finding herself
yielding under the effects of sympathy, begged her to leave her alone.
On withdrawing to her own room, Mrs. Wilson read the contents of the
"I rely greatly on the goodness of Miss Moseley, to pardon the
liberty I am taking, at a moment she is so unfit for such a subject;
but my departure——my feelings——must plead my apology——From the moment
of my first acquaintance with you, I have been a cheerful subject to
your loveliness and innocence; I feel, I know I am not deserving of
such a blessing; but knowing you, as I do, it is impossible not to
strive to win you——you have often thanked me as the preserver of your
life, but you little knew the deep interest I had in its
safety——without it my own will be unhappy; and it is by accepting my
offered hand, you will place me amongst the happiest, or rejecting it,
the most wretched of men."
To this note, which was unsigned, and evidently written under great
agitation of mind, Emily had penned the following reply:
"Sir ——It is with much regret that I find myself reduced to the
possibility of giving uneasiness to one I am under such heavy
obligations to: It will never be in my power to accept the honour you
have offered me; and I beg you to receive my thanks for the compliment
conveyed in your request, as well as my good wishes for your happiness
in future, and prayers you may be ever found worthy of it.—— Your
humble servant, "Emily Moseley."
Perfectly satisfied with this answer of her niece, Mrs. Wilson went
below in order to deliver it at once; she thought it probable, as
Denbigh had already sent his baggage to a tavern, preparatory to his
intended journey, they would not meet again; and as she felt a strong
wish, both on account of Doctor Ives, and out of respect to his
services, to conceal his conduct from the world entirely, she was in
hopes his absence would make any disclosure unnecessary. He took the
letter from her with a trembling hand, and casting one of his very
expressive looks at her, as if to read her thoughts, he withdrew.
Emily had fallen asleep free from fever, and Mrs. Wilson descended
to the supper room; as Mr. Benfield was first struck with the absence
of his favourite——an inquiry after Denbigh was instituted, and it was
while they were waiting his appearance, to be seated at the table, a
servant handed Mr. Benfield anote——"From whom?" cried the old
gentleman, in surprise. "Mr. Denbigh, sir;" and the bearer withdrew.
"Mr. Denbigh!" exclaimed Mr. Benfield, in added amazement, "no
accident I hope—— I remember when Lord Gosford——here, Peter, your eyes
are young, do you read it for me—— read aloud."
As all but Mrs. Wilson were anxiously waiting to know the meaning
of this message, and Peter had many preparations to go through before
his youthful eyes could make out its contents; John hastily caught it
out of his hand, saying he would save him the trouble, and in obedience
to his uncle's wishes, read aloud:
"Mr. Denbigh, being under the necessity of leaving L—— immediately,
and unable to endure the pain of taking leave, avails himself of this
means of tendering his warmest thanks to Mr. Benfield, for his
hospitality, and his amiable guests for their many kindnesses; as he
contemplates leaving England, he desires to wish them all a long and
"Farewell," cried Mr. Benfield, "farewell——does he say farewell,
John? here, Peter, run——no, you are too old——John, run——bring my hat,
I'll go myself to the village——some love quarrel——Emmy sick——and
Denbigh going away——yes——-yes, I did so myself——-LadyJuliana, poor dear
soul, she was a long time before she could forget it——-but
Peter"——-Peter Peter had disappeared the instant the letter was
finished, and was quickly followed by John. Sir Edward and Lady Moseley
were both lost in amazement at this sudden and unexpected movement of
Denbigh, and the breast of each of the affectionate parents was filled
with a vague apprehension, that the peace of mind of another child was
at stake. Jane felt a renewal of her woes, in the anticipation of
something similar for her sister—— for the fancy of Jane was yet alive,
and she did not cease to consider the defection of Egerton, a kind of
unmerited misfortune and fatality, instead of a probable consequence of
want of principles; like Mr. Benfield, she was in danger of making an
ideal idol to worship, and to spend the remainder of her days in
devotion to qualities, rarely, if ever found, and identified with a
person that never had an existence. The old gentleman was now entirely
engrossed by a different object; and having in his own opinion decided
there must have been one of those misunderstandings which sometimes had
occurred to himself and Lady Juliana, he quietly composed himself to
eat his sallad at the supper table; on turning his head, however, in
quest of his first glass of wine, he observed Peter standing quietly by
the sideboard with the favourite goggles over his eyes. Now Peter was
troubled with two kinds of weakness about his organs of vision; one was
age and weakness, and the other, was also a weakness——-of the heart
however; this his master knew, and he took the alarm——-again the wine
glass dropt from his nerveless hand, as he said in a trembling
tone——-"Peter, I thought you went"——
"Yes, master," said Peter laconically in reply.
"You saw him, Peter——he will return?" Peter was busily occupied at
his glasses, although no one was dry.
"Peter," repeated Mr. Benfield, rising from his seat, "is he coming
in time for supper,"
Peter, thus assailed, was obliged to reply, and deliberately
uncasing his eyes, and blowing his nose, he was on the point of opening
his mouth, as John came into the room, and threw himself into a chair,
with an air of great vexation; Peter pointed to him in silence, and
"John," cried Sir Edward, "where is Denbigh?"
"Yes, my dear father," said John, "gone without saying good-by to
one of us——without telling us whither, or when to return——it was cruel
in him——unkind——I'll never forgive him"——and John, whose feelings were
strong, and unusually excited, hid his face between his hands on the
table.——As he raisedhis head to reply to a question of Mr.
Benfield——"of how he knew he had gone, for the coach did not go until
daylight?" Mrs. Wilson saw evident marks of the tears; such emotion
excited in John Moseley by the loss of his friend, gave her the
pleasure to know, if she had been deceived, it was by a concurrence of
circumstances and depth of hypocrisy, almost exceeding belief;
self-reproach added but little to her uneasiness of the moment.
"I saw the inn-keeper, uncle," said John, "who told me Mr. Denbigh
left there at eight o'clock, in a post-chaise and four; but I will go
to London in the morning myself;" and he immediately commenced his
preparations for the journey. The family separated that evening with
melancholy hearts; and the host and his privy counsellor were closeted
for half an hour ere they retired to their night's repose. John took
his leave of them, and left the lodge for the inn, with his man, in
order to be ready for the mail. Mrs. Wilson looked in upon Emily before
she withdrew herself, and found her awake, but perfectly calm and
composed; she said but little——appeared desirous of avoiding all
allusions to Denbigh; and after simply acquainting her with his
departure, and her resolution to conceal the cause, the subject was
dropped. Mrs. Wilson, on entering her own room, thought deeply on the
discoveries of the day; it had interfered with her favouritesystem of
morals——baffled her ablest calculations upon causes and effects, but in
no degree had impaired her faith or reliance on providence——she knew
one exception did not destroy a rule; she was certain without
principles there was no security for good conduct, and the case of
Denbigh proved it; to discover these principles, might be a difficult,
but was an imperious task required at her hands, ere she yielded the
present and future happiness of her pupil to the power of any man.
The day had not yet dawned, as John Moseley was summoned to take
his seat in the mail for London; three of the places were already
occupied, and John was compelled to get a seat for his man on the
outside; an intercourse with strangers is particularly irksome to an
Englishman, and none appeared disposed to break the silence. The coach
had left the little village of L——far behind it, before any of the
rational beings it contained, had thought it prudent or becoming, to
bend in the least to the charities of our nature, in a communication
with a fellow creature, whose name or condition they happened to be
ignorant of. This reserve is unquestionably characteristic of our
nation; to what is it owing?——modesty? did not our national and deep
personal vanity appear at once to refute the assertion, we might enter
into an investigation of it. The good opinion of himself in an
Englishman is more deeply seated, though less buoyant, than that of his
neighbours; in them it is more of manners, in us more of feeling; and
the wound inflicted on the self-love of the two, is very different in
effect—— The Frenchman wonders at its rudeness, but soon forgets the
charge; while an Englishman broods over it in silence and
mortification. It is said this distinction in character is owing to the
different estimation of principles and morals, of the two nations. The
solidity and purity of our ethics and religious creeds, may have given
a superior tone to our moral feeling——but has that man a tenable ground
to value himself on either, whose respect to sacred things, grows out
of a respect to himself; on the other hand, is not humility the very
foundation of the real christian. For our part, we would be glad to see
this national reserve lessened, if not done away; we believe it is
founded in pride and uncharitableness, and would wish to see men thrown
accidentally together on the roads of our country, mindful that they
are travelling also in company, the highway of life, and that the goal
of their destination is alike attainable by all.
John Moseley was occupied with thoughts very different from any of
his fellow-travellers, as they proceeded rapidly on their route, and it
was only when roused from his meditations by the accidentally coming in
contact with the hilt of a sword, he looked up, and in the glimmerings
of the morning's light, recognised the person of Lord Henry Stapleton;
their eyes met, and——"my lord"——"Mr. Moseley"——-were repeated in mutual
surprise. John was eminently a social being, and he was happy to find
recourse against his gloomy thoughts in the conversation of the dashing
young sailor. Hisfrigate had entered the bay the night before, and he
was going to town to the wedding of his sister; the coach of his
brother the marquis, was to meet him about twenty miles from town, and
the ship was ordered round to Yarmouth, where he was to rejoin her.
"But how are your lovely sisters, Moseley?" cried the young sailor,
in a frank and careless manner, "I should have been half in love with
one of them, if I had time——and money;——both are necessary to marriage
now-a-days, you know."
"As to time," said John, with a laugh, "I believe that may be
dispensed with, but money is a different thing."
"Oh, time too," replied his lordship; "I have never time enough to
do any thing as it ought to be done——always hurried——I wish you could
recommend me a lady who would take the trouble off my hands."
"It might be done, my lord," said John, with a smile, and the image
of Kate Chatterton crossed his brain, but was soon succeeded by that of
her more lovely sister. "But how do you manage on board your
ship——hurried there too?"
"Oh! never there," replied the captain, gravely; "that's duty, you
know, and every thing must be regular of course; but on shore it is a
different thing——there I am only a passenger; but L——has a charming
society, Mr. Moseley——a week or ten days ago I was shooting, and came
to a beautiful cottageabout five miles from the vilage, that was the
adobe of a much more beautiful woman ——a Spaniard——a Mrs. Fitzgerald——I
am positively in love with her——so soft——so polished ——so modest——"
ldquo;How came your lordship acquainted with her?" inquired
Moseley, interrupting him in a little surprise.
"Chance, my dear fellow——chance——I was thirsty, and approached for
a drink of water; she was sitting in the piazza, and being hurried for
time, you know——saved the trouble of introduction——I expect she is
troubled with the same complaint, for she managed to get rid of me in
no time, and with a great deal of politeness——however, I found out her
name at the next house."
During this rattle, John had fixed his eyes on the face of one of
the passengers who sat opposite to him——he appeared to be about fifty
years of age, strongly pock-marked, with a stiff military air, and the
dress and exterior of a gentleman——his face was much sun-burnt, though
naturally very fair, and his dark, keen eye, was intently fixed on the
sailor, as he continued his remarks——"Do you know such a lady, Moseley?
"Yes" said John, "very slightly; she is visited by one of my
"Yourself," cried Lord Henry, with a laugh.
"Myself, once or twice, my lord, certainly,answered John, gravely,
"but a lady visitedby Emily Moseley and Mrs. Wilson, is a proper
companion for any one——Mrs Fitzgerald is very retired in her manner of
living, and chance made us acquainted with her; but not being like your
lordship, in want of time, we have endeavoured to cultivate her
acquaintance, as we have found it agreeable."
The countenance of the stranger underwent several changes during
this speech of John's, and at its close rested on him with a softer
expression, than generally marked its rigid and compressed
muscles.——Willing to change a discourse which was growing too delicate
for a mail-coach, John addressed himself to the opposite passengers,
while his eye yet dwelt on the face of the military stranger.
"We are likely to have a fine day, gentlemen;" the soldier bowed
stiffly, as he smiled his assent, and the other passenger humbly
answered, "very, Mr. John," in the well known tones of honest Peter
Johnson—— Moseley started, as he turned his face for the first time on
the lank figure, which was modestly compressed into the smallest
possible compass in a corner of the coach, in such a way as not to come
in contact with any of its neighbours.
"Johnson" exclaimed John, in astonishment, "you here——where are you
"To London, Mr. John," replied Peter,with a look of much
importance; and then, as if to silence further interrogatories, he
added, "on my master's business, sir."
Both Moseley and Lord Henry, examined him closely as he spoke; the
former wondering what could take the steward, at the age of seventy,
for the first time into the vortex of the capital; and the latter in
admiration at the figure and equipments of the old man before
him——Peter was in full costume, with the exception of the goggles, and
was in reality a subject to be gazed at by most people; but nothing
relaxed the muscles, or attracted the particular notice of the soldier,
who having regained his set form of countenance, appeared drawn up in
himself, waiting patiently for the moment he was expected to act; nor
did he utter more than as many words, in the course of the first fifty
miles of their journey. His dialect was singular, and such as put his
hearers at a loss to determine his country. Lord Henry stared at him
every time he spoke, as if to say, what country-man are you? until at
length he suggested to John he was some officer, whom the downfall of
Bonaparte had driven into retirement; "indeed, Moseley," he added, as
they were about to resume their carriage after a change of horses, "we
must draw him out, and see what he thinks of his master now——but
delicately, you know." The soldier was, however, impervious to his
lordship's attacks, until he finally abandoned theproject in despair.
Peter was too modest to talk in the presence of Mr. John Moseley, and a
lord; so the young men had most of the discourse to themselves. At a
village fifteen miles from London, a fashionable carriage and four,
with the coronet of a marquis, was in waiting for Lord Henry; John
refused his invitation to take a seat with him to town, as he had
traced Denbigh from stage to stage, and was fearful of losing sight of
him, unless he persevered in the manner he had commenced; they were put
down safely at an inn, in the Strand, and Moseley hastened to make his
inquiries after the object of his pursuit; such a chaise had arrived an
hour before, and the gentleman had ordered his trunk to a neighbouring
hotel; after obtaining the address, and ordering a hackney coach, he
hastened to the house, and on inquiring for Mr. Denbigh, to his great
mortification, was told they knew of no such gentleman; John turned
away from the person he was speaking to, in visible disappointment, as
a servant in a livery respectfully inquired, if the gentleman had not
come from L——, in Norfolk, that day—— "he had," was the reply; "then
follow me, sir, if you please"——they knocked at a door of one of the
parlours, and the servant entered; he returned, and John was shown into
a room, where was sitting Denbigh with his head resting on his hand,
and apparently musing; on seeing who it was that requiredadmittance, he
sprang from his seat as he exclaimed, "Mr. Moseley! do I see aright?"
"Denbigh," cried John, as he stretched out his hand to him, "was this
kind——was it like yourself——to leave us so unexpectedly, and for so
long a time as your note mentioned;" Denbigh waved his hand to the
servant to retire, and handed a chair to his friend; "Mr. Moseley,"
said he, struggling with his feelings, "you appear ignorant of my
proposals to your sister."
"Perfectly," answered John.
"And her rejection of them."
"Is it possible," cried the brother, pacing up and down the room;
"I acknowledge I did expect you to offer, but not to be refused."
Denbigh placed in his hand the letter of Emily, which having read,
he returned, with a sigh; "this then is the reason you left us,"
continued he; "Emily is not capricious——it cannot be a sudden
pique——she means as she says."
"Yes, Mr. Moseley," said Denbigh, mournfully, "Your sister is
faultless——but I am not worthy of her——-my deception"——-here the door
again opened to the admission of Peter Johnson——both the gentlemen rose
at the sudden interruption, and the steward advancing to the table,
once more produced the formidable pocket-book——the spectacles——and a
letter——he ran over its direction——"For George Denbigh, Esquire,
London, by thehands of Peter Johnson, with care and speed;" and then
delivered it to its lawful owner, who opened it, and rapidly perused
its contents; he was much affected with whatever they might be, and
kindly took the steward by the hand, as he thanked him for this renewed
instance of the interest he took in him; if he would tell him where a
letter would find him in the morning, he would send it to him, in reply
to the one he had received; Peter gave his address, but appeared
unwilling to go, until assured the answer would be as he wished——taking
a small account-book out of his pocket, and referring to its contents,
he said, "Master has with Coutts Co. £ 7,000; in the bank, £ 5,000; it
can be easily done, sir, and never felt by us." Denbigh smiled in
reply, as he assured the steward he would take proper notice of his
master's offers in his letter. The door again opened, and the military
stranger was admitted to their presence——he bowed——-appeared not a
little surprised to find two of his mail-coach companions there, and
handed Denbigh a letter, in quite as formal, although more silent
manner, than the steward. He was invited to be seated, and the letter
perused (after apologising to his guests) by their host. As soon as he
ended it, he addressed the stranger, in a language, which John rightly
judged to be Spanish, and Peter took to be Greek. For a few minutes the
conversation was maintained between them with great earnestness; and
his fellow-travellers marvelled at the garrulity of the soldier; he
soon, however, rose to retire, as the door was thrown open for the
fourth time, and a voice cried out,
"Here I am, George, safe and sound——- ready to kiss the
bridesmaids, if they will let me——and I can find time——-bless me,
Moseley!——-old marling-spike!——-general!——-whew ——-where is the
coachman and guard?"——-it was Lord Henry Stapleton——-the Spaniard bowed
again in silence and withdrew——-while Denbigh threw open the door of an
adjoining room, and excused himself, as he desired Lord Henry to walk
in there for a few minutes.
"Upon my word," cried the heedless sailor, as he complied, "we
might as well have stuck together——-we were bound to one port, it
"You know Lord Henry?" said John, as he withdrew.
"Yes," said Denbigh, and he again required of Peter his address,
which was given, and the steward departed. The conversation between the
two friends did not return to the course it was taking, when they were
interrupted, as Moseley felt a delicacy in making any allusion to the
probable cause of his sister's refusal. He had, however, began to hope
it was not irremoveable, and, with a determination of renewing his
visit in the morning, he took his leave, in order Denbighmight attend
to his acquaintance, Lord Henry Stapleton.
About twelve on the following morning, John and the steward met at
the door of the hotel Denbigh lodged in; both in quest of his person.
The latter held in his hand the answer to his master's letter, but
wished particularly to see its writer. On inquiring for him, to their
mutual surprise they were told, the gentleman had left there early in
the morning, having discharged his lodgings, and they were unable to
say whither he had gone. To hunt for a man without some clue by which
to discover him, in the city of London, is time misspent. Of this
Moseley was perfectly sensible, and disregarding a proposition made by
Peter, he returned to his own lodgings. The proposal of the steward's,
if it did not do much credit to his sagacity, honoured his perseverance
and enterprise not a little. It was no other than this; John should
take one side of the street, and he the other, and they would thus
inquire at every house, until the fugitive was discovered. "Sir," said
Peter, with great simplicity, "when our neighbour White lost his little
girl, this was the way we found her, although we went nearly through
L——before we succeeded, Mr. John." Peter was obliged to abandon this
expedient for want of an associate, and as no message was at the
lodgings of Moseley, he started with a heavy heart on his return to
Benefield Lodge. But Moseley's zealwas too warm in the cause of his
friend, notwithstanding his unmerited desertion, not to continue his
search for him. He sought out the town residence of the Marquess of
Eltringham, the brother of Lord Henry, and was told, both the Marquess
and his brother had left town early that morning for his seat in
Devonshire, to attend the wedding of their sister.
"Did they go alone?" asked John, musing.
"There were two chaises, the Marquess' and his Grace's."
"Who was his Grace?" inquired John.
"Why, the Duke of Derwent, to be sure."
"And the Duke? was he alone?"
"There was a gentleman with his Grace, but they did not know his
As nothing further could be learnt, John withdrew. There was a good
deal of irritation mixed with the vexation of Moseley at his
disappointment, for Denbigh, he thought, evidently wished to avoid him.
That he was the companion of his kinsman, the Duke of Derwent, he had
now no doubt, and entirely relinquished all expectations of finding him
in London or its environs. While retracing his steps, in no enviable
state of mind, to his lodgings, with a resolution of returning
immediately to L——, his arm was suddenly taken by his friend
Chatterton. If any man could have consoled John at that moment, it was
the Baron. Questions and answers wererapidly exchanged between them,
and with increased satisfaction, John learnt that in the next square,
he could have the pleasure of paying his respects to his kinswomen, the
Dowager Lady Chatterton, and her daughters. Chatterton inquired warmly
after Emily, and in a particularly kind manner concerning Mr. Denbigh,
but with undisguised astonishment learnt his absence from the Moseley
Lady Chatterton had disciplined her feelings upon the subject of
Grace and John, into such a state of subordination, that the fastidious
jealousy of the young man now found no ground of alarm, in any thing
she said or did. It cannot be denied the Dowager was delighted to see
him again——and, if it were fair to draw any conclusions from colouring
——palpitations——and other such little accompaniments of female
feeling——Grace was not excessively sorry. It is true, it was the best
possible opportunity to ascertain all about her friend Emily and the
rest of the family; and Grace was extremely happy to have so direct
intelligence of their general welfare, as was afforded by this visit of
Mr. Moseley. Grace looked all she expressed——and perhaps rather
more——and John thought she looked very beautifully.
There was present an elderly gentleman, of apparently indifferent
health, although his manners were extremely lively, and his dress
particularly studied. A few minutes observation convinced Moseley this
gentleman was a candidate for the favour of Kate, and as a game of
chess was introduced, he also saw he was one thought worthy of peculiar
care and attention. He had been introduced to him as Lord Herriefield,
and soon discovered by his conversation, that he was a peer, of but
little probability of rendering the house of incurables more
convalescent, than it was before his admission. Chatterton mentioned
him as a distant connexion of his mother; a gentleman who had lately
returned from filling an official situation in the East-Indies, to take
his seat among the lords, by the death of his brother. He was a
bachelor and reputed rich, much of his wealth being personal property,
acquired by himself abroad. The dutiful son might have added, if
respect and feeling had not kept him silent——That his offers of
settling a large jointure upon his elder sister had been accepted, and
that the following week was to make her the bride of the emaciated
debauchee, who now sat by her side. He might also have said, that when
the proposition was made to himself and Grace, both had shrunk from the
alliance with disgust; and that both had united in humble, though vain
remonstrances to their mother, against the sacrifice, and in petitions
to their sister, that she would not be accessary to her own misery.
There was no pecuniary sacrifice they would not make to her, to avert
such a connexion; but all was fruitless——Kate was resolved to be a
viscountess——and her mother that she should be rich.
A day elapsed between the departure of Denbigh and the appearance
of Emily again amongst her friends. An indifferent observer would have
thought her much graver and less animated than usual. A loss of the
rich colour which ordinarily glowed on her healthful cheek might be
noticed; but the same placid sweetness and graceful composure which
regulated her former conduct, pervaded all she did or uttered——not so
Jane: her pride had suffered more than her feelings—— her imagination
had been more deceived than her judgment——and although too well bred
and soft by nature, to become rude or captious, she was changed from a
communicative——to a reserved; from a confiding——-to a suspicious
companion. Her parents noticed this alteration with an uneasiness, that
was somewhat imbittered by the consciousness of a neglect of some of
those duties that experience now seemed to indicate, could never be
forgotten with impunity.
Francis and Clara had arrived from their northern tour, so happy in
each other, and contented with their lot, that it required some little
exercise of fortitude in both Lady Moseley and her daughters, to expel
unpleasant recollections while they contemplated it. Their relation of
the little incidents of their tour, had,however, an effect to withdraw
the attention of their friends in some degree from late occurrences;
and a melancholy and sympathising kind of association, had taken place
of the the unbounded confidence and gayety, which had lately prevailed
at Benfield Lodge. Mr. Benfield mingled with his solemnity an air of
mystery; and was frequently noticed by his relatives looking over old
papers, and apparently employed in preparations that indicated
movements of more than usual importance.
The family were collected in one of the parlours on an extremely
unpleasant day, the fourth of the departure of John, when the thin
personage of Johnson stalked in amongst them. All eyes were fixed on
him in expectation of what he had to communicate, and all apparently
dreading to break the silence, from an apprehension his communication
would be an unpleasant one. In the mean time Peter, who had
respectfully left his hat at the door, proceeded to uncase his body
from the multiplied defences the wary steward had taken against the
inclemency of the weather. His master stood erect, with an outstretched
hand, ready to receive the reply to his epistle, and Johnson having
liberated his body from thraldom, produced the black leather
pocket-book, and from its contents a letter, as he read aloud——Roderic
Benfield, Esq. Benfield Lodge, Norfolk; favoured by Mr.——here Peter's
modesty got the better of his method; he had never been called
Mr.Johnson by any body old or young; all knew him in that neighbourhood
as Peter Johnson——-and he had very nearly been quilty of the temerity
of arrogating to himself another title in the presence of those he most
respected. A degree of self-elevation he had escaped from with the loss
of a small piece of his tongue. Mr. Benfield took the letter with an
eagerness that plainly indicated the deep interest he took in its
contents, while Emily, with a tremulous voice and flushed cheek,
approached the steward with a glass of wine, as she said,
"Peter, take this, it will do you good."
"Thank you, Miss Emmy," said Peter, casting his eyes from her to
his master, as the latter having finished his letter, exclaimed with a
strange mixture of consideration and disappointment,
"Johnson, you must change your clothes immediately, or you will
take cold; you look now, like old Moses, the Jew beggar." Peter sighed
heavily as he listened to this comparison, and saw in it a confirmation
of his fears; for he well knew, that to his being the bearer of
unpleasant tidings, was he indebted to a resemblance to any thing
unpleasant to his master——-and Moses was the old gentleman's aversion.
The baronet followed his uncle from the room to his library, and
entered it at the same moment with the steward, who had been summoned
by his master to an audience; pointing to achair for his nephew, Mr.
Benfield commenced with saying,
"Peter, you saw Mr. Denbigh; how did he look?"
"As usual, master," said Peter laconically, and a littled piqued at
being likened to old Moses.
"And what did he say to the offer? did he not make any comments on
it? he was not offended at it, I hope," cried Mr. Benfield.
"He said nothing but what he has written to your honour," replied
the steward, losing a little of his constrained manner in real good
feeling to his master.
"May I ask what the offer was?" inquired Sir Edward of his uncle,
who, regarding him a moment in silence, said, "certainly, you are
nearly concerned in his welfare; your daughter"——the old man stopped as
he turned to his letter book, and handed the baronet the copy of the
epistle he had sent to Denbigh for his perusal; it read as follows:
Dear Friend, Mr. Denbigh,
I have thought a great deal on the reason of your sudden departure
from a house I had began to hope, you thought your own; and by calling
to mind my own feelings when Lady Juliana became the heiress to her
nephew's estate, take it for granted you have been governed by the same
sentiments; which I know, both by my own experience and that of the
bearer, Peter Johnson, is a never-failing accompanimentof pure
affection. Yes, my dear Denbigh, I honour your delicacy in not wishing
to become indebted to a stranger, as it were, for the money on which
you subsist, and that stranger your wife——-who ought in reason to look
up to you, instead of your looking up to her; which was the true cause
Lord Gosford would not marry the countess——- on account of her great
wealth, as he assured me himself; notwithstanding envious people, said
it was because her ladyship loved Mr. Chaworth better: so in order to
remove these impediments of your delicacy, I have to make three
propositions——-that I bring you into parliament the next election for
my borough——-that you take possession of the lodge the same day you
marry Emmy, while I will live, for the little time I have to stay here,
in the large cottage built by my uncle——- and that I give you your
legacy of ten thousand pounds down, to prevent trouble hereafter.
"As I know it is nothing but delicacy which has driven you away
from us, I make no doubt you will find all objections removed, and that
Peter will bring the joyful intelligence of your return to us, as soon
as the business you left us on, is completed.——- Your uncle, that is to
"N.B. As Johnson is a stranger to the ways of the town, I wish you
to advise his inexperience, particularly against the arts of
designingwomen, Peter being a man of considerable estate."
"There, nephew," cried Mr. Benfield, as the baronet finished
reading the letter aloud, "is it not unreasonable to refuse my offers?
now read his answer."
"Words are wanting to express the sensations which have been
excited by Mr. Benfield's letter; but it would be impossible for any
man to be so base as to avail himself of such liberality; the
recollection of it, together with his many virtues, will long continue
deeply impressed on the heart of him, who Mr. Benfield would, if within
the power of man, render the happiest amongst human beings."
The steward listened eagerly to this answer, but after it was done
was as much as a loss to know its contents, as before its perusal. He
knew it was unfavourable to their wishes, but could not comprehend its
meaning or expressions, and immediately attributed their ambiguity, to
the strange conference he had witnessed between Denbigh and the
"Master," exclaimed Peter, with something of the elation of a
discoverer, "I know the cause, it shows itself in the letter; there was
a man talking Greek to him while he was reading your letter."
"Greek!" exclaimed Sir Edward in astonishment.
"Greek?" said the uncle, "Lord Gossford read Greek; but I believe
never conversed in that language."
"Yes, Sir Edward——yes, your honour——pure wild Greek; it must have
been something of that kind," added Peter with positiveness, "that
would make a man refuse such offers—— Miss Emmy——-the lodge——-£ 10,000"
——-and the steward shook his head with much satisfaction at at having
discovered the cause.
Sir Edward smiled at the simplicity of Johnson, but disliking the
idea attached to the refusal of his daughter, said, "perhaps, after
all, uncle, there has been some misunderstanding between Emily and
Denbigh, which may have driven him from us so suddenly."
Mr. Benfield and his steward exchanged looks, and a new idea broke
upon them at the instant; they had both suffered in that way, and after
all, it might prove, Emily was the one, whose taste or feelings had
subverted their schemes. The impression once made was indelible——and
the party separated——the master thinking alternately on Lady Juliana
and his niece, while the man——after heaving one heavy sigh to the
memory of Patty Steele, proceeded to the usual occupations of his
Mrs. Wilson thinking a ride would be of service to Emily, and
having the fullest confidence in her self-command and resignation,
availed herself of a fine day to pay a visit to their friend in the
cottage. Mrs. Fitzgerald received them in her usual manner, but a
single glance of her eye, sufficed to show the aunt, that she noticed
the altered appearance of Emily and her manners, although without
knowing its true reason, which she did not deem it prudent to
explain——-Julia handed her friend a note she stated to have received
the day before, and desired their counsel how to proceed in the present
emergency; as Emily was to be made acquainted with its contents, her
aunt read aloud as follows:
"My Dear Niece,
"Your father and myself had been induced to think you were leading
a disgraceful life, with the officer, your husband had consigned you to
the care of; for hearing of your captivity, I had arrived with a band
of Guerillas, on the spot where you were rescued, early the next
morning, and there learnt of the peasants your misfortunes and retreat;
the enemy pressed us too much to deviate from our route at the time;
but natural affection and the wishes of your father, have led me to a
journey to England, to satisfy our doubts as regards your conduct. I
have seen you——heard your character in the neighbourhood, and after
much and long search, found out the officer, and am satisfied, that, so
far as concerns your deportment, you are an injured woman. I have
therefore to propose to you, on my own behalf, and that of the Condé,
that you adopt the faith of your country, and return with me to the
arms ofyour parent, whose heiress you will be, and whose life you may
be the means of prolonging. Direct your answer to me, to the care of
our ambassador; and as you decide, I am your mother's brother,
"Louis M'Carthy y Harrison."
"On what point is it you wish my advice," said Mrs. Wilson kindly,
after she finished reading the letter, "and when do you expect to see
"Would you have me to accept the offer of my father, dear madam, or
am I to remain separated from him for the short residue of his life?"
Mrs. Fitzgerald was affected to tears, as she asked this question of
her friend, and waited her answer, in silent dread of its nature.
"Is the condition of a change of religion, an immoveable one?"
inquired Mrs. Wilson, in a thoughtful manner.
"Oh! doubtless," replied Julia, shuddering, "but I am deservedly
punished for my early disobedience, and bow in submission to the will
of providence——I feel now all that horror of a change of my religion, I
once only affected——I must live and die a protestant, madam."
"Certainly, I hope so, my dear," said Mrs. Wilson, "I am not a
bigot, and think it unfortunate you were not, in your circumstances,
bred a pious catholic. It would have saved you much misery, and might
have renderedthe close of your father's life more happy; but as your
present creed, embraces doctrines too much at variance with the Romish
church, to renounce the one, or adopt the other, with your views, it
will be impossible to change your church, without committing a heavy
offence, against the opinions and practice of every denomination of
christians; I should hope a proper representation of this to your
uncle, would have its weight, or they might be satisfied with your
being a christian, without becoming a catholic."
"Ah! my dear madam," answered Mrs. Fitzgerald, despairingly, you
little know the opinions of my countrymen on this subject."
"Surely, surely," cried Mrs. Wilson, "parental affection is a
stronger feeling than bigotry."
Mrs. Fitzgerald shook her head, in silence, and in a manner which
bespoke both her apprehensions and filial regard.
"Julia, ought not——-must not——-desert her father, dear aunt," said
Emily, as her face glowed with the ardency of her feelings.
"And ought she to desert her heavenly father, my child?" asked the
"And are the duties conflicting?" said Emily.
"The Condé makes them so," rejoined Mrs. Wilson; "Julia is, I
trust, in sincerity a christian, and with what face can she offer up
her daily petitions to her creator, while she wears a mask to her
earthly father; orhow can she profess to honour doctrines, that she
herself believes to be false, or practice customs she is impressed are
"Never, never," exclaimed Julia, with fervour; "the struggle is
dreadful, but I submit to the greater duty."
"And you decide right, my friend," said Mrs. Wilson, soothingly;
"but you need relax no efforts to convince the Condé of your wishes;
the truth and nature will finally conquer."
"Ah!" cried Mrs. Fitzgerald, "the sad consequences of one false
step in early life."
"Rather," added Mrs. Wilson, "the sad consequences of one false
step in generations gone by; had your grandmother listened to the voice
of prudence and duty, she never would have deserted her parents for a
comparative stranger, and entailed upon her descendants a train of
evils, which yet exist in your person."
"It will be a sad blow to my poor uncle, too," said Mrs.
Fitzgerald, "he who loved me so much once."
"When do you expect to see him?" inquired Emily——Julia informed
them, she expected him hourly, as fearful a written statement of her
views, would drive him from the country without paying her a visit
before he departed, she had earnestly intreated him to see her without
On taking their leave, the ladies promised to obey her summons
whenever called to meet the general, as Mrs. Wilson thought she might
be better able to give advice to her friend, in future, by knowing more
of the character of her relatives, than she could do with her present
One day intervened, and was spent in the united society of Lady
Moseley and her daughters; while Sir Edward and Francis rode to a
neighbouring town on business; and on the succeeding, Mrs. Fitzgerald
apprised them of the arrival of General M'Carthy. Immediately after
breakfast, Mrs. Wilson and Emily drove to the cottage, the aunt both
wishing the latter as a companion in her ride, and believing the
excitement would have a tendency to prevent her niece from indulging in
reflections, dangerous to her peace of mind, and at variance with her
Our readers have probably anticipated, that the stage companion of
John Moseley, was the Spanish general, who had then been making those
inquiries into the manner of his niece's living, which terminated in
her acquittal in his judgment. With that part of her history which
relates to the injurious attempts on her before she arrived at Lisbon,
he appears to have been ignorant, or his interview with Denbigh might
have terminated very differently from the manner already related.
A description of the appearance of the gentleman presented to Mrs.
Wilson is unnecessary, as it has been given already, and the discerning
matron thought she read throughthe rigid and set features of the
soldier, a shade of kinder feelings, which might be wrought into an
advantageous intercession on behalf of Julia. The General was evidently
endeavouring to keep his feelings within due bounds, before the
decision of his niece might render it proper for him to indulge in that
affection for her, his eye plainly shewed existed under the cover of
his assumed manner.
It was an effort of great fortitude on the part of Julia to
acquaint her uncle with her resolution; but as it must be done, she
seized a moment after Mrs. Wilson had at some length defended her
adhering to her present faith, until religiously impressed with its
errors, to inform him such was her unalterable resolution;——he heard
her patiently, and without anger, but in visible surprise; he had
construed her summons to her house, as a preparatory measure to
accepting his conditions; yet he betrayed no emotion, after the first
expression of his wonder; he told her distinctly, a renunciation of her
heresy was the only condition her father would own her, either as his
heiress or his child. Julia deeply regretted the decision, but was
firm——-and her friends left her to enjoy uninterruptedly for one day,
the society of so near a relative. During this day, every doubt as to
the propriety of her conduct, if any yet remained, was removed by a
relation of her little story to her uncle, and after it wascompleted,
he expressed great uneasiness to get to London again; in order to meet
a gentleman he had seen there, under a different impression as to his
merits, than what now appeared to be just;——who the gentleman was, or
what the impressions were, Julia was left to conjecture——taciturnity
being a favourite property in the general.
The sun had just risen on one of the loveliest vales of
Caernarvonshire, as a travelling chaise and six swept proudly up to the
door of a princely mansion, which was so situated as to command a
prospect of the fertile and extensive domains, whose rental filled the
coffers of its owner, with a beautiful view of the Irish channel in the
Every thing around this stately edifice bespoke the magnificence of
its ancient possessors and taste of its present master——It was
irregular, but built of the best materials, and tastes of the different
ages in which its various parts had been erected; and now in the
nineteenth century, preserved the baronial grandeur of the thirteenth,
mingled with the comforts of this later period.
The lofty turrets of its towers were tipt with the golden light of
the sun, and the neighbouring peasantry had commenced their daily
labours, as the different attendants of the equipage we have mentioned,
collected around it at the great entrance to the building. The
beautiful black horses, with coats as shining as the polished leather
with which they were caparisoned——the elegant and fashionable finish of
the vehicle——with its numerous grooms, postilions, and footmen, all
wearing the livery of one master, gave evidence of his wealth and rank.
In attendance there were four outriders, walking leisurely about,
awaiting the appearance of those for whose comforts and pleasures they
were kept to contribute; while a fifth, who, like the others, was
equipped with a horse, appeared to bear a doubtful station——his form
was athletic and apparently drilled into a severer submission than
could be seen in the movements of the liveried attendants; his dress
was peculiar——it was neither menial nor military——- but partook of
both; his horse was heavier and better managed than those of the
others, and by its side was a charger, that was prepared for the use of
no common equestrian. Both were coal black, as were all the others of
the cavalcade; but the pistols of the two latter, and housings of their
saddles, bore the aspect of use and elegance united.
The postilions were mounted and listlessly waiting with their
comrades the pleasure of their superiors; when the laughs and jokes of
the menials were instantly succeeded by a respectful and profound
silence, as a gentleman and lady appeared on the portico of the
building. The former was a young man of commanding stature, and genteel
appearance; and his air——-although that of one used to command,
softened by a character of benevolence and gentleness, that might be
rightly judged as giving birth to the willing alacrity, to which all
his requests or orders were attended.
The lady was also young, and resembledhim greatly both in features
and expression——both were noble——-both were handsome——-the former was
attired for the road——-the latter had thrown a shawl around her elegant
form, and by her morning dress, showed a separation of the two was
about to happen——-taking the hand of the gentleman with both her own,
as the pressed it with fingers interlocked, the lady said, in a voice
of music, and with great affection:
"Then, my dear brother, I shall certainly hear from you within the
week, and see you next?"
"Certainly," replied the gentleman, as he tenderly paid his adieus,
and throwing himself into the chaise, it dashed from the door, like the
passage of a meteor——-the horsemen followed, the unridden charger,
obedient to the orders of his keeper, wheeled gracefully into his
station, and in an instant they were all lost amidst the wood, through
which the road to the park gates conducted them.
After lingering without until the last of her brother's followers
had receded from her sight, the lady retired through the ranks of
liveried footmen and maids, whom curiosity or respect, had collected as
spectators to the departure of their master.
It might be relevant to relate the subject of the young man's
reflections; who wore a gloom on his expressive features amidst the
pageantry that surrounded him, which showed the insufficiency of wealth
and honours to fill thesum of human happiness. As his carriage rolled
proudly up an eminence ere he had reached the confines of his extensive
park, his eye rested for a moment, on a scene, in which meadows-
forests——fields, waving with golden corn——comfortable farm houses,
surrounded with innumerable cottages, were to be seen, in almost
endless variety, and innumerable groups——all these owned him for their
lord, and one quiet smile of satisfaction beamed on his face as he
gazed on the unlimited view before him——-could the heart of that youth
have been read, it would at that moment have told a story different
from the feelings such a scene is apt to excite; it would have spoken
the consciousness of well-applied wealth——-the gratification of
contemplating its own meritorious deeds, and a heartfelt gratitude to
the being, which had enabled him to become the dispenser of happiness
to so many of his fellow-creatures.
"Which way, my lord, so early," cried a gentleman in a phaeton, as
he drew up, to pay his own parting compliments, on his way to a
"To Eltringham, Sir Owen, to attend the marriage of my kinsman, Mr.
Denbigh, to one of the sisters of the marquess." A few more questions
and answers, and the gentlemen exchanging friendly adieus, pursued each
his own course——-Sir Owen Ap Rice, for Cheltenham, and the Earl of
Pendennyss to act as grooms-man to his cousin.
The gates of Eltringham were open to the admission of many an
equipage on the following day, and the heart of the Lady Laura beat
quick, as the sound of wheels, at different times, reached her ears; at
last an unusual movement in the house drew her to a window of her
dressing-room, and the blood rushed to her heart, as she beheld the
equipages which were rapidly approaching, and through the mist which
stole over her eyes, saw alight from the first, the Duke of Derwent and
the bride-groom——-the next contained the Lord Pendennyss——-and the last
the bishop of ——; Lady Laura waited to see no more, but with a heart
filled with terror——-hope——-joy and uneasiness, threw herself into the
arms of one of her sisters.
"Ah!" exclaimed Lord Henry Stapleton, about a week after the
wedding of his sister, as he took John by the arm, suddenly, while the
latter was taking his morning walk to the residence of the dowager Lady
Chatterton, "Moseley, you dissipated youth, in town yet; you told me
you should stay but a day, and here I find you at the end of a
fortnight." John blushed a little at the consciousness of his reasons
for sending a written, instead of carrying a verbal report, of the
result of his journey, as he replied,
"Yes, my lord, my friend Chatterton unexpectedly arrived, and
"And so you did not go, I presume you mean," cried Lord Henry, with
"Yes," said John, "and so I staid——but where is Denbigh?"
"Where?——why with his wife, where every well-behaved man should be,
especially for the first month," rejoined the sailor gayly.
"Wife!" echoed John, as soon as he felt able to give utterance to
his words——"wife! is he married?"
"Married," cried Lord Henry, imitating his manner, "are you yet to
learn that; why did you ask for him?"
"Ask for him," said Moseley, yet lost in astonishment; "but
when——how——where did he marry——my lord?"
Lord Henry looked at him for a moment, with a surprise little short
of his own, as he answered more gravely.
"When?——last Tuesday; how? by special license, and the Bishop of
——; where? ——at Eltringham;——yes, my dear fellow," continued he, with
his former gayety, "George is my brother now——and a fine fellow he is."
"I really wish your lordship much joy," said John, struggling to
command his feelings.
"Thank you——thank you," replied the sailor; "a jolly time we had of
it, Moseley ——I wish, with all my heart, you had been there——no bolting
or running away, as soon as spliced, but a regularly constructed, old
fashioned wedding——all my doings——I wrote Laura that time was scarce,
and I had noneto throw away on fooleries; so dear, good soul, she
consented to let me have every thing my own way——we had Derwent and
Pendennyss, the marquess, Lord William, and myself, for grooms-men, and
my three sisters ——ah, that was bad, but there was no helping it——Lady
Harriet Denbigh, and an old maid, a cousin of ours, for
brides-maids——could not help the old maid either, upon my honour, or I
How much of what he said Moseley heard, we cannot say, for had he
talked an hour longer he would have been uninterrupted—— Lord Henry was
too much engaged with his description to notice his companions
taciturnity or surprise, and after walking a square or two together
they parted; the sailor being on the wing for his frigate at Yarmouth.
John continued his course, musing on the intelligence he had just
heard——that Denbigh could forget Emily so soon, he would not believe,
and he greatly feared he had been driven into a step, from despair,
that he might hereafter repent of——his avoiding himself, was now fully
explained——but would Lady Laura Stapleton accept a man for a husband at
so short a notice? and for the first time a suspicion that something in
the character of Denbigh was wrong, mingled in his reflections on his
sister's refusal of his offers.
Lord and Lady Herriefield were on the eve of their departure for
the continent, (for Catherine had been led to the altar the
precedingweek,) as a southern climate was prescribed by his physicians
as necessary to his constitution; and the dowager and Grace were about
to proceed to a seat of the baron's within a couple of miles of Bath——
Chatterton himself had his own engagements, but promised to be there in
company with his friend Derwent within a fortnight; their former visit
having been postponed by the marriages in their respective families.
John had been assiduous in his attentions, during the season of
forced gayety which followed the nuptials of Kate; and as the dowager's
time was monopolised with the ceremonials of that event, Grace had
risen greatly in his estimation——if Grace Chatterton was not more
unhappy than usual, at what she thought was the destruction of her
sister's happiness, it was owing to the presence and evident affections
of John Moseley.
The carriage of Lord Herriefield was in waiting as John rang for
admittance; on opening the door and entering the drawing-room, he saw
the bride and bride-groom, with their mother and sister, accoutred for
an excursion amongst the shops of Bond-street; for Kate was dying to
find a vent for some of her surplus pin-money——her husband to show his
handsome wife in the face of the world—— the mother to witness the
success of her matrimonial schemes——-and Grace was forced to obey her
mother's commands, in accompanying her sister as an attendant, not to
be dispensed with at all, in her circumstances.
The entrance of John at that instant, though nothing more than what
occurred every day at that hour, deranged the whole plan: the dowager,
for a moment, forgot her resolution, and forgot the necessity of
Grace's appearance, as she exclaimed with evident satisfaction,
"Here is Mr. Moseley come to keep you company, Grace, so after all
you must consult your head-ache and stay at home. Indeed, my love, I
never can consent you should go out. I not only wish, but insist you
remain within this morning."
Lord Herriefield looked at his mother-in-law in some surprise as he
listened to her injunctions, and threw a suspicious glance on his own
rib at the moment, which spoke as plainly as looks can speak.
"Is it possible I have been taken in after all."
Grace was unused to resist her mother's commands, and throwing off
her hat and shawl, reseated herself with more composure than she would
have done, had not the attentions of Moseley been more delicate and
pointed of late than formerly.
As they passed the porter, Lady Chatterton observed to him
significantly——" nobody at home, Willis:"——"Yes, my lady," was the
laconic reply, and Lord Herriefield, as he took his seat by the side of
his wife in the carriage, thought she was not as handsome as usual.
Lady Chatterton that morning unguardedly laid the foundation of
years of misery for her eldest daughter; or rather the foundations were
already laid in the ill-assorted, and heartless, unprincipled union she
had laboured with success to effect. But she had that morning stripped
the mask from her own character prematurely, and excited suspicions in
the breast of her son-in-law, time only served to confirm and memory to
Lord Herriefield had been too long in the world not to understand
all the ordinary arts of match-makers and match-hunters. Like most of
his own sex, who have associated freely with the worst part of the
other, his opinions of female excellencies were by no means extravagant
or romantic. Kate had pleased his eye; she was of a noble family;
young, and at that moment interestingly quiet, having nothing
particularly in view. She had a taste of her own, and Lord Herriefield
was by no means in conformity with it; consequently she expended none
of those pretty little arts upon him she occasionally practised, and
which his experience would immediately have detected. Her disgust he
had attributed to disinterestedness, and as Kate had fixed her eye on a
young officer lately returned from France, and her mother, on a Duke
who was mourning the death of his third wife, devising means to console
him with a fourth——the Viscount had got a good deal enamoured with the
lady, before either she or her mother, took any particular notice there
was such a beingin existence. His title was not the most elevated——but
it was ancient. His paternal acres were not numerous——but his
East-India shares were. He was not very young——but he was not very old;
and as the Duke died of a fit of the gout in his stomach——and the
officer run away with a girl in her teens from a boarding-school—— the
Dowager and her daughter, after thoroughly scanning the fashionable
world, determined, for want of a better, he would do.
It is not to be supposed that the mother and child held any open
communications with each other, to this effect. The delicacy and pride
of both would have been greatly injured by such a suspicion; yet they
arrived simultaneously at the same conclusion, and at another of equal
importance to the completion of their schemes on the person of the
Viscount. It was to adhere to the same conduct which had made him a
captive, as most likely to ensure the victory.
There was such a general understanding between the two, it can
excite no surprise they co-operated so harmoniously, as it were by
For two people, correctly impressed with their duties and
responsibilities, to arrive at the same conclusion in the government of
their conduct, would be merely a matter of course; and so with those
who are more or less under the dominion of the world. They will pursue
their plans with a degree of concurrence amounting nearly to sympathy;
and thus had Kate and her mother——until this morning, kept up the
masquerade so well, that the Viscount was as confiding as a country
Corydon——when he first witnessed the Dowager's management with Grace
and John, and his wife's careless disregard of a thing, which appeared
too much a matter of course, to be quite agreeable to his newly
Grace Chatterton both sang and played exquisitely; it was, however,
seldom she could sufficiently overcome, her desire to excel, when John
was her auditor, to appear to her usual advantage.
As the party went down stairs, and Moseley had gone with them part
of the way, she threw herself unconsciously on a seat, and began a
beautiful song, fashionable at the time. Her feelings were in
consonance with the words——and Grace was very happy in both execution
John had reached the back of her seat before she was sensible of
his return, and Grace lost her self command immediately. She rose and
took her seat on a sopha, whither the young man took his by her side.
"Ah Grace," said John, and the lady's heart beat high, "you do sing
as you do every thing, admirably."
"I am happy you think so, Mr. Moseley," returned Grace, looking
every where but in his face.
John's eyes ran over her beauties, as with palpitating bosom and
varying colour, shesat confused at the warmth of his language. and
Fortunately, a remarkably striking likeness of the Dowager, which
graced the room, hung directly over their heads——and John, taking her
unresisting hand, continued: "Dear Grace, you resemble your brother
very much in features, and, what is better, in character."
"I would wish," said Grace, venturing to look up, "to resemble your
sister Emily in the latter."
"And why not to be her sister, dear Grace," said he with ardor.
"You are worthy to become her sister. Tell me, Grace—— dear Miss
Chatterton——can you——will you make me the happiest of men——may I
present another inestimable daughter to my parents."
As John paused for an answer, Grace looked up, and he waited her
reply in evident anxiety; but as she continued silent——now pale as
death, and now the colour of the rose——he added:
"I hope I have not offended you, dearest Grace——you are all that is
desirable to me—— my hopes——my happiness——are centered in you——unless
you consent to become my wife, I must be wretched."
Grace burst into a flood of tears, as her lover, interested deeply
in their cause, gently drew her towards him——her head sunk upon his
shoulder, as she faintly whispered something, that was inaudible——but
which her lover interpreted into every thing he mostwished to hear.
John was in extacies——- every unpleasant feeling of suspicion had left
him——-of Grace's innocence of manoeuvring, he never doubted, but John
did not relish the idea of being entrapped into any thing, even a step
which he desired——-an uninterrupted communication, between the young
people, followed; it was as confiding as their affections——and the
return of the dowager and her children, first recalled them to the
recollection of other people.
One glance of the eye was enough for Lady Chatterton——she saw the
traces of tears on the cheeks and in the eyes of Grace, and the dowager
was satisfied; she knew his friends would not object; and as Grace
attended her to her dressing room, she cried, on entering it, "well,
child, when is the wedding to be? you will wear me out in so much
Grace was shocked, but did not, as formerly, weep over her mother's
interference in agony and dread——John had opened his whole soul to her,
observing the greatest delicacy to her mother, and she now felt her
happiness placed in the keeping of a man, whose honour, she believed,
far exceeded that of any other human being.
The seniors of the party at Benfield Lodge were all assembled one
morning in a parlour, when its master and the Baronet were occupied in
the perusal of the London papers. Clara had persuaded her sisters to
accompany her and Francis in an excursion as far as the village.
Jane yet continued reserved and distant to most of her friends,
while Emily's conduct would have escaped unnoticed, did not her
blanch'd cheek and wandering looks, at times, speak a language not to
be misunderstood. With all her relatives she maintained the same
affectionate intercourse she had always supported; but not even to her
aunt did the name of Denbigh pass her lips. But in her most private and
humble petitions to her God, she never forgot to mingle with her
requests for spiritual blessings on herself, one fervent prayer for the
conversion of the preserver of her life.
Mrs. Wilson, as she sat by the side of her sister at their needles,
first discovered an unusual uneasiness in their venerable host, while
he turned his paper over and over, as if unwilling or unable to
comprehend some part of its contents, until he rang the bell violently,
and bid the servant send Johnson to him without a moment's delay.
"Peter," said Mr. Benfield doubtingly, as he entered, "read
that——your eyes are young."
Peter took the paper, and after having adjusted his spectacles to
his satisfaction, proceeded to obey his master's injunctions. But the
same defect of vision as suddenly seized on the steward, as had
affected his master. He turned the paper sideways, and appeared to be
spelling the matter of the paragraph to himself. Peter would have given
his three hundred a year, to have had the impatient John Moseley at
hand, to have relieved him from his task; but the anxiety of Mr.
Benfield, overcoming his fear of the worst, he inquired in a tremulous
"Peter?"——hem!——"Peter, what do you think?"
"Why, your honour," replied the steward, stealing a look at his
master, "it does seem so indeed."
"I remember," said the master, "when Lord Gosford saw the marriage
of the Countess announced, he——." Here the old gentleman was obliged to
stop, and rising with dignity and leaning on the arm of his faithful
servant, he left the room.
Mrs. Wilson immediately took up the paper, and her eye catching the
paragraph at a glance, she read aloud as follows to her expecting
"Married, by special licence, at the seat of the Most Noble, the
Marquess of Eltringham, in Devonshire, by the Rt. Rev. Lord Bishop
of——, George Denbigh, Esq. Lt. Col. of his Majesty's —— regiment of
dragoons, to the Rt. Hon. Lady Laura Stapleton, eldest sister of the
Marquess. Eltringham was honoured on the present happy occasion with
the presence of his Grace of Derwent, and the gallant Lord Pendennyss,
kinsmen of the bridegroom, and Capt. Lord Henry Stapleton, of the Royal
Navy. We understand the happy couple proceed to Denbigh Castle
immediately after the honey-moon."
Although Mrs. Wilson had given up the expectation of ever seeing
her niece the wife of Denbigh, she felt an indescribable shock as she
read this paragraph. The strongest feeling was horror at the nearness
of Emily to an alliance with such a man. His avoiding the ball, at
which he knew Lord Henry was expected, was explained to her by his
marriage. For, with John, she could not believe a woman like Lady Laura
Stapleton was to be won in the short space of one fortnight, or indeed
less. There was, too evidently, a mystery yet to be developed, and she
felt certain one, that would not elevate his character in her opinion.
Neither Sir Edward or Lady Moseley had given up the expectation of
seeing Denbigh again, as a suitor for Emily's hand, and to both of them
this certainty of his loss was a heavy blow. The Baronet took up the
paper, and after perusing to himself the article, muttered in a low
tone, as he wiped the tears from his eyes:——" Heaven bless him——I
sincerely hope she is worthy of him." Worthy of him, thought Mrs.
Wilson, with a feeling of indignation, as taking up the paper, she
retired to her own room, whither Emily, at that moment returned from
her walk, had proceeded. As her niece must hear this news, she thought
the sooner the better. The exercise, and unreserved conversation of
Francis and Clara, had restored, in some degree, the bloom to the cheek
of Emily, as she saluted her aunt on joining her; and Mrs. Wilson felt
it necessary to struggle with herself, before she could summon
sufficient resolution, to invade the returning peace of her charge.
However, having already decided on her course, she proceeded to the
discharge of what she thought her duty.
"Emily——my child," she whispered, pressing her affectionately to
her bosom, "you have been all I could wish, and more than I expected,
under your arduous struggles. But one more pang, and I trust your
recollections on this painful subject, will be done away."
Emily looked at her aunt in anxious expectation of what was coming,
and quietly taking the paper, followed the direction of Mrs. Wilson's
finger, to the article on the marriage of Denbigh.
There was a momentary struggle in Emily for self-command. She was
obliged to find support in a chair. The returning richness of colour,
excited by her walk, vanished——Butrecovering herself, she pressed the
hand of her anxious guardian, and gently waving her back, proceeded to
her own room.
On her return to the company, the same control of her feelings,
which had distinguished her conduct of late, was again visible; and
although her aunt most narrowly watched her movements, looks, and
speeches, she could discern no visible alteration, by this confirmation
of Denbigh's misconduct. The truth was, that in Emily Moseley, the
obligations of duty were so imperative——her sense of her dependence on
providence so humbling, and yet so confiding, that, as soon as she was
taught to believe her lover unworthy of her esteem, that moment an
insuperable barrier separated them. His marriage could add nothing to
the distance between them. It was impossible they could be united; and
although a secret lingering of the affections, over his fallen
character, might and did exist, it existed without any romantic
expectations of miracles in his favour, or vain wishes of reformation,
in which self was the prominent feeling. She might be said, to be
keenly alive to all that concerned his welfare or movements, if she did
not harbour the passion of love; but it showed itself, in prayers for
his amendment of life, and the most ardent petitions for his future and
eternal happiness. She had set about, seriously, and with much energy,
the task of erasing from her heart, sentiments which, however
delightful she had found it to harbourin times past, were now, in
direct variance with the path of her duty. She knew, that a weak
indulgence of such passions, would tend to draw her mind from, and
disqualify her to discharge, those various calls on her time and
exertions, which could alone enable her to assist others, or effect in
her own person, the great purposes of her creation. It was never lost
sight of by Emily Moseley, that her existence here, was preparatory to
an immensely more important one hereafter. She was consequently in
charity with all mankind, and if grown a little more doubtful of the
intentions of her fellow-creatures, it was a mistrust, bottomed in a
clear view of the frailties of our nature; and self-examination, was
amongst the not unfrequent speculations she made, on his hasty marriage
of her former lover.
Mrs. Wilson saw all this, and was soon made acquainted by her niece
in terms, with her views of her own condition, and although she had to,
and did, deeply regret, that all her caution had not been able to guard
against deception in character, where it was most important for her to
guide aright; yet she was cheered with the reflection that her previous
care, with the blessings of providence, had admirably fitted her charge
to combat and overcome the consequences of their mistaken confidence.
The gloom which this little paragraph excited, extended to every
individual in the family; for all had placed Denbigh by the side of
John, in their affections, ever since his weighty services to Emily.
A letter from John announcing his intention of meeting them at
Bath, as well as his new relation with Grace, relieved in some measure
their depression of spirits.——-Mr Mr. Benfield alone found no
consolation in these approaching nuptials. John he regarded as his
nephew, and Grace he thought a very good sort of young woman; but
neither of them beings of the same description with Emily and Denbigh.
"Peter," said he one day, after they had both been expending their
ingenuity, in vain efforts to discover the cause of this
so-much-desired marriage being so unexpectedly frustrated, "have I not
often told you, fate governed these things, in order men might be
humbled in this life. Now, Peter, had the Lady Juliana wedded with a
mind congenial to her own, she might have been mistress of Benfield
Lodge to this very hour."
"Yes, your honour——but there's Miss Emmy's legacy;" and Peter
withdrew, thinking what would have been the consequences, had Patty
Steele been more willing, when he wished to make her Mrs. Peter
Johnson; an association by no means uncommon in the mind of the
steward; for if Patty had ever a rival in his affections, it was in the
person of Emily Moseley, though indeed with very different degrees and
colouring of esteem.
The rides to the cottage had been continued by Mrs. Wilson and
Emily, and as no gentleman was now in the family to interfere with
their communications, a general visit to the young widow had been made,
by the Moseleys, including Sir Edward and Mr. Ives.
The Jarvises had gone to London to receive their children, now
penitent in more senses than one; and Sir Edward learnt with pleasure,
that Egerton and his wife had been admitted into the family of the
Sir Edgar had died suddenly, and the entailed estates had fallen to
his successor the colonel, now Sir Harry——but the bulk of his wealth
being in convertible property, he had given by will to his other
nephew, a young clergyman, and son of a younger brother.——-Mary, as
well as her mother, were greatly disappointed, by this deprivation, of
what they considered their lawful splendour——but found great
consolation in the new dignity of the Lady Egerton; who's greatest wish
now was to meet the Moseleys, in order that she might precede them, in
or out, of some place where such ceremonials are observed——-the sound
of, Lady Egerton's carriage stops the way——was a delight ful one, and
never failed to be used on all occasions, although her ladyship was
mistress of no such vehicle.
A slight insight into the situation of things,amongst them, may be
found in the following narrative of their views, and a discussion which
took place about a fortnight after the re-union of the family under one
Mrs. Jarvis was mistress of a very handsome coach, the gift of her
husband for her own private use——after having satisfied herself, the
baronet (a dignity he had enjoyed just twenty-four four hours) did not
possess the ability to furnish his lady, as she termed her daughter,
with such a luxury, she magnanimously determined to relinquish her own,
in support of the new-found elevation of her daughter——accordingly a
consultation on the alterations which were necessary, took place
between the ladies——" the arms must be altered, of course," Lady
Egerton observed, "and Sir Harry's, with the bloody hand and six
quarterings, put in their place——then the liveries they must be
"Oh, mercy——my lady——if the arms are altered, Mr. Jarvis will be
sure to notice it—— and he would never forgive me——and perhaps——"
"Perhaps what?" exclaimed the new made lady, with a disdainful toss
of her head.
"Why," replied the mother, warmly, "not give me the hundred pounds,
he promised, to have it new lined and painted."
"Fiddlestick with the painting, Mrs. Jarvis," cried the lady with
great dignity, "nocarriage shall be called mine that does not bear my
arms and the bloody hand."
"Why your ladyship is unreasonable, indeed you are," said Mrs.
Jarvis, coaxingly, and then after a moment's thought, she continued,
"is it the arms or the baronetcy you want, my dear?"
"Oh, I care nothing for the arms, but I am determined, now I am a
baronet's lady, Mrs. Jarvis, to have the proper emblem of my rank."
"Certainly, my lady, that's true dignity ——-well then——-we will put
the bloody hand on your father's arms, and he will never notice it, for
he never sees such things." The arrangement was happily completed, and
for a few days, the coach of Mr. Jarvis bore about the titled
dame——-her mother and sister, with all proper consideration for the
dignity of the former——-until one unlucky day——-the merchant, who,
occasionally, went on change, when any great bargain in the stocks was
to be made, arrived at his own door suddenly, to procure a calculation
he had made on a leaf of his prayer-book, the last Sunday during
sermon——this he obtained after some search; in his haste, he drove to
his broker's in the carriage of his wife, to save time, it happening to
be in waiting at the moment, and the distance not great——in his hurry,
Mr. Jarvis forgot to order the man to return, and for an hour it stood
in one of the most public places in the city——the consequence was,when
Mr. Jarvis undertook to examine into his gains, with the account
rendered of the transaction by his broker, he was astonished to read,
"Sir Timothy Jarvis, Bart. in account with John Smith, Dr."——Sir
Timothy examined the account in as many different ways as Mr. Benfield
had the marriage of Denbigh, before he would believe his eyes, and when
assured of the fact, immediately caught up his hat, and went to find
the man, who had dared to insult him, as it were, in defiance of the
formality of business——he had not proceeded one square in the city,
before he met a friend who spoke to him by the title ——-an explanation
of the mistake followed, and the ci-devant barouet proceeded to his
stables; here by examination he detected the fraud——-an explanation,
with his consort followed——-and the painter's brush soon defaced the
self-created dignity, from the pannels of the coach——-all this was
easy, but with his waggish companions on change, and in the city,
(where, notwithstanding his wife's fashionable propensities, he loved
to resort,) he was Sir Timothy still.
Mr. Jarvis was a man of much modesty, but one of great decision,
and determined to have the laugh on his side——-a newly purchased
borough of his, sent up an address, flaming with patriotism——it was
presented by his hands. The merchant seldom kneeled to his creator, but
on this occasion he humbled himself dutifully before his prince, and
left the presence,with a legal right to the appellation, his old
companions had affixed to him sarcastically.
The rapture of Lady Jarvis may be more easily imagined than
faithfully described; the christian name of her husband alone, threw
any alloy into the enjoyment of her elevation; but by a license of
speech, she ordered, and addressed in her own practice, the softer and
more familiar appellation of——-Sir Timo——two servants were discharged
the first week, because unused to titles, they had addressed her as
mistress——-and her son, the captain, then at a watering place, was
acquainted express with the joyful intelligence.
All this time Sir Henry Egerton was but little seen amongst his new
made relatives; he had his own engagements and haunts, and spent most
of his time at a fashionable gaming house in the West End. As, however,
the town was deserted, Lady Jarvis and her daughters having
condescended to pay a round of city visits, to show off her airs and
dignity to her old friends, persuaded Sir Timo——-the hour for their
visit to Bath had arrived, and they were soon comfortably settled in
Lady Chatterton and her youngest daughter had arrived at the seat
of her son; and John Moseley, as happy as the certainty of
love——returned, and the approbation of his friends could make him, was
in lodgings in the town——Sir Edward had notified his son of his
approaching visitto Bath, and John had taken proper accommodations for
the family, which he occupied for a few days by himself as locum
Lord and Lady Herriefield had departed for the south of France; and
Kate removed from the scenes of her earliest enjoyments, and the bosom
of her own family, to the protection of a man she neither loved nor
respected, began to feel the insufficiency of a name or a fortune, to
constitute felicity in her own, or indeed, any other circumstances.
Lord Herriefield was of a suspicious and harsh temper by nature; the
first propensity was greatly increased by his former associations, and
the latter, was not removed by the humility of his eastern
dependants.——-But the situation of her child gave no uneasiness at
present to her managing mother, who thought her placed in the high road
to happiness, and was gratified at the result of her labours——-once or
twice her habits had overcome her caution, so much, as to endeavour to
promote, a day or two sooner than had been arranged, the wedding of
Grace——-But her imprudence was checked instantly, by the recoiling of
Moseley from her insinuations in disgust, and the absence of the young
man for twenty-four hours, gave her timely warning of the danger of
such an interference, with one of such fastidious feelings——-John
punished himself as much as the dowager on these occasions, but the
smiling face of Grace, with her hand frankly placedin his own at his
return, never failed to do away the unpleasant sensations created by
her mother's care.
The Chatterton and Jarvis families met in the rooms, soon after the
arrival of the latter, when the lady of the knight approached the
dowager with a most friendly salute of recognition, followed by both
her daughters——-Lady Chatterton, really forgetful of the person of her
B—— acquaintance, and disliking the vulgarity of her air, drew up into
an appearance of great dignity as she hoped the lady was well. The
merchant's wife felt the consciousness of rank too much to be repulsed
in this manner, and believing the dowager had forgotten her face,
added, with a simpering smile, in imitation of what she had seen better
bred people practice with success,
"Lady Jarvis——my lady——-your ladyship dont remember me——-Lady
Jarvis of the Deanery, B——, Northamptonshire, and my daughters, Lady
Egerton and Miss Jarvis." Lady Egerton bowed stiffly to the recognising
smile the dowager now condescended to bestow, but Sarah remembering a
certain handsome lord in the family, was more urbane, determining at
the moment to make the promotion of her mother and sister
stepping-stones to greater elevation for herself.
"I hope my lord is well," continued the city lady, "I regret Sir
Timo——-and Sir Harry——-and Captain Jarvis, are not here thismorning to
pay their respects to your ladyship, but as we shall see a good deal of
each other, it must be deferred to a more fitting opportunity."
"Certainly, madam," replied the dowager, as passing her compliments
with those of Grace, she drew back from so open a conversation with
creatures, of such doubtful standing in the fashionable world——-There
is no tyranny more unyielding or apparently more dreaded than that of
fashion——-one half the care to observe she laws of our maker, that is
given, to adhere to the arbitrary decrees of this worldly tribunal,
would make us, unexceptionable in morals, and useful in society; its
influence is felt from the highest to the lowest;——without it——-virtue
goes unnoticed; and with it——-vice unpunished; it is oscillatory,
unreasonable, and capricious——- subjects men and morals, to the
government of the idle, the vain, and the foolish——-and takes its rise,
from the error, of making man instead of God, the judge of our conduct
On taking leave of Mrs. Fitzgerald, Emily and her aunt settled a
plan of correspondence; the deserted situation of this young woman,
having created a great interest in the breasts of her new friends.
General M'Carthy had returned to Spain without receding from his
original proposal, and his niece was left to mourn in solitude, her
early departure from one of the most solemn duties of life, though
certainly under circumstances of great mitigation and temptation.
Mr. Benfield, thwarted in one of his most favourite schemes of
happiness for the residue of his life, obstinately refused to make one
of the party to Bath; and Ives and Clara having returned to Bolton, the
remainder of the Moseleys arrived at the lodgings of John, a very few
days after the interview of the preceding chapter, with hearts but ill
qualified to enter into the gayeties of the place; but in obedience to
the wishes of Lady Moseley, to see and be seen once more on that great
theatre of fashionable amusement.
The friends of the family who had known them in times past, were
numerous, and glad to renew their acquaintance, with those they had
always esteemed; so that they found themselves immediately surrounded
by a circle of smiling faces and dashing equipages.
Sir William Harris, the proprietor of the deanery, and a former
neighbour, with his showy daughter, were amongst the first to visit
them. Sir William was a man of handsome estate and unexceptionable
character, but entirely governed by the whims and desires of his only
child. Caroline Harris neither wanted sense or beauty, but expecting a
fortune, had placed her views too high. She at first aimed at the
peerage, and while she felt herself entitled to suit her taste as well
as her ambition, had failed of her object by her ill concealed efforts
to attain it. She had justly acquired the reputation of the reverse of
a coquette or yet a prude; still she had never an offer, and at the age
of twenty-six, had now began to lower her thoughts to the commonalty.
Her fortune would have easily got her a husband here, but she was
determined to pick amongst these lower supporters of the aristocracy of
the nation. With the Moseleys she had been early acquainted, though
some years their senior——-a circumstance, however, she took care never
unnecessarily to allude to.
The meeting between Grace and the Moseleys was tender and sincere.
John's countenance glowed with delight, as he witnessed his future
wife, folded successively in the arms of those he loved, and Grace's
tears and blushes added twofold charms to her native beauty. Jane
relaxed from her reserve to receive her future sister, and determined
with herself to appear in the world, in order toshew Sir Henry Egerton,
that she did not feel the blow he had inflicted, as severely, as the
truth would have proved.
The Dowager found some little occupation for a few days, in
settling with Lady Moseley the preliminaries of the wedding; but the
latter had suffered too much through her youngest daughters, to enter
into these formalities with her ancient spirit. All things were,
however, happily settled, and Ives, making a journey for the express
purpose, John and Grace were united privately, at the altar of one of
the principal churches in Bath, by the consent of its rector.
Chatterton had been summoned on the occasion, and the same paper which
announced the nuptials, contained, amongst the fashionable arrivals
-the names of the Duke of Derwent and his sister——-the Marquess of
Eltringham and sisters, amongst whom was to be found Lady Laura
Denbigh; her husband——Lady Chatterton, carelessly remarking, in the
presence of her friends, she heard was summoned to the death-bed of a
relative, from whom he had great expectations. Emily's colour did
certainly change as she listened to this news, but not allowing her
thoughts to dwell on the subject, she was soon enabled to recall at
least her serenity of appearance.
But Jane and Emily were delicately placed. The lover of the former,
and the wives of the lovers of both, were in the way of daily, if not
hourly meetings; and it required all theenergies of the young women to
appear with composure before them. The elder was supported by
pride——-the junior by principle.——- The first was
restless——-haughty——-distant, and repulsive. The
last——-mild——-humble——- reserved, but eminently attractive. The one was
suspected by all around her——-the other, was unnoticed by any, but her
nearest and dearest friends.
The first rencontre with these dreaded guests, occurred at the
rooms one evening where the elder ladies had insisted on the bride's
making her appearance. The Jarvis's were there before them, and at
their entrance caught the eyes of the group. Lady Jarvis approached
immediately, filled with exultation——-her husband, with respect. The
latter was received with cordiality——-the former, politely, but with
distance. The young ladies and Sir Henry bowed distantly, and the
gentleman soon drew off into another part of the room: his absence kept
Jane from fainting. The handsome figure of Egerton standing by the side
of Mary Jarvis, as her acknowledged husband, was near proving too much
for her pride to endure; and he looked so like the imaginary being she
had set up as the object of her worship, that her heart was in danger
of rebelling also.
"Positively, Sir Edward and my lady, both Sir Timo——-and myself,
and I dare say Sir Harry and Lady Egerton too, are delighted to see you
at Bath among us. Mrs. Moseley, I wish you much happiness; Lady
Chatterton too, I suppose your ladyship recollects me now——-I am Lady
Jarvis. Mr. Moseley, I regret, for your sake, my son, Captain Jarvis,
is not here; you were so fond of each other, and both so lov'd your
"Positively, my Lady Jarvis," said Moseley dryly in reply, "my
feelings on the occasion are as strong as your own; but I presume the
captain is much too good a shot for me by this time."
"Why, yes; he improves greatly in most things he undertakes,"
rejoined the smiling dame, "and I hope he will soon learn like you, to
shoot with the arrows of Cupid——-I hope the Honourable Mrs. Moseley is
Grace bowed mildly, as she answered to the interrogatory——and
smiled as she thought of Jarvis, in competition with her husband, in
this species of archery; when a voice immediately behind where they
sat, caught the ears of the whole party; all it said was——
"Harriet, you forgot to show me Marian's letter."
"Yes, but I will to-morrow," was the reply.
It was the tone of Denbigh——-Emily almost fell from her seat as it
first reached her, and the eyes of all but herself, were immediately
turned in quest of the speaker. He had approached to within a very few
feet of them, and supported a lady on each arm; a second look wass
necessary to convince the Moseley's they were mistaken.It was not
Denbigh——but a young man whose figure, face and air, resembled him
strongly, and whose voice possessed the same soft, melodious tones,
which had distinguished that of Denbigh. As they seated themselves
within a very short distance of the Moseleys, they continued their
"Your Ladyship heard from the Colonel to-day too, I believe,"
continued the gentleman, turning to the lady, who sat next to Emily.
"Yes, he is a very punctual correspondent ——-I hear every other
day," was the answer.
"How is his uncle, Laura?" inquired her female companion.
"Rather better; but I will thank your grace to find the Marquess
and Miss Howard."
"Bring them to us," rejoined the other.
"Yes, duke," said the former lady with a laugh, "and Eltringham
will thank you too, I dare say."
In an instant the duke returned, accompanied by a gentleman of
thirty, and an elderly lady, who might have been safely taken for
fifty, without offence to any thing but——herself.
During these speeches, their auditors had listened with very
different emotions of curiosity or surprise, or some more powerful
sensation. Emily had stolen a glance which satisfied her it was not
Denbigh himself, and it greatly relieved her, but discovered with
surprise that it was his wife by whose side she sat, and when an
opportunity offered, dwelt on her amiable, frank countenance, witha
melancholy satisfaction——at least she thought, he may yet be happy, and
I hope penitent.
It was a mixture of love and gratitude which prompted this wish,
both sentiments not easily gotten rid of, when once ingrafted in our
better feelings. John eyed them with a displeasure he could not account
for, and saw, in the ancient lady, the brides-maid, Lord Henry had so
unwillingly admitted to that distinction.
Lady Jarvis was astounded with her vicinity to so much nobility,
and drew back to her family, to study its movements to advantage; while
Lady Chatterton sighed heavily, as she contemplated the fine figures of
an unmarried Duke and Marquess——and she without a single child to
dispose of. The remainder of the party viewed them with curiosity, and
listened with interest to what they said.
Two or three young ladies had now joined them, attended by a couple
of gentlemen, and their conversation became general The ladies declined
dancing entirely, but appeared willing to throw away an hour in
comments on their neighbours.
"Oh! Willian!" exclaims one of the young ladies, "there is your old
messmate, Col. Egerton."
"Yes! I observe him," replied her brother, "I see him;" but,
smiling significantly, he continued, "we are messmates no longer."
"He is a sad character," said the Marquess;with a shrug. "William,
I would advise you to be cautious of his acquaintance."
"I thank you, Marquess," replied Lord William. "But I believe I
understand him thoroughly."
Jane had manifested strong emotion, during these remarks; while Sir
Edward and his wife averted their faces, from a simultaneous feeling of
self-reproach——their eyes met——and mutual concessions were contained in
the glance they exchanged——yet their feelings were unnoticed by their
companions ——over the fulfilment of her often repeated forewarnings of
neglect of duty to our children——Mrs. Wilson had mourned in sincerity
——-but she had forgot to triumph.
"But when are we to see Pendennyss?" inquired the Marquess, "I hope
he will be here, with George——-I have a mind to beat up his quarters in
Wales this season——-what say you, Derwent?"
"I intend it, my lord, if I can persuade Lady Harriet to quit the
gayeties of Bath so soon——-what say you, sister, will you be in
readiness to attend me so early?" this question was asked in an arch
tone, and drew the eyes of her friends on the person to whom it was
"Oh, yes, I am ready now, Frederick, if you wish," answered the
sister, hastily, and colouring excessively as she spoke.
"But where is Chatterton? I thought he was here——-he had a sister
married here lastweek," inquired Lord William Stapleton, addressing no
one in particular.
A slight movement in their neighbours, excited by this speech,
attracted the attention of the party.
"What a lovely young woman," whispered the duke to Lady Laura,
"your neighbour is."
The lady smiled her assent, and as Emily overheard it, she rose
with glowing cheeks, and proposed a walk round the room.
Chatterton soon after entered——-the young peer had acknowledged to
Emily, that deprived of hope as he had been by her firm refusal of his
hand, his efforts had been directed to the suppression of a passion,
which could never be successful——-but his esteem——-his
respect——-remained in full force. He did not touch at all on the
subject of Denbigh, and she supposed that with her, he thought his
marriage was a step that required justification.
The Moseleys had commenced their promenade round the room, as the
baron came in——-he paid his compliments to them as soon as he entered,
and walked on in their party ——-the noble visitors followed their
example, and the two parties met——Chatterton was delighted to see
them——-the duke was particularly fond of him, and had one been present
of sufficient observation, the agitation of his sister, the lady
Harriet Denbigh, wouldhave accounted for the doubts of her brother, as
respects her willingness to leave Bath.
A few words of explanation passed; the duke and his friends
appeared to urge something on Chatterton——-who acted as their
ambassador——and the consequence was, an introduction of the two parties
to each other. This was conducted with the ease of the present
fashion——-it was general, and occurred, as it were incidentally, in the
course of the evening.
Both Lady Harriet and Lady Laura Denbigh were particularly
attentive to Emily. They took their seats by her, and manifested a
preference for her conversation that struck Mrs. Wilson as
remarkable——-could it be, that the really attractive manners and beauty
of her niece had caught the fancy of these ladies——-or was there a
deeper seated cause for the desire to draw Emily out, both of them
evinced? Mrs. Wilson had heard a rumour, that Chatterton was thought
attentive to Lady Harriet, and the other was the wife of Denbigh; was
it possible the quondam suitors of her niece, had related to their
present favourites, the situation they had stood in as regarded
Emily——-it was odd, to say no more, and the widow dwelt on the innocent
countenance of the bride with pity and admiration——-Emily herself was
not a little abashed at the notice of her new acquaintances, especially
Lady Laura——-but as their admiration appeared sincere, as well as their
desire to be on terms of intimacy withthe Moseleys, they parted, on the
whole, mutually pleased.
The conversation several times was embarrassing to the baronet's
family, and at moments, distressingly so to their daughter.
At the close of the evening they formed one group at a little
distance from the rest of the company, and in a situation to command a
view of it.
"Who is that vulgar looking woman," cried Lady Sarah Stapleton,
"seated next to Sir Henry Egerton, brother?"
"No less a personage than my Lady Jarvis," replied the Marquess,
gravely, "and the mother-in-law of Sir Harry and wife to Sir Timo——;"
this was said with an air of great importance, and a look of drollery
that showed the marquess a bit of a quiz.
"Married!" cried Lord William, "mercy on the woman, who is
Egerton's wife——-he is the greatest latitudinarian amongst the ladies,
of any man in England——nothing——-no nothing——-would tempt me to let
such a man marry a sister of mine"——-ah, thought Mrs. Wilson, how we
may be deceived in character, with the best intentions after all; in
what are the open vices of Egerton, worse than the more hidden ones of
These freely expressed opinions on the character of Sir Henry, were
excessively awkward to some of the listeners——-to whom they were
connected with unpleasant recollections, of duties neglected, and
affections thrown away.
Sir Edward Moseley was not disposed to judge his fellow creatures
harshly, and it was as much owing to his philanthropy as to his
indolence, that he had been so remiss in his attention to the
associates of his daughters—— but the veil once removed, and the
consequences brought home to him through his child——-no man was more
alive to the necessity of caution on this important particular; and Sir
Edward formed many salutary resolutions for the government of his
future conduct, in relation to those, whom an experience nearly fatal
in its results, had greatly qualified to take care of themselves:——-but
to resume our narrative——-Lady Laura had maintained with Emily, a
conversation which was enlivened by occasional remarks from the rest of
the party, in the course of which the nerves as well as the principles
of Emily were put to a severe trial.
"My brother Henry," said Lady Laura, "who is a captain in the navy,
once had the pleasure of seeing you, Miss Moseley, and in some measure
made me acquainted with you before we met."
"I dined with Lord Henry at L——, and was much indebted to his
polite attentions in an excursion on the water, in common with a large
party;" replied Emily simply.
"Oh, I am sure his attentions were exclusive," cried the sister;
"indeed he told us that nothing but the want of time, prevented his
being deeply in love——-he had even the audacity to tell Denbigh, it was
fortunate for me he had never seen you, or I should have been left to
"And I suppose you believe him now," cried Lord William, laughing,
as he bowed to Emily.
His sister laughed in her turn, but shook her head, in the
confidence of conjugal affection, as she replied——
"It is all conjecture, for the Colonel said he had never the
pleasure of meeting Miss Moseley, so I will not boast of what my powers
could have done——-Miss Moseley," continued Lady Laura, blushing
slightly at her inclination to talk of an absent husband——so lately her
lover; "I hope to have the pleasure of presenting Colonel Denbigh to
"I think," said Emily, with a horror of deception, and a mighty
struggle to suppress her feelings, "Colonel Denbigh was mistaken in
saying we never met——he was of material service to me once, and I owe
him a debt of gratitude, that I only wish I could properly repay."
Lady Laura listened in surprise; but as Emily paused, she could not
delicately, as his wife, remind her further of the obligation, by
asking what the service was——and hesitating a moment, continued——
"Henry quite made you the subject ofconversation amongst us——Lord
Chatterton too, who visited us for a day, was equally warm in his
eulogiums——I really thought they created a curiosity, in the Duke and
Pendennyss, to behold their idol."
"A curiosity that would be ill rewarded in its indulgence," said
Emily, abashed by the personality of the discourse.
"So says the modesty of Miss Moseley," said the Duke of Derwent, in
the peculiar tone which distinguished the softer keys of Denbigh's
voice——Emily's heart beat quick as she heard them——-and she was
afterwards vexed to remember with how much pleasure she listened to
this opinion of the duke;——-was it the sentiment?——-or was it the
voice?——-she, however, gathered strength to answer, with a dignity that
repressed further praises,
"Your Grace is willing to devest me of what little I possess."
"Pendennyss is a man of a thousand," continued Lady Laura, with the
privilege of a married woman; "I do wish he would join us at Bath——is
there no hope, duke?"
"I am afraid not," replied his Grace, "he keeps himself immured in
Wales with his sister——who is as much of a hermit as himself."
"There was a story of an inamorata in private, somewhere," cried
the Marquess; "why at one time, it was said, he was privately married
"Scandal, my lord," said the Duke gravely,"the Earl is of
unexceptionable morals——and and the lady you mean, the widow of Major
Fitzgerald- -whom you knew——-Pendennyss never sees her, and by
accident, was once of very great service to her."
Mrs. Wilson breathed freely again, as she heard the explanation of
this charge, and thought if the Marquess knew all——-how differently
would he judge Pendennyss, as well as others.
"Oh! I have the highest opinion of Lord Pendennyss," cried the
The Moseleys were not sorry, the usual hour of retiring, put an end
to both the conversation and their embarrassments.
For the succeeding fortnight the intercourse between the Moseley's
and their new acquaintances increased daily. It was rather awkward at
first on the part of Emily, and her beating pulse and changing colour
too often showed the alarm of feelings not yet overcome, when any
allusions were made to the absent husband of one of the ladies. Still,
as her parents encouraged the cequaintance, and her aunt thought the
best way to get rid of the remaining weakness of humanity, with respect
to Denbigh, was not to shrink from even an interview with the gentleman
himself; Emily succeeded in conquering her reluctance; and as the high
opinion entertained by Lady Laura of her husband, was expressed in a
thousand artless ways, an interest was created in her by her
affections, and the precipice over which, both Mrs. Wilson and her
niece thought, she was suspended.
Egerton carefully avoided all collision with the Moseley's. Once,
indeed, he endeavoured to renew his acquaintance with John, but a
haughty repulse drove him instantly from the field.
What representations he had thought proper to make to his wife, we
are unable to say, but she appeared to resent something——as she never
approached the dwelling or persons of her quondam associates, although
in her heart she was dying to be on terms of intimacy with their titled
friends. Her incorrigible mother was restrained by no such or any other
consideration, and had contrived to fasten on the Dowager and Lady
Harriet, a kind of bowing acquaintance, which she made great use of at
The Duke sought out the society of Emily wherever he could obtain
it; and Mrs. Wilson thought her niece admitted his approaches with less
reluctance, than that of any others of the gentlemen around her.
At first she was surprised, but a closer observation betrayed the
latent cause to her.
Derwent resembled Denbigh greatly in person and voice, although
there were distinctions, easily to be made, on an acquaintance. The
Duke had an air of command and hauteur that was never to be seen in his
cousin. But his admiration of Emily he did not attempt to conceal, and,
as he ever addressed her in the respectful language and identical voice
of Denbigh, the observant widow easily perceived, that it was the
remains of her attachment to the one, that induced her niece to listen,
with such evident pleasure, to the conversation of the other.
The Duke of Derwent wanted many of the indispensable requisites of
a husband, in the eyes of Mrs. Wilson; yet, as she thought Emily out of
all danger, at the present, of any new attachment, she admitted the
association, under no other restraint, than theuniform propriety of all
that Emily said or did.
"Your niece will one day be a Dutchess, Mrs. Wilson," whispered
Lady Laura——as Derwent and Emily were running over a new poem one
morning, in the lodgings of Sir Edward; the former——reading a fine
extract aloud, in the air and voice of Denbigh, in so striking a
manner, as to call all the animation of the unconscious Emily, into her
Mrs. Wilson sighed, as she reflected on the strength of those
feelings, which even principles and testimony, had not been able wholly
to subdue, as she answered——-
"Not of Derwent, I believe. But how wonderfully the Duke resembles
your husband, at times," she added, thrown off her guard.
Lady Laura was evidently surprised as she answered: "yes——-at
times, he does; they are brother's children, you know; the voice in all
that connection is remarkable. Pendennyss, though a degree farther off
in blood, possesses it; and Lady Harriet, you perceive, has the same
characteristic; there has been some syren in the family in days past."
Sir Edward and Lady Moseley saw the attentions of the Duke with the
greatest pleasure; though not slaves to the ambition of wealth and
rank, they were certainly no objections in their eyes; and a proper
suitor, Lady Moseley thought the most probable means of drivingthe
recollection of Denbigh from the mind of her daughter; this
consideration had great weight in leading her to cultivate an
acquaintance, so embarrassing on many accounts.
The Colonel, however, had written his wife the impossibility of his
quitting his uncle while he continued so unwell, and the bride was to
join him, under the escort of Lord William.
The same tenderness distinguished Denbigh on this occasion, that
had appeared so lovely, when exercised to his dying father. Yet,
thought Mrs. Wilson, how insufficient are good feelings to effect, what
can only be the result of good principles.
Caroline Harris was frequently of the parties of
pleasure——-walks——-rides——-and dinners, which the Moseley's were
compelled to join in; and as the Marquess of Eltringham had given her
one day some little encouragement, she determined to make an expiring
effort at the peerage, before she condescended to enter into an
examination of the qualities of Capt. Jarvis; who, his mother had
persuaded her, was an Apollo, and who she had great hopes of seeing one
day a Lord, as both the Captain and herself had commenced laying up a
certain sum quarterly, for the purpose of buying a title hereafter. An
ingenious expedient of Jarvis to get into his hands a portion of the
allowance of his mother.
Eltringham was strongly addicted to theridiculous, and, without
committing himself in the least, drew the lady out on divers occasions,
for the amusement of himself and the Duke——-who enjoyed, without
practising that species of joke.
The collisions between ill-concealed art, and as ill-concealed
irony, had been practised with impunity by the Marquess for a
fortnight; and the lady's imagination began to revel in the delights of
her triumph, when a really respectable offer was made to the acceptance
of Miss Harris, by a neighbour of her father's in the country, one she
would rejoice to have received a few days before, but which, in
consequence of hopes created by the following occurrence, she haughtily
It was at the lodgings of the Baronet, that Lady Laura exclaimed
"Marriage is a lottery, certainly, and neither Sir Henry or Lady
Egerton appear to have drawn prizes."——Here Jane stole from the room.
"Never, sister," cried the Marquess. "I will deny that. Any man can
select a prize from your sex, if he only knows his own taste."
"Taste is a poor criterion, I am afraid," said Mrs. Wilson,
gravely, "to bottom matrimonial felicity upon."
"What would you refer the decision to, my dear madam?" inquired
Lady Laura shook her head, doubtingly, as she answered,
"You remind me so much of Lord Pendennyss. Every thing, he wishes
to bring under the subjection of judgment and principles."
"And is he wrong, Lady Laura?" asked Mrs. Wilson, pleased to find
such correct views existed, in one she thought so highly of.
"Not wrong, my dear madam, only impracticable. What do you think,
Marquess, of choosing a wife in conformity to your principles, and
without consulting your taste."
Mrs. Wilson shook her head, with a laugh, as she disclaimed any
such statement of the case——-but the Marquess, who disliked one of
John's didactic conversations very much, gaily interrupted her by
"Oh! taste is every thing with me. The woman of my heart against
the world——if she suits my fancy, she satisfies my judgment too."
"And what is this fancy of your Lordship's," said Mrs. Wilson,
willing to gratify his relish for trifling. "What kind of woman do you
mean to choose? How tall, for instance?"
"Why, madam," cried the Marquess, rather unprepared for such a
catechism, and looking round him, until the outstretched neck and eager
attention of Caroline Harris caught his eye, he added, with an air of
great simplicity——"about the height of Miss Harris."
"How old?" said Mrs. Wilson with a smile.
"Not too young, ma'am, certainly. I am thirty-two——my wife must be
five or six and twenty. Am I old enough, do you think, Derwent?" he
added, in a whisper to the Duke.
"Within ten years," was the reply.
Mrs. Wilson continued——
"She must read and write, I suppose?"
"Why, faith," said the Marquess, "I am not fond of a bookish sort
of a woman, and least of all, of a scholar."
"You had better take Miss Howard," whispered his brother. "She is
old enough—— never reads——-and just the height."
"No, no, William," rejoined the brother. "Rather too old, that.
Now, I admire a woman who has confidence in herself.——One that
understands the proprieties of life, and has, if possible, been at the
head of an establishment, before she takes charge of mine."
The delighted Caroline wriggled about in her chair, and unable to
contain herself longer, inquired:——
"Noble blood, of course, you would require, my Lord?"
"Why, no! I rather think the best wives are to be found in a
medium. I would wish to elevate my wife myself. A Baronet's daughter,
Here Lady Jarvis, who had entered during the dialogue, and caught
the topic they were engaged in, drew near, and ventured to ask if he
thought a simple Knight too low. The Marquess, who did not expect such
an attack,was a little at a loss for an answer; but recovering himself,
answered gravely——under the apprehension of another design on his
person, "he did think that would be forgetting his duty to his
Lady Jarvis sigh'd, as she fell back in disappointment, and Miss
Harris, turning to the nobleman, in a soft voice, desired him to ring
for her carriage. As he handed her down, she ventured to inquire if his
Lordship had ever met with such a woman as he had described.
"Oh, Miss Harris," he whispered, as he handed her into the coach,
"how can you ask such a question. You are very cruel—— Drive on,
"How, cruel, my Lord," said Miss Harris, eagerly. "Stop John.——How,
cruel, my Lord;" and she stretch'd her neck out of the window as the
Marquess, kissing his hand to her, ordered the man to proceed.——"Don't
you hear your lady, sir."
Lady Jarvis had followed them down, also with a view to catch any
thing which might be said- -Having apologised for her hasty visit; and
as the Marquess handed her politely into her carriage, she begged "he
would favour Sir Timo——and Sir Henry with a call;" which, being
promised, Eltringham returned to the room.
"When am I to salute a Marchioness of Eltringham," cried Lady Laura
to her brother, onhis entrance, "one, on the new standard set up by
"Whenever Miss Harris can make up her mind to the sacrifice,"
replied the brother very gravely; "ah me! how very considerate some of
your sex are, upon the modesty of ours."
"I wish you joy with all my heart, my Lord Marquess," exclaimed
John Moseley; "I was once favoured with the notice of the lady for a
week or two, but a viscount saved me from capture."
"I really think, Moseley," said the duke innocently, but speaking
with animation, "an intriguing daughter, worse than a managing mother."
John's gayety for the moment vanished, as he replied in a low key,
"O yes, much worse."
Grace's heart was in her throat, until, by stealing a glance at her
husband, she saw the cloud passing over his fine brow, and happening to
catch her affectionate smile, his face was lighted into a look of
pleasantry as he continued,
"I would advise caution, my Lord; Caroline Harris has the advantage
of experience in her trade, and was expert from the first."
"John——-John——-" said Sir Edward with warmth, "Sir William is my
friend, and his daughter must be respected."
"Then, baronet," cried the Marquess, "she has one recommendation I
was ignorant of, and as such, I am silent: but ought not Sir William to
teach his daughter to respect herself. I view these husband-hunting
ladies as pirates on the ocean of love, and lawful objects for any
roving cruiser, like myself, to fire at. At one time I was simple
enough to retire as they advanced, but you know, madam," turning to
Mrs. Wilson with a droll look, "flight only encourages pursuit, so I
now give battle in self-defence."
"And I hope successfully, my lord," observed the lady, "Miss
Harris' brother, does appear to have grown desperate in her attacks,
which were formerly much more masqued than at present. I believe it is
generally the case, when a young woman throws aside the delicacy and
feelings which ought to be the characteristics of her sex, and which
teach her studiously to conceal her admiration, she either becomes in
time, cynical and disagreeable to all around her from disappointment,
or presevering in her efforts; as it were, runs a muck for a husband.
Now, in justice to the gentlemen, I must say, baronet, there are strong
symptoms of the Malay, about Caroline Harris."
"A muck——-a muck"——-cried the marquess, as, in obedience to the
signal of his sister, he rose to withdraw.
Jane had retired to her own room, in mortification of spirit she
could ill conceal, during this conversation, and felt a degree of
humiliation, which almost drove her to the desperateresolution of
hiding herself forever from the world: the man she had so fondly
enshrined in her heart, to be so notoriously unworthy, as to be the
subject of unreserved censure in general company, was a reproach to her
delicacy——-her observation——-her judgment——-that was the more severe,
from being true; and she wept in bitterness over her fallen happiness,
with a determination never again to expose herself to a danger, against
which, a prudent regard to the plainest rules of caution would have
been a sufficient safeguard.
Emily had noticed the movement of Jane, and waited anxiously the
departure of the visiters to hasten to her room. She knocked two or
three times before her sister replied to her request for admittance.
"Jane, my dear Jane," said Emily, soothingly, "will you not admit
me?" Jane could not resist any longer the affection of her sister, and
the door was opened; but as Emily endeavoured to take her hand, she
drew back coldly, and cried——-
"I wonder you, who are so happy, will leave the gay scene below for
the society of a humbled wretch like me;" and overcome with the
violence of her emotion, she burst into tears.
"Happy!" repeated Emily in a tone of anguish——-"Happy, did you say,
Jane?——-Oh little do you know my sufferings, or you would never speak
so cruelly to me."
Jane, in her turn, surprised at the strengthof Emily's language,
considered her now weeping sister, for a moment, with commisseration,
and then her thoughts recurring to her own case, she continued with
"Yes, Emily, happy; for whatever may have been the reason of
Denbigh's conduct, he is respected; and if you do, or did love him, he
was worthy of it.——-But I," said Jane wildly, "threw away my affections
on a wretch——a mere impostor——and I am miserable forever."
"No, dear Jane," rejoined Emily, having recovered her self
possession——"not miserable ——nor for ever. You have many——very many
sources of happiness yet within your reach—— even in this world. I——I
do think, even our strongest attachments may be overcome by energy, and
a sense of duty. And oh! how I wish I could see you make the effort."
For a moment the voice of the youthful moralist had failed her, but her
anxiety on behalf of her sister overcame her feelings, and she ended
the sentence with great earnestness.
"Emily," said Jane, with obstinacy, and yet in tears, "you don't
know what blighted affections are:——-To endure the scorn of the world,
and see the man you once thought near being your husband, married to
another, who is showing herself in triumph before you, wherever you
"Hear me, Jane, before you reproach me further, and then judge
between us." Emily paused a moment, to acquire nerve toproceed, and
then related to her astonished sister the little history of her own
disappointments. She did not affect to conceal her attachment to
Denbigh. With glowing cheeks she acknowledged, that she found a
necessity for all her efforts, to keep her rebellious feelings yet in
subjection; and as she recounted generally his conduct to Mrs.
Fitzgerald, she concluded by saying: "But, Jane, I can see enough to
call forth my gratitude; and although, with yourself, I feel at this
moment as if my affections were sealed forever, I wish to make no hasty
resolutions, or act in any manner as if I were unworthy of the lot
Providence has assigned me."
"Unworthy? no!——you have no reasons for self-reproach. If Mr.
Denbigh has had the art to conceal his crimes from you, he did it to
the rest of the world also, and has married a woman of rank and
character. But how differently are we situated. Emily——I——I have no
"You have the consolation, my sister, of knowing there is an
interest made for you where we all require it most, and it is there I
endeavour to seek my support," said Emily, in a low and humble tone. "A
review of our own errors takes away the keenness of our perception of
the wrongs done us, and by placing us in charity with the rest of the
world, disposes us to enjoy, calmly, the blessings within our reach.
Besides, Jane, we have parents, whose happiness is locked up in that of
their children, and we should—— we must overcome those feelings which
disqualify us for our common duties, on their account."
"Ah!" cried Jane, "how can I move about in the world, while I know
the eyes of all are on me, in curiosity to discover how I bear my
disappointments. But you, Emily, are unsuspected. It is easy for you to
affect gayety you do not feel."
"I neither affect or feel any gayety," said her sister, mildly.
"But are there not the eyes of one on us, of infinitely more power to
punish or reward, than what may be found in the opinions of the world?
Have we no duties? For what is our wealth——-our knowledge——- our time
given us, but to improve our own, and the eternal welfare of those
around us? Come, then, my sister, we have both been deceived——let us
endeavour not to be culpable."
"I wish, from my soul, we could leave Bath," cried Jane. "The
place——the people are hateful to me."
"Jane," said Emily, "rather say you hate their vices, and wish for
their amendment. But do not indiscriminately condemn a whole community,
for the wrongs you have sustained from one of its members."
Jane allowed herself to be consoled, though by no means convinced,
as to her great error, by this effort of her sister; and they both
found a temporary relief by the unburthening of the r hearts to each
other, that in futurebrought them more nearly together, and was of
mutual assistance in supporting them in the promiscuous circles they
were obliged to mix in.
With all her fortitude and principle, one of the last things Emily
would have desired was an interview with Denbigh; and she was happily
relieved from the present danger of it, by the departure of Lady Laura
and her brother, to the residence of the Colonel's sick uncle.
Both Mrs. Wilson and Emily suspected that a dread of meeting them
had detained him from his intended journey to Bath, and neither were
sorry to perceive, what they considered as latent signs of grace, which
Egerton appeared entirely to be without. "He may yet see his errors,
and make a kind and affectionate husband," thought Emily; and then, as
the image of Denbigh rose in her imagination, surrounded with the
domestic virtues, she roused herself from the dangerous reflection, to
the exercise of duties, in which she found a refuge from unpardonable
Nothing material occurred after the departure of Lady Laura, for a
fortnight;——the Moseleys entering soberly into the amusements of the
place, and Derwent and Chatterton becoming more pointed every day in
their attentions——the one to Emily, and the other to Lady Harriet——when
the dowager received a pressing intreaty from Catherine to hasten to
her at Lisbon, where her husband had taken up his abode for a time,
after much doubt and indecision as to his place of residence; Lady
Herriefield stated generally in her letter, that she was miserable, and
without the support of her mother could not exist under her present
grievances; but what was the cause of those grievances, or what grounds
she had for her misery, she left unexplained.
Lady Chatterton was not wanting in maternal regard, and promptly
determined to proceed to Portugal in the next packet. John felt
inclined for a little excursion with his bride, and out of compassion
to the baron, who was in a dilemma between his duty and his love, (for
Lady Harriet about that time was particularly attractive,) offered his
Chatterton allowed himself to be persuaded by the good-natured
John, that his mother could safely cross the ocean, under the
protectionof the latter——accordingly, at the end of the before
mentioned fortnight, the dowager, John, Grace, and Jane, commenced
their ride to Falmouth.
Jane had offered to accompany Grace, as a companion in her return,
(it being expected Lady Chatterton would remain in the country with her
daughter,) and her parents appreciating her motives, permitted the
excursion, with a hope it would draw her thoughts from past events.
Although Grace shed a few tears at parting with Emily and her
friends, it was impossible for Mrs. Moseley to be long unhappy, with
the face of John smiling by her side; and they pursued their route
uninterruptedly. In due season, they reached the port of their
The following morning the packet got under weigh, and a favourable
breeze soon wafted them out of sight of their native shores. The ladies
were too much indisposed the first day to appear on the deck; but the
weather becoming calm, and the sea smooth, Grace and Jane ventured out
of the confinement of the state-room they shared between them, to
respire the fresh air above.
There were but few passengers, and those chiefly ladies——the wives
of officers on foreign stations, on their way to join their husbands;
as these had been accustomed to moving in the world, their care and
disposition to accommodate soon removed theawkwardness of a first
meeting, and our travellers begun to be at home in their novel
While Grace stood leaning on the arm of her husband, and clinging
to his support, both from her affections and dread of the motion of the
vessel, Jane had ventured with one of the ladies to attempt a walk
round the deck of the ship; unaccustomed to such an uncertain foothold,
the walkers had been prevented falling, by the kind interposition of a
gentleman, who, for the first time, had shown himself among them, at
that moment. The accident, and their situation, led to a conversation
which was renewed at different times during their passage, and in some
measure created an intimacy between our party and the stranger. He was
addressed by the commander of the vessel as Mr. Harland; and Lady
Chatterton exercised her ingenuity in the investigation of his history,
and destination in his present journey——by which she made the following
The Rev. and Hon. Mr. Harland was the younger son of an Irish earl,
who had early embraced his sacred profession in that church in which he
held a valuable living in the gift of his father's family; his father
was yet alive, and then at Lisbon with his mother and sister, in
attendance on his elder brother, who had been sent there in a deep
decline, by his physicians, a couple of months before. It had been the
wish of his parents to have taken all their children with them;but the
sense of duty in the young clergyman had kept him in the exercise of
his office until a request of his dying brother, and the directions of
his father, had caused him to hasten thither to witness the decease of
the one, and afford the solace within his power to the others.
It may be easily imagined, the discovery, of the rank of this
accidental acquaintance, with the almost certainty that existed, of his
being heir to his father's honours, in no degree impaired his
consequence in the eyes of the dowager; and it is certain, his visible
anxiety and depressed spirits ——unaffected piety, and disinterested
hopes, for his brother's recovery, no less elevated him in the opinions
of her companions.
There was, at the moment, a kind of sympathy between Harland and
Jane, notwithstanding the melancholy which gave rise to it proceeded
from such very different causes; and as the lady, although with
diminished bloom, retained all her personal charms, rather heightened
than otherwise, by the softness of low spirits——the young clergyman
sometimes relieved his apprehensions of his brother's death, by
admitting the image of Jane in his moments of solitary reflection.
Their voyage was tedious, and some time before it was ended the
dowager had given Grace an intimation of the probability there was of
Jane's becoming, at some future day, a countess. Grace sincerely hoped
that whatevershe became, she would be as happy as she thought all
allied to John deserved to be.
They entered the bay of Lisbon early in the morning; and as the
ship had been expected for some days, a boat came alongside with a note
for Mr. Harland, before they had anchored; it apprised him of the death
of his brother. The young man threw himself precipitately into it, and
was soon employed in one of the loveliest offices of his
vocation——-that of healing the wounds of the afflicted.
Lady Herriefield received her mother in a sort of sullen
satisfaction; and her companions, with an awkwardness she could ill
conceal. It required no great observation in the travellers to
discover, that their arrival was entirely unexpected to the
viscount——if it were not equally disagreeable; indeed, one day's
residence under his roof assured them all, that no great degree of
domestic felicity was ever an inmate of the dwelling.
From the moment Lord Herriefield became suspicious, that he had
been the dupe of the management of Kate and her mother, he viewed every
act of her's with a prejudiced eye. It was easy, with his knowledge of
human nature, to detect the selfishness and wordly-mindedness of his
wife; for as these were faults she was unconscious of possessing, so
she was unguarded in her exposure of them; but her designs, in a
matrimonial point of view, having ended with her marriage, had the
viscount treated her with any of the courtesies due her sex and
station, she might, with her disposition, have been contented in the
enjoyment of rank and possession of wealth; but their more private
hours were invariably rendered unpleasant, by the overflowings of her
husband's resentment, at having been deceived in his judgment of the
There is no point upon which men are more tender than their
privilege of suiting themselves in a partner for life, although many of
both sexes are influenced, in this important selection, more by the
wishes and whims of others than we suspect generally-yet as they
imagine, what is the result of contrivance and management, is the
election of free will and taste, so long as they are ignorant——-they
are contented. But Lord Herriefield wanted the bliss of ignorance; and
with his contempt of his wife, was mingled anger at his own want of
There are very few people who can tamely submit to self reproach;
and as the cause of his irritated state of mind, was both present and
completely within his power, the viscount seemed determined to give her
as little reason to exult in the success of her plans as
possible——jealous he was of her, from temperament-from bad
association——and the want of confidence in the principles of his
wife——-and the freedom of foreign manners had a tendency to excite this
baneful passion to an unusual degree. It was thus abridged in her
pleasures——reproached with motives she was incapable of harbouring, and
disappointed in all those enjoyments, her mother had ever led her to
believe as the invariable accompaniments of married life, where proper
attention had been paid to the necessary qualifications of riches and
rank——- that Kate had written to the dowager, with the hope, her
presence might restrain, or her advice teach her successfully to
oppose, the unfeeling conduct of the viscount.
As the Lady Chatterton had never implanted any of her favourite
systems in her daughter so much by precept as the force of example in
her own person, and indirect eulogiums on certain people who were
endowed with those qualities and blessings she most admired——so, on the
present occasion, Catherine did not unburthen herself in terms to her
mother, but by a regular gradation of complaints, aimed more at the
world than her husband——she soon let the knowing dowager see their
application, and thus completely removed the veil from her domestic
The presence of John and Grace, with their example, for a short
time awed the peer into dissembling of his disgusts for his spouse——but
the ice once broken——their being auditors, soon ceased to affect either
its frequency, or the severity of his remarks, when under its
From such exhibitions of matrimonial discord, Grace shrunk timidly
into the retirement of her room, and Jane, with dignity, would follow
her example, while John, at times became a listener, with a spirit
barely curbed within the bounds of prudence, and at others, sought in
the company of his wife and sister, relief from the violence of his
John never admired Catherine, or respected her, for the want of
those very qualities, he chiefly loved in her sister; yet, as she was a
woman, and one nearly connected with him——he found it impossible to
remain quietly a spectator to the unmanly treatment she often received
from her husband; he therefore made preparations for his return to
England by the first packet, abridging his intended residence in Lisbon
more than a month.
Lady Chatterton endeavoured all within her power to heal the breach
between Kate and her husband, but it greatly exceeded her abilities; it
was too late to implant such principles in her daughter, as by a long
course of self-denial and submission, might have won the love of the
viscount——-had the mother been acquainted with them herself—— so that
having induced her child to marry with a view to obtaining precedence
and a jointure, she once more sat to work to undo part of her former
labours, by bringing about a decent separation between them, in such a
manner as to secure to her child thepossession of her wealth, and the
esteem of the world.
The latter, though certainly a somewhat difficult undertaking, was
greatly lessened by the assistance of the former.
John was determined to seize the opportunity of his stay, to
examine the environs of the city. It was in one of these daily rides,
they met with their fellow traveller, Mr. now Lord Harland. He was
rejoiced to find them again, and hearing of their intended departure,
informed them of his being about to return to England, in the same
vessel—— his parents and sister, contemplating ending the winter in
The intercourse between the two families was kept up with a show of
civilities between the noblemen, and much real goodwill on the part of
the juniors of the circle, until the day arrived for the sailing of the
Lady Chatterton was left with Catherine, as yet unable to
circumvent her schemes with prudence——it being deemed by the world, a
worse offence to separate, than to join together our children in the
bands of wedlock.
The confinement of a vessel, is very propitious to those intimacies
which lead to attachments; the necessity of being agreeable is a check
upon the captious, and the desire to lessen the dulness of the scene, a
stimulus to the lively; and though the noble divineand Jane could not
possibly be ranked in either class——yet the effect was the same; the
nobleman was much enamoured, and Jane unconsciously gratified——-it is
true, love had never entered her thoughts in its direct and unequivocal
form——but admiration is so consoling, to those labouring under
self-condemnation, and flattery of a certain kind so very soothing to
all, it is not to be wondered, she listened with increasing pleasure,
to the interesting conversation of Harland on all occasions, and more
particularly, as often happened, when exclusively addressed to herself.
Grace had, of late, reflected more seriously on the subject of her
eternal welfare, than she had been accustomed to, in the house of her
mother; and the example of Emily, with the precepts of Mrs. Wilson, had
not been thrown away upon her——-it is a singular fact, that more women
feel a disposition to religion soon after marriage, than at any other
period of life——and whether it is, that having attained the most
important station this life affords the sex, they are more willing to
turn their thoughts to a provision for the next; or whether it be owing
to any other cause, Mrs. Moseley was included in the number——she became
sensibly touched with her situation, and as Harland was both devout and
able, as well as anxious, to instruct, one of the party, at least, had
cause to rejoice in the journey, for the remainder of her days——but
precisely as Grace increased in her own faith, so did her anxiety after
the welfare of her husband receive new excitement——and John, for the
first time, became the cause of sorrow to his affectionate companion.
The deep interest Harland took in the opening conviction of Mrs.
Moseley, did not so entirely engross his thoughts, as to prevent, the
too frequent contemplation of the charms of her friend, for his own
peace of mind—— and by the time the vessel had reached Falmouth, he had
determined to make a tender of his hand and title, to the acceptance of
Miss Moseley.——Jane did not love Egerton; on the contrary, she despised
him——but the time had been, when all her romantic feelings——every
thought of her brilliant imagination, had been filled with his image,
and Jane felt it a species of indelicacy to admit the impression of
another so soon, or even at all—— these objections would, in time, have
been overcome, as her affections became more and more enlisted on
behalf of Harland, had she admitted his addresses——but there was one
impediment, Jane considered as insurmountable to a union with any man.
She had communicated her passion to its object——there had been the
confidence of approved love, and she had now no heart for Harland, but
one, that had avowedly been a slave to another——to conceal this from
him would be unjust, and not reconcilable togood faith——to confess it,
humiliating, and without the pale of probability——-it was the
misfortune of Jane to keep the world too constantly before her, and
lose sight too much, of her really depraved nature, to relish the idea
of humbling hereself so low, in the opinion of a fellow-creature; and
the refusal of Harland's offer was the consequence——-although although
she had begun to feel an esteem for him, that would, no doubt, have
given rise to an attachment, in time, far stronger and more deeply
seated than her fancy for Colonel Egerton had been.
If the horror of imposing on the credulity of Harland, a wounded
heart, was creditable to Jane, and showed an elevation of character,
that under proper guidance would have placed her in the first ranks of
her sex; the pride which condemned her to a station nature did not
design her for, was irreconcilable with the humility, a view of her
condition could not fail to produce; and the second sad consequence of
the indulgent weakness of her parents, was confirming their child in
passions directly at variance with the first duties of a christian.
We have so little right to value ourselves on any thing, that we
think pride a sentiment of very doubtful service, and certainly unable
to effect any useful results which will not equally flow from good
Harland was disappointed and grieved, butprudently judging that
occupation and absence would remove recollections, which could not be
very deep, they parted at Falmouth, and our travellers proceeded on
their journey for B——, whither, during their absence, Sir Edward's
family had returned to spend a month, before they removed to town for
the residue of the winter.
The meeting of the two parties was warm and tender, and as Jane had
many things to recount, and John as many to laugh at, their arrival
threw a gayety round Moseley Hall it had for months been a stranger to.
One of the first acts of Grace, after her return, was to enter
strictly into the exercise of all those duties, and ordinances,
required by her church, and the present state of her mind——and from the
hands of Dr. Ives she received her first communion at the altar.
As the season had now become far advanced, and the fashionable
world had been some time assembled in the metropolis, the Baronet
commenced his arrangements to take possession of his town-house, after
an interval of nineteen years. John proceeded to the capital first, and
the necessary domestics procured——-furniture supplied——-and other
arrangements, usual to the appearance of a wealthy family in the world,
completed; he returned with the information that all was ready for
their triumphal entrance.
Sir Edward feeling a separation for so long a time, and at such an
unusual distance, in thevery advanced age of Mr. Benfield, would be
improper, paid him a visit, with the design of persuading him to make
one of his family, for the next four months. Emily was his companion,
and their solicitations were happily crowned with a success they had
not anticipated——-for averse to a privation of Peter's society, the
honest steward was included in the party.
"Nephew," said Mr. Benfield, beginning to waver in his objections
to the undertaking, "there are instances of gentlemen, not in
parliament, going to town in the winter, I know——you you are one
yourself, and old Sir John Cowel, who never could get in, although he
run for every city in the kingdom, never missed his winter in Soho.
Yes, yes——the thing is admissible——but had I known your wishes before,
I would certainly have kept my borough for the appearance of the
thing—— besides," continued the old man shaking his head, "his
Majesty's ministers require the aid of some more experienced members,
in these critical times——what should an old man like me, do in the
city, unless, aid his country with his advice?"
"Make his friends happy with his company, dear uncle," said Emily,
taking his hand between both her own, and smiling affectionately on the
old gentleman, as she spoke,
"Ah! Emmy dear?"——cried Mr. Benfield, looking on her with
melancholy pleasure:—— "You are not to be resisted——just such anotheras
the sister of my old friend Lord Gosford. She could always coax me out
of any thing. I remember now, I heard the Earl, tell her once, he could
not afford to buy a pair of diamond ear-rings; and she looked so—— only
look'd——did not speak! Emmy!——that I bought them, with intent to
present them to her myself.
"And did she take them! Uncle?" said his niece, in a little
"Oh yes! When I told her if she did not, I would throw them in the
river, as no one else should wear what had been intended for her——poor
soul! how delicate and unwilling she was. I had to convince her they
cost, three hundred pounds, before she would listen to it, and then she
thought it such a pity to throw away a thing of so much value. It would
have been wicked, you know, Emmy dear. And she was much opposed to
wickedness and sin in any shape."
"She must have been a very unexceptionable character indeed," cried
the Baronet, with a smile, as he proceeded to make the necessary orders
for their journey. But we must resume our narrative with the party we
left at Bath.
The letters of Lady Laura informed her friends, that herself and
Col. Denbigh, had decided to remain with his uncle, until his recovery
was perfect, and then proceed to Denbigh Castle, to meet the Duke and
his sister, during the approaching holy-days.
Emily was much relieved by this postponement of an interview, she
would gladly have avoided for ever; and her aunt sincerely rejoiced
that her niece was allowed more time to eradicate impressions, she saw,
with pain, her charge had yet a struggle to overcome.
There were so many points to admire in the character of Denbigh;
his friends spoke of him with such decided partiality; Dr. Ives, in his
frequent letters, alluded to him with so much affection, that Emily had
frequently detected herself, in weighing the testimony of his guilt,
and indulging the expectation, that circumstances had deceived them
all, in their judgment of his conduct. Then his marriage would cross
her mind, and, with the conviction of the impropriety of admitting him
to her thoughts at all, would come the collective mass of testimony,
which had accumulated against him.
Derwent served greatly to keep alive the recollections of his
person, however; and, as Lady Harriet seemed to live only in the
societyof the Moseley's, not a day passed without giving the Duke some
opportunity of indirectly preferring his suit.
Emily not only appeared, but in fact was, unconscious of his
admiration, and entered into their amusements with a satisfaction that
took its rise in the belief, the unfortunate attachment her cousin
Chatterton had once professed for herself, was forgotten in the more
certain enjoyments of a successful love.
Lady Harriet was a woman of very different manners and character
from Emily Moseley; yet, had she in a great measure erased the
impressions made by the beauty of his kinswoman, from the bosom of the
Chatterton, under the depression of his first disappointment, it
will be remembered, had left B——in company with Mr. Denbigh.
The interest of the Duke had been unaccountably exerted to procure
him the place he had so long solicited in vain, and gratitude required
his early acknowledgments for the favour.
His manner, so very different from a successful applicant for a
valuable office, had struck both Derwent and his sister as singular.
Before, however, a week's intercourse had passed between them, his own
frankness, had made them acquainted with the cause, and a double wish
prevailed in the bosom of Lady Harriet——to know the woman who
couldresist the beauty of Chatterton, and to relieve him, from the
weight imposed on his spirits, by disappointed affection.
The manners of Lady Harriet Denbigh, were not in the least forward
or masculine; but they had the freedom of high rank and condition, with
a good deal of the ease of fashionable life.
Mrs. Wilson would have noticed, moreover, in her conduct to
Chatterton, a something exceeding the interest of ordinary
communications in their situation, which might possibly have been
attributed to feeling, more than manner. It is certain, one of his
surest methods to drive Emily from his thoughts, was to dwell on the
perfections of some other lady; and Lady Harriet was so constantly
before him in his visit into Westmoreland—— so soothing——so evidently
pleased with his presence, that the Baron made rapid advances in
attaining his object.
He had alluded, in his letter to Emily, to the obligation he was
under to the services of Denbigh, in erasing his unfortunate partiality
But what those services were, we are unable to say, unless the
usual arguments of the plainest dictates of good sense, on such
occasions, enforced in the singularly, insinuating, and kind manner
which distinguished that gentleman. In fact, Lord Chatterton was not
formed by nature to lovelong, deprived of hope——-or to resist long, the
flattery of a preferencefrom such a woman as Harriet Denbigh.
On the other hand, Derwent was warm in his encomiums on Emily, to
all but herself; and Mrs. Wilson had again thought it prudent, to
examine into the state of her feelings, in order to discover if there
was danger of his unremitted efforts to please, drawing Emily into a
connection, neither her religion or prudence could wholly approve.
Derwent was a man of the world——and a christian only in name; and
the cautious widow determined to withdraw in season, should she find
grounds, for her apprehensions to rest upon.
It was about ten days after the departure of the Dowager and her
companions, that Lady Harriet exclaimed, in one of her morning
visits:——"Lady Moseley! I have now hopes of presenting to you soon, the
most polished nobleman in the kingdom?"
"As a husband! Lady Harriet?" inquired the other, with a smile.
"Oh no!——only a cousin!——a second cousin! madam!" replied Lady
Harriet, blushing a little, and looking in the opposite direction to
the one Chatterton was placed in.
"But his name?——You forget our curiosity!——What is his name?" cried
Mrs. Wilson; entering into the trifling for the moment.
"Pendennyss, to be sure, my dear madam; who else can I mean," said
Lady Harriet, recovering her self-possession.
"And you expect the Earl at Bath?" said Mrs. Wilson, eagerly.
"He has given us hopes——and Derwent has written him to-day,
pressing the journey," was the answer.
"You will be disappointed——I am afraid, sister," said the Duke.
"Pendennyss has become so fond of Wales of late, that it is difficult
to get him out of it."
"But," said Mrs. Wilson, "he will take his seat in parliament
during the winter, my Lord?"
"I hope he will, madam; though Lord Eltringham holds his proxies in
my absence, in all important questions before the house."
"Your Grace will attend, I trust," said Sir Edward. "The pleasure
of your company is amongst my expected enjoyments in the town."
"You are very good, Sir Edward;" replied the Duke, looking at
Emily. "It will somewhat depend on circumstances, I believe."
Lady Harriet smiled, and the speech seemed understood by all, but
the lady most concerned in it, as Mrs. Wilson proceeded:——
"Lord Pendennyss is an universal favourite"——"and deservedly so,"
cried the Duke. "He has set an example to the nobility, which few are
equal to imitating. An only son, with an immense estate,——-he has
devoted himself to the profession of a soldier, and gained great
reputation by it inthe world; nor has he neglected any of his private
duties as a man——"
"Or a christian, I hope," said Mrs. Wilson, delighted with the
praises of the earl.
"Nor of a christian, I believe," continued the duke; "he appears
consistent, humble, and sincere; three requisites, I believe, for his
"Does not your grace know," said Emily, with a benevolent
smile——-Derwent coloured slightly as he answered,
"Not as well as I ought; but"——-lowering his voice for her ear
alone, he added, "under proper instruction, I think I might learn."
"Then I would recommend that book to you, my lord," rejoined Emily,
with a blush, pointing to a pocket bible which lay near her, and still
ignorant of the allusion he meant to convey.
"May I ask the honour of an audience of Miss Moseley," said
Derwent, in the same low tone, "whenever her leisure will admit of her
granting the favour."
Emily was surprised; but from the previous conversation, and the
current of her thoughts at the moment, supposing his communication had
some reference to the subject before them, rose from her chair, and
unobtrusively, but certainly with an air of perfect innocence and
composure, went into the adjoining room, the door of which was open
very near them.
Caroline Harris had abandoned all ideas of a coronet, with the
departure of the Marquessof Eltringham and his sisters for their own
seat; and as a final effort of her fading charms, had begun to
calculate the capabilities of Captain Jarvis, who had at this time
honoured Bath with his company.
It is true, the lady would have greatly preferred her father's
neighbour, but that was an irretrievable step——he had retired,
disgusted with her haughty dismissal of his hopes, and was a man who,
although he greatly admired her fortune, was not to be recalled by any
beck or smile which might grow out of her caprice.
Lady Jarvis had, indeed, rather magnified the personal
qualifications of her son, but the disposition they had manifested, to
devote some of their surplus wealth, to the purchasing a title, had
great weight; for Miss Harris would cheerfully, at any time, have
sacrificed one half her own fortune to be called my lady. Jarvis would
make but a shabby looking lord, 'tis true; but then what a lord's wife
would she not make herself:——-His father was a merchant, to be sure,
but then merchants were always immensely rich, and a few thousand
pounds, properly applied, might make the merchant's son a baron——- she
therefore resolved to inquire, the first opportunity, into the
condition of the sinking fund of his plebeianism——-and had serious
thoughts of contributing her mite towards the advancement of the
desired object, did she find it within the bounds of probable success.
An occasion soon offered, by the invitation of the Captain, to
accompany him, in an excursion in the tilbury of his brother in law.
In this ride they passed the equipages of Lady Harriet and Mrs.
Wilson, with their respective mistresses taking an airing. In passing
the latter, Jarvis had bowed, (for he had renewed his acquaintance at
the rooms without daring to visit at the lodgings of Sir Edward,) and
Miss Harris had taken notice of both parties as they dashed by them.
"You know the Moseleys, Caroline?" said Jarvis, with the freedom
her own and his manners had established between them.
"Yes," replied the lady, drawing her head back from a view of the
carriages, "what fine arms those of the Duke's are——-and the coronet,
it is so noble——so rich——I am sure if I were a man," laying great
emphasis on the word——"I would be a Lord."
"If you could, you mean," cried the Captain, with a laugh.
"Could——why money will buy a title, you know——only most people are
fonder of their cash than honour."
"That's right," said the unreflecting Captain, "money is the thing
after all——now what do you suppose our last mess-bill came to?"
"Oh dont talk of eating and drinking," cried Miss Harris, in
affected aversion, "it is beneath the consideration of nobility."
"Then any one may be a Lord for me," said Jarvis, drily, "if they
are not to eatand drink——-why what do we live for, but such sort of
"A soldier lives to fight, and gain honour and distinction"——for
his wife——Miss Harris would have added, had she spoken all she thought.
"A poor way that, of spending a man's time," said the Captain; "now
there is a Captain Jones in our regiment, they say, loves fighting as
much as eating; but if he does, he is a blood-thirsty fellow."
"You know how intimate I am with your dear mother," continued the
lady, bent on her principal object, "she has made me acquainted with
her greatest wish."
"Her greatest wish!" cried the Captain, in astonishment, "why what
can that be——a new coach and horses?"
"No, I mean one much dearer to us——I should say, her——than any such
trifles; she has told me of the plan."
"Plan," said Jarvis, still in wonder, "what plan?"
"About the fund for the peerage, you know——of course the thing is
scared with me ——as, indeed, I am equally interested with you all, in
Jarvis eyed her with a knowing look, and as she concluded, rolling
his eyes in an expression of significance, he said——
"What, serve Sir William some such way, eh?"
"I will assist a little, if it be necessary,Henry," said the lady,
tenderly, "although my mite cannot amount to a great deal."
During this speech, the Captain was wondering what she could mean,
but, having had a suspicion from something that had fallen from his
mother, the lady was intended for him as a wife, and she might be as
great a dupe as the former, he was resolved to know the whole, and act
"I think it might be made to do," he replied, evasively, to
discover the extent of his companion's information.
"Do," cried Miss Harris, with fervour, "it cannot fail——how much do
you suppose will be wanting to buy a barony, for instance?"
"Hem!" said Jarvis, "you mean more than we have already?"
"Why, about a thousand pounds, I think, will do it, with what we
have," said Jarvis, affecting to calculate.
"Is that all," cried the delighted Caroline; and the captain grew
in an instant, in her estimation, three inches higher;——quite noble in
his air, and, in short, very tolerably handsome.
From that moment, Miss Harris, in her own mind, had fixed the fate
of Captain Jarvis; and had determined to be his wife, whenever——she
could persuade him to offer himself——a thing she had no doubt of
accomplishing with comparative ease;——not so theCaptain——like all weak
men, there was nothing he stood more in terror of than ridicule; he had
heard the manœuvres of Miss Harris laughed at by many of the young men
in Bath, and was by no means disposed to add himself to the food for
mirth to these wags; and, indeed, had cultivated her acquaintance; with
a kind of bravado to some of his bottle companions, of his ability to
oppose all her arts, when most exposed to them——for, it is one of the
greatest difficulties, to the success of this description of ladies,
that their characters soon become suspected, and do them infinitely
more injury, than all their skill in the art, does them good in their
With these views in the respective champions, the campaign opened,
and the lady on her return, acquainted his mother, with the situation
of the privy purse, that was to promote her darling child to the
enviable distinction of the peerage——indeed, Lady Jarvis was for
purchasing a baronetcy with what they had, under the impression, that
when ready for another promotion, they would only have to pay the
difference, as they did in the army, when he received his captaincy
——-as, however, the son was opposed to any arrangement, that might make
the producing the few hundred pounds he had obtained from his mother's
folly, necessary——-she was obliged to postpone the wished-for day,
until their united efforts could compass the means of effecting it——-as
an earnest, however, ofher spirit in the cause, she gave him a fifty
pound note, that morning obtained from her husband; and which the
Captain lost at one throw of the dice, to his brother-in-law, the same
During the preceding events, Egerton had either studiously avoided
all danger of collision with the Moseleys, or his engagements confined
him to such very different scenes——- they never met.
The Baronet had felt his presence a reproach, and Lady Moseley,
rejoiced that Egerton yet possessed sufficient shame to keep him from
insulting her with his company.
It was a month after the departure of Lady Chatterton, that Sir
Edward returned to B——; as related in the preceding chapter——-and the
arrangements for the London winter were commenced.
The day preceding their leaving Bath, the engagements of Chatterton
with Lady Harriet were made public amongst their mutual friends——-and
an intimation given that their nuptials would be celebrated, before the
family of the Duke left his seat for the capital.
Something of the pleasure, she had for a long time been a stranger
to, was felt by Emily Moseley, as the well-remembered tower of the
village church of B—— struck her sight, on their return from their
protracted excursion in pursuit of pleasure——- more than four months
had elapsed, sincethey had commenced their travels, and in that period,
what change of sentiments had she not witnessed in others——-of opinions
of mankind in general, and of one individual in particular, had she not
experienced in her own person——the benevolent smiles, the respectful
salutations they received, in passing the little group of houses which,
clustered round the church, had obtained the name of "the village,"
conveyed a sensation of delight, that can only be felt by the deserving
and virtuous——and the smiling faces, in several instances glistening
with tears, which met them at the Hall, gave ample testimony to the
worth, of both the master and his servants.
Francis and Clara were in waiting to receive them, and a very few
minutes had elapsed, before the rector and Mrs. Ives, having heard they
had passed, drove in also—— in saluting the different members of the
family, Mrs. Wilson noticed the startled look of the Doctor, as the
change in Emily's appearance first met his eyes——her bloom, if not
gone, was greatly diminished, and it was only when under the excitement
of strong emotions, that her face possessed that character of joy and
feeling, which had so eminently distinguished it, before her late
"Where did you last see my friend George?" said the Doctor to Mrs.
Wilson, in the course of the first afternoon, as he tooka seat by her
side, apart from the rest of the family.
"At L——," said Mrs. Wilson, gravely, in reply.
"L——," cried the doctor, in evident amazement——-"Was he not at
Bath, then, during your stay there?"
No——I understand he was in attendance on some sick relative, which
detained him from his friends there," said Mrs. Wilson, wondering why
the Doctor chose to introduce, so delicate a topic, between them——his
guilt in relation to Mrs. Fitzgerald, he was doubtless ignorant of, but
surely not of his marriage.
"It is now sometime since I heard from him," continued the Doctor,
regarding Mrs. Wilson expressively, but to which the lady only replied
with a gentle inclination of the body——and the Rector, after pausing a
"You will not think me impertinent, if I am bold enough to ask, has
George ever expressed a wish to become connected with your niece, by
other ties than those of friendship?"
"He did," answered the widow, after a little hesitation.
"He did, and——"
"Was refused," continued Mrs. Wilson, with a slight feeling for the
dignity of her sex, which for a moment, caused her to lose sight of
justice to Denbigh.
Dr. Ives was silent——but manifested, by his dejected countenance,
the interest he had taken in this anticipated connection——-and as Mrs.
Wilson had spoken with ill-concealed reluctance on the subject at all,
the Rector did not attempt a renewal of the disagreeable subject,
though she saw for some time afterwards, whenever the baronet or his
wife mentioned the name of Denbigh, the eyes of the Rector were turned
on them in intense interest.
"Stevenson has returned, and I certainly must hear from Harriet,"
exclaimed the sister of Pendennyss, with great animation, as she stood
at a window, watching the return of a servant, from the neighbouring
"I am afraid," rejoined the Earl, who was seated by the breakfast
table, waiting the leisure of the lady to give him his dish of tea——-
"You find Wales very dull, sister. I sincerely hope both Derwent and
Harriet will not forget their promise of visiting us this month."
The lady slowly took her seat at the table, engrossed in her own
reflections, as the man entered with his budget of news; and having
deposited sundry papers and letters, respectfully withdrew. The Earl
glanced his eyes over the directions of the epistles, and turning to
his servants, said, "answer the bell, when called." Three or four
liveried footmen deposited their silver salvers, and different
implements of servitude, and the peer and his sister were left by
"Here is one from the Duke to me, and one for your ladyship from
his sister," said the brother smiling; "I propose they be read aloud
for our mutual advantage;" to which the lady, whose curiosity to hear
the contents of Derwent's letter, greatly exceeded his interest in that
of the sister, cheerfully acquiesced, and her brother first broke the
seal of his, and read aloud its contents as follows:
"Notwithstanding my promise of seeing you this month in
Caernarvonshire, I remain here yet——my dear Pendennyss——unable to tear
myself from the attractions I have found in this city; although the
pleasure of their contemplation, has been purchased at the expense of
mortified feelings, and unrequited affections. It is a truth, (though
possibly difficult to be believed,) this mercenary age has produced a
female, disengaged, young, and by no means very rich, who has refused a
jointure of six thousand a year, with the privilege of walking at a
coronation, within a dozen of royalty itself."
Here, the accidental falling of a cup from the hands of the fair
listener, caused some little interruption to the reading of the
brother; but as the lady, with a good deal of trepidation, and many
blushes, apologised hastily for the confusion her awkwardness had made,
the Earl continued to read——-"I could almost worship her independence;
for I know the wishes of both her parents were for my success. I
confess to you freely, that my vanity has been a good deal hurt, as I
really thought myself agreeable to her; she certainly listened to my
conversation, and admitted my approaches, with more satisfaction, than
those of any of the other men around her; and when I ventured to hint
to her this circumstance, assome justification for my presumption, she
frankly acknowledged the truth of my impression, and without explaining
the reasons for her conduct, deeply regretted the construction I had
been led to place upon the circumstance. Yes, my lord, I felt it
necessary to apologise to Emily Moseley, for presuming to aspire to the
honour of possessing so much loveliness and virtue. The accidental
advantages of rank and wealth, lose all their importance, when opposed
to her delicacy, ingenuousness, and unaffected principles.
"I have heard it intimated lately, that George Denbigh was, in some
way or other, instrumental in saving her life once, and that to her
gratitude, and my resemblance to the colonel, am I indebted to a
consideration with Miss Moseley, which, although it has been the means
of buoying me up with false hopes, I can never regret, from the
pleasure her society has afforded me. I have remarked, on my mentioning
his name to her, she showed unusual emotion; and as Denbigh is already
a husband, and myself rejected, the field is now fairly open to your
lordship. You will enter on your enterprise with great advantage, as
you have the same flattering resemblance; and, if any thing, the voice,
which I am told is our greatest recommendation with the ladies, in
greater perfection than either George or your humble servant."
Here the reader stopped of his own accord, and was so intently
absorbed in his meditations, that the almost breathless curiosity of
his sister, was obliged to find relief by desiring him to proceed:
roused by the sound of her voice, the earl changed colour sensibly, and
"But to be serious on a subject of great importance to my future
life, (for I sometimes think, her negative has made Denbigh a duke,)
the lovely girl did not appear happy at the time of our interview, nor
do I think enjoys at any time, the spirits nature has evidently given
her. Harriet is nearly as great an admirer of Miss Moseley, and takes
her refusal at heart as much as myself——-she even attempted to
intercede with her, on my behalf. But the charming girl, though mild,
grateful, and delicate, was firm and unequivocal, and left no grounds
for the remotest expectation of success, from perseverance on my part.
"As Harriet had received an intimation, that both Miss Moseley and
her aunt, entertained extremely rigid notions on the score of religion,
she took occasion to introduce the subject in her conference with the
former, and was told in reply, 'that other considerations would have
determined her to decline the honour I intended her; but, that under
any circumstances, a more intimate knowledge of my principles would be
necessary, before she could entertain a thought of accepting my hand,
or indeed that of any other man.' Think of that——-Pendennyss. The
principles of a Duke!——now a dukedom and forty thousand a year, would
furnish a character with most people, for a Nero.
"I trust the important object I have kept in view here, is a
sufficient excuse for my breach of promise to you; and I am serious
when I wish you, (unless the pretty Spaniard has, as I sometimes
suspect, made a captive of you) to see, and endeavour to bring me in
some degree, connected with the charming family of Sir Edward Moseley.
"The aunt, Mrs. Wilson, often speaks of you with the greatest
interest, and from some cause or other, is strongly enlisted in your
favour, and Miss Moseley hears your name mentioned with evident
pleasure. Your religion or principles, cannot be doubted. You can offer
larger settlements——-as honourable, it not as elevated a title——-a far
more illustrious name, purchased by your own services——and personal
merit, greatly exceeding the pretensions of your assured friend and
Both brother and sister were occupied with their own reflections,
for several minutes after the letter was ended; and the silence was
broken first, by the latter saying, with a low tone to her brother——-
"You must endeavour to become acquainted with Mrs. Wilson; she is,
I know, very anxious to see you, and your friendship for the General
requires it of you."
"I owe Gen. Wilson much," replied the brother in a melancholy
voice; "and when we go to Annerdale House, I wish you to make the
acquaintance with the ladies of the Moseley family, should they be in
town this winter——-but you have the letter of Harriet to read yet."
After first hastily running over its contents, the lady commenced the
fulfilment of her part of the agreement.
"Frederic has been so much engrossed of late with his own affairs,
that he has forgotten there is such a creature in existence as his
sister, or indeed, any one else, but a Miss Emily Moseley, and
consequently I have been unable to fulfil my promise of a visit, for
want of a proper escort to see me into Wales, and——-and——-perhaps some
other considerations, not worth mentioning in a letter, I know you will
read to the earl.
"Yes, my dear cousin, Frederic Denbigh, has supplicated the
daughter of a country baronet, to become a dutchess; and hear it, ye
marriage-seeking nymphs and marriage-making dames! has supplicated in
"I confess to you, when the thing was first in agitation, my
aristocratic blood roused itself a little at the anticipated connexion;
but finding, on examination, Sir Edward was of no doubtful lineage, and
the blood of the Chattertons runs in his veins, and finding the young
lady every thing that I could wish in a sister, my proud scruples soon
disappeared with the folly that engendered them.
"There was no necessity for any alarm, for the lady very decidedly
refused the honour offered her by Derwent, and what makes the matter
worse, refused the solicitations of his sister also.
"I have fifty times been surprised at myself, for my condescension,
and to this moment am at a loss to know, whether it was to the lady's
worth——my brother's happiness——or the Chatterton blood——that I finally
yielded. Heigho! this Chatterton is certainly much too handsome for a
man; but I forget, you have never seen him." (Here an arch smile stole
over the features of the listener, as his sister continued)——-"to
return to my narration——I had half a mind to send for a Miss Harris
there is here, to learn the most approved fashion of a lady's
preferring a suit, but as fame said she was just now practising on a
certain hero, yclep'd Captain Jarvis, heir to Sir Timo——-of of that
name, it struck me her system might be rather too abrupt, so I was fain
to adopt the best plan, that of trusting to nature and my own feelings
"Nobility is certainly a very pretty thing, (for those who have
it,) but I would defy the old Margravine of ——, to keep up the
semblance of superiority with Emily Moseley. She is so very
natural——-so very beautiful——-and and withal at times a little arch,
that one is afraid to set up any other distinctions, than such as can
be fairly supported.
"I commenced with hoping her determination, to reject the hand of
Frederic wasnot an unalterable one. (Yes, I called him Frederic, what I
never did out of my own family before in my life.) There was a
considerable tremor in the voice of Miss Moseley, as she replied, 'I
now perceive, when too late, that my indiscretion has given reason to
my friends to think, that I have entertained opinions of his Grace and
thoughts for the future. I entreat you to believe me, Lady Harriet, I
am innocent of——-indeed——-indeed as any thing more than an agreeable
acquaintance, I have never allowed myself to think of your
brother'——and from my soul I believe her——we continued our conversation
for half an hour longer——-and such was the ingenuousness——delicacy——and
high religious feeling displayed by the charming girl, that if I
entered the room with a spark of regret, I was compelled to solicit
another to favour my brother's love——-I left it with a stronger feeling
that my efforts had been unsuccessful——-Yes! thou peerless sister of
the more peerless Pendennyss! I once thought of your ladyship for a
wife to Derwent——"
A glass of water was necessary, to enable the reader to clear her
voice, which grew husky from speaking so long.
"But I now openly avow——neither your birth——-your hundred thousand
pounds——-or your merit——-would put you on a footing, in my estimation,
with my Emily——-you may form some idea of her power to captivate, and
indifference to her conquests——when I mention that she once
refused——-but, I forget,you don't know him, and therefore cannot be a
judge——the thing is finally decided, and we shortly go into
Westmoreland, and next week, the Moseleys return to
Northamptonshire——-I don't know when I shall be able to visit you, and
think I may now safely invite you to Denbigh Castle, although a month
ago I might have hesitated——love to the Earl, and kind assurances to
yourself, of unalterable regard.
—— "Harriet Denbigh."
"P.S. I believe I forgot to mention, that Mrs. Moseley, a sister of
Lord Chatterton, has gone to Portugal, and that the Baron himself, is
to go into the country, with us—— there is, I suppose, a fellow-feeling
between them just now——though I do not think Chatterton looks so very
miserable as he might. ——-Adieu."
On the ending this second epistle, the same silence, which had
succeeded the reading of the first, prevailed, until the lady, with an
arch expression, interrupted it by saying,
"Harriet will, I think, soon grace the peerage."
"And happily, I trust," replied the brother.
"Do you know Lord Chatterton?"
"I do; he is very amiable, and admirably calculated to contrast
with the lively gayety of Harriet Denbigh."
"You believe in loving our opposites, Isee," rejoined the Lady; and
then affectionately stretching out her hand to him, she added, "but
Pendennyss, you must give me for a sister, one as nearly like yourself
"That might please your affections," answered the Earl with a
smile, "but how would it comport with my tastes——-will you suffer me to
describe the kind of man you are to select for your future
lord——-unless you have decided the point already."
The lady coloured violently, and appearing anxious to change the
subject, tumbled over two or three unopened letters on the table, as
she cried eagerly,
"Here is one from the Donna Julia." The Earl instantly broke the
seal, and read aloud——no secrets existing between them in relation to
their mutual friend.
"I hasten to write to you, what I know will give you pleasure to
hear, concerning my future prospects in life. My uncle, General
M'Carthy, has written me the cheerful tidings, that my father has
consented to receive his only child, without any other sacrifice, than
a condition, of attending the public service of the Catholic
Church——without any professions on my side, or even an understanding,
that I am conforming to its peculiar tenets——-this may be, in some
measure, irksome at times, and, possibly, distressing——but the worship
of God, with a proper humiliation of spirit, I have learnt to consider
as a privilege to us here——-and I owe a duty to my earthly father, of
penitence and care, in his later years, that will justify the measure
in the eyes of my heavenly one.——-I have, therefore, acquainted my
uncle in reply, that I am willing to attend the Condé's summons, at any
moment he will choose to make them, and thought it a debt due your care
and friendship, to apprise your lordship of my approaching departure
from this country; indeed, I have great reasons for believing, that
your kind and unremitted efforts to attain this object, have already
prepared you to expect this result.
"I feel it will be impossible to quit England without seeing
yourself and sister——-to thank you for the many——very many favours, of
both a temporal and eternal nature, you have been the agents of
confering on me; the cruel suggestions, which I dreaded, and which it
appears, had reached the ears of my friends in Spain, have prevented my
troubling your lordship, of late, with my concerns unnecessarily.——-The
consideration, of a friend to your character, (Mrs. Wilson,) has
removed the necessity of my inexperience applying for your advice
——-She, and her charming niece, Miss Emily Moseley, have been, next to
yourselves, the greatest solace I have had in my exile——and united, you
will be remembered in myprayers——I will merely mention here, defering
the explanation until I see you in London, that I have been visited by
the wretch, from whom you delivered me in Portugal, and the means of
ascertaining his name have fallen into my hands——-you will be the best
judge of the proper steps to be taken——- but I wish, by all means,
something may be done, to prevent his attempting to see me in
Spain——-should it be discovered to my relations there, it would
certainly terminate in his death, and, possibly, my disgrace.——-Wishing
you, and your kind sister, all possible happiness, I remain your
Lordship's obliged friend,
"Oh!" cried the sister as concluding the letter, "we must certainly
see her before she goes——what a wretch that persecutor of her must
be——how persevering in his villainy."
"He does exceed my ideas of effrontery," said the Earl, in great
warmth——"but he may offend too far; the laws shall interpose their
power to defeat his schemes, should he ever repeat them."
"He attempted to take your life, brother," said the lady,
shuddering——"if I remember the tale aright."
"Why, I have endeavoured to free him from that imputation,"
rejoined the brother musing——"he certainly fired a pistol, but it hit
my horse at such a distance from myself, that I believe his object was
to disable me from pursuit, and not murder;——his escape has astonished
me;——he must have fled by himself into the woods, as Harmer was but at
a short distance behind me, admirably mounted, on one of my chargers,
and the escort was up, and in full pursuit, within ten minutes; after
all, it may be for the best he was not taken, for I am persuaded the
dragoons would have sabred him on the spot——and he may have parents of
respectability, or a wife to kill, by the knowledge of his misconduct."
"This Emily Moseley must be a faultless being," cried his sister,
as she run over the contents of Julia's letter to herself. "Three
different letters, and each one containing her praises."
The Earl made no reply, but opening the Duke's letter again,
appeared to be closely studying its contents. His colour slightly
changed as he dwelt on the sense of its passages, and turning to his
sister, he inquired with a smile, "if she had a mind to try the air of
Westmoreland, for a couple of weeks or a month."
"As you say, my Lord"——replied the lady with cheeks of scarlet.
"Then I say, we will go. I wish much to see Derwent, and I somewhat
think, there will be a wedding during our visit." He rang the bell, and
the almost untasted breakfast was removed in a few minutes. A servant
announced his horse in readiness. The Earlwished his sister a friendly
good morning, and proceeded to the door, where was standing one of the
noble black horses before mentioned, held by a groom, and the military
looking attendant, ready mounted, on the other.
Throwing himself into the saddle, the young peer rode gracefully
from the door, followed by no one but his attendant horseman. During
this ride, the master suffered his steed to take whatever course most
pleased himself, and his follower looked up in surprise more than once,
to see the careless manner the Earl of Pendennyss, confessedly one of
the best horsemen in Spain, managed the noble animal he rode. Having,
however, got without the gates of his own park, and into the vicinity
of numberless cottages and farm houses, the master recovered his
recollection, and the man ceased to wonder.
For three hours the equestrians pursued their course through the
beautiful vale, which opened gracefully opposite one of the fronts of
the castle; and if faces of smiling welcome—— inquiries after his own
and his sisters welfare, which evidently sprung from the heart—— or the
most familiar but respectful representations of their own prosperity or
misfortunes, gave any testimony of the feelings entertained by the
tenantry of this noble estate for their landlord, the situation of the
young nobleman might be justly considered one to be envied.
As the hour for dinner approached, theyturned the heads of their
horses towards home; and on entering the park, removed from the scene
of industry and activity, without, the Earl relapsed into his fit of
musing. But a short distance from the house he suddenly called,
"Harmer;" the man threw his spurs into the loins of his horse, and in
an instant was by the side of his master, which he signified by raising
his hand to his cap with the palm opening outward. "You must prepare to
go to Spain, when required, in attendance on Mrs. Fitzgerald."
The man received his order, with the indifference of one used to
adventures and movements, and having laconically signified his assent,
drew his horse back again, into his station in the rear.
The day succeeding the arrival of the Moseley's, at the seat of
their ancestors, Mrs. Wilson observed Emily silently putting on her
pelisse, and walking out unattended by either of the domestics, or any
of the family. There was a peculiar melancholy in her air and manner,
that inclined the cantious aunt, to suspect her charge was bent on the
indulgence of some ill-judged weakness; more particularly, as the
direction she took led to the arbour——a theatre where Denbigh had been
so conspicuous an actor. Hastily throwing a cloak over her own
shoulders, Mrs. Wilson followed Emily, with the double purpose of
ascertaining her views, and, if necessary, interposing her own
authority against the repetition of similar excursions.
As Emily approached the arbour, whither in truth she had directed
her steps, its faded vegetation and chilling aspect, so different from
its verdure and luxuriance, when she last saw it, came over her heart
as a symbol of her own blighted prospects and deadened affections;——the
recollections of Denbigh's conduct on that spot——his general
benevolence and assiduity to please, herself in particular, being
forcibly recalled to her mind at the instant——forgetful of her object
in visiting the arbour, Emily yielded for the moment to her
sensibilities, and sunk on the seat, weeping as if her heart would
She had not time to dry her eyes, and collect her scattered
thoughts under the alarm of approaching footsteps, before Mrs. Wilson
entered the arbour. Eying her niece for a moment with a sternness
unusual for the one to adopt, or the other to receive——she said,
"It is a solemn obligation we owe our religion and ourselves, to
endeavour to suppress such passions as are incompatible with our
professions. And there is no weakness greater than blindly adhering to
the wrong, when we are convinced of our error——it is as fatal to good
morals, as it is unjust to ourselves, to persevere, from selfish
motives, in believing those innocent, whom evidence has convicted as
guilty. Many a weak woman has sealed her own misery by such wilful
obstinacy, aided by the unpardonable vanity, of believing herself able
to control a man, the laws of God could not restrain."
"Oh, dear Madam, speak not so unkindly to me," sobbed the weeping
girl, "I——-I am guilty of no such weakness, I assure you;" and looking
up with an air of profound resignation and piety, she continued, "Here,
on this spot where he saved my life, I was about to offer up my prayers
for his conviction of the error of his ways, and the pardon of his
too——too heavy transgressions."
Mrs. Wilson, softened almost to tears herself, viewed her for a
moment with a mixture of delight, at her pious fervor, and pity, for
the frailties of nature, which bound her so closely in the bonds of
feeling, as she continued in a milder tone——-
"I believe you, my dear. I am certain, although you may have loved
Denbigh much, you love your Maker and his ordinances more; and I have
no apprehensions, that were he a disengaged man, and you alone in the
world——-unsupported by any thing but your sense of duty——-you would
ever so far forget yourself, as to become his wife. But does not your
religion——-does not your own usefulness in society, require you wholly
to free your heart, from the power of a man, who has so unworthily
usurped a dominion over it."
To this Emily replied in a hardly audible voice, "Certainly——-and I
pray constantly for it."
"It is well, my love," said the aunt soothingly, "you cannot fail
with such means, and your own exertions, finally to prevail over your
own worst enemies——-your passions. The task our sex has to sustain is,
at the best, an arduous one; but so much the greater is our credit——-if
we do it well."
"Oh! how is an unguided girl ever to judge right in her choice,
if," cried Emily, clasping her hands and speaking with great
energy——-and she would have said,——-"onelike Denbigh in appearance, be
so vile." But shame kept her silent.
"Few men can support such a veil of hypocrisy, as with which I
sometimes think Denbigh must deceive even himself. His case is an
extraordinary exception to a very sacred rule——-'that the tree is known
by its fruits,"' replied her aunt. "There is no safer way of judging of
characters, your opportunities will not admit of more closely
investigating, than by examining into, and duly appreciating, early
impressions. The man or woman, who have constantly seen the practice of
piety before them, from infancy to the noon of life, will seldom so far
abandon the recollection of virtue, as to be guilty of great
enormities. Even divine truth has promised, that his blessings or his
curses, shall extend to many generations. It is true, that with our
most guarded prudence, we may be deceived." Mrs. Wilson paused and
sighed heavily, as her own case, connected with the loves of Denbigh
and her niece, occurred strongly to her mind: "yet," she continued, "we
may lessen the danger much, by guarding against it; and it seems to me,
no more than self-preservation requires, in a young woman. But for a
religious parent to neglect it, is a wilful abandonment of a most
As Mrs. Wilson concluded, her neice, who had recovered the command
of her feelings, pressed her hand in silence to her lips, andshewed a
disposition to retire from a spot, she found recalled too many
recollections of a man, whose image it was her imperious duty to
banish, on every consideration, of propriety or religion.
Their walk into the house was a silent one ——-and their thoughts
drawn from the unpleasant topic, by finding a letter from Julia,
announcing her intended departure from this country, and her wish of
taking her leave of them in London, before she sailed. As she had
mentioned the probable day of that event, both the ladies were
delighted to find it was posterior to the time, fixed by Sir Edward,
for their own visit to the capital.
Had Jane, instead of Emily, been the one that suffered through the
agency of Mrs. Fitzgerald, however innocently on the part of the lady,
her violent and uncontrolled passions, would have either blindly united
the innocent with the guilty, in her resentments, or, if a sense of
justice had vindicated the lady in her judgment, yet her pride, and
ill-guided delicacy, would have felt her name a reproach, that would
have forbidden any intercourse with her, or any belonging to her.
Not so with her sister. The sufferings of Mrs. Fitzgerald had taken
a strong hold on her youthful feelings, and a similarity of opinions
and practices, on the great object of their lives, had brought them
together, in a manner no misconduct in a third person, could weaken. It
is true, the recollection ofDenbigh was intimately blended with the
fate of Mrs. Fitzgerald. But Emily sought her support against her
feelings, from a quarter, that rather required an investigation of
them, than a desire to drown care, with thought.
She never indulged in romantic reflections in which the image of
Denbigh was associated. This she had hardly done in her happiest
moments; and his marriage, if nothing else had interfered, now
absolutely put it out of the question. But, although a christian, and a
humble and devout one, Emily Moseley was a woman, and had loved
ardently——-confidingly——-and gratefully. Marriage is the business of
life with most of her sex——-with all, next to a preparation for a
better——-and it cannot be supposed that a first passion, in a bosom
like that of our heroine, was to be erased, and leave no vestiges of
Her partiality to the society of Derwent——- her meditations, in
which she sometimes detected herself drawing a picture of what Denbigh
might have been, if early care had been taken to impress him with his
situation in this world, and from which she generally retired to her
closet and her knees, were the remains of feeling, too strong and too
pure to be torn from her in a moment.
The arrival of John, with Grace and Jane, had enlivened not only
the family, but the neighbourhood. Mr. Haughton and his numerous
friends poured in on the young couplewith their congratulations, and a
few weeks stole by insensibly, before the already mentioned journies of
Sir Edward and his son ——the one to Benfield Lodge——and the other to
St. James's Square.
On the return of the travellers, a few days before they commenced
their journey to the capital——John laughingly told his uncle, "although
he himself greatly admired the taste of Mr. Peter Johnson in dress, yet
he doubted whether the present style of fashions, would not be
scandalized, in the metropolis, by the appearance of the honest
steward." John had, in fact, noticed in their former visit to London
together, a mob of mischievous boys eyeing Peter with gestures and
other indications of rebellious movements, which threatened the old
man's ease with a violent disturbance, and from which he had retreated
by taking a coach, and now made the suggestion from pure good nature,
to save him any future trouble from a similar cause.
They were at dinner as Moseley made the remark, and the steward, in
his place, at the sideboard——-for his master was his home——- drawing
near at the mention of his name ——-and, after casting an examination
over his figure to see if all was decent, Peter respectfully broke
silence, in reply, determined to defend his own cause.
"Why! Mr. John!——-Mr. John Moseley? ——-if I might judge——-for an
elderly man——- and a serving man——-," said the steward,bowing humbly,
"I am no disparagement to my friends, or even my honoured master."
Johnson's vindication of his wardrobe, drew the eyes of the family
upon him, and an involuntary smile passed from one to the other, as
they admired his starched figure and drab frock; or rather doublet with
sleeves and skirts. And Sir Edward, being of the same opinion with his
"I do think with John, Uncle Benfield, there might be an
improvement in the dress of your steward, without much trouble to the
ingenuity of his tailor."
"Sir Edward Moseley——-honourable sir," said the steward, beginning
to grow alarmed for the fate of his old companions; "If I may be so
bold——-you, young gentlemen, may like your gay clothes, but as for me
and his honour, we are used to such as we wear, and what we are used
to, we love." The old man spoke with great earnestness, and drew the
particular attention of his master to a review of his attire. After
reflecting; in his own mind, that no gentleman in the house had been
attended by any servitor in such a garb, Mr. Benfield thought it time
to give his sentiments on the subject.
"Why, I remember that my Lord Gosford's gentleman, never wore a
livery, nor can I say that he dressed exactly after the manner of
Johnson. Every member had his body servant, and they were not
unfrequently taken for their masters. Lady Juliana,too, she had, after
the death of her nephew, one or two attendants out of livery, and in a
different fashion from your attire. Peter, I think with John Moseley
there; we must alter you a little, for the sake of appearance."
"Your honour?"——-stammered out Peter, in increased terror, seeing
the way his master was inclining; "for Mr. John Moseley, and Sir
Edward, and youngerly gentlemen like, ——-dress may do. Now, your
honour, if——-" and Peter, turning to Grace, bowed nearly to the floor;
——-"I had such a sweet——-most beautiful young lady, to smile on me, I
might wish to change; but, sir, my day has gone by," and Peter sigh'd
as the recollection of Patty Steele, and his youthful love, floated
across his brain. Grace blushed and thanked him for the compliment, as
she gave her opinion, his gallantry deserved a better costume.
"Peter," said his master decidedly, "I think Mrs. Moseley is right.
If I should call on the Viscountess, (the Lady Juliana, who yet
survived, an ancient dowager of seventy) I will want your attendance,
and in your present garb, you cannot fail to shock her delicate
feelings. You remind me now, I think every time I look at you, of old
Harry, the Earl's game-keeper; one of the most cruel men I ever knew."
This decided the matter. Peter well knew that his master's
antipathy to old Harry, arose from his having pursued a poacher one
day, in place of helping the Lady Juliana over a stile, in her flight
from a bull, that was playing his gambols in the same field; and not
for the world would the faithful steward retain even a feature, if it
brought unpleasant recollections to his kind master; however, he at one
time thought of closing his innovations on his wardrobe, with a change
of his nether garment; as, after a great deal of study, he could only
make out the resemblance between himself and the obnoxious game-keeper,
to consist in the leather breeches. But fearful of some points escaping
his memory in forty years, he tamely acquiesced in all John's
alterations, and appeared at his station three days afterwards, newly
deck'd from head to foot, in a more modern suit of snuff-colour.
The change once made, Peter admired himself in a glass greatly, and
thought, that could he have had the taste of Mr. John Moseley, in his
youth, to direct his toilet, the hard heart of Patty would not always
have continued so obdurate.
Sir Edward wished to collect his neighbours round him once more,
before he left them for another four months; and accordingly the Rector
and his wife——-Francis and Clara——-the Haughtons, with a few others,
dined at the Hall, by invitation, the last day of their stay in
Northamptonshire; they had left the table after dinner to join the
ladies,as Grace came into the drawing room with a face covered with
smiles and beaming with pleasure.
"You look like the bearer of good news, Mrs. Moseley," cried the
Rector, catching a glimpse of her countenance as she passed.
"Good——-I sincerely hope and believe," replied Grace. "My letters
from my brother announce his marriage to have taken place last week,
and give us hopes of seeing them all in town within the month."
"Married," exclaimed Mr. Haughton, casting his eyes unconsciously
on Emily, "my Lord Chatterton married——-may I ask the name of the
bride, my dear Mrs. Moseley."
"To Lady Harriet Denbigh——and at Denbigh Castle, in
Westmoreland——-but very privately, as you may suppose, from seeing
Moseley and myself here," answered Grace, with cheeks yet glowing with
surprise and pleasure at the intelligence.
"Lady Harriet Denbigh?" echoed Mr. Haughton, "what! a kinswoman of
our old friend?——-your friend?——-Miss Emily," the recollection of the
service he had performed her at the arbour, fresh in his memory. Emily
commanded herself sufficiently to reply: "Brother's children, I
"But a lady——-how came she my lady," continued the good man,
anxious to know the whole, and ignorant of any reasons for delicacy
where so great a favourite as Denbigh was in the question.
"She is a daughter of the late Duke ofDerwent," said Mrs. Moseley,
as willing as himself to talk of her new sister.
"How happens it that the death of old Mr. Denbigh, was announced,
as plain Geo. Denbigh, Esqr. if he was the brother of a Duke," said
Jane, forgetting, for a moment, the presence of Dr. and Mrs. Ives, in
her yet surviving passion for genealogy; "should he not have been
called Lord George, or honourable?"
This was the first time any allusion had been made to the sudden
death in the church by any of the Moseley's, in the hearing of the
rector's family; and the speaker sat in breathless terror at her own
inadvertency, as Dr. Ives, observing a profound silence to prevail,
soon as Jane ended, answered mildly, but in a way to prevent any
"The late Duke succeeded a cousin-german in his title, was the
reason, I presume. But, Emily, I am to hear from you, by letter, I
hope, after you enter into the gayeties of the metropolis?" This Emily
cheerfully promised, and the conversation took another turn
Mrs. Wilson had carefully avoided all communications with the
rector, concerning his youthful friend, and the Doctor appeared
unwilling to commence any thing, which might lead to his name being
mentioned. He is disappointed in him as well as ourselves, thought the
widow, and it must be unpleasantto him to have his image recalled. He
saw his attentions to Emily, and he knows of his marriage to Lady
Laura, of course——- and he loves us all, and Emily in particular, too
well, not to feel hurt by his conduct.
"Sir Edward!" cried Mr. Haughton, with a laugh——-"Baronets are
likely to be plenty. Have you heard how near we were to having another
in the neighbourhood lately"——- and as Sir Edward answered in the
negative, his neighbour continued——
"Why, no less a man than Capt. Jarvis promoted to the bloody hand."
"Capt. Jarvis?" exclaimed five or six at once——-"explain yourself,
"My near neighbour, young Walker, has been to Bath on an unusual
business——-his health——-and, for the benefit of the country, has
brought back a pretty piece of scandal, with some surprising news. It
seems that Lady Jarvis, as I am told she is since she left here, wished
to have her hopeful heir made a Lord, and that the two united for some
six months, in forming a kind of savings' bank between themselves, to
enable them at some future day to bribe the minister, to honour the
peerage with such a prodigy. After a while, the daughter of our late
acquaintance, Sir William Harris, became an accessary to the plot, and
a contributor too, to the tune of a couple of hundred pounds. Some
circumstances, however, at length made this latter lady suspicious, and
she wished to audit the books. The Captain prevaricated——-the lady
remonstrated——-until the gentleman, with more truth than manners, told
her she was a fool——the money he had expended or lost at dice; and
that, he did not think the ministers quite so silly as to make him a
lord——or himself, as to make her his wife——-so the whole thing
John listened to the story with a delight but little short of what
he had felt, when Grace owned her love, and anxious to know all,
"But, is it true?——-how was it found out?"
"Oh, the lady complained of part——-and the Captain tells all, to
get the laugh on his side; so that Walker says, the former is the
derision, and the latter the contempt, of all Bath."
"Poor Sir William," said the Baronet, with feeling; "he is much to
"I am afraid he has nothing to blame but his own weak indulgence,"
remarked the Rector.
"But you don't know the worst of it," cried Mr. Haughton. "We poor
people are made to suffer——-Lady Jarvis wept, and fretted Sir Timo——out
of his lease, which has been given up, and a new house is to be taken
in another part of the kingdom, where neither Miss Harris or the story
"Then Sir William has a new tenant to procure," said Lady Moseley,
not in the least regretting the loss of the old one.
"No! my Lady?" continued Mr. Haughton, with a smile. "Walker is,
you know, an attorney, and does some business, occasionally, for Sir
William. When Jarvis gave up the lease, the Baronet, who finds himself
a little short of money, offered the deanery for sale, it being a
useless place to him——and the very next day, while Walker was with Sir
William, a gentleman called, and without higgling, agreed to pay down
at once, his thirty thousand pounds for it."
"And who is he?" inquired Lady Moseley eagerly.
"The Earl of Pendennyss."
"Lord Pendennyss!" exclaimed Mrs. Wilson in rapture.
"Pendennyss!" cried the Rector, eying the aunt and Emily with a
"Pendennyss!" echoed all in the room in amazement.
"Yes," said Mr. Haughton, "it is now the property of the Earl, who
says he has bought it for his sister."
Mrs. Wilson found time the ensuing day to ascertain, before they
left the hall, the truth of the tale related by Mr. Haughton. The
deanery had certainly changed its master, and a new steward had already
arrived, to take possession in the name of his lord. What could induce
Pendennyss to make this purchase, she was entirely at a loss to
conceive; most probably some arrangement between himself and Lord
Bolton; but whatever might be his motive, it in some measure insured
his becoming for a season their neighbour; and Mrs. Wilson felt a
degree of pleasure at the circumstance she had been a stranger to for a
long time; and which was greatly heightened as she dwelt on the lovely
face of her companion, who occupied the other seat in her travelling
The road to London led by the gates of the deanery, and near them
they passed a servant in the livery, she thought, of those she had once
seen following the equipage of the Earl; anxious to know any thing
which might hasten her acquaintantance with this so long admired
nobleman, Mrs. Wilson stopped her carriage, as she inquired,
"Pray, sir, whom do you serve?"
"My Lord Pendennyss, ma'am," replied the man, respectfully taking
off his hat.
"The Earl is not here?" asked Mrs. Wilson with interest.
"Oh no, madam; I am here in waiting on his steward. My lord is in
Westmoreland, with his grace and Colonel Denbigh, and the ladies."
"Does he remain there long?" continued the anxious widow, desirous
of knowing all she could learn.
"I believe not, madam; most of our people have gone to
Annerdale-House, and my lord is expected in town with the Duke and the
As the servant was an elderly man, and appeared to understand the
movements of his master so well, Mrs. Wilson was put in unusual spirits
by this prospect, of a speedy termination to her anxiety, to meet
"Annerdale-House is the Earl's town residence?" inquired Emily with
a feeling for her aunt's partiality.
"Yes; he got the fortune of the last Duke of that title, but how I
do not exactly know. I believe, however, through his mother. General
Wilson did not know his family: indeed, Pendennyss bore a second title
during his lifetime; but did you observe how very civil his servant
was, and the one John spoke to before, a sure sign their master is a
Emily smiled as she witnessed the strong partialities of her aunt
in his favour, and replied,
"Your handsome chaise and attendants will draw respect from most
men in his situation, dear aunt, be their masters as they may."
The expected pleasure of meeting the Earl was a topic frequently
touched upon between her aunt and Emily during their journey. The
former, beginning to entertain hopes, she would have laughed at herself
for, could they have been fairly laid before her; and the latter
entertaining a profound respect for his character, but chiefly governed
by a wish to gratify her companion.
The third day they reached the baronet's handsome house in St.
James's square, and found, that the forethought of John, had provided
every thing for them in the best and most comfortable manner.
It was the first visit of both Jane and Emily to the metropolis,
and under the protection of their almost equally curious mother, and
escorted by John, they wisely determined to visit the curiosities,
while their leisure yet admitted of the opportunity; and for the first
two weeks, their time had been chiefly employed in the indulgence of
this unfashionable and vulgar propensity; which, if it had no other
tendency, served greatly to draw the thoughts of both the young women
from the recollection of the few last months.
While her sister and nieces were thus employed in amusing
themselves, Mrs. Wilson, assisted by Grace, was occupied in getting
things in preparation to do credit to the baronet's hospitality.
The second week after their arrival,Mrs. Moseley was delighted by
seeing advance upon her unexpectedly through the door of the breakfast
parlour, her brother, with his bride leaning on his arm. After the most
sincere greetings and congratulations, Lady Chatterton cried out gayly,
"you see, my dear Lady Moseley, I am determined to banish ceremony
between us, and so instead of sending you a card, have come myself, to
notify you of my arrival. Chatterton would not suffer me even to
swallow my breakfast, he was so impatient to show me off."
"You are placing things exactly on the footing I wish to see
ourselves with all our connexions," replied Lady Moseley kindly; "but
what have you done with the Duke, is he in your train?"
"Oh! he is gone to Canterbury, with George Denbigh, madam," cried
the lady, shaking her head reproachfully, though affectionately, at
Emily; "his grace dislikes London just now excessively he says, and the
Colonel being obliged to leave his wife on regimental business, Derwent
was good enough to keep him company during his exile."
"And Lady Laura, do we see her?" inquired Lady Moseley.
"She came with us——Pendennyss and his sister follow immediately;
so, my dear madam, the dramatis personæ will soon all be on the stage."
"Cards and visits now began to accumulate on the Moseleys, and
their time no longer admitted of that unfettered disposal of it,which
they had enjoyed at their entrance on the scene. Mrs. Wilson, for
herself and charge, had adopted a rule for the government of her manner
of living, which was consistent with her duties and profession. They
mixed in general society sparingly, and with great moderation; and
above all, they rigidly adhered to their obedience to the injunction,
which commanded them to keep the sabbath day holy——a duty of no
trifling difficulty to perform in fashionable society in the city of
London, or indeed any other place, where the influence of fashion has
supplanted the laws of God.
Mrs. Wilson was not a bigot; but she knew and performed her duty
rigidly. It was a pleasure to her to do so. It would have been misery
to have to do otherwise. In the singleness of heart, and deep piety of
her niece, she had a willing pupil to her system of morals, and a rigid
follower of her religious practices. As they both knew the temptations
to go astray were greater in town than in the country, they kept a
strict guard over their tendency to err, and in watchfulness found
their greatest security.
John Moseley, next to his friends, loved his bays: indeed, if the
aggregate of his affections for these and Lady Herrifield had been put
in opposite scales, we strongly suspect the side of the horses would
One early Sunday, after being domesticated, John, who had soberly
attendedmorning service with the ladies, came into a little room, where
the more reflecting part of the family were assembled, occupied with
their books, in search of his wife.
Grace, we have before mentioned, had become a real member of that
church in which she had been educated, and entered, under the direction
of Dr. Ives and Mrs. Wilson, into an observance of its wholesome
ordinances. Grace was certainly piously inclined, if not devout——her
feelings on the subject of religion, had been sensibly awakened during
their voyage to Lisbon; and at the period we write of, Mrs. Moseley was
as sincerely disposed to perform her duty as her powers admitted of. To
the request of her husband, that she would take a seat in his phaeton,
while he drove her round the park once or twice, Grace gave a mild
refusal by saying "it is Sunday, my dear Moseley."
"Do you think I don't know that," cried John gayly, "there will be
every body there, and, the better day——the better deed." Now Moseley,
if he had been asked to apply this speech to the case before them,
would have frankly owned his inability, but his wife did not make the
trial——she was contented with saying, as she laid down her book, to
look on a face she so tenderly loved,
"Ah! Moseley, you should set a better example to those below you in
"I wish to set an example," returned her husband with an
affectionate smile, "to all above as well as below me——to find out the
path to happiness, by exhibiting to the world a model of a wife in
yourself, dear Grace."
As this was uttered with a sincerity which distinguished the manner
of Moseley, his wife was more pleased with the compliment, than she
would have been willing to have known; and John spoke no more than he
thought, for a desire to show his handsome wife was a ruling passion
for a moment.
The husband was too pressing, and the wife too fond, not to yield
the point; and Grace took her seat in the carriage with a kind of
half-formed resolution, to improve the opportunity, by a discourse on
serious subjects——a resolution which terminated as all others do, that
postpone one duty to discharge another of less magnitude——it was
The experiment of Grace, to leave her own serious occupations, in
hopes by joining in the gayety of another, to bring him to her own
state of mind, ended in her becoming a convert to his feelings, in
place of his entering into hers.
Mrs. Wilson had listened with interest to the efforts of John, to
prevail on his wife to take the ride, and on her leaving the room to
comply she observed to Emily, with whom she now remained alone:
"Here is a consequence of a difference in religious views between
man and wife, my child——John, in place of supporting Grace in the
discharge of her duties, has been the actual cause of her going
Emily felt the force of her aunt's remark, and saw its justice——yet
her love for the offender, induced her to say——
"John will not lead her openly astray from her path——for he has a
respect for religion, and this offence is not unpardonable, dear aunt."
"The offence is assuredly not unpardonable," replied Mrs. Wilson,
"and to infinite mercy, it is hard to say what is——but it is an
offence——and directly in the face of an express ordinance of the
Lord——it is even throwing off the appearance of keeping the Sabbath-day
holy——much less observing the substance of the commandment——and as to
John's respect for holy things——in this instance it was injurious to
his wife——had he been an open deist, she would have shrunk from the act
in his company, in suspicion of its sinfulness——either John must become
a Christian, or, I am afraid Grace will fall from her
undertaking"——-and Mrs. Wilson shook her head mournfully, as she
concluded, while Emily offered up a silent petition, the first might
speedily be the case.
Lady Laura had been early in her visit to the Moseleys; and, as it
now appeared Denbigh had both a town residence, and a seat in
parliament——it appeared next to impossible to avoid meeting him, or to
requite the pressing civilities of his wife, by harsh refusals, that
might prove in the end injurious to themselves, by creating a suspicion
thatresentment at his not choosing a partner from amongst them,
governed the conduct of the Moseleys, towards a man, to whom they were
under such a heavy obligation.
Had Sir Edward known as much as his sister and daughters, he would
probably have discountenanced the acquaintance altogether; but in the
ignorance of the rest of her friends, Mrs. Wilson and Emily, had not
only the assiduities of Lady Laura, but the wishes of their own family
to contend with, and consequently submitted to the association, with a
reluctance that was, in some measure, counteracted by their regard for
Lady Laura, and compassion for her abused confidence.
A distant connexion of Lady Moseley, had managed to collect in her
house, a few hundred of her nominal friends, and as she had been
particularly attentive in calling in person on her venerable relative,
Mr. Benfield, soon after his arrival in town, out of respect to her
father's cousin——or, perhaps, mindful of his approaching end, and
remembering there were such things as codicils to wills——The old man,
flattered by her notice, and yet too gallant to reject the favour of a
lady——consented to accompany the remainder of the family, on the
Most of their acquaintances were there, and Lady Moseley soon found
herself engaged in a party at quadrille, and the young people occupied
by the usual amusements of their age, in such scenes——Emily alone,
feelingbut little desire to enter into the gayety of general
conversation with a host of gentlemen, who had collected round her aunt
and sisters——had offered her arm to Mr. Benfield, on seeing him
manifest a disposition to take a closer view of the company.
They had wandered from room to room, unconscious of the observation
attracted in such a scene, by the sight of a man in the costume of Mr.
Benfield, leaning on the arm of so young and lovely a woman as his
niece——and many an exclamation of surprise ——ridicule——admiration and
wonder, had been heard, unnoticed by the pair; until finding the crowd
rather inconvenient to her companion, Emily gently drew him into one of
the apartments, where the card-tables, and the general absence of
beauty, had made room less difficult to be found.
"Ah! Emmy, dear," said the old gentleman, wiping his face, from the
heat of the rooms, "times are much changed, I see, since my youth——then
you would see no such throngs assembled in so small a space——Gentlemen
shoving ladies——-and yes, Emmy——-" continued her uncle, in a lower
tone, as if afraid of uttering something dangerous to be heard, "the
ladies themselves, shouldering the men——I remember at a drum given by
Lady Gosford——that, although I may without vanity, say, I was one of
the gallantest men in the rooms——-I came in contact with but one of the
ladies during the whole evening, excepting handing the Lady Juliana to
a chair once——-and that" said her uncle, stopping short, and lowering
his voice to a whisper, "was occasioned by a mischance in the old
Dutchess in rising from her seat, where she had taken too much strong
waters, as she was, at times, a little troubled with a pain in the
Emily smiled at the casualty of her Grace, and they proceeded
slowly through the tables, until their passage was stopped by a party
at the game of whist, which by its incongruous mixture of ages, and
character in the players, forcibly drew her attention.
The party was composed of a young man of five or six and twenty,
who threw down his cards in careless indifference of the game, and
heedlessly played with the guineas which were either laid on the side
of the table as markers, or the fruits of a former victory; or by
stealing hasty and repeated glances through the vista of the tables,
into the gayer scenes of the adjoining rooms——proved he was in duresse,
and waited nothing but opportunity, to make his escape from the tedium
of cards and ugliness, to the life of conversation and beauty.
His partner was a woman of doubtful age, and one whose countenance
rather indicated, that the uncertainty was likely to continue, until
the record of the tomb-stone divulged the so-often contested
circumstance to the world——her eye also wandered attimes to the gayer
scenes, but with an expression of censoriousness, mingled with her
longings; nor did she neglect the progress of the game as frequently as
her more heedless partner——-a cast of her eye, thrown often on the
golden pair which was placed between her and her neighbour on her
right, marked the importance of the corner, as the precision of that
neighbour, had regarded as necessary an exhibition of the prize, as a
quickener of the intellects, or, perhaps, a mean to remedy the defects
of bad memories.
Her neighbour on the right, was a man of sixty, and his vestments
announced him a servant of the sanctuary——-his intentness on the game,
proceeded——from his habits of reflection; ——his smile at success,——from
charity to his neighbours;——his frown in adversity——from displeasure at
the triumphs of the wicked; for such, in his heart, he had set down
Miss Wigram to be——-and his unconquerable gravity in the
employment——from a profound regard to the dignity of his holy office.
The fourth performer in this trial of memories, was an ancient
lady, gayly dressed, and intently eager on the game; between her and
the young man was a large pile of guineas, and which appeared to be her
exclusive property, from which she repeatedly, during the play,
tendered one to his acceptance on the event of a hand or a trick, and
to which she seldom failed, from the inadvertanceof her antagonist, to
add his mite, as contributing to accumulate the pile.
"Two double and the rub, my dear Doctor," exclaimed the senior
lady, in triumph ——"Sir William you owe me ten"——the money was paid as
easily as it had been won, and the Dowager proceeded to settle some
bets with her female antagonist.
"Too more, I fancy, ma'am," said she, scanning closely the
contributions of the maiden.
"I believe it is right, my Lady," was the answer, with a look, that
said pretty plainly, that or nothing.
"I beg pardon, my dear, here are but four ——and you remember——two
on the corner, and four on the points——Doctor, I will trouble you for a
couple of guineas from Miss Wigram's store by you——I am in haste to get
to the Countess's route."
The Doctor was cooly helping himself from the said store, under the
watchful eyes of its owner, and secretly exulting in his own judgment
in requiring the stakes——-as the maiden replied in great warmth, "your
ladyship forgets the two you lost me at Mrs. Howard's."
"It must be a mistake, my dear, I always pay as I lose," cried the
Dowager, with great spirit, stretching over the table, and coolly
helping herself to the disputed money.
Mr. Benfield and Emily had stood silent spectators of the whole
scene, the latterin astonishment to meet such manners, in such society,
and the former under feelings it would have been difficult to describe,
for, in the face of the Dowager, which was inflamed, partly from
passion, and more from high-living, he recognised the remains of
his——Lady Juliana——now the Viscountess Dowager Haverford.
"Emmy, dear," said the old man, with a heavy-drawn sigh, as if
awaking from a long and troubled dream, "we will go"——-the phantom of
forty years had vanished before the truth; and the fancies of
retirement——- simplicity——-and a diseased imagination——- yielded to the
influence of life and common sense.
With Harriet, now closely connected with them by marriage as well
as regard, the Baronet's family maintained a most friendly intercourse,
and Mrs. Wilson, and Emily, a prodigious favourite with her new cousin,
had consented to pass a day soberly with her, during an excursion, of
her husband to Windsor, on business connected with his station. They
had, accordingly, driven round to an early breakfast; and Chatterton
politely regretting his loss, and thanking their consideration for his
wife, made his bow.
Lady Harriet Denbigh had brought the Baronet a very substantial
addition to his fortune; and as his sisters were both provided for by
ample settlements, the pecuniary distresses which had existed a
twelve-month before had been entirely removed; his income was now
large; his demands upon it small, and they kept up an establishment in
proportion to the rank of both husband and wife.
"Mrs. Wilson," cried their hostess, twirling her cup as she
followed with her eyes the retreating figure of her husband to the
door, "I am about to take up the trade of Miss Harris, and become a
"Not on your own behalf so soon, surely," rejoined the widow,
returning her animated smile.
"Oh no, my fortune is made for life, or not at all," continued the
other gayly, "but in behalf of our little friend Emily here."
"Me," cried Emily, starting from a reverie, in which the prospect
of happiness to Lady Laura was the subject, "you are very good Harriet,
and for whom does your consideration intend me!" she added with a faint
"Who? why who is good enough for you, but my cousin Pendennyss.
Ah!" she cried laughingly, as she caught Emily by the hand, "Derwent
and myself have both settled the matter long since, and I know you will
yield, when you come to know him."
"The Duke!" cried the other with a surprise and innocence, that
immediately brought a blush of the brightest vermillion into her face,
as she caught the expression of her companion.
"Yes, the Duke," said Lady Chatterton, "you may think it odd for a
discarded lover to dispose of his mistress so soon in this way, but
both our hearts are set upon it. The Earl arrived last night, and this
day himself and sister dine with us in a sober way: now my dear madam,"
turning to Mrs. Wilson "have I not prepared an agreeable surprise for
"Surprise indeed," said the widow, excessively gratified at the
probable termination to her anxieties for this meeting, "but where are
"From Northamptonshire, where the earl has already purchased a
residence, I understand, in your neighbourhood too; so, you perceive,
he at least begins to think of the thing."
"A certain evidence, truly," cried Emily, "his having purchased the
house. But was he without a residence, that he bought the Deanery."
"Oh no! he has a palace in town, and three seats in the
country——-but none in Northamptonshire, but this," said the lady, with
a laugh. "To own the truth, he did offer to let George Denbigh have it
for the next summer, but the Colonel chose to be nearer Eltringham; and
I take it, it was only a ruse in the Earl to cloak his own designs. You
may depend upon it, we trump't your praises to him incessantly in
"And is Col. Denbigh in town," said Mrs. Wilson, stealing an
anxious glance towards her niece, who, in spite of all her efforts,
sensibly changed colour.
"Oh yes! and Laura as happy——as happy——-as myself," said Lady
Chatterton, with a glow on her cheeks, as she attended to the request
of her housekeeper, and left the room.
Her guests sat in silence, occupied with their own reflections,
while they heard a summons at the door of the house; it was opened, and
footsteps approached the door of their own room. It was pushed partly
open, as a voice on the other side said, speaking to a servant without,
"Very well. Do not disturb your lady. I am in no haste."
At the sound of its well known tones, both the ladies almost sprang
from their seats——here could be no resemblance, and a moment removed
their doubts. The speaker entered. It was Denbigh.
He stood for a moment as fixed as a statue. It was evident the
surprise was mutual. His face was pale as death, as his eye first met
the countenances of the occupants of the room, and then instantly was
succeeded by a glow of fire. Approaching them, he paid his compliments,
with great earnestness, and in a voice in which his softest tones
"I am happy——very happy, to be so fortunate in again meeting with
such friends, and so unexpectedly,"——he continued, after his inquiries
concerning the Baronet's family were ended.
Mrs. Wilson bowed in silence to his compliment, and Emily, pale as
himself had been the moment before, sat with her eyes fixed on the
carpet, without daring to trust her voice with an attempt to speak.
After struggling with his mortified feelings a moment, Denbigh rose
from the chair he had taken, and drawing near the sopha on which the
ladies were placed, exclaimed with fervour,
"Tell me, dear madam——-lovely——too lovely Miss Moseley, has one act
of folly——of wickedness if you please——lost me your good opinions
forever? Derwent had given me hopes that you yet retained some esteem
for my character, lowered as I acknowledge it to be, in my own
"The Duke of Derwent? Mr. Denbigh!"
"Do not——do not use a name, dear madam, almost hateful to me,"
cried he, in a tone of despair.
"If," said Mrs. Wilson gravely, "you have made your own name
disreputable, I can only regret it, but"——
"Call me by my title——oh! do not remind me of my folly——-I cannot
bear it——-and from you"——he cried, interrupting her hastily.
"Your title!" exclaimed Mrs. Wilson in a cry of wonder, and Emily
turned on him a face, in which the flashes of colour and succeeding
paleness, were as quick, and almost as vivid, as the glow of lightning,
while he caught this astonishment in equal surprise.
"How is this; some dreadful mistake I am yet in ignorance of," he
cried, taking the unresisting hand of Mrs. Wilson, and pressing it with
warmth between both his own, as he added, "do not leave me in
"For the sake of truth——for my sake——for the sake of this suffering
innocent, say, in sincerity, who, and what you are?" said Mrs. Wilson
in a solemn voice, and gazing on him in dread of his reply.
Still retaining her hand, he dropped on his knees before her, as he
"I am the pupil——the child of your late husband——the companion of
his dangers——sharer of his joys and griefs——and would I could add, the
friend of his widow. I am the Earl of Pendennyss."
Mrs. Wilson's head dropped on the shoulder of the kneeling
youth——her arms were thrown in fervor around his neck, and she burst
into a flood of tears: for a moment, both were absorbed in their own
feelings, but a cry from Pendennyss, aroused the aunt to the situation
of her niece.
Emily had fallen back senseless on the sofa which supported her.
An hour elapsed, before her engagements admitted of the return of
Lady Chatterton to the breakfast parlour, where she was surprised to
find the breakfast equipage yet standing, and her cousin, the Earl;
looking from one to the other in surprise, the lady exclaimed,
"Very sociable, upon my word; how long has your lordship honoured
my house with your presence, and have you taken the liberty to
introduce yourself to Mrs. Wilson and Miss Moseley."
"Sociability and ease are the fashion of the day.——I have been here
an hour, my dear coz, and have taken the liberty of introducing myself
to Mrs. Wilson and Miss Moseley," replied the Earl gravely, although a
smile of great meaning lighted his handsome features, as he uttered the
latter part of the sentence, which was returned by Emily with a look of
archness and pleasure, that would have graced her happiest moments of
There was such an interchange of looks, and such a visible
alteration in the appearance of her guests, that it could not but
attract the notice of Lady Chatterton; after listening to the
conversation between them for some time in silence, and wondering what
could have wrought so sudden a change below stairs, she broke forth
"Upon my word, you are an incomprehensible party to me——I left you
ladies alone, and find a beau with you. I left you grave—— if not
melancholy——and find you all life and gayety. I find you with a
stranger, and you talk with him about walks and rides, and scenes and
acquaintances; will you, madam, or you, my lord, be so kind as to
explain these seeming inconsistencies?"
"No," cried the Earl gayly, "to punish your curiosity, I will keep
you in ignorance; but Marian is in waiting for me at your neighbour's,
Mrs. Wilmot, and I must hasten to her——you will see us both by five,"
and rising from his seat he took the offered hand of Mrs. Wilson, and
pressed it to his lips: to Emily, he also extended his hand, and
received hers in return, though with a face suffused with the colour of
the rose. Pendennyss held it to his heart for a moment with fervor, and
kissing it, precipitately left the room to hide his emotions. Emily
concealed her face with her hands, and dissolving in tears, sought the
retirement of an adjoining apartment.
All these unaccountable movements, filledLady Chatterton with an
amazement; that would have been too painful for further endurance; and
Mrs. Wilson knowing that concealment with so near a connection would
have been impossible, if not unnecessary, entered into a brief
explanation of the Earl's masquerade, (although ignorant herself of its
cause, or the means of supporting it,) and his present relation with
"I declare it is provoking," cried Lady Chatterton gayly, but with
a tear in her eye, "to have such ingenious plans as Derwent and I had
made, all lost from the want of necessity of putting them in force.
Your demure niece, has deceived us all handsomely; and my rigid cousin
too——I will rate him soundly for his deception."
"I believe he already repents sincerely of his having practised
it," said Mrs. Wilson with a smile, "and is sufficiently punished for
his errors by its consequence——a life of misery to a lover, for four
months, is a serious penalty."
"Yes," said the other archly in reply, "I am afraid his punishment
was not confined to himself alone; he has made others suffer from his
misconduct. Oh! I will rate him famously, depend upon it I will."
If any thing, the interest felt by Lady Chatterton for her friend,
was increased by this discovery of the affections of Pendennyss, and a
few hours were passed by the three, in, we will not say sober delight,
for transport would be a better word——Lady Chatterton declared she
would rather see Emily the wife of the Earl than her brother, for he
alone was good enough for her——-and Mrs. Wilson felt an exhiliration of
spirits in this completion of her most sanguine wishes, that neither
her years, her philosophy or her religion even, could entirely
restrain: the face of Emily was a continued blush, her eye sparkled
with the lustre of renewed hope, and her bosom was heaving with the
purest emotions of happiness.
At the appointed hour the rattling of wheels announced the approach
of the Earl and his sister, to fulfil their engagements.
Pendennyss came into the room with a young woman of great personal
beauty, and extremely feminine manners, leaning on his arm. He first
announced her to Mrs. Wilson as his sister, Lady Marian Denbigh, who
received with a frank cordiality that made them instantly acquainted.
Emily, although confiding in the fullest manner, in the truth and worth
of her lover, had felt an inexplicable sensation of pleasure, as she
had heard the Earl speak of his sister by the name of Marian——-love is
such an unquiet, and generally such an engrossing passion, that few
avoid unnecessary uneasiness while under its influence, unless so
situated as to enjoy a mutual confidence.
As this once so formidable Marian approached to salute her, and
with an extendedhand, Emily rose from her seat, with a face illumined
with pleasure, to receive her——-Marian viewed her for a moment
intently, and folding her arms around her, whispered softly as she
pressed her to her heart, "my sister, my only sister."
Our heroine was affected to tears, and Pendennyss gently separating
the two he loved best in the world——they soon became calm and attentive
to the society they were in.
Lady Marian was extremely like her brother, and had a family
resemblance to her cousin Harriet, but her manners were softer and more
retiring, and she had a slight tinge of a settled melancholy——when her
brother spoke, she was generally silent, not in fear but in love——she
evidently regarded him amongst the first of human beings, and all her
love was amply returned.
Both the aunt and niece studied the manners of the Earl closely,
and found several shades of distinction between what he was, and what
he had been——He was now the perfect man of the world, without having
lost the frank sincerity, which inevitably caused you to believe all he
said.——Had Pendennyss once told Mrs. Wilson with his natural air and
manner, "I am innocent," she would have believed him, and an earlier
investigation would have saved them months of misery——but the
consciousness of his deception had oppressed him with the curse of the
wicked——to whatever degree we err, so itbe proportionate in any manner
to our habits and principles——a guilty conscience; and imagining her
displeasure to arise from a detection of his real name by the
possession of his pocket book——his sense of right would not allow him
to urge his defence.
He had lost that air of embarrassment and alarm, which had so often
startled the aunt, even in her hours of greatest confidence, and which
had their original in the awkwardness of disguise——But he retained his
softness ——his respect, his modest diffidence of his opinions——although
somewhat corrected now, by his acknowledged experience and acquaintance
Mrs. Wilson thought the trifling alterations in manner to be seen
were great improvements; but it required some days and a few tender
speeches to reconcile Emily to any change in the appearance of the
Earl, from what she had been fond to admire in Denbigh.
Lady Marian had ordered her carriage early, as she had not
anticipated the pleasure she had found, and was engaged to accompany
her cousin, Lady Laura, to a fashionable route that evening. Unwilling
to be torn from his newly found friends, the Earl proposed the three
ladies should accompany his sister to Annerdale House, and then accept
himself as an escort to their own residence. To this, Harriet assented,
and leaving a message for Chatterton, they enteredthe coach of Marian,
and Pendennyss mounting the dickey, they drove off.
Annerdale House was amongst the best edifices of London. It had
been erected within the preceding century, and Emily for a moment felt
as she went through its splendid apartments, that it threw a chill
around her domestic affections; but the figure of Pendennyss by her
side, reconciled her to a magnificence she had been unused to——he
looked the lord indeed, but with so much modesty and softness, and so
much attention to herself, that before she left the house, Emily began
to think it very possible to enjoy happiness even in the lap of
The names of Colonel Denbigh and Lady Laura, were soon announced,
and this formidable gentleman made his appearance——he resembled
Pendennyss more than the Duke even, and appeared about the same age.
Mrs. Wilson soon saw she had no grounds for pitying Lady Laura, in
the manner she had done since their acquaintance. The Colonel was a
polished, elegant man, of evident good sense, and knowledge of the
world——and apparently devoted to his wife—— He was called George
frequently by all his relatives, and he, not unfrequently, used the
same term himself, in speaking to the Earl—— something was said of a
much admired bust ——and the doors of a large library opened, to view
it. Emily was running over the backs of a case of books, until her eye
rested on one; and half smiling and blushing, she turnedto Pendennyss,
who watched her every movement, as she said, playfully:——"Pity me, my
Lord, and lend me this volume." "What is it you would read," he asked,
as he bowed his cheerful assent. But Emily hid the book in her
handkerchief. Pendennyss noticing an unwillingness, though an extremely
playful one, to let him into the secret, examined the case, and
perceiving her motive, smiled, as he took down another volume and
"I am not an Irish, but an English peer, Emily. You had the wrong
volume." Emily laughed, as with deeper blushes, she found her wishes
detected——while the Earl, opening the volume he held——the first of
Debrett's Peerage; pointed, with his finger, to the article concerning
his own family, and said to Mrs. Wilson, who had joined them at the
"To-morrow, dear madam, I shall beg your attention to a melancholy
tale, and which may, in some slight degree, extenuate the offence I was
guilty of, in assuming, or rather maintaining an accidental disguise."
As he ended, he went to the others, to draw off their attention while
Emily and her aunt examined the paragraph. It was as follows:——
"George Denbigh——Earl of Pendennyss ——and Baron Lumley, of Lumley
Castle—— Baron Pendennyss——Beaumaris, and Fitzwalter, born——, of ——, in
the year of ——; a bachelor." The list of Earls andNobles occupied
several pages, but the closing article was as follows:——
"George, the 21st Earl, succeeded his mother Marian, late Countess
of Pendennyss, in her own right, being born of her marriage with George
Denbigh, Esqr. a cousin-german to Frederic, the 9th Duke of Derwent."
"Heir apparent. The titles being to heirs general, will descend to
his lordship's sister, Lady, Marian Denbigh, should the present Earl
die without lawful issue."
As much of the explanation of the mystery of our tale is involved
in the foregoing paragraphs, we may be allowed to relate in our own
language, what Pendennyss made his friends acquainted with, at
different times, and in a manner, suitable to the subject and his
It was at the close of that war which lost this country the
wealthiest and most populous of her American colonies, that a fleet of
ships were returning from their service, amongst the islands of the New
World, to seek for their worn out, and battered hulks, and equally
weakened crews, the repairs and comforts of England and home.
That latter, most endearing to the mariner of all sounds, had, as
it were, drawn together by instinct, a group of sailors on the
forecastle of the proudest ship of the squadron——who gazed with varied
emotions on the land which gave them birth——-but with one common
feeling of joy, that the day of their attaining it was at length
The water curled from the bows of this castle of the ocean, in
increasing waves and growing murmurs, that at times drew the attention
of the veteran tar to their quickening progress, and who having cheered
his heart with the sight——-cast his experienced eye in silence on the
swelling sails, to see if nothing more could be done to shorten the
distance between him and his country.
Hundreds of eyes were fixed on the land of their birth, and
hundreds of hearts were beating in that one vessel with the awakening
delights of domestic love, and renewed affections, but no tongue broke
the disciplined silenceof the ship, into sounds that overcame the
propitious ripple of the water, they began smoothly and steadily to
On the highest summit of their towering mast, floated a small blue
flag——the symbol of authority——and beneath it paced a man, to and fro
the deck——deserted by his inferiors to his more elevated rank. His
square built form, and care-worn features, which had lost the
brilliancy of an English complexion——-and and hair whitened
prematurely——spoke of bodily vigour——and arduous services, which had
put that vigour to the severest trials.
At each turn of his walk, as he faced the land of his nativity, a
lurking smile stole over his sun-burnt features, and then a glance of
his eye would scan the progress of the far-stretched squadron, which
obeyed his orders, and which he was now returning to his superiors,
undiminished in numbers, and proud with victory.
By himself stood an officer in a uniform differing from all around
him——-his figure was small——his eye restless, quick, and piercing, and
bent on those shores to which he was unwillingly advancing, with a look
of anxiety and mortification, that showed him the late commander of
those vessels around them, which, by displaying their double flags,
manifested to the eye of the seaman, a recent change of masters.
Occasionally the conqueror would stop, and by some effort of his
well-meant but rather uncouth civility, endeavour to soften the bonds
of captivity to his guest; and which were received with the courtesy of
the most punctilious etiquette, but a restraint, that showed them
civilities that were unwelcome.
It was, perhaps, the most unlucky moment that had occurred, within
the two months of their association, for an exchange of their better
feelings. The honest heart of the English tar, dilated with
ill-concealed delight at his approach to the termination of labours,
performed with credit and honour——-and his smiles and good humour,
which partly proceeded from the feelings of a father and a friend, were
daggers to the heart of his discomfited rival.
A third personage now appeared from the cabin of the vessel, and
approached the spot where the adverse admirals were, at the moment,
engaged in one of these constrained conferences
The appearance and dress of this gentleman differed yet more widely
from the two just described. He was tall, graceful, and dignified; he
was a soldier, and clearly of high rank. His carefully dressed hair,
concealed the ravages of time; and on the quarter-deck of a first-rate,
his attire and manners were suited to a field-day in the park.
"I really insist, Monsieur," cried the Admiral, good naturedly,
"that you shall take part of my chaise to London; you are a stranger to
the country, and it will help to keep up your spirits by the way."
"You are very good, Monsieur Howell," replied the Frenchman, with a
polite bow, and forced smile' misconstruing ill-judged benevolence into
a wish for his person to grace a triumph——-"but I have accepted the
offer Monsieur le General Denbigh was so good as to make me."
"The Compte is engaged to me, Howell," said the General, with a
courtly smile, "and indeed, you must leave the ship to-night, or as
soon as we anchor.——-But I shall take day-light, and to-morrow."
"Well——-well——-Denbigh," exclaimed the other, rubbing his hands
with pleasure, as he viewed the increasing power of the wind, "only
make yourselves happy, and I am contented."
A few hours yet intervened before they reached the Bay of Plymouth;
and round the table, after their dinner, were seated the General and
English Admiral.——The Compte, under the pretence of preparing his
things for a removal, had retired to his apartment, for the concealment
of his feelings;——and the Captain of the ship was above, superintending
the approach of the vessel to the anchorage-ground. Two or three well
emptied bottles of wine yet remained, but as the healths of all the
branches of the House of Brunswick had been propitiated from their
contents, with a polite remembrance of Louis the XVI., and Marie
Antoinette, from GeneralDenbigh——neither of the superiors were much
inclined for action.
"Is the Thunderer in her station?" said the Admiral, to his signal
Lieutenant, who at that moment came below with a report.
"Yes sir, and has answered,"——was the reply.
"Very well——make the signal to prepare to anchor."
"And here, Bennett," to the retiring Lieutenant——"call the
transports all in shore of us."
"Three hundred and eighty-four, sir," said the officer, looking at
his signal-book.—— The Admiral cast his eye at the book, and nodded his
"And let the Mermaid——Flora——Weasel—— Bruiser, and all the sloops,
lie well off, until we have landed the soldiers; the pilot says the
channel is full of luggers, and Jonathan is grown very saucy."
The Lieutenant made a complying bow, and was retiring to execute
these orders, as Admiral Howell, taking up a bottle not yet entirely
deserted by its former tenant——cried stoutly——"Here, Bennet——I
forgot——take a glass of wine——drink success to ourselves, and defeat to
the French all over the world."
The General pointed significantly to the adjoining cabin of the
French Admiral, as he pressed his hand on his lips for silence.
"Oh!" cried Admiral Howell, recollecting himself; and continued in
a whisper, "but you can drink it in your heart."
The signal-officer nodded, and drank the liquor; as he smacked his
lips on going on deck, he thought to himself, these nabobs drink famous
Although the feelings of General Denbigh were under much more
command, and disciplined obedience, than those of his friend, yet was
he unusually elated with his return to his home, and expected honours.
If the Admiral had captured a fleet, he had taken an island;——and hand
in hand they had cooperated in unusual harmony, through the
difficulties of an arduous campaign. This rather singular circumstance
was owing to their personal friendship.——From their youth they had been
companions, and although of very different characters and habits,
chance had cemented their intimacy in their more advanced life;——while
in subordinate stations, they had been associated together in service;
and the now General and Admiral, in command of an army, and a fleet,
had once before returned to England with lesser renown, as a Colonel
and Captain of a frigate. The great family influence of the soldier,
with the known circumstance of their harmony, had procured them this
later command, and home with its comforts and rewards was close before
them. Pouring out a glass of Madeira, the General, who always
calculated what he said, exclaimed,
"Peter——we have been friends from boys."
"To be sure we have," said the Admiral, looking up in a little
surprise, at this unexpected commencement——"and it will not be my
fault, if we do not die such, Frederic."
Dying was a subject the General did not much delight in, although
of conspicuous courage in the field; and he proceeded to his more
"I could never find, although I have looked over our family tree so
often, that we are in any manner related, Howell."
"I believe it is too late to mend that matter now," said the
"Why no——hem——I think not, Howell,—— take a glass of this
Burgundy." The Admiral shook his head with a stubborn resolution to
taste nothing French——but helped himself to a bountiful stock of
Madeira, as he replied,
"I should like to know how you can bring it about, this time a-day,
"How much money will you be able to give that girl of yours,
Peter?" said his friend, evading the point.
"Forty thousand down, my good fellow, and as much more when I die,"
cried the open-hearted sailor, with a nod of exultation.
"George, my youngest son, will not be rich——but Francis will be a
Duke, and have a noble estate——yet" said the General, meditating——-"he
is so unhappy in his disposition, and uncouth in his manners, I cannot
think of offering him to your daughter as a husband.
"Isabel shall marry a good-natured man, like myself, or not at
all," said the Admiral positively, but not in the least suspecting the
drift of his friend——who was influenced by any thing but a regard to
the lady's happiness.
Francis, his first born, was, in truth, as he had described——-but
his governing wish was to provide for his favourite George—— Dukes
could never want wives——but unportioned Captains in the Guards might.
"George is one of the best tempers in the world," said his father,
with strong feeling, "and the delight of all——I could wish he had been
the heir to the family honours."
"That it is certainly too late to help," cried the Admiral,
wondering if the ingenuity of his friend could devise a remedy for this
"Yes, too late, indeed," said the other, with a heavy sigh, "but
Howell, what say you to matching Isabel with my favourite George."
"Denbigh," cried the sailor, eyeing him keenly, "Isabel is my only
child——and a dutiful, good girl——one that will obey orders if she
breaks owners, as we sailors say——now. I did think of marrying her to a
seaman,when a proper man came athwart my course; yet, your son is a
soldier, and that is next to being in the navy——if-so-be you had made
him come aboard me, when I wanted you to, there would have been no
objection at all——however, when occasion offers, I will overhaul the
lad, and if I find him staunch, he may turn in with Bell and welcome."
This was uttered in perfect simplicity, and no intention of giving
offence; and partook partly of the nature of a soliloquy——so the
General, greatly encouraged, was about to proceed to push the point, as
a gun was fired from their own ship.
"There's some of them lubberly transports won't mind our
signals——they have had these soldiers so long on board, they get as
clumsy as the red-coats themselves," muttered the Admiral, as he
hapened on deck to enforce his commands.
A shot or two, sent significantly, in the direction of the
wanderers, but so as not to hit them, restored order; and within an
hour, forty line of battle ships, and an hundred transports, were
disposed in the best manner for convenience and safety.
On their presentation to their sovereign, both veterans were
embellished with the ribbon of the Bath, and as their exploits filled
the mouths of the news-mongers, and columns of the public prints of the
day——- the new Knights began to think seriously of building a monument
to their victories,in an union between their children; the Admiral,
however, determined to do nothing with his eyes shut, and demanded a
"Where is the boy who is to be a Duke?" exclaimed he, one day, his
friend had introduced the point with a view to a final arrangement.
"Bell has good blood in her veins——-is a tight built little
vessel——-clean heel'd and trim, and would make as good a Duchess as the
best of them; so, Denbigh, I will begin by taking a survey of the
senior"——-to this the General had no objection, as he well knew,
Francis would be wide of pleasing the tastes of an open-hearted, simple
man, like the sailor——-they met accordingly, for what the General
facetiously called their review, and the Admiral, innocently termed,
his survey——-at the house of the former, and the young gentlemen were
submitted to his inspection.
Francis Denbigh was about four and twenty, of a feeble body, and
face marked with the small-pox, to approaching deformity; his eye was
brilliant and piercing, but unsettled, and, at times, wild——his manner
awkward——constrained and timid; there would seem, it is true, an
intelligence and animation, which occasionally lighted his countenance
into gleams of sunshine, that caused you to overlook the lesser
accompaniments of complexion and features, in the expression——but they
were transient, and inevitablyvanished, whenever his father spoke, or
in any manner mingled in his pursuits.
An observer, close as Mrs. Wilson, would have said——the feelings of
the father and son, were not such as ought to exist between parent and
But the Admiral, who regarded model and rigging, a good deal,
satisfied himself with muttering, as he turned his eyes on the junior.
"He may do for a Duke——-but I would not have him for a cockswain."
George was a year younger than Francis; in form——-stature, and
personal grace, the counterpart of his father; his eye was less keen,
but more attractive, than that of his brother——-his air open——-polished
"Ah!" thought the sailor, as he ended his satisfactory survey of
the youth——-"what a thousand pities Denbigh did not send him to sea."
The thing was soon settled, and George was to be the happy man; Sir
Peter concluded to dine with his friend, in order to arrange and settle
preliminaries over their bottle, by themselves——the young men and their
mother, being engaged to their uncle the Duke.
"Well, Denbigh," cried the Admiral, as the last servant withdrew,
"when do you mean to have the young couple spliced?"
"Why," replied the wary soldier, who knew he could not calculate on
obedience to his mandates, with as great a certainty, as
hisfriend——"the better way is to bring the young people together, in
order they may become acquainted, you know."
"Acquainted——together——" cried his companion, in a little surprise,
"what better way is there to bring them together, than to have them up
before a priest——or to make them acquainted, than by letting them swing
in the same hammock?"
"It might answer the end, indeed," said the General, with a smile,
"but, some how or other, it is always the best method to bring young
folks together, to let them have their own way in the affair, for a
"Own way!" rejoined Sir Peter, bluntly, "did you ever find it
answer to let a woman have her own way, Sir Frederic?"
"Not common women, certainly, my good friend," said the general,
"but such a girl as my intended daughter is an exception."
"I don't know," cried the sailor, "Bell is a good girl, but she has
her quirks and whims, like all the sex."
"You have had no trouble with her, as yet, I believe, Howell," said
Sir Frederic, cavalierly, but throwing an inquiring glance on his
"No, not yet——nor do I think she will ever dare to mutiny——but
there has been one wishing to take her in tow already, since we got
"How!" said the other, in alarm——" who——what is he——some officer in
the navy, I suppose."
"No, he was a kind of a chaplain——one Parson Ives——a good sort of a
youth enough, and a prodigious favourite with my sister, Lady Hawker."
"Well, what did you answer, Peter?" cried his companion, in
increasing uneasiness, "did you put him off?"
"Off! to be sure I did——do you think I wanted a barber's clerk for
a son-in-law——-no ——no——Denbigh, a soldier is bad enough, without
having a preacher."
The General compressed his lips, at this direct attack on a
profession, he thought most honourable of any in the world, in some
resentment——-but remembering the eighty thousand pounds——-and
accustomed to the ways of the other, he curbed his temper, and
"But Miss Howell——your daughter——how did she stand affected to this
"How?——why——how?——why I never asked her."
"No——never asked——she is my daughter, you know——-and bound to obey
my orders, and I did not choose she should marry a parson——but once for
all, when is the wedding to be?"
General Denbigh had indulged his younger son, too blindly, and too
fondly, to expect that implicit obedience, the Admiral calculatedto a
certainty on, and with every prospect of not being disappointed, from
his daughter ——Isabel Howell was pretty——mild and timid, and unused to
oppose any of her father's commands——but George Denbigh was
haughty——-positive and self-willed, and unless the affair could be so
managed, as to make him a willing assistant in the courtship——his
father knew it might be abandoned at once——he thought he might be led,
but not driven——- and relying on his own powers for managing, the
General saw his only safety in executing the scheme, in postponing his
advances for a regular seige to the lady's heart.
Sir Peter chafed and swore at this circumlocution——-the thing could
be done as well in a week as in a year; and the veterans, who had, for
a miracle, agreed in their rival stations, and in doubtful moments of
success——- were near splitting, on the point of marrying a girl of
As Sir Peter both loved his friend, and had taken a prodigious
fancy to the youth——he was fain to submit to a short probation.
"You are always for going a round-about way to do a thing," said
the admiral, as he yielded the point, "now when you took that battery——
had you gone up in front as I advised you——-you would have taken it in
ten minutes, instead of five hours"——-"Yes," said the other, with a
friendly shake of the hand, at parting, "and lost fifty men, in place
of one, by the step."
The Hon. General Denbigh was the youngest of three sons. His
seniors, Francis and George, were yet bachelors. The death of a cousin
had made Francis a Duke, while a child, and both he and his favourite
brother George, had decided on lives of inactivity and sluggishness.
"When I die, brother," the oldest would say, "you will succeed me,
and Frederic can provide heirs for the name hereafter."
This arrangement had been closely adhered to, and the brothers had
reached the ages of fifty-five and fifty-six, without altering their
condition. In the mean time, Frederic had married a young woman of rank
and fortune, and the fruits of their union, were the two young
candidates for the hand of Isabel Howell.
Francis Denbigh, the eldest son of the General, was diffident of
himself by nature, and in addition thereto, it was his misfortune to be
the reverse of captivating in his external appearance. The small pox
sealed his doom;——-ignorance, and the violence of his attack, left him
indelibly impressed with the ravages of that dreadful disorder. On the
other hand, his brother escaped without any vestiges of the complaint,
and his spotless skin, and fine open countenance, met the gaze of his
mother,as contrasted with the deformed lineaments of his elder brother.
Such an occurrence is sure to excite one of two feelings in the breast
of every beholder——-pity or disgust——-and, unhappily for Francis,
maternal tenderness was unable to counteract the latter sensation in
his case. George became a favourite, and Francis a neutral. The effect
was now easy to be seen——-it was rapid, as it was indelible.
The feelings of Francis were tensitive to an extreme——-he had more
quickness——-more sensibility——-more real talents than George——- and all
these enabled him to perceive, and the more acutely to feel, the
partiality of his mother, to his own prejudice.
As yet, the engagements and duties of the General, had kept his
children, and their improvements, out of his sight; but at the ages of
eleven and twelve, the feelings of a father, began to pride themselves
in the possession of his sons.
On his return from a foreign station, after an absence of two
years, his children were ordered from school to meet him. Francis had
improved in stature, but not in beauty——- George had flourished in
The natural diffidence of the former was increased, by perceiving
himself no favourite, and the effects began to show itself in his
manners, at no time engaging. He met his father with doubts as to his
impressing him favourably, and he saw with anguish, that the embrace
received by his brother far exceededin warmth, what had been bestowed
"Lady Margaret," said the General to his wife, as he followed the
retiring boys with his eyes from the dinner table, "it is a thousand
pity's George had not been the elder. He would have graced a dukedom or
a throne. Frank is only fit for a parson."
This ill-judged speech was uttered sufficiently loud to be
overheard by both the sons; on the younger, it made a pleasurable
sensation for the moment. His father——-his dear father, had thought him
fit to be a king——-and his father must be a judge, whispered his native
vanity——-but all this time the connexion between the speech and his
brother's rights did not present themselves to his mind.——- George
loved this brother too well——-too sincerely, to have injured him even
in thought; and so far as Francis was concerned, his vanity was as
blameless, as it was natural.
The effect produced on the mind of Francis, was both different in
substance and degree. It mortified his pride——-alarmed his
delicacy——-and wounded his already morbid sensibility to such an
extent, as to make him entertain the romantic notion of withdrawing
from the world, and yielding a birthright to one so every way more
deserving of it than himself.
From this period, might be dated the opinion of Francis, which
never afterwards left him; that he was doing injustice to another,and
that other, a brother whom he ardently loved, by continuing to exist.
Had he met with fondness in his parents, or sociability in his
play-fellows, these fancies would have left him as he grew into life.
But the affections of his parents were settled on his more promising
brother, and his manners, daily increasing in their repulsive traits,
drove his companions to the society of others, more agreeable to their
own buoyancy and joy.
Had Francis Denbigh, at this age, met with a guardian,
clear-sighted enough to fathom his real character, and competent to
direct his course onward, to his great and prominent duties in life, he
would yet have become an ornament to his name and country, and a useful
member of society. But no such guide existed. His natural guardians, in
his particular case, were his worst enemies——-and the boys left school
for college four years afterwards, each advanced in their respective
properties of attraction and repulsion.
Irreligion is hardly a worse evil in a family than favouritism;
when once allowed to exist, acknowledged, in the breast of the parent,
though hid apparently from all other eyes——- its sad consequences begin
to show themselves ——effects are produced, and we look in vain for the
cause. The awakened sympathies of reciprocal caresses and fondness, are
mistaken for uncommon feelings, and the forbidding aspect of deadened
affections miscalled native insensibility.
In this manner the evil increases itself, until manners are formed,
and characters created, that must descend, with their possessor, to the
In the peculiar formation of the mind of Francis Denbigh, the evil
was doubly injurious. His feelings required sympathy and softness, when
they met only with coldness and disgust. George alone was an exception
to the rule. He did love his brother; but even his gayety and spirits,
soon tired of the dull uniformity of the diseased habits of his elder.
The only refuge Francis found in his solitude, amidst the hundreds
of the university, was in his muse and powers of melody. The voice of
his family has been frequently mentioned in these pages. And if, as
Lady Laura had intimated, there had ever been a syren in the race, it
was a male one. He wrote prettily, and would sing these efforts of his
muse, to music of his own, that would often draw crowds around his
windows, in the stillness of the night, to listen to sounds, as
melodious as they were mournful. His poetical efforts partook of the
distinctive character of the man, and were melancholy—— wild——and
George was always amongst the most admiring of his brother's
auditors, and would feel a yearning of his heart towards him at such
moments, that was painful. But George was too young, and too heedless,
to supply the place of a monitor, or a guide, for Francis, to draw his
thoughts into a more salutary train. This was the duty of his parents,
and should have been their task. But the world ——his rising
honours——and his professional engagements, occupied the time of his
father; and fashion, parties and pleasure, killed the time of his
mother——when they did think of their children, it was of George——the
painful image of Francis, was as seldom admitted to disturb their
serenity as possible.
George Denbigh was open-hearted, without suspicion, and a
favourite. The first taxed his generosity——the second subjected him to
fraud——and the third supplied him with the means. But these means
sometimes failed. The fortune of the General, though handsome, was not
more than competent to the support of his style of living. He expected
to be a duke himself one day, and was anxious to maintain an appearance
now, that would not disgrace his future elevation. A system of strict
but liberal economy had been adopted in the case of his sons. They had,
for the sake of appearance, a stated and equal allowance for each.
The Duke had offered to educate the heir himself, and under his own
eye. But to this Lady Margaret had found some ingenious excuse in
objection, and one that seemed to herself and the world, as honourable
to her natural feeling; but had the offer been made to George, these
reasons would have vanished in the desire to advance his interests,
orgratify his propensities. Such decisions are by no means uncommon; as
parents having once decided on the merits and abilities of their
children, frequently decline the interference of third persons, as the
improvement of their denounced offspring might bring their own judgment
into question, if it did not convey an indirect censure on their
The heedlessness of George, had brought his purse to a state of
emptiness. His last guinea was gone, and two months was wanting to the
end of his quarter. George had played and been cheated. He had ventured
to apply to his mother for small sums, when his dress or some trifling
indulgence required an advance; and always with success. But here were
sixty guineas gone at a blow——and his pride——his candour, forbade his
concealing the manner of his loss, if he made the application. This was
dreadful——his own conscience reproached him——and he had so often
witnessed the violence of his mother's resentments against Francis, for
faults which appeared to him very trivial, not to stand in the utmost
dread of her more just displeasure in his present case.
Entering the apartment of his brother, in this disturbed condition,
George threw himself into a chair, and with his face concealed between
his hands, sat brooding over his forlorn situation.
"George!" said his brother, soothingly,"you are distressed at
something?——-can I relieve you in any way?"
"Oh! no——-no——-no——-Frank; it is entirely out of your power."
"Perhaps not, my dear brother"——-continued the other, endeavouring
to draw his hand into his own.
"Entirely!——-entirely!" said George. And then, springing up in
despair, he exclaimed: "But I must live——-I cannot die."
"Live!——-die!"——-cried Francis, recoiling in horror. "What do you
mean by such language. Tell me, George, am I not your brother?——-Your
only brother and best friend?"
Francis felt he had none, if George was not that friend, and his
face grew pale with emotion, as the tears flowed rapidly down his
George could not resist such an appeal. He caught the hand of his
brother, and made him acquainted with his losses and his wants.
Francis mused some little time over his narration, ere he broke
"It was all you had?"
"The last shilling," cried George, beating his head with his hand.
"And how much will you require to make out the quarter?"
"Oh I must have at least fifty guineas, or how can I live at
all."——The ideas of life in George were connected a good deal with the
manner it was to be enjoyed——His brotherappeared struggling with
himself, and then turning to the other, continued,
"But surely, under present circumstances you could make less do."
"Less, never——hardly that"——interrupted George vehemently; "If Lady
Margaret did not enclose me a note now and then, how could we get along
at all——dont you find it so yourself, brother?'
"I don't know," said Francis, turning pale——
"Don't know," cried George, catching a view of his altered
countenance——"you get the money though."
"I do not remember it," said the other, sighing heavily.
"Francis," cried George, comprehending the truth, "you shall share
every shilling I receive in future——you shall——indeed you shall."
"Well, then," rejoined Francis with a smile, "it is a bargain, and
you will receive from me a supply in your present necessities."
Without waiting for an answer, Francis withdrew into an inner
apartment, and brought out the required sum for his brother's
subsistence for two months——George remonstrated——but Francis was
positive; he had been saving, and his stock was ample for his simple
habits without it.
"Besides, you forget we are partners, and in the end I shall be a
gainer." George yielded to his wants and his brother's entreaties,
although he gave him credit for the disinterestedness of the
act——several weeks passed over without any further allusion to this
disagreeable subject——which had at least the favorable result to make
George more guarded and a better student in future.
The brothers, from this period, advanced gradually in the acquiring
those distinctive qualities which were to mark the future men—— George
daily improving in grace and attraction ——Francis in an equal ratio,
receding from those very attainments, which it was only his too great
desire to possess. In the education of his sons, General Denbigh had
preserved the appearance of impartiality; his allowance to each was the
same, they were at the same college——they had been at the same school——
and if Frank did not improve as much as his younger brother, it was his
own obstinacy and stupidity, and surely not want of opportunity or
Such, then, were the artificial and accidental causes, which kept a
noble, a proud, an acute but diseased mind much below in acquirements,
another, every way its inferior, excepting in the happy circumstance,
of wanting those very excellencies, the excess and indiscreet
management of which proved the ruin, instead of blessing of their
The Duke would occasionally rouse himself from his lethargy, and
complain to the father, that the heir of his honours was far inferior
to his younger brother in acquirements, and remonstrate against the
coursewhich produced such an unfortunate inequality; on these occasions
a superficial statement of his system, from the General, met the
objection: they cost the same money, and he was sure he not only
wished, but did, every thing an indulgent parent could, to render
Francis worthy of his future honours—— another evil of the admission of
feelings of partiality, in the favour of one child, to the prejudice of
another, is that the malady is contagious, as well as lasting: it
exists without our own knowledge, and it seldom fails by its influence
to affect those around us. The uncle soon learnt to distinguish George
as the hope of the family, yet Francis must be the heir of its honours,
and consequently its wealth.
The Duke and his brother were not much addicted to action, hardly
to reflection——but if any thing could rouse them to either, it was the
reputation of the house of Denbigh. Their ideas of reputation, it is
true, were of their own forming, but constant dropping wears away the
stone.——So long and confirmed habits were unsettled by incessant
broodings on the character of their heir; matrimony became less
formidable in their eyes, but the importance of the step still held
them in suspence.
The hour at length drew near when George expected a supply from the
ill-judged generosity of his mother; it came, and with a heart beating
with pleasure, the youth flew to the room of Francis, with a
determinationto force the whole of his twenty pounds on his acceptance.
On throwing open his door, he saw his brother evidently striving to
conceal something behind some books. It was at the hour of breakfast,
and George had intended for a novelty to share his brother's morning
repast. They always met at dinner, but their other meals were made in
their own rooms. George looked in vain for the usual equipage of the
table; the truth began to dawn upon him, he threw aside the books, and
a crust of bread and glass of water met his eye——it now flashed upon
him in all its force.
"Francis, my brother, to what has my extravagance reduced you,"
exclaimed the contrite George, with a heart nearly ready to burst with
his emotion. Francis endeavored to explain, but a sacred regard to the
truth held him tongue-tied, until dropping his head on the shoulder of
George, he sobbed out—— "It is a trifle, nothing to what I would do for
you, my brother."
George felt all the horrors of remorse, and was too generous to
conceal his error any longer; he wrote a circumstantial account of the
whole transaction to Lady Margaret.
Francis for a few days was a new being—— he had acted nobly, his
conscience approved of his motives, and his delicate concealment of
them; he in fact began to think there were in himself the seeds of
usefulness, as his brother, who from this moment began to understand
his character better, attached himself more closely to him as a
The eye of Francis met that of George with the look of acknowledged
affection, his mind became less moody, and his face sometimes
embellished with a smile.
The reply of their mother to the communication of George threw a
damp on these revived hopes of the senior, and drove him back into
himself, with tenfold humility.
"I am shocked, my child, to find you have lowered yourself, and
forgot the family you belong to, so much as to frequent those gambling
houses, which ought not to be suffered in the neighbourhood of the
universities; when at a proper age and in proper company, your
occasional indulgence at cards I could not object to, as both your
father and myself, sometimes resort to it as an amusement, but never in
low company; the consequence of your mingling in such society is, that
you were cheated, and such will always be your lot, unless you confine
yourself to associates, more becoming your rank and illustrious name.
"As to Francis, I see every reason to condemn the course he has
taken. He should, being the senior by a year, have taken the means to
prevent your falling into such company; and he should have acquainted
me immediately, with your loss, in place of wounding your pride, by
subjecting you to the mortification of receiving a pecuniary
obligation,from one so little older than yourself, and exposing his own
health by a diet on bread and water, as you wrote me, for a whole
month. Both the General and myself are seriously displeased with him,
and think of separating you, as you thus connive at each others
George was too indignant to conceal this letter, and the
reflections of Francis on it were dreadful.
For a short time he actually meditated suicide, as the only method
of removing a child, from the way of impeding the advancement of his
more favoured brother, to the wishes of their common parents.
Had not George been more attentive and affectionate than formerly,
the awful expedient might have been resorted to.
From college, the young men went, one into the army, and the other
to the mansion of his uncle. George became an elegant——-
gay——-open-hearted——-admired——captain in the guards; and Francis
stalked through the halls of his ancestors, their acknowledged future
Lord, but a misanthrope——-hateful to himself, and disagreeable to all
This picture may be highly wrought, and the effects in the case of
Francis, increased by the peculiar tone of his diseased state of mind.
But the indulgence of favouritism always brings its sad consequences,
in a greater or less degree, and seldom fails to give sorrow and
penitence to the bosom of the parents.
No little art and management had been necessary, to make the
Admiral auxiliary to the indirect plan, proposed by his friend, to
bring George and Isabel together. This however effected, the General
turned his whole movements, to the impression to be made on the heart
of the young gentleman.
Sir Frederic Denbigh had the same idea of the virtue of management,
as were entertained by the Dowager, Lady Chatterton—— but understood
human nature better.
Like a prudent officer, his attacks were all masked, and like a
great officer, seldom failed in their success.
The young couple were thrown in each other's way——and as Isabel was
extremely attractive——somewhat the opposite to himself in ardour of
temperament and vivacity ——modest and sensible, it cannot be expected,
the association was maintained by the youth with perfect impunity.
Within a couple of months, he fancied himself desperately in love with
Isabel Howell; and in truth he had some reason for his supposition.
The General noticed every movement of his son with a wary and
watchful eye—— occasionally adding fuel to the flame, by drawing his
attention to projects of matrimony, in other quarters, until George
began to think, he was soon to undergo the trial ofhis constancy——and
in consequence, armed himself with a double portion of admiration for
his Isabel, to enable him to endure the persecution; while the Admiral
several times endangered the success of the whole enterprise, by his
volunteer contributions to the hopes of the young man, which only
escaped producing an opposite effect to what they were intended for, by
being mistaken for the overflowings of good nature and friendship.
After suffering his son to get, as he thought, sufficiently
entangled in the snares of cupid, Sir Frederic determined to fire a
volley from one of his masked batteries, which he rightly judged would
bring on a general engagement. They were sitting by the table after
dinner, by themselves, as the General took the advantage of the name of
Miss Howell being accidentally mentioned, to say——
"By-the-by, George, my friend the Admiral, said something yesterday
on the subject of your being so much with his daughter.——- I wish you
to be cautious, not to give the old sailor offence in any way, as he is
my particular friend."
"He need be under no violent apprehensions," cried George in reply,
colouring highly with shame and pride, "I am sure a Denbigh, is no
unworthy match, for a daughter of Sir Peter Howell."
"Oh! to be sure not, boy——we are as old a house as there is in the
kingdom, and as noble too; but the Admiral has queer notions, and
perhaps, has some cub of a sailor in his eye for a son-in-law. Be
prudent boy—— be prudent, is all I ask of you." And the General,
satisfied with the effect he had produced, carelessly arose from his
seat, and joined Lady Margaret in her drawing-room.
George remained for several minutes musing on his father's singular
request, and the Admiral's caution——when he sprang from his seat,
caught up his hat and sword, and in ten minutes rung at Sir Peter's
door, in Grosvenor-Square. He was admitted, and on ascending to the
drawing-room, met the Admiral on his way out. Nothing was farther from
the thoughts of the veteran, than a finesse like the General's; and
delighted to see George on the battle ground, he pointed significantly
with his finger, over his shoulder, towards the door of the room Isabel
was in, as he exclaimed with a good-natured smile,
"There she is, my hearty——lay her along side——and hang me, if she
don't strike.——-I say, George, faint heart never won a fair lady;
remember that, my boy——-no, nor a French ship."
George would have been at some loss to have reconciled this speech
to his father's caution, if time had been allowed him to think at all,
but as the door was open, he entered, and found Isabel endeavouring to
hide her tears.
The Admiral, dissatisfied from the beginning, with the tardy method
of dispatching things——had thought he might be of use in breaking the
ice for George, by trumpeting his praises, on divers occasions, to his
daughter. Under all circumstances, he thought she might be learning to
love the man, as he was to be her husband; and speeches like the
following, had been frequent of late, from the parent to the child:
"There's that youngster George Denbigh, now, Bell, is he not a fine
looking lad?——then I know he is brave. His father before him was good
stuff, and a true Englishman. What a proper husband he would make for a
young woman, he loves his king and country so—— none of your
new-fangled notions about religion and government——but a sober,
religious, churchman——that is, as much so, girl, as you can expect in
the guards. No Methodist, to be sure;——it's a great pity he was'nt sent
to sea, don't you think so? but cheer up, girl, one of these days he
may be taking a liking to you yet."
Isabel, whose fears taught her the meaning of these eloquent
praises of Captain Denbigh, listened to his harangues in silence, and
often meditated on their import, by herself, in tears.
George approached the sopha on which the lady was seated, before
she had time to conceal the traces of her sorrow, and in avoice
softened by emotion, took her hand gently, as he said,
"What can have occasioned this distress to Miss Howell? if any
thing in my power to remove, or a life devoted to her service, can
mitigate, she has only to command me, to find a cheerful obedience."
"The trifling causes of sorrow in a young woman," replied Isabel,
endeavouring to smile, "will hardly require such serious services to
But the lady was extremely interesting at the moment. George was
goaded by his father's caution, and urged on by his own feelings; with
great sincerity, and certainly much eloquence, he proffered his love
and hand, to the acceptance of his mistress.
Isabel heard him in painful silence; she respected him, and dreaded
his power over her father; but unwilling to abandon hopes to which she
yet clung, as to her spring of existence——she with a violent effort,
determined to throw herself on the generosity of her lover.
During the late absence of her father, Isabel had, as usual, since
the death of her mother, been left with his sister, and had formed an
attachment for a young clergyman, a younger son of a baronet, and the
present Dr. Ives;——their inclinations had been mutual, and as Lady
Hawker knew her brother to be perfectly indifferent to money, she could
see no possible objection to its indulgence.
Oh his return, Ives had made his proposals as related, and although
warmly backed by the recommendations of the aunt, refused, out of
delicacy. The wishes of Isabel had not been mentioned by her clerical
lover, and the Admiral supposed he had only complied with his agreement
with the General, without, in any manner affecting the happiness of his
daughter, by his answer. But the feelings which prompted the request,
still remained in full vigour in the lovers; and Isabel now, with many
blushes, and some hesitation of utterance, made George fully acquainted
with the state of her heart, giving him at the same time to understand,
that he was the only obstacle to her happiness.
It cannot be supposed that George heard her without pain, and some
mortification.——-The struggle with self-love, was a severe one, but his
better feelings prevailed, and he assured the anxious Isabel, that from
his importunities she had nothing to apprehend in future.——-The
grateful girl overwhelmed him with her thanks, and George had to fly
——ere he repented of his own generosity.
Miss Howell intimated, in the course of her narrative, that a
better understanding existed between their parents, than the caution of
the General had discovered to his unsuspecting child; and George was
determined to know the worst, at once.
At supper he mentioned, as if in rememberanceof his father's
injunction, that he had been to take his leave of Miss Howell, since he
found his visits gave uneasiness to her friends. "On the whole," he
added, endeavouring to yawn carelessly, "I believe I shall visit there
"Nay——nay——-" returned Sir Fredric, a little displeased at his
son's indifference, "I meant no such thing; neither the Admiral or
myself, have the least objection to your visiting in moderation;
indeed, you may marry the girl, with all our hearts, if you can agree."
"But we can't agree, I take it," said George, looking up at the
"Why not——-what hinders?" cried his father, hastily.
"Only——-only I don't like her," said the son, tossing off a glass
of wine, which nearly strangled him.
"You don't," cried the General, with great warmth, thrown off his
guard by this unexpected declaration, "and may I presume to ask the
reason why you do not like Miss Howell, Sir?"
"Oh! you know one never pretends to give a reason for these sort of
feelings, my dear sir," said George cooly.
"Then," cried his father, with increasing heat, "you must allow me
to say, my dear sir, that the sooner you get rid of these sort of
feelings the better. I choose you shall notonly like, but love Miss
Howell; and this I have promised to her father."
"I thought," said the youth drily, "that the Admiral was displeased
with my coming to his house so much——-or did I not understand you this
"I know nothing of his displeasure, and care less," rejoined his
father. "He has agreed Isabel shall be your wife, and I have passed my
word to the engagement; and if, sir, you wish to be considered as my
son, you will prepare to comply."
George was expecting to discover some management on the part of his
father, but by no means so settled an arrangement, and his anger was in
proportion to the deception.
To annoy Isabel any farther, was out of the question——-to betray
her——-base;——-and the next morning he sought an audience with the Duke.
To him, he mentioned his wish for actual service, but hinted the
maternal fondness of Lady Margaret, was averse to his seeking it. This
was true——and George now pressed his uncle to assist him in effecting
The boroughs of the Duke of Derwent were represented by loyal
members of parliament——his two brothers being cotemporary with Mr.
Benfield in that honour. And a request from a man who sent six members
to the commons, besides a seat in the lords, in his own person, must be
Within the week, George ceased to be a captain in the guards, and
became lieutenant-colonel of a regiment, under orders for America.
Sir Frederic soon became sensible of the error his warmth had led
him into, and endeavoured, by soothing and indulgence, to gain the
ground he had so unguardedly lost. But terrible was his anger, and
bitter his denunciations, when his son acquainted him with his
approaching embarkation with his new regiment for America. They
quarrelled——and as the favourite child had never, until now, been
thwarted, or spoken harshly to, they parted in mutual disgust. With his
mother, George was more tender; and as Lady Margaret had never thought
the match such as the descendant of two lines of Dukes was entitled to
form, she almost pardoned the offence in the cause.
"What's this here I see!" cried Sir Peter Howell, as he ran over a
morning paper at the breakfast table: "Capt. Denbigh, late of the
guards, has been promoted to the Lieut. Colonelcy of the——foot, and
sails to-morrow to join that regiment, now on its way to America."
"It's a lie! Bell?——its all a lie? not but what he ought to be
there, too, serving his king and country, but he never would serve you
"Me?" said Isabel, with a heart throbbing with the contending
feelings of admirationfor George's generosity, and delight at her own
deliverance. "What have I to do with the movements of Mr. Denbigh?"
"What?" cried her father in astonishment! "a'nt you to be his wife,
an't it all agreed upon——-that is, between Sir Frederic and me, which
is the same thing you know."—— Here he was interrupted by the sudden
appearance of the General, who had just learnt the departure of his
son, and hastened, with the double purpose of breaking the intelligence
to his friend, and making his own peace.
"See here, Denbigh," exclaimed the Admiral abruptly, pointing to
the paragraph, "what do you say to that?"
"Too true——-too true, my dear friend," replied the General, shaking
his head mournfully.
"Hark ye, Sir Frederic Denbigh," cried the Admiral fiercely; "did
you not say your son George was to marry my daughter?"
"I certainly did, Peter," said the other mildly, "and am sorry to
say, that in defiance of my intreaties and commands, he has deserted
his home, and in consequence, I have discarded him for ever."
"Now, Denbigh," said the Admiral, a good deal mollified by this
declaration:——- "have I not always told you, that in the army you know
nothing of discipline. Why, Sir, if he was a son of mine, he should
marry blind-folded, if I chose to order it. I wish, now, Bell had an
offer, and dared to refuse it."
"There is the barbers's clerk, you know," said the General, a good
deal irritated by the contemptuous manner of his friend.
"And what of that, Sir Frederic," said the sailor sternly, "if I
choose her to marry a quill-driver, she shall comply."
"Ah! my good friend," said the General, willing to drop the
disagreeable subject, "I am afraid we will both find it more difficult
to control the affections of our children, than we at first imagined."
"You do, General Denbigh," said the admiral with a curl of contempt
on his lip, and ringing the bell violently, he bid the servant send his
young lady to him. On the appearance of Isabel, her father inquired
with an air of settled meaning, where young Mr. Ives resided. It was
only in the next street, and a messenger was sent to him, with Sir
Peter Howell's compliments, and a request to see him without a moment's
"We'll see, we'll see, my old friend, who keeps the best
discipline," muttered the Admiral, as he paced up and down the room, in
eager expectation of the return of his messenger.
The wondering general gazed on his friend, to see if he was out of
his senses. He knew he was quick to decide, and excessively obstinate;
but he did not think him so crazy, as to throw away his daughter in a
fit of spleen. It never occurred to Sir Frederic,that the engagement
with himself, was an act of equal injustice and folly, because it was
done with more form and deliberation; which, to the eye of sober
reason, would rather make the matter worse. Isabel sat in trembling
suspense of the issue of the scene, and lves in a few minutes made his
appearance in no little alarm.
On entering, the admiral addressed him abruptly, by inquiring if he
still wished to marry that girl, pointing to his daughter: the reply
was an eager affirmative. Sir Peter beckoned to Isabel, who approached
covered with blushes; and her father having placed her hand in that of
her lover——with an air of great solemnity gave them his blessing. The
young people withdrew to another room at Sir Peter's request, as he
turned to his friend, delighted with his own decision and authority,
"There Frederic Denbigh, that is what I call being minded."
The General had penetration enough to see the result was agreeable
to both the young people, a thing he had apprehended before; and being
glad to get rid of the affair in any way, that did not involve him in a
quarrel with his old comrade, gravely congratulated the Admiral on his
good fortune, and retired.
"Yes, yes," said Sir Peter to himself, as he paced up and down his
room, "Denbigh is mortified enough, with his joy, and felicity, and
grand children. I never had any opinionof their manner of discipline at
all——too much bowing and scraping——I'm sorry though he is a priest; not
but what a priest may be as good a man as another——-but let him behave
ever so well, he can only get to be a bishop at the most. Heaven
forbid, he should ever get to be a Pope——after all, his boys may be
admirals, if they behave themselves," and he went to seek his daughter,
having in imagination, manned her nursery, with vice and rear admirals
in embryo, by the half dozen.
Sir Peter Howell survived the marriage of his daughter, but
eighteen months; yet that was sufficient to become attached to his
invaluable son-in-law. Mr. Ives insensibly led the Admiral, during his
long indisposition, to a more correct view of sacred things, than he
had been wont to indulge; and the old man breathed his last, blessing
both his children for their kindness, and with a humble hope of future
happiness. Some time before his death, Isabel, whose conscience had
always reproached her with the deception practised on her father, and
the banishment of George from his country and home; threw herself at
the feet of Sir Peter, and acknowledged her transgression.
The Admiral heard her in astonishment, but not in anger——his
opinions of life had sensibly changed, and his great cause of
satisfaction with his new son, removed all motives for regret for any
thing, but the fate of poor George. With the noble forbearanceand
tenderness of the young man to his daughter, the hardy veteran was
sensibly touched; and his intreaties with Sir Frederic, made his peace
with a father, already longing for the return of his only hope.
The Admiral left Colonel Denbigh his blessing, and his favourite
pistols, as a remembrance of his esteem; but did not live to see the
reunion with his family.
George had soon learnt, deprived of hope, and in the midst of
novelty, to forget those passions which could no longer be prosperous;
and two years from his departure, returned to England, glowing in
health, and improved in person and manners, by a more extensive
knowledge of the world and mankind.
During the time occupied by the foregoing events, Francis had
continued a gloomy inmate of his uncle's house. The Duke and his
brother George, were too indolent and inactive in their minds to pierce
the cloud, that mortification and deadened affections, had drawn around
the real character of their nephew; and although he was tolerated as
the heir, he was but little loved as a man.
In losing his brother, Francis lost the only human being, with whom
he possessed any sympathies in common; and he daily drew more and more
into himself, in gloomy meditation, on his forlorn situation, in the
midst of wealth and expected honours. The attentions he received, were
paid to his rank; and Francis had penetration enough to perceive it.
His visits to his parents were visits of ceremony, and in time, all
parties came to look to their termination with pleasure, as the
discontinuance of heartless and forced civilities.
Affection even in the young man, could not endure, repulsed as his
feelings were, forever; and in the course of three years, if his
attachments were not alienated from his parents, his ardour had become
It is a dreadful truth, that the bonds of natural affection, can be
broken by injustice and contumely; and it is yet more to be
deplored;that where, from such causes, we loosen the ties habit and
education have drawn around us, that a re-action in our feelings
commences——we seldom cease to love, but we begin to hate. Against such
awful consequences, it is one of the most solemn duties of the parent
to provide in season; and what surer safeguard is there, than to
inculcate those feelings, which teach the mind to love God, and in so
doing, induces love to the whole human family.
Sir Frederic and Lady Margaret attended the church
regularly——repeated the responses with much decency——toasted the church
next to the king——even appeared at the altars of their God——and
continued sinners. From such sowings, no good fruit could be expected
to flourish: yet Francis was not without his hours of devotion; but his
religion was, like himself, reserved——superstitious——ascetic and
gloomy. He never entered into social worship: if he prayed, it was with
an ill-concealed wish, to end this life of care. If he returned thanks,
it was with a bitterness that mock'd the throne he was prostrate
before. Such pictures are revolting; but their originals have, and do
exist; for what enormity is there, that human frailty, unchecked by
divine assistance, may not be guilty of?
Francis received an invitation to visit a brother of his mother's,
at his seat in the country, about the time of the expected return of
George from America; in compliancewith the wishes of his uncles, he
accepted it. The house was thronged with visiters, and many of them
were ladies; to these, the arrival of the unmarried heir of the house
of Derwent, was a subject of no little interest: his character had,
however, preceded him, and a few days of his awkward and, as they
conceived, sullen deportment, drove them back to their former beaux,
with the exception of one fair; and she was not only amongst the
fairest of the throng, but decidedly of the highest pretensions, on the
score of birth and fortune.
Marian Lumley, was the only surviving child of the last Duke of
Annerdale, with whom had expired the higher honours of his house. But
the Earldom of Pendennyss, with numerous ancient baronies, were titles
in fe; and together with his princely estates, had descended to his
daughter, as heir general to the family. A peeress in her own right,
with an income far exceeding her utmost means of expenditure, the
lovely Countess of Pendennyss, was a prize aimed at by all the young
nobles of the empire.
Educated in the mids of flatterers and dependants, she had become
haughty, vain, and supercilious; still she was lovely——and no one knew
better how to practise the most winning arts of her sex, when whim or
interest prompted her to the trial.
Her host was her guardian and relative; and through his agency, she
had rejected, atthe age of twenty, numerous suitors for her hand. Her
eyes were fixed on the ducal coronet; and unfortunately for Francis
Denbigh, he was at the time, the only man of the proper age, who could
elevate her to that enviable distinction, in the kingdom; and an
indirect measure of her own, had been the means of his invitation to
Like the rest of her young companions, Marian was greatly
disappointed on the view of her intended captive, and for a day or two,
with them, she abandoned him to his melancholy and himself. But
ambition was her idol; and to its powerful rival, love, she was yet a
stranger. After a few struggles with her inclinations, the
consideration, that their united fortunes and family alliances, would
make one of the wealthiest and most powerful houses in the kingdom,
prevailed; such early sacrifices of the inclinations in a woman of her
beauty, youth, and accomplishments, may excite surprise—— but where the
mind is left uncultivated by the hand of care——the soul untouched by
the love of goodness, the human heart seldom fails to set up an idol of
its own to worship. And, in the Countess of Pendennyss, it was pride.
The remainder of the ladies, from ceasing to wonder at the manners
of Francis, had made them the subject of their mirth; and, nettled at
his apparent indifference to their society, which they erroneously
attributed to his sense of his importance, they overstepped thebounds
of good-breeding, in manifesting their displeasure.
"Mr. Denbigh," cried one of the most thoughtless and pretty of the
gay tribe, to him one day, as Francis sat in a corner abstracted from
the scene around him, "when do you mean to favour the world with your
brilliant ideas in the shape of a book?"
"Oh! no doubt soon," said a second," and I expect they will be
homilies, or another volume to the Whole Duty of Man."
"Rather," cried a third, with bitter irony, "another canto to the
Rape of the Lock ——his ideas are so vivid and full of imagery."
"Or, what do you think," said a fourth, speaking in a voice of
harmony, and tones of the most soothing tenderness "of pity and
compassion, for the follies of those inferior minds, who cannot enjoy
the reflections of a good sense and modesty, peculiarly his own."
This might also be irony——and Francis thought it so; but the tones
were so soft and conciliating, that with a face pale with his emotions,
he ventured to look up, and met the eye of Marian, fixed on him in an
expression that changed his death-like hue into the colour of
He thought of this speech——he reasoned on it——he dreamt of it; but
for the looks which accompanied it, like the rest of the party, he
would have thought it the cruellest cut of them all. But that
look——those eyes ——that voice——what a commentary on her language did
they not afford.
Francis was not left long in suspense; the next morning a ride was
proposed, which included all but himself in its arrangements. He was
either too reserved, or too proud, to offer services which were not
required, by even a hint, that they would be agreeable.
Several gentlemen had contended for the honour of driving the
Countess, in a beautiful phaeton of her own. They grew earnest in their
claims: one had been promised by its mistress, with an opportunity of
trying the ease of the carriage——another, with the excellent training
of her hourses; in short, all had some particular claim to the
distinction, which were urged with a warmth and pertinacity,
proportionate to the value of the prize to be obtained. Marian heard
the several claimants with an ease and indifference natural to her
situation, and ended the dispute by saying——
"Gentlemen, as I have made so many promises, from the dread of
giving offence, I must throw myself on the mercy of Mr. Denbigh, who
alone, with the best claims, from his modesty, does not urge them; to
you, then," continued she, approaching him with the whip which was to
be given the victor, "I adjudge the prize, if you will condescend to
accept it." This was uttered by one of her most attractive smiles, and
Francis received the whip with an emotion that he with difficulty could
The gentlemen were glad to have the contestdecided, by adjudging
the prize to one so little dangerous, and the ladies sneered at her
choice, as they proceeded in their ride.
There was something so soothing in the manners of Lady
Pendennyss——she listened to the little he said, with such a respectful
attention——was so anxious to have him give his opinions, that the
unction of flattery, so sweetly applied, and for the first time, could
not fail of its wonted effects.
The communications thus commenced were continued——-it was so easy
to be attentive, by being simply polite, to one unused to notice of any
kind, that Marian found the fate of the young man in her hands, almost
as soon as she attempted to controul it.
A new existence opened upon Francis, as day after day she
insensibly led him to a display of powers he was unconscious, until
now, of possessing himself. His self-respect began to increase——his
limited pleasures to multiply, and he could now look around him with a
sense of participation in the delights of life, as he perceived himself
of consequence to this much admired woman.
Trifling incidents, managed on he part with consummate art, had led
him to the daring inference, he was not entirely indifferent to her;
and Francis returned the incipient affection of his mistress, with a
feeling but little removed from adoration. Week flew by after week, and
still he lingered at the residence of his kinsman, unable to tear
himselffrom a society of one, become so valuable, and yet afraid to
take a step, which might involve him in disgrace or ridicule.
The condescension of the Countess increased, and she had indirectly
given him the most flattering assurance of his success, when George
just arrived from America, having first paid his greetings to his
reconciled parents, and the happy couple of his generosity; flew to the
arms of his brother in Suffolk.
Francis was overjoyed to see George, and George delighted in the
visible improvement of his brother. Still Francis was far, very far
behind his juniors in graces of mind and body. Few men in England were
more adapted by nature and education for female society, than Colonel
Denbigh was at the period we write of.
Marian witnessed all his attractions and deeply felt their
influence——for the first time she felt the emotions of passion, and
after having sported in the gay world, and trifled with the feelings of
others for a course of years, the Countess in her turn became an
unwilling victim to its power. George met her flame with a
corresponding ardor, and the struggle between ambition and love became
severe——the brothers unconsciously were rivals.
Had George for a moment suspected the situation of the feelings of
Francis, his very superiority in the contest, would have taxed his
generosity to a retreat from the unnatural rivalry. Had the elder
dreamt of the views of his junior, he would have abandoned his dearest
hopes, in despair for their success; he had so long been accustomed to
consider George as his superior in every thing, a competition with him
would have appeared desperate. Marian contrived to keep both in hopes,
undecided herself which to choose, and perhaps ready to yield to the
first applicant. A sudden event, however, removed all doubts, and
decided the fate of the three.
The Duke of Derwent and his batchelor brother, became so
dissatisfied with the character of their future heir, that they as
coolly set about providing themselves with wives as they performed any
other ordinary transaction of life; they married cousins, and on the
same day, the choice of the ladies was assigned between them by lots,
and if his Grace got the prettier, his brother certainly got the
richest; under the circumstances, a very tolerable distribution of
These double marriages dissolved the charms of Francis, and Lady
Pendennyss determined to consult her wishes——a little pointed
encouragement brought out the declaration of George, and he was
Francis, who had never communicated his feelings to any one but the
lady, and that only indirectly, was crushed by the blow——he continued
in public until the day of their union, was present, composed, and
silent—— but it was the silence of a mountain whose volcanic contents
had not reached the surface. The same day he disappeared, and every
inquiry proved fruitless, search was baffled, and for seven years it
was not known what had become of the General's eldest son.
George, on marrying, resigned his commission, at the earnest
entreaties of his wife, and retired to one of her seats, to the
enjoyment of ease and domestic love: the countess was enthusiastically
attached to him, and as motives for the indulgence of her coquetry were
wanting. her character became gradually improved, by the contemplation
of the excellent qualities of her generous husband.
A lurking suspicion of the cause of Francis's sudden disappearance,
rendered her uneasy at times; but Marian was too much beloved, too
happy, in the enjoyment of too many honours and too great wealth, to be
open to the convictions of conscience: it is in our hours of pain and
privation that we begin to feel its sting; if we are prosperous, we
fancy we reap the fruits of our merit, but if we are unfortunate, the
voice of truth seldom fails to remind us that we are deserving of our
fate. A blessed provision of Providence that often makes the saddest
hours of our earthly career, the morn of a day, that is to endure
General Denbigh and Lady Margaret both died within five years of
the marriage of their favourite child, although both lived to see their
descendant, in the person of the infant Lord Lumley.
The Duke and his brother George, were each blessed with offspring,
and in these several descendants, of the different branches of the
family of Denbigh, may be seen the different personages of our history.
On the birth of her youngest child, the Lady Marian, the Countess of
Pendennyss, sustained a shock in her health from which she never wholly
recovered; she became nervous, and lost most of her energy of both mind
and body; her husband was her solace——his tenderness remained
unextinguished, his attention increased
As the fortune of Ives and his Isabel put the necessity of a
living, out of the question, and as no cure offered for his acceptance,
he was happy to avail himself of an offer to become domestic chaplain
to his now intimate friend Mr. Denbigh; for the first six years they
were inmates of Pendennyss Castle; the rector of the parish was infirm
and averse to a regular assistant; but the unobtrusive services of Mr.
Ives, were not less welcome to the pastor than to his parishioners.
Employed in the duties which of right fell to the incumbent, and
intrusted with the spiritual guardianship of the dependants of the
castle, our young clergyman had ample occupation for all his time, if
not a sufficient theatre for his usefulness. Isabel and himself
remained the year round in Wales, and the first dawnings of education
received by Lord Lumley, were those he acquired conjointly with
Franciscis from the care of the latter's father. They formed, with the
interval of the time spent by Mr. Denbigh and Lady Pendennyss, in town
in winter, but one family. To the gentleman, the attachment of the
grateful Ives was as strong as it was lasting. Mrs. Ives never ceased
to consider him as the selfdevoted victim to her happiness, and
although a far more brilliant lot had awaited him by the change, yet
they could not think it a more happy one.
The birth of Lady Marian had already, in its consequences, begun to
throw a dark gloom round the domestic comforts of Denbigh, when he was
to sustain another misfortune in a separation from his friends.
Mr. now Dr. Ives, had early announced his firm intention, whenever
an opportunity was afforded him, to enter into the fullest functions of
his ministry, as a matter of duty—— such an opportunity now offered at
B——, and the Doctor became its rector about the period Sir Edward
became possessor of his paternal estate.
Denbigh tried every inducement within his power to keep the Dr. in
his own society; if as many thousands, as his living would give him
hundreds, would effect it, they would have been at his service; but
Denbigh understood the character of the divine too well, to offer such
an inducement; he however urged the claims of friendship to the utmost,
but without success. The Doctor acknowledged the hold both himself and
family had gained upon his affections, but he added——
"Consider, my dear Mr. Denbigh, what we would have thought, of one
of the earlier followers of our Saviour, who from motives of
convenience or worldly mindedness, could have deserted his sacred
calling: although the changes in the times, may have rendered the modes
of conducting them differently, necessary, the duties remain the same.
The minister of our holy religion who has once submitted to the calls
of his divine Master, must allow nothing but ungovernable necessity, to
turn him from the path he has entered on; and should he so far forget
himself, I greatly fear he would plead, when too late to remedy the
evil, his worldly duties, his cares, or even his misfortunes, in vain.
Solemn and arduous are his obligations to labour, but when faithfully
he has discharged these duties—— oh! how glorious must be his reward."
Before such opinions of duty, every barrier must fall, and the
Doctor entered into the cure of his parish, without further opposition,
though not without unceasing regret on the part of his friend: their
intercourse was however maintained by letter, and they also frequently
met at Lumley Castle, a seat of the Countess, within two days' ride of
the Doctor's parish, until her increasing indisposition rendered her
journeying impossible; then, indeed, the Doctor extended his rides into
Wales, but with longer intervals between hisvisits, though with the
happiest effects to the objects of his journey.
Mr. Denbigh, worn down with watching and blasted hopes, under the
direction of the spiritual watchfulness of the rector of B——, became an
humble, sincere, and pious christian; although the spring of his
sorrows bowed him down in years to the grave, he sunk into it with the
hope of a joyful resurrection.
It has been already mentioned, that the health of Lady Pendennyss
suffered a severe shock, in giving birth to a daughter——change of scene
was prescribed as a remedy for her disorder, and Denbigh and his wife
were on their return from a fruitless excursion amongst the northern
lakes, in pursuit of amusement and relief for the latter, as they were
compelled to seek a shelter from the fury of a sudden gust, in the
first building that offered; it was a farm house of the better sort;
and the attendants, carriages, and appearance of their guests, caused
no little confusion to its simple inmates——a fire was lighted in the
best parlour, and every effort made by the inhabitants to contribute to
the comforts of the travellers.
The Countess and her husband were sitting, in that kind of listless
melancholy, which had been too much the companion of their later hours,
when in the interval of the storm, a male voice in an adjoining room
commenced singing the following ballad——the notes were low——monotonous,
but unusually sweet, and the enunciation so distinct, as to render
every syllable intelligible:
Oh! I have liv'd, in endless pain,
And I have liv'd, alas! in vain,
For none regard my woe——
No Father's care, convey'd the truth,
No Mother's fondness, bless'd my youth,
Ah! joys too great to know——
And Marian's love, and Marian's pride,
Have crush'd the heart that would have died,
To save my Marian's tears——
A Brother's hand, has struck the blow,
Oh! may that Brother never know,
Such madly sorrowing years.
But hush my griefs——and hush my song,
I've mourn'd in vain——I've mourn'd too long,
When none have come to soothe——
And dark's the path, that lies before,
And dark have been the days of yore,
And all was dark in youth.
The maidens employed around the person of their comfortless
mistress——the valet of Denbigh engaged in arranging a dry coat for his
master——all suspended their employments to listen in breathless
silence, to the mournful melody of the song.
But Denbigh, himself, had started from his seat, as the first notes
struck his ear, and continued until the voice ceased, gazing in vacant
horror, in the direction of the sounds. A door opened from the parlour
to the room of the musician——he rushed through it, and there——-in a
kind of shed to the building——-which which hardly sheltered him from
the fury of the tempest——-clad in the garments of the
extremestpoverty——with an eye roving in madness, and a body rocking to
and fro, from mental inquietude, he beheld, seated on a stone, the
remains of his long lost brother, Francis.
The language of the song, was too plain to be misunderstood. The
truth glared around George, with a violence that dazzled his
brains——-but he saw it all——-he felt it all——- and rushing to the feet
of his brother, he exclaimed, in horror, pressing his hands between his
"Francis——my own brother——do you not know me?"
The maniac regarded him with a vacant gaze, but the voice and the
person, recalled the compositions of his more reasonable moments to his
recollection——pushing back the hair of George, so as to expose his fine
forehead to his view, he contemplated him for a few moments, and then
continued to sing, in a voice still rendered sweeter than before by his
His raven locks, that richly curl'd,
His eye, that proud defiance hurl'd,
Have stole my Marian's love!
Had I heen blest by nature's grace,
With such a form, with such a face,
Could I so treach'rous prove?
And what is man——and what is care——
That he should let such passions tear
The bases of the soul?
Oh! you should do, as I have done——
And having pleasure's summit won,
Each bursting sob controul.
On ending the last stanza, the maniac released his brother, and
broke into the wildest laugh of madness.
"Francis!- -Oh! Francis, my brother"——- cried George, in bitterness
of sorrow——- a piercing shriek drew his eye to the door he had passed
through——-on its threshold lay the senseless body of his wife——the
distracted husband forgot every thing, in the situation of his
Marian——-and raising her in his arms, he exclaimed,
"Marian——-my Marian, revive——-look up——- know me."
Francis had followed him, and now stood by his side——-gazing
intently on the lifeless body——-his looks became more soft——- his eye
glanced less wildly——-he cried,
"Marian——-My Marian, too."
There was a mighty effort——-nature could endure no more——-he broke
a blood-vessel, and fell at the feet of George——-they flew to his
assistance, giving the Countess to her women——-he was dead.
For seventeen years, Lady Pendennyss survived the shock; but having
reached her own abode, during that long period, she never left her
In the confidence of his reviving hopes, Doctor Ives and his wife
were made acquainted with the real cause, of the grief oftheir
friend——but the truth went no further.—— Denbigh was the guardian of
his three young cousins——The Duke, his sister, and young George
Denbigh; these, with his son, Lord Lumley, and daughter, Lady Marian,
were removed from the melancholy of the Castle, to scenes better
adapted to their opening prospects in life——yet Lumley was fond of the
society of his father, and finding him a youth endowed beyond his
years——the care of his parent, was early turned to the most important
of his duties in that sacred office; and when he yielded to his wishes
to go into the army——he knew he went a youth of sixteen, possessed of
principles and self-denial, that would become a man of five and twenty.
General Wilson completed the work, his father had begun; and Lord
Lumley formed a singular exception to the character of his companions.
At the close of the Spanish war, he returned home, and was just in
time to receive the parting breath of his mother.
A few days before her death, the Countess requested her children
might be made acquainted with her history and misconduct, and she
placed in the hands of her son, a letter, with directions, for him to
open it after her decease——it was addressed to both children, and after
recapitulating generally, the principal events of her life, continued:
"Thus, my children, you perceive the consequences of indulgence and
hardness ofheart, which made me insensible to the sufferings of others,
and regardless of the plainest dictates of justice——self, was my
idol——the love of admiration, which was natural to me, was increased by
the flatterers who surrounded me——and had the customs of our country,
suffered royalty to descend in their unions, to a grade in life below
their own, your uncle would have escaped the fangs of my baneful
"Oh! Marian, my child, never descend so low as to practice those
arts, which have degraded your unhappy mother——I would impress on you,
as a memorial of my parting affection, these simple truths——that
coquetry, stands next the want of chastity, in the scale of female
vices——it is in fact, a kind of mental prostitution——it is ruinous to
all that delicacy of feeling, which gives added lustre to female
charms——it is almost destructive to modesty itself——A woman who has
been addicted to its practice, may strive long, and in vain, to regain
that singleness of heart, which can bind her up so closely in her
husband and children, as to make her a good wife, or a mother; and if
it should have degenerated into habit, may lead to the awful result of
infidelity to her marriage vows.
"It is in vain for a coquette to pretend to religion——its practice
involves hypocrisy, falsehood, and deception——every thing that is mean
——every thing that is debasing——in short, as it is bottomed on
selfishness and pride, where it has once possessed the mind, it will
only yield to the truth-displaying banners of the cross—— this, and
this only, can remove the evil; for without it, she, whom the charms of
youth and beauty, have enabled to act the coquette, will descend into
the vale of life, altered, it is true, but not amended——as she will
find the world, with its allurements, cling around her parting years,
in vain regrets for days that are flown, and mercenary views for her
descendants. Heaven bless you, my children——console and esteem your
inestimable father, while he yet remains with you; and place your
reliance on that Heavenly Parent, who will never desert those, who seek
him in sincerity and love.——
Your dying mother, "M. Pendennyss."
This letter, evidently written under the excitement of deep
remorse, for the errors of the writer, made a great impression on both
her children; in Lady Marian it was pity, regret, and abhorrence of the
fault, which had been the principal cause of the wreck of her mother's
peace of mind; but in her brother, now Earl of Pendennyss, these
feelings were united with a jealous dread of his own probable lot, in
the chances of matrimony.
His uncle had been the supposed heir to a more elevated title than
his own, but he was now the actual possessor of as honourable a name,
and much larger revenues. The great wealth of his maternal
grandfather,and considerable estate of his own father, were, or would
soon be, centered in himself; and if a woman as amiable, as faultless,
as his affection had taught him to believe his mother to be, could
yield, in her situation, to the lure of wordly honours——had he not
great reason to dread, a hand might be bestowed, at some day, upon
himself, when the heart would point out some other destination, if the
real wishes of its owner were consulted.
Pendennyss was modest by nature, and humble from principle——though
by no means distrustful; yet the shock of discovering his mother's
fault——the gloom of her death, and his father's declining health,
sometimes led him into a train of reflections, which at others, he
would have fervently deprecated.
A short time after the decease of the Countess, Mr. Denbigh,
finding his constitution bending fast, under the wasting of a decline
he had been in for a year, resolved to finish his days in the abode of
his Christian friend, Doctor Ives. For several years they had not met;
increasing duties and infirmities on both sides having interrupted
By easy stages he left the residence of his son in Wales, and
accompanied by both his children, he reached Lumley Castle much
exhausted; here he took a solemn and final leave of Marian, unwilling
she should so soon witness again the death of another parent,and
dismissing the Earl's equipage and attendants, a short day's ride from
B——, they proceeded alone to the rectory.
A letter had been forwarded, acquainting the Doctor of his
approaching visit, wishing it to be perfectly private, but not alluding
to its object, and fixing the day, a week later than the one he arrived
on; this he had altered, on perceiving the torch of life more rapidly
approaching the socket, than he had at first supposed. Their unexpected
appearance and reception are known. Denbigh's death and the departure
of his son followed. Francis was his companion, to the tomb of his
ancestors in Westmoreland.
The Earl had a shrinking delicacy under the knowledge of his
family, history, that made him anxious to draw all eyes from the
contemplation of his mother's conduct——how far the knowledge of it, had
extended in society, he could not know, but he wished it buried with
her in the tomb. The peculiar manner of his father's death would
attract notice, and might recall attention to the prime cause of his
disorder; they were unknown as yet, and he wished the Doctor's family
to let them remain so; it was impossible the death of a man of Mr.
Denbigh's rank, should be unnoticed in the prints, and the care of
Francis, dictated the simple truth, without comments, as it appeared:
what was more natural, than that the son of Mr. Denbigh, should also be
In the presence of the Rector's family, no allusions were made to
their friends, and the villagers and the neighbourhood spoke of them as
old and young Mr. Denbigh.
The name of Lord Lumley, now Earl of Pendennyss, was known to the
whole British nation; but the long. retirement of his father and
mother, had driven them almost from the recollection of their friends.
Even Mrs. Wilson supposed her favourite hero a Lumley. Pendennyss
castle had been for centuries the proud residence of that family; and
the change of name in its possessor, was forgotten with the
circumstances that led to it. When, therefore, Emily met the Earl so
unexpectedly the second time at the rectory, she, of course, with all
her companions, spoke of him as Mr. Denbigh.
Pendennyss had called in proper person, in expectation of meeting
his kinsman, Lord Bolton; but, finding him absent, could not resist his
desire to visit the rectory——-accordingly he sent his carriage and
servants on to London, leaving them at a convenient spot, and arrived
on foot at the house of Dr. Ives. From the same motives which had
influenced him before——-a wish to indulge, undisturbed by useless
ceremony, his melancholy reflections——-he desired his name might not be
This was an easy task; both Doctor and Mrs. Ives had called him
when a child, George or Lumley, and were unused to his new appellation,
of Pendennyss; indeed, it rather recalled painful recollections to them
It may be remembered, circumstances removed the necessity of any
introduction to Mrs. Wilson and her party; and the difficulty in that
instance was happily got rid of.
The Earl had often heard Emily Moseley spoken of by his friends,
and in their letters they frequently mentioned her name, as connected
with their pleasures and employments, always with an affection,
Pendennyss thought exceeding that which they manifested——for their
son's wife; and Mrs. Ives, the evening before, to remove unpleasant
thoughts, had given him a lively description of her person and
character. The Earl's curiosity had been a little excited to see this
paragon of female beauty and virtues; and, unlike most curiosity on
such subjects, he was agreeably disappointed by the examination. He
wished to know more, and made interest with the doctor, to assist him
to continue the incognito, accident had favoured him with.
The Doctor objected on the ground of principle, and the Earl
desisted; but the beauty of Emily, aided by her character, had made an
impression not to be easily shaken off, and Pendennyss returned to the
His former jealousies were awakened in proportion to his
admiration; and after some time, he threw himself on the mercy of the
divine, by declaring his new motive, but without mentioning his
parents. The Doctor pitied him, for he scanned his feelings thoroughly,
and consented to keep silent, butlaughingly declared, it was bad enough
for a divine, to be accessory to, much less aiding in a deception; and
that he knew if Emily and Mrs. Wilson, learnt his imposition, he would
lose ground in their favour by the discovery.
"Surely, George," said the doctor with a laugh, "you don't mean to
marry the young lady as Mr. Denbigh?"
"Oh no! it is too soon to think of marrying her at all," replied
the Earl with a smile, "but——somehow——I should like to see, what my
reception in the world will be, as plain Mr. Denbigh——unprovided for
"No doubt, my Lord," said the Rector archly, "in proportion to your
merits very unfavourably indeed; but then your humility will be finely
elevated, by the occasional praises, I have heard Mrs. Wilson lavish on
your proper character, of late."
"I am much indebted to her partiality," continued the Earl
mournfully; then throwing off his gloomy thoughts, he added; "I wonder,
my dear Doctor, your goodness did not set her right in the latter
"Why she has hardly given me an opportunity——delicacy and my own
feelings, have kept me very silent on the subject of your family to any
of that connexion; they think, I believe, I was a rector in Wales,
instead of your father's chaplain, and somehow," continued the Doctor,
smiling on his wife, "the association with your late parents, was
soconnected in my mind, with my most romantic feelings; that although I
have delighted in it——-I have seldom alluded to it in conversation at
all. Mrs. Wilson has never spoken of you but twice in my hearing, and
that since she has expected to meet you——your name has undoubtedly
recalled the remembrance of her husband."
"I have many——many reasons to remember the General with gratitude,"
cried the Earl with fervour——"but Doctor, do not forget my incognito;
only call me George, I ask no more."
The plan of Pendennyss was put in execution——-day after day he
lingered in Northamptonshire, until his principles and character had
grown upon the esteem of the Moseleys, in the manner we have mentioned.
His frequent embarrassments were from the dread and shame of a
detection——-with Sir Hubert Nicholson, he had a narrow escape; and Mrs.
Fitzgerald and Lord Henry Stapleton he of course avoided; for having
gone so far, he was determined to persevere to the end. Egerton he
thought knew him, and he disliked his character and manners.
When Chatterton appeared most attentive to Emily, the candour and
good opinion of the young nobleman made the Earl acquainted with his
wishes and his situation. Pendennyss was too generous not to meet his
rival on fair grounds. His cousin, the Duke, was requested to use their
influence secretly, for thedesired station for the Baron——the result is
known, and Pendennyss trusted his secret to Chatterton; he took him to
London, gave him in charge to Derwent, and returned to prosecute his
own suit. His note from Bolton Castle was a ruse, to conceal his
character, as he knew the departure of the baronet's family to an hour,
and had so timed his visit to the Earl, as not to come in collision
with the Moseleys.
"Indeed, my Lord," cried the Doctor to him one day, "your scheme
goes on swimmingly, and I am only afraid when your mistress finds the
imposition, you will find your rank producing a different effect, from
what you have apprehended."
But Dr. Ives was mistaken——had he seen the sparkling eyes, and
glowing cheeks of Miss Moseley——the smile of satisfaction and
happiness, which played on the usually thoughtful face of Mrs. Wilson,
when the Earl handed them into his own carriage, as they left his
house, on the evening of the discovery; the Doctor would have gladly
acknowledged the failure of his prognostics. In truth, there was no
possible event, that under the circumstances, could have given both
aunt and niece such heartfelt pleasure, as the knowledge that Denbigh
and the Earl were the same person.
Pendennyss stood holding the door of the carriage in his hand,
irresolute how to act, when Mrs. Wilson said,
"Surely, my Lord, you sup with us."
"A thousand thanks, my dear Madam, for the privilege," cried the
Earl, as he sprang into the coach——the door was closed, and they drove
"After the explanation of this morning, my Lord," said Mrs. Wilson,
willing to remove all doubts between him and Emily, and perhaps anxious
to satisfy her own curiosity, "it will be fastidious to conceal our
desire to know more of your movements. Howcame your pocket-book in the
possession of Mrs. Fitzgerald?"
"Mrs. Fitzgerald!" cried Pendennyss, in astonishment, "I lost the
book in one of the rooms of the Lodge, and supposed it had fallen into
your hands, and betrayed my disguise, by Emily's rejection of me, and
your own altered eye. Was I mistaken then in both?"
Mrs. Wilson now, for the first time, explained their real grounds
of refusing his offers, which, in the morning, she had loosely
mentioned, as owing to a misapprehension of his just character, and
recounted the manner of the book's falling into the hands of Mrs.
The Earl listened in amazement, and after musing with himself,
exclaimed, "I remember taking it from my pocket, to show Col. Egerton
some singular plants I had gathered, and think I first missed it, when
returning to the place I had then laid it——it was gone; in some of the
side-pockets were letters from Marian, addressed to me, properly; and I
naturally thought they had met your eye."
Mrs. Wilson and Emily immediately thought Egerton the real villain,
who had caused both themselves and Mrs. Fitzgerald so much uneasiness,
and the former mentioned her suspicions to the Earl.
"Nothing more probable, dear Madam," cried he, "and this explains
to me his startlinglooks when we first met, and evident dislike to my
society, for he must have seen my person, though the carriage hid him
from my sight."
That Egerton was the wretch, and through his agency, the
pocket-book had been carried to the Cottage, they all now agreed, and
turned to more pleasant subjects.
"Master!——her——Master," said Peter Johnson, as he stood at a window
of Mr. Benfield's room, stirring a gruel for the old gentleman's
supper, and stretching his neck, and straining his eyes, to distinguish
by the light of the lamps——"I do think there is Mr. Denbigh, handing
Miss Emmy from a coach, covered with gold, and two foot-men, all
dizzined with pride like."
The spoon fell from the hands of Mr. Benfield——he rose briskly from
his seat, and adjusting his dress, took the arm of the steward, as he
proceeded to the drawing-room. While these several movements were in
operation, which consumed some time, the old bachelor relieved the
tedium of Peter's impatience, by the following speech:
"Mr. Denbigh!——what, back?——I thought he never could let that
rascal John shoot him, and forsake Emmy after all; (here the old
gentleman suddenly recollected Denbigh's marriage) but now, Peter, it
can do no good either.——I remember, that when my friend, the Earl of
Gosford——(and again he was checked by the image of the card-table,and
the Viscountess,) "but Peter," he said, with great warmth, "we can go
down and see him though."
"Mr. Denbigh!" exclaimed Sir Edward, in astonishment, as he saw the
companion of his sister and child, enter the drawing-room, "you are
welcome once more to your old friends; your sudden retreat from us,
gave us much pain, but we suppose Lady Laura had too many attractions,
to allow us to keep you any longer in Norfolk."
The good Baronet sighed, as he held out his hand, to the man he had
once hoped to receive as a son.
"Neither Lady Laura, nor any other lady, my dear Sir Edward," cried
the Earl, as he took the Baronet's hand, "drove me from you, but the
frowns of your own fair daughter; and here she is, ready to acknowledge
her offence——and, I hope, atone for it."
John, who knew of the refusal of his sister, and was not a little
displeased with the cavalier treatment he had received at Denbigh's
hands, felt indignant at such improper levity, as he thought he now
exhibited, being a married man, and approached with——
"Your servant, Mr. Denbigh——I hope my Lady Laura is well."
Pendennyss understood his look, and replied very gravely, "Your
servant, Mr. John Moseley——my Lady Laura is, or certainly ought to be,
very well, as she has this moment gone to a route, accompanied by her
The quick eye of John glanced from the Earl——-to his aunt——-to
Emily; a lurking smile was on all their features——the heightened colour
of his sister——the flashing eyes of the young man——the face of his
aunt——all told him, something uncommon was about to be explained; and
yielding to his feelings, he caught the hand, Pendennyss extended to
him, as he cried,
"Denbigh, I see——I feel——there is some unaccountable mistake——we
"Brothers!" said the Earl, emphatically. "Sir Edward——dear Lady
Moseley, I throw myself on your mercy——I am an impostor—— when your
hospitality received me into your house, it is true, you admitted
George Denbigh, but he is better known as the Earl of Pendennyss."
"The Earl of Pendennyss!" exclaimed Lady Moseley, in a glow of
delight, as she saw at once through some juvenile folly——-a deception,
which promised both happiness and rank to one of her children; "is it
possible, my dear Charlotte, this is your unknown friend."——
"The very same, Anne," replied the smiling widow, "and guilty of a
folly, that at all events, removes the distance between us a little, by
showing he is subject to the failings of mortality. But the masquerade
is ended, and I hope you and Edward will not only treat him as an Earl,
but receive him as a son."
"Most willingly——most willingly," cried the Baronet, with great
energy; "be he prince ——peer——or beggar——he is the preserver of my
child, and as such, he is always welcome."
The door now slowly opened, and the venerable bachelor appeared on
Pendennyss, who had never forgotten the good will manifested to him
by Mr. Benfield, met him with a look of pleasure, as he expressed his
happiness at seeing him again and in London.
"I never have forgotten your goodness in sending honest Peter, such
a distance from home, or the object of his visit. I now regret a
feeling of shame occasioned my answering your kindness so laconically;"
turning to Mrs. Wilson, he added, "for a time, I knew not how to write
a letter even—— afraid to sign my proper appellation, and ashamed to
use my adopted one."
"Mr. Denbigh, I am happy to see you. I did send Peter, it is true,
to London, on a message to you——but it is all over now,"—— and the old
man sighed——"Peter, however, escaped the snares of this wicked place;
and if you are happy, I am content. I remember when the Earl of——"
"Pendennyss!" exclaimed the other, "imposed on the hospitality of a
worthy man, under an assumed appellation, in order to pry into the
character of a lovely female, who was only too good for him, and whonow
is willing to forget his follies, and make him, not only the happiest
of men, but the nephew of Mr. Benfield."
During this speech, the countenance of Mr. Benfield had manifested
evident emotion—— he looked from one to another, until he saw Mrs.
Wilson smiling near him; pointing to the Earl with his finger, he stood
unable to speak, as she answered, simply,
"And Emmy dear——will you——will you marry him?" cried Mr. Benfield,
suppressing his feelings, to give utterance.
Emily felt for her uncle, and blushing deeply, with great
frankness, put her hand in that of the Earl, who pressed it with
rapture again and again to his lips.
Mr. Benfield sunk into a chair, and with a heart softened by his
emotions, burst into tears. "Peter," he cried, struggling with his
feelings, "I am now ready to depart in peace——I shall see my darling
Emmy, happy, and to her care, I shall commit you."
Emily, deeply affected with his love, threw herself into his arms
in a torrent of tears, and was removed from them by Pendennyss, in
consideration for the feelings of both.
Jane felt no emotions of envy for her sister's happiness; on the
contrary, she rejoiced in common with the rest of their friends in her
brightening prospects, and they took their seats at the supper table,
as happy a group, as was contained in the wide circle ofthe Metropolis;
a few more particulars served to explain the mystery sufficiently,
until a more fitting opportunity made them acquainted with the whole of
the Earl's proceedings.
"My Lord Pendennyss," said Sir Edward, pouring out a glass of wine,
and passing the bottle to his neighbour: "I drink your health—— and
happiness to yourself and my darling child."
The toast was drank by all the family, and the Earl replied to them
with his thanks and smiles, while Emily could only notice them, with
her blushes and tears.
But this was an opportunity not to be lost by the honest steward,
who had, from affection and long services, been indulged in
familiarities, exceeding any other of his master's establishment. He
very deliberately helped himself to a glass of wine, and drawing near
the seat of the bride-elect, with a humble reverence, commenced his
speech as follows:
"My dear Miss Emmy:——Here's hoping you'll live to be a comfort to
your honoured father, and your honoured mother, and my dear honoured
master, and yourself, and Madam Wilson." The steward paused to clear
his voice, and cast his eye round the table to collect the names; "and
Mr. John Moseley, and sweet Mrs. Moseley, and pretty Miss Jane," (Peter
had lived too long in the world to compliment one handsome woman in the
presence of another, without qualifyinghis speech a little) "and Mr.
Lord Denbigh——Earl like, as they say he now is, and" ——Peter stopped a
moment to deliberate, and then making another reverence, he put the
glass to his lips; but before he had got half through its contents,
recollected himself, and replenishing to the brim, with a smile,
acknowledging his forgetfulness, continued, "and the Rev. Mr. Francis
Ives, and the Rev. Mrs. Francis Ives." Here the unrestrained laugh of
John interrupted him; and considering with himself that he had included
the whole family, he finished his bumper. Whether it was pleasure at
his eloquence, in venturing on so long a speech, or the unusual
allowance, that affected the steward, he was evidently much satisfied
with himself, and stepped back, behind his master's chair, in great
Emily, as she thanked him, noticed with a grateful satisfaction, a
tear in the eye of the old man, as he concluded his oration, that would
have excused a thousand breaches of fastidious ceremony. But Pendennyss
rose from his seat, and took him kindly by the hand, as he returned his
own thanks for his good wishes.
"I owe you much good will, Mr. Johnson, for your two journies in my
behalf, and trust I never shall forget the manner in which you executed
your last mission, in particular. We are friends, I trust, for life."
"Thank you——thank your honour's lordship," said the steward, almost
unable to utter; "I hope you may live long, to make dear little Miss
Emmy as happy——as I know she ought to be."
"But really, my lord," cried John, observing that the steward's
affection for his sister, had affected her to tears, "it was a singular
circumstance, the meeting of the four passengers of the stage, so soon
at your hotel?" and Moseley explained his meaning to the rest of the
"Not so much so as you imagine," said the Earl in reply; "yourself
and Johnson were in quest of me; Lord Henry Stapleton was under an
engagement to meet me that evening at the hotel, as we were both going
to his sister's wedding——I having arranged the thing with him, by
letters previously;—— and the General, M'Carthy, was also in search of
me, on business relating to his niece, the Donna Julia. He had been to
Annerdale House, and through my servants, heard I was at a hotel. It
was the first interview between us, and not quite as amicable an one as
he has since paid me in Wales. In my service in Spain, I saw the Conde,
but not the General. The letter he gave me, was from the Spanish
ambassador, claiming a right to require Mrs. Fitzgerald from our
government, and deprecating my using an influence, to counteract his
"Which you refused," said Emily, eagerly.
"Not refused," answered the Earl, smiling at her warmth, at the
same time he admired her friendly zeal, "for it was unnecessary—— there
is no such power vested in the ministry; but I explicitly told the
General, I would oppose any violent measures to restore her to her
country and a convent. From the courts, I apprehended nothing for my
"Your honour——my Lord," said Peter, who had been listening with
great attention, "if I may presume, just to ask two questions, without
"Say on, my good friend," said Pendennyss, with an encouraging
"Only," continued the steward——hemming, to give proper utterance to
his thoughts——"I wish to know, whether you staid in that same street,
after you left the hotel——for Mr. John Moseley and I, had a slight
difference in opinion about it."
The Earl smiled, as he caught the arch expression of John, and
"I believe I owe you an apology, Moseley, for my cavalier
treatment——but guilt makes us all cowards. I found you were ignorant of
my incognito, and I was equally ashamed to continue it, or become the
relator of my own folly. Indeed," he continued, smiling on Emily as he
spoke, "I thought your sister had pronounced the opinions of all
reflecting people on my conduct. I went out of town, Johnson at
day-break. What is your other query?"
"Why, my lord," said Peter, a little disappointed at finding his
first surmise untrue, "that outlandish tongue, your honour used——"
"Was Spanish," cried the Earl.
"And not Greek, Peter," said his master, gravely. "I thought, from
the words you endeavoured to repeat to me, you had made a mistake. You
need not be disconcerted, however, for I know several members of the
parliament of this realm, who could not talk the Greek language——that
is, fluently. So it can be no disgrace, to a serving man to be ignorant
Somewhat consoled to find himself as well off as the
representatives of his country, Peter resumed his station in silence,
when the carriages began to announce the return from the opera. The
Earl took his leave, and the party retired to rest.
The thanksgivings of Emily that night, ere she laid her head on her
pillow, were the purest offering of mortal innocence. The prospect
before her was unsullied by a cloud, and she poured out her heart in
the fullest confidence of pious love and heartfelt gratitude.
As early on the succeeding morning as good-breeding would allow,
and much earlier than the hour sanctioned by fashion, the Earl and Lady
Marian stopped in the carriage of the latter, at the door of Sir Edward
Moseley. Their reception was the most flattering that could be offered
to people of their stamp; sincere——cordial——and, with a trifling
exceptionin Lady Moseley, unfettered with any of the useless ceremonies
of high life.
Emily felt herself drawn to her new acquaintance, with a fondness,
which doubtless grew out of her situation with her brother, but which
soon found reasons enough in the soft, lady-like, and sincere manners
of Lady Marian, to justify her attachment on her own account.
There was a very handsome suite of drawing-rooms in Sir Edward's
house, and the doors communicating, were carelessly open. Curiosity to
view the furniture, or some such trifling reason, induced the Earl to
find his way, into the one adjoining that, in which the family were
seated. It was unquestionably a dread of being lost in a strange house,
that induced him to whisper a request to the blushing Emily, to be his
companion; and lastly, it must have been nothing, but a knowledge that
a vacant room was easier viewed, than one filled with company, that
prevented any one from following them; John smiled archly at Grace,
doubtless in approbation of the comfortable time his friend was likely
to enjoy, in his musings on the taste of their mother. How the door
became shut, we have ever been at a loss to imagine.
The company without were too good natured and well satisfied with
each other, to miss the absentees, until the figure of the Earl
appeared at the reopened door, beckoning, with a face of rapture, to
Lady Moseleyand Mrs. Wilson. Sir Edward next disappeared——then
Jane——then Grace——then Marian; until John began to think a tete-a-tete
with Mr. Benfield, was to be his morning's amusement.
The lovely countenance of his wife, however, soon relieved his
ennui, and John's curiosity was gratified by an order to prepare for
his sister's wedding the following week.
Emily might have blushed more than common during this interview,
but it is certain she did not smile less; and the Earl, Lady Marian
assured Sir Edward, was so very different a creature, from what he had
been, that she did hardly think it was the same sombre gentleman, she
had passed the last few months with, in Wales and Westmoreland.
A messenger was despatched for Dr. Ives, and their friends at B——,
to be witnesses to the approaching nuptials; and Lady Moseley at length
found an opportunity of indulging her taste in splendour, on this
Money was no consideration; and Mr. Benfield absolutely pined at
the thought, the great wealth of the Earl, put it out of his power to
contribute, in any manner, to the comfort of his Emmy. However, a
fifteenth codicil was framed by the ingenuity of Peter and his master,
and if it did not contain the name of George Denbigh, it did that of
his expected second son, Roderic Benfield Denbigh, to the qualifying
circumstance of twenty thousand pounds, as a bribe for the name.
"And a very pretty child, I dare say it will be," said the steward,
as he placed the paper in its repository. "I don't know I ever saw,
your honour, a couple, that I thought, would make a handsomer pair,
like——except"——and Peter's mind dwelt on his own youthful form, coupled
with the smiling graces of Patty Steele.
"Yes! they are as handsome as they are good!" replied his master.
"I remember now——when our speaker took his third wife, the world
said——they were as pretty a couple as there was at court. But my Emmy
and the Earl will be a much finer pair. Oh!—— Peter Johnson——they are
young——and rich—— and beloved——but, after all, it avails but little, if
they be not good."
"Good!" cried the steward in astonishment; "they are as good as
The master's ideas of human excellence had suffered a heavy blow,
in the view of his Viscountess——but he answered mildly, "as good as
mankind can well be."
The warm weather had now commenced, and Sir Edward, unwilling to be
shut up in London, at a time the appearance of vegetation gave the
country a new interest, and accustomed for many years of his life, to
devote an hour in his garden each morning, had taken a little ready
furnished cottage a short ride from his residence, with the intention
of frequenting it, until after the birthday: thither then Pendennyss
took his bride from the altar, and a few days were passed by the new
married pair, in this little asylum.
Doctor Ives with Francis, Clara, and their mother, had obeyed the
summons, with an alacrity in proportion to the joy they had felt on
receiving it, and the former had the happiness of officiating on the
occasion. It would have been easy for the wealth of the Earl to procure
a licence to enable them to marry in the drawing room——the permission
was obtained, but neither Emily or himself, felt a wish to utter their
vows in any other spot than at the altar, and in the house of their
If there was a single heart that felt the least emotion of regret
or uneasiness, it was Lady Moseley, who little relished the retirement
of the cottage, on so joyful an occasion——but Pendennyss silenced her
objections, by good-humouredly replying——
"The Fates have been so kind to me, in giving me castles and seats,
you ought to allow me, my dear Lady Moseley, the only opportunity, I
shall probably ever have, of enjoying love in a cottage."
A few days, however, removed the uneasiness of the good matron, who
had the felicity, within the week, of seeing her daughter initiated
mistress of Annerdale-House.——
The morning of their return to this noble mansion——the Earl
presented himself in St. James's square, with the intelligence of their
arrival, and smiling, as he bowed to Mrs. Wilson, he continued——"And to
escort you, dear Madam, to your new abode."
Mrs. Wilson started with surprise, and with a heart beating quick
with emotion, required an explanation of his words.
"Surely, dearest Mrs. Wilson——more than aunt——my mother——you cannot
mean, after having trained my Emily through infancy to maturity in the
paths of her duty——to desert her in the moment of her greatest
trial.——I am the pupil of your husband," he continued, taking her hands
in his own with reverence and affection, "we are the children of your
joint care——and one home, as there is but one heart, must, in future,
Mrs. Wilson had wished for, but hardly dared to expect this
invitation——it was now urged from the right quarter, and in a manner
that was as sincere as it was gratifying—— unable to conceal her tears,
the good widowpressed the hand of Pendennyss to her lips, as she
murmured out her thanks, and her acceptance——Sir Edward was prepared
also to lose his sister, as an inmate, but unwilling to relinquish the
pleasure of her society, he urged her making a common residence between
the two families.
"Pendennyss has spoken truth, my dear brother" cried she,
recovering her voice, "Emily is the child of my care and my love ——the
two beings I love best in this world, are now united——but," she added,
pressing Lady Moseley to her bosom, "my heart is large enough for you
all; you are of my blood, and my gratitude for your affection is
boundless——There shall be but one large family of us, and although our
duties may separate us for a time——we will, I trust, ever meet in
tenderness and love——but with George and Emily I will take up my
"I hope your house in Northamptonshire is not to be vacant always,"
said Lady Moseley to the Earl, anxiously.
"I have no house there, my dear Madam," he replied; "when I thought
myself about to succeed in my suit before, I directed a lawyer at Bath,
where Sir William Harris resided most of his time, to endeavour to
purchase the Deanery, whenever a good opportunity offered;——-in my
discomfiture," he added, smiling, "I forgot to countermand the order,
and he purchased it immediately on its being advertised;——-for a short
time itwas an incumbrance to me——-but it is now applied to its original
purpose——-It is the sole property of the Countess of Pendennyss, and I
doubt not you will see it often, and agreeably tenanted."
This intelligence gave great satisfaction to his friends, and the
expected summer, restored to even Jane, a gleam of her former pleasure.
If there be bliss in this life, approaching in any degree to the
happiness of the blessed, it is the fruition of long and ardent love,
where youth——innocence——piety——and family concord, smile upon the
union——and all these were united in the case of the new-married
pair;——-buth appiness in this world cannot, or does not, in any
situation, exist without alloy ——it would seem a wise and gracious
ordering of Providence, to draw our attention to scenes void of care,
and free, alike, from the infirmities and corruption of mortality.
The peace of mind and fortitude of Emily, were fated to receive a
blow, as unlooked for to herself, as it was unexpected to the world.
Buonaparte appeared in France, and Europe became in motion.
From the moment the Earl heard the intelligence——he saw his own
course decided—— his regiment was the pride of the army, and that it
would be ordered to join the Duke, he did not entertain a doubt.
Emily was therefore, in some little measure, prepared for the
blow——it is at suchmoments, as our acts or events affecting us, become
without our controul, that faith in the justice and benevolence of God,
is the most serviceable in a worldly point of view to the Christian;
when others spend their time in useless regrets——-he is piously
resigned——-it even so happens, that when others mourn, he can rejoice.
The sound of the bugle, wildly winding its notes, broke on the
stillness of the morning, in the little village in which was situated
the cottage tenanted by Sir Edward Moseley ——-almost concealed by the
shrubbery which surrounded its piazza, stood the forms of the Countess
of Pendennyss, and her sister Lady Marian, watching eagerly the
appearance of those, whose approach, was thus announced.
The carriage of the ladies, with its idle attendants, were in
waiting at a short distance, and the pale face, but composed
resignation of its mistress——indicated a struggle between conflicting
File, after file, of heavy horse, passed them in all the pomp of
military splendour, and the wistful gaze of the two females had scanned
them in vain for the well-known—— much-beloved countenance, of their
leader—— at length a single horseman approached them, riding
deliberately and musing——their forms met his eye——and in an instant,
Emily was pressed to the bosom of her husband.
"It is the doom of a soldier," said the earl, dashing a tear from
his eye; "I had hoped the peace of the world would not again be
assailed in years, and that ambition and jealousy would yield a respite
to our bloody profession; but, cheer up, my love——hope for the
best——-your trust is not in the things of this life, and your happiness
is without the power of man."
"Ah! Pendennyss——-my husband," sobbed Emily, sinking on his bosom,
" take with you my prayers——-my love——-every thing that can console
you——-every thing that may profit you——-I will not tell you to be
careful of your life——-your duty teaches you that——-as a soldier,
expose it——as a husband, guard it——- and return to me as you leave
me——-a lover ——the dearest of men, and a christian."
Unwilling to prolong the pain of parting, the Earl gave his wife a
last embrace, held Marian affectionately to his bosom, and mounting his
horse, was out of sight in an instant.
Within a few days of the departure of Pendennyss——-Chatterton was
surprised with the entrance of his mother and Catherine. His reception
of them, was that of a respectful child, and his wife exerted herself
to be kind to connexions she could not love, in order to give pleasure
to a husband she adored——-their tale was soon told——-Lord and Lady
Herriefield were separated; and the Dowager alive to the dangers of a
young woman in Catherine's situation, and without a single principle,
on which to rest the assuranceof her blameless conduct in future——- had
brought her to England, in order to keep off disgrace, by residing with
her child herself.
There was nothing in his wife to answer the expectations with which
Lord Herriefield married——she had beauty, but with that, he was already
sated——-her simplicity and unsuspicious behaviour, which had, by having
her attention drawn elsewhere, at first charmed him, was succeeded by
the knowing conduct, of a determined follower of the fashions, and a
decided woman of the world.
It had never struck the Viscount, as impossible, that an artless
and innocent girl would fall in love with his faded and bilious face
——but the moment Catherine betrayed the arts of a manager, he saw at
once the artifice that had been practised upon himself——- of course, he
ceased to love her.
Men are flattered, for a season, with the notice of a woman, that
has been unsought, but it never fails to injure her in the opinion of
the other sex, in time——-without a single feeling in common, without a
regard to any thing but self, in either husband or wife, it could not
but happen that a separation must follow, or their days be spent in
wrangling and misery.
Catherine willingly left her husband——her husband more willingly
got rid of her.
During all these movements, the Dowager had a difficult game to
play——it was unbecomingher to encourage the strife, and it was against
her wishes to suppress it——she therefore moralized with the peer, and
frowned upon her daughter.
The viscount listened to her truisms, with the attention of a boy,
who is told by a drunken father, how wicked it is to love liquor, and
heeded them about as much; while Kate, mistress, at all events, of two
thousand a year——minded her mother's frowns as little as she regarded
her smiles——both were indifferent to her.
A few days after the ladies left Lisbon, the Viscount proceeded to
Italy, in company with the repudiated wife of a British naval officer;
and if Kate was not guilty, of an offence of equal magnitude, it was
more owing to her mother's present vigilance, than to her previous
The presence of Mrs. Wilson was a great source of consolation to
Emily in the absence of her husband; and as their abode in town any
longer was useless, the Countess declining to be presented without the
Earl, the whole family decided upon a return into Northamptonshire.
The deanery had been furnished by order of Pendennyss immediately
on his marriage; and its mistress hastened to take possession of her
new dwelling. The amusement and occupation of this movement ——-the
planning of little improvements—— her various duties under her
increased responsibilities, kept Emily from dwelling in her thoughts,
unduly upon the danger of her husband. She sought out amongst the first
objects of her bounty, the venerable peasant, whose loss had been
formerly supplied by Pendennyss on his first visit to B——, after the
death of his father; there might not have been the usual discrimination
and temporal usefulness in her charities in this instance which
generally accompanied her benevolent acts; but it was associated with
the image of her husband, and it could excite no surprise in Mrs.
Wilson, although it did in Marian, to see her sister, driving two or
three times a week, to relieve the necessities of a man, who appeared
actually to be in want of nothing.
Sir Edward was again amongst those he loved, and his hospitable
board was once more surrounded with the faces of his friends and
neighbours. The good-natured Mr. Haughton was always a welcome guest at
the hall, and met, soon after their return, the collected family of the
baronet, at a dinner given by the latter to his children, and one or
two of his most intimate neighbours——
"My Lady Pendennyss," cried Mr. Haughton, in the course of the
afternoon, "I have news from the Earl, which I know it will do your
heart good to hear."
Emily smiled her pleasure at the prospect of hearing, in any
manner, favourably of her husband, although she internally questioned
the probability of Mr. Haughton's knowingany thing of his movements,
which her daily letters did not apprise her of.
"Will you favour me with the particulars of your intelligence,
sir?" said the Countess.
"He has arrived safe with his regiment near Brussels; I heard it
from a neighbour's son who saw him in that city, enter the house
occupied by Wellington, while he was standing in the crowd without,
waiting to get a peep at the duke."
"Oh!" said Mrs. Wilson with a laugh, "Emily knew that ten days ago;
could your friend tell us any thing of Bonaparte, we are much
interested in his movements just now."
Mr. Haughton, a good deal mortified to find his news stale, mused a
moment as if in doubt to proceed or not; but liking of all things to
act the part of a newspaper, he continued——
"Nothing more than you see in the prints; but I suppose your
ladyship has heard about Captain Jarvis too?"
"Why, no," said Emily laughing, "the movements of Captain Jarvis
are not quite as interesting to me, as those of Lord Pendennyss——has
the duke made him an aid-decamp?"
"Oh! no," cried the other exculting in his success in having
something new, "as soon as he heard of the return of Boney,——he threw
up his commission and got married."
"Married!" cried John, "not to Miss Harris, surely."
"No, to a silly girl he met in Cornwall, who was fool enough to be
caught with his gold lace. He married one day, and the next, told his
disconsolate wife, and panicstruck mother, the honour of the Jarvis's
must sleep, until the supporters of the name became sufficiently
numerous to risk losing them, in the field of battle.
"And how did Mrs. Jarvis and Sir Timo's lady relish the news?"
inquired John, expecting something ridiculous.
"Not at all," rejoined Mr. Haughton; "the former sobbed, and said,
she had only married him for his bravery and red coat, and the lady
exclaimed against the destruction of his budding honours."
"How did it terminate?" asked Mrs. Wilson.
"Why, it seems while they were quarrelling about it, the war office
cut the matter short by accepting his resignation. I suppose the
commander in chief had learnt his character; but the matter was warmly
contested——they even drove the captain to declare his principles."
"And what kind of ones might they have been, Haughton?" said Sir
"Republican!" exclaimed two or three in surprise.
"Yes, liberty and equality, he contended,were his idols, and he
could not find it in his heart to fight against Bonaparte."
"A somewhat singular conclusion," said Mr. Benfield musing. "I
remember when I sat in the house, there was a party who were fond of
the cry of this said liberty; but when they got the power, they did not
seem to me to suffer people to go more at large than they went
before——but I suppose they were diffident of telling the world their
minds, after they were put in such responsible stations—— for fear of
the effect of example."
"Most people like liberty as servants, but not as masters, uncle,"
cried John, with a sneer.
"Capt. Jarvis, it seems, liked it as a preserver against danger,"
continued Mr. Haughton; "to avoid ridicule in his new neighbourhood, he
has consented to his father's wishes, and turned merchant in the city
"Where I sincerely hope he will remain," cried John, who since the
accident of the arbour, could not tolerate the unfortunate youth.
"Amen!" said Emily, in an under tone, heard only by her smiling
"But Sir Timo——-what has become of Sir Timo——-the good, honest
merchant?" asked John.
"He has dropt the title, insists on being called plain Mr. Jarvis,
and lives entirely in Cornwall. His hopeful son-in-law, has gone with
his regiment to Flanders, and LadyEgerton, being unable to live without
her father's assistance, is obliged to hide her consequence in the west
The subject became now disagreeable to Lady Moseley, and it was
changed. The misfortune of such conversations, which unavoidably
occurred, was, that it made Jane more reserved aud dissatisfied than
ever. She had no one respectable excuse to offer for her partiality to
her former lover, and when her conscience told her of this mortifying
fact, her jealousy was apt to think others remembered it too.
The letters from the continent, now teemed with the preparations
for the approaching contest, and the apprehensions of our heroine and
her friends to increase, in proportion to the nearness of the struggle,
on which hung not only the fate of thousands of individuals, but of
adverse princes, and mighty empires. In this confusion of interests,
and jarring of passions——-there were offered prayers almost hourly, for
the safety of Pendennyss, which were as pure and ardent, as the love
which prompted them.
Napoleon had commenced those daring and rapid movements, which for
a time threw the peace of the world into the scale of fortune, and
which nothing but the interposition of a ruling providence could avert
from their threatened success; as the ——the Dragoons wheeled into a
field already deluged with English blood, on the heights of Quartre
Bras. The eye of its gallant Colonel saw a friendly battalion falling
beneath the sabres of the enemy's Cuirassiers. The word was passed——the
column opens——the sounds of the quivering bugle were heard for a
moment, over the roar of the cannon and the shouts of the combatants;
the charge sweeping, like a whirlwind——fell heavy on those treacherous
Frenchmen, who to day had sworn fidelity to Louis, and to-morrow
intended lifting their hands in allegiance to his rival.
"Spare my life in merey," cried an officer, already dreadfully
wounded, who stood shrinking from the impending blow of an enraged
Frenchman.——An English dragoon dashed at the Cuirassier, and with one
blow severed his arm from his body——
"Thank God," sighed the wounded officer, as he sunk beneath the
His rescuer threw himself from the saddle to his assistance, and
raising the fallen man,inquired into his wounds——It was Pendennyss——it
was Egerton. The wounded man groaned aloud, as he saw the face of him
who had averted the fatal blow——but it was not the hour for
explanations or confessions, other than those with which the dying
soldiers endeavoured to make their tardy peace with their God.
Sir Henry was given in charge to two slightly wounded British
soldiers, and the Earl remounted——the scattered troops were rallied at
the sound of the trumpet——and again and again——led by their dauntless
Colonel, were seen in the thickest of the fray, with sabres drenched in
blood, and voices hoarse with the shouts of victory.
The period between the battles of Quartre Bras and Waterloo, was a
trying one to the discipline and courage of the British army. The
discomfited Prussians on their flank, had been routed and compelled to
retire, and in their front was an enemy, brave, skilful, and
victorious——led by the greatest Captain of the age. The prudent
commander of the English forces fell back with dignity and reluctance
to the field of Waterloo; here the mighty struggle was to terminate,
and the eye of every experienced soldier, looked on those eminences, as
the future graves for thousands.
During this solemn interval of comparative inactivity, the mind of
Pendenny ss dwelt on the affection, the innocence, the beauty andworth
of his Emily, until the curdling blood, as he thought on her lot,
should his life be the purchase of the coming victory, warned him to
quit the gloomy subject, for the consolations of that religion which
could only yield him the solace his wounded feelings required. In his
former campaigns, the Earl had been sensible of the mighty changes of
death, and had ever kept in view the preparations necessary to meet it
with hope and joy; but the world clung around him now, in the best
affections of his nature——and it was only as he could picture the happy
reunion with his Emily in a future life, he could look on a separation
in this, without despair.
The vicinity of the enemy admitted of no relaxation in the
strictest watchfulness in the British lines, and the comfortless night
of the seventeenth, was passed by the Earl, and his Lieutenant Colonel,
George Denbigh, on the same cloak, and under the open canopy of Heaven.
As the opening cannon of the enemy gave the signal for the
commencing conflict, Pendennyss mounted his charger with a last thought
on his distant wife; with a mighty struggle he tore her as it were from
his bosom, and gave the remainder of the day to his country and duty.
Who has not heard of the events of that fearful hour, on which the
fate of Europe hung as it were suspended in a scale? On oneside
supported by the efforts of desperate resolution, guided by the most
consummate art; and on the other defended, by a discipline and enduring
courage, almost without a parallel.
The indefatigable Blucher arrived, and the star of Napoleon sunk.
Pendennyss threw himself from his horse, on the night of the
eighteenth of June, as he gave way by orders, in the pursuit, to the
fresher battalions of the Prussians——with the languor that follows
unusual excitement, and mental thanksgivings that his bloody work was
at length ended. The image of his Emily again broke over the sterner
feelings engendered by the battle, as the first glimmerings of light,
which succeed the awful darkness of the eclipse of the sun; and he
again breathed freely, in the consciousness of the happiness which
would await his now speedy return.
"I am sent for the Colonel of the——th Dragoons," said a courier in
broken English to a soldier, near where the Earl lay on the ground,
waiting the preparations of his attendants——"have I found the right
regiment, my friend?"
"To be sure you have," answered the man, without looking up from
his toil on his favourite animal, "you might have tracked us by the
dead Frenchmen, I should think. So you want my Lord, my lad, do you? do
we move again to-night?" suspending his labour for a moment in
expectation of a reply.
"Not to my knowledge," rejoined the courier, "my message is to your
Colonel, from a dying man; will you point out his station?" the soldier
complied, and the message was soon delivered, and Pendennyss prepared
to obey its summons immediately. Preceded by the messenger as a guide,
and followed by Harmer, the Earl retraced his steps, over that ground
he had but a few hours before been engaged on, in the deadly strife of
man to man, hand to hand.
How different is the contemplation of a field of battle, during and
after the conflict. The excitement——suspended success——shouts, uproar,
and confusion of the former, prevent any contemplation of the nicer
parts, of this confused mass of movements, charges and retreats; or if
a brilliant advance is made, a masterly retreat effected, the
imagination is chained by the splendour and glory of the act, without
resting for a moment, on the sacrifice of individual happiness with
which it is purchased. A battle ground from which the whir wind of the
combat has passed, presents a different sight——it offers the very
consummation of human misery.
There may be occasionally an individual, who from station,
distempered mind, or the encouragement of chimerical ideas of glory,
quits the theatre of life with at least the appearance of pleasure in
his triumphs; if such there be in reality, if this rapture ofdeparting
glory be any thing more than the deception of a distempered excitement,
the subject of its exhibition, is to be greatly pitied.
To the Christian, dying in peace with both God and man, can it
alone be ceded in the eye of reason, to pour out his existence, with a
smile on his quivering lip.
And the warrior, who falls in the very arms of victory, after
passing a life devoted to the world; even if he sees kingdoms hang
suspended on his success, may smile indeed—— may utter sentiments full
of loyalty and zeal—— may be the admiration of the world——and what is
his reward? a deathless name, and an existence of misery, which knows
Christianity alone can make us good soldiers in any cause, for he
who knows how to live, is always the least afraid to die.
Pendennyss and his companions pushed their way over the ground
occupied before the battle by the enemy, descended into, and through
that little valley, in which yet lay in undistinguished confusion,
masses of dead and the dying of either side; and again over the ridge,
on which could be marked the situation of those gallant Squares, which
had so long resisted the efforts of the horse and artillery, by the
groups of bodies, fallen where they had bravely stood, until even the
callous Harmer, sickened with the sight of a waste of life, he had but
a few hours before exultingly contributed to increase.
Appeals to their feelings as they rode through the field had been
frequent, and their progress much retarded, by their attempts to
contribute to the ease of a wounded or a dying man: but as the courier
constantly urged their speed, as the only means of securing the object
of their ride, these halts were reluctantly abandoned.
It was ten o'clock before they reached the farm house, where lay in
the midst of hundreds of his countrymen, the former lover of Jane.
As the subject of his confession must be anticipated by the reader,
we will give a short relation of his life, and those acts which more
materially affect our history.
Henry Egerton had been turned early on the world, like hundreds of
his countrymen, without any principle, to counteract the arts of
infidelity, or resist the temptations of life. His father held a
situation under government, and was devoted to his rise in the
diplomatic line. His mother, a woman of fashion, who lived for effect,
and idle competition with her sisters in weakness and folly. All he
learnt in his father's house, was selfishness, from the example of one,
and a love of high life and its extravagance, from the other, of his
He entered the army young——-from choice. The splendour and
reputation of the service, caught his fancy; and he was, by pride and
constitution, indifferent to personal danger. Yet he loved London and
its amusementsbetter than glory; and the money of his uncle, Sir Edgar,
whose heir he was reputed to be, had raised him to the rank of
Lieutenant Colonel, without his spending an hour in the field.
Egerton had some abilities, and a good deal of ardour of
temperament, by nature. The former from indulgence and example,
degenerated into the acquiring the art to please in mixed society; and
the latter, from want of employment, expended itself at the card table.
The very irritability of genius, is dangerous to an idle man. It
prompts to mischief, if it be not employed in good.
The association between the vices is intimate. There really appears
to be a kind of modesty in sin, that makes it ashamed of good company.
If we are unable to reconcile a favourite propensity to our principles,
we are apt to abandon the unpleasant restraint on our actions, rather
than admit the incongruous mixture——freed entirely from the fetters of
our morals, what is there our vices will not prompt us to commit?
Egerton, like thousands of others, went on from step to step in the
abandonment of virtue, until he found himself in the world, free to
follow all his inclinations, so he violated none of the decencies of
life——and this consisted in detection——what was hid did no harm.
When in Spain, on service in his only campaign, he was
accidentally, as has beenmentioned, thrown in the way of the Donna
Julia, and brought her off the ground, under the influence of natural
sympathy and national feeling——a kind of merit that makes vice only
more dangerous, by making it sometimes amiable. He had not seen his
dependant long, before her beauty, situation, and his passions, decided
him to effect her ruin.
This was an occupation, his figure, manners and propensities had
made him an adept in, and nothing was farther from his thoughts than
the commission of any other, than the crime a gentleman might be guilty
of (in his opinion) with impunity.
It is however the misfortune of sin, that from being our slave it
becomes a tyrant, and Egerton attempted what in other countries, and
where the laws ruled, might have cost him his life.
The conjecture of Pendennyss was true—— he saw the face of the
officer who had interposed, between him and his villanous attempt, but
was hid himself from view——he aimed not at his life, but his own
escape; happily his first shot succeeded, for the Earl would have been
sacrificed, to preserve the character of a man of honour; though no one
was more regardless of the estimation he was held in by the virtuous
than Colonel Egerton.
In pursuance of his plans on Mrs. Fitzgerald, the Colonel had
sedulously avoided admitting any of his companions, into the secret of
his having a female in his care.
When he left the army to return home, he remained until a movement
of the troops to a distant part of the country, enabled him to effect
his own purposes, without incurring their ridicule; and when he found
himself obliged to abandon his vehicle, for a refuge in the woods, the
fear of detection made him alter his course, and under the pretence of
wishing to be in a battle about to be fought, he secretly rejoined the
army, and the gallantry of Colonel Egerton was mentioned in the next
Sir Herbert Nicholson commanded the advanced guard, at which the
Earl arrived with the Donna Julia, and like every other brave man
(unless guilty himself) was indignant at the villany of the fugitive.
The times, confusion and enormities, daily practiced in the theatre of
the war, prevented any close inquiries into the subject, and
circumstances had so enveloped Egerton in mystery, that nothing but an
interview with the lady herself was likely to expose him.
With Sir Herbert Nicholson he had been in habits of intimacy, and
on that gentleman's alluding in a conversation in the barracks at F——to
the lady, brought into his quarters before Lishon, he accidentally
omitted mentioning the name of her rescuer. Egerton had never before
heard the transaction spoken of, and as he had of course never
mentioned the subject himself, was ignorant of who interfered between
him and his views,also of the fate of Donna Julia; indeed, he thought
it probable that it had not much improved by a change of guardians.
In his object in coming into Northamptonshire he had several views;
he wanted a temporary retreat from his creditors. Jarvis had an infant
fondness for play, without an adequate skill, and the money of the
young ladies, in his necessities, was becoming of importance; but the
daughters of Sir Edward Moseley were of a description more suited to
his taste, and their portions were as ample as the others: he had
become in some degree attached to Jane, and as her imprudent parents,
satisfied with his possessing the exterior and requisite
recommendations of a gentleman, admitted his visits freely, he
determined to make her his wife.
When he met Denbigh the first time, he saw chance had thrown him in
the way of a man who might hold his character in his power; he had
never seen Pendennyss, and it will be remembered, was ignorant of the
name of Julia's friend; he now learnt, for the first time, that it was
Denbigh: uneasy at he knew not what, fearful of some exposure, he knew
not how, when Sir Herbert alluded to the occurrence——with a view to
rebut the charge, if Denbigh should choose to make one; with the near
sightedness of guilt. he pretended to know the occurrence, and under
the promise of secrecy, mentioned that the name of the officer was
Denbigh; he hadnoticed Denbigh, avoiding Sir Herbert at the ball, and
judging others from himself, thought it was a wish to avoid any
allusions to the lady he had brought into the others quarters that
induced the measure; he was in hopes that if Denbigh was not as guilty
as himself, he was sufficiently so, to wish to keep the transaction
from the eyes of Emily: he was however prepared for an explosion or an
alliance with him, when the sudden departure of Sir Herbert removed the
danger of a collision——believing at last they were to be brothers-in
law, and mistaking the Earl for his cousin, whose name he bore, Egerton
became reconciled to the association; while Pendennyss having in his
absence heard on inquiring some of the vices of the Colonel, was
debating with himself, whether he should expose them to Sir Edward or
It was in their occasional interchange of civilities that
Pendennyss placed his pocket-book upon a table, while he exhibited the
plants to the Colonel; the figure of Emily passing the window, drew him
from the room, and Egerton having ended his examination, observing the
book, put it in his own pocket, to return it to its owner when they
The situation; name and history of Mrs. Fitzgerald were never
mentioned by the Moseleys in public; but Jane, in the confidence of her
affections, had told her lover who the inmate of the cottage was; the
idea of her being kept there by Denbigh, immediately occurred to him,
and although he was surprised at the audacity of the thing, he was
determined to profit by the occasion.
To pay this visit, he staid away from the excursion on the water,
as Pendennyss did to avoid his friend, Lord Henry Stapleton. An excuse
of business which served for his apology, kept the Colonel from seeing
Denbigh to return the book, until after his visit to the Cottage——his
rhapsody of love, and offers to desert his intended wife, were nothing
but the common place talk of his purposes; and his presumption in
alluding to his situation with Miss Moseley, proceeded from his
impressions as to Julia's real character; in this struggle for the
bell, the pocket book of Denbigh accidentally fell from his coat——and
the retreat of the Colonel was too precipitate to enable him to recover
Mrs. Fitzgerald was too much alarmed to distinguish nicely, and
Egerton proceeded to the ball room with the indifference of a hardened
offender. When the arrival of Miss Jarvis, to whom he had committed
himself, prompted him to a speedy declaration, and the unlucky
conversation of Mr. Holt brought about a probable detection of his
gaming propensities, the Colonel determined to get rid of his awkward
situation and his debts, by a coup-de-main——he eloped with Miss Jarvis.
What portion of the foregoing narrative made the dying confession
of Egerton to the man he had lately discovered to be the Earl of
Pendennyss, the reader can easily imagine.
The harvest had been gathered, and the beautiful vales of
Pendennyss, were shooting forth a second crop of verdure. The
husbandman was turning his prudent forethought to the promises of the
coming year, while the castle itself exhibited to the gaze of the
wondering peasant, a sight of cheerfulness and animation, which had not
been seen in it since the days of the good duke. Its numerous windows
were opened to the light of the sun——its halls teemed with the happy
faces of its inmates. Servants, in various liveries, were seen gliding
through its magnificent apartments, and multiplied passages. Horses,
grooms, and carriages, with varied costume and different armorial
bearings, crowded its spacious stables and offices.—— Every thing
spoke——society——splendour—— and activity without. Every thing denoted
order——propriety——and happiness within.
In a long range of spacious apartments, were grouped in the pursuit
of their morning employments, or in arranging their duties and
pleasures of the day, the guests and owners of the princely abode.
In one room was John Moseley, carefully examining the properties of
some flints, submitted to his examination by his attending servant;
while Grace, setting by his side,playfully snatches the stones from his
hand, as she cries half reproachfully——half tenderly——
"You must not devote yourself to your gun so incessantly, Moseley;
it is cruel to kill inoffensive birds for your amusement only."
"Ask Emily's cook, and Mr. Haughton's appetite," said John, cooly,
extending his hand towards her for the flint——-"whether no one is
gratified but myself. I tell you, Grace, I seldom fire in vain."
"That only makes the matter worse——-the slaughter you commit is
dreadful," rejoined his wife, still refusing to return her prize.
"Oh!" cried John, with a laugh, "the ci-devant Captain Jarvis is a
sportsman to your mind. He would shoot a month without moving a
feather——-he was a great friend to," he continued, throwing an arch
look to his solitary sister, who sat on a sopha at a distance perusing
a book, "Jane's feathered songsters."
"But now, Moseley," said Grace, yielding the flints, but gently
retaining the hand that took them; " Pendennyss and Chatterton intend
driving their wives, like good husbands, to see the beautiful
water-fall in the mountains; and what am I to do this long tedious
John stole an inquiring glance, to see if his wife was very anxious
to join the party——-castone look of regret on a beautiful agate he had
selected, and inquired:——-
"You don't wish to ride very much, Mrs. Moseley?"
"Indeed——-indeed, I do," said the other eagerly, "if"——-
"You will drive me?" continued she, with a cheek slightly tinged
with an unusual vermilion.
"Well them," answered John, with deliberation, and regarding his
wife with great affection, "I will go——-on one condition."
"Name it?" cried Grace, with still increasing colour, from the glow
"That you will not expose your health again, in going to the church
on a Sunday, if it rains."
"The carriage is so close, Moseley," answered Grace, with a paler
cheek than before, and eyes fixed on the carpet, "it is impossible I
can take cold——-you see the Earl, and Countess, and aunt Wilson, never
miss public worship, when possibly within their power."
"The Earl goes with his wife; but what becomes of poor me at such
times," said John, taking her hand, and pressing it kindly. "I like to
hear a good sermon——-but not in bad weather. You must consent to oblige
me, who only live in your presence."
Grace smiled faintly, as John, pursuing the point, said——-"But what
do you say to my condition?"
"Well, then, if you wish," replied Grace, without the look of
gaiety, her hopes had first inspired: "I will not go if it rains."
John ordered his phaeton, and his wife went to her room to prepare
for the ride, and regret her own resolution.
In the recess of a window, in which bloomed a profusion of exotics,
stood the figure of Lady Marian Denbigh, playing with a half blown rose
of the richest colours; and before her stood leaning against the angle
of the wall, her kinsman, the Duke of Derwent.
"You heard the plan at the breakfast table," said his Grace,——-"to
visit the little falls in the hills. But I suppose you have seen them
too often to undergo the fatigue for the pleasure?"
"Oh no?" rejoined the lady with a smile, "I love that ride dearly,
and should wish to accompany the Countess in her first visit to it. I
had half a mind to ask George to take me in his phæton with them."
"My curricle would be honoured with the presence of Lady Marian
Denbigh," cried the Duke with animation, "if she would accept me for
her Knight on the occasion."
Marian bowed her assent, in evident satisfaction to the
arrangement, as the Duke proceeded——-
"But if you take me as your Knight, I should wear your ladyship's
colours;" and he held out his hand towards the budding rose. Lady
Marian hesitated a moment——-lookedout at the prospect——-up at the
wall——- turned, and wondered where her brother was; and still finding
the hand of the Duke extended, as his eye rested on her in
admiration.——-She gave him the boon, with a cheek that vied with the
richest tints of the flower. They separated to prepare, and it was on
their return from the ride, the Duke seemed uncommonly gay and amusing,
and the lady silent with her tongue, though her eyes danced in every
direction, but towards her cousin.
"Really, my dear Lady Moseley," said the Dowager, as seated by the
side of her companion, her eyes roved over the magnificence within, and
widely extended domains without——"Emily is well established, indeed——-
better even, than my Grace."
"Grace has an affectionate husband," replied the other, gravely,
"and one that I hope will make her happy."
"Oh! no doubt happy?" said Lady Chatterton, hastily: "but they say
Emily has a jointure of twelve thousand a year——by-the-bye," she added,
in a low tone, though no one was near enough to hear what she said,
"could not the Earl have settled Lumley Castle on her, instead of the
"Upon my word I never think of such gloomy subjects, as provisions
for widow-hood," cried Lady Moseley——but, with a brightening look, "you
have been in Annerdale-House——is it not a princely mausion?"
"Princely, indeed," rejoined the Dowager with a sigh: "don't the
Earl intend increasing the rents of this estate, as the leases fall
in——I am told they are very low now?"
"I believe not," said the other. "He has enough, and is willing
others should prosper ——but there is Clara, with her little boy——is he
not a lovely child," cried the grandmother with a look of delight, as
she rose to take the infant in her arms.
"Oh! excessively beautiful!" said the Dowager, looking the other
way, and observing Catherine making a movement towards Lord Henry
Stapleton——she called to her. "Lady Herriefield——come this way, my dear
——I wish you here."
Kate obeyed with a sullen pout of her pretty lip, and entered into
some idle discussion about a cap, though her eyes wandered round the
rooms in listless vacancy.
The Dowager had the curse of bad impressions in youth to contend
with, and laboured infinitely harder now to make her daughter act
right, than formerly she had ever done to make her act wrong.
"Here! uncle Benfield," cried Emily, with a face glowing with
health and animation, as she approached his seat with a glass in her
hands. "Here is the negus you wished; I have made it myself, and you
must praise it of course."
"Oh! my dear Lady Pendennyss," said the old gentleman, rising
politely from hisseat to receive his beverage; "you are putting
yourself to a great deal of trouble for an old bachelor, like me——-too
much indeed——- too much."
"Old bachelors are sometimes more esteemed than young ones," cried
the Earl gaily, as he joined them in time to hear this speech to his
wife. "Here is my friend, Mr. Peter Johnson, who knows when we may
dance at his wedding."
"My Lord——-and my Lady——and my honoured master," said Peter gravely
in reply, and bowing respectfully where he stood, with a salver to take
his master's glass——"I am past the age to think of a wife; I am
seventy-three, come next lammas——counting by the old style."
"What do you intend to do with your three hundred a year," said
Emily with a smile, "unless you bestow it on some good woman, for
making the evening of your life comfortable?"
"My Lady——hem——my Lady," said the steward, blushing; "I had a
little thought, with your kind ladyship's consent, as I have no
relations, chick or child, in the world, what to do with it."
"I should be happy to hear your plan," said the Countess, observing
the steward anxious to communicate something.
"Why, my Lady, if my Lord and my honoured master's agreeable, I did
think of putting another codicil to master's will in order to dispose
"Your master's will," said the Earl laughing; "why not your own, my
"My honoured Lord," said the steward, with great humility, "it
don't become a poor serving man like me to make a will."
"But how will you prove it," said the Earl kindly, willing to
convince him of his error; "you must be both dead to prove it."
"Our wills," said Peter, gulping his words, "will be proved on the
same day." His master looked round at him with great affection, and
both the Earl and Emily were too much struck with his attachment to say
any thing. Peter had, however, the subject too much at heart to abandon
it, just as he had broke the ice. He anxiously wished the Countess's
consent to the scheme, for he would not affront her even after he was
"My Lady——Miss Emmy," said Johnson, eagerly, "my plan is——-if my
honoured master's agreeable——-to make a codicil——-and give my mite to a
little——-Lady Emily Denbigh."
"Oh! Peter, you and uncle Benfield are both too good," cried Emily,
laughing and blushing, as she hastened to Clara and her mother.
"Thank you——thank you," cried the delighted Earl, following his
wife with his eyes, and shaking the steward cordially by the hand——"and
if no better expedient be adopted by us, you have full permission to do
as you please with your money"——-andthe husband joined some of his
"Peter," said his master to him, in a low tone, "you should never
speak of such things prematurely——now I remember when the Earl of
Pendennyss, my nephew, was first presented to me, I was struck with the
delicacy and propriety of his demeanour—— and the Lady Pendennyss, my
niece too——- you never see any thing forward or——Ah! Emmy, dear," said
the old man tenderly, interupting himself, "you are too good——to
remember your old uncle," taking one of the fine peaches she handed him
from a plate——-the Countess handed the steward one also, though with an
averted face, and expression of archness and shame.
"My Lord," said Mr. Haughton to the Earl, "Mrs. Ives and myself,
have had a contest about the comforts of matrimony——- she insists she
may be quite as happy at Bolton Parsonage, as in this noble castle, and
with this rich prospect in view."
"I hope," said Francis, "you are not teaching my wife to be
discontented with her humble lot——if so, both, her's and your visit
will be an unhappy one."
"It would be no easy task, if our good friend intended any such
thing, by his jests," said Clara, smiling; "I know my true interests, I
trust, too well, to wish to change my fortune."
"You are right," said Pendennyss; "it is wonderful how little our
happiness dependson our temporal condition——-when here, or at Lumley
Castle, surrounded by my tenantry, there are, I confess, moments of
weakness, in which the loss of my wealth or rank, would be missed
greatly——-but when on service——-subjected to great privations, and
surrounded by men superior to me in military rank, and who say unto
me——go, and I go——-come, and I come——-I find my enjoyments
intrinsically the same."
"That," said Francis, "may be owing to your Lordship's tempered
feelings——-which have taught you to look beyond this world for your
pleasures and consolation."
"It has doubtless an effect," said the Earl, "but there is no truth
I am more fully persuaded of, than, that our happiness here, does not
depend upon our lot in life, so we are not suffering for
necessaries——-even changes bring less real misery than they are
"Doubtless;" cried Mr. Haughton, "under the circumstances, I would
not wish to change, even with your Lordship, unless, indeed," he
continued, with a smile, and bow to the Countess, "it were the
temptation of your lovely wife."
"You are quite polite," said Emily, laughing, "but I have no desire
to deprive Mrs. Haughton of a companion she has made out so well with
these twenty years past."
"Thirty, my Lady, if you please."
"And thirty more, I hope," continued Emily, as a servant announced
the several carriages at the door. The younger part of the company now
hastened to their different engagements, and Chatterton handed Harriet;
John, Grace; and Pendennyss, Emily, into their respective carriages;
the Duke and Lady Marian following, but at some little distance from
the rest of the party.
As the Earl drove from the door, the Countess looked up to a
window, at which were standing her aunt and Doctor Ives; and kissed her
hand to them, with a face, in which glowed the mingled expressions of
innocence——love and joy.
Before leaving the Park, the party passed Sir Edward, with his wife
leaning on one arm and Jane on the other——pursuing their daily
walk——The Baronet followed the carriages with his eyes, and exchanged
looks of the fondest love with his children, as they drove slowly and
respectfully by him, and if the glance which followed on Jane, did not
speak equal pleasure——it surely denoted its proper proportion of
"You have much reason to congratulate yourself, on the happy
termination of your labours," said the Doctor, with a smile, to the
widow; "Emily is placed, so far as human foresight can judge, in the
happiest of all stations a female can be in——the pious wife of a pious
husband——beloved, and deserving of it."
"Yes," said Mrs. Wilson, drawing back from following the phaeton
with her eyes,"they are as happy as this world will admit of, and, what
is better, they are well prepared to meet any reverse of fortune which
may occur——and discharge the duties they have entered on;——I do not
think," continued she musing,"that Pendennyss can ever doubt the
affections of such a woman as Emily."
"I should think not," said the Doctor, with a smile, "but what can
excite such a thought in your breast, and one so much to the prejudice
"The only unpleasant thing, I have ever observed in him," said Mrs.
Wilson, gravely, "is the suspicion which induced him to adopt the
disguise he entered our family with."
"He did not adopt it, Madam——chance, and circumstances drew it
around him accidentally——and when you consider the peculiar state of
his mind from the discovery of his mother's misconduct——his own great
wealth and rank——it is not surprising he should yield to a deception,
rather harmless than injurious."
"Dr. Ives," said Mrs. Wilson, "is not wont to defend deceit."
"Nor do I now, Madam," replied the Doctor, with a smile, "I
acknowledge the offence of George——myself, wife, and son—— I
remonstrated at the time upon principle—— I said the end would not
justify the means—— that a departure from ordinary rules of propriety,
was at all times dangerous, and seldom practised with impunity."
"And you failed to convince your hearers," cried Mrs. Wilson,
gayly;"a novelty in your case, my good rector."
"I thank you for your compliment," said the Doctor, "I did convince
them as to the truth of the principle, but the Earl contended his case
might make an innocent exception——he had the vanity to think, I
believe, that by concealing his real name, he injured himself more than
any one else, and got rid of the charge in some such way——he is,
however, thoroughly convinced of the truth of the position by
practice——his sufferings, growing out of the mistake of his real
character, and which could not have happened had he appeared in proper
person—— were greater than he is free to acknowledge."
"If they study the fate of the Donna Julia, and his own weakness,"
said the widow, "they will have a salutary moral always at hand, to
teach them the importance of two cardinal virtues at least——obedience
"Julia has suffered much," replied the Doctor, "and although she
has returned to her father, the consequences of her imprudence are
likely to continue——when once the bonds of mutual confidence and
respect are broken——they may be partially restored it is true; but
never with a warmth and reliance, such as existed previously——to
return, however, to yourself——do you not feel a sensationof delight at
the prosperous end of your exertions in behalf of Emily?"
"It is certainly pleasant to think we have discharged our
duties——and the task is much easier than we are apt to suppose," said
Mrs. Wilson; "it is only to commence the foundation, so that it will be
able to support the superstructure——I have endeavoured to make Emily a
christian——I have endeavoured to form such a taste, and principles in
her——that she would not be apt to admire an improper suitor——and I have
laboured to prepare her to discharge her continued duties through life,
in such a manner and with such a faith, as will, under the providence
of God, result in happiness far exceeding any thing she now enjoys——in
all these, by the blessings of Heaven, I have succeeded——and had
occasion offered, I would have assisted her inexperience through the
more delicate decisions of her sex—— though in no instance would I
attempt to control them."
"You are right, my dear madam," said the Doctor, taking her kindly
by the hand, "and had I a daughter, I would follow a similar
course——give her delicacy——religion, and a proper taste, aided by the
unseen influence of a prudent parent's care——the chances of women for
happiness would be much greater than they are——and I am entirely of
your opinion——"That prevention is at all times better than cure."