Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

are we not under, to your huma- not on such an important occanity and goodness !!

sion to break the bonds of secrecy Speak not of it, my dear ma- and friendship, yet I did not condam ; how is your sister?'

ceive I had a right to publish to • She is much better than I ex- the world the disgrace that had in pected her to be : her joy at dis- confidence come to my knowledge, covering in time the perfidy of her of one who had not personally oflover has given her strength to fended memI cannot recollect all support the disappointment. She that passed in this conversation, begs her excuse for not attending but finding she was indeed the you, sir, and desired me to ex- young lady you have so frequently press her gratitude and thanks for inentioned, and with whom you the service you have done her. was, when you left England, no Here are the letters, but if you deeply enamoured, I was resolved will favour us with a second peru- to see her again if possible. Mr. sal, we shall be obliged to you.' Wilson wished me to spend the

I desired her to keep them, as day, and sleep at his house, if the they could be of no use to me. expected arrival of Mr. Beaumont The last was dated four days be was no objection. I did not wish fore, and mentioned his marriage to see him just then ; and to be at with the rich heiress.

hide, and seek in Mr. Wilson's We must now consult,' said house was out of the question. miss Vernon, “ the method of ac- Mr. Wilson's house is distant from quainting him with the discovery mine seventy miles. I had come your goodness has made.'

in a stage-coach. I recollected, • We have only to inform him, however, an old college acquaintsaid Mr. Wilson, · that we have ance who lived in the neighbourincontestable proof that he is mar- hood; and had frequently pressed ried; for as it is to a relation of me to pay him a visit. To him I mine, I should be loth this vile resolved to go, and told Mr. Wilplot should become a subject of son I would, on my return from conversation; let it rest as it is. this visit, do myself the pleasure of Your sister has a providential es- waiting on him and the ladies. cape from a villain. My cousin I took my leave with thatinward cannot be unmarried; that she will satisfaction that results from harbe miserable with him I have not a ing performed a commendable acdoubt; but it will answer no good tion. I was too impatient to see end to expose him. The ill suc- the charming sisters to have made cess of his villany will be a pu a long visit, had I found it ever nishment. He comes to-morrow; so agreeable. But it was not so; I will see him, and acquaint him absence and other circumstances with our knowledge of his marri- had changed my once warm and age, and your sister's determina- hearty acquaintanee into a cold tion, if she wishes it, never to see and formal one; and the respect him more,'

he paid me, I could perceive, was That is her resolution,' said more to my estate than my person, miss Vernon: she cannot bear I spent, however, two nights, quitthe thought of seeing him.' ted him with disgust, and arrived

I told them this plan met my ap- a second time at Mr. Wilson's, probation, for although I scrupled who welcomed me with politeness

and introduced me to his lady, a Never, Mr. Wilson told me, was fine elderly woman, whom I doubt he witness to so interesting a scene. not you have heard the miss Ver- She entered the room with a dig: nons mention. He informed me nified air and aspect, and looking that Mr. Beaumont came as ex at Mr. Beaumont with a steady pected; that he saw him alone, and penetrating eye, asked him and told him, if he valued his re for what purpose he was so earnest putation and domestic peace, he to see her? must quit that house immediately, • To plead my cause, madam,' and relinquish all pretensions to said he, • and vindicate my inuniss Vernon, otherwise he (Mr. jured honour.' Wilson) would acquaint the world · Talk not of honour,' said she, and his wife with the whole aflair. interrupting him. “ Deny, if you ~ My wife !' said he, • What do can be bold enough, that you are you mean?'- Come, come,' said married, for I suppose that was Mr. Wilson, it is too late to dis your intention for wishing to see semble ; we have been your dupes me.' long enough; and I assure you, « Little did I think that you, was you not married to my cou-, my dearest miss Vernon, after you sin, I would expose you to all the had honoured me with your love, world.'-He affected to be in a and thought me worthy of it, passion, and insisted on Mr. Wile would believe every idle report to son's discovering the person who my disadvantage. Heavens ! do had defamed his character--That you suppose my mother, from whom Mr. Wilson told him he never I now come purposely by your own should; he had incontestable proof consent to present you to her, of what he asserted, which, for his would conspire to deceive you.' cousin's sake, should remain a se Perhaps, sir, you might as cret with him. He had saved the easily forge the person of your young woman he pretended to love mother as her hand-writing.' from infamy, and should continue Guilt was now discernible in to protect her. He insisted on see every feature; he hesitated, and ing miss Vernon, and high words was too much confounded to reensuing, the servant was sent to ply. She went oninform her. She was in agonies * I could almost pity your conat the thoughts of seeing him; but fusion, but I intend not to exposreflecting that he might construe tulate, it is sufficient for my owa her refusal as the effect of uncon- happiness that I have found you quered love, or weakness, she sum- out before it was too late. If you moned all her pride and fortitude, think you have triumphed over my and sent word she had no ob- peace of mind you are mistaken; jection to seeing Mr. Beaumont i have too much sense and resolu-. in company with Mr. Wilson.— tion to regret the loss of a man so Think, Wentworth, what must devoid of principle as yourself.' have been her feelings !—What a Never, Mr. Wilson said, did he noble spirit did she display! for see a woman look so lovely as this my part, I cannot sufficiently ad- sweet girl ; her countenance animire her behaviour, as related to mated with conscious virtue, and me by Mr. Wilson.

She came

a glow of injured pride on her down, accompanied by her sister. cheeks. Beaumont looked the poor

culprit, devoid of hope, and inca- length, addressing myself to miss pable of defence. His pride, how- Harriet, I told her Mr. Wilson ever, would not allow him to con- had informed me of the result of fess. He suffered the ladies to quit the affair I had been so happy to the rooin without attempting a re- divulge; • and if you please,' said ply. Mr. Wilson thinks he did not I, • we will avoid a subject that see them depart, for, on his asking must be painful to think of.- You him if he had any further business are very kind, sir,' said she, “ke with him, he started from his re- will do so, if you please.' verie, and looking round the “ No, no,' said Mrs. Wilson, room, answered, No, nor ever whose voice I had not heard beshould.—Will you permit me,' fore; ' I want to know, sir, how said Mr. Wilson, « to give you a you got acquainted with this Mr. little advice -- The devil take Beaumont, and all about it.' you, and your advice,' cried he, • I will at some other time, maand so hurried out of the house. dam, inform you, but at present

When Mr. Wilson had finished his must beg to be excused.' relation, he sent word to the ladies · So she is to be obliged before that I was there, and in a very few me!-it is all mighty well, sir,' minutes they both joined us; sure- drawing herself up as she spoke. ly there never were two lovelier Who the deuce are you, thought girls: miss Vernon is as you de- I; a proud, unfeeling daine, I scribed her to me, elegance itself: fancy-I made no answer, but but there is something in Harriet turning to miss Vernon, resolved so inexpressibly agreeable, and yet to put a few questions to her I know not what makes her so : I which might be interesting to my have seen much handsomer faces friend. I began with asking if she and finer forms, but it is not in the was not acquainted with a Mr. power of beautiful features or of Wentworth. Whether it was the form alone to charm. You, I re- abruptness of the question, her member, described her to me as chagrin at Mrs. Wilsou's behavery lively. There is, indeed, much viour, or a sudden indisposition, I life and spirit in her countenance, leave you to determine; but cerbut, as you may suppose, at this tain it was, no sooner had I mentime, little in her manners and tioned your name, than a visible conversation. She looks grave, but alteration took place in her whole not dejected. When she entered countenance. She looked out of the room I was startled to see her the window, then on the carpet, look pale and languid. She made something was the matter with her me a courtesy, and oflered me her chair; at length she said - Yes, hand, involuntarily, as I thought. yes, sir, very well, he lived with my I took it, and, as you may sup, brother; I mean we all lived togepose, put it to my lips. This ac- ther at that time.' tion brought a blush on her cheeks, So I understood,' said I;" heis which I had the pleasure to see a very worthy young man, and I did not quite disappear the whole am happy in being his particular dav.

friend; indeed, all who know him The party seemed at a loss what respect him, and I have the pleato say, and an aukward silence set sure to inform you that he has my wits to work for a speech. At been most singularly fortunate.'

Indeed sir !

pray

in what I now heartily repented I had manner?'

not chosen a more private opporI related every circumstance of tunity, but I should not, I found your adventure, and before I had afterwards, have met with one, for finished, a flood of tears burst from Mrs. Wilson left us not a moment iny fair auditors eyes: miss Ver- the whole day. Miss Harriet spoke non's flowed the first, and conti- very little, but what she did say nued the longest : Mrs. Wilson was sensible. I wish I could bedeclared it was the oddest story she come more acquainted with these ever heard : Mr. Wilson said, as he two charming women; they have was a worthy man he was very glad almost brought me into conceit of it.

with the sex. I have unfortunateDinner being announced, the ly seen only the worst part of them. conrersation ended for the pre- 'The many stories my deceased unsent, but I resumed it afterwards; cle has told me to their disadvanand being resolved to know if miss tage, added to the instance myself Vernon was to be married, as you once experienced, tended to deinformed me she was, I said, I hoped stroy my good opinion and confishe would excuse an impertinent dence. Yon will say I have acted question. “None I could ask,' in cousistently withthese sentiments she was pleased to say, “could be in breaking the bonds of contidence deemed such.'- I understood by for the service of an object I so litmy friend, madam, that you are tle esteem, and a stranger too. I engaged to be married to colonel own it, but although I have not Ambrose.' I was at that time, that opinion of the sex which can sir, but some circumstances have induce me to unite myself to one intervened to prevent it, and it will of them by marriage, yet I hold now never take place : the colonel duction as a crime of the first inagis one of the best men in the world.' nitude; and the man who can se

Dear me !' said the ignorant duce an innocent girl, and leave Mrs. Wilson, “ cannot it be brought her to want and infumy, I look ou on again? I am sure a good match with abhorrence. would be a good thing for you.

I left Mr. Wilson's the next How in the world come you not to morning, and took iny leave of the have him?'- Why, sir,' turning ladies the preceding evening, but to me, • her brother is married, was agreeably surprised to see the and has not provided in any way two miss Vernons preparing to for either of them. I am very wil. breakfast with me before I set off. ling to keep inisy Vernon, but had I acknowledged the favour in the much rather see her well married, best manner I could, but you know for her own sake.

Do

you know I am not very polite, so I doubt I the gentleman, sir? I forget did it ankwardiv. I really felt much the name, perhaps you might be pleased with their little attention. able to bring it on again.'- Not miss Harriet, who had hemmed for the world, madam,' interrupt- and heinmed, at a loss what to ed miss Vernon ; • I hope you will say, at last said I fear, sir, I allowine to judge of my own atfairs bave not properly expressed my best. --Certainly, miss; but I gratitude for the important services thought you might not be above you have rendered me.'- Take receiving a little advice.'

care of your health,' said I, - and

se

do not suffer the disappointment friend soon, but I never felt less into prey on your spirits; that is all clination, having nothing good to the return I wish or expect from say. I am half distracted, and quite you. She smiled, the tears stand- comfortiess, yet still I hope; for ing in her eyes, and proinised obe- love will hope, where reason would dience. Any one but me, I sup- despair. Oh, Lady Amaranth! pose, would have taken a kiss at so all is out: this Wentworth was not fair an opportunity ; I never scru- insensible to my charms for nopled it before if I found inclina- thing: an English lady has postion; but haag me if I could sum- session of his heart; yet she shall mon resolution. They both at- not retain it. No; my beauty and tended me to the door, and follow- art shall supplant her, let what ed the coach with their eyes, (as will be the consequence. You may I saw from the window) till it was remember I told you in my last out of sight.

that he had received a packet of As soon as I arrived at home, I letters from England, and that I found that a ship would sail for was summioned to attend him and Bengal in a few days. I sat me my father. I went, and soon found down to write, and have now the contents of this packet from brought my long letter to an end. his intimate friend was to acquaint From what I have said of miss Ver- him that the lady be loved, who, non you must draw your own con- when he left England, was on the clusions. I will only say, my opi- point of marriage, was not marnion is, that you are by no means ried; and, in short, that he had indifferent to her; nay, I will give every reason to think that she reup all pretensions to penetration if mained single for his sake.-Guess she does not love you. Her en- the rest.-My father's consent was gagements to colonel Ambrose are obtained for a letter from Wentfrom some cause or other at an end. Worth, offering himself and fortune Your own heart must suggest what to her acceptance, to be immedistep to take: for my part, although ately dispatched to her by captain I am resolved to continue free, I Sommerville, who sails in a few would not prejudice others against days. Wentworth was in ecstasy, matrimony. Pray write to me'as expatiating in praise of the lady, often as you can. Welcome to me who, by his account, is a paragon will be the time of your return to of perfection. Oh! how I hate England. Cannot you prevail on her. I begin to think I really love the old gentleman and your cousin this monster Wentworth. But no! to leave India ?--Think of it, and it is my pride, my mortified pride, use all your influence, if you would which makes me resolved to conpromote the happiness of your quer him. I solemnly declare he truly affectionate friend,

shall never marry miss Vernon, J. Johnson. (that is the odious name). I have

thought of a scheine that shall

frustrate his wishes, and crowy my LETTER XXXIX.

own. I will not disclose it even

to you until my success warrants MissWinstanley to Lady Amaranth. me. Pen begone, I can write no

more, but to subscribe myself, I PROMISED to write to my dear Yours, LETITIA WINSTANLEY

« AnteriorContinuar »