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Neville, you had better follow his example; we are the last in the circle, and if you make haste, your carriage will be the first up.”
Well, to be sure, that will be charming ;. I hate waiting. Come along, Lady Emily.Poor child ! she does look tired; let us make haste; I love to be quick; there's not a moment to be lost,"—and away she went, heedless of all obstacles.
“ Permit me, Lady Emily,” said Mr. Altamont, giving his arm to her ; when just as they arrived at the carriage-door, Lord Mowbray was waiting apparently to see them, for the instant they appeared, he came up to Lady Emily, and asked her permission to visit her next day.
“I am sure my uncle will be happy to see you,” was her reply.
“Come along, child," cried Mrs. Neville; "do not stand talking there, my Lord Mowbray; I say, come into the carriage, we will set you home; and Mr. Altamont, we shall be all the better of your company; well, to be sure, I hate to be let down all of a sudden from the
noise and crowd to a dead silence, it always makes me melancholy.”
The gentlemen accepted the invitation ; and Mr. Altamont observed, that Lady Emily's roses had bloomed again with the blushing of the morning
“ There is something very refreshing," she said, “in the pure air, after all the heat and smoke we have been breathing, which cannot fail of doing one good."
" Why, yes,” rejoined Mr. Altamont, “I have a very doubtfül'opinion of any young lady who does not hail Nature and daylight with renewed delight after a night of dissipation. However, I believe all natural feelings get comfortably obtuse after a few London campaigns ; but that is not your case yet, Lady Emily."
“ No,” she replied, “and I trust it never will be. At all events, I am sure you must have a decidedly good opinion of me at present, for I can very truly declare I am happier at this moment than I was during the whole evening.”
She felt her eyes involuntarily attracted by
those of her opposite companion, which were riveted on her, as she uttered these words; and she could not be ignorant of the language they spoke. A happy consciousness of reciprocity of sentiment supplied both with matter for silent but delightful thought, and scarcely were they sensible of the many good jokes of Mr. Altamont, and the observations of Mrs. Neville ; so sweet, yet so confused a sensation of undefined and undefinable interest floated through their being; nor was it till Lady Emily found herself in her room, that the sun shining brightly on a dead wall, and the noise of the early cries in the street, brought down her thoughts to that matter-of-fact state, which reverted to all the painful and incomprehensible events of the evening, from which, fatigued and worn out, she was glad to take refuge in sleep.
“ Man's love is of man's life a thing apart;
'Tis woman's whole existence; man may range
FROM the time that Lord Mowbray first made Mr. Altamont acquainted with his intimacy with the Rosalinda, the latter had taken that communication seriously to heart. As a really good and high principled man, he felt alarmed for the dignity of his friend, and was touched by the conduct and character, however faulty and erroneous, of the unhappy
Italian. To the wisest head Mr. Altamont united the tenderest heart; and he was altogether more completely engrossed by this story than he cared to allow.
There was a person, indeed, who was so entirely identified with himself in every feeling of his being, so worthy of his confidence, that, for her, he could not have a secret. This person was his wife. On the present occasion, as on all others, they mutually consulted and commented upon what was best to be done for their young friend's honour and happiness ; at the same time no harsh or prejudiced sentiments were uttered against the interesting but imprudent individual, who, in forgetting what was due to herself as a woman and a responsible being endowed with reason, had by a misplaced devotion which, thus erroneously indulged, is but a wretched idolatry, lost her happiness and endangered that of the person to whom she sacrificed her own.
Mr. and Mrs. Altamont, while they sought to find out what could best extricate Lord Mowbray from an entanglement in which