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friend the impropriety of his form-
mined to ufe every argument, which could banish the flatterer hope from her bosom.
Bernard returned not to his cottage till Albert had quitted the vilIlage; when he entered, Emma advanced to meet him, her eyes furcharged with tears; fhe prefented him with a letter, which Albert, retiring to write for a few moments before he mounted his horfe, had ordered his fervant to leave as he paffed the door. It breathed the language of eternal love, and affured her, that, as he quitted her only to accelerate their union, the might foon expect his return to claim her promifed hand. Bernard, folding up the letter when he had read it, and putting it in his pocket, thus addrefled his trembling daughter, who waited filently her fate: "Beware, my child, how you fuffer your heart to betray your happiness; truft not to the proteftations of a lover: an inconfiderate vow is more frequently broken than kept.-You may be the prefent object of Albert's affections: but man, by nature inconftant, can eafily transfer his heart to fucceffive objects. The world will, probably, foon efface you from his remembrance; or fhould he even ftill retain his faith unfhaken, can you flatter yourself that his family will admit into their fociety an humble villager, whose lowly birth they would proudly deem unworthy their alliance ?Never fhall my Emma's hand be united to a husband unfanctioned by the authority of his parents.-Make, therefore, every effort, my beloved child, to conquer a prepoffeffion, fatal in its tendency, and hopeless in its effects. You have never yet deceived me: and I have that confidence in your diferetion, which perfuades me you will not deviate from the path of rectitude, nor by a clandeftine conduct act unworthy of your own fpotlefs character." Emma funk at the feet of her venerable
become your wife. Never fhall falfe vanity or fordid intereft betray me to an action at which my confcience would revolt. I will ftill be worthy your esteem; and the child whom you have honoured with your love fhall merit, at leaft by her conduct, the rank to which you would generously raife her. But you muit meet no more: this is the ftern decree of unfullied virtue and irreproachable honour. Return to your native country with every wifh that grateful friendship can beftow." Albert had liftened in filent admiration to the words 'of Emma's venerable father ;-when Bernard ceafed to fpeak, he thus replied: "Could I offer a diadem to your incompara le daughter, fhe would, by accepting it, confer, and not receive the honour. I would not have prefumed to folicit her affections or her hand, could I have admitted a doubt of my father's approbation of a choice directed by reafon and fanctioned by virtue. I will renew no more my humble fuit till arborea by him to demand the hand of Emma. Farewell! my return hither fhall be as rapid as the inpatience of love and hope can render it." Thus feparated the venerable Bernard and the youthful Albert; nor could all the moving rhetoric of the latter prevail upon the father of Emma to permit a parting fcene between the lovers, Ile wifely thought the impattoned a tieu of Albert might leave an impreffion too tender on the heart of Emma, and which, as he forefaw, would endanger her peace of mind, if indulged; he therefore deter
venerable fire, and embracing his
complained of a dizziness in his head, for which he politely requested a glafs of water. Emina arose, and tripping into the houfe, quickly returned with a crystal draught, which the prefented to him with a native grace that accompanied all ber motions. He had, during her fhort abfence, informed himself that fhe was the daughter of Bernard, who ferved him as under-bailiff. He accepted the cup from her hand, and while he fwallowed the contents, he drank at the fame time,' from her bewitching eyes, a daught which spread an irrefiftible pofon through his veins. The baron was indebted to nature for a fine perion, and to art, for that impofing clegance of address, which teldom failed to infinuate his wifh s with fuccefs, when the dominion of a tender paffion tempted him to glofs over bis haughty demeanor with diffembled condefcenfion. Juft as he was returning the cup to the lovely Emma who stood to receive it, with her looks bent upon the ground, to avoid the fixed gaze of his penetrating eyes, Bernar fuddenly, appeared, and afforded his daughter an opportunity to retire
The good old bailiff accofted his lord with a refpect, which, while it acknowledged his fuperiority as a mafter, was unmixed with that kind of fervile humility, which demens the dignity of man. He had never before attracted the notice of the baron, who, forgetting the diftance which birth and fortune had placed nobly overcome. As fhe was ipin-between them, recollected only that he was the father of Emma, and might perhaps, affift him in the view, which he had formed to corrupt her virtue. Accofting him therefore with kind familiarity, he requested that he might take a furvey of his little dwelling, which he
ning, one fultry day, in a bower of honey-fuckles, near the gate of their little cottage, accompanied by one of her young female neighbours, the baron de Morenzi paffed by on horfeback, and cafting his eyes on the fair Emma, was fo ftruck with
her beauty, that he fuddenly ftop-fhould be welcome to exchange for ped, and difmounting, approached one more convenient and comfortthe wicket. Taking off his hat, he able. My lord," replied BerC 2 nard,
Whilft Emma was thus meritoriously fubitting to the igid laws of filial duty, fate was haftering to involve her in a fnare more dan gerous than that which flie had fo
nard, "in this humble dwelling, my infant eyes first opened; and here I would wish to close their aged lids." "But," interrupted the baron, "you begin to bow under the weight of years, and ftand in need of reft and indulgence; I fhall feel a true fatisfaction in rendering your latter days happy."-" Permit me to affure you," faid Bernard, "that a life of honeft induftry and uncorrupted innocence has already in fured to me that happiness in its clofing fcene, which an irreproachable confcience only can beftow, : but which riches can never give." "You have a daughter, however," interrupted the baron, fmiling,
too young to have adopted your ftoical ideas." "I have a daughter," retorted Bernard, "who inherits her mother's virtue, and has been taught by precept and example thofe fentiments, which have rendered her too contented in her fituation, to harbour an ambitious wifh in her bofom." The baron reddened at these words; but commanding, fo: his own fecret purposes, the rifing indignation of his mind, he condefcendingly bid the venerable Bernard adieu,-faying that he ftill hoped, mature reflection would induce him to accept the favours which he was anxious to confer upon a man, whofe refpectable charafter, and long life of unfullied virtue, claimed a fingular reward.
So faying, he mounted his horfe, and returned to the caftle, revolving in his mind every practicable fcheme for the feduction of the devoted Emma. He reflected that he never had beheld a female half fo lovely; and as he on no occafion had accustomed himfelf to eqibat his inclinations, or fubdue his paffions, he refolved to lofe no ti ve in accomplishing his defign. The humble fituation of Enima gave him, in his opinion, an uncontrouled right to her fubmiffion; but he was folicitous, if poble, to gain an
cendancy over her heart, by awakening, with her gratitude, tenderer fentiments. For this purpose he determined to wear the mask of hypocrify a little longèr, and then to attempt, by every art of foft deception, to fecure her affections in his favour. A week elapfed after the baron's vifit at the cottage, without any renewal of his great offers—a circumftance that contributed to difpel thofe fears which had been awakened in the bofom of Bernard, by the interview of the baron with Emma, and his generous profeffions of friendship to himfelf,-profeffions fo oppofite to the natural ferocity of his temper. Bernard confidered thein no longer in any light, but in that of a temporary inclination towards humanity and kindnefs, which could have no root in a foil fo barren. He pufued therefore, without further fufpicion, his ufual labours, taking however the precaution never to leave his daughter without a companion, in his abfence.
One morning, when he had quitted the cottage about an hour, a hafty meflenger from the caftle terrified Emma with an account that her father was taken with a fudden indifpofition as he paffed the gates; and having been fupported into the houfe by fome of the domeftics who obferved him finking on the ground, the houfekeeper had thought it proper to fend for his daughter, who, by being accuftomed perhaps to thefe feizures, knew beft how to treat them. The trembling Emma, alarmed to the utmost degree at a diforder which had never yet attacked her beloved father, delayed not a moment to folIqw her conductor; and taking the arm of her friend Agnes, who had been liftening to her as fhe was reading aloud, proceeded with tottering fteps to the caftle, diftant from her humble cottage about a af-mile.-When the arrived in the great
door that led to a library, and which the had no fooner entered, and directed the attention of Emma to a fine portrait of the late marchionefs de Clairville, that hung over the chimney, than the dilappeared.-Emma, for fome moments, was loft in contemplating the angefic countenance of a woman, whofe fad fate the had hard fo frequently and fo tenderly deplored,-when she was fuddenly roufed from these me
great hall, the met with a female of a refpectable appearance, and of an advanced age. She eagerly inquired after her father,and ear neftly requefted to be permitted to fee him. The houfe-keeper anfwered Emma, with the appearance of much fenfibility, that Bernard was fo perfectly recovered by a cordial which she had administered, that he had returned to his daily occupation, ignorant that his illness could have reached his daughter's ears. "Thank hea-lancholy reflection, by the opening ven!" exclaimed the innocent Em- of a glafs door, which led to a coma: "Oh! madam, accept my hum-lonnade filled with exotic plants. If ble gratitude for your kind care, fhe felt embarraffed by the appearand fuffer one of the domeftics to ance of the baron, who entered direct me to the spot where I may from thence into the library, what find my dear father; I will watch were her fenfations, when, on makby his fide during the labours of, ing an immediate attempt to quit it the day, or attend him to our cot- herfelf, fhe found the door of the tage, if he will permit me to lead apartment locked, and beheld the baron de Morenzi at her feet, in an attitude of refpectful tenderness!
(To be continued.)
"Be no longer anxious, my love ly child," replied the matron: "your father will be here at the hour when the turret-bell shall call the family to dinner; he promifed to meet my lord's fteward, to receive fome orders from the baron." The unfufpecting Emma thanked her kind informer, and was deparcing: but, preffed condefcendingly to continue there till the return of Bernard, and, in the interval, to take a furvey of the apartments in
In a Series of Letters.
the castle, in fome of which altera- Lady Laura Merioneth to Mifs Lum".
Twickenham, May 9, 179—
tions were making, the confented to wait her father's return. While her obliging guide was leading her into OUR letter, my deareft girl, is Y a large faloon, fhe turned round to just arrived, and has relieved feek for Agnes, whom, till that me from a load of anxiety on your inftant, fhe imagined to have been account; for I was very ingenioufly, ftill near her fide. She expreffed at the moment I received it, torfome anxiety at her abfence, to the menting myself by a retrospect of houfe-keeper, who obferved, that every ill that could poffibly attend her friend had remained in the firft you in a journey of two hundred hall, and immediately fent a womiles. You are tafe; and I am as man, then descending a stair-cafe, happy as I can be, after fuftaining to efcort her to them. Emma in the the lofs of your fociety. But I muft mean time purfued the fteps of her endeavour to filence my regrets on conductrefs, who having paffed te-this occafion; for as the mandate veral ftate apartments, opened a of a parent fummoned you from re,
I fhould be reproaching his autho- vifiting the only relations, except rity if I ventured to complain of it.myfelf, that fate has left yn? I have the fatisfaction to inform you that my aunt's health is much improved fince our return to this fweet retirement. London never agrees with her; and yet fhe was yesterday almoft inclined to take
My dear aunt, you must recollect frequently hearing me exprefs my diflike to the character of the prefent carl,-founded, I must own, princi pally on his unfeeling behaviour at the death of my brother.-A lois fo wing again for it. You will cer-fatal to the peace, so destructive to the health, of my lamented father, fhould have been treated with more refpect by his next heir.
tainly wonder what magnet could be fufficiently powerful to attract her again to that region of fmoke and noife, at this advanced feafon of the year. Know, then, by way of preface to my fubject, that Mrs. Maynard yefterday paffed the moruing with us; fhe came purpofely to inform us that lord and lady Derwent and family were at this time on a vifit at her houfe in London;
My deareft Laura, (faid my aunt) where is the man who would not exult in the demife of a fickly heir, who flood between him and a title and fortune?
It is very true, (said I) that there may be others who would have exulted equally under the fame circum
Come, come. (cried Mrs. May
and preffed, Mrs. Merioneth and my-ftances: but perhaps they would have felf to come and join the party, in had the decency to have kept their order to effect a family reconcilia- joy to themselves. tion. My aunt, good creature ! whofe heart beats in unifon to everynard) you think too feriously of pulfe of fociability, was for return- paft events ;-let me state the cafe. ing with Mrs. Maynard, and very The late earl loft a puny heir; the feriously hoped I would accompany prefent ear! ridiculed hi brother's her. I objected, on the ground exceffive grief on that occafion, and that fucha vifit might not be faid he might m. ry again, aud agreeable to them. Mrs. Maynard have another fon :-fome bufy othwas authorifed to affure me that cious tale-bearer geported the conthey were impatient to receive us. verfation,-your father refented it, My aunt again preffed my compliance.
it created a coldnefs which ended in di guft, and I am informed it is near twelve years fince you have met :--and this, you must confefs, is the most that can be faid of a circumftance which has fo long divided fuch near relations.-Do throw afide your objections, and let me have the pleasure of restoring you to friends who will be charmed with your fociety. However, if you ftill decline vifiting them at my house, you furely can have no objection to their viting you at wickenhami.
None in the least, said I: and I think, as the offence originated with lord Derwent, he owes us that com pliment,
Mrs. Maynard agreed to bring the
Why (faid Mrs. Maynard) does lady Laura oppofe the wifhes of her friends?
Because (faid I) I feel a little hereditary diflike to the prefent earl.
I muft-own (faid my aunt, a little peevishly) I expected a better reafon for your oppofition,
My dear madam, my declining Mrs. Maynard's polite invitation does not in the leait interfere with your acceptance of it, was my anfwer.
I certainly fhall not go alone, replied Mrs. Merioneth; and what can be your ferious objections to