Imagens das páginas

guise poetry and sentiment for others, but unadorned truth for my own Ellen. Do you think he loves me?”

“I think he prefers you, I think you might make him love you, but, as I said before, do you love him? If his proud and noble form were bowed by sorrow, his beauty faded by sickness - if adversity laid her withering hand upon him, and, instead of elegant attire, matchless steeds, and blazoned equipages, you saw him hurrying along, in threadbare garments, to earn his bread by the sweat of the brow, or the sweat of the brain, shunned as 'poor Lindsay,' that unhappy fellow,' the · Lindsay whom every one cuts,' and who has no one to smile upon him or comfort him but you -say, Augusta, should you love him still ?”

“ What a shocking picture, Ellen! I cannot realise it to my fancy. Of course, I should be very sorry; but threadbare, cut by every one, I cannot say what I should do or feel : one cannot separate a man from his circumstances; they form part of him. As

well ask what the sun would be without his rays, as a man without his fortune and his station ?"

Augusta, you do not love him. Oh! if you did, his circumstances would form no part of him in your heart. You could then almost wish the world might forsake, that you might be all the world to him. His poverty would draw forth your secret hoards of tenderness. Till then, most chary of your love, you would grow lavish at once-suffering and sickness, which tarnish the beauty the world prizes, would give him a nobler, dearer charm for you. Oh! you would love, you would revere, you would adore him

as he bent his sad steps to some dark city-desk, to toil away life with the vulgar for daily bread, than you ever did when he was handsome Lindsay,' 'dear Lindsay,' rich Lindsay,' the idol of the women and the best friend' of all the men of the world !”

“Of course, that is what one ought to profess, the beau ideal of woman's love. To


any one but you, Ellen,—I too should broach those high-flown sentiments, but my heart has ever been an open page to you. I cannot say, in the case you have described, what I might feel or do; but, thank Heaven! he is the rich, handsome, elegant Lindsay, and I will bring him to my feet.

I will be Mrs. or perhaps Lady Lindsay !”

“Good night, dearest,” said Ellen, kissing with cold, pale lips Augusta's now flushed and joyous cheek.

“Good night, dear Ellen. I feel quite happy now. How absurd Sparkleton looked ! Dear Screech, how amply he avenged me! I wish he had carried off Riskwell's wig, and flown at Dashington's supercilious plantagenet nose. Once more, good night; dear Julian, his doom is sealed.”

Ellen left the room. She stopped for a moment to wipe away a tear that would rise, and then she went first to her mother, who

ever liked any one to assist her to undress but her own gentle Ellen.

Mrs. Lindsay was cross and provoking, as the vulgar

minded always are in failure; but Ellen's gentleness soothed, while her spirited exhortations roused, and her good sense took from the affairs of the evening all undue importance. Ellen left Mrs. Lindsay too, sinking happily to sleep on her pillow. She listened to a long resumé from Tibby (whose mind was not quite at ease) of all the proofs of devotion to her, and dislike to Grizzy, given lang ago by Donald o' the brae, and comforted her with the hope that Miss Grizzy would think better of it, and not lose a true friend for a fause lover. She then mixed and placed his wonted glass of lemonade by her uncle's bedside, an attention he received every night from one of his nieces; and her sweet “good night, beloved uncle," sounded in his ear as a saint's benison. She sent Mr. Grunter triumphant to bed, by praising his new waistcoat, and dwelling on the shrewdness and evident talent of his friend, Mr. Fitzcribb. She lulled the weeping Annie, whose cause of grief, though not its object, she began to guess, with that instinct of the heart women alone possess. Ellen then sat down beside her, and diverted her mind by dwelling on Sparkleton's accident, and the oddities of the Douglases; and dwelt playfully on the desertion of all their cavaliers, which she said “we ought to be thankful for, Annie, as it prevents our forming any undue estimate of our own importance, or throwing away our affections on those who prefer a new face to any one of ours. You see, dear, we have been slighted, but luckily en masse ; so we can keep each other in countenance, and by our indifference put our false swains out of countenance.” Annie was just the person to whom suffering in company ceased to be suffering.

Ah, that we will, Ellen dear. I was fule enough to be hurt aboot it, forgetting that what was gude enoo for you was only too gude for me. If they could desert you, what could I expect ?”

« AnteriorContinuar »