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wards that any such thing had happened. But the sturdy Irishman strenuously insisted on giving a very different complexion to the case ; he even went so far as to declare, that there was something very like design in the manner in which the boy's death had been produced, and hinted something of a quarrel that had taken place between the Italian and Morley a few days before, arising from some insolence of the former to the latter on the occasion of a little entertainment given by the Italian to some of his female acquaintances in Morley's garden. But the Neapolitan was Lady Deborah Delassaux's favourite servant, and had accompanied her and her niece from Naples to England. Very great exertions were used therefore to have him cleared of all blame. O'Gollochar's evidence was done away by the circumstance of his having had a trifling dispute with Antonio, though, in fact, there was hardly a single individual, either amongst his fellow-servants, or in the neighbourhood, who had not quarrelled with him. In short, the result was a verdict of “ accidental death," and honest O'Gollochar was punished for his resolute conduct,
by being turned off, and threatened with a prosecution for perjury.
The ruin of the Morleys was complete. The garden the unfortunate man had rented, which, until that fatal day, had been his pride and his support, was the property of a wealthy hop-merchant who resided in London, and who had no feeling but for his own pocket. Unable to do any thing for its culture, he was not only obliged to give it up, but to quit his cottage, whence he was carried to a more humble dwelling. There he continued to waste away in body, and to suffer the most excruciating torments, too plainly proving that he had received some desperate and incurable internal injury.
It is unnecessary to detail how his slender stock was consumed. Where there were apothecaries’ bills to pay, mouths to feed, and no hands to labour, it soon vanished away. Even his furniture was sold piecemeal, and when his wife was confined of her infant, she could hardly be said to have a bed to lie on. In fine, he and his family were compelled to quit their house, and were reduced to the necessity of creeping into the wretched habitation we have described on the
edge of the common, where, still too proud to apply for parochial relief, they endeavoured to struggle against famine, upon the miserable pittance the poor woman could earn.
In this their final distress, Mrs Morley made various attempts to see Miss Delassaux, whom she viewed only as the innocent cause of all her misfortunes and misery. But she was always unsuccessful, until one day she met her in the grounds, and was repulsed by an imperious order to go to Mr Hawkins, without being allowed time to tell her sad tale. Hawkins had a heart of flint, too hard for the reception of any kindly impression. The honest Irishman, however, was still their friend; but he was now miserably poor, for his character having been blasted by the unjust imputations thrown on it at the inquest, he could not get a place, and was therefore compelled to work at any kind of country labour he could obtain.
Pressed by famine, and stimulated by the cruel spectacle of her husband sinking daily from want of proper nourishment and assistance, and of the child she was nursing drooping from her own weak state, Mrs Morley determined to make an
other effort to procure aid from Miss Delassaux. With the result of this last attempt we are already acquainted. No sooner had she obtained the purse, than she ran with the utmost speed to a shop in the village, hastily purchased provisions and restoratives, and hurried breathless away. There was something so wild and unsettled in her manner, and she appeared so exhausted, that the shopkeeper was induced to follow her from motives of humanity. She flew at first with such incredible rapidity, that he had some difficulty in keeping sight of her. But at length he observed her steps to falter. reeled-put her hands to her forehead, and staggering towards a wall leaned against it for a moment—then sinking down beside it, fainted away. The shopkeeper hastened to her assistance; and O'Gollochar happening to come up at the instant, they lifted her by their united efforts, and giving her basket to a boy to carry, they bore her between them, as we have already seen, to the hut.
She CHAPTER VII.
Hark to the hurried accents of despair,
Bride of Abydos.
Go, Syren, go-thy charms on others try;
O'GOLLOCHAR had hardly finished his melancholy narrative, when the sound of wheels, and the glancing of the sun on its glittering windows, announced the approach of a chariot. It was Miss Delassaux's. Before Amherst could come to any determination how to avoid her, the vehicle was at the door.
The lady's manner betrayed her expectation of finding him there. Yet she affected surprise at what she pretended to call an accidental ren