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her health, especially from the uncertainty in which she must necessarily remain for some time, aggravated by the ideas she has formed of the ferocity of those with whom you are a prisoner.
« Do therefore, my dear brother, as soon as this reaches you, endeavour to gain your release by parole, by ransom, or any way that is practicable. I do not exaggerate Lady Emily's state of health, but I must not-dare not suppress the truth. Ever, my dear Philip, your most affectionate sister,
« LUCY TALBOT. »
Edward stood motionless when he had perused this letter, for the conclusion was inevitable, that, by the Colonel's journey in quest of him, he had incurred this heavy calamity. It was severe enough, even in its irremediable part; for Colonel Talbot and Lady Emily, long without a family, had fondly exulted in the hopes which were now blasted. But this disappointment was nothing to the extent of the threatened evil; and Edward, with horror, regarded himself as the original cause of both.
Ere he could collect himself sufficiently to speak, Colonel Talbot had recovered his usual composure of manner, though his troubled eye
denoted his mental agony. « She is a woman, my young friend, who
may justify even a soldier's tears. » He reached him the miniature, exhibiting features which fully justified the eulogium; « and yet, God knows, what you see of her there is the least of the charms she possesses-possessed, I should perhaps say—but God's will be done!»
« You must fly you must fly instantly to her relief. It is not it shall not be too late.»
« Fly? how is it possible! I am a prisoner upon parole.»
« I am your keeper – I restore your parole I am to answer for
you.». « You cannot do so consistently with your duty; nor can I accept a discharge from you, with due regard to my own honour - you would be made responsible.»
* I will answer it with my head, if necessary. I have been the unhappy cause of the loss of your child; make me not the murderer of your wife.
« No, my dear Edward,» said Talbot, taking him kindly by the hand, « you are in no respect to blame; and if I concealed this domestic distress for two days, it was lest your sensibility should view it in that light. You could not think of me, hardly knew of my existence, when I left England in quest of you. It is a responsibility, Heaven knows, sufficiently heavy for mortality, that we must answer for
the foreseen and direct result of our actions, --for their indirect and consequential operation, the great and good Being, who alone can foresee the dependence of human events on each other, hath not pronounced his frail creatures liable. »
« But that you should have left Lady Emily in the situation the most interesting to a husband, to seek as
« I only did my duty, and I do not, ought not, to regret it. If the path of gratitude and honour were always smooth and easy, there would be little merit in following it; but it moves often in contradiction to our interest and passions, and sometimes to our better affections. These are the trials of life, and this, though not the least bitter» (the tears came unbidden to his eyes), « is not the first which it has been
will talk of this to-morrow," wringing Waverley's bands. « Good night; strive to forget it for a few hours. It will dawn, I think, by six, and it is now past two. Good night. »
Edward retired, without trusting his voice with a reply.
WHEN Colonel Talbot entered the breakfastparlour next morning, be learned from Waverley's servant that our hero had been abroad at an early hour, and was not yet returned. The morning was well advanced before he again appeared. He arrived out of breath, but with an air of joy that astonished Colonel Talbot.
« There,» said he, throwing a paper on the table, « there is my morning's work. Alick, pack up the Colonel's clothes. Make haste, make haste.»
The Colonel examined the paper with astonishment. It was a pass from the Chevalier to Colonel Talbot, to repair to Leith, or any other port in possession of his Royal Highness's troops, and there to embark for England, or elsewhere, at his free pleasure; he only giving his parole of honour not to bear arms
against the house of Stuart for the space of a twelvemonth.
« In the name of God,» said the Colonel, his eyes sparkling with eagerness, a how did you obtain this?
« I was at the Chevalier's levee as soon as he usually rises. He was gone to the camp at Duddingston. I pursued him thither; asked and obtained an audience-but I will tell you not a word more, unless I see you begin to pack.»
« Before I know whether I can avail myself of this passport, or how it was obtained?»
O, you can take out the things again, you know. — Now I see you busy, I will go on. When I first mentioned your name, his eyes sparkled almost as bright as yours did two minutes since. Had you,' he earnestly asked, shown any sentiments favourable to his cause? "Not in the least, nor was there any hope you would do so.'
His countenance fell. I requested your freedom. 'Impossible, ' he said; 'your importance, as a friend and confidant of such and such personages, made my request altogether extravagant.' I told him my own story and yours; and asked him to judge what my feelings must be by his own. He has a heart, and a kind one, Colonel Talbot, you may say what you please. He took a sheet of paper, and wrote the pass with his own hand.
'I will not trust myself with my