« AnteriorContinuar »
anxious for this journey, as Jane was reluctant,--all this was a perfect mystery, and so it remained; for my aunts contrived some pretence for calling Jane away, just as I was on the point of questioning her on the subject.
When everything was adjusted for their departure, and Jane bad kissed her mother and sisters, I approached to take a farewell salutation. The poor girl burst into tears, and bid her face on my shoulder; I felt a strong inclination myself to shed a tear, but my Aunt Mary approaching to to take Jane from my embrace, suddenly changed my emotions to anger. After catching the last glimpse of the carriage, as it drove rapidly away, I returned to my lodgings out of spirits, and very much disposed to quarrel with the first person who should speak to me.
Jane had promised to write to me, but more than two months elapsed ere I received a letter. It was dated from Paris, and contained some general observations on the country, and a slight intimation that she was indisposed. But it was not this intimation that so much alarmed me, as the tone of dejection visible in every line, and I instantly resolved to follow them, and ascertain from Jane's own lips what thus could oppress her naturally buoyant spirit. An engagement of some importance detained me for several days; indeed it was more than a fortnight ere I quitted London. On inquiring at the hotel from which the letter was dated, I was disappointed ; they had left Paris a few days previous. After ascertaining their route, I immediately commenced a pursuit; and sometimes sleeping at the inn at which they had rested, and sometimes losing all trace of them, I entered Brussels.
As it was late in the afternoon, and I knew no one to whom I could apply for information, I thought it as well to defer my random search till the following day. After dinner I strolled out, unconsciously, in the direction of the theatre; I entered it, the performance was going on, and after gazing at the stage, till the act was concluded, I proceeded to survey the audience. My attention was immediately arrested by bebolding my Aunt Mary in the next box,“ surely that is not Jane by her side ?" Before my sentence was finished, I had discovered that it was indeed Jane, but so altered! I had heard that sorrow, or con
L. 83. 1.
tinual excitement of any kind, has a tendency to changel the complexion, but I never saw it illustrated till now What an altered being was my, sweet cousin ; her person was attenuated, her skin darkened, her eyes hollow thought bright, and her face looked deathly, though there was a faint tinge on the cheek. The surprise and sorrow I expressed evidently displeased my aunt; and when I hinted that a theatre was an improper place for an invalid, I was informed by her, that an eminent pliysician had advised Jane to take as much exercise and amusement as possible. I attended them to their hotel, and took my leave, with a promise to call the next morning. I did so, and found my aunt breakfasting alone, Jane not having yet risen. I had been conversing about an hour with my aunt, when her attendant entered with a message from Jane, requesting permission to remain in her apartment, as she felt much indisposed. My aunt declared she could not comply with her request, and rising, left the room with the servant. In about half an hour she returned, leading in the poor inn valid. Her face was pale, very pale ; but her eyes still red tained a dazzling brightness ; she slightly pressed my hand as I led her to the sofa, on wbich she sunk, quite exhausted. A gentleman, to whom my aunt bad had a recommendatory letter, was announced, and as Jane was unable to bear the presence of a stranger, my aunt was compelled to leave us, and receive the gentleman in another apartment,
The instant my aunt left the room, poor Jane seemed, as it were, re-animated. She rose from her reclining posture, and I was foolish enough to imagine she was better, when I saw a bright blush suffuse her deathly coun: tenance. Oh, no,” said she, as I ventured to express my hopes; "oh no, I shall never be better ; but, my dear Charles, 1 bave a favour to ask, and I feel confident you will grant it”-she hesitated~" I wish you to deliver this,!! she said, drawing a wedding-ring from her bosom, and placing it in my hand, “to the person whom I shall name; -had I had the slightest idea of seeing you, I would have endeavoured to bave explained every thing by writing; but I know not how it would have been possible, for I have never been an instant alone. This morning I endeavoured, with a pencil, to write his name on a leaf of my pocket
bookyi but could not my hand so trembled : Charles," said she, agrasping my arm with a force of which I thought brer incapable,i"
" I shall never return to England - I shall never see him myself ; but I conjure you to tell him I was not unfaithful; tell him that I was kept a prisoner in my room, from the moment of my entering it after oor last meeting; old was compelled to accompany my aunt; that I was denied the means of writing, and had not a creature in whom I could confide: do convince him, Charles, that I was not faithless 7 the idea that he would so think of me, has continually preyed on me, and has broken my heart : teli bim not soon to forget me, and to remember one whose best affections were devotedly his.” 1.The rapidity with which she spoke alarmed me; I interrupted her by asking of whom she was speaking. Before the eager girl could reply, my aunt returned, and poor Jane wasawled into silence. The glow of bigb-wrought feelings instantly died away, her cheeks assumed the hue of death, hier tips grew vivid, her bosom heaved to bursting, her hands were clencbed, and her whole frame was con vulsed. I supported her in my arms, and endeavoured to soothe her agony, I took one of her hands, its coldness startled me I strove to unclasp it, but vainly strove; the next instant the fingers fell, the head sunk on my shoulder, the convulsive breathing ceased-she was too near death to sustain such agitations and live-the gentle sufferer sleeps in a foreigu grave. y Two or three days after my return to London, I called on my aunt Harwood, predetermined to upbraid her for her cruelly to Jane, and ascertain if she knew to whom she had allnded. But I found it so truly a house of mourning, that, after staying much longer than I had intended, I took my leave without even hinting the purport of my visit. My aunt resided at Kensington, and I strolled on through Knightsbridge and Hyde Park-corner, and had just passed through the gate at the top of Constitution Hill, when I was' accosted by my old schoolsellow and juvenile friend Frank Mortimer.
It was with difficulty I recognized my old playfellow in the handsome young soldier, wbo addressed me. I bad scarcely heard of him since he left school, 'agd knew not till then be bad embraced the pro
fession of arms. 'Phough I was not in the highest spirits this rencounter gave me pleasure. Mortimer informed me that he had only that morning arrived in town from Ireland, where his regiment had been for some time stationed, and that as he had merely come out for a ramble, he was at liberty to devote an hour to me, As he was a stranger to my family, I thought there was little need of troubling him with a recital of our recent misfortune; so, as we walked down the footpath that leads to the Mall, I made inquiries after several of our old companions. I fancied that Mortimer answered with impatience ; and
I beginning an anecdote that just then occurred to me, he said abruptly, though rather hesitatingly, "I hope yoa are not in mourniog for a relative-1-trust your aunt Harwood's family are well.”? 14.Yes, they are very well—at least those I have just parted from; but it is for the sweetest flower of them all I am wearing sables.”
“ Not Jane !” thundered out Mortimer, “ Alas! yes.”
An exclamation of horror, uttered in a sound between a suppressed shriek and a groan, burst from my companion. He caught the railing with one hand, and covering his eyes with the other, stood motionless, Aware that his singular agitation would be observed, I strove to persuade him to walk on ; without answering, he suffered me to lead bim to the Mall, and seat him on the first bench unoccupied. Though it was nearly dark, I could distinctly observe the agony that seemed rending his very heart; I could see his expansive chest beave like the bosom of a woman, and the big tears drop from beneath the hand that covered his face. As I gazed on my friend in silence and astonishment, the truth suddenly flashed on my mind; it was to Mortimer I was to deliver the ring ! it was to Mortimer whom I was to convince of poor Jane's fidelity!
e'riqa fpeifid -QUIET LODGINGS.
dilma, to soleast en bontoti 79611fred 492-101 9783 7511109091 210 trisigh into WBY MISS M. 4. Beevore, vino bad dieds til. Where Cries reply to curses, shrieks to blowej i 31 21 97904 w If Es And each is tortur'd in his separate halleri ef joj J 19 For we are crowded in our solitudes
i ok.1) 311 gaild which echoes Madness in her babbling moods ; 90 While all can hear, none heed his neighbour's call. beat !isII. sitt rot bota
sitni! bei Aunt Prańce, is a woman of the world : she will do, as other people do"-and, in to accomplish this, lately took a trip to the coast of Susce chored watering-place on
as she said she was nervous, had been highly recommended to her, by a friend, for
it certainly was, if mountain, wood, and could render it so, but for its quietude--anon. It aunt, uncle, and self, in the middle of a broiling July, to this little nook of beauty and repose --where Miss Triss had of houses, termed Sea-point Terrace, which, on arriving,
already engaged lodgings for us, in a fashionable row we found occupying level ground, and quite shut out from any view of the ocean. In front of each house was a small garden, and, as the carriage stopped, the sound of music wonderfully refreshed our ears, "What a pleasant place !" exclaimed my Aunt--" there, Mr. Prance, didn't I tell you, you were coming to a Paradise ?”
Humph !” exclaimed my uncle, rather uncivilly. “Why May-ry! May-ry! do let 'em come in, can't
Why May-ry, I say !"-screamed a voice within. Presently
, the hall-door opened, and a tall pretty girl, wearing a long pinafore, - with her shining hair falling in soft ringlets down the sides of her face,-apologized to
non-appearance of her mother, who was dressing,'' as she had not expected us so early. However, by the time passengers and packages were safely stowed in their new residence, the possessor of Sea-point Terrace, a portly dame rustling about in a black sarsnet gown, and with fat blooming countenance,--saucily handsome,-came forth to welcome them. After due enquiries
us for the