A Tale.

In Three Volumes.

Miss Emily Clark,
Grand-Daughter of the late Colonel Frederick, and
Author of
Tales at the Fireside, Banks of the Douro, Poems
Dedicated to Lady Lonsdale
, &c. &c.

A faithful heart its ample store Can more than eastern treasures pour; ―――its price is known To pure and noble souls alone! It lends the lip a richer glow Than Persian rubies can bestow. V.

Vol. III.

Printed at the Minerva Press for
A. K. Newman and Co. Leadenhall-Street.

A1v omittedlibrary stamp

The Esquimaux.

Chapter I.

Yet I still lov’d this burning pile, For here I gazed upon his smile; ’Twas sweet along the torrent’s side To watch his coming shadow glide. V.

Mrs. Douglas possessed considerable resolution and fortitude, yet during the interval before her son and daughters made their appearance, her mind was agitated so cruelly, that it was in a condition nearly approaching to distraction. In a shorter period, however, than she could have expected, though it appeared long to her maternal bosom, she had the delightfulIII. B ful B1v 2 ful satisfaction of beholding them on the Hall steps. Accompanied by her excellent friend, Mr. Moncrief, they entered the boat, and were soon clasped in her arms. Words are inadequate to describe her sensations of happiness, from the severe shock and terror, on their account, that she had sustained.

After Mr. Moncrief had landed them on the bank, he returned for the servants, and conveyed them safely from the house to the other side of the river. Felix, Rose, and Jane, had secured what they considered most valuable; yet, had they escaped without saving any thing from the devouring flames, their mother would have been contented, since their lives were spared. Robin had conveyed likewise from the mansion a box of plate, which he placed for security in the postchaise.

In the meantime the postillion returned, after having spread the report of the fire and summoned assistance. A numerous concourse of people were soon assembled, and B2r 3 and by their activity, and the quantity of water near, with their persevering exertions, the fire began to burn less furiously. The firemen arrived shortly after from Exeter, and by their zeal and perseverance succeeded in extinguishing the flames, and half only of the building was destroyed.

Before the conflagration was subdued, Mrs. Douglas proposed going to the house of her friend, Mrs. Fane, who was expected from London in a week, and requested Mr. Moncrief to accompany them. But this worthy man declined attending them, observing that he was determined to remain with her servants, to watch and guard their property from depredation. He promised, however, to be with her in the morning to breakfast.

Most fortunately for Mrs. Douglas, she found all Mrs. Fane’s household up, the alarm of the fire at Treharne having reached them, and roused the whole family.

The butler was an old servant, and B2 knowing B2v 4 knowing how much his mistress was attached to Mrs. Douglas, was gone to her house to offer his services, but in the confusion he was unobserved by her. Beds were soon prepared, as they had all been, aired, and the apartments arranged, in expectation of their mistress’s speedy return.

Mrs. Douglas, quite exhausted with fatigue and anxiety, retired immediately to repose her wearied frame, and her example was imitated by her son and daughters. They slept soundly, being quite overcome with the agitation they had suffered, and did not awake till Mr. Moncrief made them a visit.

When they met at breakfast, he imparted the pleasing intelligence of the fire being quite extinguished, as all danger of the flames bursting out again was now removed. The wing of the building which was generally uninhabited, was the only part of the structure totally destroyed. When Mr. Moncrief left Treharne, the servants B3r 5 servants were going to enjoy a little rest, after their excessive fatigue, in that part of the mansion that was yet habitable.

Felix and his sisters admired the animation and zealous ardour displayed on this occasion by Mr. Moncrief, of whom Mrs. Douglas had spoken in the highest terms. To serve the wife and family of his friend, the general, he had endured extreme trouble and fatigue. Under an exterior, cold, forbidding, and formal, he veiled the most noble heart that ever graced the human breast. He was, as the Scotch nation are in general, when they form a friendship, the most warm and ardent of friends.

Mrs. Douglas spoke with enthusiasm of the inhabitants of North Britain in general. Some of them were worthless characters, as must be expected, among so large a body of people; but the generality, she affirmed, were hospitable, virtuous, friendly, and strict in their principles; they were to be firmly depended on, in B3 every B3v 6 every transaction. She had often heard them despised and ridiculed for their economy, but it was frequently a proper frugality and prudence, that enabled them, by not impoverishing their fortune with profusion, to assist their friends in adversity.

But Mr. Moncrief had not one narrow sentiment—his hand, his heart, his purse, were at the service of his friends. General Douglas and himself were boys together at the same school, and as they advanced in years, their friendship grew with them. Their regard continued till the general’s duty as an officer called him to a foreign country.

A short time afterwards, Mr. Moncrief went to the East Indies, where he acquired a princely fortune, which, united to the small estates left him by his father, formed altogether a very handsome income. He purchased a valuable domain, in the neighbourhood of sir James Douglas’s seat, where the general and himself renewed on discovering they were neighbours, the friendship B4r 7 friendship of their early days. It was a lucky circumstance for general Douglas, from the events that had lately happened in Scotland, which made the advice and society of a sincere friend a soothing consolation.

Mrs. Douglas and her husband seemed destined to experience the utmost severity of affliction, as the incidents to be related will prove.

Sir James appeared to be more attached to his brother than he had ever been to any thing before, and the longer he was with him, he was apparently most affectionate, much more than it was possible to imagine so avaricious and contracted a mind could be. But the truth was, that his tedious and severe illness had made him reflect seriously. He had no other near relation, who evinced the least interest for his welfare; and on the continued bed of sickness he felt how helpless and dependent a creature man is. How superior he found the attentive kindness of B4 a relative B4v 8 a relative, who is capable of attachment, to the attendance of a hireling!

In consequence of these just reflections, he made a will in his brother general Douglas’s favour, attested by proper witnesses, in which he bequeathed all his personal property, and every thing he possessed, to him and his family. A few days after, sir James expired in the arms of his brother, blessing him and his wife with his latest breath, for the gentle, amiable conduct of Mrs. Douglas had gained his esteem and regard.

The general, now sir Felix Douglas, took possession of his brother’s bequest, and intended, when his affairs were arranged, to send for his family to the Castle. It was his intention to make great improvements at Towie Craigs, the ancient residence of his ancestors for some hundreds of years back, and to reside there half the year.

One day, when these thoughts occupied his mind, he was interrupted by the servant’svant’s B5r 9 vant’s announcing that a gentleman wished to speak with him immediately, on particular business. Always easy of access, sir Felix desired him to be introduced.

A short thick man, dressed in black, with an awkward stooping gait, was now admitted. He bowed so profoundly, that his head nearly touched the ground. His countenance expressed the deepest cunning, and his small grey eyes were sunk beneath their heavy lids.—I am sorry, sir, said he, bowing low again, as he approached, to be obliged to communicate evil tidings, for I presume you are not aware that there is another person claims the estate of the late sir James, to which you consider yourself the lawful heir.

Sir Felix looked astonished, and then replied—I should indeed be grieved to learn that my brother had acted with duplicity to me in his dying moments. If he has, the deception is unpardonable, and it would more sensibly afflict me, that he B5 should B5v 10 should have practised deceit at that awful hour, than all I may suffer from the loss of his fortune. I must, however, request to be acquainted with the name of the person who wishes to deprive me of the property sir James bequeathed to me and my children, and by what right he intends to dispossess me of the estates.

He demands the fortune of the late sir James Douglas, rejoined Mr. Graham, the attorney, with repeated low bows, as his son and heir; and his mother likewise claims her part, as his father’s wife.

At these words sir Felix felt struck as with a mortal blow. It was not for himself, but for his loved wife and children, that he shuddered at the deprivation of the fortune he had so long expected to receive; his brother’s bequest appeared to have rewarded him for his past sufferings, by allowing him to make his wife and children comfortable and happy. In the well-founded expectation of this property, he had also expended more money than he B6r 11 he should otherwise have done, and liberally lent a brother-officer some hundreds, moved at his being in distress, with a young family to support.

Having recovered his composure, after a pause of some minutes in which his expressive face denoted the inward emotion of his soul, he calmly inquired where this wife and child resided, whom he now heard mentioned for the first time?

Mr. Graham replied, again bowing very low, which mockery of respect quite disgusted sir Felix, from the messenger of such ill news, that his honour, the late sir James, was privately married, about nine years ago, to Helen Ramsay, by whom he had one son, named James, and that she lived in a cottage near the Castle, with her mother and child. Before his last illness, sir James often visited them, and gave Helen money at different times, which amply provided for their maintenance; yet he continued from year to year to put off the public declaration of his B6 marriage. B6v 12 marriage. When Helen’s situation, in consequence of her union with sir James, was made known to him, he dismissed her from the Castle, where she resided as one of his servants. Helen repaired to her mother’s cottage. There she was confined, and her infant was supposed by the neighbours to be the natural son of a Davie M’Gregor, a young man who worked as a labourer in sir James’s grounds. To oblige his master, he pretended to be the father of the little boy, as sir James was then desirous that his marriage with a servant should be kept a secret till after his decease. Davie consequently decamped, to avoid the disgrace and punishment that attend affairs of this description in Scotland, and was accounted the parent of Helen’s child, for which unmerited stigma he received a sum of money from his master.

The general, as we shall again call him (for he instantly dropped the title of baronet), inquired the name of the clergymanman B7r 13 man who had united his brother to Helen Ramsay, and his present residence.

Mr. Graham then informed him that the last intelligence he had received of his being living was from Edinburgh, where he resided in Castle-street. He was named Murray, and had given Helen a certificate of her marriage, attested by him and other witnesses, who were, unluckily, likewise absent; but this certificate Helen carefully preserved.

The general observed, that the whole of this tale appeared to him very improbable and mysterious, adding, that he should not certainly resign his claim of right to the estates and property bequeathed him by his brother, till he had thoroughly investigated the entire transaction of this singular affair, which, he must confess, caused him a great share of uneasiness.

Mr. Graham, with a hypocritical face, now took leave, saying, he hoped the general would not be offended with him, who had no further interest in the businessness B7v 14 ness than being merely employed by the widow as her solicitor.

Immediately after his departure, general Douglas rode over to Lochnell, to his friend Moncrief. He related all that passed with the attorney, and consulted with him in what manner to act for the best.

Mr. Moncrief instantly conceived this story to be a complete fabrication, and deep plot, to obtain possession of sir James Douglas’s property, or to extort money. Had the general offered the lawyer a considerable sum, he doubted not that he would have consented directly to hush up the business. Graham, he informed him, was quite a pettifogger, and bore the character of being often guilty of the most dishonourable actions, if his interest was concerned: but he trusted that they should be enabled to unmask the knave, and worthless woman his tool.

General Douglas and Mr. Moncrief repaired together to the cottage that had been described by Mr. Graham, and were received B8r 15 received by Helen Ramsay, a tall, rawboned, dark woman, with hard features. Her son was with her, very unlike his mother, having coarse red hair, a fair skin, exceedingly freckled, and dressed in ragged attire.

Helen was closely questioned by the general and Mr. Moncrief, but she persisted without variation in the truth of her story, and produced a dirty piece of paper, signed by Mr. Murray, as an evidence of the legality of her marriage.

But I am astonished, said Mr. Moncrief, that if you were, as you profess to be, the wife of the late sir James, that you did not insist on being clothed and maintained more respectably.

Helen answered, that all the country were all acquainted with his stinginess, which made him grudge the least expence. He had many a time mentioned, that the reason he did not take her home, and introduce her as his wife, was from the apprehension of expending more money. Frequently B8v 16 Frequently he lamented having committed himself by marrying her, as it was very expensive to assist her and pay for the support of his boy.

Finding nothing satisfactory could be obtained from Helen, who was apparently artful, bold, and wicked, they left the cottage, both convinced that the late sir James had more taste than to have exposed himself from the attachment for this low, ugly, cunning woman.

We must set out for Edinburgh, said Mr. Moncrief, and endeavour to have an interview with the clergyman, who, Helen affirms, married her to sir James, as it appears to me a tale of mystery. Your brother’s chief fault was a miserly propensity, but his character never appeared to me to be the least deceptious. A good fortune should not, therefore, be tamely resigned, till a proper investigation has taken place.

The general now observed to his friend, that as this unfortunate affair would probablyably B9r 17 ably keep him a long time separated from Mrs. Douglas, it was much his wish for her to return to his daughters, from whom they had both been so long absent. As his title to the Castle and estates was now disputed, he was particularly averse to her remaining there alone. It was his intention, he continued, if this cause proved fatal, to go to London with his family, as it would be necessary, if his fortune received so severe a blow, to remind his friends that he was in existence. Some of his intimate acquaintance, that he had not met with for many years, had it in their power to forward his son’s promotion as an officer. General Douglas likewise mentioned, that in the event of losing his brother’s fortune, he should endeavour to procure some situation under government for himself, as one of his intimate friends, who was generally resident in London, had great influence with the minister. The only objection he had to this plan was, that he felt an uneasiness at the idea of suffering Mrs. Douglaslas, B9v 18 las, from whom he had never been long separated since their marriage, to travel so far without a companion.

Mr. Moncrief desired his friend not to let that be an obstacle to his wishes, as he would himself attend Mrs. Douglas, having business in England, which he intended to transact there in a few months, and by accompanying his lady, it was only dispatching it a little sooner.

The general replied, that he had greatly relieved his mind by this friendly offer, which, from his representation, he should not scruple to accept, not suspecting it was only a kind invention of Mr. Moncrief’s to serve him.

A few days after this conversation, they all set off together for Edinburgh, where Mr. Moncrief and Mrs. Douglas left the general to search out the clergyman, Mr. Murray, and consult one of his most eminent advocates respecting the contested estates, and proceeded together to England.

Before they quitted Towie Craigs, Sanddy B10r 19 dy and Maggie had been questioned by them. Their opinion was asked relative to the marriage, and both these old domestics said they were certain that the whole story was an invention; they suspected that the villanous attorney had persuaded Helen Ramsay and her mother to pretend she was married to sir James, and the child his, when it was undoubtedly the baseborn offspring of Davie M’Gregor and Helen. The old woman added, that Helen Ramsay had only been hired to assist when sir James had formerly a dangerous fit of illness, and she remembered often seeing her very familiar with Davie.—Let my master have what faults he might, said Maggie, I am sure he would not have demeaned himself with such a dirty slattern; and if they could find poor Davie, he would tell the truth, for he was an upright lad then, drawn out of the right road by that Maypole wench. Maggie doubted not, if they found Davie, that he would clear all up, but they must be sure to promisemise B10v 20 mise him that he should not be brought to disgrace on account of the child, nor be forced to pay for maintaining it, as he was a needy lad, and of a downcast bashful temper. The little boy, Maggie said, favoured Davie much, whose head was as red as a carrot, and he was not in the least like her master’s family.

The general assured her they would handsomely reward Davie, if he discovered Helen Ramsay’s and the attorney’s wickedness and deception; and they drove from the Castle, with the old woman’s ardent wishes for their success, and that they might defeat Graham and Helen’s schemes.

When Mrs. Douglas had been two days at Mrs. Fane’s, Mr. Moncrief proposed to her (as it was the general’s wish that they should soon go to London) to take the opportunity of his being with them, to settle herself there in a house or lodgings. The fire at Treharne had deprived them for the present of a home, and he judged, from the conversation that had passed, that his friend B11r 21 friend would prefer their going to town from that circumstance. In the critical situation of their affairs, he would certainly be unwilling they should engage another residence in the country.

His society and advice was the greatest advantage to the wife and children of his friend, as the former, from having been so long absent from the metropolis, was almost a stranger to it. She had only visited it occasionally before she was married, at the most fashionable season of the year, which was so long a period since, that it was nearly the same as never having resided there. The faithful and affectionate Kamira was to travel with them, but Robin and Dolly were to be left at Treharne till their mistress received the general’s orders respecting them, and if the old mansion was to be repaired. Mrs. Douglas was likewise anxious to be in town before Mrs. Fane quitted it, that she might apologize for having been at her habitation, and B11v 22 and explain the necessity that obliged her to intrude without permission.

Although Mrs. Douglas considered that friendship required no outward ceremony, yet she did not think it should supersede the necessity of good-breeding, as well as good-humour, and that politeness ought to be maintained with the most intimate friends. Such best, she thought, evinced an equal steady mind, and rendered friendship permanent.

Rose had confided to her mother the principal events that had occurred since her departure for Scotland. She did not even conceal the perfidy and violent conduct of her once-esteemed Courtenay.

Indescribable horror affected Mrs. Douglas at this description of her sufferings. Yet while she expressed her sorrow at Rose having been subjected to such insult and cruelty, she was grateful to Providence that had saved her persecuted child from the ruin that hovered over her. She rejoicedjoiced B12r 23 joiced at the marriage of the man who would have been her destruction, as it rescued her daughter from additional importunity. What happiness did the reflection impart, that Courtenay was become an object of indifference to Rose!—time and the remembrance of his ungenerous behaviour having healed the wound that his infidelity had caused to lacerate her affectionate bosom. With the character of the brave, the amiable sir Eglamour Delavalle, she was quite charmed. She relied on the delineation of his good qualities described by Felix, as it was impartial; but she could not so well have depended on her daughter’s account, which might be influenced by partiality.

The altered appearance of Jane, and her dejection, made her very unhappy; otherwise, the improvement in her temper and manners would have been productive of the purest satisfaction. A distrust of something wrong having happened in her absence pervaded her penetrating mind. From B12v 24 From this presentiment, she was apprehensive of discovering some painful incident relating to her youngest daughter, and seldom spoke of her to her other children. In tenderness, the fondest mother could not surpass Mrs. Douglas, who redoubled her kindness to Jane, and paid unwearied attention to her health.

This unaltered affection had a powerful effect on the mind of her daughter, as it removed all the terror that pressed heavily before, from the apprehension of her mother’s being acquainted with her imprudence. Apparently she had no suspicion of any impropriety having taken place while she was at Towie Craigs, and this consoling idea was beneficial to the health of Jane. Mrs. Douglas was also bewildered in conjectures respect the fire at Treharne. At length she concluded it must have originated with the ruffians who were employed to carry off Rose and Kamira, as there was probably, as her daughter suspected, a communication from the cavern C1r 25 cavern by the sea-shore to the one near the old mansion. Treachery, she felt assured, had caused the flames to burst out in the uninhabited turret, and to burn such a considerable part of the building, which she regretted, from its having been the abode of her ancestors time immemorial. She was convinced the fire must have been purposely kindled there, as no combustible matter, or even a light, had been placed in it for a week before. Notwithstanding her partiality to Treharne and its environs, she would not have wished to reside there again (supposing no accident had injured the building), unless her husband was with her, and the mysterious and alarming noises her children had heard were explained. From the horrible scenes Rose had encountered, she could not endure the thoughts of living there, unless the entrance from the cavern was so secured as to shut out any intruder.

Jane’s maternal sensations at the prospect of quitting her child were painfully acute. However, she had the pleasing Vol. III C consolation C1v 26 consolation of leaving it with the good and careful dame Brownson. Guilford, who had been to see it, promised, when he answered her letter informing him of her intended journey to town, that he would never desert his lovely child, in whom he felt great interest; and as he was to remain in Devonshire, would acquaint her frequently with its health and welfare.

Chapter II.

By fortune’s touch affection’s ore we trace, Or find of friendship the metallic base; As zinc from brass, when urg’d by heat departs, Truth sends the glitt’ring gloss from brazen hearts. Taught by this test, we learn how sordid clay May all the hues of precious gems display; But soon misfortune’s furnace flame condemns To dust or poison’d fume the mimic gems. Seem rich, if friends and joys like these allure; If thou wouldst prove their emptiness, seem poor.

Rose now wrote to sir Eglamour, who had not yet sailed, requesting him to discontinue addressing letters to her till she had C2r 27 had written again, when their place of residence in London would be fixed. Jane had yielded to her persuasions to avoid a parting interview with the sweet infant, as her agitation in consequence might be perceived by their mother, and alarm her. To console her sister, and reconcile Jane to this separation from her child, Rose promised, that immediately after she became the wife of sir Eglamour, she would take it under her own protection. By this plan its mother could see it continually, and watch its improvement.

But it makes me very melancholy, said Jane, to reflect that my darling girl will never lisp its mother’s name; only regard me as a stranger.

Let us not be eager to anticipate afflictions, replied Rose: by often seeing you, and receiving your caresses, it will be as much attached as if it knew you were its parent. Remember, you might 3 to 4 lettersflawed-reproduction never seen it, if Guilford had been disposed to take it away.

C2 Rose C2v 28

Rose said this to calm her grief, and went soon after to embrace the little Caroline, for the last time before they left the country. She fondly kissed its rosy lips, and embraced its cherub form. A tear of fond affection bedewed its velvet cheek while it slept; and when it awoke, Caroline smiled, and expressed, in infantine sounds of delight, her joy at seeing her aunt, who often nursed and danced her about.

Dame Brownson, who witnessed her emotion as she gazed on her innocent face, exclaimed—Do not make yourself uneasy, dear young lady, for you may depend on my being more careful of this darling beloved child, than if she was my granddaughter.

The simple assertion of this good woman, that she would assiduously guard it with attentive and watchful affection, relieved the anxiety of Rose respecting its fate. She returned home, and gave a pleasing description to Jane of dame Brownson’s C3r 29 Brownson’s attachment to Caroline. Afterwards they walked to Treharne, to take a parting look of the ancient mansion. Its ruined dilapidated appearance Rose viewed with regret. She was attached to this spot, which looked more romantic from its being apparently in a state of decay, washed by the silver waters of the river, and placed at the bottom of a beautiful valley. Here she had experienced the keenest sorrow; but here also she had tasted the purest pleasure, and the sweet happiness of being beloved by the man of her heart, who was deserving the most exalted love.

Rose, in compliance with her mother’s request, informed Robin and Dolly that they should not be absent more than a year; but should any unexpected circumstance protract their stay in London to a longer period, they might depend on the general’s sending for them to come up, and reside in his family as usual.

Young Dolly and old Robin were C3 equally C3v 30 equally delighted with this promise. In his youth, this venerable domestic had occasionally visited the metropolis with the late lord Treharne, but his continuance there was generally only for a few weeks; his lordship was always afraid that his simplicity might be imposed on by designing characters, and never allowed him to accompany him but when he expected to remain a very short time in town. Robin was nevertheless delighted at the idea of revisiting the scenes, though transitory, of his youthful days, which he recollected with satisfaction, when health glowed in every vein, and each object was new and pleasing.

Dolly also, who had never seen any other city than Exeter, was eager to behold a place that she had been told had so many curiosities in it, where the gentlefolks were dressed in gold, silver, and jewels, with golden carriages, and all sorts of beautiful things and fine sights. They both promised to take great care of what remained C4r 31 remained of the old mansion, and to keep the garden in good order. Dolly said she would water Miss Douglas’s flowers, and be very careful of her greenhouse plants and hermitage.

Rose replied that she should bring her some present from London, to reward her diligence, and doubted not that when the general’s affairs were settled, and he had leisure to think about it, that he would directly have the Hall repaired, and they should all return when it was again made comfortable.

Mr. Moncrief having engaged four places in the mail that proceeded from Exeter to London, the whole party commenced their journey, for Felix and Kamira preferred travelling on the outside of the coach. The time passed very agreeably, as Mr. Moncrief was a sensible and entertaining companion. When they were within a few miles of their place of destination, he amused them with a description of Scotland and the Hebrides. Rose observed, C4 that C4v 32 that she should like to visit North-Britain and the Western Isles.

Would your curiosity, my fair friend, replied Mr. Moncrief, extend your journey to St. Kilda, the most remote and unfrequented of all the Hebrides? If you chose to write an account of your visit and observations on these isles, there is little doubt but it would be narrated with doctor Johnson’s purity of language, but infinitely more favourable to its picturesque scenery and peaceable inhabitants. Perhaps you will think me not quite accurate in talking of rural scenery, where, as doctor Johnson says, a tree might be a shew in Scotland, as a horse in Venice.

This want of foliage, said Rose, would be reconcileable to me, if upon experience I should find what is reported of these islanders to be true—that they are a race of people uncorrupted in their manners, and therefore the least unhappy of any perhaps on the face of the whole earth.

“They C5r 33

They live together, rejoined Mr. Moncrief, in the greatest simplicity of heart—in the most inviolable harmony and union of sentiments. They have neither silver or gold, but barter among themselves for the few necessaries they may reciprocally want. To strangers they are extremely hospitable, and no less charitable to their own poor, for whose relief each family in the island contributes its share monthly, and at every festival sends them besides a portion of mutton or beef. Both sexes have a genius for poetry, and compose not only songs, but pieces of a more elevated turn, in their own language, which is very emphatical. It was here Aurelius sought refuge from the cruelty and insolence of his enemies. But I am interrupted—but not, like Mr. Grattan (when he closed his celebrated speech on the Catholic question), exhausted. Here is Hyde Park Corner, and you will certainly prefer looking about you at this busy scene to listening to my dull details.

C5 “Your C5v 34

Your conversation is too interesting and entertaining, replied Rose, for dulness to approach; and I only regret that you have ceased your account of the Hebrides, from a kind wish that I may receive greater amusement. This is a cheerful, pleasing entrance into London.

As the mail-coach drove furiously up Piccadilly, Jane observed, that all the people in town seemed in good-humour, and were either smiling or laughing.

They are not one particle the more good-natured for this jocular appearance, exclaimed Mr. Moncrief. Idle and thoughtless in general, they endeavour to catch amusement from each passing object. Follow them into retirement, and you will find those who appear most merry devoured with spleen, morose, and sullen. The broad grin is not the countenance of happiness.

From the mail, they were conveyed in a hackney-coach to lodgings in South Audley-street. Mr. Moncrief had written to C6r 35 to an acquaintance to engage them for Mrs. Douglas, till she found it convenient to provide herself with another habitation. The master of the house was a respectable tradesman, lately married, who kept a shop in Bond street, and lived at this private residence, attending the shop during the day. Mrs. Linn, his wife, informed Mrs. Douglas that they had only one lodger besides their family. The gentleman was a German nobleman, about forty, who had resided at Brussels, until the French army entered that city, and deprived him of nearly the whole of his property.

Mr. Moncrief had desired his acquaintance to select some situation near Hyde Park for the residence of his friends. He considered, that as they came from the pure air of the country, the change was very great, and it was necessary they should be near a fine open place for their morning walks. When Mr. Moncrief had comfortably settled them in their present abode, he took an affectionate leave, and C6 departed C6v 36 departed to join his friend at Edinburgh. Previously he advised Mrs. Douglas, as she was in respectable good lodgings, not to be precipitate in quitting them, for any trifling cause, till she could provide herself with a house which would completely suit her in all respects, and that she would not be in haste to remove, as frequent removals were troublesome, dangerous, and expensive. Mrs. Douglas assured him she would be guided by his advice, from the high opinion she had of his judgment and understanding.

The report of sir James Douglas’s death, and that he had left the general heir to his possessions, was quickly diffused among all their connexions. Many persons who had but a slight acquaintance with the general and his lady left their cards, eager to visit them, now they were considered as wealthy. Those who imagined they had inherited a splendid fortune were astonished at not finding them in magnificent lodgings. They expressed their wonder,der, C7r 37 der, when they left them, to each other, at their living so retired, and not assuming the title, as Mrs. Douglas in that case was lady Douglas. However, they thought proper to conjecture, that as probably they had not yet received much money, the general and his lady wished to live in retirement till their affairs were quite arranged, and they could introduce their children into the fashionable world with great eclat.

Mrs. Fane was agreeably surprised by unexpectedly meeting her friend, whom she tenderly loved, and entered into all her joys and sorrows. She was quite gratified that she had taken refuge at her country-house in the hour of perplexity and distress. To enjoy the society of Mrs. Douglas, after so long a separation, Mrs. Fane purposely remained some days longer in town than she had intended. This was a mutual satisfaction to the friends; and Mrs. Fane entreated, that till Treharne was rendered habitable, the generalneral C7v 38 neral and Mrs. Douglas would consider hers as their country-house: it would be very convenient, Mrs. Fane observed, to be near the spot, to superintend the workmen, when they were employed on the repairs necessary to make the building comfortable.

From never having been accustomed to the disagreeable practice people have in London of staring rudely at every female, even if old and ugly, as well as handsome, Rose and Jane found this ill-bred trick annoying and unpleasant. One gentleman, whose figure was not in the least prepossessing, between fifty and sixty years of age, with eyes bleared and encircled with red, was exceedingly troublesome to them. They met him in Hyde Park, where they had previously seen him some days before. He followed them from the Park, and began speaking in a gallant manner. They answered not, but turning into Piccadilly, entered a shop to avoid him, and waited there a considerable time, C8r 39 time, with the hope of getting rid of him; but, to their extreme mortification, when they came out he was still watching.

They went into several shops afterwards, perceiving that he continued to follow; but all to no purpose, as he persevered in his attendance, till they were obliged to go home. By this method he discovered where they lived, to their excessive mortification.

From this period he became quite an annoyance, and was constantly walking or riding by the house, and they scarcely ever dared approach the windows, from the fear of seeing him, as whenever he caught a glimpse of either, he bowed, smiled, or kissed his hand.

Rose had received three letters from sir Eglamour—two when he was marching to Portsmouth for embarkation, and one when he was on board, and ready to sail. He mentioned in the last that he did not then know to what place they were going.

Soon after their arrival in town, a letter from C8v 40 from him was forwarded that had been sent to Treharne. It was not an answer to the one she had written, informing him of their journey to London, but to that he had previously received from her, when he was at Portsmouth, detained by the wind. Sir Eglamour had written this from the coast of Holland, to which place the expedition in which he was engaged was now known to be destined. He requested she would not be uneasy if she did not hear again from him for two or three months, as he should be continually moving about with the army: frequent skirmishes and other engagements, which would cause his constant change of residence, must prevent his writing. He concluded with observing that, although he had an incurable wound in his heart, he hoped he should return unhurt in every other respect, that her constancy might not be shaken by his being disfigured. However, he trusted if the fate of war deprived him of a leg or an arm, that she would C9r 41 would not behave to him as the lady did to her lover in Marmontel’s Tales.

Rose sighed as she perused this, and thought that no event, misfortune, or alteration in his person, could weaken her attachment for him—so good, so brave, and noble-minded, and who truly loved. To restrain her tears at the idea of the dangers he had to encounter she found impossible, as the feeble consolation of hearing from him was now denied her.

The first time that she heard the newsman blowing his horn, she could not imagine the meaning of it; but when it was explained, and Rose learned that, on any intelligence arriving from abroad, he always announced it, by calling—Great news! extraordinary news! and sounding his horn loudly, her affectionate and feeling heart thrilled with agony and terror at the sound. Her whole frame would shake with agitation, fearful of any bad news from the army in Holland. Sometimes the newsman blew his horn late at night, C9v 42 night, when Rose was fast asleep. At this awful noise she awoke frequently, with the most horrible images impressed on her mind. She would fancy that a battle had been fought, and the recollection of her beloved sir Eglamour would be presented to her tortured imagination, perhaps wounded and bleeding. At that moment, how ardently did she wish that she had been his wife, that she might with propriety have shared his danger, attended upon him, and by her tender attention softened his pangs, if ill from wounds or fatigue! The damp climate of Holland was likewise very unfavourable for the health, and particularly for him, who was only lately recovered from the accident that introduced him to her.

A heavy shower of rain prevented Miss Douglas and her sister from taking their usual morning walk. The general postman knocked at the door, and, expecting a letter from their father, which their motherther C10r 43 ther was anxious to receive, Jane ran down the stairs, to see if it was from him, while Rose, eager to know likewise, followed her quickly: but imagine the consternation of both, at seeing captain Courtenay, who had imitated the postman’s knock, to get easy and prompt admittance!

Rose retreated to the drawing-room, where her mother was seated, and faintly articulated, to the astonishment of her mother, that captain Courtenay was at the door. Before she could express her surprise, he entered, having followed Jane up stairs. Miss Douglas was quite petrified with his assurance, and remembered the threat that he would come and see her after his marriage, which he had now presumed to realize.

Mrs. Douglas felt quite indignant at his presumption in daring to visit them, after his dishonourable, perfidious, and brutal behaviour to her daughter. Influenced by resentment, she said many severevere C10v 44 vere things; and Rose could not help admiring, guilty as he was, the mildness and patience with which he supported her satirical remarks on him: yet she could not endure to remain any longer in the room with a man who had behaved so cruelly and incorrectly, and retired, leaving him alone with her mother, Jane having quitted the apartment before. To the extreme amazement of Rose and her sister, he remained a considerable time with Mrs. Douglas. The interval appeared so long, that they thought he would never have taken his leave.

Undoubtedly, said Jane to Rose, they have entered on some agreeable topic of conversation, by his staying.

Just as she uttered these words, they had the satisfaction of hearing him depart, and when they returned to the drawing- room, their mother said—I thank you, my dear Rose, for having left the room; it was perfectly correct of you by that conduct to resent the indignity offered by C11r 45 by his presuming to come and see you after his marriage. Does he think that a lady, because she has not a large fortune, is to be insulted with impunity? He dared not have behaved so to a wealthy woman. What a despicable being to act as he had done! I cannot think what could possess him to remain all this time, unless he thought of seeing you again, and that you would return to the drawing- room. No other circumstance, I should imagine, would have influenced him to stay, for I have been entertaining him with no other conversation than severe observations, and satirical remarks on himself and family. I must confess that he bore with surprising temper all my satire and severity, and did not once make an ill-natured reply, conscious, like a man of sense, that he had acted unjustly, and that my behaviour proceeded from being irritated at his conduct to my daughter. I did it on purpose to make him feel no inclination to repeat his visit. Sincerely do C11v 46 do I hope that my speeches and appearance will be productive of that good effect.

Will you allow me to own, my dearest mother, replied Rose, that the manner in which he has conducted himself today has quite pleased me, though I hope never to see him again. It proves, by his enduring all your satirical remarks so patiently, that he is a real gentleman, and would not resent any thing a lady said: but may I never hear of him more!

As Mrs. Douglas was calmly conversing with her daughters on this subject, Kamira came in, with a face red and inflamed with anger; she looked anxiously at Rose, and then related that having been to a shop in the neighbourhood, she saw captain Courtenay as she returned home, coming from the house. Impressed with the idea that he had been there to repeat his insults to her dear Miss Rose, the Indian could not restrain her anger. In the moment of rage she began reproaching him C12r 47 him in the street for his vile conduct, saying, her young lady had got a much better sweetheart than him, whose servant he was not worthy to be. The imperfect English, and the singular mode in which she expressed herself, attracted the attention of the people passing by; a mob was beginning to collect, and Courtenay gladly ran off, to escape her torrent of severe reproaches.

Mrs. Douglas with difficulty suppressed a smile at this account; yet, while she reprimanded her for her impetuosity, and publicly yielding to her passions, she could not inwardly blame her violence. It was natural for this poor Indian to be incensed against him, after the infamous unfeeling behaviour she had witnessed.

Lady Morrington and mademoiselle de Rimont arrived in town, and called shortly after in South Audley-street. They had heard of sir James Douglas’s death, with and exaggerated account of the immense fortune C12v 48 fortune he had left, and that it was all bequeathed to the general. Lady Morrington, who was continually distressed for money, from losing a great deal at cards, of which she was immoderately and imprudently fond, was eager to visit Mrs. Douglas, with the hope of borrowing some money of her. Her ladyship pretended to be delighted to see them, and pressed Mrs. Douglas and her daughters to fix a day to meet a dinner-party at her house.

She was so earnest in her invitation, that Mrs. Douglas was at length persuaded to oblige her ladyship, much against her own inclination, and the day was appointed. This ceremony being settled, the conversation happened to turn on the death of sir James, and lady Morrington congratulated them on the acquisition they had received to their fortune.

Mrs. Douglas thanked her ladyship, but observed that it was not a certainty that the general would inherit her brother’s donation; D1r 49 donation; and, very unlike a woman of the world, candidly related every circumstance respecting this unfortunate affair.

Louise looked deeply concerned at the disappointment they had experienced, though it might not eventually be a real sorrow. Every person acquainted with the story conceived it to be an invention of the attorney’s and Helen’s. She was the companion of his vices, and her character, on inquiry, discovered to be very atrocious. The chief vexation was the trouble, expence, and separation of the general, which it caused, from his family; but at all events, it was a serious inconvenience for him, after the money he had expended on this occasion, to be so long without receiving any part of the fortune.

Lady Morrington was however of a different opinion, quite unpropitious to their interest, and her manners changed accordingly. It was the dazzling prospect of their having a large inheritance divided among them that made her so attentive.III. D tive. D1v 50 tive. Hardly could she disguise her mortification at having been thus eager to visit them in town: she was convinced, since they had no claim to opulence, that they would soon sink into insignificance, judging too justly of the dispositions of others by her own. The idea that they might, if distressed, make some demand on her purse, from believing her insincere professions of friendship, filled her with terror. How deeply did she regret having asked them to dinner! for, with all her unblushing confidence, it was impossible to decline receiving them, whom she had persuaded so urgently to accept her invitation.

To hide her chagrin, her ladyship wished them good-morning, and retired, followed by Louise, who, being accustomed for several years to observe every emotion that affected her, quickly penetrated the meaning of her altered looks and manners, and secretly despised a mind so selfish and worldly. The moment that her carriage drove from the door, Mrs. Douglas went out D2r 51 out with her daughters, to purchase many articles of dress for them and her son, at a linen-draper’s her ladyship had eagerly recommended soon after she came in. Lady Morrington was considerably in his debt, and hoped to pacify him by recommending a wealthy customer. She had informed Mrs. Douglas that he would give her credit, if she mentioned her ladyship’s name, as Mrs. Douglas did not find it convenient, till she received remittances from Scotland, to expend any ready money.

Having made their purchases, they returned to South Audley-street, and found Miss Herbert waiting for them. Mary flew to embrace her friend Rose, who said that she was disappointed at not having seen her before, as she understood she had been in London a fortnight, from mademoiselle de Rimont.

Knowing, as I flatter myself you do, how sincerely I love you, replied Mary, you will surely not attribute my absence to any diminution of regard, but to the real D2 cause— D2v 52 cause—extreme occupation. I wish that meddling De Rimont had not told you any thing about it. You are too partial to her.

Pardon me—I do not judge more highly of her than she deserves.

Don’t be angry; but I think you guilty of an unpardonable piece of folly, in being infatuated with this friend of a few summer months, and a Frenchwoman too. Forgive my prejudices and frankness, Rose, and do not suffer your hopes to triumph over your reason.

You mistake, dear Mary, said Miss Douglas, I have known Louise some years.

Yes, but you generally meet with her but a short time during the fine weather, and I wish you to give the preference to your own countrywomen, who are more sincere in their friendships, and as constant as they are in love. When I am absent from you, instead of lessening, it heightens my regard. But I will tell you all D3r 53 all about the engagements that have detained me from you, if your sister and yourself will pass the whole day with me to-morrow. We shall be very happy, and I can answer for it, exceedingly merry, as we are none of us insipid characters.

Rose and her sister assured Mary that they accepted her invitation with delight.

You were speaking, Miss Herbert, observed Mrs. Douglas, of friendship. A true friendship needs not the foreign aid of ornament, any more than beauty. It will demonstrate itself by its actions: sleeping or waking it will go actively on. This state is not often found, whose principle is established on virtue, and supported by sincerity.

May this description of friendship my mother has given us, ever exist between you and me! said Rose to Mary: but you have not told me if you had, as usual, an agreeable journey, and made any visits on your way to town that you liked.

We staid two days at a gentleman’s D3 house D3v 54 house in Devonshire—a beautiful place, replied Mary; and it had novelty to recommend it, as I never was there before; and only think of my having dined there with your old friend captain Burton. Numberless inquiries he made after you and the whole family.

He admires you extremely, rejoined Rose, with a smile; deep is the impression you have made on his mind.

He is a lively agreeable man, but no power on earth could tempt me to have him. If he was rich, and a lord, I should perhaps think differently. I am not blind to the fine prospects held out by the word interest. Have you not discovered, in your commerce with this guilty world, that in general interest stands instead of heart? But what think you of London?

It is a gay scene, full of variety and entertainment. We have been to Coventgarden theatre, which much amused us.

It pleases me to hear this. I love plays as well as a child, and I hope we shall D4r 55 shall often go to the theatre together. But you call London gay: you will kill me with laughing, if you repeat such an absurdity. The town is quite empty now, and the stupidest place under the sun, for that reason. However, I am very ridiculous in asserting this, when I recollect that it is your first visit to such a whirligig place. If I am not mistaken, you were never here before, above two days, on your journey to Devonshire?

Rose replied in the affirmative, and Mary hurried away, saying she must leave them, fascinating as they were, having several morning visits to make.

D4v 56

Chapter III.

First taught to bear the chill unmindful eye, Of once-fond friendship shrunk to charity, The sly slow taunt—the frequent stab bestow’d On poverty, too long in pomp’s abode. V.

According to their appointment with Miss Herbert, Rose and her sister waited upon her at her father’s house in Piccadilly. The situation was most cheerful, and Jane amused herself with gazing at the variety of passing objects. When she was tired with this occupation, she played on a fine- toned lute of Mary’s, and entertained herself likewise in reading and examining an extensive well-chosen library, that contained, besides a valuable collection of books, large portfolios of engravings that were very amusing. Jane occupied her time in this manner, that Rose might converseverse D5r 57 verse with her friend, unrestrained by the presence of a third person.

Mary confided to Miss Douglas, that she was soon going to be married to a nobleman Mr. Herbert approved, and displayed to Rose the superb jewels and elegant dresses presented for this joyful occasion. In the event of her marriage, Miss Herbert observed that she should be more her own mistress than at present, and could have her friend to reside frequently with her. If Rose would consent to live constantly with her, it would add, she said, to their happiness; and she could liberally assist her, if she required it, with money or any thing she wanted, having a very handsome settlement from her intended husband. This was in consequence of the large fortune Mr. Herbert had bestowed on her, which made her enjoy the felicity of being able to evince affection for those she loved.

Rose expressed her gratitude for such disinterested friendship and generous offers, D5 and D5v 58 and then related the uneasiness, disappointment, and cost, in which they had been involved since her uncle’s decease, from a new claimant having started up to demand sir James’s property, which had caused infinite trouble to her father, and vexation to the whole family.

Unlike lady Morrington, the intelligence of this misfortune seemed rather to augment than diminish her attachment. The poisonous breath of selfishness, of sordid parsimony, and ignoble meanness, had not yet tainted her youthful mind, though the contagion was difficult to escape.

However little worthy you may think me of the honour, exclaimed Mary, I take it upon me the title of your friend. Apply to me whenever you want any thing. Though grandeur, rank, fortune, now await me, I am convinced that the hours we pass together will be the happiest of my life. If that vulnerable heart of yours, said Mary, laughing, that has under- D6r 59 undergone so many attacks that very little can be left, should be again deprived of the object of its regard, I shall, when you reside with me, select a husband for you.

Rose smiled, and observed that she was more good-natured than the generality of her sex, who are not disposed to marry off their friends—but hoped never to require her services on such an occasion.

This day was one of the happiest that Rose had ever passed. Each contracted new delight from the society of the other, their hearts being united, like two flowers on one stem. They were grateful to Jane for allowing them to converse without restraint. The principal subjects that interested them, were Mary’s approaching marriage, and her plans for serving Rose, and having her often at her house.

They separated with reluctance, but met two days afterwards at lady Morrington’s, where they had been engaged to dine. Her ladyship had received them coldly, and had contrived to invite only those D6 who D6v 60 who were in town, that already knew them, with the exception of one lady, and an insignificant individual, a Mr. Foster, who endured neglect and impertinence for the sake of a good dinner. Lady Morrington was determined to avoid mortifying herself, by escaping the humiliation of introducing girls not endowed with fortune to any more of her acquaintance. Lady Elinor Murray, daughter to the earl of Arlberry, was very good-humoured, and on a visit at lady Morrington’s, therefore it was impossible to prevent her being present. The rest of the party consisted of lady Harvey, Miss Herbert and her admirer lord Beaufort, sir Henry Arundel, the count de Fontenai, and Mr. Foster, who, to their great astonishment, when he was presented to their notice, proved to be the gentleman that had followed them from Hyde-Park, and was so troublesome in walking before the house, and watching them continually.

They mutually smiled at a rencontre so D7r 61 so unexpected and unforeseen, at which the sisters were the more surprised, as they discovered, from inquiries after his wife and children, that he was a married man, which made the levity of his conduct to them inexcusable.

Lady Elinor was very interesting, about five-and-twenty. Her person was small, but delicately formed, with the gentlest manners, and a countenance soft, fair, and pleasing. The dinner was exceedingly splendid, but, like all magnificent banquets, tedious, dull, and fatiguing.

Miss Douglas was delighted when this ceremony was over, and the ladies retired to the drawing-room. Lady Elinor had been placed near her at table, and she was quite fascinated with her new companion, who was unassuming, and rather reserved at first. Her ladyship’s reserve wore off by degrees, and she then seemed equally pleased with Rose.

Miss Herbert was engaged in conversation with lady Harvey till her lover and the D7v 62 the other gentlemen joined them at tea. Lord Beaufort then occupied all her attention; and Rose was at liberty to enjoy the society of her new acquaintance. De Fontenai attached himself to Jane, and lady Harvey to Mrs. Douglas. Felix was attentive to lady Morrington, and conversed occasionally with lady Elinor and his sister. Sir Henry Arundel (more in love than ever with Rose) watched every opportunity of being near them; and Mr. Foster appeared to be attracted by the same magnet.

I was informed, said sir Henry, that in consequence of the fire at Treharne you had quitted that sylvan scene, where weeds and flowers promiscuous shoot, for the devastating metropolis, genial to nothing but corruption. This information made me likewise quit it, since it had no longer any attraction.

In the country, observed Mr. Foster, you had leisure to examine the qualities and perfections of Miss Douglas’s mind; D8r 63 mind; and no doubt the inspection has justified the promise of excellence. I am myself convinced that she is as prudent as she is lovely, alluding, as he spoke, to her rejection of his gallantry in the street.

Rose understood his meaning, and thought her merit on this occasion very trifling, as it did not require much prudence, or any self-denial, to reject the advances of a plain, disagreeable, old man: but he thought otherwise of his alluring powers.

If it is worth Miss Douglas’s consideration, replied sir Henry, I will acknowledge that she has my entire approbation; and I look forward with anxious hope that our acquaintance will terminate in unerring friendship. I wish she may remain but a short time in town, as I fear that late hours and hot rooms will destroy that fine bloom that mantles on her cheek.

We live nearly as retired as if we were in the country, observed Rose.

I am always enlivened, said lady Elinor D8v 64 Elinor, at the prospect of returning into the country, to enjoy the innocent, rational, and rural pursuits. When confined for any length of time to the smoke of London, I almost envy every one who talks of going out of town.

I wish lady Elinor, exclaimed sir Henry, and Miss Douglas would allow me to watch over their health and happiness, while they grace the metropolis. They should condemn my skill, and drive me from the regions of taste and elegance, if they did not approve my management.

Here Mr. Foster joined again in the conversation, saying—I am disposed to punish your conceit, sir Henry, and laugh at your vanity, in presuming to suppose you can obtain the power of guiding as you please these lovely creatures, for whom so many sigh.

Those harsh observations of yours, Foster, proceed from the natural severity of your temper and splenetic humour, that tinctures your disposition. You are a Benedicknedick D9r 65 nedick of many years—no wonder then you have the spleen; nor can you, by your censure, alter—no, not by one jot, my opinion, or prevent me from expressing my admiration of the gentle lady Elinor, and my fair friend here.

Jesting apart, I agree with you, sir Henry, in all that relates to their captivation. Thoughtless of danger, I have approached those blazing meteors, Miss Douglas’s eyes, that shine but to destroy. But, I trust, from her amiableness, that since (as a married man) I have no hopes from her pity, she will make ample amends to you, for having torn and burnt your poor heart to tinder, by transplanting her own. But a truce to this nonsense—I will wish you all good-night, and occupy no more of your time, already too much consumed with my trifling.

When Mr. Foster, was gone, Rose observed, that he had good manners, and was truly polite.

“You D9v 66

You will find I am right, replied sir Henry, when I caution you to beware of his politeness, and assumed good-humour. How wicked must be the world, you will think, when good-nature and civility are causes for suspicion! Poor man! with all his vices, I pity him from my soul! It is melancholy in old age to have no comfortable home, and depend on credulity for subsistence in the silly town of London, though I believe it is a safe dependence. He will most probably endeavour to intrude himself at your house— but to encourage the visits of such a man is a stupidity to which I am sure you are superior. From his wife and children he has been separated for many years; the former he never loved, having married her for a large fortune, which he soon squandered away, leaving his wife and family, for their subsistence, the scanty pittance settled on her. By flattery, and making himself agreeable, he gets admittance into many fashionable D10r 67 fashionable houses, and as he creates amusement, is tolerated, till he disgusts by too frequent attacks on their purse.

Rose felt grateful to sir Henry for this delineation of Mr. Foster’s character. She had judged he was unworthy, by obtruding his conversation in the street, when he perceived his gallantry was disagreeable to them. Soon after he left them, the party separated for the evening.

Mary Herbert said to Rose, as she took them home in her carriage—I think this first sortie of your fashionable campaign in town very brilliant. Sincerely do I hope it may proceed in the same manner.

I know the uncertainty of every thing, and cannot feel quite so sanguine about it as you appear, replied Rose, smiling, who had remarked the freezing coldness and hauteur of lady Morrington—a change most striking in her manners, that were formerly (in general) affable and pleasing, and seldom developed any trait of her natural character. Louise was confined to her D10v 68 her apartment with a cold, and Rose was disappointed at not having had the pleasure of seeing her.

The long-expected letter from Scotland at length arrived; but the perusal of it, alas! was productive of sorrow only. It was not written by the general, but Mr. Moncrief, who mentioned how painful it was for him to impart the heart-wounding intelligence that general Douglas had been confined several days to his bed. A fever had been the consequence of the mental agitation and fatigue he had undergone, in the fruitless search for the clergyman and Davie M’Gregor.

Mrs. Douglas was agonized as she perused their friend’s letter. The best of men and of husbands pressed the couch of sickness, caused by severe misfortune, now could she hesitate a moment in flying to attend on him.

Her mind was torn with contending emotions, at the idea of leaving her daughters in so dangerous a place as London, and D11r 69 and with cruel agony at the situation of her loved husband, from whom she could not endure to be absent. Feeling it her inclination, as well as duty, to go directly to him, the conflict and trial were almost too much for her affectionate bosom: yet she decided directly how to act, and checked, as much as possible, after the first shock, the anguish that racked her breast, that her frame might be enabled to support whatever acute misery was in store for her.

Mrs. Douglas recommended her daughters to the protection of their brother. It was the only source of comfort that he was with them, though she feared that consolation would not last long, as his leave of absence was nearly expired. But, unwilling to anticipate evil, from being too well acquainted with real sorrow, she hoped he would be able to renew the permission, and desired he would write to his colonel, to request it as a particular favour.

Mrs. Douglas likewise requested Mr. and D11v 70 and Mrs. Linn to be attentive to Rose and Jane, assuring them, that at some future period it would be in her power to reward any kindness her children experienced from them.

The advice she now gave her son and daughters was nearly the same as when she left them before, except that she still more impressively entreated them to be prudent and correct, as the town was replete with dangers for young people who were not very cautious in their conduct. Their mother desired also that they would decline every invitation, their father’s critical state of health being a sufficient excuse; and by acting in this manner, they would avoid expending money, which was not convenient, in the embarrassed situation of their finances. She likewise exhorted them to be as economical as possible on every occasion; and having previously taken a place in the coach for Scotland, left her daughters and Kamira in tears, though she would not suffer hers to flow.

The D12r 71

The countenance of Felix betrayed a manly sensibility, though he had too much resolution to yield to feminine weakness. He attend his mother to the stage, and then returned to sooth the affliction of his sisters with every proof of fraternal regard.

In the afternoon of the day when their excellent parent quitted them for Scotland, Rose was seated at work alone in the drawing-room; Kamira came up, and interrupted her meditations, as she worked, by saying a man, who looked like a respectable tradesman, wished to speak to Mrs. Douglas’s eldest daughter.

Rose desired him to be admitted, and Kamira then announced the linendraper, of whom Mrs. Douglas had purchased various articles.

I understand, Miss, said the man, awkwardly bowing, that your mamma is gone out of town without paying my bill. It is shabby behaviour, to go without settling my little account. I think it had bad usage from a stranger, quite a swindlingling D12v 72 ling piece of business: living, too, in genteel apartments. They tell me, Miss, you be of age, and I shall look to you for the cash.

My mother, replied Rose, mildly, was informed by lady Morrington that you would give her credit if she made use of her ladyship’s name. You may be certain of having your money, though not immediately, as we are engaged in an expensive lawsuit, that embarrasses us at present.

That’s neither here nor there to me, Miss. I’ll not be wronged: right’s right. What’s you or your affairs to me? You need not speak about my lady; she’s slow enough in her payments; obliged to dance attendance for years before one can see the colour of her money. Besides, she’s no friend of yours. I went to ask if her ladyship would be answerable for the goods you have taken, and she said—By no means. What’s more, she told me it was very extravagant of such poverty-struck people E1r 73 people to buy so many things. She thought it a great liberty, too, of your mamma, to make use of her name.

I am astonished to hear this! exclaimed Rose: what an artful woman lady Morrington must be, to speak so disrespectfully, after urging my mother to deal at your shop, and asserting that you always gave credit.

A pretty customer indeed my lady has recommended! However, young lady, I must tell you at once the long and the short of the business: if you do not send me fifteen pounds by twelve o’clock to-morrow morning, I shall find means to force you to pay it. You have had part of the goods, and I say again, I shall look to you, not to your mamma. She is a married woman, her husband away, and now gone off herself; so that I can’t come upon her. I hear as how your papa is an officer—the worst people in the world to do business with: they never pay—here Vol. III. E to- E1v 74 to-day, gone to-morrow. Altogether, ’tis a swindling transaction, and, once for all, you must send the money, as I have told you, or you’ll know the consequence, for pay you must and shall! So your servant, Miss; and, as he uttered these words, before Rose could reply, he vulgarly banged the drawing-room door after him, leaving poor Miss Douglas nearly in a state of distraction, from never having experienced such ill-bred and unfeeling insolence.

She was not intimate enough with lady Harvey to ask any pecuniary favour; and even if she had, Rose knew she was often distressed for money herself. Her only friend in London, who could assist her, was Miss Herbert, as from lady Morrington no relief could be expected, after such glaring duplicity.

These reflections influenced her to write a note, which she instantly dispatched by Kamira to Mary Herbert. In a few hurried lines, which evinced her distress, she requested E2r 75 requested the loan of fifteen pounds, the sum owing to the hard-hearted linendraper.

The faithful Kamira, to whom she confided what had happened, went off with tears in her eyes; and Rose then sought her sister, to impart this additional sorrow.

Jane was overwhelmed with affliction at the sufferings Rose was destined to endure, but endeavoured to lessen her uneasiness, by representing that the man only threatened, from being prejudiced against them by lady Morrington. She could not imagine he would be so uncommonly severe as to put his menaces in execution, and if he did, advised her not to be alarmed, as Mary Herbert, who was so wealthy, and going to be well married, would certainly serve her, after such ardent professions of friendship.

Rose was too much depressed by melancholy to be equally confident of success, as Mary might not have that sum by her. Her heart sunk with dejection at being E2 deprived, E2v 76 deprived, thus critically situated, of her mother’s advice. Yet, on second thoughts, she rejoiced at her absence, as she would gladly undergo the severest calamity to shield her poor mother from it.

Kamira returned quickly with an answer. Rose, overcome with agitation, tore open the note, and found it contained a cold refusal. Mary Herbert replied, that she had not so large a sum as fifteen pounds in the house, having expended all her ready money in preparations for her wedding, which was to take place in a few days. It was her intention afterwards to look out for a trinket to send her as a remembrance, and advised her to apply to some other friend. Mary then coolly concluded with wishing her well out of all her difficulties.

Insensibly (as she finished reading this cold-hearted note) tears of wounded sensibility trickled down her lovely face. They were not caused by disappointment at being refused assistance, but from heartfelt grief, E3r 77 grief, at discovering that the friend she fervently loved, with purest truth, was deceitful and hard-hearted. All hope of relief was vanished; yet the dread of danger did not pain her so acutely as the knowledge of her beloved Mary’s selfishness, and insensible, frigid, and pitiless mind. She wished to become indifferent to her, but it was not an easy task, after the sincere affection she had entertained for her unfeeling friend.

Miss Douglas was bewildered in thinking how to extricate herself, as her expectations from Mary were disappointed. To apply to any slight acquaintance she could not endure, and it was distressing to expose her misfortunes to people who knew but little of her, and only paid attention to herself and family from supposing they had inherited her uncle’s property.

Poor Kamira, who perceived in her expressive countenance the anguish that tortured this undeservedly-unfortunate young lady, was miserable, her affectionate and E3 faithful E3v 78 faithful disposition causing her to more than share every pang that agonized her favourite Miss Rose. She was attached to the whole family, but for her she would willingly have resigned existence; the joys and sufferings of the ill-fated Rose were hers.

Miss Douglas had told her to be careful of the answer she brought back from Mary Herbert, as there would probably be money in it. When Kamira saw her open the letter, and perceived it did not contain what she expected, in an agitated voice she exclaimed—Me think Miss Herbert grow very proud, like peacock, that spread his tail out. Me say that lady no good. She got fine gowns, with gold flowers and silver, lay about her room, and fine feathers, like what Esquimaux wear; me have such in my country. Me look on her table; there be bright, shiny stones, she put on her neck, and her head, and in her ears, like Indian. Me saw in her hand a long purse, stuffed with paper monies; E4r 79 monies; she plenty, and so conceit, run, look in glass over chimney, then t’other glass at window. She keep grin, look at herself every minute—never look me but when she give letter. Me sure she could help you, if she please—Oh, she had heart —worse than mountaineer.

Rose sighed.—I cannot think so unkindly of her as you do, Kamira. Prosperity has made her giddy, and I will own that I have seen an alteration for the worse since her intended marriage with lord Beaufort. She was more humble before, for, however rich her father, she had no rank in society; the knowledge, therefore, that by her marriage with lord Beaufort, she would acquire distinction, and be enabled to go to court, which she could not before, has elated her vanity; with a heart swelling with gratified pride, she cannot feel compassion for the woes of others, being wholly engrossed by self- love. But this delirium of arrogance will, E4 I hope, E4v 80 I hope, subside, and the native goodness of heart I have always concluded she possessed will dispel the mists of haughtiness, conceit, and selfishness.

Me heard from her servants her father have her by a cook. Miss Herbert, daughter of cook, or lady’s waiting-maid.

I have heard that report, and understand she is the daughter of a servant, but not so obscure as a cook. However, the obscurity of her origin by her mother’s side never lessened her in my opinion. Noble minds often grace the meanest stations of life, and I sincerely wish her conduct may do honour to the elevated situation in which she is going to move. No one will then reflect on her being illegitimate, and the offspring of a vulgar servant.

If she no behave like a lady, and insult her betters, me say Miss Herbert sprung from a dunghill, and by dirty pride and hard heart she shew it.

I will not hear you say any more on this E5r 81 this subject, Kamira. I trust she will yet prove herself the friend she professed to be, which her flattering words, and warm affectionate letters, that I have no carefully preserved, as I valued them from the attachment she avowed for me in them, will prove. I never doubted her sincerity, and if she neglects me, and evinces dark deceit, the only cause, and my crime, in her eyes, is not being so fortunate as herself. Had I been her, I would have disposed of some of my jewels, rather than have refused to assist a friend. My mother has often embarrassed herself to serve her friends, and I would do the same.

Kamira was silent, as she observed it was displeasing to her young lady to hear Miss Herbert spoke of with contempt, notwithstanding her insincerity and deception.

Rose now wrote to the linendraper by the two-penny post, entreating he would suspend the harsh measures he had threatened, till she received news from Edinburgh, when she had no doubt, if he had E5 patience, E5v 82 patience, of a remittance being enclosed, part of which she would, without delay, forward to him. This she hoped would pacify him for some time, and in that interval she flattered herself it would be in her power to liquidate his debt.

Miss Douglas desired Kamira and her sister to keep Felix in ignorance of what had passed, as it would only make him unhappy, and answer no good purpose. Her brother was going to Richmond, in the evening, on a visit for a fortnight, and Rose trusted to have this unpleasant affair settled before his return. More anxious for the happiness of others that she regarded, than her own, it was always her wish to avoid wounding the feelings of those she loved. Her parents only were dearer to her than her brave, her amiable brother.

Two days had elapsed since the linendraper’s disagreeable visit. Early on the third morning, Rose had just sunk into a profound slumber, from having been awake the E6r 83 the greater part of the night with anxiety. This refreshing sleep, that would have invigorated her harassed form, was soon disturbed by a loud, violent noise, as if several people were quarrelling. Jane had risen and left the apartment, but Rose quickly distinguished her voice and Kamira’s in high-spirited altercation with some person. At length she heard Kamira distinctly say—Me tell you she not here; me tell you Miss Douglas out of town.

That instant Rose was overcome with horror, suspecting too truly the occasion of these sounds. She jumped out of bed, and bolted the door. The noise and voices grew louder and louder, till they approached the chamber-door, and she heard two men talking violently to Kamira. The men then tried to open her door, saying—She is here.

Kamira replied—Me tell you no; another lady sleep in that room. You punished you disturb lady.

E6 At E6v 84

At these words the men retreated down the stairs, to the inexpressible alleviation of her terror, having remained trembling in bed all the time. Rose hoped she had escaped, and that they had left the house, as every thing was still for a few minutes; but, to her melancholy disappointment, the noise commenced again. She heard the men running up the stairs, and one of them exclaimed—Miss Douglas is certainly in this room: come, Dick, let us break open the door.

From these circumstances and exclamations combined, Rose had guessed the truth, and was convinced these men were bailiffs, sent to arrest her by the linendraper. It was better, she judged, to avoid having the door broken open, and called out—Gentlemen, if you will have patience, I will surrender myself, without your being obliged to use force; I merely request you will allow me time to dress.

Certainly, ma’am, said one of the men; if you are civil we will be so too. I shall E7r 85 I shall amuse myself in making love to your maid; it is a pity she is so abusive.

You make me love! me hate you. You be beast! you be wretch!

The men only laughed, while she continued to scold them, till her young lady was dressed, and came out to them. Miss Douglas had been rather slow in dressing, as her hands shook, and she could scarcely stand. In vain she endeavoured to console Kamira, who was drowned in tears, bitterly lamenting her hapless fate. She then asked permission of the men to speak privately with her sister, which they granted. Rose gave Jane some money, and entreated she would keep up her spirits, as she was nearly fainting.

With all the fortitude she could assume, Rose now prepared to meet this severe trial, though Jane almost banished her resolution by exclaiming, and weeping as she spoke—How will you be able to bear this, ill as you already are with sorrow?

“God E7v 86

God will give me strength, replied Rose; and, returning to the men, informed them she was ready.

Interested by her appearance and manners, the bailiffs, though most hard-hearted, were very polite and respectful. Finding that she objected to going from the door to the spunging-house in a coach, as it might cause the neighbours to discover the affair, one of the men took her writing- desk, and a bundle of clothes, as it was uncertain how long she would be confined, and walked out first; Rose followed him, and the other bailiff left the house a little while after, and walked at a short distance, so that neither appeared to belong to her. When they had gone through two or three streets, the men called a hackney-coach; they handed her into it with great respect, and then got in afterwards, ordering the coachman where to drive.

As they drove along, the men humanely endeavoured to comfort her; and that she might not think it disgraceful to be arrested,ed, E8r 87 ed, told her that a lady of quality had been confined a fortnight in the same house to which she was going, and a captain in the army also. The captain had been in high spirits when he first entered; but so many debts had lately appeared against him, that he had confined himself to his bed from vexation, and was to be sent very shortly to the King’s Bench. One of the men said he expected to be taken to prison himself for debt, and informed her likewise of the best way to proceed to get speedily released. The misery in which she was involved did not prevent her from being pleased with the civility and respect of her rough companions.

At last the coach arrived, and stopped before the gloomy spunging-house. The heart of the unfortunate Rose sunk deeply when she gazed with horror at the iron- barred windows, where desolation seemed to reign triumphant. The men perceived the E8v 88 the change in her countenance, and, to weaken the effect the shock had on her mind, told her the confinement would be very short, if she wrote directly to her friends, as every letter she might rely on having carefully forwarded.

The street-door opened, and she was ushered through another inner door, well secured with iron bars and bolts, &c. The men delivered up her property, and she was then conducted into a small drawing- room, on the first floor, furnished neatly, with a pianoforte in it. Rose immediately sat down to her desk, and wrote letters to every one she thought likely to serve her, and dispatched them off. She had not tasted any food since she had been up, and an elderly squint-eyed woman, who was the servant of the house, came in and asked if she would like breakfast? Rose replied that she could not eat any thing, but would partake of an early dinner instead. This woman, whose appearance she E9r 89 she did not like, though exceedingly attentive, said—Come, Miss, and play a tune on the piano, to amuse yourself.

I seldom play when I am happy, rejoined Rose, and now I am too much out of spirits to entertain myself with music.

You’ll be better by and by, Miss; you’ll get more used to it.

At that moment the man who opened the inner door to keep the prisoners secure, entered to demand some silver, to go and search the office, he said, to see if there were any detainers. Rose assured them that could not be, not having any debts as even this they had arrested her for was not hers. The man replied, that made no difference—it was a form always observed.

A porter that she had sent with a note to Miss Herbert, and whom she had desired to see on his return, now entered the room, staggering drunk.—There is no answer, Miss, said he; the lady was married this very morning, and gone out of E9v 90 of town. Pray is this, holding out a glass of gin (which the mistress of the house had given him, as it rained hard) is this all I’m to have for my trouble?

Certainly not, replied Rose; here are two shillings for you.

Thank you, Miss, thank you; I’ll serve you by night or by day, since you behave so generous, for nothing. I have a darter—there is not such another, she is so clever. She knows substraction, compounds, and all. My wife, too, was as pretty a woman as ever was seen, before she lost her eye and her leg; but I don’t like to remind her of her misfortins, for she is as good a wife as need be. I must say I have health, money, beauty—every thing.

He continued boasting, and Rose, though mortified at having employed this drunken being, could not help but smiling at his vanity, as he was humpbacked, old, and ordinary in his person. She saw the door close on him with pleasure, and, when E10r 91 when her elderly attendant came, desired that this intoxicated man might not be sent with any letters or messages for her again. Different people belonging to the house, women, girls, and men, entered the apartment occasionally, with some excuse or other, which Rose imagined was to examine her person that they might know it well, in case she attempted to escape. During this interval, when severe mortification and heart-rending anguish overwhelmed her, not a tear fell from her eye, or sigh heaved her bosom. She sat immovable, and stupified with sorrow.

While Rose was thus situated, the elderly woman came in and said—A gentleman, Miss.

At that instant captain Courtenay entered. Rose gazed on him with an eye of vacancy, and, absorbed in her own painful reflections, scarcely recollected he was in existence till her addressed her.

What freak is this? he exclaimed. I should as soon have expected to see the emperor E10v 92 emperor of Russia here as you. Though you had become indifferent to me, which you will say is a rude speech, I could not hear of your imprisonment without coming to extricate you, on condition that you reward my passion, for I am not cut out for platonic love. No, no, my dear girl, it is too cold and barren; mutual tenderness is the soul of real attachment.

How dare you, sir, speak to me of love? It is profaning so noble a sentiment for your lips to mention it; it is not becoming in a married man. Do not presume on my misfortunes: I would sooner meet death, in its most horrid shape, than act with impropriety. Never could you persuade me to listen to you with patience or complaisance.

I will give you my ideas, replied Courtenay, in the words of a charming French author— Je vous avouerai qu’un sentiment profane, Quand je vois vos appas, se glisse dans mon cœur, Le moral est, chez moi, toute raison du physique, Et malgré le respect de mon pudique ardeur, Je ne suis point fait pour l’amour platonique. Or E11r 93 Or if you wish to have it in plain English, it runs thus—I must confess that a profane sentiment glides into my heart whenever I see your charms; and, in spite of my virtuous ardour, I am not intended to be a Joseph: yet I do not desire to influence you against your inclination; I like to be indebted to the affect of a woman for the happiness she may bestow.

Indignation gave Rose spirit to reply —You have no right to insult me with your presence. Had you wished to serve me as a friend, and make some atonement for your crimes to me, you could have done it without mortifying me with the sight of you.

I shall leave you, and say no more now, as I intend calling to-morrow. Consult your heart in the meanwhile, and reflect whether you will be a neglected prude, or a beloved darling. Conquer your prejudices about my being married; every sensible person will laugh at them.

Rose made him no answer, being quite exhausted E11v 94 exhausted with the exertion of speaking to him before, as she felt exceedingly weak and faint. He now wished her good- morning, saying she might depend on seeing him again, when he hoped to find her in a better and more reasonable humour. It was with indescribably satisfaction that she saw him depart, and it was some pleasure that his visit had been short; yet the prospect of a repetition of it, when he would probably conduct himself differently, caused in her perturbed mind the most serious apprehension. She resolved therefore to request, as a very great favour, of the master and mistress of the house, that they would not allow captain Courtenay to be admitted to her apartment.

Yet the idea of their not complying with her entreaties, and being forced to see him the next day, thrilled her with horror. The recollection of her beloved sir Eglamour made her still more averse to meeting this worthless man, as she could not endure expressions of attachmentment E12r 95 ment from any one but him she faithfully loved, and who merited the most true and exquisite tenderness. Inwardly she implored Heaven to rescue her from a trial so severe, and from the house that now sheltered her, as the thought of sleeping in such a place was misery most poignant.

The windows were all fenced with strong bars; even the yard at the back of the house was guarded with bars at the top, which alarmed her in the case of fire. Should such an accident happen, Rose feared that escape would be impossible, more particularly as the squinting woman told her she was to sleep in one of the attics near her; it was very dangerous, if the house was on fire, to be on the highest floor in it. Her uneasiness was likewise increased by the look and manner of this woman, to whom she felt an involuntary repugnance, notwithstanding her civility.

At two o’clock the mistress of the house sent up her dinner, cooked so indifferently that she only ate a few mouthfuls, which refreshed E12v 96 refreshed her very little; and for this wretched meal they charged her an enormous price. After dinner, her mother’s landlord, Mr. Linn, called to see her, and inquired if he could be of any service? At the sight of him, who reminded Rose of her mother, her sister, and Felix, from whom she was at present most painfully separated, she was overcome with emotion, and for the first time since her captivity burst into tears.

With humanity that would have graced a more exalted station, the good man strove to impart consolation, and offered to go anywhere, or convey any messages for her. In consequence of these obliging offers, Rose requested him to wait on her father’s solicitor, and explain her situation. She then asked after Jane, and was informed that she suffered inexpressible affliction, not having forgot that she was a sister.

Mr. Linn went away. Evening came, and no favourable event, promising her release, F1r 97 release, had yet occurred. Tea was brought to her, and while she was drinking it, and endeavouring to reconcile her mind to remaining all night, as it appeared inevitable, footsteps were heard coming hastily up stairs. Many persons were confined in this house, which the woman said was nearly full; therefore different people were constantly going up and down, which excluded every hope of its being visitors to herself, till the door suddenly opened. Two respectable strangers entered; one of them, a tall handsome young man, imparted the pleasing intelligence that he was arrived to restore her to liberty, and the other, considerably older, a short, stout, dark man, she found was employed by the lawyer who had arrested her by desire of the linendraper.

The handsome young man observed, that it was a very unpleasant situation for a lady, and Rose replied that it was both new and distressing indeed.

Vol. III. F He F1v 98

He now produced a paper, which he desired her to sign, and left the room for a few minutes. When he was gone, the dark man seemed to pity her, and said it was shameful to arrest a lady for so trifling a sum.

You will think it much worse then, rejoined Rose, when you hear that it is my mother’s debt, not mine. I do not understand any thing of law, but I should imagine the people who have acted thus unjustly might be punished; besides, I perceive in this paper they have arrested me in my mother’s name, Caroline Douglas, and not in the name of Rose Douglas.

You had better sign Caroline Douglas, replied the dark man; but before she had done so the handsome young man returned, who said—Miss Douglas, your servant is here; shall she be admitted?

Rose thanked him, and answered in the affirmative. He went out again, and introduced Kamira, whose countenance, strikingly F2r 99 strikingly altered with weeping the greater part of the day, quite affected Rose, who could scarcely recognize her.

The handsome man now requested Miss Douglas to sign the paper with her own name, though she told him the other gentleman desired she would not. He now requested the people of the house to bring their bill, in a very harsh voice. It amounted to a great deal, as they charged extravagantly for the use of the room, fire, candles, and the uncomfortable meals they had provided. Kamira had brought a hackney-coach, which waited to convey her lady home. The gentlemen attended her down stairs, and the porter at the inner door requested she would give him some money. Reluctantly she gave him eighteen-pence, and the woman three shillings, at which Kamira grumbled, saying—You ought not give money to people lock you up—make you prisoner.

The gentlemen took leave of Rose, who got into the coach with a joy not to be describedF2 scribed F2v 100 scribed or conceived, but by those who have experienced the misery of such a situation. It was impossible for her to guess who had procured her liberty, but, highly rejoiced at the circumstance, she would not make herself uneasy about it.

Oh! me, me cannot say, exclaimed Kamira, what me suffer at see you sitting in the prison-room with the two gentlemen! Me thought my poor heart burst; but me happy now.

I am sorry to have been the occasion of making you unhappy, my faithful creature, replied Rose: but let us only think of the happiness I now enjoy. I cannot conjecture to whose goodness I am indebted for my freedom.

Ah, me know all about it. ’Tis sweet, pretty lady Elinor, exclaimed Kamira. She called with elderly gentleman to see you. When she ask me for you, I wring my hands, I shake my head, and cry very much—say too, you take away by two wicked men. My lady ask where you gone, F3r 101 gone, name of street, and gentleman too. Me tell her all about it. My lady say, don’t fret, you see her again; she shall be with you at night. Me go down on my knees, me kiss her feet; but she no let me—she give me her little white hand to kiss. This night elderly gentleman come to me; he give me money to pay hackney-coach, and told me to go fetch you from spungy- house: that is all.

What an angel lady Elinor is! said Rose. I feel grateful to her beyond the power of language to express. Almost a stranger to me, and to have such angelic goodness and compassion, while those who have known me much longer neglect and forsake me, because I am in distress, after the most ardent and unasked professions of friendship. How I shall ever love her! It appears as if this new friend was sent to console me for the loss of one I truly loved.

The hackney-coach now stopped at her lodgings in South Audley-street, where F3 Jane F3v 102 Jane welcomed her sister with unfeigned pleasure. Never had Jane displayed more sensibility than at the fatal instant when Rose was conveyed from their residence to the spunging-house, which imparted a pleasing consolation, as it convinced her sister she had become more affectionate than formerly. Adversity is the only school for improving the mind. Rose immediately wrote a letter of grateful acknowledgment to lady Elinor, in which she mentioned that she was anxious to soon have an opportunity of expressing her thanks in person, and hoped her ladyship would indulge her by calling shortly in South Audley-street.

Mr. and Mrs. Linn received her on her return with the utmost cordiality, and were rejoiced at her not having remained all night in confinement, having, they assured her, been very uneasy, from the fear that she would be detained at the spunging-house till the next day.

Rose was exceedingly pleased with their behaviour F4r 103 behaviour, having been apprehensive of their treating her with disrespect, from the disagreeable circumstance of her having been arrested, which convinced her they were worthy good people.

Lady Elinor waited on Miss Douglas the following morning, with the elderly gentleman Kamira had spoken of. He was a distant relation of the earl of Arlberry, her father, and his name Murray. His age was seventy-five, but he did not look older than sixty, from having always been virtuous, temperate, and benevolent.

Rose was more fascinated than ever with the manners and conversation of lady Elinor. She would not hint at the favour she had conferred; and when she suspected that Rose wished to enter on the subject, avoided it with the greatest delicacy. Mr. Murray had been very fond of lady Elinor from a child, which affection she warmly returned, being grateful for his constant endeavours to add to her happiness when so young. Into her F4 youthful F4v 104 youthful mind he instilled the necessity of being beneficent; and that by promoting the welfare of our fellow-creatures in distress, we increase our own felicity. The sentiments of him lady Elinor revered and loved as a second parent she naturally adopted, and became the same humane, good, and charitable character. To behold such virtue in a lovely young lady touches the heart even more than when we contemplate excellence in advanced age.

At an early period of his life, Mr. Murray was in very narrow circumstances, from having had an extravagant father. In consequence of being thus situated, he established himself at Lisbon, as a wine- merchant, where, in a few years, he realized a handsome fortune. Mr. Richard Murray related many anecdotes to Rose, which gave her a very favourable impression of the Portuguese character. Mr. Richard Murray, at one time, when he was in business as a merchant, had considerablederable F5r 105 derable property, and much money owing to him; but from having bills unexpectedly presented for payment, to the amount of five thousand pounds, he thought he must become a bankrupt, and was going to take refuge in a convent, where people in embarrassment in Portugal always fly. As he was walking on his way there, he met a Portuguese gentleman, with whom he often played at chess in the evening.

You look melancholy to-day, signor Ricardo, said the gentleman, for he was called in Portugal Ricardo, from his Christian name being Richard.

Mr. Richard Murray replied, that he was very dull, as he was going to a convent.

But why go to a convent? rejoined the Portuguese.

Mr. Murray then related his situation, which moved the generous, feeling Portuguese, who instantly lent him money sufficient to extricate him from his difficulties; and he became more flourishing than F5 before. F5v 106 before. This made Mr. Richard Murray very partial to the natives of Portugal, of whom he recounted several instances of their ardour when they formed a friendship, which proved their warmth of heart. He gave away a large fortune among them in charity. Every week three hundred beggars assembled at his door on a certain day, and were relieved, besides many others to whom he allowed monthly pay. Mr. Richard Murray resided chiefly in Portugal, and only visited England occasionally, as he was now growing very old. He told Rose, that she resembled a young lady to whom he was ardently attached at twenty—That is the reason, Miss Douglas, added Mr. Murray, that I am an old bachelor.

As you say I resemble the object of your early regard, replied Rose, may I, without being impertinent, ask how you came to be separated from her?

I discovered, after our attachment had taken place some months, that she was a Roman F6r 107 Roman Catholic; and, as I was a Protestant, I was averse to marrying any one of a different religion, as all my relations would have been indignant at my making such a choice, to which I felt repugnant myself. This prevented our union, as she would not change her religion. Thus was I doomed to be disappointed in love, for I could never attach myself to any other woman, though she was easily consoled, and married soon after. You are, young lady, the only person that ever resembled her in my opinion. I resided opposite to her father’s house in Lisbon; and at the beginning of our attachment, she would come into the balcony in the evening, in her walking-dress. I then appeared at my window, and that was the signal for our walking out together. But I hope, Miss Douglas, you will be more fortunate in love than my mistress and myself; for I was informed she lived very miserably, and always wished she had been my wife.

Probably, observed Rose, it is for F6 the F6v 108 the advantage of society that you have remained single. Had you been married, you would not have had so much time to devote to the unfortunate; your attention would have been engaged with your wife and family.

Rose said this, as she recollected hearing in company his name mentioned as one of the most beneficent of beings, who passed every day in searching out and relieving the wretched victims of misfortune.

Mr. Richard Murray smiled, and told her she had never been in love, or she would not think any thing could compensate for the loss of the object of her attachment.

Lady Elinor now informed Rose, that she was to remove the following morning from lady Morrington’s to her father’s house in Berkley-square, as the earl of Arlberry was expected in a few days in town. Her ladyship added, that she should be happy to see her frequently, and it would be very convenient, as they were at F7r 109 at a short distance from each other. Lady Elinor and Mr. Murray soon after took leave, to the regret of Rose and her sister, as they were both amiable and agreeable.

Lady Morrington had exerted every malignant power to prejudice lady Elinor against Rose Douglas, and prevent her from visiting in South Audley-street. Lady Elinor was mildness and sweet itself, with a fine understanding, and a great deal of penetration; easily she perceived, therefore, that lady Morrington was of a very envious jealous disposition, and Miss Douglas and her sister too young and lovely to be really favourites. From several expressions her ladyship inadvertently repeated, she clearly betrayed that she had been only civil to these young ladies from supposing they would, and lately had, inherited a very large fortune. Lady Morrington’s ill-natured satirical spechesspeeches inclined lady Elinor, who had a very firm strong mind, to think more highly of Rose, as she despised unprovokeded F7v 110 ed malevolence, and was particularly captivated with her unaffected sense and softness.

Lady Elinor admired the beautiful colour that tinted the cheek and animated the countenance of Miss Douglas. When she observed to lady Morrington how much she admired the blooming look of health that distinguished her, her ladyship exclaimed, in a splenetic tone—Nobody gives her credit for it; most people say she is painted.

This speech quite disgusted lady Elinor, who thought it so unkind and illiberal, that she determined to evince more attention for the young lady thus meanly slandered; for to this untruth lady Morrington added another. She asserted that the conduct of Rose was incorrect, and that she flirted too much.—I do not say she has acted criminally, continued her ladyship, but imprudently—with too much levity.

Lady Elinor’s discernment soon discovered why she criticised her so unmercifully,cifully, F8r 111 cifully, and also calumniated the unoffending girl, evidently because she was prejudiced in her favour. She discerned the falsehood of her description, for Rose was cheerful, without any improper vivacity that borders on indiscretion.

The character her ladyship had drawn of her would have been more applicable to Jane formerly, before misfortune had corrected her errors. Since her separation from Guildford, she was amazingly improved, and the alteration afforded her mother the most refined pleasure. Every letter Jane had received from colonel Guilford since they left Devonshire gave a satisfactory account of little Caroline, whom she was impatient to embrace, and anxious, for her sake, to return to Treharne.

Rose sent to Piccadilly, to gain information of Mary’s (now lady Beaufort’s) residence, and received the intelligence of her being at Twickenham, with his lordship. Miss Douglas immediately addressed a letter to her, congratulating Mary on her F8v 112 her marriage, which she imagined had prevented her from thinking of a friend truly attached to her, who would always feel the most sincere regard, if treated with still greater unkindness. Notwithstanding her engagements, Rose continued to say, that she was convinced she would be glad to hear she was released, by the goodness of an excellent friend, from her severe difficulties, which had caused her to suffer most cruelly.

Though Rose forgave Mary for her unfeeling neglect, yet she could not help shedding tears as the reflection obtruded and pointed out the obduracy, ungentleness, and unfriendliness of her behaviour.

While she was sealing this letter, which had occasioned very painful thoughts, Kamira entered the room—Me sorry interrupt you, but gentleman come, wish speak you directly.

Who is it? said Rose.

Me do not know.

Rose immediately went down, and found Eustace F9r 113 Eustace, who seemed rejoiced to behold her again—How could you say you did not know who it was, Kamira?

Gentleman told to me, You not tell; it make good surprise for Miss Douglas: she please, and me not forgive you, you tell her.

Rose could not help smiling at this account, as it appeared that Eustace flattered himself she would be uncommonly glad to see him. In the course of conversation, he disclosed to Miss Douglas and her sister that his affairs were arranged sooner than he expected, and that he had recovered a considerable sum of money owing to him, which had quite banished all his cares, and he felt much happier than when he left England. He mentioned that he had visited Treharne, where he obtained their address in town, and how much he was shocked at observing the destruction of that venerable building by the fire. Eustace expressed such infinite joy at seeing Rose, and evinced friendship so truly affectionate, F9v 114 affectionate, that it was impossible to avoid being pleased with a conduct quite opposite to the behaviour she expected from him; it convinced her that his temper was more faulty than his heart. The examples revealed to her, of the perfidy and ingratitude too prevalent, made her view with satisfaction and esteem a character apparently capable of gratitude, of which instances were very rare, although this virtue was strikingly illustrated in the disposition of the grateful and faithful Kamira.

Rose considered Eustace as an addition to the number of her friends, and related to him the disagreeable circumstances attendant on the death of sir James Douglas, and that her father’s claim to the estates was disputed.

Eustace evidently sympathized in every sorrow that afflicted her, and entreated, if she wanted money at any time, that she would apply to him, as he had not forgotten her kindness, when severe adversity pressed heavily, and threatened his inevitabletable F10r 115 table ruin.—Though I have been fortunate in many respects, continued Eustace, one event, exceedingly vexatious, has happened, which you will be concerned to hear. My old relation is dead, and not bequeathed me a shilling, after all his repeated promises. Is it not aggravating, when he buoyed up my hopes for a number of years?

Perhaps if you had inherited all the wealth he possessed, you would not have been so happy as you are now. You appear gay and cheerful; and if you had received great riches, great cares would have attended them, and instead of being lively, your anxiety would be increased, from solicitude respecting this long-expected fortune.

Eustace laughed—Your philosophical observations are very good, but I confess I should prefer having plenty of money; I cannot acquiesce with your opinion on that subject.

As they were conversing, Mrs. Linn was F10v 116 was introduced by Kamira. She was a good-natured vulgar woman, and said to RoseYou had a letter from Scotland, I understand, this morning, Miss Douglas, saying your papa was much better, and out of danger, which I be very glad to hear. Now, Miss, as this is the case, I should be vastly glad if you would come to the play with me; and your sister would like to go, I think.

At this moment Jane entered, and Mrs. Linn told her, she had just received eight tickets for the pit at Covent-garden, and hoped she would persuade her sister to go there.—It will divert you both a little, I think, said Mrs. Linn, after all the trouble you have been in. It is a deep tragedy, which I like better than comedy, called Manymé the Orphan, or the Unhappy Marriage. Thank God! I know nothing about unhappy marriages, for a better husband than mine never trod the blessed earth. Howsomever, it is very moving.

“Do F11r 117

Do let us accompany Mrs. Linn, exclaimed Jane to her sister: it will be really entertaining; and we ought to oblige Mrs. Linn, who has been so kind and attentive to us.

I am sure I shall take it as a great honour, replied Mrs. Linn. We shall be a snug genteel party. Count Kenyosky (the nobleman who lodged with her), Mrs. Duncan, who is quite the lady, are to be with us; a cousin of mine from the country; and I shall be vastly happy if this gentleman will accept a ticket, meaning Eustace, if he likes to go.

Eustace thanked her, and said he should be happy to attend them. Rose would not decline this invitation, as her sister was disposed to accept it, yet reluctantly consented, from never having been in the pit before. To this situation in the theatre she had formed an aversion, from the apprehension of having any thing thrown from the galleries on her head, and likewise fearful of being discovered by her fashionable acquaintance, F11v 118 acquaintance, who were disposed to be satirical and ill-natured.

When Mrs. Linn quitted the drawing- room, much pleased with the success of her embassy, Eustace observed—We shall have excellent diversion, as such a motley group will seldom be seen assembled together.

Very true, replied Rose, but if I refused going, as I am under obligations to them, they would think me proud and ungrateful, and I would rather suffer still greater mortification, than appear to be haughty and deficient in gratitude.

Count Kenyosky was a fat good-humoured-looking man, but inelegant in his appearance; and the sisters had often remarked to each other, that no one would suppose he was a nobleman. Mrs. Duncan was the wife of an officer of high rank in the army, who was gone abroad. Mr. Linn had been employed many years by colonel Duncan; and as he knew that his wife and himself were respectable worthy people, F12r 119 people, though vulgar, he had placed Mrs. Duncan to board in a family they were acquainted with. The colonel engaged Mr. and Mrs. Linn to observe that Mrs. Duncan was taken proper care of, as she was a Spanish lady, and had no acquaintance in England. It was not his wish that she should form any connexions till he returned from abroad, but live in retirement, as his Scotch relations were displeased at his having married a foreigner, and a Roman Catholic.

Mrs. Linn detailed all this information to Miss Douglas before she was introduced to the lady, who spoke EnglsihEnglish exceedingly well. Her complexion was very dark—her manners extremely pleasing, and she had a melancholy air which interested Rose, as she attributed it to grief at being separated from her husband.

Mrs. Linn’s country cousin was a good- looking young man, who appeared simplicity itself. His dialect was very provincial,vincial, F12v 120 vincial, but he seemed an amiable beneficent creature.

When the party entered the pit, it was quite early, and the performance did not commence for a long time afterwards. The country cousin placed himself on one side of Rose, and Eustace on the other.

Do but look, Miss Douglas, said the former, at that young man, and two young women with him. They appear as if they only came here to stuff their maw.

Rose directed her eyes to them, and perceived that all three were eating almonds and raisins, apples, oranges, and cakes, as if for a wager. The young man was placed between the females, who tittered, and seemed highly diverted when he poured some liquid out of a bottle for them to drink. One of the young women had a large white face, bloated with good-living, and looked so inanimate and greedy, that it was really a portrait of heavy gluttony.

It makes me sick to look at that white- faced young woman, said the simple cousin;sin; G1r 121 sin; her face is like a piece of dough. It astonishes me that the young man can be so civil to her, for he seems to be a sweetheart. To be sure, there is no accounting for liking, but I could not fancy such a stupid gormandizing thing.

Rose smiled, and could not but approve the aversion he expressed.

Near this group was seated a handsome gentlemanly man, with a morose countenance, and by his side a pretty Frenchwoman, evidently his wife. He seemed very discontented because they waited a long time before the play began.

I am quite tired of staying here, he growled out, in a peevish surly tone. If the performance does not begin soon, I shall leave the theatre.

Patience, patience! replied the sweet Frenchwoman, in a soft harmonious voice, which, contrasted with the harsh tones and fretful manner of her husband, quite entertained Rose.

Miss Douglas now looked round the house, and gazed at an old lady, dressed Vol. III. G very G1v 122 very gaudily, in one of the lower boxes. The poor old lady had been afflicted with the palsy, and her head shook so much, that every eye was directed at her. Rose was concerned at her want of understanding in making herself a public shew, as she attracted the notice of all the spectators. She regretted that the old lady did not seek more rational and retired amusement.

This evening seemed destined for elderly ladies to make themselves quite gazing- stocks. Another, about the same age as the former, being exceedingly deaf, had a speaking-trumpet of an uncommon length, which looked very ridiculous, hanging over the side of the box.

The part of Monimia was inimitably well performed; and during one very affecting scene, Rose could not help crying.

Mrs. Linn perceived her emotion, and called out to her—Come, come, Miss! what nonsense is this, crying for a sham! Now, Miss, I thought you had more sense, G2r 123 sense, and would not be so foolish as to cry for a sham—No, no, indeed.

This ridiculous speech quite dried up her tears, and its absurdity inclined her rather to laugh than weep.

When the play was nearly finished, Rose discovered lady Elinor in one of the private boxes with lady Morrington and sir Henry Arundel. Sir Henry she thought looked very dull, though her ladyship was talking to him with apparent energy, and another gentleman to lady Elinor.

The entertainment now took place; and just before it began, a blind man was led in.

Only think how odd it is, Miss! said Mrs. Linn; here is a blind man come to see the play!

To hear the music, undoubtedly, replied Rose, as it is a musical entertainment.

The eccentricity of her companions quite diverted her, and the singularity of the country cousin more particularly than the others. A fashionable fop, in the upper boxes, dressed in the extreme of G2 fashion, G2v 124 fashion, made a very ludicrous appearance, as most men do who are attired to the highest degree of foppery.

You do not dress in such a coxcomical style in the country? said Rose to the cousin.

Oh no, Miss Douglas; it would not do to dress in that manner with our country way of speaking; it will not suit, and be quite out of character.

Rose thought this observation truly sensible; and as Eustace was obliged to quit the theatre before the entertainment was quite finished, the cousin offered her his arm.

As she proceeded with him and the rest of the party to South Audley-street, he informed her that he was come to town to consult a physician respecting his health, and had been with one that morning, who was allowed to be very skilful.

You surprise me, rejoined Rose, as you appear the picture of health.

You can’t judge by appearances, Miss; they G3r 125 they are very deceiving. Certainly mine is an odd sort of a complaint—it is being always hungry, and having constantly a craving for food. The doctor asked me how many meals I ate every day? and I told him, when I got up in the morning, I had a quart-bason of milk and bread; at breakfast, two rounds of hot buttered toast, and tea; bread and cheese for my lunch; and at dinner, at least a pound and a half of solid meat, with vegetables, and half of the pudding, to which I helped myself. The physician said to me—But if you take half the pudding, as you are a large family, what is there left for the others but scanty fare?—I replied, that the rest did not mind pudding much.— That is lucky for you, added the doctor: but tell me, do you take any refreshment between dinner and tea?Oh yes, sir, I rejoined; I could not wait all that time without food; and at tea I make nothing of two thick rounds from the quartern loaf, either of bread and butter or toast, G3 no G3v 126 no matter which, for I am not dainty. At supper I partake heartily of cold meat and bread and cheese: yet, after all this, says I to the physician, I am hungry if I wake in the middle of the night, and that is the reason I waited upon you, to crave your advice, as some people say I have a wolf in my stomach; and others, that they would rather keep me a day than a month, which is very cutting. When I had finished speaking, he kept on laughing.—La, sir, said I, how droll it is to see you laughing so! it makes me laugh too. You’ll excuse me, I hope, as I have been brought up in this country way, and don’t know any better; therefore, pray make an allowance for me. It was so comical to see us both laughing! but the doctor was the best tempered man I ever did know, and told me I must not eat milk in the morning, but keep a hard biscuit in my pocket, which I was to be constantly eating, and that he doubted not, if I observed this advice, that I shall G4r 127 shall soon be better, for it is very disagreeable to feel continually as if one was starved.

Rose smiled all the time he was giving her this curious account, and was not surprised at the physician’s risibility being excited.

Miss Douglas and her sister wished all the party good-night, when they arrived at home, and retired to the drawing- room, where Mrs. Linn soon joined them, to inform Rose and Jane that her cousin was a most respectable young man, though countrified, as she styled him. She described him as the man without guile, and truly good and benevolent. Of children he was excessively fond, and never so happy as when enjoying their innocent society. To the poor people in the neighbourhood where he resided, he was most beneficent, and almost daily carried a basket filled with useful presents for the indigent rustics and their children.

Rose assured Mrs. Linn that she felt G4 much G4v 128 much obliged for having been introduced to such an amiable character. Beneficence thus pure in a young man was rare and estimable.

The next morning Rose and Jane, before they walked in the Park, entered Mrs. Linn’s parlour, to inquire after her health, but were going to retreat when they perceived she was conversing with two strange gentlemen.

Don’t run away, ladies—I insist upon it you do not! exclaimed this good-natured vulgar woman; I have no secrets. One of these gentlemen is settling about boarding with me, as our Jarman count talks of leaving soon for Jarmany. Come, sit down, ladies; I shall be vexed if you don’t.

Rose and Jane complied, and had leisure, while the younger of the gentlemen was speaking to Mrs. Linn, to look at them both. The elder of the gentlemen was apparently about forty, and the other, a dashing-looking young man, appeared to G5r 129 to be six-and-twenty.—I hope, said he to Mrs. Linn, that your husband is not infirm, as I should not like to board with any one who was so. I must also inform you, that I expected every day to have an original dinner.

I don’t know what you mean, sir, by an original dinner.

Then, madam, I will explain it—I mean something dressed fresh and hot every day.

My friend, said the elderly man, paid three hundred a-year at the boarding-house where he resided last, and I think he ought to have been well treated for that sum, which is not commonly given.

So I think, sir, replied Mrs. Linn; it is a very handsome price, and you may be sure, if he pays it me, he shall have fish, flesh, and fowl too, hot every day.

I was quite disgusted with a boarding-house, said the dashing young man; G5 “for G5v 130 for that reason I intend to board in a private family. You would hardly believe it, madam, but we had daily hachis, or grillé, till I was quite tired of it—never an original meal. Sunday was the only flash dinner, and then, unfortunately, I always dined out.

I never heard of hashee and grillee before, sir, ejaculated Mrs. Linn; I suppose they be some new-fangled dishes. I don’t know how much of your fashionable victuals, though I can dress cutlets mantenong way as well as any body; and for good boiled and roast, nobody, I’ll be bold to say, can dress a dinner better. As for pastry and puddings, I have them at my fingers’ ends; and if you should be poorly at any time, I can make you a good drop of broth or gruel with any one, let them be who they will.

I doubt not, madam, being very comfortable under your protection and roof, yet I cannot give a decisive answer at present. I have several other places to visit; but G6r 131 but rely on hearing from me to-morrow. Good-morning, madam—good morning, ladies! and with a graceful bow he quitted the parlour, followed by his companion.

When the street-door closed on them, Mrs. Linn said, in a doleful voice—I believe I have been throwing away my time in listening to these fellows, who, I think, on second thoughts, are a couple of swindlers, going about making fools of people they are not likely to cheat. If I don’t hear from them to-morrow, I shall set them down for what I have said. Three hundredy a-year indeed! a likely story!— few people would give so extravagant a price, with his hashee and his grillee; for all he is decked out so smart, and talks of his fine dishes, I dare say his belly is pretty empty—he looks as lank as a greyhound, and would be glad of a good mutton-hash, such as I make, with mushroom catsup.

I am of the same opinion, Mrs. Linn, as yourself, replied Rose, respecting G6 their G6v 132 their being swindlers; but confess I have been highly diverted with the dasher’s original dinners; there is something quite new in the expression.

Jane acknowledged that she had been equally entertained.

I dare to say, exclaimed Mrs. Linn, that if I had been a lone woman, they would have thought to take me in: but they should have seen they had the wrong sow by the ear, if I had not been married.

The sisters now quitted Mrs. Linn; and when they came back from their accustomed walk in Hyde-park, found an order from the colonel of the regiment to which Felix belonged, commanding him to join his battalion immediately. It was going to be stationed at Edinburgh; and Rose felt a consolation, since he was obliged to leave them, at the prospect of his residing near their parents. The colonel observed, very politely, that it was impossible, in the present position of affairs, to grant him any additional leave of absence, though, G7r 133 though,flawed-reproduction2-3 words period, he would inflawed-reproduction2-3 wordstion. Rose instantly forflawed-reproduction2-3 wordsetter to Richmond, and Felix flawed-reproduction1-2 words her in a few hours.

How much did Rose rejoice at having concealed the adventure with the linendraper from him, and that the painful circumstance had happened when he was absent! The knowledge of such an event befalling his dear sister Rose would have made his susceptible and affectionate mind quite miserable; it would have induced him to apply then to his father, who might have been inconvenienced to obtain this sum, in addition to his other expences. Her grateful heart glowed with warmest gratitude to that sweet benevolent creature, lady Elinor, whom she valued as her guardian angel; goodness, thus exquisite and rare, had saved her from excess of misery, and shielded her from being exposed to repeated insults from Courtenay, who would ungenerously, she feared, have taken G7v 134 taken advantage of her forlorn and unprotected situation.

Rose was mentally reflecting with pleasure on the perfections that adorned lady Elinor’s character, when the object of her contemplation called to see her. Her ladyship was introduced to Felix, who attended them soon after to a fashionable auction, as he was allowed three days’ indulgence, to have his new clothes made, and procure several military articles that he required.

Here they met lady Beaufort, who pretended to be very happy to meet her, which Rose, from the attachment she had ever entertained for her, too weakly and readily credited.

When they quitted the auction-room, lady Elinor observed—There is something in lady Beaufort’s countenance that does not please me—it is inanimate and malevolent; and I have heard her make the most spiteful remarks on you, though I understand she professes to be your intimatemate G8r 135 mate friend, which gave me a vile opinion of her, since I have known you speak in the highest terms of her. I cannot therefore admire your discernment in the choice of a friend. Did you never observe how intolerably vain she is?

I loved her so sincerely, that I could not discover any fault in her disposition. Yet she judges me guilty of the greatest crime—a crime which the world in general never pardons.

What is it? replied lady Elinor.

Poverty, rejoined Rose, smiling—an offence that is not to be forgiven by worldly characters. If they find you justly chargeable with this crime, they give you credit for every vice and failing.

Felix and lady Elinor were amused with this assertion, and acknowledged its usual correctness. They set Felix down at his hatter’s, and proceeded to South Audley-street, where lady Elinor left her.

Jane did not accompany them, from beinging G8v 136 ing engaged in writing a long letter to colonel Guilford, to make amends for having neglected to answer his last epistle.

Rose had just divested herself of her bonnet and pelisse, when Kamira summoned her to sir Henry Arundel. His visit was to Felix, and on being informed he was out on military business, he asked for the ladies. Jane said she would join them when she had finished her letter, and Rose was compelled to attend sir Henry.

His countenance brightened with inward satisfaction at meeting with her alone, an opportunity which he had long sighed for, but never before obtained, as he had an aversion to disclosing his sentiments in writing. By personally avowing his passion, he imagined it more easy to discern if his suit was acceptable to the object of his enamoured fancy.

With a perturbation of mind that raised him in her esteem, as it convinced Rose of the truth of his regard, sir Henry unequivocally and candidly declared the long attachmenttachment G9r 137 tachment that had been concealed in his bosom for her, who was the only woman that had ever made an impression on his heart.

It deeply wounded Rose to decline the addresses, and inflict pain on the mind of so amiable and accomplished a man, who honoured her by his selection and offer of his hand, in preference to many other females who were solicitous to attract his attention; but the recollection of her loved Delavalle, and the genuine affection she felt for him alone, that neither time, absence, nor any event, could lessen, influenced her to decisively, though in the mildest and most delicate manner, reject his addresses.

Sir Henry betrayed an emotion at her refusal, that she had never before witnessed, and was affected so vehemently, that he even shed tears.

The tender heart of Rose could not behold unmoved such exquisite sensibility and ardent regard; it made her quite miserable; G9v 138 miserable; and in a voice hardly articulate and intelligible, from suppressed internal agitation and grief, she assured sir Henry, that had her affection not been previously engaged, before his declaration of esteem, there was no man who would have preferred to him, or whose love would have flattered her more. This prior engagement, she hoped, would be a sufficient apology to him, who was so honourable himself, for her declining to give him any encouragement.

A confession thus kind and gentle softened, in a slight degree, the severe pangs his disappointment and her rejection had caused. At this interesting moment Jane entered, and guessed what had passed, from the expression of melancholy in sir Henry’s countenance, and the serious air Rose wore. To revive their spirits, she said a number of ridiculous things, and succeeded in restoring their composure.

When sir Henry was going, Rose held out her hand to him. He respectfully took G10r 139 took it, and said, dejectedly—Since I have lost the cherished hope of acquiring the title of your lover, which has for a tedious interval been my highest ambition, allow me the appellation that I value next to it, the name of your friend. A true and faithful one, if I am permitted that honour, you will find me for life.

Rose thanked him, and replied, with unfeigned sincerity, that she should feel truly gratified to rank him among the number of her friends, for whom she already had the highest esteem, the most lasting foundation for friendship.

When he was gone, Rose exclaimed, with a sigh—How ardently do I wish for my best beloved’s return, for I am unhappy at being subjected to proposals of marriage when I am engaged! It astonishes me that any woman can like to be a coquette, and take a pleasure in the uneasiness of those who adore her, and whose affection she has gained by a false appearance of tenderness she does not feel. I wish G10v 140 wish I was married, and I should then be protected from a repetition of similar unpleasant scenes. Courtenay has given me a distaste to professions of love—it is only from my Delavalle’s lips that I wish to hear that endearing word pronounced.

Before Rose had quite finished speaking, the count de Fontenai was announced. Since they had met him at lady Morrington’s, he had frequently visited them, and was so assiduous and attentive to Jane, that it inspired Rose with the expectation that it would end in a mutual attachment, and that she would enjoy the felicity of seeing her happily united to a man who really loved her, and that her parents would approve.

De Fontenai requested to be allowed to attend them to an exhibition of paintings in the neighbourhood. Solicitous to oblige the count, from the hope of seeing him happily married to Jane, Rose instantly complied, and persuaded her sister to accept this invitation.

When G11r 141

When they entered the exhibition-room, the first object their eyes encountered was Mrs. Pryce, leaning on an elegant-looking man’s arm, and waddling about from one picture to the other.

Jane turned very pale at the sight of her bitter enemy, the corrupt source of her greatest errors, who had instigated Guilford to plot her ruin, and by her vulgar barbarity reduced her to the verge of the grave. She trembled so excessively, that it obliged her to hold De Fontenai’s arm more firmly, and she moved on with him and her sister, almost unconscious where she was. That she might not be recognized by her was her utmost wish, and she hoped it, as the room was very full of company.

Doomed, however, to disappointment, at the moment when Jane thought she had escaped, and she was going away, Mrs. Pryce turned back, saying—Let us have another look, and rather rolling than walking, advanced again to the top of the room, opposite G11v 142 opposite to where De Fontenai and his fair companions were standing.

No sooner did this malicious woman glance her eye on the party, than she instantly knew them, and with all the malice inherent in her wicked disposition, inelegantly bawled out—How do you do, Mrs. Guilford? and boldly approached Jane. How is your child? she malignantly continued; well, I hope? You look better than you did before your confinement—quite like a single Miss.

Rose was now as white as her sister, who sunk insensible into De Fontenai’s arms, that eagerly supported her.

What affectation? cried Mrs. Pryce; fine airs indeed! not very becoming in Guilford’s mistress!

The natural gentleness of Rose yielded to the resentment she felt at the author of her sister’s indiscretion daring to publicly and brutally insult her, and she exclaimed, with great spirit—Begone, woman! you have no right to insult my sister—you who G12r 143 who have been the cause of all the affliction that has overwhelmed her! Your sex is disgraced by your infamous unfeeling conduct.

Femme barbare! monstre! ejaculated the count, in an indignant tone; if you presume to address these young ladies with any additional impertinence and insolence, I shall forget your sex, and chastise you as you merit. The gentleman your protector shall not prevent your receiving the chastisement your barbarity deserves.

High words now ensued between the count and Mrs. Pryce’s companion, as De Fontenai had silenced her. They exchanged cards, and the count was evidently anxious to remove Jane from this situation, that attracted every eye towards them, as his lovely burthen continued senseless.

A man belonging to the exhibition procured a hackney-coach, in which they placed Jane, who was beginning to recoverver G12v 144 ver from her swoon, and had quite regained her senses when they reached home. Though restored to animation, Jane felt so ill and dejected, that Rose advised her being undressed and put to bed.

In the meanwhile De Fontenai expressed an anxiety respecting her sister, that prepossessed Rose exceedingly, and made her judge that his heart was feeling; and his spirited behaviour in defence of Jane heightened her good opinion. He would not quit the house till informed of her recovery, and that she had sunk into a calm slumber.

The count came early the following morning, to inquire after the health of Miss Jane Douglas, who was not up, being very ill and feverish.

Rose conjectured, from appearances, that De Fontenai entertained a real attachment for her sister; she concluded, therefore, that if his love was as ardent as she supposed, it would not be lessened if she imparted the cruel deception practised by Mrs. H1r 145 Mrs. Pryce and colonel Guilford on her innocent inexperienced sister, of whose ignorance of the world they had basely taken advantage. Miss Douglas reflected, that if she did not relate the truth, the count might form conjectures more disadvantageous to Jane than the reality. Imprudence alone could be attributed to her in this unfortunate affair, for there was not the least criminality attached to her; and no man truly enamoured could object to marrying her because she had been the victim of deceit.

In answer to some question De Fontenai put to her, relative to their acquaintance with Mrs. Pryce, Rose replied, that if he would promise not to betray the confidence she was inclined to repose, from a high opinion of his honour, she would develop, without reserve, every circumstance relating to Jane that at present appeared mysterious.

The count assured her that she might rely on the trust being sacred, and that he Vol. III. H would H1v 146 would sooner part with life than disclose any event she condescended to confide.

In consequence of these protestations of secrecy, Rose related the circumstances relative to their first acquaintance with Mrs. Pryce, her subsequent artifices to persuade Jane to visit her unknown to her family, her introduction of colonel Guilford, and, owing to her persuasion and manœuvres, the fatal termination of this connexion in a pretended marriage with the colonel. Rose likewise related the cruel insults of Mrs. Pryce, when Jane was placed in a situation that would have melted any heart less obdurate than that brutal woman’s.

De Fontenai was much affected with this interesting narration, and did not ascribe the least blame to her sister, which was very pleasing to Rose, as it gave a prospect of his intentions being honourable. If his attachment was firm and sincere, it would not be weakened by the recollection of her thoughtless imprudence, which had enabled the artful Mrs. Pryce and H2r 147 and designing Guilford to effect her ruin. The favourable expectations of Rose were increased when De Fontenai assured her that he had the highest esteem, admiration, and pity, for Miss Jane, that her narrative had increased.

I flatter myself, he exclaimed, when they separated, that I shall, at some happy period, have it in my power to call you by the affectionate name of sister, as I have lately hoped that my attentions were not displeasing. May I therefore solicit an interview with Miss Jane, as soon as her health will allow her to receive me?

Rose replied, that he might depend on every exertion on her part to persuade her sister to give him an early meeting; and when the count left her, her spirits were quite elevated. His last speech clearly insinuated, that his love was such as would reflect honour on the object of his regard. This hope quite soothed the mind of Rose, whose highest ambition was to see Jane well and happily married. In this respectableH2 spectable H2v 148 spectable station, she knew that she would be protected from the insults of Mrs. Pryce, whose malignant perseverance in grossly affronting her was uncommon (notwithstanding malevolence is too predominant), as Jane never molested or offended her, though she had proved the cause of her destruction.

Jane was quite recovered the next day, and when the count waited on Miss Douglas, he had the satisfaction of seeing the sisters together. Rose had imparted to her sister the conversation that passed between her and De Fontenai, and in a few minutes left Jane alone with him. Felix was out, and did not return till late at night, being wholly engaged with his military affairs.

The count remained two hours with Jane, uninterrupted by Rose, who was delighted at perceiving her sister in high spirits, as it convinced her their conversation had been satisfactory; and she warmly participated in the felicity that had long been H3r 149 been a stranger to the bosom of Jane Douglas. It was indeed very proper that poor Rose should enjoy a gleam of happiness, as the exquisite feelings of her mind were doomed to be continually lacerated.

The moment now arrived when she was to part with a brother, the best and most affectionate of human beings. In every situation of life in which he was engaged, he had conducted himself with integrity, courage, and propriety, and his family were honoured by the superiority of his character. His affection and friendship was a sweet and soothing balm to Rose, and supported her resolution in the most trying scenes. She could never endure the thoughts of disgracing him by acting unworthily. Had her inclination for virtue been weak, her attachment to him would have been an excitement to it, that her sister’s conduct might be a credit to him. His sensibility resembled hers, though he sustained the wounds of misfortune with manly energy. Rose, who knew the H3 acuteness H3v 150 acuteness of his feelings, always concealed (when she conveniently could) every event that would hurt them.

By Felix she sent an affectionate letter to her parents, requesting to hear from them, as it appeared a long time since her mother had written, whom she congratulated on her father’s recovery.

Jane liked her brother, who had an indulgence for her failings, that few brothers would have had; yet she did not feel that enthusiastic regard that Rose felt for every object of her ardent attachment. Though much improved in her manners, her disposition still remained selfish, and she only poignantly felt for her own sufferings, and any event connected with her passions and happiness. Her child she loved, and was interested in its welfare— it was a part of herself; but to the infant of any other person, however nearly related, she would have been quite indifferent. Her affection for her sister was governed by the same motive; she was useful to her, H4r 151 her, and shielded her from many sorrows that would have pressed more heavily had she not shared them, and lightened her cares by her advice and participation in every thing that afflicted her. But had Jane never erred, she would not have known the value of her sisterly tenderness, and despised it; nor would she have made that allowance for the faults of Rose, if she had been indiscreet, that her sister did for her, but viewed her errors with severity. Never, indeed, were two characters more opposite; for the compassionate heart of Rose was moved with pity for the afflictions even of a stranger, and her tears fell at the recital of their woes, as the soft summer-shower that bathes the sweetbriar’s scented leaves, and exhales its fragrance.

H4 CHAP- In this text, Chapter III is followed by Chapter V; given the length of Chapter III, it is likely that the heading for Chapter IV is missing.
H4v 152

Chapter V.

If petty evils round you swarm, Let not their buz your temper warm, But brush them from your mind away, Like insects of a summer’s day. If spite and malice are your foes, If fell revenge its arrows throws, Look calmly on, nor fear the dart; Virtue will guard the honest heart. Tour of Dr. Syntax.

De Fontenai came to South Audley-street about half-an-hour after Felix had quitted his sisters. Jane received him, for Rose remained in her apartment, unhappy and melancholy at parting from her brother. Her separation from him revived the recollection of the anguish she had suffered, when her loved sir Eglamour was torn from her. The affection and friendship Felix cherished for her lover endeared him still more to her affectionate heart.

Rose H5r 153

Rose continued alone the greater part of the day, and when her sister and herself met in the evening, had the satisfaction of hearing that the count had been with her several hours. The pleasure he apparently took in the society of Jane convinced her that the fancy he had taken to her sister was now grown into a real and lasting passion, frequent intercourse having heightened his regard.

Jane informed her that his expressions of attachment seemed as sincere as they were ardent; and Rose, smiling, told her that she expected soon to address her as the countess de Fontenai, and that she thought it a very pretty sounding title.

As Rose was speaking, Kamira entered with a note from lady Beaufort. It was worded with those affectionate sentiments that had first gained her the affection of Rose, and though she now doubted her sincerity, she could not resist being pleased. Her ladyship requested she would add to her happiness by passing the following H5 day H5v 154 day with her, as lord Beaufort was gone out of town, and the satisfaction of enjoying each other’s society and conversation would not be interrupted by a third person.

Rose hesitated whether she should accept her invitation or not, after her cruel neglect; but regard conquered resentment, and this overture from lady Beaufort appeared as if she repented her unkindness, and wished to atone for it.

Jane endeavoured to persuade her to decline going, after the meanness Mary had displayed, but Rose would not listen to her, though she added, that she only sent for her because she had no one equally agreeable to pass away a dull day with, and merely wished to make ill-natured remarks upon her.

Lady Beaufort has apologized for her behaviour, by inviting and writing me a kind note; therefore I cannot be so unyielding to her I still love. Few characters are without a blemish, and I hope she will be as indulgent to my errors as I am to H6r 155 to hers. Rose said this as she left Jane, to visit Mary, who had entreated her to come early.

Lady Beaufort met her with a smiling look, as if the sight of Rose had enlivened her spirits.

Rose enjoyed a happy day, as lady Beaufort could, when she pleased, become the most fascinating agreeable companion. She was perfect mistress of those little agremens that engage the heart much more than attentions of greater importance. Whenever Rose had dined with her, Mary always ordered, as she did now, whatever she had observed Rose preferred, or had heard her mention that she liked. The sweetness and kindness of her manners were so captivating, and her professions of future service apparently really sincere, that Rose, with weak credulity, believed her, and every unfavourable impression vanished.

She recollected Mary’s refusal when she asked the favour of the loan of fifteen H6 pounds, H6v 156 pounds, which Rose now attributed to the enormous expence she had incurred for jewels and wedding-clothes. It was not exactly the conduct she would have adopted on such an occasion, but she remembered, in extenuation of Mary, the she had acted as the generality of mankind would have done, who do not like to make sacrifices even for their dearest friend. Lady Elinor would have pursued a very different line of conduct, but few who resembled her in sweetness and superior excellence existed. Mary was dear to her, but she could not esteem her as she did her fair preserver, lady Elinor, whom she admired, respected, and idolized.

On returning home, as it was late, she was informed by Kamira that Jane had retired to rest, being a little indisposed—that Eustace had left his card, and De Fontenai made (as usual) a very long visit.

Pleased with the occurrences and news of the day, Rose sought their apartment, where she found her sister fast asleep, and was H7r 157 was careful not to disturb her. She had learnt from lady Beaufort, whose lord had several relations in the army, that the troops were soon to return from Holland, and that sir Eglamour Delavalle had escaped the dangers of the last battle. This soothing intelligence inspired the consoling idea that all their affairs would wear a favourable aspect; and with these agreeable thoughts occupying her mind, sleep quickly sealed her eyelids, and her slumbers were calm and refreshing.

At the usual hour Rose Douglas awoke, revived and cheerful, as the restoration of Mary, in some degree, to her good opinion, animated her mind. She was naturally so gentle and affectionate, that it was painful for her to think harshly of any one she had valued.

Jane had left the room, but that was customary since her separation from Guilford, that had prevented her sleeping so much as formerly, as she was frequently restless, from disagreeable thoughts and cruel reflectionsflections H7v 158 flections that obtruded, and banished her morning repose.

Rose wished she had risen less early, as she was impatient to impart lady Beaufort’s kindness and winning attention. She dressed hastily, and on going to arrange her glossy ringlets before the looking-glass, perceived a letter on the dressing-table, directed to her. The address was in a handwriting she did not know, and she smiled at the idea of having slept so soundly that she did not hear Kamira enter, and place it there, as it was not on the toilet at night, when she undressed.

But when Rose opened this unwelcome letter, consternation and misery inexpressible saddened her mind, where cheerfulness and serenity were inmates till she perused its depressing contents. Alas! it was from the weak, giddy, and inconsiderate Jane, who had already caused her the most bitter sorrow.

After a very affectionate beginning, she informed Rose she had withdrawn from their H8r 159 their residence, to place herself under the protection of the count de Fontenai, who had liberally made a very handsome settlement on her. Jane observed that she was tempted to accept this offer, as she beheld no other prospect but that of meagre poverty staring them in the face, and expected, if the lawsuit terminated unfavourably, which they had every reason to fear, that they would all be totally ruined. To be poor she could not support, and listened, in consequence, to the count’s arguments in favour of the step she had taken, which she would not weary her now by repeating. His persuasions were enforced by his suggesting that she could never hope to be married after the indiscretion she had committed; it would, he said, prevent a man of delicacy from thinking of her in an honourable light. She considered it, therefore, as the wisest plan to follow his advice, being likewise influenced by his promise of allowing her child to be with her—a felicity she could not otherwise H8v 160 otherwise hope to taste while she remained unmarried. Jane added, that she reflected, even if she did, her husband would probably dislike the sight of Caroline, if he knew it was the offspring of another lover, and would constantly remind him of her former imprudence. An additional inducement for placing herself under the same roof with the count de Fontenai, was his solemn promise never to forsake her; and if she proved faithful, and her conduct was such as he wished, he would then marry her. Jane concluded her letter with requesting Rose to visit her privately, as she was anxious to see her, and would never forget her sisterly kindness, which she remembered with affection, and desired her acceptance of a ten-pound note which she enclosed.

Before Rose finished perusing this letter, she was overcome with a sensation that almost choked her. Her sister that she tenderly loved, and for whom she had suffered so much, was now lost and abandoned,doned, H9r 161 doned, she feared for ever. It wounded her to the soul that Jane should imagine for a moment that she would receive the money she had by guilt and indiscretion obtained. The temptation was strong, as Rose was then distressed for money, having been at great expence on account of her dear Felix, from whom she concealed the reduced state of their finances, as she hoped and expected to receive a remittance from her father: yet she remained firm in her resolution of restoring the ten pounds to her sister.

Rose now touched the bell for Kamira, and when the faithful creature entered, threw her arms around her neck, and, almost in a state of distraction, wept aloud on her bosom. Though the Indian was ignorant why her tears flowed, she mingled hers with the drops of sensibility that bathed the pallid face of her beloved Miss Rose.

When the heart-rending emotion that agitated Miss Douglas had a little subsided,sided, H9v 162 sided, she confided to Kamira the anguish that Jane had planted in her bosom.— Now, she exclaimed, all hope of reclaiming her is destroyed! To relapse a second time from virtue banishes every idea and expectation of repentance and reformation.

Kamira was deeply affected with poignant grief at this recital. Morality and religion had been forcibly and impressively inculcated on her flexible mind by Mrs. Douglas, which was strengthened by observing the amiable and excellent conduct of the gentle Rose. The Indian was likewise naturally well inclined and good, and one of the most virtuous characters that ever breathed. Her virtue had frequently been attacked by vicious characters, but Kamira always continued steadily chaste and correct. Losquillo, her loved husband, was the only man for whom she had felt attachment, and, torn from him by the treachery of the perfidious Robecka, to his memory her constant heart remained H10r 163 remained ever faithful. Though many years had revolved since the young ladies discovered her in the wood, she looked nearly as young as she then appeared. Her brown complexion did not fade and lose its lustre, as a fairer skin frequently does; and her dark, expressive, open countenance, was universally admired.

Had Rose nourished the least expectation of her sister’s return to rectitude, she would have been less miserable; but that fond hope it was impossible to cherish, since she had coldly and deliberately resigned herself to the count, whose treachery in persuading her to act thus, after insinuating his designs were honourable, inspired her with resentment and detestation. The feeble and improbable prospect he had held out to her of marriage at a future period, after the sufferings she had endured from the duplicity of Guilford, made her fear she was indeed incorrigible. For her elopement with the colonel a reasonable excuse might be made, as she was H10v 164 was cruelly deceived by a fictitious marriage, and a first error should always be pardoned; contrition and improvement may then be hoped: but when that fault is repeated, attended with circumstances still more unpardonable, it is seldom that the erring mind reforms.

Deluded, ill-advised Jane! said Rose in a mournful voice, I am now again deprived of your society that I valued— that cheered me lately when calamity oppressed. Cruel girl! to deceive me, and injure yourself, when you well knew I only encouraged De Fontenai because I thought it was for your advantage! I firmly believed his designs were honourable, and could not have imagined, after the misery you had experienced, that you would have listened to dishonourable proposals, or that he would have dared to even hint at any.

Me know you wish good your sister, and she marry count you think she rich, she happy; but me beg you no make you own H11r 165 own self ill, by fret for Miss Jane; she wild, she fly away like the birds, first here, then there; she always do something make you cry; and take colour from your face. You no more can save her. You great deal to think of for your own good. Me wish you wipe your tears off—cry no more. Oh! me pray to the great good God, that your dear lover come from over the seas; he marry, he comfort you, and you no cry for Miss Jane; she no love you, she no care; she love you she not go away, leave you break your poor heart. Oh, she none care only for she self. Me love her, me sorry her go, but me no wish see you let tears fall, for her no think of you. Me beg you come eat breakfast; you sick else. What general, what madame say, what good daughter sick in bed?—good Miss Rose gone!

Rose heaved a deep sigh.—I wish to write my sister first, and enclose the note she sent.

No, no, said Kamira, whose anxiety for H11v 166 for her health made her angry; me scold you you no eat breakfast, or try to eat a little; first you eat something, then write; Kamira take letter for you after.

Such tender affection, such anxious care, were irresistible; and leaning on her faithful Indian’s arm, Rose went to the drawing-room, where breakfast had been already prepared for her and Jane. Rose drank some tea, but the bread and butter remained untouched, though she endeavoured to swallow a few mouthfuls, that Kamira might not be grieved. The Indian endeavoured to tempt her appetite by every method her affectionate heart could devise, but in vain, and was quite melancholy at her want of success.

Kamira observed that Miss Jane must have stolen softly out at the street-door, before any one was up in the house, very early, as her departure was unperceived by any person. All her clothes, except those she wore, were left behind, as she mentioned in the postscript of her letter that they H12r 167 they were useless to her, De Fontenai having purchased numerous articles of dress in the newest and most elegant style; and to his love she was likewise indebted for very superb jewels.

The Indian removed the tea-equipage, and left Miss Douglas to compose her letter. The paper was blotted with her tears in many places, and she commenced her writing by saying, that since Jane had assured her she was fixed in her resolution never to return home, and was quite determined, it was in vain to persuade her; yet she regretted that the dread of pecuniary difficulties influenced her to embrace a dishonourable life, more particularly as she had ever shewn her an example of fortitude. Rose entreated her to recollect that she always dreaded a life of vice, and had heard her frequently assert that she would endure mortification, insolence, and distress, rather than act wrong. She had hitherto, in every sorrow, confided in the goodness of Providence, that never forsakes H12v 168 forsakes those who trust firmly in its divine superintendence. Miss Douglas added, that it was with pain and reluctance she was obliged to mention that, since she had chosen to live in a manner so opposite to her principles, she must decline, much as she loved her, and ever should, any communication, unless she was deserted by the perfidious count. In that case, which she was apprehensive might occur, she should ever find her affectionate and friendly, though it was her duty to shun her while she lived in splendid guilt. Rose thanked her for her feeling and kindness in sending the ten-pound note, but begged to return it, as she could not, however embarrassed, accept a gift that would appear as if she wished to profit by her indiscretion.

When Rose had sealed this letter, she directed it, with a trembling hand, to madame de Fontenai, by which name Jane had told her she was now distinguished. Kamira was sent with it to Somerset-street, Portman-square, Jane having informed her I1r 169 her that the count had taken a furnished house there for her as his wife. Rose told her not to wait for an answer, but merely give it in; and the Indian and herself both agreed to tell whoever inquired after her sister, that she was absent on a visit, and if Mrs. Linn asked where she was, to repeat the same story, as she had not perceived her departure. As Somerset-street was not far from her residence, Kamira soon returned, looking very dull, and said, in a melancholy tone—It be a fine grand house where Miss Jane live; fat footman, with great paunch, open door. When me look at she’s house, me ready to cry. Me think, me young lady like you sister, me choose live in Esquimaux hut, sleep in woods, than me be wicked in fine house, and have fine dress.

Rose sighed.

You must no sigh; you kill yourself if fret. Me see that when you cry you very ill; you heart no made for sorrow— you heart made for joy, though you know Vol. III. I grief I1v 170 grief only. Cheer you breast, for if you die, you poor Kamira die too; she no live, her dear Miss Rose gone.

Rose blushed at her want of firmness, when she recollected the afflictions of the amiable Esquimaux—torn from her country, her husband, relations, and wounded by a sanguinary rival. In so many painful scenes and trials, her fidelity was unshaken; and Rose suppressed the painful emotions that agitated her, to avoid giving uneasiness to the attached Indian.

Eustace came, as he usually did almost every day, and perceiving Rose looked more pallid than she was in general, advised her to take a walk in the Park, as London had robbed her cheek of its rural bloom. He inquired after Miss Jane Douglas, and learnt she had quitted home on a visit.

Kamira, who was present when he asked Rose to walk, exclaimed—You go, Miss Rose; put on you veil—nobody see you look ill then. Walk good for you— do you great good.

Eustace I2r 171

Eustace laughed at the Indian’s speech; he was accustomed to hear her give advice; and was acquainted with her history from Miss Douglas, who had described the ardour of her attachment to the whole family, though Rose was dearest to her faithful bosom.

As Eustace and Rose proceeded to Hyde-park, he unexpectedly introduced the subject of his affection for her, which she endeavoured to evade. But fruitless were her attempts to divert his attention from this kind of conversation; and most disagreeably was she surprised at his presuming to hint that he wished her to be his, on terms that she disdained from a man of the highest rank, and particularly from him. He mentioned that he could not afford to marry, being unable to support a wife in the style he must, if married, from his superior and respectable connexions.

Rose would not interrupt him, purposely to hear how far his corrupt dispositionI2 tion I2v 172 tion would lead him to unveil his moral depravity, so contrary to virtuous principles.

Besides, continued Eustace, (who, from her silence, though she approved what he had advanced), I could not afford to let you dress so handsomely as you do now, like a lady of fortune and fashion; it would make me wretched to see you, as my wife, less elegantly attired. But this promise I will solemnly make you, if you comply with my proposals, which is, that I will never marry another, and when I feel myself at the point of death, will then give you my hand, that, as my wife, you may take possession of my property.

Rose felt quite indignant, and the utmost contempt for his wickedness and presumption, in supposing he could persuade her to be indiscreet. This pernicious disclosure of his vicious designs did not indeed wound her feelings as Courtenay’s proposals had done, because he was indifferentferent I3r 173 ferent to her, and her heart wholly engaged to another. She had been pleased with the gratitude he pretended to feel, and condescended, on that account, to consider him as a friend; but his worthless behaviour, in daring to insult her with this gross declaration, forfeited completely all claim to her esteem, as she was convinced he had hoped to succeed from having been informed by her of the cloud that obscured the prosperity of her family at present. It was probable, she imagined, that he had also heard of her pecuniary difficulties and severe misfortunes, and, like an artful lawyer, wished to take advantage of her distress. To mortify him, therefore, she resolved to conceal her engagement with the noble and excellent sir Eglamour, as his vanity might attribute her refusal to being engaged, and conclude she would have weakly yielded to his persuasions, had she not been contracted to Delavalle. Her heart, her every thought, was truly devoted to her brave lover, who would have flown to I3 her I3v 174 her in the dark hour of adversity, and consoled her with his pure, his ardent affection.

As Rose reflected on what Eustace had been saying, she could scarcely check herself from exclaiming—What a world is this, when such characters as yours, who ought to be grateful to me, endeavour, under the mask of friendship and regard, to effect my destruction!

While these thoughts passed in her mind, Eustace interpreted her silence as a propitious omen, and anxiously awaited her answer. He was, consequently, surprised and chagrined, when Rose calmly reprobated his infamous offer, tending evidently to ruin her peace of mind. No worldly consideration, she said, could tempt her to act incorrectly; and she hoped, for his own sake, that he would, on reflection, be deeply concerned at having severely insulted a gentleman’s daughter by a proposition so truly disgraceful to himself. I fear, continued Rose, that you must have had very low associates, and I4r 175 and what is worse, extremely vicious companions, to have imbibed principles unworthy any one who has been well educated, and accustomed to good society.

If you had but a small fortune, replied Eustace, whose mortification was inexpressible, I would, with delight, risk marrying you; but with my narrow income it is impossible for me to support a wife. Oh, if you had but a fortune!

Then you do not think me a fortune of myself? replied Rose, laughing: very ungallant truly! The wisest plan, therefore, for you, is to quite give me up, which will be no difficult task, if I judge right; for, be assured, if you were a king, I would reject your dishonourable proposals with the contempt I now do your present offer.

Eustace was inwardly almost enraged to distraction (though he stifled it) at the cheerful indifference she displayed, as it proved her contemptible opinion of him. He became sullen and out of humour, which diverted Rose, and banished the recollection of her sorrows. He told her how I4 ill I4v 176 ill and ugly she looked, and was at last so exceedingly impertinent, that she was obliged to say, that although she had wished to consider him as a friend, it was beneath her to endure a deficiency of politeness, and rudeness she did not deserve. Yet, in remembrance of their long acquaintance, and his professions of friendship and service, she would excuse his ill-humour, if he promised in future to conduct himself like a gentleman; otherwise she must decline his visits.

To these observations he answered not, but presented an excellent picture of spleen and sullenness, and coldly wishing her good-morning at her own door, he walked hastily off, secretly provoked at the spirit she had displayed, and that he had exposed himself without meeting any success.

In the drawing-room was her worthy old Fairfield friend, Jerry Wizzle, waiting for her return. He had arrived in town from Devonshire on business for his father three days before; and Rose felt truly glad to I5r 177 to see him. She was greatly amused by his relating to her all the country news.

After detailing every thing interesting, he suddenly asked her if she had seen Mr. Eustace?

I have this instant parted from him at the street-door, replied Rose, having been escorted by him to the Park and back again.

It is a pity you are already engaged, said Mr. Jerry, with a smile, though certainly your choice is very superior.

For what reason do you say you regret that I am engaged?

Because another wealthy offer would be at your ladyship’s command. Assuredly you have heard that Mr. Eustace is come into possession, since his return to England, of a very handsome fortune?

The astonishment of Rose for some minutes was indescribable. She was silent a short time, and then exclaimed—I am doomed almost daily, Mr. Jerry, to receive some fresh instance of the deceit and falsehoodI5 hood I5v 178 hood of mankind. The first intelligence I gained from Eustace on his arrival, quite unasked, was the death of his relation, who had not left him a single shilling. He alleged his poverty as an excuse for not offering me his hand, being disappointed in his relative’s having neglected to bequeath him a legacy. How mean is deception! and how contemptible and useless it is to speak untruths, when they are always discovered at last by some accident or other!

His character, observed Jerry Wizzle, has not been improved by adversity, which I have learnt lately he has severely experienced, and that he sought and obtained refuge at Treharne, where your father’s roof sheltered him, and he found a home and consolation in your kindness that he could not meet with anywhere else. If this is true, he is a consummate ungrateful villain, for in my opinion, ingratitude deserves death: it is the blackest of all crimes.

It is but too true, rejoined Rose, that he flawed-reproduction2 pages I7r 181 not been disturbed before the flames reached to the wing of the building where you slept. The poor people in your neighbourhood feelingly lament the accident that has deprived them of the benevolent inhabitants of Treharne, and anxiously wish for the return of the whole family, universally respected and loved by its indigent neighbours.

Mr. Jerry concluded with requesting he might have the pleasure of attending her next morning to a fashionable exhibition. He seemed to attach great value to her granting this favour; and she could not refuse to confer this trifling happiness on her worthy old friend.

After returning from the exhibition the following morning with Jerry, she found an unexpected letter from colonel Guilford lying on the table. Mr. Jerry said he would leave her now to peruse her letter, and went away much pleased with having publicly attended his lovely favourite, where I7v 182 where he perceived with exultation how much she was admired.

When he was gone, Rose found, on reading colonel Guilford’s letter, that her sister had written to him, desiring he would consign her dear Caroline to the care of a trusty person she intended to send for the child. The colonel added, that since Jane had not explained for what reason she wished the infant to be sent, he should not give up his daughter (whom he tenderly loved) till he had heard from Miss Douglas likewise. Though Jane was fondly endeared to him, he continued, yet he doubted her prudence and judgment, which did not equal her sister’s; and being desired to direct his answer to another street made him very suspicious. He was apprehensive, from these observations, that all was not right, which made him uneasy, as he was solicitous that Jane’s conduct should be correct; and his first wish was to have it in his power to repair I8r 183 repair the injury he had committed from excess of fondness. The colonel ended with saying, that if he did not shortly receive a satisfactory letter from Rose, he should come up to town, and seek an explanation.

To this letter it was a most difficult and painful task to return an answer. Rose must either expose her sister, or tell such falsehoods to excuse her as would be easily detected, and make her word doubted in future, which was inconsistent with her character, that disdained a violation of truth. She resolved, therefore, to wait some days before she answered it, and consult Mrs. Fane, whose advice she highly respected. This lady was the only person of their acquaintance to whom Jane’s former imprudence was confided, and to her she could write on the subject of the misfortune that had since occurred; it would not be an additional exposure, as if detailed to any other person less interested. The idea of giving pain to her mother (alreadyready I8v 184 ready too deeply afflicted), was insupportable, and Rose determined to conceal the cruel event till the last moment it could be kept secret, which was quite soon enough to divulge an afflictive disclosure. Good news she was ever eager to communicate, but disagreeable intelligence she was unwilling to reveal before it was absolutely necessary. After much reflection, she intended in a day or two to write Mrs. Fane, and ask her opinion how she should act for the best.

After Rose had formed this resolution, her uneasiness was, in a trifling degree, removed; and at this moment, when her mind was more calm and resigned, a loud thundering at the door announced a visitor of importance. Rose looked from the window, and beheld with satisfaction lady Elinor’s carriage. The sight of her was a healing balm, and her conversation, replete with sense and sweetness, was a real consolation, and banished the recollection of sorrow.

Lady I9r 185

Lady Elinor expressed her approbation of Felix. It was harmony indeed to Rose to listen to the praises of the brother she fondly loved, for the commendation of those she valued was a sound most pleasing to her affectionate heart. Lady Elinor’s approbation of Felix suggested the thought, that probably she secretly admired him; and it would have been her highest ambition to see him united to so charming and excellent a character. But her brother’s want of fortune, even if they liked each other, would, she feared, be an insuperable obstacle to their union.

While these ideas pervaded her breast, lady Elinor appeared very thoughtful, and then asked after Miss Jane.

Rose felt a tremor agitate her frame at this question, and replied that her sister had left home on a visit, while the involuntary blush that suffused her cheek at uttering the shadow of an untruth, did not escape lady Elinor’s penetration, who looked very serious—Do not think it is curiosity I9v 186 curiosity or impertinence that made me ask that question, but a motive very superior. I wish to speak to you on a subject that I am yet afraid to enter on, fearful of wounding your feelings; but in justice to you and myself, I must conquer this reluctance.

I entreat you not to be apprehensive of repeating whatever you judge proper, replied Rose. My sufferings have lately been so severe, that I can support with fortitude and resignation the intelligence you have to impart. I have myself no disguise, or any thing mysterious to conceal.

Since you are thus candid, rejoined lady Elinor, you justify the favourable impression and good opinion I have always entertained of you; and I will no longer hesitate to mention that I was at the play last night, with my worthy old relative, Mr. Murray, and a small party. In the next box was your sister, magnificently dressed, and sparkling with valuable jewels. Two women, whose appearance very evidentlydently I10r 187 dently denoted they were loose suspicious characters, were talking familiarly with her; and two gentlemen were particularly assiduous and attentive, while she was apparently flirting with them in high spirits. Your sister looked more dazzlingly lovely than I had ever seen her; she was certainly rouged, having a much higher colour than she usually has, being in general pale; for I used to call you the blush, and Miss Jane the white rose, from the opposite tints of your complexions. When her eye met mine and Mr. Murray’s, I could see her countenance change, which the artificial colour did not hide, and she averted looks from our box ever afterwards.

Mr. Murray immediately discovered the characters of the whole party she was with. The gentlemen were dissipated men of distinction, publicly known, and her female companions celebrated courtezans of great notoriety, who had their own carriages, and lived in the most dashing style. ‘Miss I10v 188 Miss Jane Douglas, observed Mr. Murray, is perhaps deceived by these women, and is unacquainted with their infamy. If so, she is to be pitied for being inveigled, by artifice and inexperience, to associate with them. But let the cause be what it will that places her in this description of company, it is due to your dignity and reputation to learn the truth; and I recommend to you to go early to-morrow morning, and inquire, in an undisguised manner, into this affair. Of Miss Douglas I have a very high opinion, and her sister may have erred innocently in being seen in such improper society; but if wilfully, it is right that Miss Jane should be admonished of the impropriety of associating with companions of that vicious class, as it will endanger her sister’s reputation as well as her own, and oblige you to drop their acquaintance.

Very reluctantly, I assure you, continued lady Elinor, did I conform to this advice; and it pained me to observe the emotion I11r 189 emotion you betrayed, as it seems to imply something wrong in Miss Jane’s conduct. Delicacy prevented Mr. Murray from accompanying me here, but he will call this evening at our house to know the result of this unpleasant investigation.

Rose was unutterably affected. The perturbation that convulsed her bosom prevented her from replying for some minutes; and when at length she essayed to speak, a burst of tears denied her utterance.

At witnessing this unaffected expression of sorrow, drops of sympathy and compassion trickled down lady Elinor’s cheeks; and it was impossible for her to attempt at consoling the unhappy Rose then, as she knew not the nature of her grief, though she suspected it.

Miss Douglas threw herself at lady Elinor’s feet, and grasping her hands exclaimed, in a voice faltering with emotion— Forsake me not, my friend! my preserver! that I love and esteem—whose humanity rescued me from ruin and distress! If my I11v 190 my unfortunate sister is guilty, I am innocent; and the agonies I suffer to think of the degrading situation in which she has plunged herself, I fear I cannot survive.

Lady Elinor raised her up with unequalled kindness, and entreated her to reflect that the indiscreet behaviour of Jane did not attach any blame to her, though it was undoubtedly a deep affliction that she should, by her levity and imprudence, have heightened the calamities of a family so truly amiable, and now bowed down with disappointment and anxiety.—We will hope to reclaim her yet, said the gentle lady Elinor; Mr. Murray shall wait on her, and represent how unhappy you are, and his persuasions may cause a reformation. At all events, be comforted, my sweet friend! I will solicit my father to let you reside with me, while we are in town. I have no doubt of obtaining his permission, and shall be delighted to have you with me. But if you do not recover your composure, and dry up your tears, I shall be I12r 191 be quite hurt, as the only favour I ask in return for my friendship is, that you will receive consolation.

Soothing to the ill-fated and heart- wounded Miss Douglas was the pity of this excellent young lady; her smiles and sweetness blunted the keen edge of her misfortunes. Lady Elinor began conversing on other subjects, to divert her attention from one most distressing. She mentioned that she had many kind messages and the affectionate remembrance to deliver to her from poor Louise de Rimont, who was in a very indifferent state of health. Louise regretted exceedingly not having seen Rose, who had not called for a long time at lady Morrington’s, as her freezing coldness led her to imagine her visits were not acceptable; had her ladyship indeed wished to see her, she would have declined going, after her mean deceit. Lady Morrington had desired mademoiselle de Rimont never to call in South Audley-street: but this prohibition was useless at present, as I12v 192 as her health would not allow her to quit the house.

Rose feelingly lamented the lengthened illness of Louise, and observed, that had she known she continued so ill, she would have encountered, to see her, the proud looks and sarcasms of her ladyship.

I am very glad, however, that your ignorance of the state of mademoiselle de Rimont’s health prevented your waiting on her, as lady Morrington would have been very insulting. Really I cannot endure the idea of your subjecting yourself to such insolence. Captain Courtenay is constantly with her, who, I understand from Louise, was once an unworthy lover of yours; and you would not have liked to meet him there. The world slanders her amazingly for her extreme intimacy with this profligate man—unjustly, I hope, for the sake of her daughters and my lord, who is good-natured and unsuspicious (though passionate), and always speaks in handsome terms of you and your family.

Lady K1r 193

Lady Elinor continued conversing with Rose till her spirits and cheerfulness were in some degree restored. Her ladyship begged her to remember, as one source of self-approbation, that she had been a good sister, and exerted herself to reform Jane, and disguise her errors from being published. Since she had nobly performed her duty, she desired her to recollect also she had parents, who would be deprived of the comfort of an amiable daughter’s affection, if she undermined her constitution with grieving constantly.

Lady Elinor now took leave, with a promise of being with her on the morrow, with Mr. Murray, and that she would bring intelligence if she had succeeded in her request to her father, the earl of Arlberry. If successful, Kamira was to attend her mistress, and reside at the earl’s during the period Rose would be an inmate at his residence. Miss Douglas had warmly extolled the Indian’s remarkable Vol. III. K fidelity, K1v 194 fidelity, and interested lady Elinor in her behalf.

When her incomparable friend left her, Rose commenced writing to Mrs. Fane, to whom she gave a minute relation of every thing that had happened and concerned her sister. Rose described the anxiety and grief she felt on her account, and how keenly she mourned the disgrace Jane had incurred by this additional act of imprudence. The anger of the general, from whom this elopement could not be for ever kept secret, and the anguish of her mother, all forcibly occurred to her mind, and made her shudder for the consequence. The delicate sense Mrs. Douglas had of female propriety and honour would be deeply wounded at her daughter’s loss of virtue. Felix, she observed, would not, she was apprehensive, again pardon Jane, though he had once overlooked her indiscretion and folly.

When Rose had finished this letter, she sent K2r 195 sent it to the general post, and was quite relieved with having unbosomed her grief to her worthy friend. Resignation and tranquillity, though clouded with sadness, reigned in her mind, till the promised visit from lady Elinor and the venerable Mr. Murray the following day.

Mr. Murray looked more benign than she had ever seen him; he was come to console a fair victim of affliction, and the benevolence of his nature irradiated his countenance. Rose admired his ruddy clear skin, that had the freshness of the cheek of youth; and his shining silver locks, waving on his fine open forehead, where time had strewed but a few wrinkles, though so much advanced in years. Such is the old age of the beneficent and good.

Lady Elinor’s loveliness was likewise heightened by the soft and kind benignity of her heart. Her ladyship had gained the earl’s permission to receive Miss Douglas under their roof; and she was rejoiced at this opportunity of protecting and soothingK2 ing K2v 196 ing her with the tenderness of a real friend; it would prevent Rose from brooding alone over her calamities, as her sister’s departure had left her without a companion, and Kamira was the only person to whom she could speak of her heartful woes.

I am very glad, my fair friend, said Mr. Murray, to see you calm and resigned. Be not dejected; the sorrows of those who innocently suffer are infinitely less acute than the pangs caused by guilt. I never listen to tales of malevolence and slander, proceeding often from malice and envy; but I witnessed, with lady Elinor, the scene it hurt her feelings to describe. Anxiety for your reputation, which I wish to be as spotless as your mind, made me desirous to develop the truth. Give me your sister’s direction, and I will endeavour to alleviate your grief respecting her, by exciting, if possible, contrition; and hope, by my friendly admonitions, to restore a repentant sister to you.

Rose expressed her gratitude, and Mr. Murray K3r 197 Murray wrote Jane’a ddressJane’s address in his pocket- book, promising to let her quickly know the success of his visit to her. Miss Douglas now arranged with lady Elinor the day on which she was to take up her abode at the earl of Arlberry’s. It was agreed, that in two days lady Elinor was to come in the carriage, and convey back to the earl’s Rose and the faithful Indian, with the little property she possessed; and this being settled, Mr. Murray and his amiable relative left her again alone.

Rose reflected, when they were gone, she had to pay Mrs. Linn for the lodging, with the additional expence for another week, as she had not given warning; and on reclearing the contents of her purse, found that she had not sufficient cash to discharge the debt. To ask a boon of lady Elinor, after the benefit before conferred, she thought would be indelicately intrusive; and recollecting lady Beaufort’s late professions of wishing to serve her, and her recent good-nature, she determined to applyK3 ply K3v 198 ply directly to her ladyship; it would be injurious to her friend to entertain the idea of a refusal. Accordingly, she instantly dispatched a note to her by the twopenny- post, requesting her immediate assistance, observing, that as lady Beaufort mentioned, when they last met, that she was pleased she considered her as one of her friends, she had now used the privilege of friendship.

Miss Douglas was perfectly tranquil respecting the event of this request, as it would have been injuring lady Beaufort to doubt her willingness to assist her, since she had it in her power to grant this favour. Early the next morning, to her extreme surprise, at an hour so unusual, a loud knock at the door made her expect to see one of her acquaintance. The person, of all others the most foreign to her thoughts, soon after entered: it was lady Morrington, whom she least thought to behold of all beings in existence.

Her ladyship advanced to Rose with a formal K4r 199 formal haughty air, and thus addressed her—I am empowered, madam, by lady Beaufort, to inform you, that she can by no means comply with your request, and deputes me to tell you, that she desires you will not send her any more begging letters.

Rose could scarcely command her countenance when lady Morrington spoke. Her assumed starched appearance, which she intended for impressive dignity, to awe and terrify Rose, had so striking an effect on her risible muscles, that she could not suppress a smile when she replied—I pity poor lady Beaufort for her meanness and duplicity. Tell her that a title cannot ennoble a low mind, and only makes her insincerity, malignity, and grossness, more glaring. I suppose she thought her malevolence would strike deeper by making you her messenger, who, she has often mentioned, was quite my enemy. Paltry, mean creature! how much I compassionate her little mind, and deplore, for her own sake, her guilty deceit! This is K4 fashionable K4v 200 fashionable friendship; give me in future unfashionable sincerity. Your ladyship will confer a great favour by repeating this exactly, and I am sorry for the trouble you have had.

Astonished at the spirit Rose displayed, anger flashed from the large eyes of the disappointed lady Morrington, who seemed inclined to depart from the precise air she had affected. However, on second thoughts, she gulped down her mortification of rage, and rose from her seat, which she had taken while Miss Douglas was speaking. Rose flew to the bell, and very ceremoniously attended her ladyship to the door of the drawing-room. Unable to articulate from vexation, at the ease and indifference with which she had received her former friend’s vulgar insult, she slightly bowed her head, and retired, eager to acquaint lady Beaufort with the contempt Rose had evinced at her insulting low attempt to mortify her.

Lady Beaufort knew that Rose was much K5r 201 much attached to her, and had exquisite feeling, and hoped that the shock caused by her insulting message would have made her very ill. It did not occur to her ladyship’s narrow mind, that when a person becomes contemptible by their degrading conduct, they are too much despised for their malignity to have any effect; such studied malevolence recoils on the author of it.

supply the money deficient to pay Mrs. Linn’s bill, Rose sent her trusty Kamira with a valuable diamond ring, and several other trinkets, to a jeweller’s, to borrow some cash on them. The Indian soon returned with money sufficient to relieve her pecuniary distress, which made her exceedingly comfortable, by removing her difficulties for the present. Rose was consoled at being obliged to part with these jewels, as they were gifts from her parents, by the hope of shortly redeeming them, and with reflecting that she should very soon be at no expence, either for herself or Kamira, by residing K5 with K5v 202 with lady Elinor. The trifling evils that malice wished to inflict she smiled at and contemned.

Chapter VI.

Fair fleeting flower, so early snatch’d away! A day thy span—alas! a stormy day! De Lille.

When Miss Douglas and lady Elinor had the happiness of meeting, the former imparted to her friend the gross insult she had received from lady Beaufort.

Despicable creature! exclaimed lady Elinor; she cannot bear prosperity. Though rich before she married, her pride was concealed, like a smothered flame, as it was a terrible drawback to know herself the natural child of an obscure woman. Had she continued unmarried, or married a man in a less elevated station of life, she would K6r 203 would have been more amiable and humble, instead of suffering malice, the most horrible of all passions, to inhabit her breast.

I never knew prosperity, observed Rose, but have been informed it is more difficult to support than adversity; however, I should like the trial, and from what I have seen of the world, I imagine it will be a lesson of humility that I shall never forget.

You have often heard me assert, replied lady Elinor, that I never liked lady Beaufort. She is pretty, but has too much of the expression of a cat in her face, which denotes spite. I am a little of a physiognomist, and perceive a great deal of ill-nature in her countenance, which her satirical, envious, and severe remarks, on every female who is more captivating than herself, confirm. I have been quite ashamed to hear her vent her spleen. You have heard my sentiments before, yet your partiality blinded you. Do not be uneasy at your conduct in prosperity: it will not elate and K6 make K6v 204 make you forget yourself, or have less commiseration for the unfortunate. But let us talk no more of this insensible malicious lady Beaufort; it is indeed a dull subject, for she is truly inanimate, and will converse for hours about a new cap or dress, so vacant is her empty mind. With your good sense, I am surprised you could like any thing so insipid, though I conclude your good-nature gave her credit for all the fine qualities she assumed.

The day after Rose was domesticated with lady Elinor, she received a note from Mr. Murray, informing her he had been unsuccessful in getting admittance to her sister, as she was always said to be out, or engaged: but he still flattered himself that at some period or other he should obtain an opportunity of remonstrating with her, and succeed in persuading her to renounce the count de Fontenai, unless he made atonement by offering his hand to Miss Jane Douglas.

Before lady Elinor conveyed Rose to her residence, K7r 205 residence, she took an affectionate leave of the good people, her landlord and landlady, who were quite afflicted at her unexpected departure. Rose promised to see them again, and had the satisfaction of finding herself most happily situated with lady Elinor.

The earl of Arlberry had superior manners, but was one of those characters that have no striking trait to distinguish them, and was not gifted with much talent for conversation. His passions were calmly regulated, and neither joy or sorrow seemed to make any impression on the equanimity that governed them. If he was displeased, he was too polite to express his resentment warmly, and was one of those beings who walk quietly through life, without pain, but with very little pleasure. His daughter was the object of his strongest attachment, and to her he was indulgent.

Lord Arlberry had a place at court, which chiefly engaged his time, and Rose was happy at seeing his lordship rarely, as his frigid, K7v 206 frigid, though strictly polite manners, and ceremonious address, were so opposite to lady Elinor’s, who was equally correct in politeness, without his chilling reserve.

Miss Douglas had been a week with her friend—a week that would have passed in genuine happiness, had it not been clouded by the recollection of sir Eglamour’s absence and distance from her, united with the painful remembrance of her sister’s situation.

At this period a letter arrived from Mrs. Fane, entreating Rose to set off directly for her residence, where she should find a home for ever, if she approved it, and another parent, as she tenderly loved her as her own daughter. Mrs. Fane added, that she could not endure the prospect of her remaining alone in London, a place fraught with dangers for young people, as she was of opinion Jane might have escaped the contagion of error, had she been elsewhere. This considerate lady assured her that she intended waiting on colonel Guilford, and disclosing to him candidly the events that had K8r 207 had lately passed, to spare Rose the distressing avowal; and concluded with observing, that Caroline was grown a lovely child, and resembled her aunt more than her mother.

Rose was musing on the contents of this friendly letter, when a note was delivered to her, with the address scarcely legible. On opening it, she perceived some lines scrawled apparently by a very inferior hand. At the first perusal they were unintelligible from incorrect spelling, but on closely examining the writing, she deciphered, with unutterable sensations of horror, that Jane was dying, and that if she wished to see her any more alive, she must hasten instantly to Somerset-street.

To describe the agony of Rose is impossible; yet she checked her anguish, as it was indispensably requisite she should act, and, perhaps, by prompt exertion might save her. With a countenance that portrayed her mental sufferings, she threw on hastily a bonnet and shawl, and rushed into her K8v 208 her friend’s room. Without speaking, she put the note into her hand.

Lady Elinor read it, and then gazed at her face, which betrayed internal suppressed woe surpassing description. Acutely did she participate in the repeated sorrows destined to invade her tranquillity.—I see your fortitude, she exclaimed, and admire it. Persevere! We will have a hackney-coach, and I will go with you to the door of that hateful house.

Rose pressed her hand with gratitude, but could not speak.

The coach was procured, and, overcome with dejection and dread, Rose got into the vehicle, followed by her true friend. They both preserved a mournful silence till it stopped at the detestable house where Jane had fatally taken up her abode. Rose breathed with difficulty—a faintness came over her, and, in a voice scarcely audible, she requested lady Elinor, on her return home, to send Kamira to her.

A footman K9r 209

A footman now opened the door, whose countenance bore witness that some dreadful scene had been acted here. Faltering as she spoke, Rose asked for madame de Fontenai.

Will you be so good as to walk this way, replied the man, and ascending the stairs, conducted Miss Douglas to a drawing-room. A medical gentleman and a female attendant stood near a large couch, where was extended the nearly-expiring form of Jane. The white robe that enveloped her slender figure was spotted in several places with blood, that flowed from a mortal wound that had pierced her side.

Rose advanced to the couch where her unhappy sister reclined, with approaching death imprinted on every line of her once animated face. A faint smile lightly gleamed over it at the sight of Rose.—Dear sister! she articulated, with difficulty, by coming—to me—you smooth—my last moments. I wished—to tell you—as a consolation—to your pure soul—that yesterday—Iterday— K9v 210 terday—I was married—to the count—by a Catholic priest. I was wretched—at not being—his wife. His love was not weakened; to make me happy—he consented —we were united—and he lamented—that distrust—in which he was—educated— that made him unjust—till then. He doubted my affection—and feared I might —abandon him—and caused—his reluctance—to marry me. Fatal suspicion! it has ruined me―

Jane’s breath grew now so short, that she was obliged to rest some minutes before she could proceed; yet she seemed very anxious to continue speaking. The doctor administered a cordial to her, and she revived sufficiently to again address Rose.

By this early death—my faults will, I hope, be expiated―My father—my mother—and Felix—remember me to!—Forgive—all—all—I have made you suffer— Bless—my—child―be—its—mother— better—than I should—have—been―

Here the unfortunate Jane’s respiration became K10r 211 became more difficult than ever, and Rose raised up her hand to relieve her. She took her cold clammy hand in hers, which Jane feebly pressed, and breathed her last sigh in the arms of her affectionate sister, her dying glance resting on her countenance, nearly as white as her own, shaded with the pale livery of death.

Jane had expired without a groan, and looked so serene and pleasing, that Rose did not imagine that the last closing scene of life was over. When fatally convinced that her spirit had fled from its earthly tenement, and that the fortitude she had assumed could no longer benefit her beloved sister, insensible, alas! to kindness or cruelty, Rose yielded to deep, heart-rending sorrow.

With frantic grief she uttered the most heart-piercing shrieks, for having suppressed the anguish that overwhelmed her, to avoid afflicting Jane, it had a more violent effect when she could indulge it. The dear companion of her earliest youth, for whose K10v 212 whose sake she had encountered the greatest uneasiness, was gone, and lost, never to return, in the most shocking and affecting manner. The only shadow of comfort that remained was her having been united to the count de Fontenai, and it was now in Rose’s power to conceal from her parents the erroneous part of her sister’s conduct.

Kamira and the benevolent Mr. Murray arrived happily at the critical moment when Miss Douglas’s agonizing sorrow was at the greatest height. Though nearly delirious with the frenzied grief that threatened to shake her reason, Mr. Murray insisted on her being removed to the earl of Arlberry’s residence.

With difficulty they tore her from the inanimate corse of her loved sister, which she embraced and kissed, and then spoke to it, as if living, with a tenderness and affection that melted all who were present, and tears of pity fell from every eye. Mr. Murray and her sister’s female servant attended Rose to the earl’s, where lady Elinornor K11r 213 nor received her with a kindness and compassion that first calmed the distraction of her perturbed mind.

Kamira remained with the breathless body of the hapless and misguided countess de Fontenai, to watch over and see that the last sad duties were paid to all that was left of this once lively and lovely woman, who had fallen an early sacrifice to levity and imprudence.

When Mr. Murray had seen Rose safely placed under the protection of the amiable lady Elinor, he returned to Somerset-street, to inquire into the particulars relative to this sad catastrophe, and received nearly the following intelligence:—

Colonel Guilford was quite impatient at not receiving an answer by return of post from Miss Douglas. In consequence of this disappointment, he set off directly for London, and, the day after his arrival, watched about the house where Jane resided, as he would not approach her former residence, fearful of seeing Rose, with whom K11v 214 whom he was offended for not immediately answering his letter, and suspected that she approved whatever line of conduct her sister chose to pursue. From a window opposite to the house, he beheld, with stifled rage, Jane come out, leaning on the arm of the count de Fontenai; and the mistress of the house informed him, that she understood the young gentleman and lady were a new-married couple.

On the following day he planted himself in his former post, and again had the mortification of seeing her, elegantly dressed, and more attractive to him than before, handed into a handsome chariot by the count, who got in afterwards. He was driven to frenzy at this sight, for either as De Fontenai’s mistress or wife, to him she was irrecoverably lost. Guilford really loved Jane, and would not have deserted her for any consideration, having incurred immense expence and trouble to obtain her.

Distraction seized his brain, as the pangs of disappointed love agonized his mind, and K12r 215 and remorse touched his heart for having first led her astray from the paths of duty, which caused her to more easily become the victim, a second time, of temptation.

Determined to revenge himself on his happy rival, whose felicity he was resolved should not be unmolested, as he considered Jane as torn from him without hope, he armed himself with a brace of loaded pistols. Vengeance and wounded affection racked his tortured breast, and he was firm in his purpose of making the count fight, and inwardly decided that either De Fontenai or himself should lifeless fall.

Colonel Guilford stationed himself in Somerset-street till he perceived the count, who had gone out exceedingly early, return home. From the window where he had watched them previously, he beheld him enter the drawing-room where Jane was. Wild with jealousy, and a desire to be revenged, he hastily left his concealment opposite, and knocked at his rival’s door. A maid-servant opened it, and without askinging K12v 216 ing any questions, he rushed up the stairs, and into the drawing-room, leaving the maid, who took him for a robber, in terror and amazement.

When Guilford entered, with the look of a maniac, Jane shrieked with horror. She was seated in an affectionate manner by the side of De Fontenai (who had the day before made her his bride); her hand was clasped in his, and his arm was round her waist.

Guilford’s brain maddened at the sight. He drew the fatal pistols from his pocket. —Here, destroyer of my peace! he madly exclaimed, in a furious voice, take one of these! both or either of us shall die! Let that faithless creature, that I still love to distraction, see us perish, and share the mischief, the misery she has made me suffer!

The count, though a fop, was not deficient in courage; he seized one of the pistols, and Guilford the other. At that moment Jane, till then silent, and petrified with gloomy terror, flew to him, and endeavoured,deavoured L1r 217 deavoured, almost unconscious of what she did, to wrest the pistol from his hand. In the struggle it suddenly went off, and its contents lodged in the side of the wretched Jane. She groaned, tottered a few steps, and then fell fainting on the floor.

De Fontenai, wild with affliction and anguish, raised her from the spot where she fell, and placed her on the couch.

Colonel Guilford, stunned at beholding the ruin he had caused, and the murdered senseless body of her he loved, staggered almost insensible to the further end of the room.

The count thought that he, the author of this horrible spectacle, who had perhaps deprived him for ever of the object he adored, was now trying to escape from the misery he had caused. The idea enraged him to fury; he looked at Jane, who appeared mortally wounded, and grasping the other pistol, which the colonel had thrown down, with too sure an aim shot Guilford through the heart, who uttered a heavy groan, sunk Vol. III. L convulsed, L1v 218 convulsed, writhed in agony, and breathed his last sigh.

The heart-piercing shrieks of Jane when wounded, the groans of the expiring Guilford, and report of the pistols, brought up the servants, who were alarmed at these unusual sounds. They advised and besought their master to save himself before it was too late, as, if he remained, he would be apprehended for the murder of colonel Guilford.

The count was unwilling to quite Jane, who was beginning to recover her senses; but they represented so forcibly the danger that would attend him if he continued there, and that he would then be snatched from her, that he yielded to their humane entreaties for him to be gone. After imprinting a mournful kiss on her pale lips, De Fontenai quitted his home, and travelled expeditiously to the nearest seaport, to take the first opportunity of embarking for a foreign country, till the event of the prosecution that would probablybably L2r 219 bably be commenced against him by Guilford’s friends was determined.

The servants had promised the count that the greatest care should be taken of madame de Fontenai, and the most assiduous attention paid her. They had urged the necessity of his instant flight, as his being a foreigner would be very much to his disadvantage. A surgeon was sent for to examine the wounds of Jane and Guilford.

Jane revived a little, and sufficiently so afterwards to desire her sister might be sent for, though her wound was pronounced mortal; but in Guilford the last struggle of expiring nature had passed—he was quite dead. His body was removed into another apartment, and seldom had a scene so replete with horror, and appalling to the feeling mind, been witnessed.

Mr. Murray sent an express to Guilford’s elder brother, with whom he was slightly acquainted. He was a man of L2 large L2v 220 large fortune, and had the body conveyed to his residence a few miles from town. When the cause of his death was related to him, and by whose hand he had fallen, he was resolved to avenge colonel Guilford’s fate by a strict search after the count de Fontenai, whom he determined to bring to justice, that he might be tried for his brother’s murder.

Mr. Murray secretly hoped that De Fontenai had by this time escaped, as the horrible catastrophe would, if the count was seized, be publicly mentioned, and cause the deepest affliction to the general and the surviving part of his family, and on that account he wished this unfortunate affair to be consigned to oblivion.

Kamira remained in Somerset-street till the interment of the lamented Jane, the hapless victim of her own imprudence, had taken place. So many tears did the feeling Esquimaux shed for her untimely end, that she was nearly reduced to a skeleton;leton; L3r 221 leton; and when she appeared before Rose attired in deep mourning, scarcely could she recognize her.

Thus few, degrading, and unhappy for herself, were the days of the young, the giddy, and lovely Jane. The transient moments of pleasure she enjoyed could not recompense her for the acute hours of remorse and misery she endured. Had her indiscretion only wounded her own peace, the fate she sought would not have been so lamentable; but grief for her premature melancholy death was likewise severely destructive to the health of her sister, and caused her friend lady Elinor to be apprehensive that the consequence of her sorrow would be fatal, and general Douglas be deprived, almost at the same period, of both daughters. Lady Elinor endeavoured to infuse the balm of consolation into her dejected mind; she represented the additional anguish of her parents and brother, if she also sunk into the grave, and the agony of her faithful lover, L3 sir L3v 222 sir Eglamour, to find on his return the dear object of his affection torn from him without hope.

Rose was too reasonable to refuse listening to the consoling voice of disinterested friendship, and by slow degrees recovered. She reflected, and recalled to remembrance her mother’s words, who had often said to her and her sister, that repentance and pain generally follow the steps of guilt, too fatally illustrated in her sister’s sad destiny.

To Mrs. Fane devolved the cruel task of communicating as cautiously as possible the death of their daughter to the general and his lady, but not the dreadful circumstances attendant on it. Mrs. Fane wrote a letter to Mrs. Douglas, in which she said she sincerely condoled with her on her late great loss, and truly felt its extent; but when she reflected it was the act of the greatest and best of beings, she hoped she would not refuse consolation. Doubtless, continued Mrs. Fane, your calamity L4r 223 calamity is the most heart-rending which can befall a parent; but recollect that you still possess good and dutiful children, and I am sure that you will be resigned to that Providence which comforts while it chastens. They, too, can never forget the comfort afforded them by your regard, and the affection of their father.

However kind and consolatory were the suggestions of Mrs. Fane, yet this unexpected blow deeply wounded, though the general supported the fatal stroke with more fortitude than his wife. They were both solicitous that Rose should immediately visit Mrs. Fane, as the change of air might be beneficial to her health, which they understood was much injured by the shock her feeling heart had sustained. They derived much comfort from the occasional society of their son, who concealed his own grief to alleviate theirs.

As soon as Rose found her strength sufficiently restored, in compliance with their wishes she intended to commence L4 her L4v 224 her journey into Devonshire; yet she dreaded to revisit the scene of her innocent and youthful happiness, since it would forcibly remind her of her loved sister, whose errors were forgotten in the grave, and her good and pleasing qualities only remembered.

Mild as Rose naturally was, she was detested, and could hardly restrain from execrating Mrs. Pryce, the original source of all Jane’s faults and sorrows, as the society of an unprincipled vicious woman is replete with danger for a young person whose pliant disposition is easily susceptible of dangerous impressions; yet she was anxious to embrace the orphan Caroline—ill-fated child of unfortunate parents, whom she determined ever to regard, and consider with the tenderness of a mother.

The separation between lady Elinor and Rose was particularly affecting on the part of the latter, who quitted her with unfeigned regret. Her heart, which was alive to gratitude, felt at that instant the very great obligations she had conferred. So rich, L5r 225 rich, so fair, and high in rank; and to blend with all these advantages the purest compassion, with a benevolence that sought privacy, was a character so infinitely angelic, that she must only be known to be ardently loved. Lady Elinor had not merely commiserated her woes, but effectually served her; and when she pressed her hand at parting, the evident emotion of her countenance convinced this friend of the children of sorrow that her feeling beneficence had not been bestowed on an ingrate.

Never will I forget how much I owe you, exclaimed Rose to lady Elinor, just before her departure. Esteem and gratitude shall be cherished in my breast, till life no longer exists; with my last sigh alone shall your goodness vanish from remembrance.

The earl of Arlberry’s carriage conveyed Rose, accompanied by Kamira, the first stage on their journey to Devonshire. When the venerable Murray took leave of her, the day before she left London, he L5 mentioned L5v 226 mentioned that, as he was acquainted with every particular relating to the affairs of her family, he would acquaint her with a sudden thought that had occurred to him. He was reflecting on the difficulties thrown in the general’s way to prevent his taking possession of his late brother’s estates and property, and recollected that the clergyman she had spoken of as having united sir James Douglas to Helen Ramsay was probably his cousin, as he had a relation of that name belonging to the church. In consequence of this reflection, he intended writing to the reverend Mr. Murray, to inquire if he had ever resided near the Castle of Towie Craigs, and married sir James, or Davie M’Gregor, to the woman called Helen Ramsay. Mr. Richard Murray continued to say, that in the event of hearing any thing satisfactory, he would write her the account at Mrs. Fane’s, and also inform general Douglas of the agreeable intelligence, which L6r 227 which he should be most happy to communicate.

A faint dawn of hope gleamed in the bosom of Rose at this unexpected discovery; but she dared not indulge the pleasing expectation, from the fear of disappointment, to which she had become inured. Yet she ardently wished that her father might conquer his misfortunes, and his declining years happiness, tranquillity, and plenty, would then crown.

After lord Arlberry’s carriage had returned to town, Rose and Kamira got into a postchaise, as lady Elinor had insisted on defraying the expences of her journey, and would not allow her, in the weakened state of her health, to travel in a public conveyance. The spirits of the feeling Esquimaux, hitherto generally all life and vivacity, were strikingly altered and depressed, and she was never cheerful but when she perceived Miss Douglas less sad. Rose had written to Mrs. Fane, mentioning at what time she expected to arrive at L6 the L6v 228 the nearest inn, about a mile from her residence; and here she found that lady’s post-chariot waiting to convey her home.

This attention was most pleasing, and the soothing consolation of her kindness, when she arrived, a little renovated her dejected mind. Mrs. Fane observed that Rose and Kamira were apparently much fatigued; she insisted on their retiring instantly to rest, and perceiving that Rose had a slight cold, gave her some whey herself in bed.

Miss Douglas arose the following morning, much benefited by the truly maternal tenderness of her old friend, and was quite refreshed and revived. After breakfasting together, she told Mrs. Fane it was her intention to walk over to Treharne to visit Robin and Dolly, and as soon as her strength was more recruited, to call upon Caroline.

You are not strong enough to walk so far yet, replied Mrs. Fane: my chariot shall convey you to the Hall, where you L7r 229 you may amuse yourself in strolling about the garden, and then return here.

Rose thanked her, and Mrs. Fane ordered it to be brought to the door as soon as it could be got ready.

Miss Douglas was composed and resigned, till the turrets of Treharne appeared in view, rising above the trees; her heart palpitated, and a cold shivering came over her: but when the whole of the edifice broke on her sight, she flung herself back in the carriage, and wept in agony. The desolate demolished appearance of the old mansion reminded her of her own fate, and that of her family. Part of it was laid in the dust, as Jane the youngest of them was, perhaps never to be restored, as the miserable state of their finances seemed to denounce that it must remain for ever in ruins. Kamira sounded the well-known bugle, and Robin and Dolly, clad in deep mourning, the gift of Mrs. Fane, appeared directly on the Hall steps. The L7v 230 The father and daughter both crossed the river to ferry them over.

We be main glad to see you, Miss, exclaimed Dolly, though be sure it be a sorrowful meeting.

Don’t’ee be talking of dismal things gone by, rejoined Robin. Miss is dull enow, Dolly; she sha’n’t be minded of what’s past: it is a long lane that has no turning; when things are at the worst they’ll mend. You must shew Miss Rose what care ye have taken of her plants and harmitage.

It has divarted me a great deal, said Dolly, to tend them, for it has been so lonely ever sin ye left, Miss, for Lunnun. You would hae thought, for all the world, there were scores of devils here. I can’t say what to make of it. I used to say my prayers over and over again, when I heard their rigs.

What nonsense, girl, ye do tell! I be so mortal glad to see Miss, that I hae forgotgot L8r 231 got all the noises and vagaries of the evil spirits, if as how they be such.

Rose prevented a continuance of this conversation, by making Robin a handsome present to drink hers and his master and mistress’s health, not forgetting to include her brother’s. She likewise charmed Dolly, by informing her she had brought down a smart bonnet and shawl for her to wear on Sundays and holidays, which quite won the simple maiden’s heart.

Dolly now attended Miss Douglas and Kamira to the garden and hermitage. Her young lady was much pleased with the neat order in which she had kept the plants and hermitage. When they had walked about and examined every thing, Rose told Kamira to go and chat with her old friends, Robin and Dolly, and she would in that interval walk over the apartments that remained of their once-extensive and comfortable, though ancient residence.

Rose experienced a melancholy pleasure in retracing the scenes of her early youth, before L8v 232 before real sorrow had clouded her moments. In the library her sister’s lute reminded her of happier days, and affected her so much, that she desisted from exploring any more of the apartments, and left the library. She recollected having forgotten her scarf, and that it was in her former bedchamber. As she went in search of it, she inwardly determined to make Kamira remove every article that would remind her of Jane into a closet in that room, and carefully lock them up.

Rose was descending the stairs, after recovering her scarf, overwhelmed with pensive reflections, when happening accidentally to turn her head, she perceived, from a door on the staircase, a man with a rough black head, peeing at her.

Miss Douglas behaved as if she had not perceived him, and hoped that he thought she had not, as she proceeded slowly and quietly down. The unexpected object she had beheld on the staircase she did not notice to Robin or Dolly, as it would alarm L9r 233 alarm their fears. Rose conjectured that he belonged to the gang of thieves who she imagined had caused the strange sounds that occasionally, for so many years, had molested the Hall at night, and at length, she supposed, set the building on fire. It might indeed be a sweetheart of Dolly’s, whom she had received probably unknown to her father. In that case, she was averse to discovering this love affair, by mentioning what she had seen, as the old man would most likely be displeased with his daughter.

With her firmly-attached Indian, Rose now quitted Treharne, overcome with dejection; for the picture of desolation this once-cheerful mansion presented, where happiness and gaiety formerly enlivened its antique walls, was so forcibly contrasted with its lonely ruined air, that her spirits were depressed by the painful recollections it recalled.

Yet each corroding care and pensive thought were removed as with a magic wand, L9v 234 wand, when she discovered the pure and unexpected felicity that awaited her on returning home. Sir Eglamour Delavalle, brave as he was good, was waiting to receive her at the door of Mrs. Fane’s residence. He handed her from the carriage, looking more handsome and fascinating than ever.

The transition from pensive sadness to excess of happiness nearly overpowered Rose. Supported by her faithful lover, she reached the drawing-room, and being then free from witnesses, they affectionately embraced.

This instant of purest bliss rewarded them for every anxious and painful moment they had endured; and only those who have truly loved can imagine their genuine unalloyed delight. To gaze on the form—to hear the voice they loved, was to them unequalled joy. Much are those to be pitied who are incapable of the tenderness of true affection, which ennobles the heart, susceptible then of the best and noblest impressions.

Sir L10r 235

Sir Eglamour described the hardships and privations he had encountered in Holland. He observed to Rose, that he was frequently obliged to sleep with his men and brother-officers on the damp muddy ground. Often did the rain pour down in torrents on their unsheltered heads; yet still they all slept soundly, exhausted with fatigue, and he had not experienced one day’s illness in consequence.—It is your prayers, my sweet love, he exclaimed, and touched her cheek, that have protected in the hour of peril.

Rose blushed; and every shadow of grief was banished from her mind in his loved society.

When the delirium of joy at their meeting had in a day or two subsided, and allowed them to think of other things less interesting, Rose related to Delavalle the events that had taken place since his departure, with the exception of Jane’s imprudence.

On this painful subject he made no inquiry, having heard, with concern, of her death, L10v 236 death, from lady Elinor, to whom he was directed, by Mr. Linn, to learn where Miss Douglas was residing.

Lady Elinor had merely informed sir Eglamour that Jane was married to the count de Fontenai, and that an enraged rival had occasioned the fatal catastrophe, which had deeply afflicted her sister and other relations.

In the course of conversation, Rose likewise acquainted her lover with the nocturnal sounds that had for some years, at different periods, disturbed her repose; the suspicion also lurking in her mind, that the persons who caused those extraordinary noises were the same that had set Treharne Hall on fire, and her alarm at seeing the rough-headed man peeping at her, on her last visit to the old mansion. Rose also candidly imparted the difficulties herself and family had sustained, and the dreary prospect now afforded of general Douglas being deprived of the fortune bequeathed by her uncle.

Sir L11r 237

Sir Eglamour smiled. He perceived the uneasiness she felt, and instantly endeavoured to disperse it.—The loss of fortune shall not afflict you, he exclaimed, with energy: that I can repair. I possess a very liberal income, and am delighted to assure you it is in my power to shelter you from pecuniary cares; and not only the woman I love, but the general and your mother shall likewise partake of whatever I possess. It will not be any sacrifice for you, on such an occasion, to practice a little more economy than otherwise would be necessary, as we are neither of us inclined to be extravagant.

Could any heart, susceptible of gratitude and affection, refrain from loving, with more than common attachment, such a man, so nobly superior, who combined with distinguished virtue an elegant and perfect exterior?

It occurs to me, continued Delavalle, that the secrets of the caverns are connected with the smugglers who wounded me, L11v 238 me, and after whom I made a frequent and unsuccessful search. Your communication will, I hope, lead to a discovery, at which I shall truly rejoice, after a fruitless and continual pursuit of these rascally fellows.

I shudder, replied Rose, at the most distant idea of your encountering these desperate villains. If you have the most trifling regard for me, do not think of risking your valued life in endeavouring to bring them to justice.

For your sake, if not for my own, I shall be very cautious in the steps I take against them. But, to speak the truth, I should dislike exceedingly to fall by such dishonourable hands; therefore, depend on my being vigilant and prudent. It is my intention to attack them with a strong force, well armed, and there cannot be the most remote fear of danger, when you consider the precaution I shall observe.

Rose was a little calmed by this assertion, yet her anxiety lest any accident should L12r 239 should happen to him still remained, as she was tremblingly alive with solicitude for those she loved; but his promise that he would be careful, and not rash, contributed to sooth her uneasiness.

Part of a regular marching regiment was quartered at Exeter. Sir Eglamour was slightly acquainted with one of the officers, who introduced him shortly after to the colonel. He then mentioned the affair of the smugglers in confidence to him, as it was strictly proper and prudent the measures he intended to take should be kept secret, that these ruffians might not be aware of the plan laid to ensnare them.

It frequently happens, that when fortune has smiled in one instance, she will continue to repeat her favours, and is as liberal of them as of her former frowns. A short time after the arrival of sir Eglamour, Rose received a letter Mr. Richard Murray, in which he mentioned having had an answer from his relation, the clergyman,man, L12v 240 man, informing him that he was resident several years near the Castle of Towie Craigs, and married Davie M’Gregor to Helen Ramsay. This relation added, that a report of his death had been spread, which had encouraged, he imagined, the villanous attorney to invent the tale respecting sir James’s marriage, who, contrary to every idea of marrying a woman so obscure, had, in his hearing, often expressed an aversion to Helen, saying she was a bold impudent creature, and that he would discharge her from his service when his health was restored. The clergyman gave the same character of Davie as was previously sketched, observing that he was inoffensive and well- disposed. His place of abode, he doubted not, would be easily discovered, and he ready to come forward to serve the general, if necessary. But his testimony of the falsehood of Helen’s statement would, he imagined, be quite sufficient to prove a conspiracy to deprive general Douglas of his lawful property.

Mr. M1r 241

Mr. Richard Murray continued to write, that in consequence of this information he had written to her father, and to his relation, desiring the latter to wait immediately on general Douglas, and give him all the intelligence in his power to elucidate this iniquitous transaction. It was his intention, he observed, to defray the expences he would incur; and that he was convinced the general would feel truly happy to make him a handsome recompence for his trouble, as the fortunate termination of this affair was of the greatest importance to his and his children’s interest.

This joyful communication, in addition to the felicity that before exhilarated her spirits, was nearly overwhelming, after the repeated sorrows Rose had sustained; and she felt that excess of joy was difficult to support. The decline of her excellent parents’ lives would be smooth and tranquil, after their severe sufferings, and she was enraptured at this good news, because it Vol. III. M would M1v 242 would also please her disinterested lover. He had proved that his affection was void of any regard to private advantage, which heightened her solicitude to reward his generous attachment. She was highly gratified that he would not at present enter into a distressed family, nor receive her without a portion. Sir Eglamour appeared to her of so liberal a disposition, that she reflected it would be desirable for him to be wealthy, from the excellent use he would make of his riches, by befriending those who required assistance from the benevolent. Yet, amidst all these smiling prospects, a sigh escaped her bosom; when the remembrance of Jane clouded her moments of delighted expectation. She wished that her sister had endured their calamities with resignation, and then she would have enjoyed their prosperity in innocence and peace.

In the mean while, sir Eglamour, who had formed his plan relative to exploring the caverns, to penetrate into the secrets they concealed,cealed, M2r 243 cealed, now began to put his scheme into execution. He procured from his new acquaintance, colonel Jenkins, fifty soldiers, well armed, not dressed in their military habits, but in shabby plain clothes. They all arrived one dark evening at Treharne, and were received quietly by Robin, who distributed and secreted them in different parts of the ruined building, which was extensive enough to have contained a greater body of men; but most of them were placed near the cellars, where the fire had been first kindled.

In the dead of the night, when all had retired to rest, and every thing was still, sir Eglamour, unknown to Rose, stole down the stairs, and softly opening the house-door at Mrs. Fane’s, it was gently closed after him by one of the domestics. He then joined his servant, who was waiting with two horses a few yards from the house; and mounting one of them, rode swiftly off, followed by his man. Some of the soldiers, in eager expectation of his M2 arrival, M2v 244 arrival, had placed themselves on the opposite side of the river, and they crossed over to the Hall together as quietly as possible. Strongly armed, twenty of them attended sir Eglamour into the first cellar, where it was settled fifteen were to remain, and the remainder were to be stationed outside, except one, that was to be centinel near the long passage; and if the party advancing forward were to be attacked, he was to blow a shrill loud whistle, and all the soldiers at that sound were to rush forward to defend their comrades.

They passed uninterrupted through the vaults and long passage which Rose and Kamira had formerly examined, and at length reached the first cavern, which appeared to them inhabited. On opening the door conducting to its interior, a sulphurous smell and thick smoke issued from it, and nearly suffocated them. At the same instant a low moaning attracted their attention; but the vapours and smoky scent were so oppressive, that the men did not like M3r 245 like to advance, till their commander exclaimed— Leave open the door, and the fume will disperse gradually.

Sir Eglamour then pushed forward into that part of the subterranean retreat from whence the groans proceeded. Here reclined, on a bed (described in the second volume) the form of a lady in the meridian of life, apparently expiring, as her face was convulsed and distorted, as if writhing in the agonies of death. It was immediately conjectured by sir Eglamour and the men, that the charcoal they discovered had been used to air the cavern, which was very damp, probably from being long uninhabited, had been burnt in too large a quantity, and set fire to some wood near. There was no discharge outward for the smoke, which, united with the suffocating fume and smell of sulphur, had overpowered the lady’s senses, and nearly choked her by excluding a pure free air.

Bear the lady from the cave into the hall, said sir Eglamour, to three of the M3 soldiers, M3v 246 soldiers, and send your comrades to supply your place. The change may recover her, and restore respiration, which appears almost gone. I know not if she is respectable—I fear otherwise; but humanity demands that we shall give her all the assistance in our power.

The men obeyed him, and after waiting till the other soldiers arrived, sir Eglamour entered, through a door opposite to that which conducted them to the lady, into a long narrow vault, containing an immense number of casks, some of them empty, but the principal part of them stored with smuggled brandy, Hollands, and wine. From this vault they went into another, filled with wearing apparel of every description, and foreign habits. Among these they distinguished the turban and garments of the unhappy Moor that Rose had seen extended a murdered corse, and was doomed, after being saved, from a watery grave, to lose his life by the assassin of the cavern. Rose had described his dress, M4r 247 dress, and the horrid spectacle he presented to her terrified sight, and sir Eglamour recognized his clothes from her descriptive account. A variety of guns, pistols, swords, and other instruments of dark murder and secret assassination, the vaults likewise contained. Their leader again addressed the soldiers, and observed that they must continue their search with the utmost caution and silence, and the mystery, he thought, would soon be disclosed, and success attend their researches and pursuit of the ruffians, who had committed such lawless and sanguinary deeds.

They pursued their route onwards without speaking, till they attained a small cave, with more barrels in it. This opened into the cavern where Rose beheld Mrs. Pryce and the stranger, who had excited an interest in her bosom, from his elegant superior air, though disguised. The sound of several voices in earnest discourse made the party suddenly halt, and attentively listen.

M4 By M4v 248

By the conversation passing in the next cave, it did not appear that many persons were assembled there. Sir Eglamour whispered to his soldiers, that now, if they were resolved and courageous, an excellent opportunity offered for seizing the smugglers, that he supposed were collected in the adjacent cavern. They unanimously declared they were eager to attempt making the villains their prisoners, and at a signal given by him, rushed to the door, which they burst open, and discovered only six men meanly dressed. These men were seated at a table, with a good supper before them, and a plentiful supply of beer and brandy. The soldiers secured them without opposition, and sir Eglamour said to his companions, who were not employed to guard the smugglers—Let us pursue our examination, and continue the search till we arrive at the sea-shore.

It is giving yourself useless trouble, sir, rejoined the most respectable looking of the smugglers; you will not find any inhabitant M5r 249 inhabitant of these caves but ourselves. I will turn evidence, and confess all, if you are, as I think, the friend of general Douglas and his family.

You have guessed right, replied sir Eglamour, and there is an appearance of truth about you; yet, considering your infamous situation and associates, and not knowing any thing relating to your character, it will not be prudent to attend to your assertions. Your motive may be to give time for a large body of your brother smugglers to overpower us. I shall go forward and examine every avenue and recess leading from hence to the sea, and if I find, on my return, that your veracity is unquestioned, I will then listen to your story.

Sir Eglamour now departed, after leaving a sufficient number of soldiers to prevent the smugglers’ escape. He continued, with his remaining companions, his route through the damp, gloomy, subterraneous passages and dens, that had too long shelteredM5 tered M5v 250 tered the most merciless villains, till they attained the desolate ruined house on the sea beach. They found his wretched abode quite deserted, with the appearance of its inmates having fled from it precipitately. They afterwards left the ruined house, and returned to the caverns, where they secured the entrance withinside so strongly, that it was impossible for any one to enter by that communication, and soon arrived at the spot they had quitted.

The man who had first addressed sir Eglamour was again the spokesman for the others, who looked very dejected, and not in the least daring. This smuggler informed sir Eglamour that it was twenty years since smuggling had been practised upon that part of the coast to a great extent. Lord Treharne, the brother of Mrs. Douglas, was connected with these men, who considered him as their chief, as they were under great obligations to his lordship, for allowing them the use of the caves for their retreat, where they could safely M6r 251 safely conceal their contraband goods. Here they also secreted the plunder they obtained from vessels that were frequently wrecked near the spot. In stormy weather, the most ferocious part of the gang, who were foreigners, brought from abroad by lord Treharne, watched for several miles along the coast, to pillage the wrecks, and rob any shipwrecked persons who gained the land with any property they had saved from the waves; and the booty on these occasions was often very valuable.

I was informed, continued the man, that my lord had many a long year since expended all his own, as well as his wife’s fortune, and the want of a shilling induced him to league with our company, and add some people dependent on him, besides the foreigners, to our numbers, and his lordship’s share of the money and spoils we gained was always the most considerable. The fisherman and his wife, at the ruined house, were in our secrets, and the whole scheme for carrying on our depredationsM6 dations M6v 252 dations was so well contrived by my lord, that we always escaped detection. Yet many unfortunate victims have fallen beneath the murderous hand of the most savage and bloodthirsty of our comrades, and were buried in the ground below the caves, so very deep that the bodies could not easily be discovered. The plunder we obtained in jewels and gold was very important, as well as the profits we got by importing and exporting contraband goods: but the part allotted to us, who were reckoned inferior to the most guilty, was very small, compared to the others. One of the principal men, who was in lord Treharne’s confidence, whose life he had saved, took a fancy to me, and imparted all that he knew of his affairs, and every transaction, as he was certain, for my own sake, I should not impeach and betray the rest.

When I joined the gang, added the man, I had not a thought of their being more than mere smugglers, and was tempted by poverty to follow this course of life. My M7r 253 My wife, who was very dear to me, and five little children, were starving, as a long fit of illness had thrown me out of employment, and I was persuaded to make one of them, as it was their plan to augment their numbers as much as possible, and not a single man had ever proved treacherous. Colonel Guilford, who was killed, I am told, in London, was a friend of my lord’s; he was in the secret, and visited the caverns occasionally with him. All the noises and alarming sounds that disturbed the family at Treharne were made by our men, at the instigation of his lordship, who wished his relations to think the Hall was haunted, and cause such an aversion and horror of the place, that they would be inclined to forsake it for a more agreeable abode. The secret of the caverns was unknown to Mrs. Douglas, her brother only being acquainted with it, which made him the more enraged with his father for having left Treharne Hall to his sister, who might discover the subterraneousneous M7v 254 neous retreat, which would end in his and our total ruin: we had no other safe refuge where we could secretly shelter ourselves and our goods. His lordship likewise employed us to carry off Miss Douglas and her maid. The young lady was to have been placed under the protection of captain Courtenay, who had promised her uncle a large sum of money for this piece of service, though the captain did not know my lord was confederate with robbers and smugglers. However, I was so moved with Miss Douglas’s situation, who I had always heard was a good young lady, that I felt for her as a father, having children of my own. I would not therefore give her up to captain Courtenay, whose intentions were, I was certain, very base, and would ill treat her from revenge, as I was told. These thoughts made me contrive her escape; I saved her from destruction, and hope this action will incline you to pardon me and my companions here, who, no more than myself, ever committed a greaterer M8r 255 er crime than that of smuggling a cask of liquor.

For that good deed you have performed, in saving Miss Douglas from ruin, depend on being requited, replied sir Eglamour: but who is that lady we found nearly expiring in the cave where charcoal had been burning?

Her name is Pryce, rejoined the man, an old mistress of my lord’s from his youth, who made him more wicked than he naturally was, as it is said. Lord Treharne received information that our retreat was discovered, and on the point of being examined. In consequence of this intelligence, he ordered one of our smuggling vessels to be prepared to convey himself, the foreigners, and most infamous of the gang, to some distant country. They packed up every thing of value, and would have taken myself and companions, but we declined going with them, not thinking the caves would be searched for some days, and from a wish to quit the gang for ever.

“How M8v 256

How has it happened that Mrs. Pryce did not accompany lord Treharne?

I was told, said the man, that she followed him against his inclination from London, where he had discovered some of her sly tricks, and that she was not true to him. They had a meeting in the caverns, and a high quarrel; he refused to give her money, or take her with him, though she vowed revenge. Her threats hastened his departure, and he embarked before daybreak yesterday morning. His lordship desired us to avoid her, and the wind being favourable, the vessel sailed directly; yet I cannot help thinking that it was something more than the charcoal that reduced her, sir, to the state in which she was found.

There was a decided air of truth in what this man advanced, which, united with the reflection that he had protected his loved Rose, and preserved her from danger of the worst descriptions, prepossessed sir Eglamour considerably in his favour. He desired M9r 257 desired the smugglers to finish their repast, and suffered the soldiers to regale themselves with the best contents of one of the barrels, and some provision that was in the cavern.

While they were enjoying this refreshment, sir Eglamour resolved, in consideration of the service the man had rendered Miss Douglas, to suffer him and his companions to escape. They all assured him, that they had intended, when their comrades left them, to enter as seamen on board a man-of-war, for sailors (at that time) were much required for his majesty’s navy. After the soldiers and smugglers had regaled themselves, the latter were conveyed and secured in the cellar, near the entrance into the Hall.

Sir Eglamour now quitted the damp cellars, to inquire after the wretched woman her criminal paramour had justly deserted. Her he beheld a stiffened corse. Life had been allowed her to scrawl a few lines to Rose Douglas, when she felt herself dying in M9v 258 in the habitation of the family she had irreparably injured. Conscious of her crimes, she asked her forgiveness, saying, that since the death of the unfortunate Jane, which had reached her ears, the most torturing remorse had deprived her of sleep and rest. Misguided by her, she knew that she had consigned her sister to an early grave, who might have lived, but for her blighting hand, in innocence and peace. The horror those thoughts inspired, and the desertion of lord Treharne, inflamed her senses, and in a moment of outrageous despair, she had taken a draught of poison, to end her guilty and miserable existence. The venomous potion was not, however, so speedy in its operation as she expected, and allowed her to confess her crimes, the only atonement she could make for guilt unequalled.

The body of this wretched creature presented the most awful and appalling spectacle. Her face was hideously black and distorted, her hands were clenched, her eyes M10r 259 eyes glared horribly through their glassy film, and a ghastly grin, caused by the convulsive agonies of pain and death, disfigured that countenance, which inspired aversion and terror, instead of pity. No tear of regret and affectionate sorrow bedewed her disfigured corse.

Let not the wicked think, exclaimed sir Eglamour, addressing Robin and Dolly, who were present, that retributive justice will never overtake them.

’Tis but too true, replied Robin, shaking his white locks, that a punishment awaits them, sooner or later; if not in this world, it will be more severe in the next.

They all turned from this dreadful sight of justly-inflicted vengeance, with disgust and horror. A most violent storm arose, and the fury of the tempest, united with the darkness of night, and surrounding gloom, seemed congenial with this solemn punishment of wickedness unparalleled.

Sir Eglamour descended again to the cellar, and found the men he had left to guard M10v 260 guard the entrance fast asleep. He rejoiced at the circumstance, and entered gently, to avoid disturbing their repose, and in a low voice addressed the man who assisted Rose to escape.

I will allow you to fly from this confinement, said sir Eglamour, as I believe your assertions, provided that you and your associates pronounce a solemn oath to lead an honest life in future. I believe you are all truly repentant; and that you may not be tempted, by distress, to rob or smuggle, I give you now a handsome sum of money for your present necessities. Should you be once more seized for improper conduct, no event can then save you from the arm of justice.

They unanimously swore to observe his advice, and expressed their warm gratitude for his mercy and goodness.

Sir Eglamour then conducted them secretly from the old mansion, by the back- door, unperceived by the soldiers, or any other person.

In M11r 261

In the morning their escape was discovered, but excited little surprise or concern, as the soldiers considered them merely as smugglers, and very inferior in guilt to their comrades who had fled.

No intelligence or circumstance relative to the six smugglers ever transpired, and it was conjectured they conducted themselves afterwards with the strictest integrity, lamenting their former errors.

The vessel in which lord Treharne embarked sunk to the bottom (not being able to resist the raging tempest), on that memorable night when his guilty mistress breathed her last. Every soul on board perished, except one sailor, who had been engaged to assist in navigating the bark a short time before it sailed, and was unacquainted with the character of his employer. He alone survived, to relate the destruction of the vessel and those who were in it—a fate too gentle for a character so depraved as lord Treharne, who had early evinced a corrupt selfish disposition, and attained M11v 262 attained the highest ascent of treachery, cruelty, and unrelenting crime.

He was childless when the storm consigned him to the unfathomed deep, and Felix consequently inherited the title of viscount Treharne, which his uncle had disgraced. The late lord Treharne’s estates were so mortgaged and encumbered, that Felix found himself the noble representative of an ancient family, without an income to support his rank. But this inconvenience was unfelt, as his father came immediately into possession of the extensive fortune bequeathed by sir James Douglas, which enabled him to bestow sufficient wealth on Felix to allow his appearing as a nobleman.

Helen Ramsay, and the hypocritical attorney, received the condign chastisement they merited for the conspiracy formed against general Douglas. In the course of their examination, it was revealed that even this plot was planned by lord Treharne and his corrupt mistress, whose rancour against this flawed-reproduction1 page M12v 264 ness, felt richly rewarded for having endured adversity with courage and resignation. To promote the lasting felicity of sir Eglamour was her first wish and intention, by every effort to please him, and secure his esteem and attachment. He was the only man who had ever excited her gratitude and admiration. His disinterested conduct, when he thought her portionless, demanded the former sentiment, and his accomplishments and manly beauty claimed the latter.

Those beings who had compassionated her sorrows were not forgotten, and handsomely recompensed for the feeling they had evinced. Rose never blushed at the recollection of having experienced undeserved indigence and affliction. It was a superior gratification to her to assist the unfortunate, whose sufferings she poignantly commiserated, from having sustained similar distress.

The splendid gifts of fortune were now distributed profusely on every individual of N1r 265 of the Douglas family, and empowered them to obey the dictates of their generous inclinations.

The earl of Arlberry presented his daughter with a munificent dowry; and lord and lady Treharne passed half the year at the Castle of Towie Craigs, with general, sir Felix, and lady Douglas, where the excellent and friendly Moncrief frequently joined the party assembled, and visited England with them every year.

The virtue and purity of Rose, whose character, enriched with every excellence, and captivating charm of manners and conversation, that could win and strengthen affection, attached her husband to her with heightened regard, that never weakened. Her parents were grateful to Heaven for giving them a child so truly amiable, and her friends found a soothing balm in her friendship, when affliction oppressed, and the purest felicity, when all their prospects were smiling. The victims of poverty and despair her generous charity relieved, while Vol. III. N her N1v 266 her humane attention softened their calamity.

The fraternal love existing between her brother Felix and herself remained unchanged. They resided near each other, and were so frequently together, that they were like one united happy family.

Kamira, in whose fidelity she had received the sweetest consolation, when heart- rending sorrow overwhelmed her with dejection and grief, resided constantly with her, nor could she be persuaded to quit her beloved lady Delavalle, as sir Eglamour equally respected and esteemed the faithful Esquimaux. To leave her young mistress, had she wished it, Kamira was now quite free, sir Felix Douglas having settled a liberal income on her, when he received his brother’s fortune.

With regard to the malignant and subordinate characters, who maliciously insulted, and endeavoured to injure the unsuspicious and unoffending Rose, there can be no punishment more severe than their miserable N2r 267 miserable minds inflicts. The continual gnawings of an impure and upbraiding conscience is excruciating torture. Though the wicked triumph for a period, and exult in the success of their villany against the innocence and virtuous, yet let them remember that the hour of keen remorse, requital, and vengeance, will arrive, and their culpable actions obtain an equitable reward.


Printed by J. Darling, Leadenhall-Street, London.


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