Puslapio vaizdai

Silence enfued for a few moments, which Mrs. Evans hefitatingly interrupted: "Till you are a mother, my « dear madam, (said she,) you cannot "know the full force of a mother's << fears. Mine, perhaps, are exagge"rated by my prefent weakness. It "ftrikes me, that my dear girl's de

jection is even greater than my in"difpofition, or your leaving us, could

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juftify. While I have any hopes of 66 recovery, I conceive myself obliged to "avoid awakening her strong apprehen"fions on my account; and I believe "she is not aware that my present ill"nefs is attended with symptoms of a "more ferious nature than appeared in co any former attack. If my conftitu"tion fhould prove weaker than my "disease," continued fhe, with a ftill more faltering voice, "I fhall leave "her to the protection of one of the 15 " beft

"best of fathers; but men cannot fo "well penetrate into the female heart, "they cannot treat our little peculiari"ties fo delicately as one of our own "fex. It would lighten my mind of many cares could I discover whether my child has any secret unhappiness; “even if it should prove fuch as I could "not remove, I could at least," wiping the tear that would no longer be fuppressed, "give her a mother's last legacy " of advice and confolation."

Lady Monteith understood this appeal, and prevented farther inquiry by immediately replying, "You think,

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perhaps, that my dearest Lucy may ❝ have entrusted me with some secrets "which the has not revealed to you; but "I do affure you, if her innocent heart "ever formed any wifh or attachment "with which you are unacquainted, her "delicacy would prevent her from giving

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giving me the confidence which the "denied to her justly venerated mother. "It is only from fuch incidents as have

juft occurred, that I have gained a "transitory infight refpecting what paffes "in her mind; and perhaps my late ex"perience may have made me an accu"rate obferver."

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"Do you mean her behaviour on dropping my medicine?" inquired Mrs. Evans: "I faw nothing in that, "except that she was difpirited and agi"tated."

"You forget then," obferved the countefs," that Henry Powerfcourt was "the fubject of our converfation."

A thousand circumftances crowded at this inftant into Mrs. Evans's mind, which confirmed the fagacity of her ladyfhip's inference; but though the acknowledged merit of the object leffened the pain of the difcovery, the tender mother

mother could not, without apprehensive terror, be convinced, that love had paled the roses on her daughter's « cheek.”

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"I know of no one," faid fhe, "to "whom I could with greater confidence "entruft my darling's happiness; yet "so many cross accidents occur to blast "our faireft fchemes, that I own I "wish her heart had proved lefs fuf་་ ceptible. I do, however, hope that "fhe is not a volunteer in her affections. "You can, my dear lady Monteith,

pardon my folicitude; but can you "tell me whether Henry entertains reciprocal fentiments ?"

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Her ladyship appeared embarraffed by this inquiry. "I think," faid fhe, "at prefent-I mean-I can hardly "explain myself-Henry is too much "attached to his ftudies and retire"ment; but I hope his chagrin

"I mean

"I mean his habits of feclufion will

wear off. "very peculiar. It has hardly given. "fair play to his affections. I trust he "will very foon be made independent; "I know he poffeffes great fenfibility, " and I am perfuaded that when his "circumstances are perfectly eafy, when. "he feels that he is his own mafter, if "opportunities for frequent interviews "should occur, our Lucy's mild excellencies muft ftrike him in the most "forcible manner. I know her gene

His fituation has been

"ral character has attracted his warm.


Another tear ftole from Mrs. Evans's eyes. "I fee," said she, " my poor "girl has woven a net which will fatally entangle her peace of mind during "the happieft hours of youth."

"No," faid lady Monteith, with energy; "if my friendship can break

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