Puslapio vaizdai

woe, and their countenances were as mournful as their garb.

To the quick interrogatory of " Is "fhe alive?" a faint affirmative was the only reply; and Monteith, gafping for breath, was rushing forward, when the venerable figure of Mr. Evans arrested his fteps. "I am fummoned," said the good man, waving his hand. "Let

me perform my awful duty, and then you shall be admitted. The counters "has fent to requeft my prayers. Join, "fir, and recommend her parting fpirit "to the Father of mercies."

"Pray for us both," raved Mon"teith; " and if there be efficacy in prayer, entreat that my burning brain may be numbed by infenfibility. If " you have any mercy," continued he, raifing his voice after Mr. Evans, who had made a fign to the fervants to detain him, "let me fee my wedded " love.

"love. Do not you know, that it is my severity which has broken her heart, and my forgiveness will yet "reftore her? Think you that I can "be patient when one loft moment may plunge me into perpetual an"guifh?" Mr. Evans promised that he would immediately announce his arrival; and he leaned against one of the pillars, panting with fufpence, expecting his fearful fummons.


It was to the death-bed of withering youth and faded beauty, to the couch on which greatnefs, difrobed of its distinguishing ornaments, confeffed its defcent from the common stock of humanity, that Mr Evans approached. "Is it my extreme weakness, or fupe"rior intelligence," faid the countess in a hollow voice, " that makes me "now attribute fuch powerful efficacy "to a good man's prayers?"

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« A fellow finner," replied Mr. Evans, "recommends you to Heaven.” "Your hand, fir! I fhall not long be "able to thank you.-My fituation is "very awful.-How my poor heart "throbs with pain and terror!-Any "news from lord Monteith ?"

"He forgives you."

"And are my children well ?" "They are waiting to be admitted.” "I fear my fight is now too dim to «fee them. But I would bless them, if "I dare.-Would it be prefumptuous " in me to blefs them ?",

A loud groan at this inftant iffued from the door. It was Monteith's voice, and the dying countefs caught the wellknown found. The bed fhook with her convulfive tremblings. "I thought," faid fhe," that nothing mortal would "have affected me. But that voice-oh "that I could proftrate myself before " him."

" My

"My wife!" exclaimed the earl, who had by this time broke from those who attempted to restrain him, and approached the bed; when, fhocked by the emaciated face where beauty once refided, he fhuddering drew back his extended arms. "Infernal villain, who. "hath brought thee to this! Curfed "traitor who firft feduced me from "thee;-plunged me in vice, then

ftole my treasure; and now laughs "at my mifery !-may his guilty foul "for ever writhe in tortures fuch as "I now endure! Awake, awake, my


love; my Geraldine!" (for, overpowered by his appearance, fhe had fainted.) I forgive thee. Oh live, my "love! but I know all thy fad ftory. "Do live, do but fmile upon me. Once "more bless me with thy tender fmile. Nothing, nothing then fhall part

❝ us."

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"us." The earl continued raving till he was forced out of the apartment.

The last moments of lady Monteith's life were marked by humble confidence and dignified compofure. She called for her daughters, folded them in her arms, and then placed them in her Lucy's. "Be you," faid fhe," their "future mother, and transfer to them "that love I once enjoyed. Wafte not 63 your precious tears upon my uncon"scious corpfe. My exiftence is mul"tiplied in these helpless orphans; and "they fhall flourish under the care of "the fifter of my foul. Infinite mercy "may perhaps permit my feparated fpi"rit to witness your pious performance ❝ of this intrusted charge."

She again caught lady Arabella to her bofom. "My eldest darling," faid fhe, "you will not forget me. Give


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