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so too, Jane, one of these days; only you are a kind-hearted girl, who have not yet experienced the bitter taming of the world, and think that every thing is to be done by warmth and ardour, without considering what perverse spirits you may have to deal with.”
Well, Frederic, you are always right, I suppose,” replied lady Jane; “is it not so? Mary says you are always right, and my father
says you are always right, and even Cecilia chimes in too, so I suppose
I must believe it as well as the rest, only I will think you are a right odd creature; but I
suppose you can frank your own letter at least, mynheer Van Never-wrong?" and she gave him the
" What a scrawl you have made of it!" she added; “ there ought to be ' tumbled from horseback? written in large letters across' it, or the postmaster will never believe that it is
Lord Burton laughed, and sealed it.“ Don't you know, Jane,” said he, “ that
great men never write good hands ? and I intend to be a very great man for the future.”
“ I am sure, my lord, no one will deny your right to that appellation already," said lady Delmont, with her sweetest smile; “ wherever lord Burton goes, he must be distinguished.”
“ Your ladyship frightens me," answered lord Burton; " distinction is, of all things, what I dislike. Who would not rather be the height of a common man, than so tall as to attract the attention of the curious in passing through the street, and be followed wherever they go by a crowd of dirty boys, gazing up as they would at the monument? In short, who would not rather be upon a level with those amongst whom he must spend his days, than so elevated as to be an object of fear rather than love-of wonder as well as admiration ? Let me be as good as any if you will; but, in Heaven's name, deliver me from distinction !"
Dafne.- Non disperar, Aminta,
Aminta.--Oimè! chè mia salute
A few days after the conversation detailed in the last chapter, lady Mary Burton quitted Sturford Abbey, leaving her brother rapidly recovering from the effects of his fall, though by no means able to travel.
Captain Malcolm was now a frequent guest at lady Delmonts, and the evident partiality of lady Jane for his society, not only called forth all the prudish looks and
indirect speeches of her sister lady Cecilia, but also gave lord Burton a good deal of uneasiness, on account of his amiable but thoughtless cousin, well knowing as he did that her father (though captain Malcolm's family was unexceptionable) would never consent to a match so much below the schemes his aristocratical pride had formed for his daughter.
In the mean while, Frederic himself had suffered the society of Miss Stanhope to become almost necessary to his existence, and, unaware of his own feelings, had paid her the most decided attention. While his sister had continued at the abbey, he had seen more than ever of Louisa, with whom lady Mary appeared as much struck as any one, and every hour that he had passed in her company, but offered some new beauty of her mind, or perfection of her heart; but as soon as Mary returned to lady Anne Milsome, Miss Stanhope contrived to find more occupation with her pupils than she had before done, and lord
Burton seldom saw her but at breakfast and dinner time.
Thus passed the time till within a few days of that on which lord Burton had fixed his departure, and finding himself alone with lady Jane, he resolved to take that opportunity of mentioning captain Malcolm as delicately as he could.—“Well, Jane,” said he, to lead gently to the subject, “ so you did not approve of my letter to Charles Melville some days ago ?"
“ I thought it was a very cold, ceremonious epistle,” replied his cousin," and very unlike you to write. I know your reasons, now I have thought of it, for you may suppose I have heard all the scheme for marrying Mary to young Melville; but I do not see why you should object to it so strongly.” si
I do not object to it at all,” replied lord Burton, “if Charles really loves Mary.”
“ And do you think he does not ?" demanded lady Jane. “ It is impossible to know her and not love her.”