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Yes, Jane,” replied Frederic, after a moments thought, “ I believe he does love her, from all I hear; but at the same time, I do not think he knows it himself. The truth is, the idea has been very foolishly communicated to Charles, and I think he has taken the strongest determination not to love Mary if he can possibly help it, on purpose to assert his free agency ; and if he thought the scheme had my concurrence, he would be less disposed to fall in with it than ever.”

“ But Mary,” said lady Jane—“you not seem to consider Mary at all in the business; women are not mere automatons, Frederic."

Jane, you wrong me," replied lord Burton warmly, “I do consider her. Mary is the only dear being which Heaven, in its wise dispensations, has thought fit to leave me; she is the only earthly thing to which my heart has clung through many years of sorrow, and for her happiness, for her peace, I would sacrifice my last drop


you do

of blood !" He spoke with energy; then added, in a less vehement manner,

“ but Mary has puzzled me; I cannot at all penetrate into her sentiments with respect to Charles, and yet she is amiable, and frank in every thing, innocence, and truth itself; but on these subjects, Jane, women are so taught to conceal what they feel, that it becomes almost their nature.”

“ You are very polite at least,” replied lady Jane.

" Oh no,” said lord Burton, “I did not mean to apply that to you; I wish I could, for then I should be less uneasy with regard to you at this moment.”

“ Uneasy about me, Frederic !” replied lady Jane, while an unwished-for blush spread itself gradually all over her face “ I don't know why you should be uneasy on my account.”

Plainly then, Jane,” answered he, * about captain Malcolm; I know I am taking an impertinent liberty, but I have

G 4


see you


some affection for you, and cannot bear to

trifle away your happiness.” Nonsense, Burton !" replied lady Jane, recalling her good spirits, which had for a moment forsaken her; “ I really think you and Cecilia have some design in wanting to persuade me I am in love with that man, and if you both look so serious, and all that, it will make him think the same, which I should not like, for, in the first place, it would foster his vanity, and all men have enough already ; and in the next place, it is not true, and so he would be disappointed.”

Well, Jane," answered her cousin, “ I hope it is so; only, in pity's name, take care what you are about; remember

your father's ideas on these subjects, and be warned in time.”

“ Well, I will, my sage cousin,” replied lady Jane, “ I will think for once in my life. But while you are lecturing me so severely, do

you remember what you are about yourself? Are you aware of the


pointed attention you are paying to Louisa Stanhope? Other people, when they see it, think —Oh, she is only a pretty governess, that the earl is taken with for a moment; but I know, Burton, that that would make no difference to you. She is gentle, amiable, and accomplished, and from what I see, I think she has a great deal of firmness; but she has the heart of a woman, Frederic, which is easily wounded, but long in being cured, and if I thought that you were trifling with her, I should never have confidence in any man again.”

It was now lord Burton's turn to feel, for she had probed him to the quick; and leaning his head upon the table, he thought for a moment.--" There are many, many obstacles,” he said, raising his eyes to lady Jane, who contemplated his contending feelings with a look of deep interest.

“I know there are, Frederic,” she answered," and I do not advise you to do it, without your feelings are too strong to G 5


yield to reason; but there is only one of two things to do if you would continue as noble and as feeling as you have hitherto shewn yourself, you ought either to make your views known in a straight forward manner, or quit this part of the country.”

"I will, Jane, I will," replied lord Bur. ton, I will return to France: perhaps this

may be but a passing inclination,” he added, endeavouring to assume a gayer tone, which sat but ill upon him, " like one of those light clouds, Jane, which you and I used to watch in Switzerland a year or two ago, that used to come across in a spring afternoon, bright and warm for the few minutes that it remained, but soon blown away, leaving the sky as clear and blue as if it never had crossed it.”

“ I hope it is so, Frederic,” replied his cousin ; " but I should be


any thing of this kind should again drive you abroad." “ No, it is not that,” replied Frederic;

" I must

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