Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

The man of wealth and pride
Takes up a space that many poor supplied,

Space for his lake, his park's extended bounds,
Space for his horses, equipage, and hounds.
Deserted Village.

The Arrivals.

STURFoRD Abbey was as unlike an abbey, according to the old monkish fashion of building them, with high arched windows, and every thing that could give them an air of Gothic solemnity and grandeur, as it is possible to conceive; on the contrary, every thing had been done to give it an air of luxury, if not comfort—of ostentation, if not beauty; and lady Delmont, its proud mistress, if she did not, like the sun, give light to all around, at least possessed, in COIn Inon common with that luminous gentleman, the talent of shining on all beneath her. It was about an hour before dinner-time, on the day after that which closed the events of the last chapter, when a carriage and four (the same which had broken down near Wincanton, but had now received the addition of a new axletree) drove down the tortuous road leading through the woods that surrounded the abbey, and came up with what the postilions considered a most masterly dash to the principal entrance of the mansion. As this event took place, the heads of several abigails happened to be projected from various windows, which gave light to the dressing-rooms of many of the fair inhabitants of the house, who had no doubt at that moment retired to dress for dinner, and who it is to be supposed scolded their maids severely for suffering their curiosity to withdraw them from their occupation. However that may be, as there were several gentlemen expected at the abbey, and (to (to use the language of the Stock Exchange) as gentlemen at that time bore a premium near Exeter, the honourable Miss Delmont (without a spark of curiosity herself) demanded of her woman, as she came from the window, who or what the new arrival consisted of? “Oh, such a handsome man, Miss Charlotte” replied the maid. o, “But who is he?” demanded Miss Delmont. “Lord, Miss, I cannot tell you,” replied the other, “for I never saw him in all my life before, and so I don't know.” ... Now it so happened that the only persón in the house who did know at that moment, was the servant to whom the stranger had given his name, who transmitted it to another, who, ushering him through a long suite of apartments, at length threw open the door of lady Delmont's boudoir, announcing lord Burton. - “Lord Burton!” exclaimed lady Delmont, rising from the sofa with a sweet - and

and gracious smile, “it is impossible! there can be no such pleasure in store for me! But indeed it is true,” she added, advancing towards him. “My dear lord Burton, what a time it is since we last met !” “It is some time indeed, lady Delmont,” replied lord Burton, “far longer than I could have wished it. I should make some apology for taking you without warning, but my stay in England will be too short to admit of ceremonies, and much wishing to have the pleasure of seeing you, I have calculated upon your hospitality for a few days.” “ “To me and mine you must always be welcome,” replied the lady, “and indeed I take your visit as the highest compliment; your presence will spread life and delight through our circle—you will be the star of our horizon.” - • ? Lord Burton bowed, with a stiffness that shewed he felt her ladyship's compliments rather overcharged, and then turned the conversation, by inquiring for dif. o: ferent ferent branches of her family; after which, and a few other common-place topics with which lady Delmont contrived to mingle a great many flattering civilities, lord Burton was conducted to his apartment, in order that he might dress for dinner. His toilet did not cost him much time, and on descending to the drawing-room, he found a large party, principally composed of ladies, who had been kept in suspense as to the name of the visitor, by lady Delmont, and were in consequence all anxious for his appearance. “Frederic!” exclaimed lady Jane Evelyn, as soon as she saw him, “is it possible? I did not expect to meet my absentee cousin here, of all persons in the world. But how long have you been in England?—Where do you come from ?— Where are you going?—And lastly, how do you do? and now answer all my questions in a breath, or I shall ask you as many more, for since you have seen me, or written to me, I have had plenty of

« AnteriorContinuar »