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pily, till some farther preferment makes it no longer worth retaining."
Caroline Melville was the only person that remained silent; and it was not that she was the person least interested in the young clergy man's promotion, but there was an indescribable feeling at her heart, that she felt fearful might mingle with whatever her lips uttered; and she could scarcely prevail upon herself to ask at length to whose influencé he owed it.
“ To one,” he replied, " to whom I already am much indebted-eyour cousin, lord Burton. His name was not at all mentioned; but I was sure from whence it came, and I wrote to him."
** And what did he answer?" asked lady Jane.
“ I shall put a great máný questions to you before I have done, Mr. Malden."
" Oh, he replied with his usual frankness," answered the other. think me ungrateful, but to tell the truth, I think Frederic did wrong in soliciting
“ You may
this for so young a man, when there are a number of others, by long and ardent attention to their duties, much better entitled to advancement."
“I don't think that at all," answered sir Charles ; " a thing cannot be given to every one; and though there may be many men worthy of it, none could be more so than yourself, I am sure. Besides, how did Burton know that it might not be given to some fellow that would not do it half the justice that you would ?”
* But come and sit down by me here, Mr. Malden,” said lady Jane; "you will have time enough to be complimented by sir Charles, and to hear all the pretty things Caroline is treasuring up in her own mind to say, when I am gone; but I have a thousand questions to ask you, and not five minutes to stop."
Sir Charles called her à saucy girl, Caroline blushed, and Mr. Malden quietly took the seat she called him to. “Well now, in the first place,” said lady F 6
Jane, “ did you make those inquiries I begged you would about the people in Portman-square, with whom Miss Stanhope resides ? for I called on her yesterday, and from some circumstances she has observed, she begins to be uneasy at her situation."
“ I obeyed your ladyship’s commands before I left town,” answered Malden, " and I am sorry to inform you that the report I have to make is not very favourable. I am assured, on good authority, that the master of the house games deeply, and whence his resources flow does not at all appear, nor can I trace his family or connexions; but at the same time, they are certainly visited by people of the best society.”
“Oh yes, so she tells me,” said lady Jane; " but there are people in the best society that would visit any one that lives in good style, and gives large parties. Besides, gaming is no vice amongst us nobles of the land. But tell me,” conti
nued she, “ when you wrote, did you
inform Frederic you had seen her at our house?”
"I did,” answered doctor Malden, "and also told him the circumstances I have just mentioned.”
“ And I hope you told him what you thought of her,” said lady Jane; “ if you did not praise her highly, I do not know what I should say to you."
Oh, then you have seen this beautiful Miss Stanhope,” said Caroline; “ Jane is always speaking of her. Pray, Mr. Malden, give us a description of her.”
“ I must own,” replied he with a smile, “that I have seldom seen so much beauty, so much elegance, and so much unassuming gentleness, united in one person.' *: “ I think you seem to have been quite struck, Mr. Malden,” said Caroline, with something of gravity in her look.
“Oh, I am quite safe there at least,”. answered the clergyman:-“but lord Burton replied to that part of my letter parti
eularly, lady Jane, and desired me to transmit, a message to you, which I shall take the first opportunity of doing. In the mean time, if I might advise, you would inform Miss Stanhope of what I have heard concerning the family with whom she lives."
“I do not think I shall be able to persuade her to leave them," answered the young lady; " for there are some very sweet children, and Louisa has become much attached to them.”
" I hope that amiable trait will not prove to her disadvantage,” answered Mr. Malden; “but I fear that it may, for no one can tell where the evil of bad acquaintances will stop.”
"Surely,” said lady Jane, with some degree of warmth, “
you do not suppose for a moment that her heart or disposition can suffer by any acquaintance! No, believe me, Mr. Malden, she is far above any contamination." “I have not a doubt of it,” he replied ;