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ger there, ought to have convinced me at once. But the worst part of my tale is to come;” and he entered upon the history of the baroness, without giving her name. “Hush, hush, Charles!” exclaimed Mary, before he had got half through it; “do not let me hear any more; I forgive you all freely, and now let us return to the house, for Frederic will think I am lost—and I am tired; a good deal has happened to agitate me this morning.” Charles guessed, and guessed rightly, that she alluded to the rejection she had been obliged to give to the young nobleman he had seen with her in the morning; but he asked no questions, and turned slowly towards the house, willing to prolong the moments as much as possible. As they approached, they saw lord Burton descending the steps which led into the garden where they were. Mary clung to Charles's arm for support. Ever before that time she had quitted him to fly to her brother; but now every feeling of

of reserve had vanished; she was his, and seemed to hang upon him for aid in the approaching explanation. These are the mute signs of confidence that tell the inmost feelings of the heart, and Mary could never have spoken so directly to Charles's fondest hopes, as by the unhesitating reliance with which she leaned upon him at that moment. It has been said before, lord Burton was one of those men that seemed to comprehend instinctively; he gave a glance at Mary, whose cheek was blushing like a summer sunset, another at Charles's countenance, which, sparkling with all the hopes of youth, told the plenitude of his happiness, and holding out a hand to each—“I wish you joy,” said he, “from the bottom of my heart, I wish you joy.” Charles was now satisfied; for when once sure of Mary's affection, his only doubt had been whether his suit would have the approbation of lord Burton; but the

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the warmth of Frederic's manner dispelled all his fears. Lady Anne Milsome was soon informed of what had taken place; nor was her full approval less readily given than had been lord Burton's, only her delight was more warmly expressed, and she declared that it was the most fortunate thing that had ever happened, that they should come to Italy just at that moment. Charles put her in mind of the misadventures on the road, the robbers in the Apennines, &c. declaring that they had been his best friends in Italy. “Well, well, Charles,” said lady Anne, “I won't call them any friends of mine,” and she shuddered at the bare recollection; “but, no doubt, like every thing else which occurs to us in this world, it was all for the best. Through a long life, I have always found that what I considered a great misfortune at one time of my existence, has proved, by its consequences, voL. II. K . a Proa Providence—either an actual blessing, or an escape from evil.” Charles looked at Mary, and his mind wandering back over the incidents lately passed, acknowledged the practical justice of lady Anne's observation. When any casual circumstance recalls our thoughts to scenes passed by, our remembrance strays amidst the feelings and objects of those days, the hopes and pleasures which were then bright, but have long lost all the lustre and animation of young existence, and traces them all, like some traveller, who, returning to the home of his fathers, the dwelling of his early years, and finding nothing but desolation to welcome him, fondly pauses on the spot where it has been, views the neglected ruins and altered fabric, and fills up the blanks that time has made, with all those objects that memory still holds dear. Such, however, was not the case with Charles; he looked at Mary, while he thought of other times; and he - - thanked

thanked his stars that his own obstinate blindness had not been suffered to place an insurmountable barrier between them. He could, nevertheless, scarcely yet trust that his happiness would be durable; and he took care, in the first place, to make an agreement with all parties, that they were to travel through Italy without any separation; and stipulated with Mary, that she was to give him her hand immediately on their return to England. Mary promised she would do so; nor was any objection made by lord Burton, towards whom Charles had now no reserve. The melancholy which he had observed in Wilmot was now fully accounted for. The death of colonel Stanhope still hung on Frederic's mind, and would often overshadow him. Charles could now well enter into the admiration which all those who knew him bore towards his cousin; and though he could scarcely agree with Mary, that he was hardly fallible, or, with lady Anne, K 2 look

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