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spect towards captain Malcolm. But the mischief was already done on both sides; he was more attached to her than she thought, and she was more attached to him than she would allow. She had not, however, been long in London, before captain Malcolm found it necessary to be there also, and their intimacy recommenced in full force. The course of it, however, was interrupted for a time, by the news of lady Mary Burton's being suddenly attacked by a violent fever, and that lady Anne had found it necessary to send for two physicians from London. Lady Jane was sincerely attached to her "
cousin; their tempers and minds assimilated in many points, and she looked upon her much more as a sister than , she did upon lady Cecilia. The first tidings which were conveyed to her suddenly shocked lady Jane not a little, and she proposed immediately to go down to her cousin herself.
“But the fever,” said lady Cecilia; “it is most likely contagious.” “Oh, I am not afraid,” answered lady Jane; “I shall not catch it, I am sure.” But however, lord Ainsfield for several days opposed her going, and consented to it at last with great reluctance, upon finding her bent on doing so. On her arrival, she found lady Mary considerably better—in fact, out of danger. But fully appreciating the kindness of her coming, Mary exerted herself to appear more cheerful than she really was; for of late, even before her illness, she had lost much of her good spirits, and a violent fever, which had left her very weak, could not be supposed to have raised them. “Well, my beautiful Mary,” said lady Jane, the first day her cousin could come down to the drawing-room, “and so you are perfectly contented to live here all your life, in a state of society, a degree worse than solitude, surrounded by empty fields and country squires, like a fair saint 1In
in a hermitage, with heaps of ugly shapes about her?” “And why should I not be contented,” replied Mary, “when I have nothing to make me unhappy—with an aunt that loves me as if I was her daughter, and every earthly thing that I could wish for?” “And have you really nothing to make you unhappy?” demanded lady Jane, with a look between playful raillery and feeling. “Well I know,” added she, in a rambling way, “that happiness is all imaginative. There is some man who wrote to prove that this earth, and all that it inhabit, are little better than an idea, a mere kind of supposition, of a world; and I verily believe he was right. There is captain Malcolm, a very charming idea, and you a very dear idea, and Burton a very fine idea, and Cecilia a very stiff idea, and papa a very grand idea; and, amongst all the rest, there is that very sweet idea, Louisa Stanhope—Mary, were you ever in love?” A - Lady Lady Mary started at the abruptness of her question, and a warm, soft blush rose quickly in her cheek, that sickness had made pale. “Yes, you are the cunningest little creature I know, Mary,” continued lady Jane, “and I dare say you think you have hid it all from me; but a woman must be cunning indeed to deceive a woman. Well, I won't tease you, but you might have been more frank.” “Jane! Jane!” said lady Mary, “how can you go on in such a strange way? I really do not know what you mean.” “All I wanted to know was, if you had ever been in love,” continued her cousin; “for if you ever have been in that state of insanity, tell me if blushing, when we hear a name mentioned that we never mention ourselves, listening eagerly to hear every thing that is said about that name, and pretending not to listen at all, drawing a deep sigh whenever we have been thinking for five minutes 22 “Well,” “Well,” said lady Mary, perceiving that her cousin paused, “and what then, Jane?” “Tell me then if all these,” continued lady Jane, are not several and particular signs of that passion, as it is called, (though, by the way, I find being in love very dif. ferent from being in a passion;) and if they are, then I will tell you in return, that Louisa Stanhope is in love, and in love with your brother.” “Indeed!” said lady Mary, thoughtfully; “but what makes you think that, Jane? you are sometimes too hasty in your conclusions.” “I have seen her a great deal lately,” answered lady Jane; “she has left lady Delmont, you know. Indeed it was impossible to bear with her rudeness and ill temper. When she found Miss Stanhope was really going, she entreated her to stay, and accompany them all to Switzerland; but Louisa had made up her mind, and not having found one soul in the house to whom she could feel any attachWOL. II. C ment,