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plied she; " they were only tyrants sometimes; as for Cupid, I never knew him do any thing but mischief at any time. But come, Frederic, though you are a bachelor, I suppose you have some women in the house, who can shew us our apartments.”
" Oh yes, indeed,” answered lady Mary for her brother; " he has got all my
father's old servants about him; and I can assure you there is good Mrs. Knaggs, the housekeeper, knows perfectly well how to rule my lord Burton with most arbitrary sway."
“ You know she is my prime minister," said her brother, ringing the bell; “ and all kings are governed by their prime ministers; so I only follow the general rule.”
The day passed happily over, and the sight of Mary in so much better health than he expected, had such an effect on lord Burton, that he was not only cheerful but lively. Lady Mary gazed upon him with delight, and thought of the days within her memory, ere a cloud or shade
had come over that adored brother; and lady Anne Milsome, also tracing strongly in her nephew the features of his father, called to mind many happy moments, which, like flowers, had dropped, one by one, upon the stream of time, and now could only be seen floating upon the dark waves in the distance, soon to be borne away for ever from her sight.
The next morning, however, lord Burton appeared to have relapsed into his usual gravity of manner, and there seemed to be also some additional uncomfort weighing on his mind, which was at length explained, by his informing them that he should be obliged to leave them again next day.
Lady Anne Milsome seemed surprised, and Mary, though perhaps she felt so too, did not suffer it to appear, only saying, with her usual gentleness, that she was sorry they were to part so soon.
" It will not be for long, Mary,” answered lord Burton; “ for should
be inclined to return to England within two or three months, I do not know but that I may join you in Italy.”
“Oh, that would be delightful indeed, Frederic !” answered lady Mary, her eyes beaming with pleasure at the idea.
“ And perhaps I may bring a friend of “ for whom I shall endeavour to procure a favourable reception; so take care you get all your best looks in store, for who knows what may happen, Mary? you may make a conquest, you know.”
“ Who knows indeed!” replied Mary, laughing; “but I hope this friend of yours is very handsome, &c. &c;"
Oh, very handsome indeed!” he answered; “ quite an Adonis. But to speak upon another subject as you are likely to stay a week or more in Paris after I am gone, I will make you my little almoner, and I therefore give you power and direction to break open all the letters that come here in my absence, and do what you
pay a visit
think best. But consult with my aunt, and do not let yourself be taken in; for, remember, what is given to the unworthy is so much withheld from the deserving. And I want
also to go and to a gentleman for me.”
“ That is an extraordinary task, Frederic,” replied his sister; “pray who may it be ?"
“ It is my old philosopher," replied lord Burton;" you have heard me speak of him, and know where he lives; and he would take it the very highest compliment would
and see him." “Oh, that I will !" answered lady Mary; “ but how is he, Frederic? Tell my aunt too his history she has never heard it.”
“ I have not been able to see him since I came to Paris," answered her brother; " but I understand, what between age and sorrow, his health is very much broken; ; he is considerably above eighty. His history is not a very singular one, I am sorry to say," continued he, turning to D 6
lady Anne: "he was a man of some property in England, of an enthusiastic turn of mind, and literary pursuits, both of which combined to ruin him : the last made him neglect his own interest, and the first sacrifice himself for the interest of others. He had one child too, who left him to his sorrows, and has never been heard of since. With impaired fortune, and disgusted with the world, my philosopher came to France, and placed the greater part of what yet remained of his property in the hands of a banker, who; at the moment he received it, knew bimself to be on the eve of failure. The consequence was, he lost almost the whole: I happened also to be a sufferer by the same man, and was at the banking-house when the news was communicated to him. He would not let his distress be seen in his countenance, for he thought it a weakness; but I read it for all that, and contrived to make acquaintance with him. At first he rejected my advances; but, at