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BURT O N.

CHAPTER I.

The flighty purpose never is o'ertook
Unless the deed go with it: from this moment
The very firstlings of my heart shall be
The firstlings of my hand.

Macbeth.

The Departures. CHARLES's imagination was pretty busily employed till he fell asleep, in revolving the conduct of the unaccountable but persevering enemy, whom he seemed now to have in his power; and conjecture (one of the most fruitless efforts of the mind) was employed vainly in endeavouring to solve the mystery of his long and indefatigable persecution.

The

VOL. III.

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The fatigue which he had gone through soon brought sleep upon his eyes, which did not leave him till long after he had intended to rise the next morning; and awaking, not a little angry with himself, for his laziness, he hurried on his cloaths, and without joining the party at breakfast, proceeded to the lodgings of sir Philip Mason, where, to his surprise and disappointment, he was informed that the baronet had already departed for Palermo. Sleep, that "knits up the raveld sleeve of care," had not been so propitious to the disappointed lover as it had been to Charles; and sir Philip, rising with the dawn from his bed of uneasy thoughts, had quitted the city, where his happiness had been sacrificed for ever.

Mr. Melville's next inquiry was for the wounded man; and one of the servants who had been left to follow with the baggage, conducted Charles to the room where he had been bestowed the night before. It was an apartment detached from the rest

of

of those which had been occupied by sir Philip; and on approaching, Charles perceived that the door was open: on entering, the consequence was apparent-the room was empty, and the man gone. Charles turned round to the servant in anger and astonishment. The man declared his ignorance of what had become of him, and appeared equally surprised; every other inhabitant of the house was called, but all declared that since the surgeon had been there the night before, they had neither seen or thought of the wounded person. Sir Philip's English servant especially declared that his master had been in such a state of mind, after the receipt of a letter which he had delivered to him himself, in that very room, that he had quite forgotten every thing else.

Charles rightly concluded that this was the letter from signora Mori, which had so disturbed sir Philip. But remembering the serious wound the man had received, and the great quantity of blood he had

lost,

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lost, he felt assured that he could not have gone very far without assistance. He accordingly caused the house to be searched minutely, and inquiries to be instituted in the neighbourhood; but all proved abortive—and sitting down, he wrote a note to the baronet at Palermo, desiring to know if he had suffered their prisoner to escape; after which he was obliged to return home disappointed and unsatisfied. He had hitherto merely informed lord Burton and Mary, that his friend sir Philip had been attacked in returning home, and had shot his assailant, without telling them that he had at all recognised him; and be now thought it would be of no use to do so, as it might alarm Mary, who already entertained a kind of superstitious dread of this unceasing persecutor; but at the same time he resolved never to quit his cousin, when he could help it, and always to be upon his guard to defend her and punish the other, should he ever recover from his present wound, and again

make

make his appearance. This, however, he conceived unlikely; for the hurt he had received did not appear to be one of a trifling nature. In removing him, he had seemed so weak, that he could not stand or move without support; and Charles was naturally inclined to suspect that some of sir Philip's servants, taking advantage of their master's agitated state of mind, had assisted the brigand to a place of safety

On arriving at home, a note was put into his hands, which the baronet had sent previous to his quitting Naples, but which had not reached their house when Charles set out in the morning. It only contained these words:

“6 DEAR MELVILLE,

Accept my sincere thanks for all the kindness you have shewn to such a wretch as I am. Call on count Mori, and express my sentiments-you know what B 3

they

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