Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

whom I never can be sufficiently grateful, for his conduct while travelling with me; and should he accompany Charles to the Continent, as you wish, I am sure he will fulfil your highest expectations. It is now nearly ten years since I had the pleasure of seeing you; I was then very young; but, believe me, the regard I then entertained for you and yours, remains unaltered. I need not say how happy I shall be to see Charles in Paris, and point out to him all that is worth seeing here. To my remembrance he is only a white-headed, high-spirited boy of ten years old : I shall find a great difference in him-almost as great as you would find in me, which is great indeed.

“ The melancholy circumstance which occurred immediately on my last setting my foot on English ground, still remains upon my mind, and makes the sight of my native land sorrowful to me; and the society of a lighter and gayer nation is necessary to repress thoughts that will

but

but too often obtrude themselves as it is. It was that event alone which prevented me from then visiting you: but you who know the whole will make my excuse yourself; and believe me, with kindest wishes to your son and daughter,

“ Yours sincerely,

.“ FREDERIC BURTON.”

While sir Charles Melville was engaged in reading this epistle, lady Mary Burton was as deeply employed with that he had handed to her, and perhaps as much, though more silently, affected by it. The colour came and went rapidly in her cheek, and a deep, involuntary sigh struggled from her lips, as she read the last lines.

“ Well, Mary,” exclaimed sir Charles, “ it is from your brother-it is from lord Burton, is it not ?"

“ Yes,” replied she, calmly. “Frederic says, that he thinks I had better pay my

aunt

aunt Anne a visit for a month or two, or she may think I neglect her.”

A slight cloud passed over the brow of Charles Melville.

“ I thought so, I thought so,” cried his father; “ I am no longer worthy of confi. dence, I suppose; but wherever you go, Mary, I shall always love you, at least as a father. You will go of course, Mary : lord Burton is your guardian, you know, and we must not dispute his lordship's commands.”

“Oh, my dear uncle, you mistake Frederic entirely,” replied lady Mary ; “ indeed you do; he has not an idea of hurting your feelings, believe me. Besides, consider, I have been with you a year and a half, and never been a week with my aunt since I was in France with Jane and Cecilia Evelyn. Frederic does not command either; he only expresses a wish, but his wishes are always right, and they must always be a rule for me to go by.” « Oh yes, Mary," replied sir Charles,

“your

VO

“ your brother is perfect in your eyes, I know, and I should not wish it otherwise. I am a man of the old school, it is true, but I find that bob-tailed wigs and goldlaced hats are not more completely different from the fashions of the present day, than the modern ideas of propriety, not to speak of friendship, are from the politeness within my memory—that is all. But I am glad you are going to lady Anne Milsome, however; she is a good woman, and loves you as her child.” · “ And when do you propose to depart, Mary?” demanded Charles Melville.

“ I have not quite determined, Charles,” replied Mary; “ I think the day after tomorrow.”

" So soon !” exclaimed he. '" So soon!" echoed Caroline; “ you are joking, Mary.” · Mary shook her head with a smile.. “I do not know precisely as to a day,” replied she; “ but somewhere about that time I think.” . .... i

On

On the third day lady Mary put her resolution into effect, and quitted the seat of sir Charles Melville, for the mansion of her aunt, lady Anne Milsome, near Ilfracombe. Caroline Melville took leave of her with tears. Sir Charles fidgeted about with a feeling of irritation and disappointment, but squeezed her hand tightly, and kissed her twice over before he would let her get into the carriage. Charles Melville's brow had been cloudy all the morning, but he shook hands with her warmly and frankly.—“ God bless you, Mary!" he said; “ perhaps we shall not meet again before I go abroad. I think you might have staid till I was gone.”

Mary replied something, in a low voice, about her brother's wish, and the door of the carriage being closed, she was soon borne away from the sight of her relations, while a tear or two stole slowly down her cheek, that she had before repressed. In the meanwhile Charles went to

walk

Posed.

« AnteriorContinuar »