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death, and almost reeling as he stood, “ Stanhope!” but making a strong effort, he seemed to overcome some painful feeling, and turned to look for his companion, but she was gone. He remained a moment in deep thought, with his brow bent, and his eyes fixed upon the ground—“ It cannot be !" cried he, at length; "and if it were so, what is it to me? I am neither mad, nor a fool, nor in love;" and with a slow step he walked into the inn.
The man of wealth and pride
STURFORD Abbey was as unlike an abbey, according to the old monkish fashion of building them, with high arched windows, and every thing that could give them an air of Gothic solemnity and grandeur, as it is possible to conceive; on the contrary, every thing had been done to give it an air of luxury, if not comfort-of ostentation, if not beauty; and lady Delmont, its proud mistress, if she did not, like the sun, give light to all around, at least possessed, in
common with that luminous gentleman, the talent of shining on all beneath her.
It was about an hour before dinner-time, on the day after that which closed the events of the last chapter, when a carriage and four (the same which had broken down near Wincanton, but had now received the addition of a new axletree) drove down the tortuous road leading through the woods that surrounded the abbey, and came up with what the postilions considered a most masterly dash to the principal entrance of the mansion.
As this event took place, the heads of several abigails happened to be projected from various windows, which gave light to the dressing-rooms of many of the fair inhabitants of the house, who had no doubt at that moment retired to dress for dinner, and who it is to be supposed scolded their maids severely for suffering their curiosity to withdraw them from their occupation. However that may be, as there were several gentlemen expected at the abbey, and
(to use the language of the Stock Exchange) as gentlemen at that time bore a premium near Exeter, the honourable Miss Delmont (without a spark of curiosity herself) demanded of her woman, as she came from the window, who or what the new arrival consisted of ?
** Oh, such a handsome man, Miss Charlotte!" replied the maid.
“ But who is he?" demanded Miss Del. mont.
" Lord, Miss, I cannot tell you," replied the other, “ for I never saw him in all my life before, and so I don't know.” --Now it so happened that the only person in the house who did know at that moment, was the servant to whom the stranger had given his name, who transmitted it to another, who, ushering him through a long suite of apartments, at length threw open the door of lady Delmont's boudoir, announcing lord Burton.
* Lord Burton!” exclaimed lady Del. mont, rising from the sofa with a sweet
and gracious smile, “it is impossible ! there can be no such pleasure in store for me! But indeed it is true,” she added, advancing towards him. “My dear lord Bur. ton, what a time it is since we last met !”
It is some time indeed, lady Delmont,” replied lord Burton, “ far longer than I could have wished it. I should make some apology for taking you without warning, but my stay in England will be too short to admit of ceremonies, and much wishing to have the pleasure of seeing you, I have calculated upon your hospitality for a few days."
“ To me and mine you must always be welcome,” replied the lady," and indeed I take your visit as the highest compliment; your presence will spread life and delight through our circle-you will be the star of our horizon.”
Lord Burton bowed, with a stiffness that shewed he felt her ladyship’s compliments rather overcharged, and then turned the conversation, by inquiring for dif