Imágenes de páginas

burthen to her beggared father. It were wasting the few moments which yet remain to save her, to detail how concurring circumstances made her appear guilty of the crime with which she was charged. Suffice it to say, that my boy, after having risen to the rank of lieutenant, and distinguished himself in the cause of his country, returned a few days ago to find his father ruined, and his sister a condemned prisoner in a dungeon of Newgate. You, my lord, knew her uncle; you know the principles in which she was educated, and you cannot doubt that she is guiltless."

" But tell me,” exclaimed Frederic, “ have you any proofs of her innocence ? for if so, I will go instantly to the minister for the home department, and if I fail there, I will throw myself at the feet of the king himself. I know my sovereign's heart; I know how feeling, how benevolent it is, and if I can give him any plea for mercy, he will not fail to shew it. But I must have something to go upon. Can you furnish me with such ?”

« I can, I can," replied Mr. Travers, “ I can give you the most irrefragable proofs of her complete innocence. These papers," continued he, giving lord Burton a packet, “ are the attestation of the lady and gentleman who gave her the notes, and who, from the circumstances stated here, could not give their personal evidence, nor forward the particulars before. They are sworn before a magistrate. But, my lord, there is no time to be lost.”

“I will go about it instantly,” replied lord Burton.-“ Charles,” continued he, to Mr. Melville, who had quitted the room for a moment, and now returned, “ will you order the carriage to come up instantly ?"

“I have done so," replied Charles, with a smile. “I knew you would want it.”

In the time intervening before the arrival of the carriage, lord Burton withdrew to inform lady Anne and Mary of the cause which called him away; and during his absence, Charles, who remained with Mr. Travers, suggested that it might be better not to let Miss Travers know the steps which were taken in her behalf, for fear of any disappointment.


“She has not the least idea of this application,” replied Mr. Travers. « Hope is always too fallacious."

The carriage was soon brought to the door, and Charles proposed to accompany his cousin; while Mr. Travers returned to the gloomy abode in which he had left his child : but just as Charles was getting into the vehicle, the old man gave him another paper, which in his first agitation he had forgot.

A few minutes brought lord Burton and his cousin to their destination; but here they were told that the minister was engaged.

“ Well, then I will write a note,” replied Frederic, " and wait for an answer ; my business cannot be delayed.”


They were now shewn into a library, where lord Burton wrote a short note to lord — , enclosing the papers; and in a few minutes after the servant had taken in the packet, they were joined by the minister himself.

“ My lord,” said he, on entering, “I have been already applied to on this subject, and am sorry I must repeat that I cannot interfere.”

“ Then, sir, I must appeal to his majesty,” answered Frederic decidedly ; " for, if I understand rightly, the young lady's innocence is completely proved by the papers you hold in your hand.”

“ You will do as you please, my lord," replied the minister; “ and so far am I satisfied, that I will not oppose your application; and indeed were all the circumstances accounted for by these papers, I would go with you to his majesty myself, although the hour is so unseasonable; but here is one suspicious circumstance I cannot get over."


The paper which Mr. Travers had given him as he got into the carriage now occurred to Charles's mind, and he presented it to lord , who looked it over with · his own peculiar quickness." That will do,” cried he ; " that will do. This is satisfactory. Family pride indeed! Yes, it has nearly got them into a pretty scrape. Come, my lord—is your carriage here? I will go with you to the palace directly."

Lord Burton much wished, in going, to speak to the minister on the subject of the application he was about to make; but that nobleman happening to remember Mr. Melville, with whose father he was intimate, continued to speak of nothing but sir Charles and his connexions till their arrival at the palace, and here the two peers were immediately admitted to the royal presence, while Charles waited their return in the carriage.

Lord Burton had not calculated wrongly on the benevolence of his monarch's heart, and the young nobleman scarcely obtained



« AnteriorContinuar »