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momentary expectation of her husband's arrival. How often did the tears fill her eyes as she read its contents ! “Poor dear Emily !-but she cannot, must not, be so ill as she fancies. • Will you not come tomorrow?' Does she think I could hesitate ?"
Hastily turning from the untasted breakfast, she rang for the carriage : “Let them be as quick as possible. Never had she been so impatient: three times was the bell rung to know if it were ready. Luckily, she recollected that she must leave some reason for her absence, as Lord Mandeville was expected every moment. She scarcely liked to trust a message with the servants—a note would be more satisfactory. So down she sat, and wrote:
“I am sure you will rejoice to learn that Emily is even now at Arundel House. I know nothing of the whys and wherefores : but she is so anxious to see me, that I have gone thither at once. Do you follow me.
Rejoicing at Emily's arrival—a very natural curiosity to hear how it had happened-an anxiety she was unwilling to allow even to herself about her health, occupied Lady Mandeville fully during her drive. The bright sun, the sweet free air, brought their own joyousness with them; all nature seemed too glad for sorrow. Lady Mandeville took the sunshine for an omen; and she sprang from the carriage with a step to which her hopes gave their own lightness, and in a moment more was in the room where Beatrice was watching her young companion.
The feverish flush with which the pleasure of seeing Lady Mandeville had crimsoned Emily's face, soon passed, and she sank back exhausted; while the slight attention she could bestow was again rivetted on the little watch. Lady Mandeville's eyes kept filling with tears as she gazed upon
her: she was altered beyond any thing she had even feared. Her position, too, gave the full effect of contrast. She was seated in a low oldfashioned arm chair, directly below a portrait of herself, that had been taken just before her first visit to London. It had been painted after a fancy of her uncle's; and she was seated in the same old arm chair, and nearly in the same attitude as now: but
there the likeness ended. In the picture, health colored the loveliness of youth :
The laughing mouth
A volume of fairy tales had fallen from her hand; but her head was evidently still filled with their fanciful creations, for the bright eyes were raised as if following in the air some rainbow touched creation of their own. A profusion of glossy curls, auburn dashed with gold, seemed dancing over her face and neck; and whosoever had looked on that countenance, and sought to read in it an augury of its future, would have said, in the beautiful words of Scripture, “ Thy ways shall be ways of pleasantness, and all thy paths peace.”
Beneath sat the original, her pale lips apart, as if to draw the heavy breath were a task of weariness. The outline of the features had utterly lost its roundness, and would have been harsh but for its exceeding delicacy. The dull white of the skin was only relieved by the blue veins, which, singularly azure and transparent, seemed unnaturally conspicuous. The eyes were strangely large and bright, and much lighter than those in the picture.
But what struck Lady Mandeville the most, was the extreme youthfulness of Emily's appearance: she looked only like a sick child. With the restlessness so common to invalids, which fancies that any change must be relief, she had pushed away her cap, till, in the many alterations of position, it had entirely fallen back, and showed her head, from which the ringlets had all been so lately shorn; the hair had, however, grown rapidly, and it. lay in the short, thick, waving curls of early childhood.
With the hope of relieving her oppression, the windows had all been thrown up. As if a sudden thought struck her, Emily rose, and, with Beatrice's aid, walked to the one which opened by some garden steps.
" So much for auguries,” said Emily, pointing to a young geranium, which was growing in vigor below. “The day before I left home, I planted that slip, and, in idea, linked my futurity with the slight shrub, saying, If it flourishes, so shall (-if it dies, I shall die too. See how luxuriantly it blooms !"
Neither of her friends spoke: the words of encouragement, of its being a good omen, died on Lady Mandeville's lips; and Beatrice led her back to the chair, finding no voice to urge the quiet she recommended by signs.
“It is twelve o'clock !” exclaimed Emily; and at the same moment the church clock struck. The wind, which was setting towards the house, brought the hours slowly and distinctly. She counted them as they struck; and then, breathless with mingled weakness and eagerness, unfolded the scroll she had written the night before.
" I see your father and Mr. Morton in the garden; just call them in, Beatrice. I am of age now-I want them to witness my signature.”
They came in, and, almost without assistance, Emily wrote her name : the fine clear characters were singularly steady. “ It is needless for you to read this paper. I believe all that is necessary is for you to witness my signature.” The two gentlemen subscribed it, and Emily took and refolded the paper ; but her hand no trembled violently. “I consign it to your care, Mr. Morton," said she, in a voice almost inaudible.
As she was giving the packet, suddenly her whole frame seemed convulsed with violent agitation. A bright crimson flooded her face and neck, nay even her hand, from which, as she eagerly extended it, the scroll fell on the table. "My God! it is his step!” The door opened, and in came Lord Mandeville and Edward Lorraine. The latter caught sight of Beatrice; and, with an exclamation of wonder, advanced towards her. Emily made an effort to rise, but reeled, and fell with her head on Beatrice's shoulder. The unconscious Edward hastily supported her. She raised herself for a moment-gave one eager look towards him-a frightful convulsion passed over her features; it was very transitory—for before Beatrice, who sprang from her side to reach some essence from the table, had returned with it, her face was set in the fixed calm and the pale hues of death,
THE LAST CHAPTER.
“O, Jupiter ! how weary are my spirits !"
The winding up of a novel is like winding up a skain of silk, or casting up a sum—all the ends must be made neat, all the numbers accounted for, at last. Luckily, in the closing chapter a little explanation goes a great way; and a character, like a rule of morality, may be dismissed in a sentence.
Cecil Spenser married his cousin, Helen Moreland : it was very satisfactory to find somebody who looked up to him entirely. He repaired the beautiful old abbey, which his father had allowed to go to ruin—built a library and a picture gallery-threw open his preserves—refused to stand for the county—and if not happy, believed he was, and in such a case belief is as good as reality. He practiced what Lord Mandeville theorised, who, in despite of his convictions of the excellence and happiness of those who are
" Home dwellers on their father's land,'' accepted a foreign embassy to one of the most brilliant of the European courts, but where Lady Mandeville was the most brilliant and the most beautiful.
There is a very accurate remark of Crowe's, which says, “ the English rather desire to extract a moral than a truth from experience.” I must own they do dearly delight in a judgment; and sorry am I that I cannot gratify this laudable propensity, by specifying some peculiar evil incurred by Mr. Delawarr's ambition, or Lady Etheringhame's vanity.
Adelaide neither lost her life by eating ice when warm with dancing, nor her features by the small pox, the usual destiny of vain creatures in the days of moral essays: she went on, like Lady Macbeth,
"For I can smile, and murder while I smile,"
till the rose and the ringlet became alike artificial; and she was left to that “winter of discontent,” which shared its reproaches between the maid who could no longer make, and the mirror that could no longer reflect, a beauty.
Mr. Delawarr's life was spent in debates and dinners. Once, for a few weeks, he was in the opposition-caught cold, and decided that such a position was equally bad for his own and his country's constitution-resumed, and never after resigned his post under government. He died the first and last Earl of Delawarr.
Mrs. Francis Boyne Sillery played cards to an interminable old age; and her youthful husband died, five years after their marriage, of the jaundice. There were some on dits afloat respecting a third marriage with a "certain young writer," whose hymns had converted every old lady in Bath ; but it never took place.
The respectable family of the Higgs's got on amazingly well in the world : the sons, as their mother was wont exultingly to state, were quite gentlemen, and spent a power of money on their clothes. The countess, as in their own circle she was invariably called, used always to choose for her favorite topics the uncertainty of worldly distinctions—the horrors of a revolution and the melancholy situation of a nobleman in a foreign land, where he was forced to abandon his natural sphere, and had only his own consciousness of high birth to sustain him. Signor Giulio rose marvellously in Mr. Higgs's esteem; for, to his wife's dismay and his father in law's delight, he set up a manufactory of macaroni, which answered so well, that Mr. Higgs used to rub his hands with great glee, and be very grateful to Providence, who had made even a foreigner turn out so well ; taking, however, to himself a due share of credit for the benefit his advice had been, as well as for the credit obtained by an alliance with such a 'sponsible family as that of the Higgs's. “I never gave him no credit for nothing because of his mustachers—but, Lord! he knows a good ha 'penny from a bad ’un as well as me."
We regret to state that Miss Carry went on to fortyfive, falling, and being crossed in love. By the by, as she never got married, a fine moral lesson might be drawn from her fate, touching the inexpediency of too many attachments. At last she took to a blonde
with roses, and a flaxen wig; became suddenly faithful to her first love, or rather to his memory; and retired with her blighted af