« ForrigeFortsæt »
which lighted me to Glandullogh fell upon me, whose fair fame, nor spot, nor stain, had dark. ened; but oh! one short hour saw the victim of love, with trembling step and anguished eye, seeking that home which in purity she had left, to mourn in night and solitude the wreck of mental peace and virgin honour.”
Alice More paused-her lip faltered—her face grew ashy pale.
“ One struggle more, and the tale of sin and sorrow is disclosed to the last human ear which shall ever listen to it! William O'Hara wrote to me early next morning; if any thing could have calmed the agony of my remorse, the fondness of that effusion might have done it. He promised to provide a priest, and have our marriage solemnized that night, and we met again at Glandullogh. Unfortunately, the priest was unable to leave his bed from sickness, and oh! love once more prevailed, and at one hour's intimation O'Hara was obliged to leave his home, even without being able to say. Farewell.' Letter after letter came, but, oh God! eternal shame was consummated-guilt could not be concealed, and I dreaded lest a parent's eye should remark my altered form. Miserably were those fears confirmed- Maguire observed the fatal appearánce-I suddenly fainted, and as he hastened to relieve me, the disgraceful discovery was established. The wretched parent could only stagger to the couch, and with a groan of deep horror closed his eyes for ever!
“ Premature labour came on-my child was still-born, and my senses fled, it was supposed, never to return. Your father had me removed to Castle Carra; all that kindness and humanity could do was done, and I was again restored to health and reason. But my misfortunes were not completed; William O'Hara was hastening home to make the only reparation he could for the deep injury he had caused me. He stopped by chance at the village inn, where the officers of a marching regiment were resting for the night; and a dispute having arisen from some trifling misconception, (the parties having drank freely) one of the soldiers challenged O'Hara on the post. Both started on their feet, and before William could unsheath his sword, his bloody antagonist run him through the body. You, Henry, know the remainder.
The murderer, with his brother officers, accidentally halted for the night at Newbridge ; your father saddled his swiftest horse, and posted off to avenge his kinsman's deatħ. It was dark when he reached the little inn; he rushed into the room where the soldiers were seated, and demanded satisfaction from the murderer. In vain his comrades urged delayno, not one moment's would be listened to they fought with pistols-the table separated them but two or three paces—they fired together--your father was stunned by the ball, which grazed his forehead; but the murderer of his kinsinan received his shot through the heart, and fell a dead man upon the floor.
“ Such, lady, is the tale of Alice More. She was wronged, but her injuries were deeply avenged. Love's idle dream of bliss opened to her a life of misery and suffering. The calm morning of life was unruffled, when the tempest burst at once upon it, and hope and happiness were swept away. Years of agony have been endured, and solitude and penance, and mockery and madness, have not removed the recollection óf óné fatal hour. Such has been my fåtè, and
if the voice which never spake falsely may be trusted, yours will not be happier ;, but hark ! a stranger is approaching, remember Aliceremember her warning, or,”-she paused for a moment, threw a glance of mingled scorn and pity on O'Hara as she remarked his angry eye, drew her cloak closely round her, and vanished through the underwood.
Alice More had scarcely disappeared, when à servant from the castle arrived with a shawl for Emily. During their walk home, Henry endeavoured to soothe the perturbation of his mistress, and described Alice as an unfortunate person, whose intellects had been too severely injured by early misfortune ever to regain their proper tone. He would, he said, declare the state of his heart to his father, and, sanctioned by his approbation, prefer his suit to Lady Sarah, and he hoped that nothing would eventually prevent their union.
Lady De Clifford, anxiously expecting the return of her daughter, was alarmed, lest the evening air should injure her, and as Henry had been repeatedly inquired for, he left the.draw. ing-room to seek his father. He found him, as
usual, engaged in writing, and encircled by numerous papers.
A letter had been just received from his law-agent, in which Henry's presence in Dublin was stated to be indispensable, as he had been a party in the proceedings instituted by O'Moore against his father. The necessity of his attendance in town was stated to be urgent, and, from a delay in transmitting the letter, he would be obliged to set out on the ensuing morning. Never was a client more unwilling to leave a quiet home for law and litigation. He cursed O'Moore and his claims most fervently; but an attorney's warrant is imperative, and he left the library accordingly to prepare for this unexpected journey.
The door of the drawing-room was partially open, and as he passed, the sound of Emily's harp told him she was there. He paused to listen-she ran her fingers rapidly over the strings, and after the symphony had ceased, a soft, but powerful voice sang the following
Come to me,
love !-night's lamp on high
The glow-worm in the heath is gleaming ;