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" We shall be late at the theatre," said one of the party ; « let us be off.”
“ Always finish your bottle,” said O'Kelly, filling a huge bumper, which he drank off, and all rose from the table.
To describe O'Hara's agony as he listened to the late conversation would be impossible, His mistress a flirt-her mother a swindler ! The bustle of the Guardsmen leaving the room startled him, when O’Kelly suddenly returned from the door, having forgotten his snuff-box on the table. Henry mastered his agitation, and rising from his chair advanced to his countryman, who was a second time retiring
- Pardon me, Captain O'Kelly; hearing you, accidentally, express a wish of having something conveyed to Ireland, I beg to say that I leave town in the morning coach for the Head, and shall most cheerfully take charge of any thing you may please to have forwarded. I stop here ;” and he presented his card.
The Captain returned his thanks, politely accepting his offered services, and wishing him a pleasant journey, was about to leave the room.
66 One word, if you please, Captain O'Kelly, VOL. II.
Forgive the apparent rudeness of a strangeryou just now spoke of persons for whom I am much interested-you mentioned Lady Sarah De Clifford and her daughter. May I ask you, if the insinuations of the young gentlemen were strictly true?" · O'Kelly drew himself up to his full height, looked first at the speaker, then inspected his card. “Really, Mr. O'Hara, you put a question to me that, in the true Irish way, I must answer by asking another. May I inquire what may be the interest you take in this conversation, which certainly was not intended to be overheard ?” : " Simply this, Sir,” said O'Hara, 66 my father and the husband of Lady Sarah were very dear friends, and naturally, I feel a lively interest in any thing in which his relict and her daughter were concerned.” . “ They are in Ireland at present," said the Captain. ...66 And staying at my father's house." : “ Pshew!" whistled the Guardsman, " I see how matters stand. Mr. O'Hara, I knew her father well, and I loved him-he-was brave,
honourable, and generous ; and I would not, by word or deed, injure those whom he has left behind. Had I known the remarks we so incautiously made were overheard or noticed, I should have been more guarded; however', what I have spoken must and need not be res tracted. Lady Sarah was a heartless, worthless woman; her house was ever open to gam. blers, adventurers, and dupes ; and the smiles of her beautiful daughter, I regret to say, were often made accessory to the ruin of many an inexperienced votary of play! Under the tutelage of such a parent, could the child be spotless? I am no moralist, young gentleman; but a close acquaintance with the gamingtable seldom improves the principles of either male or female." · " What the devil keeps you? Are you preaching, Pat?” cried one of the young Guardsmen, putting his head inside the door. - Jarvie says he could more readily collect a stage-coach company than two Irishmen.”
“ Adieu, Mr. O'Hara,” said Capt. O'Kelly; “I wish you a pleasant passage,” he said, and left the room.
“ Gracious God! Was this the woman I selected for my wife? Was she the person on whom my every hope of happiness was centred ? A practised flirt-an accessary to a gambling mother the companion of knaves--the abettor of swindlers. Fool! fool!” (He pressed his throbbing temples.) “ Alice! true was thy prophecy. But come, once more I shall read the missive of my desertion again con the billet that tells the silly, love-sick boy, he shall not have his plaything ;" and he laughed with sarcastic bitterness. “ So we did confer kindnesses on her; wonderful stretch of memory! She only lived for her daughter's sake! Tender creature! And so her “artless girl' acquainted her that I had shown some trifing attentions ; and, in consequence, her dear Emily' almost hesitated to jilt me! And the business should be concealed from the wicked world! Oh! certainly. And she'll remember our past civilities ; and her • beloved Emily' is just as sincere in gratitude as her worthy mamma! And a speedy answer is requested, that my victorious competitor for the “artless girl may not be kept in unnecessary suspense! Well, she shall have
it.” In a few moments he had scrawled what follows:
- Salopian, Friday Evening,
“ April, 1798. “ MY DEAR Madam,
“I have just received a letter of the April, which you did me the honour to address me. I am convinced that the connexion contemplated by your Ladyship for Miss De Clifford, and approved of by herself, must be in every respect desirable. Feeling sensibly your polite attention in this early intimation of the late arrangements, I write to acknowledge the honour of your letter, and convey to Miss Emily my full approbation. With all the usual congratulations on the approaching event, I have the honour to be
“ Your Ladyship’s
- Henry O'HARA."
The energy with which he wrote the required letter ceased with its completion, and deep despondency returned. His face rested on the