Page images

My steeple-chase after a wife was interrupted, by re- said I ; for you seem to have them completely in your ceiving notice of my promotion to a Lieutenant-Colo mind's eye ?" nelcy in a regiment in the West Indies, and orders to She sighed, as she answered, with a slight blusb, “I join in a month, or six weeks at farthest. This obliged am not so fortunate as to have either." me to go immediately to London, and, happening to “ Near relations, then I am sure ?" said I, trying to pass, on the day after my arrival, the fashionable school fancy a resemblance. in — Place, where my sister was a parlour boarder, “Not relations," answered Miss T , for her fair I could not-hurried as I was, resist calling, from the pupil; “ only connected, the children of a very dear feeling that we might soon be separated, probably for friend.” The pencil trembled in the young painter's years.

hand. She became so evidently uneasy and desirous to I was ushered into the drawing-room, and received escape, that Miss T—-'s prudery gave way to her by one of the stately, and somewhat awful ladies, at the good nature ; and softly saying, “ My dear Mrs. Mon. head of the establishment; whose portly figure, and tolieu, will you be kind enough to hasten Miss Donoshowy style of dress, presented the utmost imaginable van ? her brother's time is limited ;" she opened the contrast, with those of a fair, sylph-like, young crea door, and the beautiful vision vanished, ture, in deep mourning, who sat drawing in the bow “ My dear Mrs. Montolieu !" repeated I, mentally, window of the apartment.

“ Did I hear aright? Mrs!! to this girl of sixteen There was something about this elegant interesting this girl with whom I was already half in love ?"--So, creature, which rivetted my attention in spite of myself. according to an inconceivable fatality, I was again I felt half sorry she should be so very young-(appa. doomed to find a paragon in a married woman,-one rently not above seventeen)—and ashamed to be so probably left on account of extreme youth, and a huscaught by one so little beyond childhood. There is no band's absence, to finish her imperfect education ! Miss fool like an old fool! thought I to myself. I have seen T r ead my ungovernable curiosity in my face, many prettier faces in my time, and why should I think and was about to gratify it when my sister entered; and twice about a school girl.

the worthy governess, concluding I should be better I did think about her though—and look at her too; 1 pleased with Sophy's elucidations than her own, sailed and as Miss T , apparently from some scruple of majestically out of the room. propriety, in remaining tete-a-tete with a smart officer, Sophy! my dear girl !" cried I, after our first evidently discouraged her efforts to escape, I had full hearty greeting, “ who is that beautiful little creature, leisure to gaze on the sweetest and must regular of pro- | whom Miss T- has absolutely petrified me, by callfiles. Long dark lashes, fringing a cheek, pale, but not ing Mrs ? How came she to be a wife at her years, wan-lips, whose expression was that of one of Raphael's and left at school with her charms ? Her husband is angels—and a lovely polished forehead, round which either much to be blamed or pitied!" luxuriant auburn curls defied the confinement of a little “ He is to be lamented, poor fellow !" said Sophy, cap—which, I concluded, she must wear from slight looking very grave. “ He is dead! and Alexina, at indisposition, and which, from contrast with her young eighteen, has been nearly two years a widow !” I could cherub face, only made her more interesting. Her black not for my life even pretend to be sorry, but I was dress, only enhanced the transparency of her skin, and shocked, and sobered. There was something so very the delicacy of her figure; in short, the tout ensemble, romantic and unusual in the whole affair, that if rodress, figure, and face, were, in my opinion, perfect. mance and mystery be the food of love, and a diet on There are few women, as everyone knows who has which I think it thrives marvellously,) inine had wherebeen abroad, who do not look angels from behind a withal to make it grow like a mushrooin. “A widow !" convent grate—and, to an Englishman, a boarding- | I exclaimed, inechanically-thinking whether the two school is very apt to convey the sanje impression. I had cherub children could by any possibility be her own. never been within one before, so that my feeling on the " A widow ! then why does she live here?" su hject was quite fresh ; and as I had never dreamt of “ For a very simple reason, brother John-that she losing my heart there, it was perhaps the more patural has no other place of abode. Poor Alexiaa !-hers is a place for me to find out that I had one.

strange, yet soon told history. She was placed here in My sister, good girl! kept me waiting, as sisters infancy, by an eminent foreign merchant, who duly will do-(for she was quite unaware of our probable paid, in the handsomest manner, for her education, till, approaching separation-so that conversation between about three years ago, on his sudden death, the disorder Miss T- and I began to flag. I could not talk to of his affairs put a stop to the supplies, nor among her on the only subject I cared sixpence about orbis papers could a trace be found of the history or concould she have answered me if I had-80, not being nexions of his protégée. That she was foreign, was able to speak of the young lady in the window, we evident, from her speaking only French when brought spoke to her. Miss

T a sked me if I was fond of | hither ; but that France is not her country, is equally drawings, and I had no more hesitation in answering | so, from her infant recollections, imperfect as they nes yes !" than if it had been true. Indeed, so it was, cessarily were at three years old.". for I found myself suddenly innoculated with a passion “But her inarriage ” said I, impatiently. “Her for the Fine Arts, which prompted me to rise, and beg widowhood ?” leave to admire more nearly what had enchanted me at “ It is a dismal thing, dear John, to have not a friend a distance. Whether this was the drawing or the ar- | in the world,- not even a brother to cling to, in a tist, I was of course not bound to declare.

worse than orphan condition. I thought poor Alexina The subject was a pair of beautiful twin children, would have sunk under the sense of desolation, which, evidently from nature or memory, for she had no model in spite of the kindness of Miss T- , preyed on her before her. “ Your brother and sister, I presume?" | gentle heart and delicate feelings. She was apparently hastening into a decline, when an amiable girl, her fa- i sixteen would long have hesitated ? and yet Alexina vourite companion, invited her, with affectionate ear- did so-for, with all her gratitude and esteem for Ed. nestness, on leaving school, to accompany her for the , mund, she had no irresistible passion to blind her judg winter into Devonshire. This was not a proposal to ment-and it was only when, at the end of a long and be declined by one so forlorn and friendless ; but had alarming relapse of illness, even his unfeeling parents the poor drooping lily foreseen the suffering that well ungraciously consented to the match, that she yielded meant kindness was to entail on her, she would have to such generous and perservering affection, and became, shrunk from it with dismay. Her friend was all she surrounded by his barely civil relations, without one could fondly wish ; and her parents, though cold, sel connexion of her own to countenance the trembling infish, and unconciliating, were too fond of their in- , terloper, the wife of the transported Edmund dulged daughter, to blame, while they wondered at, her “ The lovely timid creature had scarce time to cling, Quixotic affection for a nameless orphan.

with all the devotedness of now genuine and unrepressed “ Health soon reanimated the poor girl's frame, and attachment, to the only being (save her Lucy) in all mantled on her blooming cheeks; and her beauty, whose the glittering circle, who would not have repulsed her bud had been chilled and repressed by incipient illness, in disdain, when the fragile reed on which her young expanded into rare perfection. The very harsh old hopes rested, withered from beneath her grasp! Expeople at Sidbury felt its influence, and grew kinder to hausted by conflicting emotions, and long an unsusthe creature, whom every one else loved and admired ; pected prey to that disease of the heart, which suddenly and Alexina fancied herself too happy! Her friend arrests the springs of life, and freezes in a moment the Lney, whose every feeling she shared with sisterly sym fount of consciousness and joy, Edmund Montolieu was pathy, was revelling in all the luxury of a permitted carried from the altar to the grave ! and that sumpand requited attachment-and was ere long to be mar tuous wedding feast, which empty state and hollow conried to the object of her early affection, Captain Wil. gratulation had provided, was untasted-bat by the loughby, a young but distinguished officer.

sorrowing poor, who viewed in awe-struck silence the “ The wedding would have wanted its dearest, as ominous dole. well as brightest ornament, bad Alexina not remained " The poor young widow felt like one whose frame to act the part of bride's-maid, It received an unex and faculties a thunder-bolt has nearly annihilated, and pected guest, in Lucy's only brother, an amiable and when the first few days of speechless woe were past, the accomplished young man, whom parental jealousy and unfeeling parents, like too many, smarting under the tyranny had sent to seek independence in India, but reproaches of conscience, instead of deploring the harsh who, an early sufferer from its climate, had been reluc severity which had first expatriated and then harassed tantly sent home, with a constitution severely shattered their son, sought to transfer the cause of his early death but it was hoped, not irremediably injured. His parents, to a passion, which, had it been less thwarted, might softened by the helpless weakness of their only son, perhaps have prolonged his feeble existence. hailed his return with joy and kindness; and cheered 6 Poor Alexina, with the generosity and recklessness by this reception, and invigorated by his native breeze, of youth, had instructed Edmund not to irritate his he seemed daily, though slowly, to recover.

parents by urging any settlements on one so utterly “ There was perhaps an unconscious balm in the portionless, to which he at length consented, more from smiles of Lucy's friend, which acted as a charm on his the impression of its beivg an unavailing effort, than harassed spirits; for he uniformly revived under her pre from acquiescence in her disinterested prayers. She sence, and drooped when she was out of his sight. You, was, therefore, on his death, with the exception of a Jack, who seem even now to have been fascinated by | small sum left by him in India, wholly unprovided for the faded relics of her dazzling beauty, need hardly be -and it was a destitution in which she could almost at told how soon, or how deeply Edmund Montolieu first rejoice; since all other connexion between them loved! You know the world too-selfish, callous, mer seeming likely to expire with her poor husband, it cenary as it is and can fancy the indignant reception would have been bitter indeed, to owe to his proud relathe avowal of his attachment met with from bis ambi- tions an extorted provision, to which they might think tious parents. With the dignified frankness of one, | a couple of hours' union with their heir but an insuffi. whom, by driving him from them, they had taught to cient title. act for himself, he calmly announced to them, before “ Lucy's unvarying sympathy and affection was again making the proposal, his unalterable determination to her first resource ; but the regiment of Captain Wilask the hand of Alexina. Their unbridled and impolite loughby being under orders for the West Indies, Alexina, resentment drove the poor girl to seek refuge at her feeling that her longer residence might estrange her friend Lucy's—whose recent marriage afforded her a friend from her bereaved parents, and prevent her pass. temporary homemand there, it was long ere the united ing under their roof her last months in England, steadily eloquence of love and friendship could prevail on this insisted on returning to the protection of her maternal high-spirited (and I am confident, high-born) young friend, Miss T- .From her she experienced such a recreature, to enter, not clandestinely indeed, but unsanc. | ception as her strong claims on esteem and compassion tioned by parental authority, a family so undeserving ensured; and while the young widow imagined that her of her.

slender pittance might prevent her from being a burden 6 There were powerful motives to compliance. On to her governess, she forebore, out of respect, or the the one hand, an amiable and disinterested lover, pre prejudices of her husband's family, as well as from the sent competence at least, and future affluence; on the | hopeless languor of sorrow, attempting to exercise her other, absolute destitution, or a home either the boon | own talents in that line. But 'woes,' says the poet, of charity, or purchased by the most cruel of sacrifices, love a train!' and there came accounts from India of that of quiet, leisure, and independence. How few at the wreck of her little all, in one of those extensive failures so common in the East; and Alexina, now as I

1 In about three weeks, during which I put to the pennyless as before her inaspicious marriage, insisted full test the hospitality of my new friends, I began on testifying at once her gratitude and independence, to perceive on my entrance, a slight suppressed smile by devoting to Miss Tar's assistance the talents she on their good humoured faces, and an increase of. owed to her care."

pensive gravity on that of their fair guest. The “ And the children ?" asked I, awaking on the ces. picture was quite finished—and I received unequi. sation of Sophy's narrative, from the deep reverie into vocal hints that it and the letters now only awai. which its strange tenor had thrown me.

ted my farewell visit. In a couple of days Alexina “ The children are Lucy’s---born just before her qnit. was to retire to her nunnery, and as she now stuting England, and resigned, with all the deep reluc diously avoided our earlier tete a tetes, I had no tance of a young and sorely divided heart, to the care resource but to write her a letter, explaining the of a sister of her husband's; the voyage, the climate, state of my heart, and urging the soldier's plea of and their tender age, presenting insuperable obstacles necessity for my precipitation and requesting to be to their going out to Barbadoes.”

permitted to receive my answer in person on the “ I an, under orders for Barbadoes myself,” exclaimed morrow. I cannot pretend to remember what was in J, my dear Sophy! I quite forgot to tell you, that it the letter-I only know that the paper was not gilt, was this which brought me here to day. I have got a and the lines by no means particularly even. Lieutenant-Colonelcy in a regiment stationed there--- On the following morning I sallied from my hotel, probably captain Willoughby's...and must join in the far earlier than decency warranted for paying a visit course of a month or six weeks---But,” added I, scarce in Baker Street—so I determined to divert the innoticing poor Sophy's blank looks, and exclamations tolerable suspense hy transacting some business about about yellow fever..“ I must really see something Charing Cross. This occupied me so much longer more of your fair friend! how shall I manage it? than I expected, that I was flying in all the agonies Could not I offer to carry out the picture of the children, of impatience along the Haymarket, when I ran against and letters to their parents! A capital thought. But a young Lieutenant of my late regiment, a very fine then this would hardly entitle me to call more than once, lad, for whom I had always had a great fancy, and. just at the last, to get my dispatches.--and at a school who, being equally partial to me, had, I knew, too---really Sophy, these Protestant nunneries of yours been moving heaven and earth to raise the needful are almost as difficult of access as foreign ones.".

to purchase a step in the regiment I was now about to “ But,” said Sophy, after a moment's thought," the | command. picture is very far from being finished ; and the little “ Percival, my dear fellow !” said I,“ how goes creatures cannot come here to sit, for they are only re- it? I have not a moment to spare-urgent business, covering from the hooping-cough. Suppose I should a thousand miles off, at the very west end of the advise Mrs. Montolieu to go and stay a few days | town.” saw his countenance fall, poor lad, and in Baker Street, where she is a great favourite, to could not help observing he looked pale and vexed. finish her drawing confortably? You might go there “ Is anything the matter, Henry ? " asked I, still in the character of Willoughby's new Colonel, without in a great hurry. much suspicion."

« Oh, not much, Colonel,” said be. “I see you “ Blessings on you for the thought, my dear are in haste-only-only " and here he hesitated , Sophy!” exclaimed I; “ for invention, one school ! « Speak out, Harry : do; there's a good fellow.” girl is worth a score of field officers. Do get this "Only some little difficulty, then, about the money accomplished-and I will put you down in my book for my step. I fear I shall not be able to get out. for the best husband in my own regiment, or any ten with you " in the service ! ” So saying, I gave her a hearty

- Oh! is that all?_Come to me tomorrow about: kiss, and ran off to the War-Office.

it, and I will see what can be done.' The move was dexterously and unsuspiciously ef “ But, " said the young man, modestly, “ the money. fected. The widow's anxiety to send her Lucy a faithful should have been lodged some days ago ; and Greenportrait of her dear babes, nearly equalled mine to wood says he can wait no longer. " see more of the fair artist ; and, under cover of a I looked at the lad, and saw his whole soul was. proper introduction to the amiable sister of Captain in the affair. I remembered a story about a pretty Willoughby, and her good honest fellow of a hus. | West Indian girl he had flirted with at Canterbury, band, I spent more than one whole day, and various and thinking my own suit would not prosper the. precious mornings in Baker Street. At first, I was less for lending him a lift. I performed one of the to the whole family only Frank's new Colonel, a few actions I call heroic, and turning back with the very stupid, good sort of man, who talked little and best grace I could muster, put my arm in his, and ate less, and seemed famous for nothing but fond. went into Drummond's ness for children and drawings.

While I was waiting to speak to one of the partners The lovely widow exerted herself to bespeak my about an immediate advance of the needful to poor. friendship and goodwill for the absent objects of Harry, I saw a clerk twisting in every possible her affection-and I was half mortified, to observe light, and trying to decipher one of those nondewith what unsuspecting bonhomie she laid herself script foreign letters, which are to well-grown, well. out to entertain me. It was chiefly of course by folded English ones, what mishapen dwarfs are to speaking of Lucy and her husband--and it was with men. This one was as broad as it was long, and a warmth and sincerity of devotion, which made me had its hump.back all covered with characters, which, transfer to brothers and sisters-inlaw my former envy might have been Runic inscription, for any resemblance and uncharitableness towards married men.

they bore to a Christian A, B, C. The man,, seeing a curious idler lounging near him in a mili- ever, that this will not greatly advance matters, as Mr. tary surtout, chanded it up to me, saying, “ Perhaps, | Livingstone, you are aware, died some years ago, aud sir, you might be able, from your knowledge of foreign his establishment is entirely broken up." hands, to throw some light on this direction.” There “ That is very unlucky" said the banker to the was an outer envelope, on which might be plainly clerk; while the old man, only gathering from the enough read, in a cramped chevaux de frise-like French blank looks of both a result unfavourable to his hopes, hand, this somewhat primitive address.

cast up his eyes to Heaven, with an affecting mixà Monsieur Monsieur Drummond,

ture of sorrow and resignation. “My poor master!" Banquier très renommé, à Londres.

ejaculated he, in French, and turned away to hide a So far all was well; and the renowned banker being tear. about as well known in London as Dr. Boerhaave in “ But, sir,” said the clerk, “ we have made out the world, both letters had found their appointed desti. | the young lady's christian name, and this gentleman nation. But within the envelope was a sealed billet, seems to think-" scribbled all over, as aforesaid, with characters which, “ And is the surname all that puzzles you ?" asked from their dissimilarity to any European scrawl I had Mr. D. “ Surely that can be at once supplied by this ever seen, I immediately set down for Tartar hierogly. good old man. phics from Russia, which mighty empire having per. The question was put in French, and promptly an. tinaciously retained a style of its own, chooses to have swered—"Fedoroff-only daughter of my master, Count an alphabet also.

Fedoroff, and an English lady his late wife.” The words expressed by these hyperborean symbols, What a revolution did these few words make in my I began to perceive were French ; and gathering eru. relative situation with Alexina! I felt as if all was dition I proceded, like many a sage decipherer 1 dis. for ever at an end between us-but, I hope, not the tinctly traced, “ à son Excellence Mademoiselle ; "-but less disposed to forward the inquiries of a sorrowing beyond this rather anomalous union of titles, all was parent, and restore her to his arms. I briefly, and, involved in the hopeless darkness that attends guessers I am sure, very incoherently, stated what I knew of at proper names. I had lately, however, seen some her history and residence ; and while the transported Russian coins, bought by a brother officer of a French old steward flew on the wings of duty and affection soldier returned from Moscow, and the characters com to cheer his master's heart with the tidings, I set of, posing the word “ Alexander ” happened to be fresh summoning all the courage and disinterestedness I in my memory With this clew, I put together pot-hook could muster, to prepare the mind of his daughter for after pot-hook, and found, with no small emotion, the so overwhelming a discovery-to build up-| feared, result to be- Alexina! The name might be, nay, was, on the ruins of my own baseless fabric of happinessa common one in Russia, especially of late years,-yet the superstructure of hers. I could not spell and put it together without feeling a This daughter, the long-lost and wept-for heiress a revulsion in my whole frame, and as if it could belong of Count Fedoroff, to marry a moderately endowed but to one being in the world. How did I labour to English soldier ! to go to the West Indies, or elsewhere, apply my scanty stock of Russian lore to this unspeak and, as the old song has it, “ lie in a barrack !” lmably important suruame which succeded! but in vain ! possible !-Once I was selfish enough to wish the That it began with F was all I could, satisfactorily knot had been already tied—but I was soon myself ascertain ; but the clerk and I between us, were enabled, again, and could rejoice that no answer had yet in by his naming over various eminent Russia merchants, any degree committed her, to unite her fate with to hazard a shrewd guese at the one to whose care the mine-and, on the word of an honest man, by the ioner letter, had been so mystically addressed.

time I knocked at the door in Baker Street, í felt This gentleman, the clerk, told me, was no more, and only the delight of conferring happiness, where I. had died deeply involved, in circumstances exactly had so fondly anticipated receiving it. coinciding with Sophy's account of Alexina's guardian. My air of conscious exultation whenfirst ushered into The case now became terribly critical, and I was just | the room, where sat Alexioa with her friend, Mrs. about to suggest what I knew on the subject, when a F-, must, I am sure, have appeared to the last partner came in, accompanied by a feeble tottering old degree. coxcombical and absurd. It soon gave place man, with the air of one of those respectable, almost | to more selfish and bitter feelings, on beholding again, dignified-looking valets, or Maitre d'Hotel's belonging (and, with no symptoms of severity on her. lovely to the old regime ;, his hair queued and powdered, and countenance, the creature I was about tacitly to rehis dress scrupulously adhering to a fashion unknown linquish for life. Mrs F. rose to leave the room : and, in England for the last half century.

though fearful the emotion 1. should excite might Mr. B-," said the banker, addressing himself to render, her presence desirable, I could not, for the the clerk, “ has anything been made out about that | life of me, interfere to detain her. letter which.came some weeks ago from abroad? This “I fear, Mrs. Montolieu," said I, in great agitaperson is just arrived in England, and looks to us for tion, “ I am much later than you might justly have a clew to discover a young lady, to whom, he says, his had reason to expect, but the business which detained previous letter was addressed.”

me was of a nature" 6. Sir," said the clerk, in some confusion, “ the letter ." Oh! no apology is necessary, Colonel Donovan," was unfortunately laid aside till this morning, when, said she, with the unaffected modesty and gentleness with the assistance of this gentleman, I have just suce which characterized her whole deportment. “I must ceeded in ascertaining the name of the house to whose have little confidence indeed in the flattering sentiment care the billet is addressed. It is to be feared, how. | expressed in your letter of yesterday, to suppose you.

would voluntarily defer ascertaining mine. I can only I should deserve to be spurned by my new found parent, assure you "

could his rank or fortune for one moment make me " Assure me of nothing, my dear madam," inter. forget your conduct when I had neither. Read that rupted I, “if you would have me keep my senses, and note, which, in distrust of my nerves for a personal in. go through my duty as a man of honour should do forget terview, I wrote last night, to be delivered to you this that anything has passed hetween us—that I ever had morning. The sentiments it contains might have ga. the presumption to aspire to your hand.”

thered added strength and energy from what I have I really believe this humble, long-depressed child of now heared of our relative position ; but I wish you to misfortune, thought me suddenly deranged, so like see them as they emanated from the unconscious fulness bitter mockery did my expressions appear.

of a grateful heart. Take them as my unalterable “ I am not mad, indeed,” said I, reading her thought, answer. Were my father capable of sacrificing his “ though I have had much to make me so this morn. child's honour and happiness to pride or ainbition, I ing; but only the bewildered herald of a very astonish. might tearfully request you to lend her to him for the ing, and, let me add, deligtful discovery, relative to remnant of a closing existence ; but it would be to yourself-"

return, strengthened by filial duty, to other, and perhaps “ To me !" she repeated with an accent of unbounded dearer ties. Donovan! I am yours irrevocably,--bear surprise"I thought, till yesterday, nothing could me witness, my vows are sealed before their confirmation occur to break the tenor of my monotonous existence" can possibly expose me to the charge of disobedience !" Here a soft blush tinged her pale cheek—and it went I had only time for incoherent expressions of admira. to my very heart to see, that the sweet soul was morti tion for this noble girl, and resolution to abide by her fied by my want of curiosity to know how she had felt father's determination, when, as I had arranged with yesterday, and was feeling to day.

Nicolai the old steward, a carriage drove up to the door. " Alexina!' said I, for the first time in my life out of which I saw him step first, and proffer his agfeeling the brotherly right so to call ber " if I could sistance to a fine noble-looking wreck of a man, who, avail myself of your unsuspecting innocence, I should be enfeebled by infirmity and emotion, could scarcely a villain. Yesterday you thought yourself, and I | ascend the staircase. I went to detain him a moment thought you, alone in the world ; and on that sup below, while I in two words explained the matter to position, what we might both have done is now as if it Mrs. F--, and to my sister Sophy, who, burning to know had never been. You are no longer--thanks be to a the result of my proposals, had invited herself to spend merciful Providence !-a friendless orphan. You have the day in Baker Street. a father, the sole comfort of whose declining age is the Their sudden acquaintance with these delightfal ti. vague, and till this day, almost relinquished hope of dings gave to both of them an appearance of such equal folding you once more in his arms."

agitation with their fair friend's, that nothing short of She grew very pale-trembled violently, but, to my parental instinct could have enabled him to distinguish infinite relief, did not faint quite away. There was her. When the fine old man entered, his white hair water on the table beside her drawings, sprinkled Aowing on either side of his woe-worn countenance, all some of it on her face, and she soon revived ; for the involuntarily rose. He seemed bewildered by the preswoon of joy carries its own cordial with it.

sence of so many females, and in danger of sinking under When the pious effusions of a full heart to the the scene. Sophy, who happened to be nearest the Father of the fatherless, had given place to less sacred door, having made a hasty movement to save him from emotions, her first words were, “ You will assist falling, he gazed for a moment steadfastly in her face, me in making up to this dear father, for our long, then shook his head, and pushing her not ungently aside, long separation, will you not ?-But, perhaps,” added made another step or two forward. It was to receive in she, more gravely—the pride of women taking alarm his arms and heart, his own Alexina, whom, in the first at my continued silence “ perhaps there is something transports of recognition, he called by tbe name of her in my father's character or circumstauces, which many long-lost English mother. We left the parent and child have produced a change in your intentions-If 80 " to their own unutterable emotions, and indemnified our. and her blush was no longer of conscious timidity. selves by sharing the transports of old Nicolai, who,

" There is, indeed, everything in your father's after kissing with passionate devotion the hand of his situation to make me retract my rash proposal of master's daughter, withdrew, and gave us the details of yesterday! When it was made, I left a lover's ex- | their long separation and its cause. quisite sympathy for beauty in misforune; and a They were much too long and complicated to be reBriton's pride in placing coinpetence at least within peated here. Şuffice it to say, that the capricious tyranny her reach. You are the daughter and heiress of a of Paul, and his wayward antipathy to everything even proud Russian noble; and Jack Donovan has only to remotely connected with England, involved Count say, “ God bless you both together!" and try to Fedoroff in sudden and apparently hopeless disgrace,-forget his short dream of happiness admid a life of and a banishment to Siberia ; amid the first shock of duty and vicissitude."

which, the unfortunate mother, before accompanying her "], too, have duties, Colonel Donovan," answered husband, embraced with avidity the opportunity afforded she, her calm serenity not in the least impaired by the by the hurried fight of her countrymen from Peters. brilliant prospect I had set before her; “ that, to my burgh, to send her only child, a puny, tender infant, father, 1 trust I shall never forget; and oh! what wholly unfit for the horror of a Siberian journey, to delightful arrears of love I shall have to bestow on seek an asylum in England. An ample supply of money (I fear from your sad silence) my sole remaining and jewels, sufficient to defray her education for years, parent! But circumstances, melancholy enough, God accompanied the infant; but as the whole transaction knows! have given me early independence; and I (the affair of a few brief feverish moments of maternal

« PreviousContinue »