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Sandford, took this moment, in the agitation of lady to send her a pressing invitation that she her spirits, to alarm her still inore by prophetic would pass a month or two at her house; this ininsinuations; and at length represented to her vitation was to be laid before Dorriforth for his here, for the first time, the necessity, " That Mr. approbation, and the two ladies were to enforce Dorriforth and she no longer should remain under it, by expressing their earnest wishes for his conthe same roof." This was like a stroke of sudden sent. This plan having been properly regulated, death to Miss Milner, and clinging to life, she en the necessary letter was sent to Bath, and Miss deavoured to avert the blow by prayers and by Woodley waited with patience, but with a watch. promises. Her friend loved her too sincerely to ful guard upon the conduct of her friend, till the be prevailed upon.
answer should arrive. “But in what manner can I accomplish the During this interim a tender and complaining separation ?" cried she, “ for, till I marry, we are epistle from Lord Frederick was delivered to Misa obliged, by my father's request, to live in the same Milner; to which, as he received no answer, he house."
prevailed upon his uncle, with whom he resided, “ Miss Milner," answered Miss Woodley, to wait upon her, and obtain a verbal reply; for “much as I respect the will of a dying man, I he still flattered himself, that fear of her guardiregard your and Mr. Dorriforth's present and an's anger, or perhaps his interception of the leteternal happiness much more; and it is my rcso ter which he had sent, was the sole cause of her lution that you shall part. If you will not con.
apparent indifference. trive the means, that duty falls on me, and with The old gentleman was introduced both to out any invention, I see the measure at once." Miss Milner and to Mr. Dorriforth, but received
"What is it?" cried Miss Milner eagerly. from each an answer so explicit that it left his
" I will reveal to Mr. Dorrisorth, without hesi nephew no longer in doubt but that all farther tation, the real state of your heart; which your pursuit was vain. present inconsistency of conduct will but too Sir Edward Ashton about this time also subreadily confirm."
mitted to a formal dismission; and had then the “You would not plunge me into so much mortification to reflect that he was bestowing upon shame, into so much anguish !" cried she, dis the object of his affections the tenderest proof of tractedly.
his regard, hy having absented himself entirely "No," replied Miss Woodley, “not for the from her society, world, if you will separate from him by any mode Upon this serious and certain conclusion to the of your own--but that you shall separate is my hopes of Lord Frederick, Dorriforth was more determination ; and in spite of all your sufferings, astonished than ever at the conduct of his ward. this shall be the expedient, unless you instantly He bad once thought her behaviour in this respect agree to some other."
was ambiguous, but since her confession of a “Good Heaven, Miss Woodley! is this your passion for that nobleman, he had no doubt but frienuship ?"
in the end she would become his wife. He la. “Yes—and the truest friendship I have to be mented to find himself mistaken, and thought it stow. Think what a task I undertake for your proper now to condemn her caprice, not merely in sake and his, when I condemn myself to explain words, but in the general tenor of his behaviour. to him your weakness. What astonishment! He consequently became more reserved and more what confusion! what remorse, do I foresee austere than he had been since his first acquaintpainted upon his face !--I hear him call you by ance with her; for his manner, not from design, the harshest names, and behold him fty from but imperceptibly to himself, had been softened your sight for ever, as from an object of his de since he became her guardian, by that tender retestation."
spect which he had uniformly paid to the object of "O!, spare the dreadful picture. Fly from my his protection. sight for ever!-Detest my name! Oh! my dear Notwithstanding the severity he now assumed, Miss Woodley, let but his friendship for me still his ward, in the prospect of parting from him, grow remain, and I will consent to any thing. You melancholy; Miss Woodley's love to her friend may command me~I will go away from him di rendered her little otherwise ; und Dorriforth’s rectly--but let us part in friendship-Oh! without peculiar gravity, frequently rigour, could not the friendship of Mr. Dorriforth, life would be a but make their whole party less cheerful than it heavy burthen indeed.”
had been. Lord Elmwood, too, at this iime was Miss Woodley immediately began to contrive lying dangerously ill of a fever; Viss Fenton of sehemes for their separation; and, with all her
course was as much in sorrow as her nature woulu E invention alive on the subject, tho following was
permit her to be ; and both Sandiord and Doriithe only natural one that she could form.
forth were in extremo concorn upoa his lordship's Miss Milner, in a letter to her disiant relation at
account. Bath, was to complain of the melancholy of a I.. this posture of affairs, the letter of invitation country life, which she was to say her guardian
arrives from Lady Luneham at Bath ; it was imposed upon ber; and she was to entreat the
shown 10 Dorriforih; and to prove to his ward that
much, at our separation, as having ever given you a moment's pain."
“I believe so," was all she could utter, for she hastened from him lest his discerning eye should discover the cause of the weakness which thus overcame her. But her apprehensions were groundless; the rectitude of his own heart was a bar to the suspicion of hers. He once more kindly bade her adieu, and the carriage drove away.
Miss Fenton and Miss Woodley accompanied her part of the journey, about thirty miles, where they were met by Sir Henry and Lady Lunehain. Here was a parting nearly as affecting as that between her and her guardian.
Miss Woodley, who for several weeks had treated her friend with a rigidness she herself hardly supposed was in her nature, now bewailed that she had done so; implored her forgiveness; promised to correspond with her punctually,
and to omit no opportunity of giving her every consolation short of cherishing her fatal passion—but in that, and that only, was the heart of Miss Milner to be consoled.
he is so much offended as no longer to feel that excessive interest in her concerns which he once felt, he gives an opinion on the subject with indifference-he desires " Miss Milner will do what she herself thinks proper.” Miss Woodley instantly accepts this permission, writes back, and appoints the day upon which her friend means to set off for the visit.
Miss Milner is wounded at the heart by the cold and unkind manners of her guardian, but dares not take one step to retrieve his opinion. Alone, or to her friend, she sighs and weeps : he discovers her sorrow, and is doubtful whether the departure of Lord Frederick from this part of the country is not the cause.
When the time she was to set out for Bath was only two days off, the behaviour of Dorriforth took, hy degrees, its natural form, if not a greater share of polite and tender attention than ever. It was the first time he had parted from Miss Milner since he had become her guardian, and he felt upon the occasion, a reluctance. He had been angry with her, he had shown her that he was so, and he now began to wish that he had not. She is pot happy (he considered within himself), every word and action declares she is not ; I may have been too severe, and added perhaps to her uneasiness. “ At least we will part on good terms,” said hem“ Indeed, my regard for her is such I cannot part otherwise."
She soon discerned his returning kindness, and it was a gentle tie that would have fastened her to that spot for ever, but for the firm resistance of Miss Woodley.
“ What will the absence of a few months effect ?" said she, pleading her own cause; " At the end of a few months at farthest, he will expect me back, and where then will be the merit of this separation ?”
“ In that time,” replied Miss Woodley, may find some method to make it longer.” To this she listened with a kind of despair, but uttered, she “was resigned,”—and she prepared for her departure.
Dorriforth was all anxiety that every circumstance of her journey should be commodious; he was eager she should be happy; and he was eager she should see that he entirely forgave her. He would have gone part of the way with her, but for the extreme illness of Lord Elmwood, in whose chamber he passed most of the day, and slept in Elmwood House every night.
On the morning of her journey, when Dorriforth gave his hand and conducted Miss Milner to the carriage, all the way he led her she could not restrain her tears; which increased, as he parted from her, to convulsive sobs. He was affected by her grief; and thongh he had previously bid her farewell, he drew her gently on one side, and said, with the tenderest concern, My dear Miss Milner, wo part friends ? I hope we do? On my side, depend upon it, that I regret nothing so
WHEN Miss Milner arrived at Bath, she thought it the most altered place she had ever seen-she was mistaken-it was herself that was changed.
The walks were melancholy, the company insipid, the ball-room fatiguing; for--she had left behind all that could charm or please her.
Though she found herself much less happy than when she was at Bath before, yet she felt, that she would not, even to enjoy all that past happiness, be again reduced to the being she was at that period. Thus does the lover consider the extinction of his passion with the same horror as the libertine looks upon annihilation; the one would rather live hereafter, though in all the tortures described as constituting his future state, than cease to exist ; 60, there are no tortures which a lover would not suffer rather than cease to love.
In the wide prospect of sadness before her, Miss Milner's fancy caught hold of the only comfort which presented itself; and this, faint as it was, in the total absence of every other, her imagina. tion painted to her as excessive. The comfort was a letter from Miss Woodley-a letter in which the subject of her love would most assuredly be mentioned, and in whatever terms, it would still be the means of delight.
A letter arrived—she devoured it with her eyes, --The post mark denoting from whence it came, the name of “Milner Lodge” written on the top, were all sources of pleasure--and she read slow. ly every line it contained, to procrastinate the
pleasing expectation she enjoyed, till she should arrrive at the name of Dorriforth. At last, her impatient eye caught the word, three lines beyond the place she was reading-irresistibly, she skipped over those lines, and fixed on the point to which she was attracted.
Miss Woodley was cautious in her indulgence; she made the slightest mention possible of Dorriforth; saying only “He was extremely concerned, and even dejected, at the little hope there was of his cousin Lord Elmwood's recovery.” Short and trivial as this passage was, it was still more important to Miss Milner than any other in the letter-she read it again and again, considered, and reflected upon it. Dejected, thought she, what does that word exactly mean?-did I ever see Mr. Dorriforth dejected ?-how, I wonder, does he look in that state? Thus did she muse, while the cause of his dejection, though a most serious one, and pathetically described by Woodley, scarce arrested her attention. She ran over with haste the account of Lord Elmwood's state of health; she certainly pitied him while she thought of him, but she did not think of him long. To die, was a hard fate for a young nobleman just in possession of his immense fortune and on the eve of marriage with a beautiful young wo. man; but Miss Milner thought that an abode in heaven might be still better than all this, and she had no doubt but that his Lordship would be an inhabitant there. The forlorn state of Miss Fenton ought to have been a subject for her compassion, but she knew that lady had resignation to bear any lot with patience, and that a trial of her fortitude might be more flattering to her vanity than to be Countess of Elmwood: in a word, she saw no one's misfortunes equal to her own, because she knew no one so little able to bear misfortune.
She replied to Miss Woodley's letter, and dwelt very long on that subject which her friend had passed over lightly; this was another indulgence; and this epistolary intercourse was now the only enjoyment she possessed. From Bath she paid several visits with Lady Luneham-all were alike tedious and melancholy.
But her guardian wrote to her, and though it was on a topic of sorrow, the letter gave her joy -the sentiments it expressed were merely common-place, yet she valued them as the dearest effusions of friendship and affection ; and her hands trembled, and her heart beat with rapture while she wrote the answer, though she knew it would not be received by him with one emotion like those which she experienced. In her second letter to Miss Woodley, žhe prayed like a person insane to be taken home froin confinement, and like a lunatic protested, in sensible language, she “had no disorder.” But her friend replied, “That very declaration proves its violence.” And she assured her, nothing less than placing her affections elsewhere should induce her to believe but that she was incurable.
The third letter from Milner Lodge brought the news of Lord Elmwood's death. Miss Woodley was exceedingly affected by this event, and said little else on any other subject. Miss Milner was shocked when she read the words “He is dead,” and instantly thought,
" How transient are all sublunary things !Within a few years I shall be dead—and how happy will it then be, if I have resisted every temptation to the alluring pleasures of this life !" The happiness of a peaceful death occupied her contemplation for near an hour ; but at length, every virtuous and pious sentiment this meditation inspired served but to remind her of the many sentences she had heard from her guardian's lips upon the same subject—her thoughts were again fixed on him, and she could think of nothing besides.
In a short time after this, her health became impaired from the indisposition of her mind; she languished, and was once in imminent danger. During a slight delirium of her fever, Miss Woodley's name and her guardian's were incessantly repeated; Lady Luneham sent them immediate word of this, and they both hastened to Bath, and arrived there just as the violence and danger of her disorder had ceased. As soon as she became perfectly recollected, her first care, knowing the frailty of her heart, was to inquire what she had uttered while delirious. Miss Woodley, who was by her bed-side, begged her not to be alarmed on that account, and assured her she knew, from all her attendants, that she had only spoken with a friendly remembrance (as was really the case) of those persons who were dear to her.
She wished to know whether her guardian was come to see her, but she had not the courage to ask before her friend ; and she in her turn was afraid by the too sudden mention of his name, to discompose her. Her inaid, however, after some little time, entered the chamber, and whispered Miss Woodley. Miss Milner asked inquisitively “ What she said ?”
The maid replied softly, “Lord Elmwood, madam, wishes to come and see you for a few mo ments, if you will allow him.”
At this reply Miss Milner stared wildly.
“ I thought,” said she, “ I thought Lord Elmwood had been dead—are my senses disordered still ?"
“No, my dear," answered Miss Woodley, “it is the present Lord Elmwood who wishes to see you ;
he whom you left ill when you came hither is dead.”
“And who is the present Lord Elmwood ?" she asked.
Miss Woodley, after a short hesitation, replied“ Your guardian.”
“ And so he is,” cried Miss Milner : “he is the next heir-I had forgot. But is it possible that he is here ?" “ Yes" returned Miss Woodley with a grave
very short time, some necessary concerns, relative to his late kinsman's affairs, calling him in haste to London. Miss Woodley continued with her friend till she saw her entirely reinstated in her health : during which time her guardian was frequently the subject of their private conversation; and upon
those occasions Bliss Milner has sometimes brought Miss Woodley to acknowledge, " that could Dorriforth have possibly foreseen the early death of the last Lord Elmwood, it had been more for the honour of his religion (as that ancient title would now after him becoine extinct), if he had preferred marriage vows to those of celibacy.”
voice and manner, to moderate that glow of satis. faction which for a moment sparkled even in her languid eye, and blushed over her pallid countznance. “ Yes--as he heard you were ill, he thought it right to come and see you."
“He is very good," she answered, and the tear started in her eyes.
“ Would you please to see his lordship?" ask. ed her maid.
“ Not yet, not yet," she replied;" let me recol. lect myself first.” And she looked with a timid doubt upon her friend, to ask if it was proper.
Miss Woodley could hardly support this hume ble reference to her judgment, from the wan face of the poor invalid, and, taking her by the hand, whispered, “ You shall do what you please.” In a few minutes Lord Elnwood was introduced.
To those who sincerely love, every chango of situation or circumsiances in the object beloved, appears an advantage. So, the acquisition of a title and estate was, in Miss Milner's eye, an incetin). able advantage to her guardian ; not on account of their real value ; but that any change, instead of diminishing her passion, would have served only to increase it-even a change to the utmost for verty.
When he entered the sight of himn seemed to be too much for her, and after the first glance she turned her head away. The sound of his voice encouraged her to look once more--and then she riveted her eyes upon him.
“ It is impossible, my deer Miss Milner," he gently whispered, “to say, what joy I feel that your disorder has subsided.”
But though it was impossible to say, it was possible to look what he felt, and his looks expressed his feelings. In the zeal of those sensations, he laid hold of her hand, and held it between his-this he did not himself know-but she did.
“You have prayed for me, my lord, I make no doubt ?” said she, and smiled, as if thanking him for those prayers.
“Fervently, ardently !"-returned he ;-and the fervency with which he had prayed, spoke in cvery feature.
“But I am a Protestant, you know, and if I had died such, do you believe I sould have gone to heaven ?"
“ Most assuredly, that would not have prevented vou."
" But Mr. Sandford does not think so."
“He must; for he hopes to go there him. 82!l."
To keep her guardian with her, Miss Milner seemed inclined to converse ; but her solicitous friend gave Lord Elmwood a look, which implied ti:at it might be injurious to her, and he retired.
They had only one more interview before he left the place; at which Miss Milner was capable of sitting up :--ho was with her, however, but a
When the time for Miss Woodley's departure arrived, Miss Milner entreated earnestly to accompany her home, and made the most solemn promises that she would guard not only her behaviour, but her very thoughts, within the limitation her friend should prescribe. Miss Woodley at length yielded thus far, “ That as soon as Lord Elmwood was set out on his journey to Italy, where she had heard him say that he should soon be obliged to go, she would no longer deny her the pleasure of returning; and if (after the long absence which must consequently take place belween him and her, she could positively affirm the suppression of her passion was the happy result, she would then take her word, and risk the danger of seeing them once more reside together."
This concession having been obtained, they parted ; and, as winter was now far advanced, Miss Woodley returned to her aunt's house in town, from whence Mrs. Horton was, however, preparing to remove, in order to superintend Lord Elmwood's house (which had been occupied by the late earl), in Grosvenor Square ; and her nieco was to accompany her.
If Lord Elmwood was not desirous that Miss Milner should conclude her visit and return to his protection, it was partly the multiplicity of affairs in which he was at this time engaged, and partly from having Mr. Sandford now entirely placed with him as his chaplain ; for he dreaded that, living in the same house, their natural antipathy might be increased even to aversion, Upon this account, he once thought of advising Mr. Sandford to take up his abode elsewhere ; but the great pleasure he took in his society, joined to the hitter mortification he knew such a proposal would be to his friend, would not suffer him to make it.
Miss Milner all this time was not thinking upon those she hated, but on those she loved. Sandford never came into her thoughts, while the image of Lord Elmwood never left them. One morning, as she sat talking to Lady Luneham on
various subjects, but thinking alone on him, Sir some danger, the burthen of hopes which I knew Harry Luneham, with another gentleman, a Mr. would, upon this occasion, press upon you, I de Fleetmond, came in, and the conversation turned
ferred my communication, and it has been anticiupon the improbability there had been, at the pre.. pated. Yet, as you seem in doubt as to the realisent Lord Elmwood's birth, that he should ever ty of what you have been told, perhaps this coninherit the title and estate which had now fallen firmation of it may fall very little short of the first to him-and, said Mr. Fleetmond, " Independent news; especially when it is enforced by my reof rank and fortune, this unexpected occurrence quest, that you will come to us, as soon as you must be matter of infinite joy to Mr. Dorriforth.” can with propriety leave Lady Luneham,
“No,” answered Sir Harry, “independent of “Corne, iny dear Miss Milner, and find in your rank and fortune, it must be a motive of concern once rigid monitor a faithful confidante, I will no to him ; for he must now regret, beyond measure, longer threaten to disclose a secret you have trusthis folly in taking priest's orders—thus depriving ed me with, but leave it to the wisdom or sensibility himself of the hopes of an heir, so that his title, at of his heart (who is now to penetrate into the his death, will be lost.”
hearts of our sex, in search of one that may beat “By no means,” replied Mr. Fleetmond; "he in unison with his own), to find the secret out. I may yet have an heir, for he will certainly marry.” no longer condemn, but congratulate you on your Marry !" cried the baronet.
passion ; and will assist you with all my advice "Yes," answered the other, “it was that I and my earnest wishes, that it may obtain a remeant by the joy it might probably give hiin, beyond the possession of his estate and title.”
This letter was another of those excruciating “How be inarried ?" said Lady Luneham, pleasures that almost reduced Miss Milner to the “has he not taken a vow never to marry ?” grave. Her appetite forsook her; and she vainly
Yes," answered Mr. Fleetmond,“ but there endeavoured, for several nights, to close her eyes. are no religious vows, from which the sovereign She thought so much upon the prospect of accom. pontiff at Rome cannot grant a dispensation : as plishing her hopes, that she could admit no other those commandments which are inade by the idea; not even invent one probable excuse for church, the church has always the power to re leaving Lady Luneham before the appointed time, voke: and when it is for the general good of reli. which was then at the distance of two months. gion, his holiness thinks it incumbent on him to She wrote to Miss Woodley to beg her contrivance, publish his bull, and remit all penalties for their to reproach her for keeping the intelligence so long non-observance. Certainly it is for the honour of from her, and to thank her for having revealed it the Catholics, that this earldom should continue in so kind a manner at last. She begged also to in a catholic family. In short, I will venture to be acquainted how Mr. Dorriforth (for still sho lay a wager, my Lord Elmwood is married within called him by that name) spoke and thought of
this sudden change in his prospects. Miss Milner, who listened with attention, fcared Miss Woodley's reply was a summons for her she was in a dream, or deceived by the pretended to town upon some pretended business, which sho knowledge of Mr. Fleetmond, who might know avoided explaining, but which entirely silenced nothing:-yet all that he had said was very pro Lady Luneham’s entreaties for her stay. bable; and he was himself a Roman Catholic, so To her question concerning Lord Elmwood she that he must be well informed on the subject upon answered, “It is a subject on which he seldom which he spoke. If she had heard the direst news speaks-he appears just the same he ever did, nor that ever sounded in the ear of the most suscepti could you by any part of his conduct conceive that ble of mortals, the agitation of her mind and per any such change had taken place.” Miss Milner son could not have been stronger-she felt, while exclaiined to herself, “I am glad he is not altered every word was speaking, a chill through all her
-if his words, looks, or manners were any thing veins—a pleasure too exquisite, not to bear along different from what they formerly were, I should with it the sensation of exquisite pain ; of which
not like him so well.” And just the reverse would she was so sensible that for a few moments it have been the case, had Miss Woodley sent her made her wish that she had not heard the intelli word he was changed. The day for her leaving gence; though, very soon after, she would not Bath was fixed; she expected it with rapture, but but have heard it for the world.
before its arrival, she sunk under the care of ex. As soon as she had recovered from her first as pectation; and when it came, was so much intonishment and joy, she wrote to Miss Woodley disposed, as to be obliged to defer her journey for an exact account of what she had heard, and re a week. ceived this answer:
At length she found herself in London in the “I am sorry any body should have given you house of her guardian-and that guardian no longthis piece of information, because it was a task, in er bound to a single life, but enjoined to marry. executing which, I had promised myself extreme He appeared in her eyes, as in Miss Woodley's, Eatisfaction:--but from the fear that your health the same as ever ; or perhaps more endearing than was not yet strong enough to support, without ever, as it was the first time she had behold him