صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

gage his heart, was sufficiently tired of his mer cenary attachment to Miss Rachel; so that he patiently submitted to his dismission and readily obeyed his father's commands by a total discontinuance of his visits to Sir Paul: To the ladies of the family this behaviour appeared altogether mysterious ; Sir Paul kept the secret to himself, and watched Louisa very narrowly; when he found she took no other notice of Lionel's neglect, than by slightly remarking that The supposed he was more agreeably engaged, he began to dismiss his jealousy and regain his Spirits.

It was far otherwise with the unhappy Rachel; her heart was on the rack, for though she'naturally fuspected her brother's jealousy of being the cayse of Lionel's absence, yet she could not account for his silence towards herself in any other way than by supposing thiąt Louisa had totally drawn off his affections from her, and this was agony not to be fupported; day after day passed in anxious expectation of a letter to explain this cruel neglect, but none came; all communication with the whole family of lord Mortimer was at a stop; no intelligence could be obtained from that quarter, and to all such enquiries as the ventured to try upon her brother,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

he answered so drily, that she could gather nothing from him : In the mean time as he became hourly better reconciled to Louifa, so he grew more and more cool to the miferable Rachel, who now too late discovered the fatal consequences of interfering between husband and wife, and heartily reproached herself for her officiousnefs in aggravating his jealousy. : Whilst she was tormenting herself with these reflections, and when Louisa seemed to have forgotten that ever fuch a person as Lionel existed, a report was circulated that he was about to be married to a certain lady of great rank and fortune, and that he had gone up with lord Mortimer to town for that purpose. There wanted only this blow to make Rachel's'agonies compleat'; in a fate of mind little short of phrenfy the betook herself to her chamber, and there fhutting herself up the gave vent to her paffion in a letter fully charged with complaints and reproaches, which she committed to a trusty melsenger with strict injunctions to deliver it into Lionel's own hand, and return with his answer: This commission was faithfully performed, and the following is the answer the received in return.

« Madam,

« Madam, “ I am no less astonished than affected by

your letter: If your brother has not long since “ informed you of his conference with my father and the result of it, he has acted as un

justly by you as he has by lord Mortimer ^ and myself: When my father waited upon « Sir Paul for the express purpose of making “ known to him the hopes I had the ambition “ to entertain of rendering myself acceptable to

you upon a proposal of marriage, he received $C at once so short and peremptory a dismission

on my behalf, that, painful as it was to my « feelings, I had no part to act but filently to

submit and withdraw myself from a family, “ where I was so unacceptable an intruder.

" When I confirm the truth of the report

you have heard, and inform you that my mar“ riage took place this very morning, you will “ pardon me if I add no more than that I have & the honour to be,

« Madam, your most obedient

« and most humble servant,


Every hope being extinguished by the receipt of this letter, the disconsolate Rachel became

U 4 henceforth

henceforth one of the most miserable of human beings : After venting a torrent of rage against her brother, she turned her back upon his house for ever, and undetermined where to fix, whilft at intervals she can scarce.be said to be in posseffion of her senses, fe is ftill wandering from place to place in search of that repose, which is not to be found, and wherever she goes exhibits a melancholy spectacle of disappointed envy and self-tor, menting spleen.



Delifa poffest of beauty, fortune, rank, and

every elegant accomplishment, that genius and education could bestow, was withal so unfupportably capricious, that she seemed born to be the torment of every heart, which suffered itself to be attracted by her charms. Though her coquetry was notorious to a proverb, such were her allurements, that very few, upon whom The thought fit to practise them, had ever found resolution to refift their power. Of all the victims of her vanity Leander seemed to be that

over whom she threw her chains with the greatest air of triumph ; he was indeed a con. queft to boast of, for he had long and obstinately defended his heart, and for a ţime made as many reprisals upon the tender passions of her fex as she raised contributions upon his: Her better star at length prevailed; the beheld Leander at her feet, and though her victory was accomplished at the expence of more tender glances, than the had ever bestowed upon the whole fex collectively, yet it was a victory, which only piqued Adelisa to render his flavery the more intolerable for the trouble it had coft her to reduce him to it. After she had trifled with him and tortured him in every way that her ingenious malice could devise, and made such public display of her tyranny, as subjected him to the ridicule and contempt of all the men, who had envied his fuccess, and every woman, who resented his neglect, Adelisa avowedly dismissed hịm as an object which could no longer furnish sport to her cruelty, and turned to other pursuits with a kind of indifference as to the choice of them, which seemed to have no other guide but mere ca. price.

Leander was not wanting to himself in the efforts he now made to free himself from her



« السابقةمتابعة »