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"Thank God !' she exclaimed in a low and fervent voice, he'll know Hall at last.'
“So much for Hall,' thought I, dismissing the man from my apprehensions, and stealing a glance at the bowed face of my beautiful companion. It was pale-deadly pale; and while her eyes glowed with thankfulness, tears were straying quick and silent down her cheeks.
There was something wrong still. I took her hand in mine, and spoke some nonsense or other, incoherent enough,—some rambling assurances of devotion, and so forth, ending with a declaration of my willingness to defend her against all comers if she gave me but the title to do so.
Mr. Donnellan,' said she, turning abruptly round, there is one thing you must promise me. This explanation will naturally place you very much in Frank's confidence; and Hall's treachery, if it be proved, will exasperate him to a degree that I shudder to think of. Will you pledge yourself to me that you will use your best influence to prevent anything in the way of a duel? I know it will be a hard thing to do; but you must promise it to me. Remember, he must not meet Hall.'
Nonsense! exclaimed I, laughing at her simplicity. 'I can only assure you, my dear Miss Seymour, that it would be against all rules for your brother to meet the fellow after his conduct; so you may dismiss all fears on that head. Meet Hall! why the best-natured man in Ireland wouldn't fight him for charity.' "Well,' replied she, remember I place my brother in your hands.
And in my hands he shall be perfectly safe,' I answered ; and now let us talk about ourselves, and that pleasant Galway ball.'
Into what a sea of reminiscences we plunged! Who could have thought that an acquaintance of some five hours length or so could supply such a fund for conversation ? yet so it was that even the most trifling incident which occurred during that interim had been so firmly planted in both our memories, that when we drew on them for materials we found a hoard that might keep us employed from sunrise to sunset. I felt myself rapidly gaining ground in her favour, as rapidly approaching the opportunity of winning her brother's good-will, and offering him a substitute for the treacherous friend from whom I was to extricate him. It seemed scarce a minute until we were beyond the smoke of the city; the park was soon left behind, with its rolling thunders of artillery, its floating music swelling and sinking with each fitful breath of the summer air, and dying away at last in the distance, with its glittering pageantry of which a casual glance could now and then be caught through the foliage of the trees as we swept along the road: high hearts and happy were there, no doubt, but mine was as light as the best of them ; and where was the brow even among that throng of loveliness which could vie with that of my gentle Grace? Still we talked, and still we could have talked to the end of the journey, even if it were to reach to Athlone, until, at last, on mounting the crest of the hill which overhangs the town of Lucan, the coachman turned round with an anxious and alarmed expression-for he had picked up enough to understand the object of our journey—and pointing to one of the houses in the Main Street, (I believe they call it,) bade us remark the crowd which had gathered before the door. It was the very house in which Frank Seymour had notified his intention of taking refuge.
Powerless with anxiety, his sister sank back in the carriage, while I 11 sprang to my feet, and leaned forward to catch a glimpse of something that might inform me of what was going on. There
was the crowd, sure enough, while people were running from every quarter to increase itsome in their hurry, not waiting to put on a hat-others coatless, and all straining to reach the scene. Swifter even than before flew the horses, urged on by a renewed application of whipcord. Down the hill we thundered, and pulled up with a jerk within a few yards of the door indicated. With one bound I reached the flagway the moment the carriage stopped, and diving through the crowd, with difficulty reached the hall-door. Í could gather, from the remarks made as I passed, that there were bailiffs up stairs endeavouring to arrest a gentleman, who, they said, had escaped from them, and locked himself up in one of the rooms. The
within confirmed what I had heard, but so dense was the crowd that I almost despaired of reaching Seymour before some mischief would be done. I struggled madly to get forward ; and some persons observing my extreme anxiety, and rightly guessing that I had some object connected with the affair, made way for me, and enabled me to reach the staircase.
· Break in the door, my boys ; you've law on your side!' was shouted in a voice that sounded above all the din, and which I recognized at once to be Desmond's. Two or three more vigorous struggles brought me half way up the stairs, and gave me a view of the landing-place
where was the door that stood between Desmond and his prey, and which it seemed they were now about to burst open. One blow had been struck with an iron bar, and Desmond was encouraging the operator to strike another, when the voice of young Seymour from within was heard, warning him to desist.
“By heavens!' he furiously exclaimed, 'if another blow is struck, I'll fire through the door, and you may share what you get between you.'
Don't mind him!' shouted Desmond. "Devil a thing he has but the poker.'
'Do you think so ?' retorted Seymour, discharging a pistol through the window at the rear; and there's another where that came from.'
At the noise of the shot the crowd at the head of the stairs, and the lobby, deeming their personal safety as of more importance than their curiosity, made a burst down the stairs, and effectually stopped my further progress in that direction. Just as Desmond, enraged at the defection of his satellites, snatched up the bar, and was about to try his own strength on the refractory door, I shouted to him to forbear, but he heeded me not. The opposite balustrade of the ascending staircase was within about a yard of that on which I stood; and having stretched across, and grappled in the rails, I swung myself over, hanging by my arms, determined, at any risk, to prevent such a fatal collision as must take place if he put his threat into execution. I was too late, however; ere I could obtain a footing on the lobby, a blow had been struck, and in quick succession the report of a pistol followed from within, the balls splintering the pannels as they passed through, one whizzing by my ear, while a stinging twitch in my right arm indicated where the other had found a resting place. I looked down in horror at the depth below; it was little less than twenty feet; my head grew dizzy, my arm failed, and down-down I went crashing into the hall of the basement story.
When I came thoroughly to myself, and recovered from the bewilderment in which I was plunged immediately on my resuscitation, I found myself stretched on a sofa in a little parlour, with the wind blowing on my face, and a strong smell of apothecary's stuff affecting my nostrils. Seymour I recognized at once, standing at my head, with a face as doleful as if he had been guilty of manslaughter. Desmond and one of his bailiffs were looking on, and a couple of policemen gave interest to the group. A surgical-looking old gentleman was feeliug my pulse, and two or three other people whom I did not know, but whose local importance authorized them to poke their noses into the transaction, were standing at the foot of the sofa.A buzz ran through the whole party when I revived, and I observed the servant who drove me out quit the room hastily, as if to impart the good news elsewhere.
I made an effort to rise, that I might test the soundness of my limbs, but a thrilling sensation of pain in my arm, side, and head, compelled me to resume my prostrate attitude, even before the surgeon could issue his in. junctions.
• Very little hurt, sir. A most fortunate escape ; but must remain strictly quiet for a day or two. There now, pray don't stir, and you'll be all to rights long before you want to get married. Mustn't talk, though, mustn't talk.'
This latter part of the prohibition, however, I insisted on breaking; and addressing Seymour, who, poor fellow ! seemed deeply affected by the accident, I procured the departure of all persons unconcerned, and disclosed to him all I knew, and all I had to say about the swindling partnership existing between Hall and Desmond, and expressed my regret that I had not been on the spot a few minutes sooner, when the disclosure might have had the effect of preventing the occurrence of anything un. pleasant. One thought alone, however, seemed to engross him; he had trusted, and been deceived, and, but for this timely discovery of the designs of his false friend, would have been made the instrument of worse than ruin to his sister. He was stunned by the magnitude of the danger he had escaped, as well as by the mortification he had already undergone, and for a time could do no more than offer his incoherent acknowledg. ments of the service I had rendered to him and his. Desmond and his gang, on the first allusion to his confederacy with Hall, had slunk out of the room, and finally from the premises, abandoning the doubtful capture; and, a sufficient explanation having been afforded to the police, they too departed, leaving Seymour at liberty to do what he liked, so as he abstained from the further use of gunpowder; and now, having succeeded in freeing him from the ugly dilemma in which he had been placed, it is time I should say something about myself. My hurts, on a closer inspection, seemed to amount-imprimis
, to a pistol-wound in the arm ; item, a cut on the head ; item, a serious bruise on the hip; item, a couple of ribs broken; and, all things considered, I regarded myself as being more fortunate than usual. Seymour's deepest sympathy I had, as a matter of course. People always have such a liking for their own jobs, even though they are not professionally entitled to kill or slay ; but the joy of his sister when she learned that I was but slightly hurt, was more to me than the sympathy of all the lords of the creation together. She had fainted on the first report of fire-arms, and on her recovery received the distracting intelligence that her brother had shot a gentleman. I don't want to take credit to myself for all her woe, since even the death of a tinker under such circumstances would have been a serious affliction; however, that it was in some slight degree aggravated by my being the victim was an idea too pleasing to be abandoned. Be that as it may, as soon as my wounds and bruises were dressed, and my garments replaced, according to the rules of decency, Seymour led her into the room to join him in thanking me for all I had done, and in pleading with him for pardon for his almost fatal rashness-a thing that I had forgotten already, dazzled by the hopes which now crowded upon me. A fig for Demerara! I should wait for the next packet at all events, and before that time I might have reason good to stay in Ireland.
To shorten my story, let me say that the surgeon refused to let me be removed for at least a week; and as Seymour refused to quit me for a moment, Grace had to return home by herself
, promising to pay us a visit on the morrow. It is needless to say that double the pain I suffered would have been a cheap purchase for half the bliss; and, as I don't intend inflicting on you the journal of my sick room,-how I grew feverish with my very delight, and recovered under the same stimulant, until at last I was permitted to change my quarters for the greater comforts which their residence in M- street afforded, — let me omit the daily attentions of my gentle little Grace, the hourly cares of her brother, who at my instance moreover consented to rest satisfied with the bloodshed he had already perpetrated, and let Hall go to Jericho after his own fashion,-a sacrifice which after all he could not have helped making, for the fellow absconded next morning to Germany. Let me, in fine, transport myself to the quiet, cozy little study in M- street, where a bed had been
prepared for the invalid. It was the first day I had been allowed to take wine, and Mrs. Seymour and I were sitting by ourselves, Frank and Grace having gone out to pay a few visits. The worthy old woman being a bit of a proser, and deeming it her duty to keep me in chat, had commenced a long and edifying disquisition, displaying no small fund of labour and learned research, with the purpose of investigating within what possible degrees of consanguinity the Donnellans of Killmony might, could, would, or should stand related to the Blakes of Fort something, from which ancient and respectable house she derived her origin. In vain, however, she laboured; to her infinite regret she could not make out even a thirty-first cousinship. Common politeness demanded I should come to the poor woman's rescue ; and so, following the suggestions of the wine, I spoke my mind boldly, and proposed an arrangement which would obviate the necessity of tracing back so far for an alliance. You may guess the rest. In a year's time, when she reached her years of discretion, Grace Seymour became Grace Donnellan. And now, how do you like my story?
One moment linger!-lo! from Venus' bowers,
Painted by Messieurs Grieve with fruit and flowers,
She comes in all her blushing beauty, borne
On canvas clouds to represent the morn,
Aurora's self! what time her brow resumes
The wreath that's scented with Delcroix' perfumes.
Sylph of the earth! the sky! and oh! as fair
As Op'ra dancers generally are.
In that sweet form what varied graces meet,
From sparkling eyes to tiny twinkling feet,
Light as the bounding fawn along the lea,
• Ac-live and spry' as an industrious flea ;
Light as the foam when Venus leaves the wave,
Without a rag appearances to save :
Mark! on yon rose lights the celestial tread,
While agile carpenters decline its head;
Sweet Ariel floats above her as she springs,
And wafts the flying fair with wires and strings.
Now wreathed in radiant smiles she seems to glide,
And in a well.greased groove is made to slide ;
Her light cymar in lucid beauty streams
'Mong fops and dandies crowding 'hind the scenes.
Round her small waist the zone young Iris binds,
And Corset Parisien her shape confines.
Fille de Philippe !* the ballet is thine own:
When o'er the watered stage the whitning's strown
A thousand fiddles scrape round Terpi's throne.
All are on tip-toe till thy toe's tip's shown,
Places are purchased at a price unknown * The father of Mademoiselle Taglioni rejoices in the sponsorial and
To any- but the box.keeper alone). patronymic appellation of Philippe.
With weight unusual then the benches groan: 1 Terpsichore. Terpi for the sake of brevity, as we say Betsy for
Into the 'bust sixteen are crammed-ochone ! # 'Bue for Omnibus. Mr. Farron says Omnibi. Vide Doctor Dilworth.
In fact it is the greatest house e'er known.