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only from its absolute but relative beauty, as bringing to my memory the very image of a father, who was, in my eyes at least, the model of perfection. Alas! the traces of that fatally-beloved form are too deeply imprinted on my heart ever to be effaced by time; and if it was a crime to love, and be undone by loving him too well, surely my sufferings have been such as fully to atone for my improvident offence. To purchase pardon of a father, I consented to his wishes by marrying Lord Crowbery : How dreadful was that facrifice ! I had no heart to bestow; that was gone with him, from whom I was separated as far as fea and land and obstacles insurmountable could divide us from each other, without a hope of ever meeting more on this side death. What has been his fate Heaven only knows! mine has been sorrowful enough, and what to other married women would be an irksome reflection, is to me my only confolation - I have never borne children to Lord Crowbery. At the same time, I am sensible how much this circumstance contributes to embitter our domestic peace, and aggravate that ill-humour, which my unwearied efforts cannot soothe, Alas! how should they? He is quick egough to discern that the attentions. I pay him, and
the the patience I exert, have no connection with the heart; that they are artificial virtues, become fainiliar by practice; and that I am indebted to indifference only for the facility with which I perform them. If then I am thus exposed to his ill-humour for acting the part of a dutiful and obedient wife without the affections of one, what would be my fate should he discover me to have imposed upon him in a matter more derogatory to his honour, and for which no plea or extenuation could avail me? I tremble at the reflection: wonder not, therefore, if my terrors prevail over the longings of a mother's heart, and compel me to use the language of caution, whilst my bosom glows with all the ardour of affection.”
Whilst Lady Crowbery was thus discoursing, Henry had arrived, and being now announced by Bridget, order was given for his immediate admission.
Nature will have her Way. H ENRY now entered the room, dressed, as
we have before observed, in mourning for his departed friend, and with all that mo
delt grace, which was natural to him, advanced a few steps from the door, and then stopt short, as one that waits in humble silence to be spoken to.
The Doctor was seated in his sick chair ; the lady opposite to him and in full front of the interesting object that now stood before her: It was a trying moment; she glanced a look upon him that would have told him where to find a mother, had he met her eyes. All the advantages of person were now restored to him by change of dress; but there were other circumstances still more attractive, that made this second interview peculiarly impressive ; what was at first pre-sentiment was now become a certainty ; the consciousness that she was actually in presence of a new-' discovered unacknowledged son, struck on her heart like an electric shock, as sudden and as swift. She started, shivered, and with diffi. culty refrained from crying out, as Nature prompted her, “My son, my son !” The very counterpart of that engaging form, that won her virgin heart, and triumphed over all restraints of duty and discretion, was in her eye; 'twas Delapoer hiinself restored to youth, or risen from the grave; the fame fine fymmetry of shape, the same rich glow of manly beauty,
that once so fatally had charmed her in the father, was here transfused into the son, and brought past scenes so full into review, as almost made them present.
“ Henry,” says she, " I find I have a claim in you, that by the death of Ratcliffe now devolves upon me in full right and title : the object of his care henceforth belongs to me, and therefore wonder not to see nae thus affected by surprize and pity, having discovered you to be the relict of my much-lamented friend. Ah, my dear child, (so let me call you now) my tears shall mix with your's in watering the grave of that invaluable man.”
Here her voice failed, her agitation became extremne, and a discharge of tears came feafonably to her relief. What portion of them appertained to the mother's share, what to the friend's, I leave for nature to decide. “And now, Henry,” resumed The, “ confiding in your discretion, I take you by the hand for life, pledging myself for your future fortune,
and promising to stand by you in the place of - a mother, till the mystery of your birth shall
be revealed, and even of that I would not have you despair. I observe with pleasure you have put yourself into mourning for your friend, which is highly proper and commendable in
you; and as you must have exhausted your small supply, I shall provide for your occasions in such a manner as will enable you to support the character of a gentleman, in which you are so well qualified to move, and wherein I shall not cease to uphold you. The misfor. tunes you have encountered since your hafty departure from your patron's house, and the indignities you have suffered in this place, are now recompensed to you by the happy providence that has thrown you upon the protection of one whose arms, like those of a parent, are open to receive you. In what line of life to dispose of you, must be matter of fome rea flection, and I shall advise with my uncle Man. stock on the subject, who was, equally with myself, a very cordial friend to poor Ratcliffe. At the same time, my dear child, if you have formed any wishes, and have any predilection for one profession rather than another, let me be acquainted with them ; remember only that it must be the profession of a gentleman, and your connections in the mean while must be such only as are suitable to that character. The poor widow and honest Ezekiel, who have harboured you in your distress, shall be recompensed for their hospitality; but I should