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his authority for this intelligence, and found that the London surgeon, who attended Blachford, had been called in by Lord Crowbery, who could no longer shut his eyes against the alarming situation of his Lady, and this gencleman had pronounced a change of climate absolutely necessary, and recommended the air of Lisbon without delay.
The chief object of Sir Roger's visit was thus anticipated, and though the news was painful in the extreme to Henry, yet he drew the confolation from it, of seeing the way smoothed for a peaceable conference between the parties now met at the castle; and it further opened to him a prospect of better opportunities for paying his attentions to his mother, when separated from her tyrant, and in a foreign country, whither he was determined to resort, and at the same time disengage himself from the snares of the too charming object, who had taken fuch hold of his heart,
CHAPTER XI. : An angry Altercation with a Perfon unknown
leads our Hero into iinminent Danger. THESE pious and prudent refolutions of
our hero for renouncing his abode at Manstock House, and following his mother to Lisbɔn, were not taken without a struggle ; for all complaints on the part of Lord Crowbery were more effectually avoided by his remain'ing with Sir Roger, in the absence of the Lady, than by his leaving him, to which it could not fail, but that suspicious conjectures would be affixed. This was a staggering circumstance, and could hardly escape being stated and opposed to him by the hospitable Baronet, nay, perhaps, by Isabella herself, and of her powers of persuasion, should she exert them on the occasion, he had full sense and conviction; neither was it absolute despair, from which he was preparing to retreat; there was no repelling sphere about the lovely person of Isabella ; on the contrary, all was attraction there, all was sweetness and siniles; still, native honour, reverence for the feelings of a father, and a due sense of the young heiress's
superior pretensions, held him to his purpose ; but, above all other motives, devotion to a suffering mother decided against all temptations.
Ezekiel had left him to these meditations, and was gone to the next door, hoping to find some opportunity of making Blachford acquainted with Henry's forgiveness of his attempt against him. In the mean time a person entered the cottage, whom he recollected to be the finder of Lady Crowbery's ring: though he no longer presented himself in the mean and humble dress he before appeared in, his countenance was pale and fickly, and his frame emaciated, yet there was something noble and impressive in his air and deportment. After the ordinary falutations, he desired to know if there was any message or commission from Lady Crowbery. Henry informed him, that he had nothing of the fort in charge. This was heard with strong expressions of surprize. Some small acknowledgment, he owned, hedid expect for his honesty; what did she say upon the delivery of it? She took it, and said nothing, was the answer. — “ Imposible !” exclaim’d the disappointed stranger; “ Lady Crowbery would not receive it in that stile; such indif
ference is totally out of character; it exceeds all credibility. Suffer me,” he added, very feriously, “ to desire you will be pleas’d to recollect yourself; any one word you can call to mind, as utter'd by her on that occasion, will be of moment to me ; consult your memory, I beseech of you; perhaps it may have slipt you in the hurry of your thoughts; nay, it is possible, being so small an article, you may have forgotten to deliver it.”-“How, Sir!” exclaimed Henry, sternly fixing his eyes upon him.--The man paid little regard to this angry interjection, but went on with his discourse, observing, that it was nothing extraordinary if the memory of a young man should fail him in a commission not very interesting.
« I stand in need of no apologies,” replied our hero, “ for defect of memory; I am clear: in what I tell you, and having once asserted it, fhall repeat it no more, nor patiently submit, that any question should be made of my veracity.”_" You talk loftily, young Sir,” said the stranger; “ and before we proceed any -further in this kind of altercation, it will be proper for me to clear up some preliminary points between us, that may else involve you in a mistake you may repent of Appearances,
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I presume, have deceiv'd you ; from what I said to you at our last meeting, when I confid. ed to you the ring, you doubtless consider'd me as a needy abject man, and yourself, then newly taken into favour by Lady Crowbery, as my superior ; before you suit your conversation to that idea, I must forewarn you, that you are talking with a gentleman.”
"I am sorry for it,” replied Henry ; “ as I cannot put up with those suspicions from a gentleman, which, in a vulgar person, I shou'd have disregarded: you talk'd to me of being , return'd from transportation, and in such a man it was an unexpected merit to restore the property he had found; but what can a gentleman require more, than the satisfaction of knowing, that the owner of the ring is in possession of what she had loft ? This you are now inform'd of, and you must prepare your mind, before we part, to dismiss every shadow of doubt, that I could possibly be guilty of a false report.”
« Hold,” replied the other, “ I cou'd never in my life regulate my thoughts at the word of command ; and if you mean to make them accord to your wishes, you must give me fome leading aids towards conviction of your fincerity, before I can repofe implicit faith in