صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

the girl, "I can't pretend to say what shou'd vex you, unless it be that teazing miss who has held you so long from your repose, and who, they say, is so forward amongst the men, that I'm sure you can't approve of her goings on with Mr. Henry.—Who tells you this ?" faid the mistress; “ who are they that say she is forward with Mr. Hanry?"_“Nay, Madam,”

replied the girl, “I dont't know who says it 1, in particular ; every body says it that saw it;

if I were to name names I shou'd país for an informer, and I'm sure I shou'd be sorry to make mischief in the family, and stir up a combustion amongst my fellow-servants; if it offends you, Madam, I will have done.”

" It does not offend me, Susan,” said Ifabella, looking graciously upon her, “ nor need you have done on that account, as supposing what you say to me can possibly be repeated in this family. No doubt the servants, who waited at table, must have observed Mifs Claypole's particularity; she was very unguarded to be sure."-"-And very ridiculous, Madam, if I may say so,” cried Susan, “ for every body seems to think she can do herself no good by it, and that her schemes won't take with the young gentleman, who certainly did VOL. II.



not relish her behaviour, though he was too much of a man to turn his back upon her publicly; yet they tell me he look'd very cross at times, and that I'm sure is not natural to him: I dare say, Madam, you never saw him look cross in your days; for my part I can safely swear I never saw a frown upon his brow, though he has had enough to vex him, poor dear foul; therefore I'll forfeit my life if this lady has not done for herself; and if ever I come cleverly to the speech of him, I warrant me l'll get it all out, unless you are pleas'd to order otherwise, and see fit to forbid me.”-“Why shou'd I do that?” Isabella replied, “ since you will speak only for yourself, and not let him fuppose that I can have any interest in the state of his heart towards Miss Claypole; in that, you know, I cannot possibly have the smallest concern, further than as mere matter of curiosity to hear how she stands with him; that is natural enough, you see, because, somehow or other, Susan, I have taken it strongly into my head, that Henry is not over-fond of forward girls.” - Susan blushed from consciousness that the remark was just, to which she ingenuously gave testimony, saying, that she believed the world

did not contain his like for honour towards the sex, and true modesty of nature." I have reason to say it," added she; “ for love wou'd have made a fool of me, and something worse perhaps, but for his care and generous concern for me. Oh! Madam, did you but know him as I do; had you seen him in poverty and in sorrow; how patient, how resign'd, of injuries how forgiving, in dangers how brave, in nature how benevolent; oh! Madam, you wou'd not wonder if a girl like me had lov'd him to distraction."

“ Indeed, my good girl,” said the amiable Isabella, blushing as she spoke, “ there is all the reason in the world for loving him, and I do not wonder at you; every body that knows him must love him."-" That's what I say,” resumed she; “but lackaday! as for this young madam that is so hot upon it, what is her love ? mere outside love; the love of the eye; that will never make its way with him ; I am certain that my Mr. Henry will never be her man, no, not if she had a thousand pounds where she has one."-" Indeed, Susan,” replied Isabella, “ I agree with you that fortune will never be Henry's motive for making love; and though Miss Claypole is a handsome girl,

N2 . I thou'd

I shou'd doubt if her manners are to his taste; nay, I own to you, it wou'd very much fink him in my opinion, was he to place his regards there; and I think I may venture to answer for him, that he will not.”—“Answer for him!” cried Susan, “I will swear it, Madam: no, no; his heart is otherwise bestow'd, his affections are more worthily plac'd; and if ever he swerves from the lovely object he adores, to trifle and disgrace himself with that vain wanton firting Miss Claypole, if ever he does that, I will, I will.” " Come, come, Susan,” said Isabella, interposing, “ there is no fear of him; I shou'd be forced to hate him if he did, and that wou'd make me wretched; but no more of this at present : get you to bed; we shall have a stormy night, and upon those occasions I always sit up till it is over.”


CHAPTER VII. The Hero of our History is brought to Shame. THERE was a gallery in this quarter of

the house, which had a communication with several of the apartments, and amongst


others with that which Fanny Claypole occupied. Here she was met by Henry, as the was going to her chamber fome time after her conference with Isabella. We confess it does not set off the gallantry of our hero, that he would fain have contented himself with civilly bidding her good night, and so have passed onwards to his bed-room, which also opened into the aforesaid gallery. There were other modes of disposing of time, to Fanny's mind in its prefent state, more grateful than that of devoting it to folitude and seep. She contrived to hold him in parley some few ininutes, and in that short space of time the storm foreseen by Isabella took place; the winds began to howl, the lightnings Aashed, and the thunder rolled.

Fanny's gentle spirits instantly took alarm; her terrors deprived her of the power of stirring from the spot on which she stood; she clung close to Henry, clasping him with both arms, and seeming to supplicate protection in the moft piteous manner. It was in vain he encouraged her to lay aside her fears, that the burst was over, and the storm had spent its fury; she was sure there would be more of it; she did not dare to move; and the implored

N 3


« السابقةمتابعة »