תמונות בעמוד

exceedingly large from his face being meager, sallow and livid.

Cold sweats hung on his clammy forehead, and the Earl with horror and contrition contemplated his victim; learning from the servant, the cause that had reduced him to such an affecting situation, and wished but too late, he had rather promoted than prevented the union of his son and the unfortunate El. mira,—now reposed from all persecution in the last retreat of the wretched, whither her husband soon promised to follow her.

" Lord Cliffden requested his servant would mention to him, at the first interval of reason he had, that his father wished to see him; which accordingly the man did, but the name of his father brought so many cruel recollections, that in the anguish of his soul, he sent word he could never see. him more; and was again seized with delirium.

" Miserable at the effect his message bad:


produced, the Earl made no further attempt to see him, but departed for the Castle, and as the only resource and hope, sent for Heartwell as before mentioned, on whose attention to his son, knowing his attachment, he could depend.

“ When Lord Rossmore was entirely recovered from bis illness, he requested his father would give him Greystone-hall for his residence, its gloomy and retired situation suiting the present unhappy state of his mind, which had received an incurable wound; and from that period, excepting the two years he passed in France, during which time my misfortunes happened, (said Heartwell,) he has never quitted it for a longer interval than a week or fortnight. He placed me, after being ruined in his absence, in this small farm, paid my debts, and to him indeed I have twice owed every thing, and he is continually making me presents.

He does not know Lucy is in service, if he did he would insist on paying


for her board at home; but I conceal it, not chusing to be always encroaching on his goodness.

“I shall never forget his first coming to see me after being settled at Greystonehall: he had not been long recovered, and one of my children was then in the cradle. No sooner did he cast his eyes on the infant than he gave a deep groan, struck his forehead, and saying, with distraction in his looks,— Such might have been Elmira's, but for thee, my father!' like a madman he ran out of the house, leaving us all terrified beyond expression.

“ From that hour he never has approached my dwelling, though I go frequently to see him ; for he cannot bear the sight of a child or woman, such an effect has misfortune made on a mind of so much feeling and affection, that the sight of them reminds him so forcibly of his sufferings, that his intellects will not support the



shock, and he is quite deranged for the moment--The few female servants he keeps are ordered never to appear before him, and when they see him coming, get out of the way as fast as possible,

" To his father he was almost immediately reconciled, his heart being too noble to cherish resentment, except when under the influence of passion; and the Earl, notwithstanding he laments the injury he has done him, has resumed his parsimony, and allows him but a scinty income, for a man of his rank, and sole heir to the rich

pos. sessions of Lord Cliffden. But even from this narrow allowance he contrives to perform numberless acts of benevolence; and soon I expect his power will be more enlarged, for the last account I received of the Earl he was in a bad state of health, and not likely to live long, being near seventy-which is an age when it is not probable that human nature can struggle long with any disease. Lord Rossmore


keeps very little company, merely one or two particular friends, who come to see him in the course of the year; as no other person would like to visit at a house, that has the air of a sepulchre.”

Heartwell here concluded the history of Lord Rossmore, which beguiled Amelrosa of many tears; and the good farmer's had frequently flowed during his narrative. “ Never,” said she, addressing him, “ did I feel so much interested for any stranger, as for your excellent and unfortunate lord. I think, at this moment, I could almost give the world, if I possessed it, to see him. Is there any chance of it, do you imagine? as I am certain I should know him from your description. Does he ever walk out?"

Heartwell smiled at this interrogation, and replied, - Sometimes; but always chuses the most retired spots; and if he were to meet, would not look at you;


« הקודםהמשך »