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CHAP. III.

- with heart opprest,
Alone, reluctant, desolate and slow,
By friendship's cheering radiance now unblest,
Along life's rudest path I seem to go;
Nor see where yet the anxious heart may rest,
That trembling at the past-recoils from future woe;

Charlotte Smith.

AMELROSA tottered into the house, and repairing to her own apartment, Alung off her hat and cloak, and threw herself exhausted on the bed, where she relieved her swoln heart with weeping, till at length she fell into an uneasy slumber. When she awoke, finding herself extremely weak and feverish, and that she had dozed to her

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great

great surprise, till evening, Amelrosa ordered some tea, and taking up a book to divert her miserable reflections, read till ten o'clock and then retired to rest. She slept tolerably well; when about three in the morning she was awakened by a loud knocking at the door, occasioned by Mrs. Stanhope and her daughter coming home from an assembly.

Thoroughly awakened, she found it impossible to sleep any more, as numerous thoughts, relative to what had passed at the habitation of Minette, crowded into her mind. That hapless female, like herself, the victim of misfortune, must have heard nearly the whole of her conversation with Lord Conrade, and the other circumstances which happened ; and she was astonished at her not entering the apartment when she was with his lordship. How much did she wish it had been the case, as she would not then have been found alone with him. On consideration, she concluded that Minette's

keep

keeping in the back ground, proceeded either from feeling herself too unwell to encounter such a scene ; or otherwise, from the idea of offending Lord Conrade, who would, she judged, be provoked to see her at such a moment. However, Amelrosa determined to go the first time she felt sufficiently recovered, to visit the lovely unfortunate emigrant; as she wished to converse with her on the events that had taken place, and was anxious to know how she bore his lordship's ill conduct.

Involuntarily she shuddered, when she remembered she had seen Montague, and was lessened in his esteem ; perhaps an object of contempt and hatred, which her apparent infidelity seemed to claim. His unexpected return to England would have elated her heart with transport, had their first interview been more fortunate ; but now her surprise, almost too great for expression, was intermingled with the most cruel pangs; and his being prepared, ap

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parently

parently, from the words he uttered in his yiolent emotion, to find her faithless, was still more wonderful. The fatal truth, that he had-renounced her for ever, was but too certain'; and sometimes she considered it was useless therefore to weary herself with conjectures, since she could not recall past • felicity. Her thoughts could not rest on any subject productive of pleasure ; and to prevent herself from entirely sinking under the present calamity, required the utmost exertion of fortitude. In vain she looked forward with eager expectations, to a letter from Lady Archdale : day after day elapsed, and brought repeated disappointments, till at length she wrote again, fearful her letter had miscarried.

During this interval, she received another letter from Emmeline Glenholme, enclosing a bank-note, and requesting she would be so good as to make several pur- . chases for her, and send them to Scotland. With her brother's arrival she seemed to

tally

tally unacquainted, merely observing she had not heard from him lately, which added to Amelrosa's astonishment ; but had she known the circumstances attendant" on Montague's sudden appearance, she would have ceased to be surprised.

The Colonel of the regiment to which he belonged, had received private information from Government, some months before it took place, that the troops were soon to be ordered home; but was commanded to keep this intelligence concealed from the officers and men, till he had a public order for the embarkation of the corps. A very short period had elapsed, after Montague's having consented to his sister's going to Sir Robert's, and already seen the white sails of the ship that conveyed her to England, Auttering in the breeze, when the delightful information reached his ears, that his regiment was to embark immediately; vessels for the purpose being just arrived with dispatches from Great Britain

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