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mother might weep, and your father might be angry; but all this would be ephemeral. They would soon become reconciled.”
"Never, Stanley, never ! My poor mother, indeed, might, if her heart was not broken by the shock; but my father never would ! Oh, Stanley, Stanley, banish the thought for ever. I never can, I never will
“When you are calm, my love ; reflect when you are calm.”
“I am calm,” rejoined Amelia firmly ; “quite calm. I love you, you know that I love you-most fondly; but never, Stanley, never will I take that step.”
Stanley said no more. He dropped his hands, which still held hers; and having led her across the lawn into the parlour, he stood over her in silence for some moments, when, kissing her brow affectionately, he left her in tears.
He paced the lawn for some considerable time in deep thought. He could not tell what course to pursue. Eventually, however, he walked round to the stables, ordered his cab, and drove towards town. On the road he met the Captain, who endeavoured to prevail upon him to return; but, without the slightest manifestation of disappointment, he declined and drove on.
Poor Amelia had no idea of his having left. As she sat absorbed in tears she expected him every moment to re-enter the room. She dried her eyes, and looked again and again towards the lawn. She could not see him. She went into the garden. No Stanley was there. He surely could not have left her so! She would not believe that he had. Even when she ascertained that he had driven off, she felt sure that he would shortly return ; but when the Captain came home and explained that he had seen him, her worst fears were realised, and although she laboured hard, and to some extent successfully, to conceal her emotion, the thought of his having left her under the circumstances without a word, was, indeed, the most bitter pang she had ever experienced
She had still, however, the hope of seeing him on the morrow; but then the morrow came without Stanley. Well
, surely on the next day! The next day also came without Stanley ; and the next and the next : a week, which seemed a year, passed, but Stanley did not come.
The Captain thought it strange, and sent Albert to ascertain if he were ill: but excuses came back without Stanley. Another week passed. The Captain sent no more. He began to regard it as a matter of extreme delicacy under the circumstances; and Albert left for Cambridge.
Amelia now called into action all the power at her command, with the view of enabling her to bear up against it. But then the thought of having lost him for ever! The third week passed. The colour left her cheeks: her eyes lost their wonted fire-her spirits their usual . buoyancy: yet what could be done? She felt that to write to him would be extremely incorrect; and yet could there be anything very indelicate in the pursuit of such a course ? When a month had passed she could endure it no longer. She must write, and did to the following effect : MY DEAR STANLEY,
“If Amelia be not utterly despised you will come down to Rich. mond at once. Oh! Stanley, I cannot endure it. I am distracted.
It is cruel, very cruel. My heart is too full to say more, but believe me to be still your most affectionate, although almost broken-hearted
AMELIA.” On the receipt of this, Stanley-albeit he could not help feeling its force-experienced more than that common satisfaction which springs from the success of a deeply laid scheme. It developed precisely that state of mind to which he had been ardently anxious to bring her. He had kept away expressly in order to prove that he had enslaved her by making her feel that his absence was intolerable. He therefore detained the servant whom she had secretly despatched, and wrote the following answer :“ MY OWN SWEET GIRL,
“You are still, and ever will be, dearer to me than life; but my absence has been prompted by the conviction, that during the probationary period which has been named, and which, indeed, you have sanctioned, it were better, as that period must elapse, for us to communicate with each other as seldom as possible, lest I may be tempted to renew those solicitations which appear to be so utterly abhor. rent to your feelings. I will, however, as you desire it, drive down in the morning, when I hope to find you perfectly well. “I am, my Amelia, still your own
« STANLEY." This greatly relieved her. It reanimated her hopes. She felt that she was still beloved by him whom she adored, and was comparatively happy; and when he came the next morning she endeavoured to smile with her accustomed sweetness, and forbore to employ even the accents of reproof; but Stanley perceived that she had endured the most intense mental agony, and that, as he was still most affec. tionately attentive, she loved him if possible more fondly than before.
The subject was not renewed. Not a syllable having reference to his absence passed his lips, save to the Captain, to whom he made certain specious excuses. He dined there ; and as he endeavoured to enslave her still more by calling up all his powers of fascination, he left her so happy! He went the next day and the next; still not a single syllable on the subject was breathed ; but, on the day following that, he seized the earliest opportunity for renewing the attack, having found that he had so completely gained her heart as to render resistance improbable in the extreme.
“My dear Amelia,” said he, as they sat in the arbour; “I cannot of course tell, love, how you feel ; but really, in your society, I experience such happiness!
“ Indeed, my Stanley, it is mutual,” said Amelia. “It is hence that your absence induced so much agony."
“Why, then,” said Stanley, “ should we ever be absent from each other ? Amelia! forgive me; but I feel that I must again urge my • suit. I must again try to prevail upon you to listen to that which
“ Stanley, Stanley !'' said Amelia, bursting into tears; “pray, pray do not mention that subject again.”
“I know your extreme delicacy," he continued, “and appreciate it highly ; but let me reason with you for a moment. You believe that your parents have your happiness at heart ?"
“Oh! yes," replied Amelia. “Of that I am convinced.”
“ How then can you believe that they would be angry to see you happy ?”
"I do not,” said Amelia. “I feel that nothing could impart to them greater delight."
“ Then you do not expect to be happy with me ?"
“O Stanley! you know I feel sure that our happiness would be perfect.”
“ Then how can you suppose that when they see that you are happy, their anger will last ?" Amelia's head drooped, and she was silent.
Come," continued Stanley, “come, look at this matter in a rational point of view. I believe, fully believe, their affection to be firm ; but I cannot associate firmness with the love which one venial act of disobedience can for ever destroy. My sweet girl! confide in me!-All, all, will be well. Come, say, my love, say that you will at once be mine!”
“O Stanley!” cried Amelia, who was able to resist no longer, "you are, indeed, my soul's guide. You will be kind to me, my love? Oh, yes !- I feel, I know that you will be kind to me!"
“This is a moment of happiness! Now do I feel that you indeed! My dear girl, words are insufficient to express the ardour of my affection: my life shall be devoted to prove it. Prepare, my sweet, at once. Let our happiness to-morrow be complete. Once over and all will be well: I may depend upon your firmness !"
“ Stanley! I will be firm!”
They now returned from the arbour, and, after dinner, Stanley, having delivered into her hands a paper containing a few brief in. structions, and extorted from her another declaration that her mind was made
up, left with the view of making the arrangements which were essential to the performance of the highly important business of the morrow.
The morrow came; and at ten o'clock Stanley was at breakfast at an inn at Richmond ; and at eleven a lady closely veiled, enveloped in a bronze satin cloak and attended by a servant, inquired for Mr. Fitzgerald, and was immediately shown-according to instructions --into the room which Stanley occupied. He received this lady with great formality, and directed the waiter, by whom she had been introduced, to send his servant up immediately ; but the moment they were alone Stanley embraced her, exclaiming, “My noble girl! now have I proved your devotion."
“My Stanley," said Amelia, who trembled with great violence and looked pale as death as she spoke_“thus far-thus far, have I kept my word; but, on my knees, I implore you to urge me no farther.”
“Hush !" cried Stanley, raising her, as Bob, who knew his cue, knocked at the door. “ Confide in me, my sweet wife !-Still, still confide in me! Come in,” he added, and Bob most respectfully entered, hat in hand.
With all the delicacy of which he was capable, and with innumerable cheering expressions, Stanley divested Amelia of her bonnet and cloak, which he placed with great tact upon Bob, who appeared to be inexpressibly delighted. He was, it is true, somewhat shorter than Amelia ; but that was of no great importance, as it merely made his train a little longer, and while he felt that the style of the bonnet became him well, he held the muff in the most lady-like manner possible
While Bob was uniting the little hooks and eyes from the top to the very bottom of the cloak, with the laudable view of concealing his boots effectually, Stanley was preparing Amelia's disguiseBob's hat and his own roquelaure.
“Now,” said Stanley, " let us see, sir, how much like a lady you can walk.” And Bob paced the room with all the dignity and grace at his command, although he occasionally turned to look at his train, and laughed with infinite enthusiasm, while Stanley was endeavouring to raise the spirits of Amelia, who had sunk' into a chair in a state of exhaustion.
“My dear, sweet girl !" said Stanley, “have confidence: have courage. Be assured that we shall both have cause to bless this happy day. Now," he continued, addressing Bob, "you know, sir, what you have to do, and take care that you do it well."
“I will, sir. God bless you, miss,” said Bob, “I wish you joy, and many happy returns;" and having curtsied, and veiled himself closely, he walked with due elegance from the inn, promptly followed by the Captain's servant.
Stanley had no sooner seen Bob safely off than he completed Amelia's disguise, rang for the bill, and ordered his cab to be brought to the door as soon as possible; and as the waiter saw Bob, as he believed, upon a chair with his hat on, he naturally inferred that he had been taken very suddenly ill, and hence proceeded at once to obey orders. The horse was already harnessed. He had but to be put to; and when the bill was brought the cab was at the door. Stanley, therefore, in an instant settled the amount, and, to the great admiration of the attendants, who regarded him as a kind and most considerate master, assisted poor Amelia with great care into the cab, stepped round, seized the reins, and drove off.
MISCE L L A N Y.
GUY FAWKES : A HISTORICAL ROMANCE, ILLUSTRATED BY GEORGE
BY W. HARRISON AINSWORTH
THE HERDSMAN, BY P. M'TEAGUE, AUTHOR OF THE SPALPEEN” 235 THE MONKS OF OLD,
246 M. JASMIN--THE BLIND GIRL OF CASTEL CUILLE,
BY LADY GEORGIANA FULLERTON 247 IZAAK WALTON AND HIS FRIENDS,
BY EDWARD JESSE 254 THE BAGMAN'S DOG (MR. PETERS's story), BY THOMAS INGOLDSBY 265 GREENWICH AND GREENWICH MEN,
BY J. HAMILTON REYNOLDS 277 COLIN CLINK,
BY CHARLES HOOTON 289
Book the Second.
duced to his sister, a “public singer."
money, and gets into ditlicul:ies. THE HAIR AND BEARD, AS FASHIONED BY POLITICS AND RELIGION,
BY CHARLES MACKAY 300 DIR. TRICKETT DONKS, WITH AN ILLUSTRATION,
BY ALFRED CROWQUILL
305 STANLEY THORN, WITH
AN ILLUSTRATION BY GEORGE CRUIK-
BY THE AUTHOR OF VALENTINE Vox” 309
329 LITERARY PORTRAITS, NO. VI. —W. HAMILTON MAXWELL, AUTHOR OF “STORIES OF WATERLOO,"