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piness enough for you to kiss the ground she treads on. Is it hope that causes you to do this? No; rather, I should say, with a most genuine, and yet most despairing lover,
Thus, Indian like,
But knows of him no more.'” “What charming language !” cried Bertha, and she became very pensive, as if pondering the passage.
“ Upon my word,” observed Mrs. Mansell, taking up the discourse, "we may talk of our cousin Granville’s romance, but Mr. De Clifford beats him all to nothing. I only hope, for his own sake, this is what he has called it, his fancy, not his experience.”
“ What does cousin Mansell think of it ?" said Granville again, and drily turning to him.
“ As I hope to be saved," replied the young gentleman, switching his boots, “ I know nothing at all about the matter, except that you are all a set of confounded bores, and a confounded deal too romantic for me, so I shall hop off. Mother, I shall meet you at dinner.”
So saying, this illustrious heir apparent literally effected what he announced, and hopped off from the walk.
There was a pause of some minutes, and I began to wonder at my own courage in venturing what I had said, when Bertha, after ruminating some time, said, “Pray, Mr. De Clifford, where is that beautiful pas
eindeed, have was a shesound?",
sage—the most beautiful and expressive, I think, I ever heard—which you quoted just now ? He must, indeed, have been a lover who uttered it.”
“ The he was a she,” observed Granville. “But where to be found ?”
“ In Shakspeare,” returned I. “ It was the lament of poor Helena, who had fixed her affections on one too much above her even to imagine, much less expect, success. Yet she fed upon her love in secret, and, though hopeless, would not part with it.”
« And who was this superior lord, who was so unwittingly adored by her ?"
« The Count of Roussillon," said I. « The secret was discovered by his mother, the benefactress of Helena, who loved her like her own child. The disclosure is almost still more beautiful than the passage you admire.”
“ I never read the play,” said Bertha.
“ Perhaps it is as well you should not,” observed Granville ; “but what Clifford says is true; the account of her love is pathetic, and its disclosure moving."
“ Cannot you two gentlemen between you,” asked Lucinda, “ repeat it; especially as you tell us we may as well not read the play ourselves ?”
“ The task is beyond my memory,” replied Granville.
“ And would be beyond mine," said I, seeing all the ladies turned to me, “but that I was always so struck with the scene, and entered so thoroughly into the feelings of Helena, that I never forgot it: for I
thought those feelings might be man's as well as a woman's, and I, possibly, some time or other, that man; and then I might feel all the bitterness of her pathetic exclamation,
'I am from humble, he from honour'd name;
I thought Bertha seemed struck with this, for she lost her smile, and looked pensively on the ground; but Miss Mansell said with liveliness, " Then you can repeat Helena's confession, and will, I hope, favour us.”
“ If you command me, certainly,” returned I. “ The speech is to the Count of Roussillon's mother.
Then, I confess,
Thus, Indian like,
During this recital I observed Bertha's eyes were fixed upon the ground, and she scarcely breathed, as if she feared losing a word ; and, whether the feeling, now deeper than ever, that this was my own case, gave any peculiarity to my manner (I certainly never felt so much affected by the lines); or whether their own impressed the listeners as it did, they all seemed pathos moved.
Granville's natural sensibility showed he was much affected; but I wished to penetrate, if I could, how the passage had wrought upon her whose impression was alone of consequence to me. She said little, but was peculiarly thoughtful, till her eyes glistened with feeling. Mrs. Mansell, however, from her age, less affected, and inclined perhaps to banter, observed,
6 So, then, Mr. De Clifford, you feared the poor lady's case might be your own. As I know the play, and that she in the end succeeded, I give you all my good wishes for the same termination."
Bertha seemed struck, though she spoke not a word, but from that time was wrapt in her own reflections. Indeed the whole party, from I know not what cause, appeared after this to prefer silence to conversation, till I took my leave, when Mrs. Mansell, by way of a parting remark, said,
“ Mr. De Clifford, you must allow us to thank you for more than your Shakspeare, for I think you have pretty well told us who was the author of the stanzas we have so much admired.”
I was startled, and her daughter laughed en espiègle, which seemed rather her nature. Bertha, still grave, only said, when I wished her good morning, “ We have indeed had a charming walk;" and, reminding me of our readings together at Foljambe, she observed, "you have made me love Sbakspeare better than ever;" words which, though they long tingled in my ears, did not, I fear, in the end do me good.