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opportunity which fortune had put in his power; long to another character; yet she, to whom but these were restraints which Sir Thomas had they were addressed, had heard them without so frequently broken, as in a great measure to suspicion. But she was now alarmed by the annihilate their force.
suggestions of Mrs Boothby; these suggestions During the life of his aunt, there were other it is possible the Baronet himself had prompted. motives to restrain him; those were now remo. He knew the force of that poison which is conved ; and being solicitous to preserve the advan- veyed in those indirect approaches, when a wotage which he drew from Miss Sindall's resi- man's vanity is set on the watch by the assistdence in his house, he pitched on Mrs Boothby ance of a third person. She who imagines she to fill Mrs Selwyn's place, from whom his form hears them with indifference, is in danger ; but mer good offices gave him an additional title to she who listens to them with pleasure, is undone. expect assistance, by means of the influence she With Lucy, however, they failed of that efwould naturally gain over the mind of one who fect which the Baronet's experience had prowas in some sort to become her ward. As I am mised him ; she heard them with a sort of diswilling at present to believe that lady's charac- gust at Mrs Boothby, and something like fear of ter a fair one, I shall suppose that he concealed Sir Thomas. from her the kind of addresses with which he Her uneasiness increased as his declarations meant to approach her young friend. It is cer- began to be more pointed; though they were tain, there was but one kind which the princi- tben only such as some women, who had meant ples of Sir Thomas allowed him to make. to give them no favourable ear, might perhaps
One obstacle, however, he foresaw in the at- have been rather flattered than displeased with; tachment which he had early discovered her to but Miss Sindall was equally void of the art by have towards Bolton. This, on the most favour, which we disguise our own sentiments, and the able supposition of the case, he might easily re- pride we assume from the sentiments of others. present to Mrs Boothby, equally hurtful to To her virtues Sir Thomas was no stranger; Lucy's interest, and destructive of his own wish, they were difficulties which served but as spurs es; and if she was prevailed on to espouse his in his pursuit: That he continued it with incause, it may account for those lessons of pru- creasing ardour, may be gathered from two letdence which she bestowed upon Miss Sindall. ters, which I subjoin for the information of the
Besides this, the Baronet did not scruple to reader. The first is addressed, use some other methoils, still more dishonourable, of shaking her confidence in his cousin.
TO MRS WISTANLY. He fell upon means of secretly intercepting that young gentleman's letters to Lucy. From this " MY DEAR Madam, he drew a double advantage; both of fastening “ I fear you begin to accuse me of neglect; a suspicion on Harry's fidelity, and acquiring but there are reasons why I cannot so easily such intelligence as might point his own machi write to you as formerly. Even without this nations to defeat the purposes which that cor apology, you would scarce believe me capable of respondence contained.
forgetting you, who are almost the only friend I am possessed of. Alas! I have need of a friend! pity and direct me.
* Sir Thomas Sindall—how shall I tell it! CHAP. XIV. . he has ceased to be that guardian, that protect
or, I esteemed him ; he says he loves, he adores A Discovery interesting to Miss Sindall. me; I know not why it is, but I shudder
when I hear these words from Sir Thomas SinUnder those circumstances of advantage in dall. which Sir Thomas Sindall stood, it did not seem “But I have better reason for my fears ; he a matter of extreme difficulty to accomplish that has used such expressions of late, that, though design which I have hinted to my readers in the I am not skilled enough in the language of his preceding chapter. Let him, whose indignation sex to understand their meaning fully, yet they is roused at the mention of it, carry his feelings convey too much for his honour and for my abroad into life; he will find other Sindalls, peace. whom the world has not marked with its displeaa . “ Nor is this all.-Last night I was sitting sure; in the simplicity of my narrative, what is in the parlour with him and Mrs Boothby, (of there that should set up this one to his hatred or whom I have much to tell you ;) I got up, and his scorn? Let but the heart pronounce its judge stood up in the bow-window, looking at the ment, and the decision will be the same. rays of the moon, which glittered on the pond
Hitherto Sir Thomas had appeared as the in the garden. There was something of envi. parent and guardian of Lucy; and though at able tranquillity in the scene; I sighed as I times certain expressions escaped him, which looked.-'That's a deep one,' said Sir Thomas, the quickness of inore experienced, that is, less patting me on the shoulder behind: I turned innocent, minds would have discovered to be- round somewhat in a flurry, when I perceived that Mrs Boothby had left the room. I made duced her to address the following letter to Bol. a motion towards the door ; Sir Thomas placed ton; though she began to suspect, from the sup. himself with his back to it. " Where is Mrs posed failure of his correspondence, that the sugBoothby?' said I, though I trembled so, that I gestions she had heard of his change of circumcould scarcely articulate the words.-- What is stances having taught him to forget her, had but my sweet girl frightened at ?' said he ; here too much foundation in reality. are none but love and Sindall. He fell on his knees, and repeated a great deal of jargon, (I
TO HENRY BOLTON, ESQ. was so confused I know not what,) holding my hands all the while fast in his. I pulled them “ Is it true, that, amidst the business or the away at last; he rose, and clasping me round pleasures of his new situation, Harry Bolton has the waist, would have forced a kiss; I scream forgotten Lucy Sindall ? Forlorn as I now am ed out, and he turned from me. "What's the but I will not complain—I would now less than matter?' said Mrs Boothby, who then entered ever complain to you. Yet it is not pride, it is the room. “A mouse-running across the carpet not—I weep while I write this! frightened Miss Lucy,' answered Sir Thomas. “ But, perhaps, though I do not hear from I could not speak, but I sat down on the sofa, you, you may yet remember her, to whom you and had almost fainted. Sir Thomas brought had once some foolish attachment. It is fit that me some wine and water, and, pressing my hand, you think of her no more ; she was then indeed whispered, that he hoped I would forgive an of- a dependent orphan, but there was a small chalfence which was already too much punished by its lenge of protection from friends, to whom it was effects; but he looked so, while he spoke this! imagined her infancy had been intrusted. Know,
“Oh! Mrs Wistanly, with what regret do I that this was a fabricated tale; she is, in truth, now recollect the days of peaceful happiness I a wretched foundling, exposed in her infanthave passed in your little dwelling, when we state by the cruelty or necessity of her parents, were at Sindall-park. I remember I often wish to the inclemency of a winter-storm, from which ed, like other foolish girls, to be a woman; me- miserable situation Sir Thomas Sindall deliverthinks I would now gladly return to the state of ed her. This he has but a little since told me, harmless infancy I then neglected to value. I in the most ungenerous manner, and from moam but ill made for encountering difficulty or tives which I tremble to think on.-Inhuman danger; yet I fear my path is surrounded with that he is! Why did he save me then? both. Could you receive me again under your “This Mrs Boothby too! Encompassed as I was roof? there is something hallowed resides be- with evils, was I not wretched enough before ? neath it.-Yet this may not now be so conveni- yet this new discovery has been able to make me ent-I know not what to say-here I am inisere more so. My head grows dizzy when I think able. Write to me, I entreat you, as speedily on it!--to be blotted out from the records of soas may be. You never yet devied me your ad- ciety !-What misery or what vice have my pavice or assistance; and never before were they so rents known! yet now to be the child of a beggar, necessary to your faithful
in poverty and rags, is a situation I am forced L. SINDALL.” to envy.
“ I had one friend from whom I looked for To this letter Miss Sindall received no an- some assistance. Mrs Wistanly, from infirmiswer; in truth, it never reached Mrs Wistanly; ty, I fear, has forgotten me; I have ventured the servant to whom she intrusted its convey to think on you. Be but my friend, and no ance having, according to instructions he had more; talk not of love, that you may not force received, delivered it into the hands of his mas- me to refuse your friendship. If you are not ter, Sir Thomas Sindall. She concluded, there- changed indeed, you will be rewarded enough fore, either that Mrs Wistanly found herself when I tell you, that, to remove me from the unable to assist her in her present distress, or, dangers of this dreadful place, will call forth what she imagined more probable, that age had more blessings from my heart, than any other now weakened her faculties so much, as to ren- can give, that is not wrung with anguish like der her callous even to that feeling which should that of the unfortunate have pitied it. She next turned her thoughts
L. SINDALL." upon Miss Walton; the manner of her getting acquainted with whom I have related in the fifth chapter ; but she learned that Mr Walton had,
CHAP. XXV. a few days before, set out with his daughter on a journey to the continent, to which he had been she receives a letter from Bolton.--4 new alarm advised by her physicians, as she had, for some
from Sir Thomas Sindall. time past, been threatened with symptoms of a consumptive disorder. These circumstances, and It happened that the messenger to whom the a person, not in that line of association which acquit me of inconstancy, and judge of my unthe Baronet had drawn around her; consequenta easiness. ly it escaped interception.
“ That discovery which she has lately made, When Bolton received it, he was not only is nothing to her or to me. My Lucy is the alarmed with the intelligence it contained, but child of heaven, and her inheritance every exhis fears were doubly roused from the discovery cellence it can bestow. it made to him, of his letters not being suffered “ But her present situation—my God! what to reach Miss Sindall. He dispatched his an- horrible images has my fancy drawn of it! Fe swer, therefore, by a special messenger, who heaven's sake, let not even the most amiable of was ordered to watch an opportunity of deliver- weaknesses prevent her escaping from it into ing it privately into the hands of the lady to the arms of her faithful Bolton. I dispatch : whom it was addressed. This he found no messenger with this instantly. I shall follow easy matter to accomplish ; nor would he per- him myself, the moment I have made some arhaps have been able to effect it at all, but for rangements, necessary for your present safety an artifice to which he had recourse, of hiring and future comfort. I shall be in the neighbourhimself on a job in Sir Thomas's garden, for hood of Bilswood, for I am forbidden to enter which his knowledge in the business happen- the house, Sir Thomas having taken occasion, ed to qualify him. He had indeed been for- from my resigning a commission which would merly employed in that capacity at Sindall- have fixed me ingloriously in a garrison abroad, park, and had there been well enough known that I might be of some use to my country at to Miss Lucy, who was herself a gardener for home, to write me a letter in the angriest termis, amusement; and, after leaving that place, ha- renouncing me, as he expresses it, for ever. I ving gone to the neighbourhood of London for see, I see the villainy of his purpose ; 'tis but improvement, he was met and hired by his for- a few days hence, and I will meet him in the mer acquaintance, Mr Bolton.
covert of his falsehood, and blast it. Let my The very next evening after he had got into Lucy be but just to herself and to this station, he observed Miss Sindall enter the
Bolton." garden alone. This was an opportunity not to be missed ; on pretence, therefore, of fetching She had scarcely read this, when Mrs Boothsomewhat from the end of the walk she was by entered the room. The Baronet had, far on, he passed her, and pulled off his hat with some days, quitted that plan of intimidation, a look significant of prior acquaintance. Lucy which had prompted him to discover to Lucy observed him, and, feeling a sort of momentary the circumstance of her being a wretched found comfort from the recollection, began some talk ling, supported by his charity, for a behaviour with him respecting his former situation, and more mild and insinuating; and Mrs Boothby. the changes it had undergone. She asked him who squared her conduct accordingly, had beib many questions about their old neighbours at particularly attentive and obliging. She not Sindall-park, and particularly Mrs Wistanly; delivered to Miss Sindall a message from a when she was soon convinced of her misappre- young lady in the neighbourhood, an acquainthension with' regard to a failure of that worthy ance of hers, begging her company, along with woman's intellects ; Jerry (so the gardener was Mrs Boothby's, to a party of pleasure the day familiarly called) having seen her in his way to after. “And really, Miss Sindall,” said she, with Bilswood, and heard her speak of Miss Lucy with an air of concern, “ I must enforce the invithe most tender concern.“ And what was your tation from a regard to your health, as you last service, Jerry ?” said she.—“I wrought for seem to have been drooping for some days past." Mr Bolton, madam.”—“Mr Bolton !”—“And Lucy looked her full in the face, and sighed: I received this paper from him for your lady- that look she did not choose to understand, but ship, which I was ordered to deliver into your repeated her question as to their jaunt to-morown hands, and no other body's, an't please your row. “Miss Venhurst will call at nine, and ladyship.” She took the letter with a trembling expects to find you ready to attend her."impatience, and, whispering that she would find “What you please," replied the other ; “f an opportunity of seeing him again, hurried up Miss Venhurst is to be of the party, I have no into her chamber to peruse it. She found it to objection.” The consent seemed to give much contain what follows :
satisfaction to Mrs Boothby, who left her with
a gentle tap on the back, and an unusual ap“ I have not words to tell my ever dearest pearance of kindness in her aspect. Lucy, with what distracting anxiety I read the Lucy read her letter again; she had desired letter that is now lying before me. To give Bolton to think of her no more ; but there is her suspicions of my faith, must have been the in the worthiest hearts a little hypocrisy atwork of' no common treachery : when she knows tending such requests: she found herself happ that I wrote to her three several times without in the thought that he had not forgotten her.' receiving any answer, she will, at the same time, When she opened her bureau, to deposit this
fresh testimony of his attachment, she observed Venhurst family, and it will look so odd.”-“ It the corner of a piece of paper, which had been would look odder,” said Lucy, “ if I should thrust into a fissure occasioned by the shrinking go abroad when I am really so very much inof the wood. Her curiosity was excited by this disposed.”-“ Nay, if you are really so much circumstance; and, unfolding the paper, she indisposed,” answered the other, “ I will send found it to contain
our apology, late as it is."-—“But you shall not stay at home to attend me,” interrupted Lucy.
'Indeed but I shall,” replied Mrs Boothby; TO MISS SINDLE.
“ it was on your account only that I proposed « MADM,
going. Keep your chamber, and I will send “I writ this from a sincear regaird to yur you up some tea immediately."-And she left welfer. Sir Tho. Sindle has a helitch plott the room for that purpose. against yur vartue, and has imployde Mrs Buth- Her attention indeed was but too vigilant for bie, whu is a wooman of a notoreus karicter in the scheme which Lucy had formed, of examiLondun, to asist him. They wil putt yu on a ning Robert about that note she had found in jant tomoro on pretens of seeing Mss Venhrst, her bureau ; but accident at last furnished her butt it is fals: for she is not to be thair, and they with the opportunity she sought. Mrs Boothonly wants to inveegle yu for a wicket purpes. by having left her, in order to preside at dinner, therefor bi advyzd by a frinde, and du not go. sent this very servant with a plate of something “Yur secrt welwishar,
to her patient above stairs. He would have de"R. S.” livered it to one of the maids at the door ; but
Lucy, hearing his voice, desired that he might Amazement and horror filled the mind of Lucy come in, on pretence of talking to him about a as she read this; but, when the first perturba- young horse she had employed him to ride for tion of her soul was over, she bethought herself her, and, sending the maid on some errand, of endeavouring to find out her friend in the put the paper into his hand, and asked him if author of this epistle, whose compassion seemed he was the person to whom she was indebted so much interested in her behalf. She remem- for a piece of information so momentous. The bered, that one of the servants, who was some- fellow blushed, and stammered, and seemed times employed to ride out with her, was called afraid to confess his kindness. “ For God's Robert, which agreed with the first initial of sake,” said Lucy,“ do not trifle with my mithe subscription of the note she had received. sery; there is no time to lose in evasions ; what At supper, therefore, though she wore a look do you know of Sir Thomas's designs against of as much indifference as possible, she marked, me?”-“Why, for certain, madam,” said he, with a secret attention, the appearance of this “servants should not blab their masters seman's countenance. Her belief of his being the crets; but your ladyship is so sweet a lady, person, who had communicated this friendly in, that I could not bear to see you so deceived. telligence, was increased from her observation ; Sir Thomas's valet-de-chamb is a chum of mine, and she determined to watch an opportunity of and he told me, after having made me proquestioning him with regard to it.
mise to keep it a profound secret, that his master designed to entice you on a party with Mrs
Boothby; that they were to stop at a solitary CHAP. XVI.
farm-house of his, and there Sir Thomas"
“ Forbear the shocking recital !" cried Lucy.Miss Sindall has an Interview with Robert.-A “ To be sure it is shocking,” said Robert, “and resolution she takes in consequence of it. so I said to Jem, when he told me ; but he an
swered, (your ladyship will forgive me for reAfter a night of wakeful anxiety, she was peating his words, that it mattered not much; called in the morning by Mrs Boothby, who for she is nothing better, said he, than a begtold her, that breakfast waited, as it was near garly foundling, whom my master and I pickthe hour they proposed setting out on their ed up, one stormy night, on the road, near his jaunt. “ Miss Venhurst,” continued she, “ has hunting-place there at Hazleden ; and, having sent to let you know, that she is prevented from taken a liking to the child, he brought her calling here as she promised, but that she will home to Mrs Selwyn, pretending that she was meet us on the road.”—“ I am sorry," answer- the daughter of a gentleman of his own name, ed Lucy, with a counterfeited coolness, “ that a friend of his, who died abroad ; and his aunt, I should be forced to disappoint her in my believing the story, brought her up for all the turn; but I rested so ill last night, and my world like a lady, and left her forscoth a lehead aches so violently, that I cannot possibly gacy at her death ; but, if all were as it should attend her.”—“Not go!" exclaimed Mrs Booth- be, she would be following some draggle-tailed by;" why, my dear, you will disjoint the whole gypsey, instead of flaunting in her fineries here." party ; besides, I have not time to acquaint their would that I were begging my bread, so
I were but out of this frightful house!”-“I her escape; but the consciousness of her pu. wish you were,” said Robert, simply ; " for I pose stopped her tongue when she would have fear there are more plots hatching against you uttered some pretence for talking with him. than you are aware of: is not Mrs Boothby's At times her resolution was staggered by the Sukey to sleep to-night in the room with your thoughts of the perils attending her flight; but ladyship?"_“I consented, on Mrs Boothby's her imagination presently suggested the danga importunity, that she should.”—“Why then," of her stay, and the dread of the greater evil continued he, “I saw Jem carry a cast gown became a fortitude against the less. of Mrs Boothby's, she had formerly given to The hour of eleven at last arrived. Mrs Sukey, but which she asked back from the girl Boothby, whose attendance was afterwards to on pretence of taking a pattern from it, into be supplied by that of her maid, had just bid his master's dressing-room ; and when I asked her good-night, on her pretending an unusual him what he was doing with it there, he wink- drowsiness, and promised to send up Sukey in ed thus, and said, it was for somebody to mas- a very little after. Lucy went into her dressquerade in to-night.”—“Gracious God !” cried ing-closet, and, fastening the door, got up on a Lucy, “ whither shall I turn me? - Robert, if chair at the window, which she had taken care ever thou would'st find grace with Heaven, to leave open some time before, and stepped pity a wretch that knows not where to look for out on the wall of the garden, whieh was broad protection !”-She had thrown herself on her enough a-top to admit of her walking along it. knees before him.-" What can I do for your When she got as far as the gate, she saw, by ladyship?" said he, raising her from the ground. the light of the moon, Robert standing at the -" Take me from this dreadful place,” she ex- place of appointment: he caught her in his claimed, holding by the sleeve of his coat, as if arms when she leaped down. «« Why do you she feared his leaving her.-" Alas !” answer- tremble so ?” said she, her own lips quivering ed Robert, “ I cannot take you from it.”-She as she spoke. “Is the horse ready?"-“Here, stood for some moments wrapt in thought, the answered Robert, stammering,"but- "“Get fellow looking piteously in her face. " It will on," said Lucy, “and let us away, for heaven's do!" she cried, breaking from him, and running sake!"-He seemed scarce able to mount the into her dressing-closet.—“Look, Robert, look horse; she sprung from the ground on the pad here; could I not get from this window on the gar- behind him. “ Does your ladyship think, den-wall, and so leap down into the outer court?” said Robert, faintly, as they left the gate, “ of
"But supposing your ladyship might, what the danger you run?"-" There is no danger would you do then?”-“ Could not you pro- but within those hated walls.”—“'Twill be a cure me a horse ?-Stay—there is one of the dreadful night;" for it began to rain, and the chaise-horses at grass in the paddock--do you thunder rolled at a distance. “Fear not," said know the road to Mrs Wistanly's?”—“Mrs she, “ we cannot miss our way."—“But if they Wistanly's !”-“For heaven's sake, refuse not should overtake us ”“ They shall not, they my request; you cannot be so cruel as to refuse shall not overtake us !”—Robert answered with it."--" I would do much to serve your lady- a deep sigh. But they were now at some disship; but if they should discover us "" Talk tance from the house, and striking out of the not of ifs, my dear Robert ;-but soft-I will highway into a lane, from the end of which a manage it thus-no, that can't be either the short road lay over a common to the village in servants are in bed by eleven.”-“ Before it, which Mrs Wistanly lived, they put on a very an't please your ladyship."-" If you could quick pace, and in a short time Lucy imagined contrive to have that horse saddled at the gate herself pretty safe from pursuit. so soon as all is quiet within, I can get out and mcet you.”—“I don't know what to say to it.”
-Somebody from below cried, Robert-Lucy was down on her knees again.“Stay, I con
CHAP, XVII. jure you, and answer me.”-“For God's sake rise," said he, “ and do not debase yourself to Bolton sets out for Bilswood.-A recital of some a poor servant, as I am."-“Never will I rise
accidents in his journey. till you promise to meet me at eleven."-"I will, I will (and the tears gushed into his eyes,) As I flatter myself that my readers feel some whatever be the consequence.” Sukey appear interest in the fate of Miss Sindall, I would not ed at the door, calling, Robert, again ;-he ran leave that part of my narration which regarded down stairs; Lucy followed him some steps in- her, till I had brought it to the period of har sensibly, with her hands folded together in the escape. Having accompanied her thus far, I attitude of supplication.
return to give some account of Mr Bolton. In the interval between this and the time of According to the promise he had made to putting her scheme in execution, she suffered Lucy, he set out for Bilswood, on the second all that fear and suspense could inflict. She day after the date of that letter she received wished to see again the intended companion of from him by the hands of his gardener. That