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Title: Moderation, a Tale
Author: Hofland, Barbara (1770-1844)
Illustrator: Anonymous
Date of first publication: 1825
Edition used as base for this ebook: London: Arthur Hall, Virtue and Co. [January 1856 or earlier; this date is assigned on the basis of the dated catalogue, listing Moderation, which was bound in as part of the same publisher's edition of Mrs. Hofland's Patience]
Date first posted: 5 November 2010
Date last updated: 5 November 2010
Project Gutenberg Canada ebook #650

This ebook was produced by: David Edwards, Ross Cooling & the Online Distributed Proofreading Canada Team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net

This file was produced from images generously made available by the Internet Archive/University of California Libraries


There was a garden behind the hotel in which a fine Fountain threw up ten thousand sparkling drops.

Page 159.



When the Rector of Ravenhill arose from his breakfast table one spring morning in 18— and retired to his study, notwithstanding his three daughters were present, perfect silence reigned in the room until they were sensible that his library door was closed, and his steps directed to a certain bay window, which possessed the double advantage of seclusion from domestic sounds, and of a widely extended prospect over a beautiful country.

This silence did not proceed from awe, for to confess the truth, that was a quality the Rector was rather deemed deficient in his power of inspiring, being a man more generally loved than feared, both in the house and the parish;—but surprise, which is somewhat related to that emotion, he had undoubtedly awakened, as his eldest daughter, Harriet, indignantly announced by the observation which followed upon his removal.

"I cannot imagine how my father can think of such a thing as laying down the carriage—it strikes me as preposterous to the greatest degree—how can any body live in the country without a carriage? especially a person who has three daughters situated as we are."

Miss Carysford did not explain what she meant by the word situated, and it appeared that her sister Emma did not read it as meaning "young women seeking for establishments," for she observed in a soothing manner:

"It is because we are so situated, that my father deems it advisable to lessen his expenses, and secure us a continuance of our solid comforts. I thought his reasons very sufficient ones: every body knows that as Charles is of age, more than half his income is transferred to him from his taking possession of our dear mother's jointure; and we are ourselves well aware that from the style she always supported, it was impossible for him to save any thing hitherto to speak of; it is therefore a good time to begin, when the occasion is so evident as to proclaim its propriety."

"I don't think it right at all," said the eldest sister. "The action is right, but the intention grounded upon it is wrong," observed Sophia, the youngest.

"That I must deny," returned Harriet, "the action is decidedly ill-judged, because my father ought to maintain the respectability of his family, and his own rank in life; but the intention is, like every thing he does, kind and disinterested, considerate and affectionate."

"Poor man! his worldly cares are indeed abundant for his children, but how much better would it be if he directed them to those beyond the grave; had he proposed to lay down the carriage, and appropriate the income thereby saved to the London Missionary Society, then indeed he would have acted worthy of the name he bears as a minister of Christ; but to do it, that he may add 'house to house, and field to field,' that he may 'increase the mammon of unrighteousness,' in my opinion is quite dreadful."

"Ridiculous! you are Missionary mad—if the coach is to be given up, I would advise that the pannels should make you a cell, and the linings a strait waistcoat—that would be a family benefit."

"Better it were I should be so situated, than enter with you, Miss Carysford, into that place 'where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched,'—that place, where there shall be 'instead of a girdle, a rent; instead of well set hair, baldness; and burning instead of beauty.'"

With these words, slowly and emphatically pronounced, with the air of a maledictory prophecy, Sophia, taking up a number of pamphlets which she had been reading, left the room. As Miss Carysford was an acknowledged beauty, and gave to her person all the cares and the advantages which belong to ladies holding that rank in creation, every syllable had its immediate reference, and excited such violent anger as to give her fine but infuriated countenance the character of a 'burning beauty,' even now. She protested (with a good deal of truth undoubtedly) that "Sophia was the most provoking creature that ever existed, a disgrace to the family, a pest in the village, a canker that was eating out the very heart of her father, and a person in short who ought to be turned out of the house, as unworthy its countenance and protection."

Having so spoken during a rapid promenade round the breakfast parlour, Harriet threw herself on a sofa, wiped the few tears which scalded her cheeks, and looked earnestly towards Emma as if for answer or observation; but since neither occurred, she added, "can you say a word in her behalf? a single word?"

"She is very sincere, very conscientious, if we do not approve her zeal, nor partake her feelings, we must do justice to her principles, my dear Harriet."

"Umph! her sincerity consists in abusing every body under the precious pretext of caring for their souls, her zeal, in passing sentence of condemnation on every human being out of the pale of those vulgar wretches with whom she has associated herself—her principles instigate her, most blasphemously (as I call it) to quote the scriptures on the most trifling and irrelevant occasions; to mix the most sacred and profane things irreverently—to drain the pence from starving cottagers, in furtherance of some chimerical scheme one day, and the next to strip herself for some worthless object of charity, as to be left in a poverty disgraceful to us all. Does she not class my father himself with the ignorant, the bigoted? is he not 'a proud priest,' 'an idle watchman,' 'a blind guide', and give him a thousand other such appellations?—and is this to be borne from a girl of nineteen? No! my father ought not to suffer it, we are all wrong to submit to her insults, her cold-hearted, unfeeling, intolerant."—Perhaps it was the want of another epithet which checked this effusion of wrath; it was at least evident to Emma, that her sister did not cease to think because she ceased to complain and resent; for she was still agitated—but, as her passions were generally short-lived, advancing rapidly to maturity, and being subject to sudden death, Emma waited for that important moment before she ventured to say a word for the party arraigned, when she observed:

"If my father, as the head of his house, and the pastor of a flock, can put up with the peculiarities of poor Sophia, in consideration of her pure good meaning, and her many good qualities, to say nothing of those ties which bind us all to each other indissolubly, surely we are bound to endure them, sister? to use her own language, she is frequently 'a cross to us,' but we can have no doubt that it is our duty to bear it."

"It is very well for you, who are a kind of half methodist, half philosopher, to reason in that way, but I have not been accustomed to vulgar associations, or inured to low notions. I can neither forget whose daughter I am, nor what society I have mixed with, though you may do it, having undoubtedly something wherewith to comfort you to which your elder sister cannot pretend."

"That difference is very trifling, Harriet."

"It is however sufficient were it properly applied, to prevent us from the mortification my father contemplates, and which will vex Charles excessively, and be a cruel reflection on him, in my opinion, not that I expect any sacrifice from you—calm, moderate, calculating, people of your description seldom do wrong it is true, but we must not expect such still waters to rise above their own level, to overflow generously."

Emma did not reply, but she arose a few minutes afterwards, and announced an intention of calling on a friend in the village, who was unwell and in trouble, enquiring if Harriet would accompany her.

"No, I cannot go, but I am glad you are going, for you will do them all good, poor things."

And when Emma had closed the door, and departed on her errand of kindness, Harriet wondered how it had been possible to use one word of reproach, one tone of ill humour, towards a sister so gentle, yet so active, and whose heart she well knew to be as ardent in affection, as generous in action, as that of any human being, notwithstanding the assertion she had so lately made.

Whilst Emma proceeds to Thorpedale, we will give such a review of the history of the Carysford family, as may in some measure account for the difference of character observable in the female branches, desiring our readers to recollect, that notwithstanding the disputed points it was our misfortune to depict in the first instance, the persons in question were in high esteem among their neighbours and connections. They were all so handsome, that the hacknied epithet of "the graces," was applied with more propriety than usual to them among their visitants, and their humbler acquaintance usually designated them "as good as they were handsome." A pious and tender father, an elegant, highborn, and accomplished mother, had superintended their education, and it is certain, that their minds were cultivated, and their manners suasive in general; but in all houses there are rehearsals behind the scenes, in which the general give way to the individual traits of character, and the honest chronicler of human nature must give shadows as well as lights, in order to produce the portrait which truth will own, or that which it will be useful for us to contemplate.


The Rev. Charles Carysford was the son of a merchant who was a rare example of wisdom and moderation, for he retired into the country as soon as he had acquired such a fortune as to ensure the comforts of competency, at a period of life when he was still capable of enjoyment, instead of seeking wealth to the very verge of existence, losing at once the pleasures of this world, and the provision for the next.

One motive for this early retirement arose from the extremely delicate health of his eldest child, a very sweet girl; and some fear that her brother on leaving his school in the country might partake the same evil. Happily Charles grew up in every respect according to their wishes, he was tall, graceful, and although of delicate complexion, yet remarkable for his manly beauty and personal activity. Untinctured by the vices, and unfettered by the artificial forms, of life in cities, he united with singular, yet not inelegant, simplicity of manners, a passionate attachment to literature, and with this direction of mind, aided by humanity and great sweetness of temper, his father was led to think him peculiarly qualified to make an exemplary and happy country clergyman.

To this purpose his studies were directed, and advancing time proved the choice to have been wise. Emma, the daughter, did not partake her brother's bodily strength, but she shared his mental energies and his fine taste. Their parents did not live long after the time when they had purchased the advowson of the Rectory of Ravenhill for their son, whither they had removed with him; and the brother and sister lived after their death in such strict amity, that for several years it was believed that the handsome Rector (as he was universally stiled) would never marry.

Such was not however the opinion of Lady Lyster, who with her husband Sir Marmaduke, resided (as their fathers had done some centuries before them) at Ravenhill Park, a place their hospitality kept pretty generally full of company, amongst which Mr. and Miss Carysford were introduced as dear and respectable friends. Like many old families who reside constantly in the country, the Lysters had a good deal of that pardonable attachment to ancestry from which few persons are exempt who have any pretensions to it; but with this they inherited, and adopted also, that deep veneration for the sacred profession, persons of more modernized manners dispense with. Let the Rector of Ravenhill have been what he might as to person and manners, so long as he performed his duties as a minister and a man conscientiously, he would have been received as a friend, and held as a gentleman; it was therefore natural that they should hold the present incumbent in more than ordinary regard, and conceive themselves happy in presenting him to their more fashionable guests, as a gem not often found in rural society.

To this disposition for exhibiting her Rector it must be added, that lady Lyster (a good-natured, kind-hearted creature, childless, but full of maternal feelings) was a little given to match-making. Happy as a wife herself, she conceived (perhaps very erroneously) that to be happy, every body must be married; for two or three years she made numerous efforts for disposing of Miss Carysford in this way, notwithstanding the apparent hopelessness of persuading a woman whose mind was as powerful as her person was weak, to commit what would be in her case an evident act of folly. After that time, she gave her thoughts and wishes to a generous solicitude on the subject for her brother.

Sir Marmaduke did not impede the schemes of his lady, but he could not do much to forward them, because there were few points of similarity in their taste, and neither were sufficiently men of the world to adopt traits of character foreign to their respective habits; so that, with much esteem and ever warm affection for each other, neither was quite devoid of contempt for the other's judgment in certain points. They seldom disagreed on any subject, but unluckily they had no subjects in common. The Rector lived on literature—a new book, or even a new edition, gifts from the world of letters, and more especially that of poetry, were to him the milk and honey of life. A huge package of quartos was never too much for him to carry home from the nearest market town, albeit distant more than five miles, if it had so happened he had walked thither; and his servant was always welcome to his favourite steed to fetch thence even the most trifling periodical. 'Tis true, to his taste for reading he added that of drawing, in which art his sister excelled; nor was he ignorant of music and botany, the latter of which added pleasure to those walks and rides over an extensive parish to which his duties called him; and the whole of those accomplishments and predilections, in the opinion of the Baronet, rendered him a very unsocial companion.

"Would you believe it? that fine looking fellow Carysford never rode out of a snail's pace in his life,—can't hunt at all, Sir, and has no more eye for a shot than a mole. In fact, he can't draw a trigger, he has'nt the heart to do it, I really believe; yet the man is no milksop, he has ventured both through fire and water to aid the parishioners. Then he can't carve even a turkey; never knows what vintage he is drinking, plays whist so abominably we are obliged to have a quadrille table on purpose for him; and, 'tis a fact, that the greatest fool in the village can cheat him out of five shillings in ten—not that they do, no! not a hair of his head shall be hurt, while I have a rood, or a guinea."

Now as Lady Lyster believed that, notwithstanding these deficiencies, Mr. Carysford would make an excellent and a happy husband, the more charges were brought against him, the more industriously did she repel them; and it so happened, that she was listened to with more than ordinary complacency by two sisters who arrived on the first of September, and probably found themselves a little incommoded by the boisterous manners of certain country 'squires, or disgusted by the frivolity of dandy sportsmen imported from the county town.

These ladies, Alathea and Harriet Tintagell, were Honourables, being daughters to the late, and aunts to the present, Lord Alfreton, an infant. They were highly accomplished women, the eldest was esteemed very handsome, and very witty; the youngest very pretty, and very amiable; but her figure was diminutive, and appeared at a first glance more so than it really was, from being contrasted with so fine a form as that of her sister. They shared alike the personal property of the late lord, amounting to something more than twenty thousand pounds, but the elder sister's fortune had been nearly doubled by the bequest of her godmother, a lady of high rank.

Whether the satirical vein of this lady had frightened all the men in that distinguished circle where she shone a star (literally) of magnitude and brilliance; or whether she was sincere in her assertion, "that she would lead a single life," we know not; but it is certain that she had now entered her twenty-seventh summer in that state, and what was more extraordinary, still gave daily proof,

"——that she could hear A sister's praises with unwounded ear,"

for she never appeared more happy than when the fair and elegant Harriet attracted the admiration so justly her due. They were indeed attached to each other beyond the ties of blood; they had lost their parents early in life, their brother had married unworthily and died prematurely, leaving his only child to the sole care of a mother with whom they could hold no intercourse; each was therefore all to the other. Each had her full share of family pride, but it was controlled by the higher pride of intellect in Alathea, and by gentle and truly delicate perception of propriety in Harriet, but this being well known to Lady Lyster, and greatly approved by her as a principle, it certainly never entered her mind to provide the Rector with a wife, in a quarter where the case forbade all hope of success.

This might be the reason perhaps, that the poor man fell insensibly into that state of anxiety, showed those occasional gleams of delight, and thence sunk into that despondency which betrayed the feelings never awakened before, in a heart so warm in its attachments, so full of the milk of human kindness, through every gradation of philanthropy, as to lead common observers to form a very different expectation. The moment Mr. Carysford perceived his own state, he resolutely avoided visiting at the Park, and the ladies determined to return to town before the time originally intended.

It was evident, that Harriet loved at least as fondly as she was loved; that family pride, and maiden coyness, alike yielded before that deep and ardent passion, which she had unconsciously imbibed, in those solitudes where every circumstance had favoured the encroachment of a sentiment, aided by voluntary admiration and perfect esteem for the character of the beloved. Sir Marmaduke was at this period perpetually employed in the sports of the field, Lady Lyster engaged with hospitalities in her house, charities in her village, and some family solicitudes of great importance, including the marriage of her only brother.—"Where could the sisters spend their mornings so pleasantly as with the sensible invalid at the rectory? how could they be so safely escorted to all the beauties of the neighbourhood, as by her excellent brother?"

The Baronet said, "it was a foolish affair, and bad for the parish," and wished the women in the red sea; Lady Lyster cried, and declared truly, "that she had had no hand in it,"—to the utter astonishment of all who had ever known her; Miss Tintagell, after shutting herself up twenty-four hours in her apartment, and emerging thence pale and haggard, as if from suffering acutely, declared it as her decided opinion "that Harriet would act wisely and well, in accepting Mr. Carysford; she loved him, she was independent, and had her sister's sanction for her conduct."

The rest will be readily supplied by the imagination of our young readers; but one particular attendant on this union must be revealed, for it will not be conceived. This was the constant gratitude expressed and acted upon by the husband towards his wife and sister-in-law, during the whole course of his married life. As a most amiable and unique trait of character, it well deserves to be recorded, but the consequences were not altogether such as we can retrace with pleasure. Mrs. Carysford became the mother of a numerous family, (four of which survived her,) and though tenderly attached to them all, she could not prevail upon herself to abandon, for their sakes, that stile of living to which her birth and fortune entitled her, in order to secure the provision necessary for children so born and educated as hers. Her own fortune was settled on herself, and in case of her demise on her eldest son, on whom the father also intended to bestow the living he held, so that there was but too much reason to fear, that these lovely young women, after enjoying all the elegant comforts which appertain to an extensive establishment and easy income, would be either compelled to marry for convenience, or condemned to the privations and obscurity attendant on narrow means, during that portion of existence when the goods of fortune are most valuable, because most consolatory.


Although Miss Tintagell gave thus generously consent to the marriage of her sister, yet it was five years before she came to visit the Rectory for any length of time, notwithstanding the undiminished attachment she still showed to her sister. During that period she had certainly refused several excellent offers, and her gaiety of dress, the attractions of her person, and the brilliance of her conversation were undiminished. From this period, she attached herself much to the eldest girl, became sponsor to the boy, and took as much interest in the family, as a person could do who dreaded the approach of a rude touch upon an unspotted muslin, and delighted in that "keen encounter of wits," forbidden by nursery details. After some time her visits became much more frequent, and Harriet generally, but not constantly, returned with her to town, where she enjoyed those advantages of education it was not possible to obtain in the country. Here however their excellent father left little to regret on this account. On the marriage of her brother, Miss Carysford removed to a cottage within a little distance, which she fitted up with great taste and comfort, and where she generally had one of her brother's children with her. This child after a time became Emma exclusively, for Harriet was almost stationary in London at that period when she was sufficiently grown to be a companion to Miss Tintagell. Charles was too much engaged with his studies to leave his father, and the younger branches too troublesome for one whose protracted existence was still that of a valetudinarian, willing but unable to endure exertion of any kind.

Perhaps few marriages have been equally happy with that of Mr. Carysford, for all that was excellent in his character at the time when it took place, improved with his more extended duties, and matured by time into the ripeness of solid virtue. "He was indulgent to a fault," Lady Lyster acknowledged; but she maintained also "that he was without a fault," and this all the poor in the district re-echoed, maintaining, "his Worship was all goodness, and Madam very little behind him." His sister alone knew where his failings lay, and where his troubles were felt; for to her both were laid open as they had been from infancy, with all the candour and contrition, with which a heart (so pure and humble a christian heart) laments error or bewails suffering.

No circumstance could have induced Mr. Carysford to live beyond his income, because that he would have deemed a failure of actual integrity; nor could the extraordinary expenses of any year ever induce him to encroach on that sum which, from the day he took possession of the living, he appropriated to charities connected with it—but the continual solicitude he felt to do more, and the incapability of effecting his wishes, frequently harassed his spirits, and deeply affected those of his excellent sister. It was from her conversations, her lessons, and her example, that Emma imbibed all that was most solid and estimable in her character—that she substituted the meekness of religious obedience for the mere external gentleness of manners; tempered the fire of youth and the acuteness of sensibility with sober reflection and calm resolution; subduing a vivid imagination and the generous enthusiasm of a noble spirit, and a refined taste, a devout, pious, and charitable heart, to the dictates of moderation.

When Emma was in her eighteenth year, the long fragile tenement in which that pure soul was enshrined, which even on the couch of sickness and under the pressure of pain had for years been a blessing to many, gave indications of dissolution that could not be mistaken. Mrs. Carysford therefore summoned her eldest daughter home, that she might partake the cares of the family; at the same time placing her third daughter at school from an equally kind motive, that of leaving herself at liberty to attend to the invalid and her husband, and enabling Sophia to pursue the finishing studies necessary for completing her education.

But the last sigh had escaped the patient sufferer before Harriet's return, who therefore, finding herself of no use and little importance, sincerely regretted her recall, though she had too much affection and proper feeling to betray the ennui under which she laboured at the Rectory, in consequence of leaving town in the season of gaiety, and visiting the country in the season of affliction. This affliction was indeed not poignant, a long expected event had occurred, a christian fitted for the change was removed; and selfish sorrow was controlled by the full belief that the evils of life were exchanged "for an exceeding weight of glory," but there was a religious pensiveness, a tender melancholy, an anxiety of affection towards one another in the members of the family, which, whilst it drew the chords which bound them to each other more strongly where it was felt, acted painfully where it was not experienced.

At this time they had a little girl, Alathea, who was younger by seven years than the child who had preceded her, and she was doated upon by the parents with that peculiar fondness generally accorded to the last prattler, the last plaything of a large family, who never fails to combine all that has charmed the mother's eye, and won the father's heart before, with innumerable graces and witcheries of its own. This child, in the course of a month or two after the death of its aunt, was seized with the measles, which left behind a train of disorders that proved fatal the ensuing autumn. On this distressing event taking place, Miss Tintagell flew to console her sister, and with equal surprise and grief perceived that which had alike escaped herself and her family, that the afflicted mother was far gone in decline, probably brought on by her indefatigable attention to the little sufferer.

From the hour that this discovery was made, the heart of the husband seemed rent in twain; he was a man of calm but exalted piety, of firm faith and of unfeigned submission to the God and Father whom he worshipped, not less in word than deed, but his very nature was so much that of domestic love, and his habits so entirely those of connubial friendship, that this third rapidly succeeding trial seemed to ask for more fortitude than he could find. He murmured not, but he bent beneath the stroke, and that manly beauty hitherto so remarkable, and which his active, temperate, and happy life had hitherto preserved, faded as rapidly as that of the beloved countenance which in every languid smile betrayed decay and death.

Thus in fifteen months, three losses were experienced in this lately flourishing family, of the most touching and harrowing description. The loss of her mother occasioned Sophia to be sent for home, and all idea of her return relinquished, as Mr. Carysford naturally desired to see his children around him; and as she was much the most like her mother, (being of an exquisitely fair complexion, with blue eyes and luxuriant flaxen tresses,) it was hoped that she would afford painful yet solacing interest to her widowed father.

Sophia was the only daughter, as we have already seen, who had been sent from home for education, even for a short period—she was in her sixteenth year when she went to school, had somewhat outgrown her strength, and was a girl of such vivid feelings, that her parents rather sent her out of the way of suffering, than considered the circumstance of improvement, her acquirements being already satisfactory. Mr. Carysford had heard the lady at the head of that establishment they thought most convenient for the purpose extolled for her piety, and Mrs. Carysford had assured herself as to the merits of the attendant masters, and with this they unfortunately were satisfied.—The first vacation which brought home this daughter, found them attending the sick bed of Alathea, and too much engaged to remark any thing in Sophia, besides her good looks and her continual conversation on death, from which they concluded that her health might suffer from witnessing the scenes of sickness and sorrow now pressing on the family; and therefore to save her as much as possible, she was not called to share them further.

But it now became evident, that a new, and, in her aunt's opinion an alarming bias had been given to the mind of this young creature during her absence, which was naturally aided by the awful events in her family. Going far beyond the religious precepts inculcated by her father, and acted upon in her family, outstripping every precept divulged by her departed aunt, and treasured in the memory of her deeply reflective sister; Sophia stepped forward as the apostle who should convert her family, reform the neighbourhood, or failing that, become a victim to their cruelty, a proof of their unrighteousness, and a martyr to their persecution.

So naturally does every human being, more especially those of habitually well-directed views, look to God in the hour of affliction, and search for the promises of the gospel, that the words of Sophia, though remarkable, were not considered by her family as arising from any other cause than that which strongly affected their own feelings; and she was the less liable to remark, because Miss Tintagell and Harriet were much together in the dressing-room of the former; Charles was sent to Cambridge; and Emma, as one habituated to the tender offices of a nurse, applied herself to amusing her father: when therefore it was announced to the family by Sir Marmaduke, "that Miss Sophy had been converted or perverted at school, had attached herself to what was termed the 'dissenting interest,' in the village, who had of late brought in some newfangled kind of preaching at the tailor's, and that she was doing her best to raise subscriptions for a chapel, being herself a kind of public prayer and teacher," nothing could exceed the alarm and sorrow, the anger and contempt, expressed by the different branches of the family.

They all knew Sophia was much out of the house, they had witnessed her zealous remonstrances, remarked her charity, which was carried to excess; but a conduct so contrary to all they conceived decorous or dutiful, had not entered their minds. Mr. Carysford gently reasoned with her, but to little purpose; but all that was blameable was soon greatly increased by the unwise conduct of her aunt and her eldest sister, whose violence of invective and scornful treatment, by conveying the idea that they despised religion itself, led her to conclude, "that she must be right, because they were wrong," and she deemed herself a persecuted saint, a glorious martyr. She threw herself and her cause into the arms of the enthusiastic and discontented; and by rousing their passions in her behalf, rendered that a serious schism in the congregation, which had been merely the idle vagary of a few wandering lovers of any change.

Never did minister love his people more entirely than the Rector of Ravenhill, and whilst his general liberality rendered him kind to all parties, and conciliating in all cedeable points, he yet suffered severely from the belief that any for whom he laboured in spirit, and loved in sincerity, would forsake him. He bore the trouble meekly and manfully, but he suffered not the less severely. Emma was his sole support, and in her self-government, young as she was, and acutely as she deplored the circumstance, he found the sympathy he required, and at times, even the counsel, which was always that of dignified endurance of injury from others, and mild expostulation, but not restraint, towards his daughter. Sophia became in the mean time a positive idol with her party, and was exalted in the Meeting in proportion as she was persecuted at home; whilst Emma, without the solace of such pity or admiration, became really a kind of victim to both parties, and received the arrows of each with uncomplaining patience, and even reviving cheerfulness, when she considered herself the shield that received them for her father's safety. He was in all things her paramount object; but she was also tenderly attached to both her sisters, and held her brother as especially dear, as only brothers generally are. As Sophia had no direct friend in the house, Emma constantly apologized for her, in consequence of which, Miss Tintagell maintained, "either, that she must be such a fool as to believe the girl right, or defend her from a spirit of pure contradiction," whilst Sophia and her village friends observed, with not less acrimony, "that, as a person not devoid of religious light, her conduct in not entirely espousing the cause of her heavenly-minded sister, and imitating her conduct, bespoke a base and cowardly spirit, and the epithets of 'worldly minded,' 'self seeking,' &c. were applied to her continually." Even her friends at the Park called Emma a Trimmer; but as the heads of the house differed themselves on the point at issue, they occasionally listened to her reasons for looking fairly on both sides of the question; and, in this reasoning, both were so far interested as never to push the other to extremities, a good effect of no small moment in the present excited state of feeling which had unhappily arisen in this community.

Considering the altered state of his household, Mr. Carysford enjoyed more peace than could have been expected; for he was so entirely beloved, that neither servant nor visitor would mention any occurrence likely to grieve him, and even those of his people who most strenuously insisted on their right to worship God their own way, observed also, that "considering he was a merely moral man, and a church parson, there was not much harm in him," and that now and then "he preached the gospel," but then, "he read his sermon, he read printed prayers, and of course it all sounded as a dead letter."

The "new lights" were after all but a sickly band; and if Sophia, in all the radiance of her youth and beauty, the grace of her refined manners, and the redundancy of language easily attained amongst inferiors, had not strengthened their numbers and confirmed their hopes, the young preachers sent from a distant academy would hardly have condescended to mount the tailor's great chair, and preach in his workroom. The grocer, the exciseman, the shopkeeper, all men qualified to harangue in the churchyard, not only held their usual council there, and obtained their usual auditors; but the farmers, the blacksmith, the retired London tradesman, and the sunday-school teachers, were all warmed with zeal against the encroaches; and solicitous to show his Worship every possible mark of their good will, well aware that the Baronet would wink at a breach of the peace on such an occasion, various plans had been laid for putting the preacher of the day in the stocks, or attempting a gentle ducking to his more open followers: but these malpractices were so well known to be as contrary to the spirit as to the instructions of their pastor, that, for his sake, those they deemed his enemies were suffered to escape, and even to endeavour increasing their numbers and assuming a character of defiance.

The love manifested, whether wisely or zealously, by his people, gave Mr. Carysford the comfort his long harassed spirit required, but it likewise subjected him to feeling too much. In every house, however poor the inhabitants, where he was recognized with affection, and where the memory of her so long and so fondly loved was held in honour, his heart had its resting-place as to its affections, but the acuteness of his feelings forbade repose. In lamenting over his loss, in protesting their love, in railing against all who wished for change, in recalling the days of sorrow and the seasons of want, in which he had soothed their affliction and relieved their necessity, these simple souls necessarily awoke the chords of that sensibility which was already touched too freely, and in the very prime of life, he withered like the sensitive plant beneath the approach of tenderness itself.

It had been constantly the practice of Mr. Carysford to catechise the children of his village, and to this good old custom it might chiefly be attributed that the encroachers upon his pastoral duties had been later in their advances to his parish than those in his neighbourhood, and that when arrived, their success was dubious. The young men and maidens (notwithstanding the love of change is natural to youth) were universally his friends, and from that period when they first deemed him insulted by the actual establishment of preaching during church hours, they were wont respectfully to edge nearer and nearer to him, till they became a kind of bodyguard as he went from his own house to the church. The manner in which the silent sympathy and respect thus evinced, affected their minister, cannot be described, but will be conceived by those who have hearts and imaginations, and are accustomed to combine the purest emotions they originate, with those higher and sweeter sources of feeling, which spring from devotion. Every broad honest face, that looked on him with reverent sympathy, was associated with the remembrance of his own children, their own fathers; his pastoral duties, or his paternal cares. He knew that in days past he had for them "sighed and wept, watched and prayed," and the belief that according to their more bounded perceptions, they now returned his love, delighted, but yet affected him, beyond the power of his enfeebled frame to sustain.

Emma sought to restrain this effect, and by recurring to common subjects, dull common places, or cheering trifles, to wean him from that consolation, which, whilst it sweetened, yet wasted the cup of life. She endeavoured to give him peculiar interest in the progress made by Charles, at college; awaken him to the politics of the day, and more especially its poetry; she sought to engage him in writing for Sophia's benefit, even with little hopes that in her present inflated state of mind, she would condescend to read his documents, and by every means affection could suggest, or vigilance exact, prevented his mind from preying on itself, or yielding up its energies to amiable but useless paroxysms of excited feeling.

This was but a task the more necessary, because Harriet, when not engaged with her aunt in company, found it obligatory in her to devote herself almost exclusively to her comfort in private. Miss Tintagell was a woman of great talents, of noble and generous nature, but of violent passions, and when grief or anger was uppermost, their operation was of so terrible a nature as to be alike injurious to herself, and harassing to those around her. She was offended with Sophia beyond measure, and much hurt with what she considered the mistaken lenity of her father, in reasoning when he should have commanded, and in permitting when she thought he should have denied; yet she could not bring herself to utter one reproach to a being so evidently suffering. Accustomed to shine in every circle where she appeared, if she accepted an invitation, the cares given alike to her person and her manners, rendered her for a few hours the commanding or the fascinating woman of fashion, who could charm the elegant, and astonish the country circle around her; but when the spur of habit and the action of vanity ceased to operate, she would sit down and bewail the loss of her sister as the one jewel that had shone on her path, with all the eloquence of grief, and even the simplicity of childlike fondness.

Some months had passed in this manner, when it was proposed to Miss Tintagell, "that she should join a worthy couple to whom she was much attached in a visit to Paris," to which she consented with an avidity distressing to her eldest niece, who had begun to hope either that they should return to town together, or go to some watering place. The invitation could not be extended to her without an entire derangement in the mode of conveyance; in consequence of which, the elder lady did not choose to see the discontent evinced by the younger, and therefore poor Harriet, with all the disposition in the world to exhibit her fine person in those circles from which she had been taken by distressing events, was condemned to accept the society which Ravenhill and its environs presented; and console herself by becoming the mistress of the Rectory, though she was only partially the directress of its inhabitants.


Circumstances occurred soon after the departure of Miss Tintagell, which were of benefit to Mr. Carysford, by drawing him perforce to the common cares of life; they arose from the executorship of his sister's will, and the possession given to his son of the fortune of his mother, as already mentioned.

Miss Carysford had received five thousand pounds from her father, and a thousand more as the bequest of a relation. During the time she resided with her brother, their income was spent as a joint stock; and when they parted, his sole care had been to deter her from injustice to herself, in which care his lady cordially united. The invalid found her income equal to her wants; but as much medical aid was required by her health, and much charity craved by her heart, and as living was expensive even in the country, she had nothing to spare. When however three or four years were passed, and each brought a new claimant on the beloved brother's purse—when the boy was born who was to take so large a portion of the family property, or perhaps the whole of it; and when the mother of this family had experienced such attacks as to create alarm for her life, Miss Carysford began to consider seriously the future situation of her nieces.

"It is probable," said she, "that I shall die whilst these children are young, therefore that which I can give them will be of more importance than the ampler provision of their richer aunt; whose situation and habits I well know preclude her from saving any thing at present. Let me consider how I can do my share toward providing for the future."

The plan was laid and acted upon, although several of the intended legatees were otherways provided for; but in consequence, Miss Carysford had the satisfaction of leaving each of her nieces fifteen hundred pounds, (there being four at the time of her death,) an extra thousand to Emma as her god-daughter, and provision to the old servant and her daughter, who had been her faithful attendants ever since she left the Rectory, not forgetting a bequest to her nephew, as an aid to his college expenses, on which he had just entered at the time when her weary pilgrimage closed.

The share of Alathea being divided amongst the three sisters, they each had an income of one hundred per annum, the principal being paid to each on her becoming of age; and Harriet therefore now received her portion, Emma was joined in the trust, and appointed residuary legatee, an honour which gained her no good will from Harriet, who without caring for money was envious of importance; and who finding even the additional income of which she had taken possession insufficient for her wants, would have been glad to know that Emma had it in her power to assist her.

Trusting that the reader is now acquainted with the family of the Rector, that they can even pourtray his tall, slender, and slightly bending form, as he listens to that aged woman, who brings him new-laid eggs, under the full persuasion that no others in the parish can be found so good for him, and whose very heart would be broken if she were paid for them, we will return to our narrative. It will be remembered that Sophia was set out on one of her errands of charity and instruction, and her father's steps, though differently directed, had probably the same end in view. Harriet was too much busied with counteracting schemes, to the announced desire of her father respecting the carriage, to enter either upon a drive or a walk, and Emma has set out to call on the family of the Wilmington's.

Many persons might pass Emma, dressed as she still was in slight mourning, without remarking any thing beyond that of a ladylike young woman somewhat above the common height, or should they see her face beneath the large bonnet, say more than that "she appeared pretty and modest." She could neither boast the air of fashion which distinguished Harriet, who was called the beauty of the family par excellence, nor had she that dazzling fairness and aerial slightness of form, which gave Sophia, in the eyes of many, still higher pretensions; but her features were beautifully regular, and more especially her mouth possessed a character of sweetness and placidity, which displayed the charm of a smile without its character. Her pretensions to beauty were forgotten in the expression of goodness, written in every lineament of her countenance, and although it was also full of intellectual expression, the sense of its intelligence was lost in that of its benignity.

No wonder, then, that both Mr. and Mrs. Wilmington met her as she entered the garden which led to their abode with warm greetings, which dispelled for a time the furrows which past sorrows and present solicitude had planted on their own faces—mistaking, because hoping that there was some further cause for the pleasure they evinced, she cast her eye around the room, and perceiving that no person was present, enquired "if they had received any letter, or were by any circumstance relieved from the trouble they revealed to her the preceding Monday."

"Oh! no, my dear," replied Mr. Wilmington with a deep sigh, "we are only that much nearer to the evil which we daily apprehend—money is at this period so exceedingly scarce we cannot obtain it, so the little estate which is our dear Frank's all at present, must go to pay that debt which he contracted to aid his distressed parents—in these terrible times, with a forced sale, it will probably not fetch a thousand pounds beyond the twelve hundred for which it is mortgaged, though worth twice as much."

"I would not mind that," added the wife, "for his commission is equal to his support, but I well know my brother will never forgive the transaction; and when he comes from India, although he has permitted us to consider Frank his heir, he will abandon him altogether—could we conceal it—and to no human being save you have we spoken of it."

"'Tis that unhappy necessity of secrecy," interrupted the husband, "which constitutes much of the misfortune,—but we cannot mention it; if Maria, who is returned to us a widow with a babe, were to know it, she would either leave us, or remaining, would break her heart; and Letitia, who is so delicate, poor thing, would be overwhelmed with it; and Harry, who is struggling so hard to get forward at college, (though he little dreams how much difficulty we have to support him there, poor fellow,) if he knew of it, would never be able to pursue his studies, so that the affair must take its course—the lawyer must foreclose."

"I don't know what that is," said Emma, "but as I shall be able to lend you twelve hundred pounds in three months and a fortnight, I find, and I have some property even now in my hands, surely it might be contrived,—if I were to give my word to the lawyer, would he not wait awhile?"

"Unquestionably!" said Mr. Wilmington, with eagerness, "but have you spoken to your father, my dear?"

"How could I when you so charged me not to do it? besides, he has so much to think of, and would suffer so much from sympathy, at a time when he is dreadfully unnerved, that I had rather not trouble him; but if I can write, or speak, so as to satisfy Mr. Parkinson, and afterwards produce the money, (which I find will be the case,) all will, I trust, come round."

Mrs. Wilmington burst into tears of joyful gratitude, and flung herself into Emma's arms.

"But my dear Emma, I cannot accept this kind offer without desiring that you should make one confidant in your family; Miss Carysford is three years older than you, she was always attached to Maria, and will feel for us all, so much as to preserve silence on the subject; at the same time she will assist you in the affair as one of business, your brother is at a distance, and is too young a man to know much about the matter—however, consult which you please," said the husband.

"I have considered the matter thoroughly, and determined how to act; but I will certainly fulfil your wishes, and pray put me in the way now for relieving your spirits, surely I can write immediately."

But Mr. Wilmington was a man of delicacy and honour, and though conscious that the loan so advantageous to him, or rather his son, could not be injurious to the lender, he refused accepting from her any written promise, until the communication spoken of was made to her sister, and Emma departed with the satisfaction of having communicated hope and comfort to those she loved, but in great fear (without precisely knowing why) of opposition from Harriet, whom she yet knew to be of a generous nature, and warmly attached to the family in question.

Mr. Wilmington was (or rather had been) a country gentleman of handsome property and ancient family, whose estate lying in Staffordshire, where that country is most commercial, had been tempted to embark a sum of money in an extensive manufactory, as the means of providing better for his younger children, a speculation which he had seen successfully adopted by other persons similarly situated. This was the more excusable in him perhaps, from the sudden increase of wealth in the district he inhabited, from his warm and tender attachment to a most amiable wife, and a numerous family, whom he naturally desired to see in possession of those comforts, and holding that rank in society long filled by his progenitors, and now encroached upon by a new and purse-proud race.

The consequence will be easily forestalled by those who have seen the distress, to which the want of a mere trifle subjected him in his present state. The house he had joined failed, and his estate was forfeited for debts of which he was ignorant, and the jointure of his wife was all that remained at a period when the wants of his family were most felt. His eldest daughter was also newly married to one of the sons of the principal partner, who being totally ignorant of the real state of his father's affairs, and astounded by the universal ruin, lost reason and life in the shock, leaving his widow and orphan to increase the burden of that ruined home to which she returned.

Mrs. Wilmington had brought her husband a small fortune, to which he had considerably added in her settlement, but it yet produced a very inadequate maintenance for a large family, and he therefore wisely sought to improve it by applying the knowledge of agriculture he had attained as an amusement, to purposes of gain. For this end he took a farm in the neighbourhood of Ravenhill, which he was enabled to stock from the circumstance of his eldest son becoming the possessor of a little estate, bequeathed during his infancy by his maternal uncle, the proceeds of which had during his minority accumulated to a sum, which at the same time purchased him a commission, with the addition of the loan in question.

Mrs. Wilmington had another brother who had been many years resident in the East Indies, accumulated a large fortune there, and considering her as well married, constantly treated her with kindness and consideration, until the period of her misfortunes; after which his letters or rather lectures were longer, but his presents smaller, and he appeared to forget all his little nephews and nieces, save the one who held the house where he was born, and to which he attached therefore a sense of consequence, and probably of affection. She had therefore every reason to believe that the loss of it would be ruin to the hopes of the family in that quarter, and far removed from all their former friends, intimate only with the Rector in their present abode, since they could not consistently cultivate an acquaintance at the Park, the distress of their situation became extreme. Either they must irreparably injure the amiable son who had befriended them, or by a hasty and injurious sale of their own property, throw themselves and all their family without a home, and in so doing equally offend the Eastern despot whose return they now looked for, and who had so regularly insisted upon it as his principle, "not to help those who did not help themselves," that they were certain if he found them in poverty, he would abandon them wholly.

On this their sad story, the fears and hopes it presented, and the distress she had herself witnessed, Emma dilated on her return, adding her intention of applying the first money she was mistress of to their relief, and indirectly enquiring if Harriet could not enable her to do it now.

"You will lose it every shilling," was the abrupt answer given to the announced intention.

"Why do you think so, my dear?—they are very honourable people—people of unblemished integrity."

"But they are very unlucky people—very foolish people, or they would not have been ruined at first; besides, we all know misfortunes follow each other, and it would be very foolish in you to attempt checking them, especially at the very time when, from my father's account of things, charity should begin at home."

"I am perfectly willing to appropriate all the fortune I shall enjoy to my dear father's use. Suppose, dear Harriet, you and I should offer to keep the carriage: it will enable him to lay by the sum on which he has fixed, and prevent us from exciting comments or experiencing inconvenience. Of course Sophia in due time will contribute her share."

"No, she will give all she has, or ever will have, to chapel building; I know she stands engaged by promises.—That a girl of her description should do so might be expected, but that you should throw away your property in such a manner, is absolutely astonishing."

"I have thrown away nothing; I have merely promised to lend money at legal interest—at the worst I can only lose a trifle, to which the family at the Grange are heartily welcome; if I could afford it, I would give, not lend, them the whole, but that is out of the question."

"Well, well, do as you please—I have warned you; the money will do them no good, and I consider it as gone for ever if you place it there. I think too, there is a gross indelicacy in your stepping forward to assist a young officer, for what else can you call the matter? It is suing for attention from Frank Wilmington; had you done any thing for the widow, it had been one thing, but the young man is another."

"I never saw young Wilmington but once," replied Emma, blushing.

"So much the worse, since it is evident he made a great impression. I believe girls in the country are very subject to these things, much given to falling in love."

The ruddy hues of anger at this moment displaced the more gentle confusion that suffused the cheek of Emma, but she did not answer. Retiring to her own chamber, she endeavoured to reconsider the whole affair. The great esteem in which she knew her parents had long held the Wilmingtons, the remembrance of all the kindness she had experienced from them during the long sicknesses which had afflicted their house, and the consciousness that probably, even at this moment, her father was chatting with them, losing the sense of his own cares, and kept (from the purest motives) in happy ignorance of theirs, determined her to persist in her intentions, and preserve them from the pain of knowing her sister's sentiments. She felt that this was one of those important hours in life, when the power of doing a great good, or what she deemed paying a debt of gratitude, was presented, which, as a friend and a christian, ought to be embraced; and, since she felt within herself the power to endure the loss uncomplainingly, should it prove one, and even in silence obviate its appearance to every person, save Harriet, the matter was decided, and her offers renewed by letter in the most unequivocal manner.

When this was done, Emma enquired of her own heart, "if it were possible, that upon so slight an acquaintance, she had really felt that predilection for Lieutenant Wilmington which Harriet asserted." She remarked him as a tall, graceful young man, three years before, of lively manners, but it was certain that if she liked him, it was through the letters she had heard read from him by his mother, and the fond descriptions given of his amiable qualities by his father and sisters. "No," said she, at length, "I am not the foolish, romantic creature Harriet thinks me; nor have I any interest in the welfare of the family but that of the esteem and affection they so justly merit from us all."

Yet notwithstanding this silent assertion, when, through her solicitation and eventual assistance, the family were restored evidently to that happiness which had been from some unknown cause disturbed—when the fond mother poured her feelings and those of her relieved son into her ear, vaticinating future prosperity and felicity as the gift of their young friend; the ear of Emma lingered, and her colour rose at the mention of a name associated in her mind with those virtues most dear to her heart. In the power of meditation on any prevalent idea given by the retirement of the country, especially when a pensive disposition and contemplative turn has been given to a young imaginative person, such a predilection will often give colour to their future life. Emma's disposition from nature laid her peculiarly open to the pleasures and pains connected with high-raised expectations, sanguine hopes, and that beau-ideal of existence which, while it strews the opening path of life with roses, so often prepares thorns for its advancing years. She had the credulity which is inseparable from guilelessness, and that trust in others which is natural to integrity; and with these qualities as a ground-work for favourable opinion, it cannot therefore be surprising if the busy fancy stole forth from its long depression to diversify life by decorating with every virtue and every acquirement, one necessarily so often present to memory.

It was perhaps happy for Emma, though by no means agreeable, that Harriet, by her inuendos from time to time, alarmed her with expressions calculated to excite watchfulness over her own inclinations, and that the observations of Sophia on the doctrine of original sin, drew back her mind to that necessity for moderating our wishes and opinions, as well as our passions, which had so often formed the lessons of her early life. She determined on guarding herself from thinking too much, seeing that one subject was generally uppermost in her thoughts, and to give more of her time to the pursuits of her sisters, or correspondence with her brother.

The leisure of late afforded to Emma during the summer months now passing, had arisen from the improvement visible in her father's health and spirits, which appeared to those around him the natural effect of time, and the attainment of resignation by an increased exercise of faith, as evinced by renewed zeal and activity in his ministerial duties. That such causes produced a most beneficial effect upon him cannot be in the least doubted, but the season of the year had also a great share in the apparent change, it being not too hot for him to be almost constantly out of doors, either meditating on the beauties of nature and the goodness of God, in those bounteous gifts so conspicuous in all around him, or else talking with his parishioners in the hay-fields and gardens, visiting the ailing, and aiding his curate by instructing the young. Whilst thus employed he appeared almost well, and almost happy; but even now the return from his long ramble never failed to be painful, and thence it was delayed. He would not unfrequently yield to the intreaties of the Baronet to dine with them, or sit down, still more frequently, to the frugal but inviting board of Mrs. Wilmington, that he might escape the hour when he was wont to be met in the walnut-tree walk, by the wife who never ceased to gaze on him with delight, and the lovely infant whose arms were wont to twine around his knees. That here he was still constantly met, still fondly welcomed, his heart was thankful to heaven, but the possession of the blessing left, reminded him of the blessing taken; reminded him too that the daughter, whose face could almost have cheated him into forgetfulness of her mother's loss, was estranged from him, and held him as an "unbelieving parent."

It had been the pleasure of Harriet during this time, to exhibit her fine figure on horseback daily, which she had done with great effect upon a beautiful mare, the gift of her brother, who, with all the generosity to be expected, repelled the idea of any change taking place in his father's expenses, in consequence of what he called "a nominal acquisition," though it was also evident, that his expenses personally were commensurate with his fortune. During the vacation he had been sometimes at home, at others paid flying visits to the nearest sea-bathing towns, but in August he became suddenly rooted to the Rectory, and declared "that he would not leave it till the last day of the vacation."

This sage resolution, albeit ascribed to the necessity of studying the mathematics, had its origin in the arrival of Lady Lyster's orphan niece, the only child of that brother whose marriage and departure for India we formerly noticed. She had been educated in England, and seen as a child by the Carysford family, but having returned to India, (where she did not find either parent alive to receive her,) she now came to the Park as her future home, from that distant bourne, under all the interesting circumstances belonging to her as an orphan, a traveller, and an heiress, the admired Eulaliè Mortimer.

Charles thought her the most lovely creature he had ever beheld, though it is certain she did not possess as much beauty as any one of his own sisters; but he was right in considering her charming. Eulaliè was the daughter of a Spanish lady, and inherited from her the liquid lustre which gives the dark eyes of the olive beauty that mingled charm of softness and sprightliness, peculiarly captivating; her figure, though petite, was elegant, her motion graceful yet lively, for she had resided too little in the land of her birth to suffer from the climate, or imbibe the habits of indolence ascribed to its influence. Warm, enthusiastic, generous, and inconsiderate, she was the most delightful of all creatures in her uncle's house, which beneath her influence re-awoke to that gaiety, impaired of course by the hand of time, and the sober influence of that mild autumn into which the Baronet and his Lady had entered, and the whole neighbourhood soon re-echoed her praise, and pressed forward to partake her society.

All our readers acquainted with country society are well aware of the importance of such a stranger, when launched on a surface capable of expanding the circle of its pleasures. In a very short time, the calls and invitations to the Park from families hitherto apparently shut out by distance, or by less agreeable causes, were innumerable, and these engagements generally began or ended with the Rectory also, for as it was the business of Harriet's life to mingle in all parties which she thought worthy her presence, and offer unbounded hospitality to all who chose to partake it, and as Charles lived more at the Park than at home, the two families were seldom disunited in the plans laid for their amusement. It did not follow in the opinion of the neighbouring gentry, that a matrimonial union between them would arise from the intercourse they witnessed; for it was well known that the children at the Rectory had always been held very dear at the Park, and that their society could not fail to be especially pleasant to the fair stranger; of course the field was open to other aspirants besides our young collegian.

In this time of general bustle and gaiety, the Wilmington family obtained considerable attention, to the great satisfaction of the Rector, who had often lamented that elegant young women, born to such different prospects, and for a certain period devoted to elegant accomplishments, should be doomed to an obscurity which forbade the hope of their emerging beyond it. Miss Mortimer was well acquainted with Mr. Thurlestone, the brother of Mrs Wilmington, in India, he having something to do in the settlement of her father's affairs, and she brought letters from him to the family, which announced, as before, an intention of returning soon, and a strong desire to see his nephew. In consequence, invitations were given this family to the Park, which were wisely and sparingly accepted, as were those to the Rectory also, now it became the resort of large parties—but these, together with the fair Eulaliè's reports of their uncle's wealth, raised them into speedy consideration in the neighbourhood.

Hitherto Miss Carysford had reigned the sole queen of beauty and fashion in her native land, at those periods when circumstances had allowed her to adorn a private party, or a public assembly; but although confessed to be handsomer than ever, and arrayed in that style of peculiar elegance her present correspondence with her aunt in Paris enabled her to adopt, such is the love for novelty, or the respect for wealth, that the stranger every where met with more attention. Not brooking neglect, or aiming at triumph, Harriet left no medium untried to carry the palm in one shape or other; her dress rivalled the splendour of Eulaliè's eastern habiliments, and her table vied with that of the Baronet in the rarity, if not the multitude, of its dishes; and the knowledge acquired in London of those elegances peculiar to the accomplished gourmand, and that display of ornament adopted by the fashionable, was exhibited by her with much more liberality than good sense.

Mr. Carysford by tacit consent and frequent absence, left every thing to the management of his children; proud of his son, and pleased with the company that son had brought to his house, conscious that a long blight had been cast over the young people, and fully persuaded that as his son had (what he deemed) a noble income, he doubted not but it would supply all those expenses which he considered as adopted for his sake temporarily, and therefore all things went on smoothly, so far as regarded him. Emma could not be thus tranquil, yet she would neither agitate him by her fears, nor awaken the anger of Harriet by her remonstrances, but every day by every mode of vigilance she could adopt, and by gentle persuasion to both brother and sister, she stemmed the current of extravagance into which ambition and thoughtlessness had plunged them.

In this effort she was assisted by the steady conduct of the Wilmingtons, who made no change in the quiet tenor or active industry of their lives, until the somewhat unexpected arrival of their eldest son in consequence of his promotion. Emma felt her bosom palpitate when his arrival was announced by Charles, and on his proposing to her to walk over with him and call on the family by way of welcome to the stranger, and invitation to all, she declined it for the express purpose of schooling her heart, and examining its movements more closely.

"I will ride with you," said Harriet, "for I want to see our pretty widow. I feel assured she has made a conquest of Major Cleveland, and I mean to rally her upon it. I think your College friend Johnson too was much struck with Letitia."

"Not half so much," returned Charles, "as Le Clair was with Emma, he has indeed left us quite in despair on her account,—how could you, Emma, by the way, be so cruelly cold to a man of his pretensions? he is the heir to a Baronetcy, and the possessor of a thousand good qualities."

"I have no pretensions to half so many good things," said Emma with a gentle smile.

"Her time is not yet come for imbibing the influenza so prevalent in our circle. Falling in love is a disorder remarkably infectious among us at present, ever since you set the example, Charles, and in my opinion Emma shows great prudence in keeping out of temptation. Whether she will continue to do it will be seen."

This was the last insinuation of this nature Emma was teazed with; on the contrary, Harriet appeared kind and considerate, in the arrangements she had made on her return; and when Captain Wilmington visited at the Rectory, he was received by Emma, without the confusion she had dreaded in herself. She found the power of self-government in this respect as well as others, and earnestly endeavoured to preserve it.

Yet in every succeeding interview, she saw something in her eyes more agreeable in Captain Wilmington than any other gentleman in the party; something that, combined with the constant disinterestedness he had evinced towards his family, and the kindness of his manners, would have justified her to herself, if her partiality had been warranted by any indications of love on his part. Knowing his situation, she could not help feeling anxiety for him, lest in the circle he now joined, his expenses should be increased beyond his powers, or that his hopes from his uncle should be more sanguine, than so singular and illiberal a character as that person bore, would justify; and often did she for his sake wish that Charles was again in Cambridge, that Eulaliè and Harriet would cease to be rival queens, and that in more sober scenes, she might be enabled to read calmly the principles and the attainments of one, in whom she certainly was deeply interested, as a friend at least.

The consciousness she had of having befriended him, rendered it impossible for a person, so delicate as Emma, to say one of the many things which often rose to her mind, when parties of pleasure were formed or purchases proposed, which she considered likely to implicate him in expense on the one hand, or mortify him on the other; and her dread of having her solicitude misconstrued by Harriet, prevented her from making observation or remonstrance to her on such subjects. Yet there were moments when she was nearly doing so, for it was certain that Frank Wilmington always approached her with the same brotherly ease, and perfect reliance on her judgment, the same sense of her kindness, and lively gratitude for it, which so evidently affected his sisters; and Harriet was herself so pleasant with him, so affable and unassuming in her conversation, that although she would not listen to remonstrance on her own plans, perhaps she would consider the expenses of others.

Once, and only once, had Captain Wilmington in her presence referred to his uncle's partiality for the place of his birth, and hinted the irreparable breach that parting with it would have made between them. Emma coloured deeply, and would have said, "she was glad there had been no necessity for doing so," but Harriet relieved her by adroitly changing the subject to that of Sophia's peculiarities, which had lately added to singular manners the adoption of a dress so nearly resembling the Quakers, that Captain Wilmington believed she had united herself to that body.

"No, no," cried Harriet, "Sophia has not half the respectability attached in my opinion to the 'yea and nay' body of friends. She is a kind of nondescript, for she proclaims herself a sound church-woman, but herds only with the dissenters, and affects airs of patience when I call her a Methodist, though she is so recognized every where of course. Charles calls her 'Evangelical,' and he says, that at Cambridge, young ladies of her persuasion are notorious for fastening like leeches on their prey, and drawing it into matrimony; so pray have a due care of Saint Sophy, for in despite of her quaint cap and handkerchief, she is certainly the prettiest girl in the neighbourhood."

The Captain was too gallant not to set aside the last assertion in favour of the speaker, whilst he lamented in much stronger terms than the case called for, in Emma's opinion, the superstition and enthusiasm of Sophia, which he said, "would be the ruin of her, poor thing."

"So far as Sophia's affections have been weaned from her family, in consequence of believing even her father to be deficient in his duties, and wrong in his views—so far as she has divided a house, and assisted to divide a parish against itself, her conduct has been reprehensible, and much to be lamented; but she is very sincere and very affectionate. The bias given to her mind is too strong, and acts at present not less upon her vanity than her conscience, but in time she will see her errors and abandon them, without, I trust, losing her sense of the importance of religion as a motive of action, the great guide and comfort of existence."

To this softening speech from Emma there was little reply made; but there was a look indicative of carelessness in him, and a flippancy in handling the most serious of all subjects, which was very painful to her. She often felt as if she were allied in mind to no one around her, much as she loved them all, except her father, and perhaps it was that sensation, more than any other, which had given her a kind of imaginary tie to Captain Wilmington. She thought now, that even this was, or ought to be, dissolved; she thought also that considering how very high Harriet had always held herself, how much she had lately increased her expenses and her connections, that it was extraordinary that she gave so much time and attention to a person in this gentleman's situation, and that, in speaking of Sophia, certain looks between them proved that they were perfectly alike in their opinions.


Although Emma's character was distinct from that of all the young people by whom she was surrounded, yet her gentle manners, her kindness, and the discovery, which, from time to time, each made of the soundness of her understanding, induced them all to seek in her a consoling friend, or an able adviser—they loved her for being the first, and (generally speaking) quarrelled with her for being the last. Charles had made her the confidante of his passion for Eulaliè, but he had not taken her advice against premature declaration, although the modesty of his nature and the timidity inseparable from a passion that exalts its object so highly, had delayed it; when however he was about to leave her, all scruples vanished, and she was informed of that which herself and every other person had known for the last three months, quite as well as the speaker.

Eulaliè, in the course of all that time, though she had ran about the country in all directions, figured as a blazing comet at race balls, a passing meteor in sea-coast promenades, and a fixed star at the county town assemblies, had not seen one man, strictly speaking, so handsome as Charles Carysford, who inherited a fine person as a birth-right; he was evidently good tempered, what she called "very generous, and very genteel;" rode well, shot well, and what was more, talked well, and listened well; for his mind was cultivated and his manners suasive—but then he had one great drawback—"he was not a soldier."

With this unhappy deficiency before her eyes, Eulaliè, though she looked tenderly, durst not trust her tongue with expressing her sentiments, which were indeed somewhat inexplicable to herself. She retired hastily, yet not angrily, from the gaze of the idolizing youth, who could only conclude from her manners that she was well inclined towards him, but really feared to encourage him, lest she should meet the displeasure of her friends. As this denouèment took place in the gardens of the Park, after a short reverie he determined not to re-enter a house which of course he deemed the abode of his cruel enemies, but by a little circuit regain his horse from the stable, return, and lay the case before Emma.

"'Tis true, she will not be so angry as I am sure Harriet would be, for she always maintains that our family on one side at least is superior to Sir Marmaduke's—if my grandfather Carysford was a merchant, so was Eulaliè's grandfather, old Don something, I remember."

Charles's meditations were most happily broken upon at this moment (though not so in his opinion) by meeting Sophia, who was going to instruct a little band of children, whom she termed, "her own lambs," to distinguish them from the more extensive flock patronized by Lady Lyster and her sisters, over whom Emma cast a kind and scrutinizing eye. Though Charles laughed at Sophia sometimes, and scolded her at others, he yet loved her very much at the bottom, and, by way of saying something, he enquired "if she had left her sisters at home?"

"I have;—Harriet has got a new importation from Vanity Fair, in the modern Babel."

"Then she has got letters from my aunt. I wish, with all my heart, the Honourable Alathea Tintagell was here."

Charles articulated every syllable in reference to his own feelings, which at this moment sought for all possible aids in conquering the difficulties before him, but as Sophia understood him literally, and was sorry to hear him lay stress on a vain earthly distinction, she replied solemnly,

"Yes, she has heard from our aunt, who has been induced to renew, or I ought to say commence, an acquaintance with her nephew, who is now at Nice for his health—doubtless he has been brought to the brink of the grave by dissolute courses, and ought to be a warning to us all."

Charles nodded his thanks, pricked his steed, and was at home in a few minutes; but his motions had not been so rapid as those of Eulaliè who was at this time closetted with Emma, to whom she had flown on leaving Charles, and as the ride was more than double the length of the walk, between the Rectory and the Park, her priority of confidence was easily accounted for.

"Nothing can be more distressing than my situation," said Eulaliè, after relating Charles's declaration, "I have long foreseen this, yet it overwhelms me like unexpected trouble."

"From all I have observed, my dear Miss Mortimer, I cannot believe you dislike my brother."

"Oh! no, no, no, who could dislike so handsome, so amiable, so excellent"—Eulaliè wept, or sobbed at least.

"Then you apprehend opposition from the Baronet, and"—"Opposition!" cried the fair mourner, suddenly relinquishing her handkerchief, springing on her feet, and rising to the utmost height her bounded measurement allowed. "Who shall dare to oppose me? No, thank heaven, I am free, nor shall any sordid motive ever influence me to yield my right of choice to another—never, never."

"Certainly the reasons our friends may offer, should be considered in a matter of so much importance; we ought to weigh every point, to"—

"I desire to do so—I come to you, to assist my reasoning faculties, to examine my pre-possessions—but I fear it will be all in vain; the ideas nourished so long will not give way, and then poor Charles will be lost, ruined, undone for ever, and I shall be the cause of all."

"Dear Eulaliè, what can you mean?"

"Emma, ever since I can remember any thing, fame and glory have been the great objects of my desire. I believe reading Joan d'Arc inspired the notion—when other girls talked of shepherds or beaux, I talked of soldiers and heroes. I am myself courageous, and therefore courage in others is the quality most valued by me, and I well remember preferring the boatswain in the ship which first brought me over, to every person on board, because he had been frequently in battle—since then I have witnessed danger, and the glorious enthusiasm with which some spirits meet it, and I feel that such a spirit alone, can I honour and obey."—

"Then you confess the possibility of loving, I may conclude that by implication."

"You may—but then every body says, one ought to esteem those whom they love; and how could I, in my sense of the word, esteem a man who was neither sailor nor soldier, a man who could not even fight a duel? I know no situation so much on earth to be envied, as the widowhood of one whose husband perished in the field of battle—ah! what emotions, Emma, must fill her heart, as she gazes on the monument which his country has erected to his honour, when she reflects that a being so great, so glorious, was once devoted to her. Now were I to marry dear Charles, this happy, this envied lot could never be mine—the idea of marrying a clergyman is insupportable to me."

"What a misfortune it is that you were not born a few years sooner; but as peace appears now established on a firm basis, either you must resign this object of desire, or determine to lead a single life, for you have little chance of being the widow of a military hero for many years, in this country at least."

"Do you then think that Charles does not love me well enough to resign his intention of going into the church?"

"Indeed I fear that he does, but such a determination would exceedingly grieve my father, who has educated him from childhood with this view, and also, I apprehend, be deemed one of great imprudence by all your friends on both sides, since it would render him much less eligible to the honour of your hand."

"Oh! I care not for money matters, I don't indeed."

"Yet you love to spend it—you have in fact never known the want of it, and therefore cannot judge; and for your consolation I can assure you that Charles has given proof of great personal courage in Cambridge several times, that my father was once so nearly falling a victim to his courage by facing a mob, my mother had every chance for a very long widowhood, so that, even as a clergyman's wife, there is no saying but you may enjoy that satisfaction."

"Satisfaction it could not be, but in such a case it would surely be the purest consolation—you must think so yourself, Emma."

"To reflect upon the virtues of one's husband, however exerted, must be a great consolation, but I am not so aspiring as you. I could be not only content, but most thankful, to believe the partner I had lost had been a blessing to his fellow-creatures any way, but more especially that he had held the high honour of being 'an ambassador from Christ to them'—besides, I do really think, that no men living have so much need of courage in its highest sense as the clergy, especially whilst they are young."

"I can't see that at all—to be sure they have a good many examinations and nonsense to go through, and at the first they look foolish and feel awkward on reading in public, but that soon goes off."

"They have to encounter pretty universal prejudice, and to meet it with weapons so little in use, that the wounds they may receive, or the ability with which they parry, are alike misunderstood. They have not only to engage with enemies, but friends, to religion, with seducers who would rejoice to lead them into error, and inquisitors who would pounce on them in the commission of it. From habit and social taste they mingle in the world, yet are decidedly called to hold themselves distinct from it; every eye is on them to mark what is done amiss, prudence in their case is called covetousness, liberality is branded as profusion; if grave, they are scorned as hypocrites; if gay, pointed at as unworthy members of a sacred profession. Oh! they have much to contend with!"

"Poor Charles! I pity him sincerely; but I hope, I believe, he will acquit himself like a man, Emma, a good man."

"I have no doubt of it—he has to be sure been rather gay this summer, but you know he has been under particular circumstances—now we are speaking confidentially on a matter of so much moment, I ought to tell you that his uncle, Lord Alfreton, is very ill; should Charles become his heir, perhaps he would not enter the church."

"Oh! that would be base, unworthy—I should think that very wrong indeed. No, let him meet the evils, of which you speak, boldly; let him stand erect amidst the shafts of calumny and the frowns of vice, a spectacle on which angels may smile and men gaze with reverence and admiration. Emma, you have given me a view of the case I never had before; nothing can be more sublime and interesting."

"Then you will not leave him to endure the hardships of life 'unpitied and alone;' but I will not plead a cause of so much importance, I am naturally too partial to be a fair judge, and although I firmly believe that my dear mother was the happiest of married women, for so she has often assured me, yet I can see clearly that every year increases the difficulties of which I have spoken: as a friend, I would advise you to examine them thoroughly before you consent to favour his hopes."

Eulaliè promised she would consider, but she blushed deeply, and the tears were in her beautiful eyes as she spoke, for she knew in her heart that she had decided. The idea of contending with difficulty, however presented to her mind, accorded with the ardour and enthusiasm of her spirit, whilst that of Charles, in a state of suffering, awoke all the tenderness she had long cherished towards him. Emma accompanied her towards the walnut-trees on her way homewards, when perceiving Charles was sate under one of them, looking anxiously towards the house, she beckoned him, and recommended him to be Miss Mortimer's escort, but not till she had again entreated Eulaliè not to mention her wish that he should relinquish his profession, which she candidly owned lay (as she believed) in Eulaliè's power of guidance.

"I have no longer such a wish," said the heiress, as she accepted the arm of her lover and departed.

On the day following Charles departed also, for he had already encroached much on October, and for the following week there was a wonderful stillness in the house, which was rendered more striking by the severity of the weather, which confined Mr. Carysford altogether to home, as he laboured under a severe cold caught by leaving his bed at an unusual hour in the morning, to baptize a sick child at some distance.

In point of fact, he had been for a long time in a delicate state of health, and the very relief he had experienced during the summer months, in the open air, only proved that some disorganization of the system called for extraordinary assistance. On the present occasion confinement and abstinence were recommended as positively necessary, and therefore submitted to, but the former was very unpalatable, and the latter it was difficult to act upon, for he was at all times so temperate, that an increase of self-denial nearly amounted to starvation.

Harriet, being now in possession of Charles's secret, and not a little elated with the prospect of her brother's succession to Lord Alfreton's estate, a circumstance on which she dilated beyond her right of doing, in order (as she said) "to make all smooth with Lady Lyster," spent little time at home; but Emma never left it when her father's comforts could be aided by her attention, or his pleasures increased by her society. At this period, it being 1816, the general state of the country called for the attention of every person who could assist the poor, on whom in many districts the winter opened with an accumulation of hardships. Mr. Carysford knew personally the state of every humble family, not only in his own, but the neighbouring parishes, he foresaw clearly how far they would be affected; to whom assistance would be most valuable, and where distress would be most severely felt; and he determined during his confinement to consider how best he might contribute to its relief. Proverbially open to imposition, and naturally averse to business, nothing less than a positive sense of duty would have led him to impose this task upon himself; for it consisted in his opinion in collecting and paying all his own bills, and then giving away all he could spare, a simple and excellent plan for a poor arithmetician.

But alas! in this pursuit, he found that Alps on Alps arose, and not even the anxious ingenuity of Emma, who naturally dreaded the result of all investigation on a point which had excited her anxiety long ago, could suffice to prevent him from experiencing alarm, astonishment, and that solicitude to know the extent of the evil, which was natural to him as a man of scrupulous integrity, general though not trifling regularity, and great ignorance of the subject as to its individualities. From finding his expenses (as a matter of course) exceedingly increased the year he married, he had habituated himself to consider that a wife was inevitably and properly a very expensive article in every establishment—on the year when he lost her for whom he thought no price too high, he concluded that all was right in affairs conducted by her sister, who was necessarily expensive, but now when there were only the children, those dear beings for whose sakes he was anxious to save and to spare, and that Charles had generously insisted on all things going on as they used to do, "surely his long treasured wishes would be fulfilled—he should begin to make a deposit in the funds for his daughter."

Seeing from the progress of these silent evidences of the lavish expenditure of his household, and the encroachments of Harriet, far beyond her own income, for gay apparel, that there would be a positive necessity for Charles to come forward with a considerable sum of money, he wrote to him to state his difficulties. In reply, his son inclosed the enormous bills presented to himself on his return, and with deep sorrow stated the necessity he was under of selling out stock, in order to liquidate these bills; and at the same time saying that these monies must be replaced, previous to his marriage, as Sir Marmaduke Lyster had given him to understand "that he should expect the fortune of his late mother to be produced at that time in an unencumbered state," to which observation he had replied by an offer to settle it on Eulaliè.

If any thing had been wanting to overwhelm and harass the already oppressed spirits of Mr. Carysford, this letter would have supplied it. The affection and penitence it breathed, rendered him unable to feel anger against the beloved writer, the inclosures it produced were alike appalling and surprising, and the information it gave puzzled and alarmed him. He observed, over and over again, that "his poor boy must be helped, the money in the funds must not be touched, but in what manner it could be done, was utterly beyond his powers of calculation."

When all this trouble was revealed to Harriet, nothing could exceed the alarm and astonishment visible in her looks, but eager to forget her own share in the mischief, she adverted to Charles's bills as the greater evil, insisting, "that some serious mistake had been made, and that explanation would set all to rights, how could a man spend treble the sum his second year he had done the first?"

"You forget that Charles had my aunt's legacy to assist his first year's expenses,—besides his situation became entirely altered after my dear mother's death, and every person around acted upon the conclusion that he had a fortune to spend, which was probably much exaggerated by report," said Emma.

"But Charles ought to have known," said Harriet, "that he had nothing wherewith to help us, because he was spending it himself."

"That he did not know, because he did not think, is very evident,—my aunt used to say that thinking was the province of the woman in every family, so we must begin to think for him."

"I have been much to blame—very much."—"Indeed you have not, dear papa," cried Emma, eagerly, "when in April you proposed laying down the carriage, you thought wisely and kindly for us all; we overruled it, and in doing this, laid the foundation of all these expenses, for had that taken place, it would not have been possible for us to have kept the company and engaged in the pleasures to which our income was inadequate—we should have been people on a less and more consistent scale, as we ought to have been."

Although Emma kindly used the term we, yet Harriet so well knew that she had personally constantly stemmed the tide, that she could not fail to feel herself reproached, and therefore eagerly cried out,

"But then would Charles have been able to secure the hand of Miss Mortimer? would he have held the place in society which becomes the son of a Tintagell?"

"Certainly, not the less because he lived within his means, since it is evident that Sir Marmaduke apprehended he had gone beyond them, and Lady Lyster has repeatedly advised me against a system which was never adopted by my mother, even in her gayest days. You must be well aware that Charles is loved at the Park for his own sake, and that, when that worthy family consented to his marriage with Eulaliè, they were fully aware of the inequality of their fortunes—aware also, that with all her good qualities their niece ought to have a prudent husband, one who will guard his wife's property."

"You are right, Emma—as much has been said to me; but yet I know that Charles's prospects have an influence in the affair."

"Of course—but Harriet, you and I must, in the first place, supply the money required—it is a great happiness that we can do it. I propose giving that sum which was my dear aunt's extra legacy, and then we will alike lend that which—

"I cannot, will not allow that," cried Mr. Carysford.

"And I—that is, I fear," said Harriet in great confusion, "we will talk of it by and by."

"That will be much better, for I cannot bear to see my father harassed by it whilst he has this terrible cold upon him—we have happily time enough for every thing. Come, my dear Sir, let us change these papers for the chess-board; you must try again to give me one of your clever check-mates."


When Emma had succeeded in somewhat allaying the nervous agitation, and soothing the solicitude of her father, by diverting his mind in a slight degree from this distressing subject; when she had seen him in bed, and administered the gruel which contained his anodyne, she repaired to Harriet, who was walking with perturbed steps in the usual sitting-room below.

"I thought you would never come, Emma; I have been almost distracted lest you should make some further offer to my father. I could not make you understand me by signs."

"I did not understand you farther, than that you did not choose to advance him any money, certainly."

"I cannot, situated as I am with—otherwise I should be most happy to do it, but you see he has so little himself, and there is interest to pay, so that altogether we shall have nothing else to live upon."

"What can you mean, Harriet? who are you speaking of?"

"Frank Wilmington—we are engaged—I have wished to inform you for some time, but I have had no opportunity."

Emma sat down in the nearest chair—she made no reply, and for a few moments a ghastly paleness overspread her countenance, but Harriet did not look towards her, she continued to traverse the room with hurried steps, and her information was given less like the confession of a lover, than a criminal.

"I believe Frank—Captain Wilmington was struck with me from the day we first met—at least he tells me so—in fact, he mistook me for you, that is, for the Miss Carysford who lent his father the money, which gave him perhaps a prepossession in favour of all the family, you know."

Emma immediately recollected the time when he had mentioned it to her, with the air, as she now conceived, of a person but slightly connected with it; and she felt as if she were literally choused out of a certain prospect of happiness, which would at this moment have been inconceivably dear—she felt that each had entertained a prepossession in favour of the other, that ought to have had certain results, and she forgot, in the biting vexation of the moment, that opinions less favourable to Captain Wilmington had lately arisen in her mind, and that either from anxiety or other topics, or that self-conquest on which she had resolved, and for which she had sincerely prayed, he had been very little in her thoughts. She now could only remember, how frequently and how kindly her mind had been occupied by him, and how possible it was that similar feelings had possessed his mind for her—that both had been injured and betrayed—though how far, and under what circumstances, did not appear as yet.

"You do not speak, Emma—you think of course, that a person who has often ridiculed love in others, should not have so entangled themselves—I am aware of all that you say, but surely some consideration should be given to a man so amiable; a man whose unmerited misfortunes have rendered him so interesting, so—"

Emma burst into tears.

"I fear you think that I have been too hasty?"

"I think nothing about you, nothing at all, Harriet, but I must leave you, I must consider my own means of relieving my father from the embarrassments he is unequal to contending with."

"But you will not call in that money, Emma; you will not distress poor Frank again so soon."

"If I understood you right, Captain Wilmington believes himself your debtor, not mine; if you choose to become so, I shall be very glad, as the money will be most acceptable to me, you are well aware."

"Oh! he understands all now—it was only in the beginning of our acquaintance that he deceived himself; you could not suppose me capable of deceiving him: 'tis true, he believes me instrumental in persuading you to relieve the distress under which his parents then laboured—you know it was mentioned to me."

"It was, and you told me that I should lose the money."

"I remember I talked very like a fool—I had never seen Wilmington then, you know."

"But I had," said Emma internally, and she hurried out of the room, too much agitated to remember that Harriet's question was still unanswered; nor did reflection on this point cause her to return, for although she was glad that a sister whom she tenderly loved, and whom she desired to esteem, had not in this transaction stooped to direct falsehood, yet she was still aware that false impressions had been given, and she was by no means certain that much had not been imputed to her sister's interference, which affected the mind of Captain Wilmington with gratitude and love, as its consequences.

But when Emma was alone, when she reflected on the whole transaction, she saw the affair in a different point of view. "If," said she, "a woman of Harriet's description, showy, expensive, witty, but haughty, conscious of her beauty, and constantly exacting homage, can command the affections of Frank Wilmington, it is certain that he would not have chosen me from any motive save that prepossession, which was probably fostered by his mother: it is very possible that this predilection might have led to something between us, which the beauty and accomplishments of Harriet might have induced him finally to repent of, and I should have had the mortification either of experiencing rejection in the first instance, or neglect in the second. In the present state of things my delicacy is spared—Harriet has not even dared to pity me—all is well."

Our feelings will not on all occasions in life keep pace with our reason, nor will they listen to the consolation it offers; but it is always the part of wisdom to moderate their suggestions by those arguments reason may offer, or that obedience to circumstances which religion exacts. In all those evils which arise from misfortunes in the course of Providence, every well instructed christian knows where he alone must look for support under his affliction; and such had hitherto been the habitual source of comfort to Emma, but she was now surrounded by difficulties, and pressed by sorrows, immediately inflicted by her fellow-creatures, and those closely connected with her. She was harassed by angry emotions towards her sister, a sense of disgrace arising from her father's debts, and of confusion and distress on the subject of their liquidation—her fears were excited for the health and the honour of her father and her brother, both of whom were at this moment more dear to her than they had ever been, and none of these sources of grief and perplexity were, as she thought, of such a nature as that she could ease her overburdened heart by making them the subject of prayer. She could not "rush into the presence of God as the horse rusheth into the battle," in confusion and indignation, with unsubdued pride and worldly cares struggling at her heart.

But meditation and reflection, the remembrance of keener sorrows which had been healed, of many blessings which yet remained, of many faults of heart and conduct (for who has not such) that were yet unpunished, in due time subdued these warring sensations, and enabled her to say, "to whom should I go but unto Thee," with this affliction also.

It may seem strange to many, that Emma could not in her present troubles open her heart to Sophia, as one equally interested in the affairs of the family, and a sister so near her own age, as to be likely to enter into her feelings on other points. Alas! this was impossible; with poor Sophy whatever was not according to her own views positively right, she concluded to be positively wrong; and therefore every person in her family was under distinct but absolute interdict from her good opinion, and when her natural affections stirred her up to kindness and consideration towards them, she took her heart to task for its weakness, as loving those who were "aliens to the faith," or "lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God." Blending truth with falsehood, adopting the most cruel and contracted of all creeds, mistaking quiet obstinacy for scriptural meekness, and continually opposing all that was really good in her own disposition, from a belief that nothing could be good which was naturally suggested, and that only some far-fetched idea or suddenly-inspired impulse ought to be acted upon; it might be truly said that her hand was "against every one," and that she moved "every one's hand to be against her," at least within her own family.

With this unhappy and mistaken view of things, taken by a young and beautiful woman, well educated, and accustomed to superior society, there could not fail to be great inconsistency of conduct; and the many ludicrous situations in which she placed herself by exciting discussion or provoking laughter from Charles and Harriet, gentle remonstrance from her father, or kind persuasion from Emma, only confirmed her in equal opposition to them all. Yet she could not deny herself the pleasure of rejoicing in the good prospects of her only brother at some times, and at others feeling grateful for the gifts which Harriet, with more profusion than prudence, accorded to the objects of her charity. There were moments when she would allow that her father "was almost a christian," and that Emma was not "utterly a castaway;" but as she held it a positive duty to look on the dark side of all things and persons, beyond these concessions she dared not venture.

It will therefore be evident, Sophia was not a person to yield consolation, and being still under age she could not give pecuniary assistance, and she was herself in her own way as expensive as Harriet. "Wresting the scriptures to her own destruction" by insisting that the "mammon of unrighteousness" ought not to remain in her hands, she not only kept herself without money, but became the regular pest of the neighbourhood as a self-licensed, authorized beggar, for alms of every description, being alike a canvasser into the will and power of all her father's parishioners, from the broom-maker's penny a-week, for blackamoor preachers, to the Baronet's contribution for the widows of Waterloo. In point of fact, the whole family of the Carysfords were naturally generous, and it was necessary for them to moderate this propensity; but Sophia, not giving her nature credit for this amiable disposition, classed it as the "grace of charity," and gave herself up to an unlimited indulgence of it in cases where good sense and duty were alike violated, and of course the precepts of christianity perverted.

On the day following the discussion of which we have spoken, Mr. Carysford was so extremely unwell as to be advised to keep his chamber, and Emma insisted on sending for a physician. This gentleman arrived at the very time when Charles, who had been wretched ever since he had sent those letters which were so likely to create distress at home, came in from Cambridge; and Harriet believed that this unexpected circumstance, by agitating her father, made him appear much worse in the eyes of the medical gentleman than he really was. Whether this were the case or not is immaterial, it being sufficient to say, that Doctor Sneyd earnestly recommended them to procure advice from the celebrated Doctor Baillie, as pulmonary complaints of an alarming tendency were exhibited.

"I will go with my father to London immediately," said Charles.

"I would advise you to do so—but you must hold yourself in readiness for a much longer journey—I think the Doctor will hardly fail to send you to Nice, or Lisbon."

The countenance of Charles fell, and he sighed deeply.

"My dear Sir, the disorder must be taken in time, I know you all consider the life of your father invaluable."

"But, Doctor Sneyd," said Emma, blushing, yet with deep solicitude pictured on her alarmed countenance, "have you not allowed that I am an excellent nurse?"

"You are, my dear, the very best for so young a woman I have ever met with."

"Then I will go—if Charles be taken from his studies my father will be more grieved by that circumstance, than assisted by his society."

"True—I suspect that his mind even now has a good deal to do with the feverish symptoms that trouble him. But perhaps Miss Carysford—"

Harriet with a look of great alarm said "she fervently hoped that at this time the voyage would not be found necessary."

"My sister, dear Sir," said Emma, "has not been accustomed to a sick chamber as I have, she would betray her feelings too much."

"She would ruin us, I perceive—you must go, Miss Emma, and may, I trust, go with the hope of success; but lose no time, sharp frosts may set in suddenly, our climate can never be trusted at this season."

The doctor departed, and the young people crowding together for some time, looked at each other with that sorrow and dismay, which clearly proved that every source of uneasiness except the last, was for the moment forgotten. The bell of the invalid roused them from this painful silence.

"Dear Charles, pray command your feelings," said Emma, "my father will do very well if he is kept calm."

"But how can I, Emma?—have I not brought on all this sorrow and—"

"No, dear Charles, you have only—"

Emma's reply was cut short by the entrance of Mr. Carysford, who reading the sensations of his son, from learning that he was still with his sisters, yearned over him with all a father's feelings, and came down impatiently to clasp him to his heart.

The scene that followed was indeed far too moving for the welfare of the invalid, but it was happily interrupted, as Emma then thought, by the entrance of Mr. Evans, the long esteemed curate of her father. He came (such is the mixture of good and evil taking place in all societies) to announce the circumstance of his appointment to a distant living.

If ever human being could be said to live in the good or evil of others, Mr. Carysford was that man; he could indeed "rejoice with those that rejoiced, and weep with those who wept," and the solid joy he felt in seeing his worthy friend, who was married and had a family so provided for, carried him for the present from himself and his cares; a pleasure which necessarily increased upon him, when he learnt that his own recommendation had been the cause of the gift.

Emma sincerely rejoiced also, yet she could not fail to see that the difficulties of her present situation were accumulated by the circumstance, since Mr. Evans's place must be supplied immediately. The sense of how much she had undertaken to do, and how much she had lately felt, and must still feel, for a few moments overcame her—she cast her eyes upon Harriet, and saw that she was still weeping, regardless of the presence or the information of Mr. Evans—she looked at Charles, he was pale, but his looks were those of thoughtful self-command.

"Poor Harriet! she is ever thus, there is no medium in her joy or sorrow, I can expect no help from her—but Charles's painful lesson may have affected him happily, he must assist me."

Having engaged Mr. Evans to spend the day with them, Emma drew Charles into the study, and entered at once into the discussion of those affairs, which there was now so much more occasion to despatch than before. By displaying their own household expenses, she somewhat meliorated the acute self-reproach under which he laboured, and thereby rendered him equal to the task he dreaded, by informing him of the situation of Harriet with young Wilmington, as a portion of their general business, she was saved from revealing it with those symptoms of confusion and distress, which might have betrayed that interest she had once taken in the gentleman.

"It will be a very poor match for Harriet, for some years;" said Charles, "with her habits, I cannot see how they can live at all."

"They must be determined to be moderate, they must accept of each other in lieu of the luxuries of life; they must contend with their own desires: hold warfare with their own wishes, as Eulaliè would say."

"Eulaliè—dear, generous, noble Eulaliè how is she?"

"She was quite well on Sunday—I give you great credit for not asking sooner, for of course you knew she was in health—now Charles, let us consider what can be done? Harriet can do nothing. I have two thousand pounds; and am willing to apply it in the way it is wanted."

"But I cannot possibly allow you to do so."

"Why not, dear Charles, you will have the means of repaying me some time; next, in point of error, to the folly of getting ourselves into difficulties, is the weakness of resigning ourselves to indolence and sorrow, in consequence of them."

"But it cannot be right to extricate one's self by injuring another, and that other a sister like you, Emma; how often have you cautioned me, how often—"

"If you are now convinced that I was then right, be convinced that I am so now—accept the aid I offer you, and return it in such portions as will have the advantage of binding you down to those restrictions which will give habits of economy, enable you to fulfil Sir Marmaduke's requisition, and enter on future life with the freedom of a gentleman, and the sober independence becoming a clergyman."

"But, dear Emma, you may marry."

"It will be a long time first, Charles—think of our dear father's situation, and you will see to what and to whom I am married."

Charles with a deep sigh allowed that many painful engagements were at present pressing, he examined her papers and her plans, acceded to her wishes, promised that if she were obliged to leave the country, he would observe all her directions, and accepted the charge of those papers she held for her loan to Captain Wilmington, and her directions respecting them. The perfect confidence reposed in him by Emma, at a period when he feared that a person so calm and prudent would be incapable of pitying his distress, or of even conceiving the nature of his embarrassments, endowed him with self-confidence and self-respect, and showed him the folly of pursuing those trifling pleasures and that ephemeral notoriety he had so dearly purchased. It was evident that not only did her affection seek to sustain him in his trouble, but that her judgment gave him credit for a manliness of mind, an uprightness of intention, and a religious firmness in the discharge of his future duties, and he trusted, though he did not say so, that he should not deceive her.

When the brother and sister had arranged these tremendous concerns, Charles set out to the Park to announce the painful communications of Doctor Sneyd, who it appeared had been there before him, and so alarmed the worthy family for their old and much loved friend, that they were proceeding in a body to call upon him, and request him instantly to set out without making an useless journey to the metropolis; and as Charles was aware that they could not find him more equal to talking on the subject at any period than the present, he entered the carriage with them and returned immediately to the Rectory, occupying the same seat with Eulaliè, whose eyes gave proof how much she sympathized in his sorrow for his father, to whom she was much attached.

When the Baronet and his Lady had taken their seats in the study, Eulaliè stole away with Emma, whose fears were more excited than they had hitherto been from what she now heard, but she compelled herself to seize the period when the young beauty's better feelings were so strongly excited, to paint the conduct of Charles in the most amiable point of view, and show Eulaliè how much his future happiness and honour depended upon herself; how necessary, though difficult, it might be for her to strengthen him in every virtuous resolution, and thus, early in life, exhibit the heroism of affection.

"But how am I to do it, dear Emma?"

"By inducing him to pursue his studies unceasingly, and refusing to marry him till he has taken his degree—by renouncing, my dear girl, so far as you can, the 'pomps and vanities of this wicked world,' and preparing yourself to be a country clergyman's wife. I prescribe you no light tasks, Eulaliè, but I am much mistaken if your mind is not equal to them—at least it is my consolation to think so."

It rarely happened that Emma Carysford said so much as her surrounding friends, but in the present hurry on her spirits, and in the dread she felt of leaving any thing undone within her power, she entered into a kind of new character as mistress of the house which it would have been happy if she had adopted sooner; whilst giving the direction she considered necessary for a journey to London on the morrow, the Baronet and his Lady in the anxiety of their hearts were urging Mr. Carysford to embrace the prescribed voyage immediately.

The warmth of feeling shown in this interview, the recollections it naturally embraced of all the years that were gone by, and more especially of that beloved wife and friend who, in being transplanted from one family to the other, bound each more firmly to the other, together with the new, and still stronger tie now contemplated, rendered it of great importance to Mr. Carysford, who with one proviso acceded to the wishes of his friends. Charles interfered, to say that he pledged himself (and could safely do so) for the exact settlement of all his affairs, and the Baronet immediately added, "and I pledge myself to be his friend, his father, if he needs one."

"I must see my people—I must preach to them before I go—Mr. Evans and I must once more do duty together, and then I will set out as soon as Emmy is ready, and leave all things to your kind management."

This proposal appeared so perfectly reasonable, so agreeable to their own wishes and feelings—it was evidently so necessary that a few days must elapse for the settlement of such material concerns as the removal of a whole family, and so natural that he who had been the minister of a populous and extensive parish for more than thirty years, and was under the necessity of subjecting them to a kind of twofold change, that it was perfectly approved by all, save Emma. She saw that her father's mind was even now in a state of excitement for which he would afterwards suffer, and knew that although he was a man who might be said to live upon his affections, and find in the love and good-will of those around him the solace of his sorrows, yet that the too great exercise of his sensibility at this period was sure to be extremely injurious. She also knew, that as he had a higher motive for his care of the congregation than their love offered him, so he could not be devoid of consolatory remembrances, even if he were for the present deprived of that too affecting meeting he now requested.

As poor Emma had only a single voice, it was soon overruled, and it was her next care to issue requests on every side to those whom she knew to be more particularly attached to him, from benefits received, or griefs participated, entreating them to forbear bidding him personally farewell. Some few had the good sense to see the necessity of this; but the generality concluded, that if his worship had strength enough to preach, he had certainly strength enough to shake hands with an old parishioner; and several observed "that they were sure he would do well, for though he was rather thin, his eyes looked bright and clear, and now and then he had a colour like a rose—he would live to be a fine old man, there could be no doubt of it."


The intervening days somewhat restored Harriet to that power of thinking which grief and anxiety had deprived her of; and in the society of him she loved, she found that consolation every young woman so situated has a right to expect. Emma had the satisfaction to see Charles earnestly engage, with the aid of Mr. Evans, in searching for some gentleman of superior character and suitable attainments to supply the double chasm in their church, and wished, if possible, that a married person could be found who would come into the house. As this was hardly to be hoped for, it was agreed that for the present Harriet should take up her abode at the Park, and Sophia at the house of Mr. Wilmington, two of whose daughters were on the point of marriage, which therefore enabled them to offer her this accommodation.

It was however purely from love to Emma that Mrs. Wilmington consented so to burden herself, for she had absolutely a dread of receiving a person so likely to be either too repulsive, or too persuasive, to young persons of her own age. During the short visit which Emma was able to make to these worthy people, no reference was made till the last moment to Harriet's situation with Captain Wilmington, and then the mother shook her head and wept bitterly.

Emma was herself much affected—she had long loved Mrs. Wilmington dearly, and she hoped that her tears were shed in consequence of parting with her, at least she felt at this moment certain, that her love for the mother had been a very principal cause of that degree of attraction there had been for her in the son, and her ideas on this point received a happy confirmation to herself from the ease with which she bade him farewell, though he went away with Harriet on his arm.

The following day was Sunday—Mr. Carysford admitted, on rising, that he had had a bad night, that he found it necessary to keep quiet during the morning, but had no doubt he should be equal to the afternoon duty; the day was fine, the congregation numerous, and the looks of anxiety directed towards his pew bespoke the solicitude and disappointment of the people, and rendered Emma only the more desirous of saving the invalid from that which she felt unequal to encountering herself.

When the afternoon service commenced, the morning congregation returned with such increased numbers, that it was evident curiosity and anxiety had drawn the whole population of the neighbourhood, and that every seceder was present, either from those returning emotions of reverence and affection likely to be re-awakened from their long slumber in this day of trial, or from that spirit of malevolent investigation by which prejudice seeks to strengthen its dominion, and confirm its power to cavil.

Mr. Carysford possessed an extraordinary facility of vision, which neither time nor sorrow had as yet impaired, and as his eye glanced over the crowded aisles and pews, he recognized these strangers mingled with friends, and his heart expanded to receive them as children returning to their allegiance—as those who, in the pride of their hearts or the weakness of their judgments, had been withdrawn for a short time, but might now return for ever; and he was almost ready to resign all thoughts of a journey, which might be productive of again scattering these sheep. A few moments' reflection told him that they were not his, but yet he could not consider them as the old clerk did, "spies in the land," "enemies in the camp," for with how many even of these had he not been associated, in all the most tender and awful hours of existence, and from which of them had he merited desertion?

He cast his eyes on Sophia, his youngest, perhaps his best beloved child, the image of the mother whose presence in that seat had so often filled his heart with gratitude to heaven. It was very grateful to him to behold her there; but she was bathed in tears, and though he trusted they were salutary, yet he could not behold them unmoved, and he left his pew for the pulpit under great internal agitation.

Mr. Carysford had prepared a short, plain, but deeply impressive discourse, and he was enabled to deliver it with more composure than his people could hear it. When, towards the close, he adverted to that schism which, although in its infancy, had been to him "a rending of the heart-strings;" an universal motion, an increased half-murmuring breathing of many sighs was heard, and faint sounds of suppressed anger broke from warm hearts unawares: but when, advancing in his discourse, he spoke of the abundant consolation administered to him in the hour of distress by the love of his people, not only did his voice falter, but it was overpowered for a short time by the audible sobs, the universal movement that pervaded all hearts. Most of all the young men near the pulpit, who held themselves as his especial band, and the numerous mothers in the congregation, whose children he had baptized, instructed, perhaps buried, (for these had with scarcely an exception remained unshaken,) exhibited the grief and love which penetrated their hearts: but every where it was felt. Lady Lyster, agitated almost to fainting, was obliged to withdraw, and Eulaliè sobbed aloud.

The concluding words of exhortation were perhaps heard by few, but they will probably never be forgotten; for under the strong personal affection excited at the moment, that which was uttered "in much weakness," became a powerful and impressive lesson, better remembered than many more excellent, which had preceded it.

When Mr. Carysford descended the pulpit stairs, he was evidently completely overcome, and the crowd that pressed around him threw Emma into despair, but she went with Charles to his assistance, and as the Baronet also followed, room was made for them. At this moment the good pastor might indeed have adopted the words of the apostle, and said, "why will ye thus weep and break my heart," for every eye was strained to look upon him, every half-suffocated voice prayed God to bless him, and many wondered why they had sought with so much avidity for more moving teachers, finding all around them so deeply and strangely affected.

Happy was Emma when this affecting and awful farewell was over, and when she had once more seen the beloved invalid on his own sofa, she flattered herself that the feverish excitement of these interesting circumstances would sink into that calm repose and devout resignation, so necessary for his comfort, at a period calling for new exertion on the morrow. Alas! before he could recover the late trial, a new one still more affecting, broke upon him, from the entrance of Sophia, who in agonizing sorrow knelt by his couch, addressed him as "a dying father, and besought him to have compassion upon a child, who had offended him, wounded and injured him irreparably, yet had done all for conscience' sake."

It will be readily conceived how fully and kindly she was forgiven, how fondly she was folded to a heart, which had constantly considered her "with sorrow more than anger," and with what extreme solicitude, as a father and a minister, he endeavoured to prove (as he had often done before) wherein her judgment had erred. Forgetful of himself till compelled by positive weakness to cease speaking, he had continued during half the night to combat the opinions or soothe the sorrows of Sophia, during which Emma had vainly endeavoured to allay the acuteness of those feelings in both parties, which, however naturally excited or amiably exercised, could not be endured with impunity by one party, nor recollected in future by the other, without self-reproach alike bitter and unavailing.

Emma, anxious to save all unnecessary expense, was accompanied only by a man servant, who had lived many years in the family, understood his master's habits, and made up, in his steadiness and affection, for deficiency in activity and knowledge. Most unfortunately a severe frost took place during their journey, and added its bad effects to those produced by previous irritation of the system; and Mr. Carysford, persuaded that he should be better at sea, decided on proceeding for Lisbon in preference to Nice.

Emma had never yet been upon the water, and her suffering from sea-sickness was very great; but when she was capable of taking comfort in any thing, she had the very sensible one of seeing her father recover not only composure of spirits, but increase of appetite. To her he constantly paid the kindest attention as well as his poor servant, who was also a great sufferer, and he would frequently joke them on their situation, chat pleasantly with the captain of the packet, and prove that interest in the navigation of the vessel, which bespoke to Emma's great satisfaction a mind at ease, and, as she trusted, a constitution recovering the shock it had laboured under.

The voyage was long and tedious, and without being positively dangerous, yet exhibited such specimens of the mighty ocean in its wrath, as to keep so new a voyager as Emma in frequent apprehension, and she was truly rejoiced when they entered the Tagus, and saw much to admire even in the dreary season of their arrival. The weather was mild, there was a promise of early spring, and winter with its train of threatened evils was at least left far to the northward. A noble city was before them, on the history of which her father dilated with pleasure, recalling from the extensive and highly cultivated stores of his elegant mind, every circumstance and anecdote, which could amuse or interest her, and she looked forward now with more sanguine hopes than she had yet entertained, to a short and pleasant residence, a speedy and happy return.


Under the guidance of their captain, who was a plain good-humoured man, they established themselves in an Hotel which had within a few years been inhabited by numbers of English officers, and was therefore considered the most likely to accommodate English travellers.

Whilst we continue moving, every one, whether amazed or annoyed, remembers that he is a traveller, that his journey is intended to conduct him to a certain end, and will continue only for a given time; but when he is arrived at the place of destination, his mind demands a home in his resting place—this sensation operates of course the most decidedly, in those persons who have rarely left their own, and therefore our present party felt the difference very painfully. Mr. Carysford was in this respect better than his daughter, for he was exceedingly interested in every thing passing in a catholic country, as such; his knowledge of that splendid hierarchy which has for so many centuries enslaved the minds and ruled over the subjects of so many countries, which has bound kings and lawgivers to its footstool, and rendered genius, science, and talent subservient to its power, gave an attraction or roused a curiosity in his mind respecting every object he beheld; and the first grey friar he saw wading through the filthy streets appeared to him in the light of a dramatic performer about to introduce other personages, and enact some singular spectacle for his amusement.

The mild weather, and the apparent amendment of Mr. Carysford, rendered Emma able consistently to go with her father from church to church, examine the architecture of one, the paintings of another; listen with profound delight to those magnificent orchestras where religion, invoking the aid of the senses, takes the soul captive by that music which seems indeed worthy of the Creator whose name it exalts, yet is here blended with puerilities unworthy the creatures who perform them. Mr. Carysford, as a man of most liberal mind, as an antiquary, and a philanthropist in the most extensive sense of the word, held himself willing to worship with the old church, though by no means a lukewarm son of the new. He believed that in her imposing ceremonies and magnificent institutions, he could accept the aids so offered to the imagination, without adverting to the abuses with which they are mingled. He soon found however that neither that extensive charity with which nature and cultivation had embued his mind, nor that fine poetic enthusiasm so likely to be awakened in a heart or such vivid conception and exquisite sensibility, would permit this partial and agreeable blindness to hide the errors he deplored. He was compelled to witness idolatry which was alike reprehensible and despicable, to learn the existence of ignorance and bigotry equally incredible and deplorable.

When not traversing "the long-drawn aisle," the different monasteries were objects of curiosity, and as several possessed noble though neglected libraries, which were open to him as an Englishman, (in consequence of the late obligations of Portugal to Great Britain,) they offered considerable attraction. These treasures proved very unfortunate acquisitions, for being frequently placed in cold uninhabited rooms, when some curious manuscript or scarce book was seized upon, Mr. Carysford forgot his own ailments, and his anxious daughter's cautions, in the avidity and solicitude with which he eagerly perused or slowly decyphered it. In a short time Emma perceived that, notwithstanding the mildness of the air and the advantages of that strict regimen which he observed, that every bad symptom had returned with increased fever, and she was compelled to interdict those visits which produced such effects.

At this period they received letters from home, which although they afforded some things consolatory, and many things of a nature to occupy the mind, presented others as subjects of reflection ill calculated for an invalid deprived of the only sense of amusement which could win him from regret of his home and his country, and lull that sense of languor and disease which now made itself continually felt. It appeared that Charles had hitherto strictly adopted Emma's advice, that he was acting with prudence and wisdom, but he was also suffering, and in his mortifications and labours the fond father and the anxious sister fully partook. Harriet on the other hand appeared to have recovered her spirits, which she imputed to the favourable accounts received from them; but she admitted that her marriage would probably have taken place before that letter was received, in consequence of the necessity Captain Wilmington was under to join his regiment, which was still in Ireland; and she filled up her paper with accounts of winter fashions, and the marriage of Mr. Wilmington's eldest daughter, which appeared rather to excite envy than joyfulness in her mind. Sophia's letter was addressed to her father, and was full of affectionate expressions, not unmixed with exhortations against popery, which awoke a smile; but one part of the letter was highly satisfactory: she assured him, "that Mr. Bennison, his most excellent new Curate, gave the greatest satisfaction in his situation; that he was a serious young man, and one whom she could hear with satisfaction; moreover, that he was of good family, tall, well made, and with very fine eyes, and was thought by many to have in him "the savour of life," for he was attended not only by the "sons of Belial," but the "chosen people."

"May God bless and prosper this gentleman's labours in my vineyard," said the affectionate minister as he handed the letter to Emma, "but I must own, it would have been quite as satisfactory if my little theological daughter had found his doctrines less to her liking."

"My dear Sir, you may be easy on that point, Sophia seems to have found his person and eyes to her liking, and therefore reconciles herself to his doctrine; Charles says that she is amazingly improved, but that she actually fretted herself ill, after you were gone, which indeed I expected—all will be well in time, and when this cough is gone, and the fever subsided—"

"I shall then be able to return—I had hoped to give away my first-born at the altar myself, I am surprised and somewhat displeased with Harriet's precipitate marriage—I do not object to the man, but to the measure; Frank Wilmington has been a good son, and will be a good husband. Harriet will one day have a handsome fortune from my sister Tintagell, and so probably will he from his uncle, both these persons should have been informed of this affair—I am by no means satisfied."

"Charles acts wisely, nobly,—but his trouble with money matters must be very great, it will ruin him for reading, it will be impossible for him to take his degree; it is very, very hard upon him."

"My dear Sir, be easy on that head: Charles has the means of paying all his own creditors and yours also, and although he has nothing to spare, yet he will have money by the time he needs it, he is stepping from a young man of no thought, to a man of much thought, a hard reader, a steady preparer for those duties as a clergyman and a husband, which are the objects of his hope; in a very short time he will be easier than ever he has been."

"Poor fellow, I wonder where he got the money; but any body would help Charles—you blush, Emma, I see how it is, you have lent him that sum which your aunt's residuary legacy left at liberty, and to that I could not object, though I would on no account have permitted you to disturb that which was funded. But that I apprehend was insufficient, reach me the pen and ink, my dear."

"Not for the world, dear father; of all other evils you well know none are so great to you as those abominations yclept figures; make as many cabalistic lines as you please on the paper, calling them Greek, Hebrew, or Syriac, but no sixes and sevens, or my good nursing will soon be reduced to a cypher."

Poor Mr. Carysford so well knew his own insufficiency on this subject; he was generally so willing to aid a jest, either on his arithmetic, or his carving, that when his pecuniary concerns were not immediately connected with his sense of justice, his affectionate care of his children, or his anxiety to perform some work of charity, he was seldom pertinacious in pursuing an object so disagreeable. In early life his sister had relieved him from cares of this nature, in married life his wife took the expenditure and regulation of money matters upon herself, and although from time to time he spoke with great anxiety on the subject of saving, and sometimes in such strong terms that a stranger might have thought ruin was at the door; yet when she had convinced him by very plain reasons and evident documents, that all was safe, that his income was not exceeded, and put in his hands some cash for the widow he sought to relieve, or the book he wished to purchase, his cares for the future regularly subsided. He then remembered "that his family was large and expensive, that his excellent wife was brought up to higher expectations and indulgences than she required, that it would be the right time to save money when their children's expenses were lessened, and, in short, that they were excellent managers as well as very happy people."

The disposition of the father was well known to both his daughters, indeed it might be said to be known to every person, almost every child, in his parish, for if he had tried he would not have had the faculty of concealing his joys, sorrows, perplexities, or reliefs. There was a sunshine of countenance in his general aspect, an overflowing of connubial love in his common mode of speech, when he answered the most homely enquirer about Madam, which told his general felicity, and by the same rule, if sickness visited his little ones, if the beloved mother was in a state of suffering, or himself in one of apprehension on her account, there was a shade on his brow, a character of despondency on his expressive features, that could not be mistaken, "he walked softly as one that mourneth for his mother," and there were times also, when a threadbare coat, an anxious attention to some petty saving, and a magnanimous resolution not to look at a print or a catalogue, took place. These the Baronet called "the Rector's silver threepenny days," and observed truly, "that they were points soon played with him."

To Harriet, whose residence with her aunt had nurtured pride and the love of show, this disposition presented temptation to encroach upon her father; to Emma, whose mind had been better informed, it offered a sense of increased duty, a species of guardianship, which, without impairing reverence, actually increased her love for her father. Such was the nature of this affection, that if her mind had not been from principle, as well as habit and good humour, gentle and moderate, she must have spent her life in perpetual bickerings with her sisters, for she regarded Harriet's impositions on her father's yielding temper as almost cruel and wicked; and the opposition of Sophia to so liberal and conciliating a spirit as ridiculous and rebellious.

But moderating her resentments, her desires, her sorrows, and her affections, Emma from day to day sought to render her father happy, and every branch of her family amiable and respectable, to become resigned to the past and prepared for the future; without affecting either extraordinary knowledge, wisdom, or piety, she yet endeavoured constantly to cultivate her mind, regulate her conduct by good sense, and find, in the exercise of christian duties, consolation and delight. In consequence, Harriet and Sophia were, each in their own circle, much more talked of and thought of than Emma, but she was more approved of than either, and therefore had a quiet influence for good in the hearts of all who knew her. This influence had perhaps been less felt by her father previous to his voyage than might have been expected; for though he loved Emma as a dear and most unoffending child, he was not conscious how much her constant but unobtrusive cares had soothed his corrosive grief, diverted his melancholy, and led him to the due contemplation of his duty to God and man. He now found that the relief which he had imputed to all his children by a sweeping conclusion, belonged to Emma, for she supplied all to him; and he therefore willingly agreed to her suggestion and admitted of her management, gladly listened to her excuses for one child, her comforts in another, and in doing so, gave himself the best chance for recovery, and his daughter the greatest satisfaction his state admitted.

But the "still small shaft" of death was sped—the quiet, insinuating disease, which baffles skill whilst it nurses hope, was calmly feeding on the springs of life, and at the very time when Emma trusted that every breeze "brought healing on its wings," slowly but surely was confirmed consumption securing its unresisting victim.


After witnessing the processions and various ceremonies exhibited during Passion and Easter weeks, as the vegetation was luxuriant, and the weather warm, Emma thought that excursions into the country could not fail to be useful; and as Mr. Carysford had little love for crowded cities at any time, he gladly proposed to remove to Cintra.

To this beautiful and romantic spot they accordingly set out, and were gratified to the highest degree by the various views presented, in the course of their journey, of Lisbon, the Tagus, the Cork convent, the shipping, the beauty and variety of objects entirely new to them in the vegetable world, particularly the arbutus and the different aloes. Cintra, so lately the scene of British triumph, with its fantastic rocks, high towering pines, simple cottages, and universal novelty of character, had also many charms for them; but a very short time served to prove that it would be impossible for the invalid to remain there. The total want of cleanliness, the utter impossibility of obtaining any food, or vessels in which to prepare food, which were not saturated with garlic, to which our patient had an unconquerable aversion, proved that no beauties of nature can compensate to a sick man for the want of those home comforts which are to him the necessaries of life. Emma was indefatigable, as a nurse, a friend, a menial, but no diligence could guard him from the ills which produced sleepless nights and days of loathing, even in a place that might have been made an earthly paradise, and served strongly to remind them of that beloved home for which each sighed in secret.

When they returned to Lisbon, Emma determined to seek for lodgings within a short distance of the city; and she probably might soon have succeeded, but for the perpetual alarm excited in the mind of James, their servant, who conceived that every native in the vicinity of Lisbon was an assassin, and the inhabitants only so far better as the residence of a few English soldiers still remaining compelled them to be. Never did poor James return from an enforced excursion without encountering some real or imaginary evil, and his stories and comments greatly added to the difficulties which at this period harassed the mind of his young mistress, for whom, it is certain, the honest man would have shed his blood, though he could not restrain his tongue. She every day dreaded that her father would suddenly resolve to return, as the increasing heat annoyed him excessively, and until she received remittances from England, it was not possible for her to do so without forming acquaintance in the city amongst their countrymen, which neither party were well qualified to do, especially for such a purpose.

'Tis true, letters had reached them from Eulaliè giving an account of the marriage of Harriet, and her departure for Buxton, (which she took in her route to Liverpool,) from whence she intended to write to her father; but this letter threw no light on the want of that supply from Charles, which, important as the marriage of her sister might be, was a circumstance more immediately pressing, for think what we may, the troubles of sentiment are less grievous than those of poverty, and in some situations want of cash is actual poverty. Besides, Emma had looked at her sister's marriage so determinately, and contemplated it so long, that she had become familiarized with it, and ceased to regard it as an affliction. She now simply wished her sister happy, acquitted her of all intentional unkindness, though she could not of blameable thoughtlessness, towards her, and this she feared was again in some way operating to her disadvantage, at the present time.

One day as she sat anxiously gazing on her father, who lay on the sofa in the half slumbering state by which an invalid escapes from that enquiring eye he cannot satisfactorily answer, tracing with sinking heart the wasting power of disease on those beloved features, she was startled by sounds from below, which approached every moment nearer, and were likely to disturb the sleeper. She stepped hastily to the door of the apartment, and beheld, with surprise and terror, poor James covered with dust and blood, supported between two strangers, and followed by two English sailors, who loudly vociferated against those who had perpetrated the injury he had received.

"What is the matter? oh! heavens, is it James?" cried Emma, tremblingly.

"Ah Miss, I always said as how the papishes would do for me—and so for certain they would if this here gentleman had'nt helped me; not but I'm as good as dead now, I'm a murdered man—I am, I am."

"Pshaw, pshaw, my good fellow," said the person on whom he rested, "you are worth many a dead man yet; don't alarm the lady, nor disgrace your country."

By this time, to the great distress of Emma, Mr. Carysford had risen from the sofa, and with his usual affection and sympathy approached his servant, who was more overpowered by his master's condolences than by his previous injuries. One of the persons assisting James was the surgeon of an English vessel in the Tagus, and having taken the poor man to his own room, he examined his wounds, which were a stab in the back and a violent bruise on the leg, neither of which were dangerous, though both were likely to prove of long continuance in the confinement they might inflict. After the lapse of an hour, which was one of great anxiety to Emma, not only an account of James, but her father, Mr. Carysford returned to the room he had quitted to attend the examination of his servant's injuries, leaning upon the gentleman who had been his defender, and whom he announced to Emma "as her countryman, and one to whom they owed the highest obligations for his courage and humanity."

"My name is Charles Melville—Lieutenant Melville of the Marines, in war time, was my designation."

Emma's looks and movement showed that the stranger had her heartfelt thanks, but her first words were those of enquiry as to James's state.

"He is in very good hands, and will do very well; but will I fear be confined some weeks."

"Who could have used him so barbarously? he is one of the best tempered men, the most attached servant—"

Emma could not finish her eulogium, for the tears that would perforce rise at this moment prevented her; but as the stranger perceived that she struggled to hide her emotion, he kindly relieved her by taking up the conversation.

"Unluckily, Ma'am, a man may have a thousand good qualities with a bad taste; and some bad and even diabolical ones with a good one. It is a well known fact, that during those horrible scenes in the French revolution, (when human blood was shed with a ferocious avidity the heart sickens to remember,) some victims, who to avoid the musquetry sheltered themselves behind the statues in the gardens of the Tuilleries, were in some instances consigned to the bayonet instead of the bullet, lest the sculpture should be injured—James, it appears, had a very different propensity; he was much more attached to men than statues."

"Surely he has not been doing mischief," said his master.

"Not exactly, but he aided and abetted those who did; and they happening to be sailors, who are persons the inhabitants do not care to meddle with, they wreaked their vengeance on poor James, and would have done it—"

"More effectually but for you, my dear Sir—in fact, they intended to murder him; I fear indeed he has some personal enemies in the place," said Mr. Carysford.

"Only one, I take it—himself. 'Tis true, he told me that he had never struck off even a single finger of a virgin, for his master's sake, who had he knew a sort of natural liking to those kind of dumb creatures; but he admitted playing a few tricks upon the monks, which were any thing but courteous."

The last fervent wish of Emma's heart, when this distressing accident interrupted the current of her thoughts, had been that she were on her way to England; but although the circumstance rendered such an event more than ever desirable, the evening closed, and the stranger departed without its recurrence. Her father was evidently so pleased and amused by his new acquaintance, that (since his fears for James had subsided) he had not passed the same length of time for many days with so much apparent ease, and those evening hours, which she had so often found melancholy from their loneliness, and painful from the useless sympathy they awakened, were gone she knew not how.

The stranger had indeed not only entitled himself to be considered their friend, by the prompt assistance and the continued kindness he had extended to James, in procuring him the best surgical aid and witnessing its application, but he claimed a species of old acquaintance with them from having once been at the house of Miss Tintagell, where he saw Miss Carysford, and thought her the most beautiful creature he had then ever seen, but he added, in mentioning the circumstance, "she will have forgotten me. Young ladies in the full bloom of eighteen, consider young men of that age as mere boys, and I recollect that we were mentioned as being exactly of the same age—since then I have been in various climates, and seen some service."

Emma saw the truth of this assertion, in the deep brown which gave a veteran air to the lower part of his face, but in the whiteness and smoothness of his forehead, it was evident that he could not be more than twenty-five—the circumstance reminded her however of a fact, which accounted for a good deal of that which appeared hasty in Harriet's decision and marriage, for if she were an admired belle seven years ago, with her love of admiration it was natural that she should seek to attract in a new character. She mentioned her sister as married, which Mr. Melville considered as a thing of course: he informed them, with marks of great sensibility in his manner of unfolding the circumstances, that he was now at Lisbon, as joint attendant, with an uncle who had been to him a parent, upon a dear and very amiable cousin, who was an only child, and in whose welfare that of the parent was naturally involved.

There was in this gentleman a singular and happy intermixture of that frankness which distinguishes sea-faring men, that elegance we expect in an officer, and the fine taste which belongs to the scholar and the man of research. In consequence of this characteristic, he found himself most happy in the society of Mr. Carysford, whose refined taste and abundant information, promised to supply the many wants of an ardent mind, prevented by duties and circumstances from supplying its own demands for knowledge. But with this desire of profiting from the fountain before him, there was blended such an intimate knowledge of the weakness of the speaker, such a tender and almost feminine care of the invalid, as to touch the heart of Emma with the most lively gratitude. It soon indeed became evident to them both, that Mr. Melville had trained himself to be the companion of a sick man's hours, that he spoke more at some times than was customary or agreeable to him, in order to obviate the pain of silence, or the necessity of breaking it to the sufferer, and that at others he could, without ennùi or awkwardness, observe for a long period the most perfect stillness. The milder and the stronger elements were indeed so combined in him as to "give the world assurance of a man," formed by nature and education in the happiest temperament.

It may be supposed that he came again, and again, under the present circumstances of the family; more especially as he for some time sought to bring those offenders to justice, whose mal-treatment of James so well merited cognizance.

In this pursuit he did not proceed, for finding that either no punishment would be exacted, or one which included death by torture, the bare idea of which was alike abhorrent to the sufferer, and his champion, all prosecution was dropped.

In the course of the discussions which arose out of this subject, Mr. Melville discovered not only the kind intentions which spring from an amiable, considerate disposition, but the principles which arise from a firm conviction in the truths of christianity, a sincere love for its laws, as divulged in the religion of his country, and that unshrinking profession of it, which was the result of a manly spirit and a well informed mind. Yet whilst reasoning or enquiring from his revered friend on subjects where he was necessarily still a pupil, nothing could exceed the teachableness of mind he evinced, or the pleasure with which he hailed the knowledge which cleared a dubious point, and braced the sinews of feeble conviction; and often would he leave them with that grateful sparkling of the eye, that cordial yet lingering grasp of the hand, which at once denoted how hard it was to quit them, yet how sensible he was, that he departed mentally enriched and refreshed.

The wound in James's back, which had been the principal cause of alarm, healed sooner than could have been expected, but that in his leg threatened incurable lameness, and the poor man suffered much in his general health, from the grief of knowing himself a burden to that beloved master and idolized mistress, who now so much needed his services. Every time that master visited his couch, the ravages of disease were more perceptible, and often would the eyes of James fill with tears as Emma approached to enquire "how he had rested," from his knowledge of the excessive fatigue she was enduring, and which no person but himself could partake with her. The great heats, which now became general, prevented Mr. Melville from giving them much time, as they understood him that his cousin was rendered worse by them, and that his uncle Sir Grindley Melville, from anxiety and the languor consequent on the climate, was also very unwell. This great source of amusement and consolation failing them, again Emma's powers were taxed to the utmost, at a time when the daily uneasiness she experienced on pecuniary matters was greatly augmented from increased delay, added to which her expenses were doubled by the illness of James.

Yet there was a certain consolation in the belief, that if only for a few minutes, yet the evening would not pass without seeing their friend; and that although his intelligent countenance might tell them on his entrance how much he was suffering from sorrow and apprehension, yet in their society he too would taste of that solace he bestowed, and in the intercourse of friendship find the reward of kindness. Mr. Carysford was now evidently growing every day so weak that to all save Emma he appeared on the very verge of existence; but she still felt as all others do, who watch the progress of that insidious and flattering disease—she could not believe that a being in which the fire of intellect still burned so brightly, in whom devotion was so ardent, affection to every human connection so active, could be on the brink of dissolution; she saw all his weakness, she was aware of all his symptoms, nor was it the first time in which she had tended the bed of slow disease and eventual death, but the young heart refuses to admit the reality of that which it dreads. A thousand visionary hopes, and miraculous interpositions, float in the fancy to cheat us from that contemplation of sorrow which would unfit us for the duty to which we devote ourselves under such circumstances, and doubtless it is a merciful disposition in our nature, that woman, a creature equally tender and imaginative, yet constantly called to witness the most painful scenes, and encounter the severest trials, should find "her strength made perfect in her weakness," and her power of cheering and sustaining man, arise from her blindness to the future, her power of nursing hope in despite of probability, and assuming smiles when her heart is wrung by sorrows.

Yet there were times when Emma could not deceive herself, when she felt that she must be soon an orphan, was conscious also that she should be left in a strange land, without friends or money; but this was of less consideration than another point continually pressing on her mind; "should her father die without making due provision on that point, his valuable living would be lost to Charles, and in all probability be the means of entirely overturning his prospects of future life." She was the more anxious on this point, because as they had received no letters from her eldest sister since her marriage, which argued most blameable neglect, her mind was led to consider her future happiness as immediately linked with a brother, always especially dear, but of late more so than ever, on account of his penitence, affection, and good conduct. With all her father's excellent qualities he was not a man of business, though a man of the most strict integrity and upright intention. Every day, every hour, so far as his weak state admitted, it might be said that he was preparing for his great change, yet so unequal did he evidently feel to parting with his children, that very seldom could he trust himself to advert to it. "Could she, his child, dare to infringe on the sacred silence it was his wish to preserve? could she by any act or word tear away the veil in which the pious aspirations or the profound sensibility of his nature was now enshrouded?"

Again the packet arrived, but it contained only a letter from Sophia, in which was an enclosure of fifty pounds; considered as a remittance, such a trifle was rather a mockery than a relief: but it appeared in a very different point of view, as Emma proceeded with the letter, for it proved to be simply a present, made by one sister to another, in consideration of her increased expenses, thereby denoting that, for the first time, Sophia had given due consideration to worldly affairs and to family affection. On proceeding, she learnt with great surprise that her brother had received such pressing letters from Miss Tintagell, to join her at Nice, and proceed with her and Lord Alfreton to Italy, that he had set out for that purpose; which he was the more inclined to do both because Sir Marmaduke Lyster advised it, and that it would be in his power to join them at Lisbon, as he trusted, before winter, for "to tell you the truth," she added, "he never has ceased to lament the circumstance which prevented his accompanying you."

A postscript mentioned the having just received a letter from Emma, in which she complained of Charles. "You will of course," added Sophia, "have received the letters of credit that my sister Wilmington had for you, before this time, and what I have told you accounts for the rest."

This letter was put into Emma's hands by Mr. Melville, who, knowing her extreme anxiety to hear from England, had procured the letters from the pacquet; perceiving the air of deep disappointment and alarm with which she regarded the inclosed check, he instantly conceived that want of money was amongst the evils pressing upon her mind, and began anxiously to cast about in his own the possibility of relieving it.

"I hope all your friends are well, Miss Carysford, my old acquaintance amongst the rest?"

"She is so, I hope; but I have no letters from her, and have a right to complain of negligence either from her or her husband."

A slight blush rose on Emma's cheek as she pronounced the last words, which Melville placed to the account of anger, and so fully was he persuaded that Captain Wilmington had done exceedingly wrong, before he could have awakened such an indication of offence from a mind so gentle and regulated as hers, that his own warm though excellent temper became indignant, and he exclaimed,

"Neglect you! if he neglects you, he has not merited the honour of marrying your sister—it is well for both him and me that the sea is between us."

"Perhaps I am wrong, but—I have suffered so much of late in various ways, that perhaps I do not judge fairly—you shall fight no battles for me, Mr. Melville."

"Your father calls me Charles, and he says it is pleasant to him when you do so."

"Well then, Charles," said Emma, offering her hand, as if to soothe the momentary petulance of a heart she had known long enough to understand and honour, almost to love.

Melville seized on that fair hand with the same fond avidity with which he often gazed on her countenance, and listened to her words; he even half raised it to his lips, but as suddenly relinquished it, and Emma felt at that moment as if all the kindly emotions of her nature were relinquished also; it was with the utmost difficulty that she concealed the sense of desolation and renunciation which seemed suddenly to seize upon her.

Both were for a short time silent, but Melville, as by a violent effort, compelled himself to speak, and the tones of his voice, the deep interest it was evident he still took in her, the touching respect and even tender affection of his looks, restored her mind to the calm, though pensive tone he had disturbed—he spoke with great perturbation, and with his eyes bent towards the door by which it was probable Mr. Carysford would soon enter.

"If, then, I am Charles—if I am honoured with being as much a brother to you as a son to your revered father, (who may indeed claim me for one in the highest, in the scriptural, sense of the word,) surely there is not any thing in my power to do for you, Emma, that you will deny me—can I not supply the neglect to which you allude? are you sure that I cannot be of use to you in some way of business?"

"You are very kind, but I have so many things—"

As Emma spoke, the tears long gathering fell from her eyes freely—could she have looked up, she would have seen that those eyes so fondly bent upon her were also full of tears.

"I know all you are feeling and fearing from that one great cause which I can sympathize in; but have you any lesser anxiety? your father's affairs are all settled?"

"I know not, I fear that his living—Oh! I know not what I would say—surely I shall take him back."

"My dear Miss Carysford, why did you not speak to me sooner? I could have told you, for I knew two months since, that every thing necessary for your brother's safety was settled through the medium of a Mr. Evans, but beyond this I know nothing. This is not a time for unnecessary delicacies."

"Oh, thank you, thank you! that is all I wanted to know, all I desired on such points; I ought not to have doubted my father; I ought not to sink in this way."

"But this is not all; you must want money, for you have never sent me to the banker's; and I will not wrong your confidence in me so far as to believe you would employ another—there is a coincidence in our situation and our feelings, that should compel you to make a friend of me, a brother."

Emma wiped her eyes, and ventured to gaze for a moment on that open, honest countenance, which although at this time fraught with anxiety amounting to impatience, and with agitation not devoid of reproach, yet to her mind's eye exhibited all things most kind, and delicate, and honourable, and she hastily answered,

"You are right—I have no money left. I am quite certain it is not Charles's fault. I fear that my letters are lost, or that my sister has forgotten me, and—"

"And—so often as we have been together, you could not give me a line or a word; oh! fie, fie, I have not merited this, Miss Carysford, for I trust that though I have much of the frankness of a seaman about me, I am not therefore deficient in respect, in—"

"To me you have been all goodness, but I dreaded betraying this to my father, who, poor man, knows not how soon money goes; he is already hurt at the silence of Harriet—but I hear him coming."

"'Tis all well," said Melville, his countenance brightening as he spoke, "but we have only just escaped a most dreadful misfortune, for I am come to announce—"

At this moment Mr. Carysford entered from the chamber adjoining, where his private devotions had held him during the only time when by day and night his daughter was not near him. He now stooped over the staff on which he leaned, like a very aged man, his hair had changed from the besprinkled grey to glossy white, and his contracted chest and hollow cheeks bespoke that shrinking of the muscles, that withering of the flesh, in which the beauty and the strength of man show like a fading flower. But a stream of glory seemed to irradiate his eyes as he gazed delightedly on the young pair before him, whose earnest conversation and confused countenances (a confusion naturally arising from the subject) undoubtedly conveyed to him a very different idea, for before he essayed to offer the gladdened welcome which always sprung to his lips on sight of Melville, he silently, but with uplifted hands, invoked a benediction on them both, from that God with whom he had probably been already interceding on their behalf.

After the usual enquiries had taken place, and the state of the barometer had been discussed, Mr. Melville proceeded to say that a removal long talked of was now determined upon on his uncle's part, and since the dear invalid no longer objected, he believed they should set sail for Madeira in a few days.

"Most sincerely do I hope the voyage may prove advantageous. I once thought I should have liked to go thither myself, but that is out of the question now—I am unequal to all exertion. Your cousin is young, and though weak may be restored, but I—"

Mr. Carysford cast his eyes on Emma, and ceased to speak—his young auditor, in evident perturbation, answered—

"Alas! Sir, ours is a much less hopeful case than yours; there are some complaints in which youth puts the seal on disease—I confess I have no hopes, no expectations—"

Mr. Melville rose from his seat overpowered by affecting recollections, and more acutely awakened fears for the life of one to whom it was evident he was bound by ties more strong than those of blood—that his friendship was of the most ardent kind, that it began in the dawn of life, had been strengthened by similarity of character, and reciprocity of affection, they could have no doubt, since the few observations he ever allowed himself to make uniformly proved it. Perhaps the excess of his attachment and his sympathy was also the more evident to his present auditors, from his generally saying very little on this subject. They had each remarked that whilst he spoke much of his uncle, and deeply sympathized with his griefs, yet he seldom actually named his cousin—this might be equally accounted for by the delicate attention due to Mr. Carysford, as an invalid unequal to hearing his own complaints descanted upon, and the incapacity the relater felt to touch upon the situation of one held in such especial love and esteem.

Yet whatever might be the friendship felt for his cousin, the paternal veneration in which his uncle was held, it was evident the bond which drew Mr. Melville's affections to our father and daughter, was likewise insuperably strong—his shortest visit still beheld him remain beyond his first intention, and the pleasure which danced in his eyes even when sympathetic drops lingered on the lids, at those times when he could sit a few hours with them, bespoke a divided interest, a heart wedded to the new friends not less than the old ones. That he never lost sight of them for an hour, was evinced in the books, the music, or the news by which he sought to beguile their tedious hours, the fruit and the confectionary he so constantly brought, the extraordinary pains he took for the recovery of their servant, and the search he made for others who might supply his services. In all this, Mr. Carysford read very naturally not only pity and general benevolence of character operating with regard to himself, but the excitement given by a more warm and tender sentiment for his daughter—a sentiment every way likely to be awakened for one so young, so lovely, and singularly attractive by her situation and the many virtues she displayed in it.

It would be folly to deny, that Emma herself (modest and unassuming as she always was, and even distrustful of her own powers of attraction as she had lately become) had an intuitive sense that the preference and admiration she could not withhold from one so valuable and amiable, was returned. For some time she had a kind of confidence in his friendship, a sense of repose on his guardianship, which did not go beyond ameliorating her solitude, and imparting the sensations natural to a sister, or, as she considered them, of an Englishwoman in a foreign land. When the entire love and esteem of her father for his young countryman quickened her perception of his good qualities, and the many conversations which developed his principles, his disposition, and his information—then Emma found herself in Desdemona's situation, she wished "that heaven had made her such a man." It was also evident at some times that her father so wished, and in the extreme guilelessness of his nature his thoughts were generally so apparent, that Emma at some moments feared they might be read by Mr. Melville, at others she was led to conclude that certain conversations had already passed between them, which were only kept secret from her on account of the distressing situation in which they were all placed—a situation in which it was evident there must be no "marrying, nor giving in marriage."

That Mr. Melville was sometimes under a pressure of painful solicitude, distinct from his grief for his cousin's illness, and his sympathy for his uncle, she could not doubt from the vague answers she would sometimes receive from him; but she was also sensible that from the relief to sad thoughts he evidently gained in their society, it could not be of a very distressing nature. Sometimes she fancied he might be, like herself, under pecuniary embarrassment; but this idea had ground but a short time. The projected voyage to Madeira began next to be talked of, and from her own feelings she judged that it was a very painful subject of thought; and such was the flutter of spirits it awakened, that for some days she avoided as much as possible remaining in the room during the time of those visits now doubly dear and important.

It was not difficult to effect this even by the visitant's desire—he knew that her couch was now in the same apartment with her father's, who complained how much he disturbed her, and would say, "now our dear Charles is come, try to get a little sleep, Emma," a request constantly seconded by him who had already perhaps scanned her with an alarmed or pitying eye. Ah! how often has she retired speedily, to hide the swellings of a heart ready to break!—how often has she thrown herself on the couch, not to sleep, but to weep!

When circumstances forbade Mr. Melville to remain more than a single hour, and the attentions of Emma were also more demanded, still would the considerate father seek to render her a partaker in those benefits bestowed by his presence. "My poor Emma languishes for want of air," he would say, "take her, dear Charles, if but for ten minutes, into the lemon tree-avenue."

There were many times when Emma declined this, from a dread that her father's words should be misinterpreted; a fear that explanation might take place, which was yet not always perhaps unmingled with a hope that the certain something, which every day increased, would so far reveal itself as to become a thing intelligible, however distant. These walks, though taken under those circumstances most likely to bring such an event to pass, always left Emma more in the dark than ever. There was a garden behind the hotel, in which a fine fountain threw up ten thousand sparkling drops, which cooled all the atmosphere around it; an atmosphere impregnated by the odours of a thousand fragrant plants, and the road to which was bordered by lemon trees now full of fruit. The evening breeze, an hour after sunset, played sweetly in this lovely spot, which was secluded from all observation, though so near the house as to admit of a summons to Emma from the balcony of her father's chamber—it was evident that tender things might be heard and answered, tears might flow and blushes arise, unseen and unreproved; and hearts burthened by many sources of uneasiness might here give and receive the consolation of confidence and mutual support.

But rarely, from the moment on which Emma had thrown her veil around her, did that voice, which was music to her ear and solace to her soul, continue its power to soothe her, much less seek from her that satisfaction it was surely possible she might give! No! that kind voice which had been so long employed in reading, or speaking to the invalid, was suddenly mute, that store of information, that ready communication of circumstance or sentiment, was checked; yet it was evident that the fountain was not dry, nor the will to be kind exhausted—evident also, that consolation was required, that he who had exerted himself for others was earnestly desiring pity, yet could not ask for it.

True, there were moments when the sweets of external nature seemed suddenly to infuse themselves into the very spirits of two young persons so calculated to feel, in their utmost extent, whatever could affect their sensibility, and pour into their hearts that comfort for which both looked on high. Moments in which silence was not restraint, and sighs breathed more of gratitude for the temporary blessing experienced, than grief for the constant affliction under which they laboured. They tasted at once of happiness in that deep, but silent certainty of loving, which creates a quiet repose in the heart predisposed by sorrow to feel its own necessity for such support, more sweet and pure than those under circumstances of felicity, perhaps, have ever tasted. Sometimes Melville would stop a moment and look earnestly at Emma, and she would half throw back her veil, cast her eyes timidly down, and seem willing to listen, and able to listen calmly; but he spoke not, or only adverted to the poetical beauty of all around them, the glorious arch of heaven above them, and thence to the distant tinklings of the convent bell, the vesper hymn floating on the perfumed breeze; and then bade her suddenly good night.


After the conversation we have related, it may be concluded that Emma was speedily relieved from that perpetually harassing circumstance which had so long distressed her; and, with his usual delicacy, Mr. Melville made his uncle the medium of her convenience, in consequence of which, several letters passed between her and that gentleman; but as his residence was two miles distant, and his health much affected by his uneasiness, she had not any personal interview.

At this time, Mr. Carysford frequently lamented that they had not any other acquaintance who might, in a slight degree, repair the loss they must so soon encounter, in the removal of the only English family they knew, even by name; but Emma always entreated him with so much earnestness not to lament it on her account, that he began to trust she was not less capable of that firmness and fortitude her situation called for, than that unbounded activity of kindness and consideration she had so long evinced.

It had been for some time the custom of Emma to read those Prayers for the Sick, with her father in the evenings, which he had formerly so often read with other sufferers, and to which he could always listen with a spirit of devotion, not the less fervent because those beautiful forms of prayer were familiar to him, and of late James was enabled also to creep into his beloved master's chamber on these occasions. Melville was not only privileged to share their devotions, but if present he frequently took the office of reader with the same holy vigilance that he shared that of nurse, and seldom perhaps have "two or three been gathered together," so distinct in age, character, and situation, whose prayers ascended with more fervor, or whose faith was more pure and stedfast—all felt that the sacred compact which bound them together was on the point of dissolution in one sense, but that it was eternal in another, and they embraced the power of once more worshipping together, less as a duty than a privilege—a blessing to be seized with sacred ardour, for who durst say it might be enjoyed again.

If such had been the sentiments affecting the party, how much stronger did they become at this period, when he who was the one strong, the one powerful to act, to think, to sustain the rest—the one, apparently sent, and certainly received, as a gift from God himself, was called to fulfil more immediate obligations, and resumed when he was most effectually become a "ministering angel" to their various necessities. He was taken as it were when he was most needed, and when perhaps a very little time longer might suffice for his cares—all this James in his sorrow said, or wept very audibly; and scarcely could Emma prevail on herself to remonstrate with the poor fellow, on the expression of praise or sorrow which had an echo in her own heart, and which he had certainly a stronger right to express than his master or herself in one sense. He had however lived too long with that beloved master, not to repress though he could not conquer the sorrow this announced removal occasioned, and ashamed of betraying grief for his own expected loss in Melville, he endeavoured to account for it by a better cause than that of selfishness.

"Whenever the Captain goes, it will be all over with my poor master, that's all I think about—it is'nt that the sight on him does my heart good, coming so free and kind-hearted to an old servant, nor it is'nt his driving off the rapskallions that murdered me, like a brave soldier as I shall always call him—no, no, what I fret about is altogether for his worship."

Happily this trial, his last, and in the present state of his attenuated frame and weakened mind, one of no little import, was met by the dying christian, with that meek acquiescence, that unruffled harmony of patience and temper, which well became the disciple of a crucified Lord. Subduing every disposition to complain of untoward circumstances, to express a single wish to retain him, though a sigh would arise when he had observed the wind was favourable for their voyage, it was never followed by one half-murmured complaint. With a heart naturally so warmly attached and now closely tied to few objects only, with sensibility so acute, and rendered now more exquisitely so from the powers of the mind becoming enfeebled, no conduct could more fully evince the grateful humility, the complete self-control, and the entire annihilation of selfish feelings. Ah! how much more of the "spirit of Christ" might be read in the hastily wiped tear, in the cheering tone of Mr. Carysford, than in the boastings of many who would stigmatize him as a stranger to its divine influence.

One morning, when after many farewells which had yet not proved the last, and had therefore tended to convey the idea that "after all perhaps the Melvilles would not go," Emma in reply to his enquiries said, "the wind was favourable so far as there was any, but the weather was dreadfully sultry."

"Then they will go this morning, I hope—the poor young man will be better at sea—"

"He will," said Emma, but she could say no more, the "hope" would not be uttered; it stuck, like the "amen" of the murderous Macbeth, in her throat, but with far different sensations in its company.

"Well, well," said the good father, after a long pause, "his will be done. I may say, Emma, with the Psalmist, 'very pleasant hast thou been unto me,' my son Charles Melville—in truth, 'goodness and mercy' were singularly manifested in lending us such a comforter: if God resume his gifts, we must remember it is our duty

'To praise him for all that is past, And trust him for all that's to come.'"

"I wish," said Emma, with difficulty, "poor James may be able to do so; he really idolizes the Captain, (as he will call him,) and has borrowed a pair of crutches, I find, and set out an hour ago to take one more look of his deliverer—he is the most affectionate, the most attached creature—there never was such a man, I am very certain."

Perhaps we have no right to look too closely into the recesses of that sweet maiden's heart, as she thus used James in lawful service, nor to inquire too curiously whether her last exclamation of praise, and the gushing tears which accompanied it, were applicable to the man of whom she spoke, or the man of whom she thought—it is enough to say, that, although by no means pleased with the conduct of the wind that morning, and willing also to hide tears which were mingled with blushes, she turned towards the window from whence she had already seen distant streamers often consulted of late; at the same moment, a well known tap was heard at the door, and, in another moment, Melville once more entered.

Mr. Carysford was laid upon a sofa near the balcony, with his back to the door, and did not hear the low tremulous tap, now more faint than ever, for it resembled the feelings of the visitant. He caught the tear-covered visage of Emma, when he ventured to step forward, and exclaimed,

"In tears, my dear Miss Carysford?"

"We thought you were gone."

This might be an exclamation already on the lips of Emma, occasioned by seeing him—it might be an answer, and the quick blush, the quicker drops that fell glistening down her cheeks, proved that, whether it were or not, his supposed absence had occasioned the present emotion. For a moment a look of joy, of gratitude, too great for utterance, rose on his animated countenance; he took her hand, and seemed about to thank her for this indication of an interest so dear, so inestimable, as he evidently felt it: but it appeared that it was only to lead her towards the couch, that she might announce him, as she was wont to do,—his conduct was inexplicable, she thought it almost cruel, but she recovered herself instantly by a strong effort.

"My dear Sir, your friend is come once more to see you."

"Ah! Charles again! my son! at least my son's best substitute, I had not hoped for this pleasure."

As Mr. Carysford spoke, tears of delight swam in his too brilliant eyes; he raised himself eagerly, but, notwithstanding the excitement he experienced, fell back upon his pillow, and it was evident to Mr. Melville, not only that his exhaustion was extreme, but that the thin, trembling hands with which he sought to press those of his beloved visitant, were more feverish than he had ever known them. He turned his eyes to communicate the apprehensions he felt to Emma, but her looks were averted, nor could he desire they should be otherways, and he therefore began to speak in that hasty manner which was meant at once to hide his emotions, and, if possible, subdue them.

"We have, you see, the wind in our favour, all our packages are on board; but the day is so dreadfully sultry, some hours must pass before—before my cousin can be removed; when the sun declines, we shall venture. I have got all things in readiness, and as James has, I find, played the truant so far as to come down to us, and Sir Grindley Melville is delighted with him, he desired leave to keep him till we had set sail."

"By all means; Emma, my love, you can spare him, indeed the poor man can do nothing for us you know?"

"Nothing," said Emma.

"My dear Sir, in making this request, I merely acquitted myself of a promise; you are very unwell to-day, James ought to be with you, I had much rather he were: are you certain I can be of no further use to you?"

"Oh no, you have sent me stores for a magazine of invalids; you can do nothing for me save sitting down beside Emmy and allowing me to look at you a little longer."

The thick and altered voice of the invalid thrilled the heart of Melville, but it was evident that Emma did not perceive it—evident that she felt to a certain degree surprised and offended, yet not resentful, that the remembrance that this was their last meeting, quenched the fire of anger though it could not allay its pain. To say how severe the pangs of his heart were for having raised such discordant feelings in that kind and gentle bosom is impossible, and if Emma had cast her eyes upon him, his ingenuous countenance would (in despite of even the efforts of his manly mind) have shown her how terrible a struggle was passing there. As it was, the daughter sat near him and saw him not, the father never ceased to gaze upon him, thereby increasing his distress, yet somewhat changing its object.

The entrance of a servant with the patient's broth, broke up the mournful and silent company. Melville once more pressed the hand which would never more return that pressure, and the drops which fell on it so far softened Emma's heart, that hers too was yielded once more to the farewell kiss.—

All was still silent—Melville was now gone—the hoofs of his mule's last pattering had ceased, and Emma enquired "why she had been deceived in the first place, or angry in the second,—why she had been so agitated at all,"—she was ashamed, angry with herself, but her tears again flowed.

"Emma, I cannot take this broth to day—remove it." Emma obeyed, and on casting her eyes over that emaciated form, wondered how she could for a moment think on any other subject, she hastily wiped her eyes, and blamed herself "for being childish and nervous."

"You are neither, dear Emma, for you have that quiet fortitude, and general equality of temper, which becomes you as a woman, and is honourable to you as a christian—but it is natural that you should lament a loss of so much importance to us both—would that your brother were here, my love; I should be glad to see Charles, very, very glad, and my sister Tintagell too—poor Alathea! I love Alathea, she is a noble minded creature."

"And Harriet and Sophia, father? you wish for them too, dear Sir?"

"I do—yet were they here I should soon send all away but you, Emma—they would talk too much or too little; do too much or too little; but you my child, are always right, you understand me, Emma. I can be weak or strong with you, as the feeling of the moment prompts—never man was so supported, so blest as I have been in you and Charles."

Emma enquired not "which Charles?" thought not which Charles, for the altered voice now struck her as it had struck Melville, and her heart sunk within her, and she sat in silence, waiting for she knew not what of new trial.

After a considerable period, she perceived that her father had fallen asleep, and even when she drew near and wiped his forehead he did not awake, it was a more composing and general rest, than he had lately experienced, and the more desirable on account of the extraordinary heat of the day, which was such as to excite some alarming observations from the servants of the house, as if it were the forerunner of earthquake.

As she sat watching the sleeper, she recollected them, in such a way as if this were the first moment in which she had had time to think on earthquakes; to remember that she was on the spot where that most tremendous and appalling of all heaven's ministers of wrath had been exhibited in its most destructive form, and that she might shortly become its victim.

"I must conquer this fear before it has time to fasten on my mind," said Emma, "I must pray against it, read against it, I must caution the servants not to speak in my father's presence."

She left the room on tiptoe for that purpose, and as she was universally beloved as the best of daughters, and the most amiable of heretics, easily obtained a promise "that the sick gentleman should not be disturbed by any painful surmises," which promise included equal caution as to James, who was well known to have no secrets with his master. On returning, she had still the satisfaction to find her father continued to sleep, and she even took her soup and omelette without disturbing him. It was evident that he had less fever than he had had for some months, nor could she recollect the day when he had coughed so little, and slept so sweetly. "Was it possible that some internal change had taken place on which hope might build? had the thickness of his voice, the increased weakness of the morning, been occasioned by some breaking of an inward ulcer, some of those changes of which she had heard and read?"

Full of solicitude, eager to ascertain a fact which the buoyancy of youthful expectation made half a certainty, even in despite of the sad spectacle presented to her eyes, she knelt down by the sofa, and with clasped hands and streaming eyes endeavoured to form a prayer for his restoration—but hope, and self-deception, struggled in vain against the sad conviction before her; and not words, but deep sighs burst from her lips, and whilst she tried to utter, "not my will but thine be done," sleep fled, and her father's eyes were upon her.

"My Harriet! my beloved wife!" said Mr. Carysford, in a pleasant clear voice.

Was this the wandering of delirium? or the lingering dream of the long and salutary sleep he had enjoyed? and which could not fail to have been restorative from the effect it had had upon his voice—the heart of Emma throbbed violently with newly awakened hope; how willingly could she again watch for months, and even years, over the couch of sickness, if at last her father would recover—"and who could say he should not? circumstances as extraordinary had happened."

"Dear Sir, you have had a long comfortable sleep, and are better for it I trust—it is Emma, father, that speaks to you, your daughter."

"Yes! Emma, my good little girl—I thought she had received me in Heaven, when my two sons, the dark and the fair Charles, bore me thither—I fancy it was all a dream, I have been very fast asleep."

As Mr. Carysford spoke, he passed his hand over his forehead and became very pale, and Emma saw his mind was slightly wandering, but she thought that was not surprising, for he had been many hours without food or medicine. The latter as a restorative, she instantly gave him, and in a short time she had the satisfaction to see him take the former with more zest than he had done some time; he said, "he was certainly better, but sensible of great cold, and when Emma had laid a shawl over his feet, he begged her to draw a seat close to him, and chafe his hands between hers."

Emma sat down on a low seat, surprised how such a sensation could possibly affect any person that day, but she fondly held those dear wasted hands to her cheeks and her lips, and thought she should soon warm them.

"Where is James? call him, my love."

"He is not yet returned from the Melvilles."

"I remember now, they were to depart at sunset; I should like to be moved nearer to that side, and look at the setting sun myself, it is a glorious sight."

Emma wheeled the sofa into the proper place.

"My love, you had better call old Barba, or Diego, I am very, very chill. God support thee, my child: he will sustain thee as thou hast sustained me."

Emma dropped almost unconsciously upon her knees; she still held her father's hands, and was held by them; therefore she could not move without inflicting disturbance at a moment so awful, so alarming—she could not reply save by caresses, and her heart ascended in earnest prayer for him to heaven.

"Tell my children—tell Charles, for them I have no new commandment—you all know how I have loved you—say to our dear neighbours, to my beloved people, 'stand fast in the faith,'——'be not carried away'——Poor James!—my child! Emma! my poor girl!"

"Father, dear father, think not of me: your God will have mercy on me, as on you."

As she spoke these words, she rose, and with a convulsive motion threw her arms round her father, and drew him towards her: she saw his features, his mouth indicated his wonted smile, and the words, "Glory be to his name," seemed partly to meet her ear; but the last vestige of life had left the body she grasped, and in another moment, the seal of death was on the face also.

"All, all is over!"

As these words issued from Emma's lips, she sank down by the couch with her head on the breast of the corpse, but she did not faint, though a sense of severe disappointment and awe, of surprise and grief, not unmingled with gratitude to heaven, altogether overcame her with feelings, which, in their excess, produced apparent stupor. The entrance of Barba, at the accustomed hour with coffee, spread the news of Mr. Carysford's death (and her consequent distress) through the house, and one of the servants lost not a moment in setting out to seek James.

The voice of kindness, however, and by whomsoever uttered, in such a moment as this, is valuable, whether its dictates are obeyed or not. Emma did not refuse the advice of old Barba; she retired to her own room, she sought "to commune with her own heart and be still," but the perturbation would not cease, the effects of her past shock, and even the almost supernatural effort she had made to meet it at the moment, would not subside; and it will be naturally supposed that her sense of bereavement was increased by the utter loneliness of her situation; the want of even one human being who could understand her lamentations.

Hour after hour passed, and Emma continued with slowly falling foot to traverse her chamber; the day was long closed, and she heard nothing of James, whom she now desired yet dreaded to see. Conscious that she ought to exert herself, and feeling that strange impatience to return to her father, which many of us have felt also, and can be fully understood by all who have waited long at the sick couch of a beloved relative, she rang the bell to enquire. Barba answered it, said "the messenger had seen James, and that he raved like a distracted man, abusing himself by all sorts of names for leaving his master, but yet he had not returned with him."

As the old woman spoke, she held her lamp as if to light Emma to her father's bed-room; she followed her to the door, then took the lamp and entered alone.

The corpse was laid on the bed he had so long occupied, the eyes were closed, the jaws were bound, yet so mild, so sleeplike, it was scarcely possible to think the last great change had passed over it. Emma kissed the forehead, and her tears fell on the marble face—she wiped them away, and was led by that action to remark the total want of that nicety of arrangement in all things around, by which in her own country even poverty beautifies death by the cares of affection.

Habitually neat to delicacy, and active in all the offices of love, she could not forbear to supply these deficiencies, and on recollecting that it was probable they had been neglected under the idea that as the corpse of an heretical priest, the precious dust before her was unworthy "due observances," her oppressed spirit rose to the affecting task, and she determined not to quit her father's corpse till she had laid it in the last receptacle, paid it the last honours.

It is the happy condition of our nature, that all personal exertion lessens mental grief, and subdues the turmoil of passion—Emma was faint and weak, lowly and sorrowful, yet she found a power of arranging this bed of death like that of her mother (as far as she was able) to a certain degree recall her scattered spirits, and lead her to see how much the hand of mercy had attempered this awful consummation to both him who departed and her who was left.

It was now midnight, all without was silent as that breathless form before her—no longer the short cough, the whispered request broke on her ear; the kind words, the thankful smile no longer soothed whilst they wrung her heart; her "occupation" was indeed gone, and all around her was cold, cheerless, isolated, and friendless: the one countenance she could have gazed at with pleasure, the one voice she could have listened to with comfort, was taken from her as effectually, "perhaps as eternally as her father—but we shall meet in heaven, why did I say eternally?" thought Emma.

At this moment she became aware that steps were near the door, whisperings were heard, and deep sighs; soon afterwards, a loud burst of irrepressible sorrow announced the return of poor James, and at the same time it was plain that his steps turned from the door as if he were unable to meet her.

Emma instantly conceived, and pitied the sorrow, and the self-reproach, this honest affectionate servant could not fail to endure from the peculiar circumstances in which he stood. She rose from her own little couch, and opening the door, cast her eyes down the gallery, which was only lighted by the ray from that lamp within her chamber—a man was standing very near.

"James," said Emma in a mournful but kind tone, "James, are you come?"

"It is not James," replied a voice which thrilled to her heart though it answered in a low inarticulate manner.

Emma started back into the chamber half terrified, but she was followed by Melville, who eagerly told her "that James, on hearing of his master's death, and having the vessel still before his eyes into which they had removed but half an hour before, had procured a boat, followed them, and caused him to return—he thought," added he, "poor fellow, that I should be a ——"

Most probably Melville meant to say, "a comfort," but his eyes at this moment turned upon the bed, where lay the pale remains of him whom he had so long loved as a friend, and revered as a saint, to whom he had (as an orphan from infancy) wished to believe that he could indulge the feelings which belonged to the tenderness due to a mother, and the honour claimed by a father—the lips were now sealed for ever in the coldness of death, which, that very morning, had so warmly blessed him; never more would the instruction which had assisted, the information which had delighted him, proceed from them again.

Melville gazed and wept, and for some moments the evident agony of his heart shook his manly frame with convulsive agitation; but the sigh of Emma caught his ear, the sigh of her who had suffered so long, whose loss, and, consequently, whose affliction, was so much greater than his own could possibly be.

"Pardon me," he stammered out at length, "I would not—God knows I would not add to your troubles—but he was so kind to me! so dear to me! so—"

"You were indeed much beloved by him, he spoke of you almost the last thing—called you his son."

"And you were alone they say, Emma with him at that moment? Charles had deserted you; he did not merit to be so remembered."

"You could not help it; your duties called you from us: you have done all you could, Melville."

"Ah! Emma, dear, dear Emma, how truly do you say I have done all I could. Alas! that all was of a nature I cannot now explain. But I can do no more. I cannot see you thus, a sufferer in a strange country, alone, pale, sick, perhaps dying also——I cannot see this without devoting myself to you wholly, without offering you the most ardent affection, admiration, that heart can feel, that——and yet, what can I do? other sufferers claim me, I am loved so tenderly—leaned upon so helplessly—I am to the dying what you have been to the dead; think for me, Emma, speak for me, what must I do?"

This was declaration; it was acknowledged love; and though offered in a season when happy love would have been profanation to the sacred claims of sorrow, it could not be refused on that account, for it was offered with the tone and gesture of a heart torn with anguish and alarm—offered—ah, no! that could not be called an offer which was instantly retracted; which was rather thrown before her in the confusion of weakness, as that which ought to be refused, than presented, in the confidence of honour and affection, claiming acceptance and reciprocal attachment.

Yet under any possible circumstances it is certain the assurance of being beloved by one so dear, so justly and entirely esteemed, was sweetly consolatory to the heart of Emma—hers was a gentle, modest, self-subdued, yet generous and lofty spirit; she sought to control, and she did control and moderate, every violent desire and wayward inclination; but yet she was a young, tender-hearted woman, bowed down by the most natural grief, and touched with the most lively admiration, the most ardent friendship. It was dear and grateful to her heart to see the veil stripped, though but for a moment, which revealed to her how deeply seated, how vividly displayed, was that passion which till now was never permitted to own its existence. The sense of comfort, of peace, which was thus given to her mind, enabled her, notwithstanding the profound sympathy which the complicated sorrows of Melville inspired, to soothe the agonies of his mind, and confirm him in the path of duty, and, judging of his feelings by her own, she did this most effectually by assuring him, "that, though weak with sorrow and fatigue, yet she was not otherwise ill—that her awful, but most endeared task being over, she should return to her country with the mournful satisfaction of knowing that she had done her best to smooth the pillow of suffering, and that she had enjoyed in him a friend, a brother, a something more than either—"

"You will not say lover, Emma—'tis well, for I cannot ask you; but surely at this awful moment, heart speaks to heart, and the blessed spirit which has so lately forsaken that venerated clay registers the communion—you will not deny me the consolation of believing this?"

"No, dear Charles, I will not."

"Ten thousand blessings be on you for those words, they will give me the power to do my duty, my duty! can it be right to leave you?—impossible."

"Unquestionably it is, have you not told us that your uncle was your parent? is not your cousin, brother, sister, sole relative and friend to you? you must go, you must fulfil all your own sense of love and obligation."

"Then it must be this moment, if I listen to you, if I look at you again, Emma, I am lost—I have a thousand things to say, to confess; but this is not the time, there never has been a time."

The heavy steps and crutch of poor James was heard in the gallery.

"My time is gone, but the boat shall wait, we shall but lose one tide, and I must provide you a friend—that at least is in my power."

For a moment Melville caught her in his arms, each threw their eyes on the corpse, for they could not look on each other, thick suffocating sobs rose from either breast, and tears streamed from their eyes—'twas but till James tapped at the door, and then Emma found herself dismissed with a heavy groan from the arms which had enfolded her, she was seated on a chair, the door was closed, the feet departed with rapidly-descending steps, and all was again silent and deserted; it was again the chamber of death.

The people of the house, considering that the stranger might have certain rites to perform agreeable to her own religion, or believing her perhaps too devoid of any to be an object of interest, suffered her to remain undisturbed; and as James had again departed, being advised, almost commanded, "not yet to intrude upon her," she remained alone the rest of the night—sometimes in tears, sometimes in prayer, endeavouring to subdue her emotions, and tranquillize the strange confusion of her thoughts, which on reflection seemed to forbid her to repose on the love of one whose words were mysterious, though his countenance was open and his nature frank.

At length, nature exhausted by long suffering sunk unexpectedly into that uneasy slumber, which a frame unequal to further endurance found even on that seat which was close by the bed of her father.


Day was risen, and the world was abroad, before poor Emma's head was so far raised from the wall against which she leaned, as to be sensible of her situation. When she did look up, James stood before her, and old Barba was near him, but as she cast her eyes towards the bed and recollected all that had occurred, she became fearful that she had not fulfilled her watch, and eagerly rose to see that the treasure was safe.

Her own cambric handkerchief was on the face, for James had thrown it there; as she removed it she trembled violently, for the first time an undefined, but secret fear pervaded her heart.

The altered hue told her that her fears, her sensations had cause; and the earnest entreaty of James that she would leave the chamber was faintly parried, until it appeared evident that the poor man conceived himself to be under her displeasure; she could not remove this weight upon his mind without acceding to his wish, and she was too generous to continue it; she also felt that she had duties to perform, that she was called to think and act, and that therefore she must take refreshment, and see her fellow-creatures on business of the most urgent nature.

But when Emma held herself prepared for this, she was informed, "that all was kindly arranged, that the funeral which could not be delayed beyond evening, was already in preparation, that the banker of Mr. Melville had taken charge of every thing, and would engage two English gentlemen to attend their countryman's funeral, either as mourners or supporters to her if she wished to attend."

"I will see him laid in the dust," said Emma, "it is the last duty I can show my father."

"Yet you can surely trust me, Miss Emma? it will be too much for you—it will indeed."

Emma shook her head in unbelief. "I shall be sustained through it, I trust—I have borne much more."

In the hour of evening, about the same period when his pure spirit departed to his God, the necessary attendants arrived, and they proceeded to the English burying-ground. It is well known as a spot singularly adapted for the purpose, being shaded by dark cypress trees, which cast their long mournful shadows over the graves of many young, beautiful, and wealthy from our native shores; and such was its affecting influence on the mind of Emma, that she never visited it but once, when she had accompanied Melville thither, whilst her father sat by the sick bed of James. The funeral was performed by a young clergyman apparently in delicate health himself; and that sublime and affecting service which she had so often heard read by the deceased, under such circumstances, was almost overwhelming. She clung to the arm of her unknown and unseen countryman, for her veil was closely wrapt around her, and for a short time feared that she should faint.

This stranger was evidently a man of much sympathy, his own sighs responded to hers, and his aspirations were fervent—she was persuaded he was the father of a family; probably had himself laid a blooming daughter or a promising son in that cemetery; but of him, or for him, Emma could not think at such a time, further than to be grateful for his tender attention and paternal care.

The last look was taken, the crumbling mould fell hard and dry on the coffin, and scarcely could the shaking limbs of Emma support her through the avenue which led to the carriage. Another gentleman now took her hand, placed his arm round her, and supported her, and when she entered the coach, followed her into it; but the person on whom she had hitherto leaned stepped into another carriage, and drove away in a manner which betokened great haste. Surely the vessel which she knew had been hired by Sir Geoffrey was still in the river detained for this purpose—the farewell pressure of that friendly hand, told her that it was, it could be no other than Melville, who had shared her awful situation.

The gentleman now in the carriage after some pause addressed her with much courtesy, and pressed upon her an invitation to the Banker's house, from whom she had received so many marks of valuable attention; and being persuaded that her privacy would be for the present sacred, and that it was a most respectable home, she thankfully accepted the offer, sensible of the goodness of Providence in so tempering her sorrow, and securing assistance in the very hour when she seemed bereft of all. She was sensible of great personal weakness, and remembering how much she had suffered during her first voyage, thought that if even it had been possible for her to embark immediately, she ought not to venture—besides, "there was in her own country, at this time, no one person so attractive as even the grave of her father appeared in her eyes. She had no home: no brother to receive and supply to her a father's protection; no aunt to give her a mother's countenance. Her eldest sister's marriage had taken her in a twofold sense from her family, as her silence implied, and Sophia—"

Emma stayed the sad current of her meditations as her younger sister passed in review before her. She recollected the unfeigned sorrow that sister had manifested towards her father, the kindness and modesty of her late letters, as contrasted with her former spiritual pride and assumption—her extreme youth and the influence which had wrought upon her that partial alienation from her family which was respectable even in its error, in so far as it was sincere, and awakened by the most awful subject of anxiety which can affect the mind. She felt that Sophia had a claim upon her tenderness, her counsel, her forbearance for the future, her forgetfulness of the past; she hoped that the time might yet come when they should "take sweet counsel together, and walk in the house of God," and in the world also, "as friends" and sisters. As it was but too probable that the death of her father might cause Sophia to revert more decidedly than ever to her former associates in the enthusiasm that affecting event would stimulate, Emma determined only with the more affectionate moderation to guide her by degrees into a safer and wiser path—to use the increased light she had herself gained in this eventful period from her father's conversations; for the purpose of strengthening the understanding and tranquillizing the conscience of that beloved child, whom she well knew "lay heavy at his heart," almost till its last pulsation.

The family of Don Chicolo di Albareda, omitted no act of true politeness, and sympathy towards their guest whom they considered the relation of the Melvilles. Emma had been there only three days, when from the arrival of various mails she became all at once as much incommoded with an abundance of letters, as she had of late felt herself neglected by their absence. That of Harriet claimed her first attention, because she hoped to find in it reason for long silence, and also inclosures which would be far more welcome than further trespass on her friends.

Considering Harriet as so newly married, Emma was struck by the multitude of her complaints, but she soon found that her trouble in going to Ireland, her hatred of that place on her arrival, her difficulty in effecting a return, and finally, her dislike and dread of her great Indian uncle, who arrived by the spring ships, were all intended as apologies for silence, which she knew to be inexcusable, and for conduct she felt to be so unjust, that every possible palliative had need to be pressed into her service. The letter contained the sum of one out of two hundred pounds, which Charles had commissioned her to send four months before, and which from his own letter it appeared he expected would accompany a third, which was then due from her husband to Emma for interest.

"I know," said Harriet, "you are so very prudent, my dear Emma, and things (I have understood) are so very cheap at Lisbon, that I hope the little delay, or the circumstance of my borrowing a hundred pounds, will not signify; you must be aware how dreadfully I have been troubled for want of money for our double journies, and the necessity I was under of appearing like a bride, when we joined Wilmington's regiment in Dublin, where the women are, generally speaking, very handsome, and dress elegantly, and where I was expected to be fashionable.

"Apropos, pray where have you left those papers. I mean the title-deeds of those few miserable acres which old Fountain dignified with the title of "a paternal estate," and which he talks of beautifying, building upon, and what not. Frank says that his mother believes he will purchase the estate, and should he find out the circumstance of the mortgage, he will be enragè with all the heat of Calcutta, so pray tell me where I can get the papers. It strikes me that you left them with Charles, and that he gave them with other matters of the same description to Sophia, but the little demure minx will not confess, nor allow me to look into the strong box—never surely was there such a piece of pertinacity; in other respects she is better, for during her illness the new curate attended her, and I apprehend reconverted her; I have a great notion there is something more than meets the eye between them. I hope you will be at home soon, and set all of us to rights; my father ought to interfere as Sophia is under age."

"What would have become of me at this moment," said Emma to herself, "if we had not met with Melville? ah! how cruelly selfish does extravagance make us, whilst Harriet could literally rob both Charles and me, at a time when the comforts, the very life of a sick father were affected by the circumstance, in order to deck her own person, to cut a figure among people for whom she could have no regard—fie on it. Sophia, dear Sophia, there is little comparison between your faults and those of your elder sister. Harriet will ruin her husband."

In a long letter from Mrs. Wilmington, all her fears on this head were confirmed. She learnt also that Mr. Fountain was angry with his nephew for marrying a woman with so small a fortune as Miss Carysford, he having set his heart it appeared on uniting him to Miss Mortimer, whose early predilection for the army he was well acquainted with, and whose residence in the same village with his friends would have given him a decided advantage: "not," added the writer, "but my brother is reasonable, and was glad to find your sister was Miss Tintagell's favourite; but since then we have learnt that her rich aunt is as little pleased with the match as my brother, so you see, my dear Miss Emma, we are all in the wrong, and sincerely do I wish that you and our dear revered friend were here, for you only have influence over my son and daughter."

In the evident anxiety of this excellent mother, she had reserved to a postscript the extraordinary information, that the inhabitants of the Park were all gone to the continent; but the letters of Charles (two of which though written at different periods were now delivered together) gave her the further information as to their route and present situation, likely to interest her. She found that Lord Alfreton's loss of health arose from a wound received in a duel, which had entailed not less weakness of body, than remorse of mind, which his aunt kindly sought to ameliorate by introducing to him a relation whose education fitted him to offer that consolation which could alone be considered adequate to the end: "Alas!" said Charles, "I am very young, Emma, and very unequal to the task. What would I give that my dear father had come to Italy, instead of going to Lisbon, that I might receive from his lips the instructions I desire to convey, that I might exemplify in his character the excellence of those doctrines I wish to inculcate—every day I desire to set out to you, but this I cannot now do, for my aunt is so fully persuaded that you will leave Lisbon in consequence of the heats of June, that she is arranging her own departure in the hope of finding you at home. God grant she may."

Those only who have been similarly situated can conceive what those harrowing sensations were, which such sentences as referred to her father as living, awoke in the breast of his daughter. All spoke of him with that moving tenderness which extended its thrilling influence to her own heart, and the remembrance that she was called upon to extinguish their hopes, to awaken their sorrows, to live again through scenes she trembled to recall, or, by using the hand of another, add anxiety on her own account, to grief for the loss of her father, for some time appalled her with new distress. It led her notwithstanding to remember with gratitude from how much affliction of a similar nature she had been spared—that source of sweetly treasured satisfaction, which arose from the love of Melville, soothed and to a certain degree invigorated her spirits for the terrible task which still remained to her, of announcing the death of one who must be lamented, as he had been beloved.

We cannot pursue the detail of those feelings with which this sad duty was fulfilled, but we may assert that they were struggled with, that Emma did not indulge that sensibility which, while it injured her health, would have delayed her return, and thrown her a painful burden upon the time and attention of commiserating strangers. Nor was it till she had recovered her strength, and by faith and hope attained resignation and equanimity, that she fulfilled the fond but melancholy desire she had long felt of visiting her father's grave, and the room in which he died—none of our younger readers will suppose that she omitted to retread the walk which lead to the fountain, that she sought to inhale the soft perfume from the lemon trees, but all should know that although she entered it, yet she wisely and resolutely abandoned her design, sensible that she had already endured an excitement to which she was unequal.

This was the last day of her stay in Lisbon, and at an early hour she was summoned to the vessel, which conveyed her to the packet. She left friends in all who had witnessed her ceaseless vigilance of affection, her tender submission in affliction, the uprightness and punctuality with which she discharged her obligations of business, and the active goodness and charitable attention she evinced towards all her fellow-creatures. Parting is rarely unaccompanied by sorrow, and the kindness of those around her, the memory of that precious dust she left with them, rendered her last adieus necessarily affecting; but Emma was surprised to see this emotion partaken by James also, who continued to wave his hat with a sorrowful oft reiterated farewell, so long as the servants of Don Chicolo and Diego, from the hotel, were visible on the quay.

When they were safely on board, Emma fearful of sickness remained some time on deck, and the beauty and magnificence of all around her allayed the sad remembrances which necessarily crowded on her mind, and diffused over it that solace which a widely extended view of nature, in that still hour of morning when creation itself seems reposing, is calculated to produce. So long as she could, she continued to gaze on that spot most endeared to her as the grave of her father; but she soon lost sight of it, and by degrees the magnificent looking city, with its tall white buildings, which had lately risen proudly from the river side as a vast crescent, adorned by churches, convents, and palaces, bordered by a noble river, on the broad bosom of which were seen vessels of every nation, now grew less and less, as the stream widened, and the shore receded, and at length its white walls ceased to sparkle in the sun-beams—the day advanced, but the city was lost.

"Poor old Lisbon, I shall see thee no more," said James, with a deep sigh.

The words were uttered in soliloquy, but the sigh that followed them was so profound, (meant probably to be the parting groan of regret,) that Emma could not forbear to notice it.

"I am surprised you are so sorry, James, to leave Lisbon."

"Why I'm not right sorry, Miss Emma, but only it makes one feel sorrowful somehow to see the last of an old enemy, and remember all that I remember. Lisbon has made me a cripple, it has drawn more blood than I had to spare, and it has taken that which I loved better than my own flesh and blood—but he said we must all forget and forgive; so I say, God bless Lisbon after all; there are many good folks in it, and many more out of it."

The thoughts of those "out of it," to whom James unquestionably alluded, rushed with all their claims to kind and grateful remembrance on Emma's mind—she was now borne on the wave where, "within a little month," he also had sailed with a heart swelling with her sorrows, an eye that swam in tears as it gazed through the space hers now tried to penetrate. In a short time, alas! she should be separated from him still farther than now, and when she should again hear from him or behold him, she knew not. As these thoughts passed her mind, several times she was on the point of speaking to James on the subject of the embarkation of the Melville family, in which he had assisted, purely for the pleasure (we may suppose) of hearing that dear name mentioned which was music to her ear, and which was dwelt upon by her honest old servant with all that zealous praise, awakened equally by personal gratitude and warm admiration—but with this desire was blended that trembling reserve peculiar to timid passion, and in another moment Emma almost felt afraid that James should mention the subject, lest even he should read what was passing in her heart.

"I hope you are not beginning to be ill, Ma'am?"

"I am not, thank you, James."

"God forbid! I'm sure you have not strength to bear it, though they say it does one good—I hope that poor young lady, the Captain's cousin, escaped it when they—"

"Young lady!" exclaimed Emma, in a voice which, though low and impeded, resembled a shriek.

"Yes, the sick young lady, I mean, as be gone to the Madeiras—poor creature, she seemed to me more like a bundle of clothes than a woman, as the Captain carried her; and the poor old gentleman was helping, tho she was as light as a feather, I take it—I just saw her face peep out of the military cloak she was wrapped in, and a very pretty face it was, with fine black eyes like her cousin's, only she's not dark like him, but very white indeed—I beg pardon for talking, Ma'am, you are ill."

Emma tacitly confessed she was, by instantly retreating to the only place of retirement circumstances allowed; on her bed she could weep unseen, she could combat best the astonishment, grief, and indignation which, in the moment of this overwhelming surprise, made her desire not merely to hide her scalding tears, but to fly for ever from a world which was hateful to her.

"Am I again deceived? again disappointed? why do I say again? never before did I know what it was so to prefer, to admire, to love any human being. Why was I so cruelly, so perfidiously betrayed? I who would not so injure any human being—by Melville too, the most open, frank, artless of all creatures, whom my poor father so often used to charge with being less worldly-wise than himself."

By degrees recollections arose which told Emma that it was possible James might be mistaken; he had, it appeared, seen an invalid wasted it might be to more than feminine delicacy—"but, no! all that was mysterious in the conduct of Melville was thus, and could only be thus accounted for: he had in every conversation dwelt much on the sorrows of his uncle, but spoken little of the peculiar ailment of the invalid; he had mentioned no name save that of his relationship, or the terms, "an only child," "the dear patient," "our beloved sufferer," &c." His every word in their last meeting was now fully explained, as indicating a tic to his fellow travellers beyond what appeared; and she could not doubt that if Melville's cousin was a woman, to that woman he was bound in claims beyond those of friendship or consanguinity.

But had he therefore deceived her? was he, on whose integrity she could have relied so implicitly, a vain, a fickle, a designing man? every reflection on his character, his manners, and his conduct, alike answered determinately "No!" Had he then read the tender secret of her heart, and was he led from pity to profess that attachment which might soothe the severity of her present troubles? The deep agitation of his own awakened feelings, the profound delicacy and respect with which he had uniformly treated her, forbade her to entertain a fear so wounding to virgin delicacy: how often had he been on the point of declaring that love which was read in his looks, his manners, and, above all, in his solicitude, and which was unquestionably suspected, or rather, confided in by her father himself? How severe his struggles had been to conquer this passion, might be inferred from his altered looks, which she had imputed to the sleepless nights she supposed he passed with his cousin—"well might he suffer, when he considered that he was deceiving an artless, affectionate stranger on the one hand, perhaps a long affianced bride on the other, whose present deplorable situation rendered her only the more irresistible in her claims upon his tenderness and honour."

A generous, disinterested mind has, in a trial like this, (which is doubtless one of the severest to which our nature is subject,) great advantage over a narrow and selfish spirit. Whatever might be the sufferings of Mr. Melville, however pitiable his situation might be, and blameless his original intention, still he had been guilty of a species of deception. Emma could neither, by any possible view of the case, acquit him of this fact, nor cease to feel that he had rendered her a sufferer from it; but as with this knowledge was united an assurance that he was severely afflicted for this fault, and had in other respects great merit, she desired if possible to pardon it, and dismiss it from her memory. Thousands of women would have bemoaned their hard fate, as victims of deception; and yet, with all their anger at the aggressor, their self-pity, and the remembrance of their wrongs, have either cherished his memory in their hearts, though it was as a viper's sting to their peace, or, from a species of revenge and scorn, by no means incompatible with existing love, resolved to marry the first man who should afterwards address them. Such are the common operations of pride upon the hearts of those who are unaccustomed to self-examination, and unconscious of the influence of christian humility, which can alone rebuke the winds and waves of this or any other passion, and say, "peace, be still." The heart constantly exercised in kindly feelings, less troubled with its own wishes and desires than in considering the wants or comforts of beloved relatives, esteemed friends, and the wide circle of those who claim the charities of life, in going out of itself to inhabit the breast of another, will find so much there, in which to sympathize, as to lose half its own load upon the threshold.

Deep was the pity which moved the heart of Emma for Melville, and it will be readily supposed, that the fault of loving her too well was one which she could readily forgive, for we affect not to paint her as a perfect character. She was one of "like passions with others," but she had even at this period of life manifested a power of successfully, because firmly and meekly, repelling the ascendancy of vanity, ambition, anger, and inordinate grief—could she now apply the same principles to that which appears the most amiable, and is therefore the most insidious of all mental disorders? could she arrest that passion which, resting in the most secret recesses of the heart, is nurtured by imagination and memory, and in her case was held sacred by gratitude, which self-deception loves to embalm under the name of friendship, and which every human being in early life feels privileged to indulge in, as the common though latent weakness of their age, and entwined with their very being?

That Emma did not for some time see her duty in this respect, and therefore did not call up her reason or religion to oppose it, is certain; but she did in the first place earnestly endeavour to obtain that equanimity of mind without which she knew it was impossible for her judgment to act. When she found that by placing herself in this situation she was only led to pity and love Melville the more, she resolved to contemplate the situation of Miss Melville, her weak state, her affection, perhaps nurtured from childhood, the quickness of perception her own love might have given her, the bitter pangs which might arise from a sense of coldness, or neglect, of suspicion that he in whom she had so long "garnered up her heart," could suffer his eye to wander because her form was fading. She felt ready to expostulate with him on the weakness, the cruelty, the unmanly indecision of such a dereliction from love and honour, which was the more unworthy of him because his judgment was sound, his principles good, his sentiments noble, his disposition excellent.

"Ah! what must be the power of that passion which could so far warp a nature so ingenuous, a spirit so lofty? which could teach even the most trivial shadow disguise can frame to one abhorrent of baseness, and seduce a heart so full of kindness to every human being into an act of cruelty to one beloved so fondly? I never, never can cease to lament him, to thank him, to—yes, to love, but not so to love him as I have done."

Day after day passed, the wind fell, the vessel slumbered on the waters which lay beneath her like a mirror of molten gold; complaints were heard on all sides, and Emma reflected with surprise on the many days in which her mind, occupied with one subject, had wandered in a labyrinth of distracting thoughts, without making any progress towards that freedom and tranquillity it was her duty to obtain.

During this period, every book on board had been exchanged amongst the passengers, to beguile the wearisome time, and divert the uneasiness experienced by several whose prognostications diffused general apprehension. One gentleman had offered a poem to Emma, of which he spoke very highly, but as the book was a quarto, and the sickly frame of mind into which she had unhappily fallen by supplying eternal food for conjecture and recollection, chilled alike the power of exertion and the excitement of curiosity, she had hitherto never looked beyond the title-page, where "Armageddon," and a Greek motto, seemed to offer subjects beyond her present powers of attention.

But she now determined to task those powers, to compel that attention; she lifted up her heart as well as she was able to Him who "seeth the secrets of all hearts," and then began seriously to enter on that (which would in days past have been seized with avidity) beautiful poem, as an exercise for her faculties, necessary, but not palatable. For some time she pursued the soaring flights of our living Milton with weak, abstracted gaze; but she soon became sufficiently aware of the poetic beauties to know that the fault was wholly in herself if she were neither charmed by the delightful flow of its mellifluous lines, nor wrapped in the sublime conceptions of the mighty theme. She saw that of all other books, which under any possible circumstances might have been laid before her at this time, not one could have been equally calculated for her benefit, since no enervating or love-indulging sentiment could be found there from the very nature of the subject; yet were the powers of imagination excited and gratified, the most commanding and magnificent objects, the most beautiful pictures presented, and all combined with the great, endearing, and consolatory truths of christianity.

By degrees the wandering, bewildered mind of Emma regained the power of attention, a sense and relish for passages of extraordinary interest, and solicitude in the pursuit; the book, though frequently laid down, was as frequently recurred to, and that which was at first as fatiguing and difficult as the study of mathematics might have been, became a constant and dear resource, in which she found at once the action her faculties required, and the serenity she sought. Whilst she was thus beneficially employed in moderating the all-engrossing and "inordinate affection" which had from so many causes become the master spring of her spirit, a favourable breeze sprung up, and in another week they arrived in the Channel.

But, alas! Emma was not able to welcome the shores of her native land—whether it were the extraordinary fatigues she had encountered in attending upon her father during the intolerable heats, the bad provisions to which the unexpected length of their voyage had subjected the passengers, the severe mental struggle she had undergone, or all these causes combined, we know not; but for the last three days she had experienced extreme languor, the restlessness of fever, and much acute pain in her head and her side. The excellence of her constitution had hitherto been remarkable, although her frame was delicate; and her exquisite sensibility subjected her to those partial inequalities of health, inseparable from a reflective and strongly attached mind. In consequence of having never suffered in any comparative degree before, she was led to believe, at an early stage of the disease, that she was in considerable danger, and of course felt much solicitude to be on shore, and to secure that female attendance so necessary to her comfort in every respect.

They landed at Falmouth, and in her desire to save Sophia from alarm, rather than from any hope that she should be able to travel to her native village, Emma proceeded about sixty miles, when she became too ill to give any further directions, much less proceed, and the landlady of the Inn took charge of her, and engaged such help as the small town afforded, whilst poor James, almost broken hearted, proceeded to that place where he had now neither master, nor mistress, nor home, where every object awoke new sorrows from old and dear memorials of departed happiness, to procure assistance.

At those periods when acute pain did not give a kind of new and artificial vigour to her faculties, Emma lay in a state of apparent stupor, which was expected by those around her to be the prelude to delirium, but was in fact the consequence of that exhaustion occasioned by past suffering. Her mind never lost the power of recollection, and her situation in all its bearings was constantly present. She felt that her situation was forlorn and desolate, as contrasted with those whose bed of death is soothed by tender relations, and surrounded by those aids and comforts home only can bestow—her eyes earnestly looked out for familiar faces, her ears desired to drink the sweet sounds of friendly voices, and there was one that would have been most dear on which her heart desired to dwell. But this dear, this dangerous subject, she dismissed with an earnest prayer for blessings on his head, as one on which she ought not to think. "It is too agitating for me now, it will destroy the little chance I may have for life, and that would be wrong, and it will unfit me for that resignation with which I desire to depart, if such be the will of my heavenly Father."

When the recollection of her late loss arose to her mind with all the circumstances attending it, she sincerely thanked God that she had been enabled to supply to him those tender attentions and that support which her own wants taught her to feel the value of. She felt it a trial to be cut off "in the morning of her days," and subjected to those frequently recurring pains which visited her with a severity beyond what she had ever witnessed, but she considered that as she had been spared to a good end, so she might be removed in much mercy; that her present sufferings might work out for her "a more exceeding weight of glory," for though she could not pretend to boast of the faith, or the hope, of which Sophia used to speak in her visits to the dying, yet she did feel assured that God would not forsake her "in the valley of the shadow of death," through which she was passing.

"How thankful ought I to be," said she, "that I am in my own country, with those who speak my language and understand my wants—that I have fulfilled my task and closed my beloved father's eyes, that I have arranged all my affairs with my brother, and been the means of assisting him—that I did not warp the virtue, nor bring self-reproach on the conscience, of that beloved being, whose sorrows might have been increased a thousand fold—oh! I have much to be remembered with gratitude, let me then drink the cup now prepared, though bitter, with humility and patience—it is the Lord, let him do what seemeth him good."

The nurse who attended Emma, pronounced sentence of death very positively, "because the patient was such a sweet, quiet young creature, she was too good for this world;" her medical attendant thought it possible, that she might get through, "from the firm, calm equanimity of her mind, and her patient endurance of pain." After many baffled attempts he at length succeeded in obtaining sleep, and producing from sudorifics a relief to the tortures she had so long experienced. Sophia and Mrs. Wilmington arrived when she was in this state of repose, and great care was kindly taken to save her on awaking from the bad effects even pleasure might have occasioned to one so weak.

"My sister!" said Emma, and tears of delight sprung to her eyes, but she obeyed the injunction of her adviser, she checked her emotion, and whilst she silently thanked God for the gift, she restrained the pleasure with which she received it.

So weak and shadowy, so extremely pale, and painfully interesting, was poor Emma in the eyes of Mrs. Wilmington, that it was with the utmost difficulty that she could apply the benefit of her skill (as the experienced mother of a large family) to her assistance, without betraying the most affecting agitation; and so warmly rekindled were the affections of Sophia, who had not received the news of her father's death more than a month, that, going from one extreme to another, she lavished upon her all the treasured tenderness and gratitude which circumstances had induced her to nourish; and but for her own continued moderation in gently eluding that exercise of sensibility, urged by their mistaken love, it is certain she must have been now killed with kindness.


When at length Emma regained the power of venturing into the air, her recovery was rapid, and she experienced renovated health with every breeze which fanned her shrunken form. She therefore proposed setting out by easy journies for her native village, as the most likely place to perfect her recovery, and where Mrs. Wilmington earnestly pressed her to go.

It was also evident that Sophia was solicitous to return thither for the sake of introducing her to the young clergyman, who, she blushingly confessed, "was a person for whom she had a great esteem," and who, together with her present sense of her dear father's excellence as a christian minister, had greatly changed her sentiments. "Nor do I stand alone in this change, I assure you, Emma," added Sophia, "for from the very Sunday when my father preached his last sermon, every body has gone to church; so when the winter set in we ceased to have a preacher come over at all, and Mr. Bennison has the satisfaction of knowing there is but one flock and one shepherd, in the whole parish—every body now is ready to say there never was such a pastor as Mr. Carysford, and when Mr. Evans came over to preach his funeral sermon, the very people who had left him—but why do I talk of them? I left him—I, a mere child, his own child, the pet lamb. I 'had lift up my voice against him'—I had been wise in my own conceit, and barbed the shaft which wounded—oh! I cannot, cannot bear it—"

Sophia wept aloud in very agony, and it was some time before Mrs. Wilmington could so far calm her, as to make her listen to the assurance, that she was injuring Emma exceedingly by this effusion of sorrow, since it could not fail to remind her of circumstances too moving for her weak state, and would render her incapable of pursuing her journey.

"Then I will not indulge even godly sorrow," said Sophia, "for it is to Emma alone I owe every thing; her moderation in bearing with my reproaches, in defending my sincerity, in discriminating between my errors and my intentions, have shown me on reflection what true religion is, have saved me perhaps from flying from one extreme to another far worse; what would have become of me if, under the agitation in which parting with my father had left me, I had given myself up to the guidance of Harriet?"

To the great surprise of the party, Sophia was interrupted by the announcement of Harriet herself, who, together with her husband and Miss Tintagell, made their appearance in time to put a stop to their journey. In noticing their arrival, we have named the mover of the journey, and by far the most important personage in it last, as the others travelled in her carriage and came at her request.

We do not however mean to say that Mrs. Francis Wilmington did not greatly desire to see her sister, for she certainly did, from motives of affection and interest also; but it is only justice to say that the latter was forgotten when she beheld her attenuated form and pallid face, and saw the poor place where she had been lying sick, and where her conscience told her she might have been as devoid of money as of friends. Harriet, as we may have said before, was a woman of quick feelings, but they were neither governed by principle, nor lasting in effect, and her education under the paternal roof had been forgotten in the gay world with which she had afterwards mixed. At this moment, her heart was touched with lively remembrance of her father, sorrow for her sister's evident sufferings, and shame for the share it was too probable she had had in them. In consequence of this sensation, she began to weep and to accuse herself in such a manner as to bring all her pecuniary transactions before her aunt; to the evident distress and confusion of her husband, and the utter dismay of her mother-in-law, who, knowing the predicament in which her son at this moment stood with his uncle, dreaded any breach with Miss Tintagell, whose influence in his favour might have been very great if she would condescend to use it.

In the midst of Harriet's self-upbraidings, the remembrance of her present wants struck more strongly than ever upon her mind, in consequence of the vivid picture she had drawn of those temptations which induced her to gratify her own wishes at the expense of her sister's necessities, and she suddenly stopped short in her declamation to exclaim,

"But where are those tormenting papers, Emma? surely Charles has not got them on the Continent?"

"All the papers my brother gave me to keep for Emma are in my writing-desk," said Sophia, leaving the room to fetch them, in answer to a look from that sister.

The anger this confession elicited, lighted up the cheek and dried the tears of Harriet.

"I thought, I hoped Sophia had been improved, but cant and hypocrisy debase the very soul—I always suspected she had these papers—I always said so, did'nt I, my dear? and yet she never would confess, although she knew I was in the greatest distress for them."

At this moment, Sophia returned with a parcel directed by her brother to his sister Emma, or, in case she did not return, to his aunt.

"There, there," cried Harriet, in a fury, "you'll see they will be found in that very parcel."

"I know nothing of the contents," said Sophia.

"No, Miss, but you know that you could have given the parcel to me, and I could have looked for the papers I wanted, I should have taken out none but what I wanted."

Emma at this moment fixed her eyes on Harriet, and those eyes, calm as their expression was, said so plainly, "that is not certain," that the blush of anger subsided as quickly as it had risen, and that of shame replaced it. At this moment Miss Tintagell arose, her tall, majestic form apparently dilating by the style in which she proceeded to the table, and the difficulty with which she had hitherto suppressed her indignation at the past and present conduct of her once darling niece.

"Have I your permission, Miss Carysford, to open this?"

"Certainly, my dear aunt, I am unequal to business."

"So I perceive, child—well, here are the papers: the marriage settlement of Charles Carysford and Harriet; (Miss Tintagell trembled, and her tears for a moment obstructed her vision;) then here is a bond; and poor Miss Carysford's will; (excellent, good Miss Carysford;) and here are Charles's accounts, poor fellow; and now—aye—this is the title-deed—Captain Wilmington, these are the papers in question—there they lie."

"Why don't you take them, Captain Wilmington?" cried his lady, "I'm sure you have teazed me very sufficiently on the subject."

"I cannot take them, they are your sister's security for the money she lent to my father, for me; I always told you so."

"The money which saved us all from destruction," said Mrs. Wilmington, sobbing.—Miss Tintagell resumed:

"Captain Wilmington, I thank you for relieving me from part of the horror and disgust with which the conduct of your wife has inspired me. I hope you will in time teach her better principles, and make her sensible that if she has neither the affections of a daughter or sister, her family may yet hope for a portion of common honesty in the daughter of such parents as hers were. For you, Sir, I have all possible consideration, and—hold, what is this paper appended to the deeds? it is your writing, Emma:"—

"In case of my death, I desire that these deeds may be restored immediately to Captain Wilmington, on condition of his payment of one half of that which he is indebted to my sister Sophia. The rest of my property I leave in my brother's hands, to be divided equally between my sisters after a period of five years, during which time he shall not be asked for it. This is my will in the event of death; if I live to return, it is my intention equally to devote this sum to my sisters, when I become repossessed of that which I have lent to Charles, till then, it is evident that I cannot spare it, as the interest will be my only income.

Emma Carysford."

"Wise as generous! well, then, I now say, Sir, Emma presents you with one half of your debt, and I give you the other—and to you, Sophia, the same Emma will give the same sum, when Mr. Bennison can afford to take you, child. It will furnish a house, and keep your own little dower in safety."

"Dear Emma, how shall I thank you? but is it right to take your money?"

"I thought it right to take your fifty pounds, dear Sophia, and found such comfort in it—it was indeed the happy cause of my procuring essential aid at a time when my distress was very, very great."

These words escaped Emma in her consolations to Sophia, and were evidently not meant for Harriet's ear, but they met those of Mrs. Wilmington, who could not forbear to lament bitterly that any person in her family could have so rewarded Emma's goodness to them. Miss Tintagell caught eagerly those words which spoke of Sophia's kindness, and, on learning what she had done, for the first time she kissed her, folded her in her arms, and called her "the picture of her mother;" she then observed, in a kind and consolatory manner,

"You have been a self-willed, and in some respects a mistaken child; but you never had either cant or hypocrisy—your conduct has excited mortification and anger to your friends, and bitter grief, I fear, at times, in one who undoubtedly prayed for you and forgave you; and therefore it would ill become me not to endeavour to do the same—you are a very decisive proof that the faults of those who have, in the common acceptation of the phrase, "too much religion," are of a much less injurious nature than those produced by having too little. It was impossible that one who was so sincere, and thought so much, should not think right sometimes; but the selfishness of extravagance, the forgetfulness of all affection, and even of the claims of honesty, the total want of consideration, notwithstanding the known misfortunes of Mr. Wilmington's family, the late distress and present troubles of her only brother, the dying state of her father, and the afflicting situation of her sister, evinced in Mrs. Francis—"

"Spare my wife, spare her, I beseech you, Miss Tintagell, she is afflicted, overwhelmed with sorrow; it is certain we were both to blame—I had known much more of difficulty than she had, and it was my duty to have restrained her expenses."

"Very true, and I sincerely hope you will henceforward adopt this system of restraint—I know from experience it will not be a light duty; for the present I shall only add, that as in days past I should have punished the child who stole sugar-plums, by forbidding her my presence for some days, so do I punish the woman who has forfeited my esteem by refusing to hold any communication with her for some years. That this circumstance may not be injurious to you beyond what is intended, and because Harriet was perhaps somewhat injured by an early indulgence in pleasures beyond her sisters, I beg your acceptance of two hundred per annum, which shall be regularly paid by quarterly instalments during my life."

As Miss Tintagell spoke, she handed the Captain a fifty pound bill, and in a few moments, the mortified wife, and consoled husband, took their leave, and poor Mrs. Wilmington recollecting that Miss Tintagell's carriage would only contain three, and also believing that her presence would be useful, accompanied them.

At the moment when the Captain interfered to soften the anger of Miss Tintagell, and only at that moment, did Emma cease to feel surprised that he had ever been an object of admiration to her: when she reflected upon many points in his conduct, she could not help considering him blameable, and his total want of consideration, to say nothing of gratitude, proved to her that a man may be good tempered and amiable, without that solidity of character necessary to our happiness in those with whom we are closely connected. It was impossible for her not to reflect with tender thankfulness on that unceasing watchfulness of friendship in Melville, towards her father's comfort, and of course her own, which had not only belonged to his character as a lover, but a man, since James also had abundantly partaken of it—for this poor fellow, she now became a petitioner to her aunt.

"I will buy him an annuity, and he shall live in his own country, where he can talk to those who will understand him, about the master he has lost."

"You are very kind, my dear madam, I meant that we should all join to do that very thing—but then I am most anxious at present to pay that money to Mr. Melville's banker, with which he assisted me so opportunely."

"Oh! that was the family which helped you—I shall see to that immediately, there is money now in your attorney's hands, I know—did you know Miss Melville at Lisbon?"

"No, I never left my father an hour after the period when we became known to them."

"For which," said Miss Tintagell, solemnly folding her hands on her bosom, "I will never leave you, Emma, or cease to love you, to help you, to be both father and mother to you, so far as I am able."

"You say," she added after a long pause, "that you do not know Marianne Melville, 'tis a pity, for you would have loved each other exceedingly. She is a girl of great talents, a noble, generous, fine-spirited creature—but you are exhausted child, we have overdone you with talking."

"Oh no! pray go on, I wished to know something of Miss Melville."

"She is a poor, delicate, deformed creature, but with a pretty and singularly intelligent face, in some respects she resembles your good aunt Carysford; life has been little less than a struggle, ever since she was ten years old, when her person (till then very fine) took this unfortunate turn. They fancy her in a consumption, but I don't think she has any complaint save what belongs to general delicacy of constitution—did you see Charles Melville, her cousin?"

"I saw only him," said Emma, her pallid face tinged with so deep a bloom as to speak volumes to the eyes of her aunt, who instantly changed the conversation.

The two sisters accompanied Miss Carysford to her house in London, where the best medical advice was obtained for Emma, and where such ceaseless kindness and attention was paid to her, and she was surrounded by so many elegancies, and treated with so many sources of rational amusement, that she found it necessary to guard herself from falling into that supine neglect of duty, which excessive indulgence in external circumstances is so apt to inspire, and she was more than ever subject to "remembering that some things were, which were most dear to her." She sought anxiously to preserve in Sophia a deep sense of religious obligation, and a determination to study the duties she one day hoped to perform, as the wife of a country clergyman. Both these young people found that a state of mental ease and personal luxury is difficult to combat with, when it follows a season of affliction and anxiety, but as they had been accustomed to "walk in the ordinances" of the church from their earliest recollection, so they strictly persevered in it, and found in the composing and refreshing exercises of devotion, an antidote to the confusing, dissipating sensations, which they considered inevitable to a London residence.

In the beginning of winter, Emma had the satisfaction of receiving her brother, and of witnessing the great improvement which time and consideration and sorrow had effected in him; there was a manliness of character, a sobriety of demeanor happily grafted on the frankness and buoyancy of spirits, which had formerly distinguished him, and he appeared (notwithstanding his youth) likely to slide gracefully into the dignity of married life, and the duties attached to it.

This temper of mind was the more desirable, as he was now the possessor of Lord Alfreton's estates, who had a few weeks before died in his arms at Naples. The personal property of that nobleman (which a long minority had rendered very great, and which a long illness had probably prevented from being dissipated) was bequeathed to his aunt. The meeting of Emma and Charles was naturally very affecting to both, but as she now for the first time entered on a particular account of their beloved father's last hours, it was observed by them all, that Miss Tintagell was agitated to a greater degree than any person, and the subject was dropped in pity to her who felt it so acutely, and whom they well knew to be a person whose attachments were few, but singularly strong.

"You are certain, Emma, that your father so mentioned me in his last moments?" said Miss Tintagell, when they were alone together some time afterwards.

"Oh! yes, every syllable is impressed on my heart, my very ear I may say, too minutely for mistake."

"Well, it is dear to my heart to be so remembered, even now—Emma, I will tell you the history of that heart.—I am naturally of a proud and independent spirit, such a spirit as rarely suits the situation, or can be rendered compatible with the happiness of woman. Having no one to guide me, I should have been worse than I was, if I had not been rendered by circumstances the natural guardian of your mother, on whom all the warmth and fondness of my heart expended itself. I set out with a profession that I would live single, and though fond of general admiration and laying myself out for general homage, was never guilty of coquetry—nor did I in fact ever see a man that shook my resolution by inspiring even the most trivial liking, till I knew your father.

"I will not say what my sense of his person, his virtues, his manners was. I only tell you that happily I soon discovered which way his affections veered—discovered too that your mother fondly loved him. It was believed that my family pride would oppose their wishes—that pride had got other work to do, and together with that tender and unbounded love I had for my sister, it enabled me to act as I did—yes, I made two people as happy as marriage ever made any two on earth, I really believe."

"They were indeed singularly happy," said Emma.

"Well, my dear, it so happened that after this I had two offers, either of which would have given me rank which at that time it is certain I envied, and wealth which is always valuable to those who love to spend and to give, which it is certain I do, and my own fortune, though more than twice as large as your mother's, was very unequal to my wants, and the circle in which I moved. But in the mean time I had nursed my former objections to marriage, became more of a wit and less of a beauty, and whilst I affected to ridicule all love, nourished in my heart the silly belief that a woman can love but once, and in consequence I refused them both."

"And do you now regret that you did?"

"I do not, for I firmly believe that women of my description are better single. I had established in my heart a certain model to which no man would have been a parallel; I should have been haughty, self-willed, and unconciliating, capable of great sacrifices, but not of the petty obediences which are the sweetest emollients to the unbending nature of lordly man. Besides, the smallness of my fortune, compared to that of the noblemen to whom I allude, would have been galling to me. I should have been taken from my sister and her family, who have found me useful, and have been to me invaluable; and as I can now unblamed love, and weep as I will, I by no means regret that I am single."

"I am fully convinced you are much more happy; at least, I would hope so, my dear, dear aunt," said Emma, embracing her with a daughter's fondness.

"Yes, I am, but that is owing to my peculiarities, or my faults rather—you, Emma, are of a precisely different character."

"I have been very differently situated; as one of a large family, with neither the honours of the eldest, nor the privileges of the youngest, I was happily saved from improper indulgences, and taught to consider, to submit—I was habituated to make my taste bend to my circumstances, and led both by precept and example to hold consideration as a religious duty, which therefore carried its own reward with it. I should be very inexcusable indeed were I not disciplined to moderation."

"Being so, you must marry, Emma,—don't shake your head with that sceptical air; you do not suppose that I would thus have torn open old wounds, and exposed past weaknesses, and lingering though hidden sorrows but for some end—I know your secret without confession, you have loved Charles Melville, and most probably he has loved you; but he is bound by gratitude to his uncle, and pity for his cousin, in another direction. I have heard that the voyage to Madeira has done wonders for her, and that in May they will return: if this is true, perhaps they will marry."

"Probably," said Emma, with a blanched and somewhat quivering lip, but her eye did not elude the gaze of her aunt.

"Now as you have struggled with your feelings, and are almost a conqueror, can you not be wholly so?—can you not listen to the suit of a virtuous, amiable man, who is moreover a nobleman, one whose parents love you, and will receive you with honour and affection. I mean—you know who I mean, you must have been sensible of his admiration?"

"It is Lord Hatchlands—I am very sorry for it, for I like him exceedingly; I know no one whom I esteem so highly amongst our acquaintance."

"The very best principle on which to found affection, Emma, such an affection as, producing all the dearest ties of life and its most extensive usefulness, you are calculated to inspire and enjoy. Besides, all your family are married or marrying, of course all are to a certain degree resigning you. At three and twenty you do not feel this, but at three and thirty you will be sensible of it—depend upon it such an offer as this, or I ought to say, such a predilection as this, ought to be received as the promise of no light blessing—it may be admitted slowly, canvassed closely, considered long: all this I allow you; but do not dare to reject it, if you value your own happiness, the general advantage of your family, and my regard."

"That I think as highly of these motives as most people, I surely need not say at this time, but I am sure you will concede, that on such a point as this I ought to consider myself in the first place."

"Unquestionably, child—I know that I may rely upon your judgment if you will only think calmly over this matter."


Emma observed the injunction; she did think—and she so endeavoured constantly to consider Melville as the property of another, as the friend to whom her eternal gratitude was due, but with whom she must never more hold communion, that at length she began to allow, "it was possible she might be tolerably happy with another man," on the same principle that she trusted he would be happy with one whom he had so long held dear as a friend, and admired as a companion.

But the man who could be his successor it was certain she had never seen; many good and agreeable men, to whom she could not in reason reject, undoubtedly existed; but she had not met with them, though her aunt might, and she therefore ventured so far to satisfy Miss Tintagell's anxiety on the subject, as to say, "that after another year was past she would thankfully attend to her recommendation, but till then she claimed as necessary to her happiness an exemption from all allusion to the subject."

"Would you give that year to thinking on the past, Emma?"

"Certainly not—I will give it, dear aunt, to preparing for the future, and as you know all that I require, and those qualities, without which I will not, and dare not, enter on vows which I will with equal conscience keep; I think I may promise that your next recommendation will be met more cordially than the last; I cannot say more at present."

"Nor can I promise you another nobleman, though you are much handsomer than you were, child."

"Pray don't seek one, for I greatly prefer a private gentleman, or a professional one. I have no ambition, and rank would increase my duties, and not repay my sacrifices.

"Perhaps you would prefer a poor one? you would play love in a cottage, Miss Carysford."

I think few persons would manage better in a cottage with love, than I could do, but since my days of love and romance are over, I answer, "that I would wish to marry a man in easy circumstances, but by no means one so wealthy as to throw my means of helping our establishment at a distance. I would rather be held as an equal through life, than be treated as an idol now and an inferior by and by. All my demands would be humble, my desires moderate, but such as they are must be constantly attended to. I am content to share all the vicissitudes of life, but I do not think I could bear those changes in kindness too common in the matrimonial barometer."

"Yes you could, from glowing love down to indifferenceneglectcoldness—to the last freezing point."

Though Miss Tintagell said this with a gay air, she inwardly resolved to be very careful how she exposed her gentle niece to such evils; and she gave up her mind for the present to preparations for the weddings of Charles and Sophia. Eulaliè had changed from a charming, romantic little girl, to an elegant, sensible young woman, willing to laugh at her former taste for the heroic, but capable of exerting her former energies on all proper occasions. Before his marriage, Charles presented Mr. Bennison with the living at Ravenhill, and generously settled a property equivalent to it on each of his other sisters, considering this as a marriage portion to Sophia. That which he gave to Mrs. Francis Wilmington was secured to her, with the approbation of Mr. Fountain, who had behaved very handsomely to his nephew, but earnestly desired to keep the young couple at a distance from London, as a scene of temptation they were not equal to engage with, a request none of the family thought unreasonable.

Sir Marmaduke and Lady Lyster were delighted with the marriage, and readily united with Miss Tintagell in making splendid preparations, regretting that modern custom rendered the day itself one of privacy rather than show, and often recalling the memory of flower-strewing and processions.

Brides so rich and gay as the fair Eulaliè have no lack of friends on these occasions; and though Emma was not only the best beloved, but the one to whom she often said that she owed her present happiness, yet she spared her to Sophia, who was married at the same time with her brother, and immediately departed for that beloved home where she was born, and to which she had long desired to return.

The other bridal party soon afterwards set out for the Park, which had now been long forsaken, but where only the owner declared it was possible for him to feel perfectly happy as an Englishman. Here, however, Miss Tintagell appeared to be restless and often melancholy, and in a short time she returned home, but gave Emma leave to remain, saying, "My dear girl, you must feel much, as well as me; but you will not therefore mar the happiness of those around you; I will try to take a lesson from your philosophy, and then come back and fetch you."

"My philosophy is all found in one book, dear aunt; and that is not only the best, but the most amusing."

"I will read it diligently, child—if it is valuable at your age, well may it be at mine."

Sophia was a little hurt that her aunt did not come to the Rectory; but when she saw how much the sight of that dear home, the garden, the library, affected Emma, she thought it was better that she had not thus awakened sorrow which she knew would injure her health, which of late was far from good. The first day at church, the first meeting with the clerk and sexton, and the many, many dear old faces which crowded around her, were indeed trials to Emma beyond what she had even anticipated. The congregation were of course excited to curiosity by "the grand bride and her train of fine London folks, the good old Baronet and his lady come safe from forrin parts, his Reverence's own bride, pretty Miss Sophia that was, and the young 'Squire, the properest man of them all." But the eyes that had gazed on novelty with astonishment, and finery with admiration, as the parties mingled in the churchyard, and courteously received many a bobbing curtsey and many a loudly uttered good wish, turned, with a softened salutation and a moistened lid, to Emma—many a whispered "God bless her sweet face she has had sorrow enough since we saw her," was followed by eulogiums "on him that was dead and gone, whose like would never come again, no disparagement to any body."

How many tender words found their way perforce to her ear, consolatory in fact, yet touching every nerve of sensibility—where could her eye glance, but some object recalled her father? Here were the couple he last married—there crept the old pensioner for whom he had so long provided—there ran the children he catechized.

And were not all the lessons which she had so incessantly taught her heart on another subject void also? the memory of Melville necessarily revived with that of her father, and the stillness of the country, the season, which was September, that month of cloudless skies and golden sunsets, when every grove breathes poetic morality, and every flower inspires tender thoughts and parting memorials, were all against her. "What can I do?" said Emma, "curiosity will be busy about the present, and memory is continually reviving the past. I have no chance of curing this but by mental labour, I will begin to learn Latin immediately."

Mr. Bennison gladly undertook to teach his gentle sister, and for a short time they went on extremely well; but, alas! James, who resided with his relations within a few miles, delighted to see his young mistresses, and tell wonders in that kitchen where all the prime of his days were passed, proved a sad enemy to the classics by his frequent visits to the Rectory; and Emma began seriously to desire that summons from her aunt, which she had formerly dreaded would arrive too soon.

"There is a sweetness in all around me in the country, a melancholy seduction, to which I must not submit—how little do they know me who talk of my equanimity, my moderation!—but I will not despair."

When Emma uttered these words, she was seated under the shade of those walnut-trees where she was wont to meet her father as he returned from his village walks, and having her back to the house, knew not that any one was near her, when James approached to say, with a very important air, "Madam Tintagell had arrived at the Rectory."

Emma rose and turned towards the house from whence her aunt and sister were issuing, attended by Mr. Bennison and another gentleman.

"Who is this strange gentleman, James, do you know?"

"Yes, ma'am, I know him, for a good gentleman, he is no small favourite, I take it, of her honour's, but I say nothing."

"Can my aunt think of this gentleman as a suitor?" thought Emma, "he is certainly a fine old man."

"Don't be flustrated, ma'am," said James, in a tone which induced Emma to look at him, and read in his broad brown face, a look of such joy, she believed only one possible circumstance could have induced it; but before she had time to comment, or to say, "be calm," to her throbbing heart, she felt the pressure of her aunt's hand, who announced the stranger as Sir Geoffrey Melville, at the same time placing her niece's hand in his.

The old gentleman was in deep mourning, and as he received that hand and pressed it, the tears were in his eyes.

"We are not strangers, my dear young lady, we have been long fellow sufferers."

"Not strangers certainly, for you, Sir, were my friend when I greatly needed one."

"Our obligations are mutual—your virtues, the instruction derived from conversation with you and your excellent father, as given to us, have shortened many a wearisome hour, and given light and hope to the most awful period—but I shall leave it to Charles to tell the sad story of our wanderings; yet there is one message I promised to deliver myself."

As the Baronet had continued to walk slowly up the avenue, Miss Tintagell and Mr. Bennison returned to the house, and when he perceived that they were gone, he took from his pocket a little casket of jewels, which he placed in Emma's hand, saying, "my daughter—my Marianne sent you this, 'tis the gift—the legacy of an angel."

The old man wept, and Emma, as she respectfully pressed the gift to her lips, wept also.

"Nature will claim this tribute at times, but I trust I am now resigned, and may here-after be contented—it is now many months since I lost her, since she exchanged a life of pain and hopeless weakness for an immortality full of hope. Charles has wandered with me from place to place, borne with my querulous lamentations, and soothed me into serenity—he tells me that he has done wrong by you, that he has perhaps offended you by not openly divulging his situation with us. My dear young lady, suffer me to plead for him, for I only was to blame—I was a weak old man—"

There was another step heard—another voice.

"Miss Carysford—Emma—do you not remember that morning when your father blessed us together?"

"Yes, Melville, I remember all."

"That blessing I had not the courage to forego, it confirmed what till then I only surmised, that you were both strangers to Marianne's name, and the reports in circulation respecting our union. Reports which arose from no profession on my part since I held that dear and excellent creature as a sister, from my earliest remembrance. 'Tis true that about that period my uncle had expressed a desire to see us united in case of (that very improbable event) her recovery; and from the feelings of her own tender heart, the dying girl so read what was passing in mine respecting you, that all her feelings were developed; and my sympathy, my gratitude were so claimed, that I became tacitly devoted to her, even when my heart was given to you with the fond hope that it was an accepted gift—yet it was but a hope—I had no right to presume. I had deprived myself of the power to entreat your kindness—I could not expose the weakness of that dear girl, and the awful circumstances under which we both stood as guardians to beings so fragile, forbade the power and almost the necessity for explanation—I can trace, day by day, our sad history to you, and prove that my error, for such I hold it—ah! that casket in your hand, Emma."

"I have given it to Miss Carysford, and in it will be found a little note written by a weak hand, but one that will prove powerful in pleading your cause, Charles—you have, I fear, been the cause of wounding that tender heart, for whose welfare you could have suffered martyrdom, but yet—

"I will not deny that I did suffer," said Emma, "but since then I have endeavoured—I have struggled and—"

"Oh! say not, dear Emma, you have conquered!"

"I have not tried to eradicate my gratitude for all your boundless kindness, my respect for your sound principles, your many virtues—nor could I erase those sad memorials of your fond preference which awoke my own, but still—"

"But still you loved me—oh! suffer me thus to interpret that soft hesitation, that tearful smile—in this sweet walk, so many years the sacred scene of that connubial love to which he so often referred—in this place which to you must feel a spot sacred to your father's memory, let me receive the blessing he would have bestowed."

"Then will you not give me also a father? your uncle is leaving us."

But in another moment she was folded in the arms of one who accepted her as the boon of heaven, which thus restored a daughter, and gave him the power of bestowing a father's blessing—from his hands Melville received her as the gift his heart had so many years yearned to bestow. The rapturous delight, the fond gratitude, the sense of full consolation for all his past sufferings, evinced by Melville at this happy moment, inspired the heart of Emma with the most pure and tender pleasure she had ever tasted; but it was so combined with affecting recollections of the past, with devout aspirations for the future, and a sense of the errors and the sorrows to which human nature is subject, even under its most favourable aspect and circumstances, as to gently attemper her joy, and to preserve her Moderation.


Transcriber's Notes:
original hyphenation, spelling and grammar have been preserved as in the original
Page 14, "hear to do it" changed to "heart to do it"
Page 19, "consequences were no" changed to "consequences were not"
Page 53, "father and sisters" changed to "father and sisters."
Page 58, "uncle s house" changed to "uncle's house"
Page 72, "f Eulaliè who" changed to "of Eulaliè who"
Page 87, "cried Mr Carysford" changed to "cried Mr. Carysford"
Page 87, 'clever check-mates.' changed to 'clever check-mates."'
Page 99, 'this sorrow and—' changed to 'this sorrow and—"'
Page 105, "difficult, i might be" changed to "difficult, it might be"
Page 121, "consequence o the late" changed to "consequence of the late"
Page 170, "Sir Grindly Melville" changed to "Sir Grindley Melville"
Page 175, 'extraordinary had happened"' changed to 'extraordinary had happened."'
Page 205, "thof she was" changed to "tho she was"
Page 206, '&c. His every' changed to '&c." His every'
Page 224, "returned with parcel" changed to "returned with a parcel"
Page 238, "don' shake your head" changed to "don't shake your head"
Page 242, '"I think few persons' changed to 'I think few persons'
Page 250, "wandere with me" changed to "wandered with me"

[End of Moderation, a Tale by Mrs. Hofland]