« PreviousContinue »
· Here he seized her hand, which propriety name a very distant day she had not power to withdraw. See for the completion of my wishes : ing her anxious to leave him, he as you have now no excuse. Remember sumed a softness in his voice and the reduced state of my constitution: manner he was an utter stranger to; my intellectual faculties too are in yet, courtier-like, when he had a some degree impaired, and all by point to carry, he could cringe and your dis bedience. If you persist in bow in the most obsequious way opposing what I 'require, you
agaia precipitate me to the brink of Why, Matilda,' said he, with the grave, if you do not entirely consome warmth,' do you thus wish sign me to those dreary regions. to avoid one who would die to morit There is now no obstacle to your your good opinion? The friendly union with my valued friend. He terms I have been long on with the has patiently submitted to your childearl your father must convince you, ish vagaries long enough. The first that he has too favourable an opi- peer of the realm to be treated thus, nion of me to suppose my addresses by a mere thoughtless girl, is abomiother than honourable You have nable indeed! but he is so kind hearttrifled with me a long time. I have ed, so considerate a man, I feel for borne all your contempt, even insults him from my heart; so tender, so I may venture to say, without a assiduous :'(I don't inean to say he is murmur. I attributed your want of entirely exempted from the frailties penetration to your youih and inex- of human nature; we are all in some perience; you must now alter your degree fallible.) Therefore, as a sobehaviour. Your father is deter lemn contract has long been entered mined that you shall be countess of into between himself and me, to Holden. Consider the sounding title, marry one of my daughters; in case the precedence above so many of of failure on either side a great foryour acquaintance. It is rumoured feit is depending, which shall not that the gay, the lovely Katharine of be allotted to my charge, I am reFrance will shortly yield to the soli- solved. Already is the time excitations of our gallant young mo- pired; therefore you can have no narch: Harry will give his people a objection to solemnise your nuptials queen from among the flowers of this day week!' the French nation. You must be one Matilda shuddered, but uttered among the chosen train of ladies to not a syllable. The earl of Holden welcome her to England, and add by that moment entered the room ; and your presence a fresh lustreto the court observing her agitation, demanded you were born to adorn, not thus to the cause of it. 'Oh, nothing at waste your bloom in solitude, to all,' replied her father; "she has only breathe such sweetness to the desert been this instant consenting to take air.'
you very shortly for her partner for Unable to reply, she forcibly ese life, and naturally feels a little emcaped from his ardent grasp, and flew barrassed, a little girlish intimidato her father, who, seeing her face tion. She is young: the idea of so flushed with crimson at the late ren.. much honour being conferred on her contre, disregarded the confusion alm.ost overpowers her senses. Ma. she was in, and congratulated her tilda, summop all your fortitude; act on the amendment in her looks: at with a serenity and dignity becoming the same time saying, "My dear your rank : retire, and give the new Matilda, I think you cannot with cessary orders for apparel, and other
preparațions proper on such a grand dungeons most bitterly lamented occasion. I will see your sister for ever controuling his wishes. — It the same purpose: she is better ar. will be a union of hands,' it is true, quainted with such affairs, and is exclaimed. Matilda, as she threw more tenacious of her character.' herself on the seat in her favourite
With difficulty Matilda crossed apartment, which overlooked the the anti-chamber, where she met ocean, rendered dear to her by many the countess, who already knew what a former remembrance ; but no one the disconcerted countenance of Ma- congenial sentiment will there be to tilda would have informed her. She render such a union ought but diswas delighted beyond measure, con cord and hatred, instead of that har. gratulated her on the splendour she mony and love which must exist would so soon shine in, and begged where sympathizing hearts are unite - her to leave the orders for dressed; who abstracted from the gay, and preparations to her : which Ma- the glittering, yet detestable scenes tilda most readily consented to; as of life, could find comfort, even hap: her bosom was too much agonised to piness, in the society of each other, attend to such inconsiderable things, without pomp and grandeur, which in her opinion, as magnificence in at- awaits that situation I am about tendance and dress. She knew that to fill. What a contrast would she had no alternative; yet sometimes an alliance with the once-ami. she was half inclined to brave her able Burns have exhibited! but family's vengeance, and vow not to he is now no more; therefore why give ihe earl her hand, though con should I repine? Too generous, too scious that she must then be more tender hearted, and good for this wretched even than she was at that wicked world, the almighly Dis. time. Besides, all filial affection was poser of events called him' hence not entirely banished from her breast: io another and a better. Then she feared an absolute refusal of their throwing her eyes around her, on meditated match would be too much the mighty expanse of waters, un. for her father to support. Once she ruffled by a single breeze - How fondly thought that she had such a unlike,' said she, is your calm friend in her brother no circum- surface to my agitated bosom, where stances ner şimę could alter ; but such a conflict of contending pas. he had 'deseried her, and the idol sions alternately reigns ! how differe of her soul had proved faithless. ently should I have approached the What would she not have given altar had it been so ordained, and to have poured out her uneasiness plighted my faith to that once-loved on the briast of her much-loved sister youin, amiable as I knew him; for yet Elfrida? but that consolation was I believe him unblameable, the victim denied her; neither could she write of calumny and infamous misrepreto her, as all letters directed to her sentation; but Providence disposes of were intercepted : neither could she me according to the great decree of write to any one, so closely was she Heaven, considering it not proper watched by the creatures of her for me to be united to a congenial father. She feared being sent to her disposition, who, far from the vabrother Edward at Morden castle, fornities of life, could find happiness ! she knew his cruel disposition, and The riches of the universe are not she had more to dread from his bar- equal to a sacred intercourse of souls barity than any one of her famıly. rich in sensibility and virtue ; for I Many a suffering wretch in his am endowed by nature with every
qualification to render the object of if he were doomed to be wretched, heat my choice happy, strictly disposed his sentence from her own lips, and be to the observance of every duty re convinced it was no compulsion, quired of me. Even Holden shall but her own inclination. have no reason to complain; if I "You cannot,' replied his inmarry him I will endeavour to valuable friend, ' with propriety; make him as comfortable as a per- leave the army at this critical moson with an irrecoverable heart can ment, 'when your presence is more possibly do. He knows every cir- than ever necessary. What excuse cumstance of my prior attachment, can you make to your sovereign for and he knows, likewise, that my your absence ?' heart is cold and indifferent, buried This reply aroused him; and he with the corpse of the invaluable consented to stay a few days more Burns; therefore what can be ex till a long-expected engagement had pect more than forced civility and taken place, when they might both attention?'
with propriety obtain a few days In the mean time, Burns, instead leave of absence, and be convinced of being dead as represented to her, that in marrying the earl of Holden was reduced to the most miserable Matilda made no sacrifice, as it was state possible; her brother likewise almost impossible to imagine a perwas almost driven to despair, to son could be so changed in so short think the only person he ever a time. thought the model of perfection Notwithstanding all Sydney's arshould prove so unworthy the good guments, Burns had conceived a opinion he had entertained of her. In plan, and was on the point of carryher last letter she desired them to ing it into execution, when the enethink no more of her, as her sentiments my removed the main body of their had. undergone an entire altera- army, and assembled on a large plain tion since their departure : she was in order of battle. This the gallant no longer the artless inexperienced Henry considered as a signal for an girl, but was speedily to become the attack, and made known to his offidignified countess of Holden.; as she cers his determination to wait no was determined to give her hand longer for reinforcements, but with where her father thought proper to his little army, trusting in the great bestow it, conscious a person of his God of battles, to commence an at. family could never solicit it. It tack on the gasconading yet mighty may be imagined that Burns was host of the enemy. Immediately the almost distracted. She is faith- true spirit of a soldier pervaded every less,' exclaimed he; 'never shall I individual. Burns was, as if by inthink there is any fidelity in any of stinet, arrested in his meditated her sex !' - In vain her brother en- scheme. The moment he relinquish- • deavoured to console him; no sus ed it, he informed Sydney that were picion entered their minds of decep- not an engagement so soon likely to tion,, not once imagining that her take place he should have been in hand-writing could be so closely England, and thrown himself at the counterfeited; if so, they would im- feet of the earl his father, acknowmediately have returned to England, ledged his whole proceedings, name, and sought an explanation. Burns, and country, and solicited the hand howeves, said he must at all events,. of Matilda in marriage; but if she
preferred another, he would leave umph the wicked enjoy in this world the country never more o return, over the objects of their persecution become an exile in some foreign is poor svisaction when put in comland, that he might never injure her petition with eternity. happiness by a sight of his misery. But to a turn to poor Matilda.
• Fortunately indeed for vou,' ex The week preceding her marriage, claimed Sydney, has Providence her situation was truly pitiable; the prevented such a scheme from iak- earl, her father, saw no diminution ing place; you would have added in the gricí which had enveloped her another victim to the numbers in my whole soul since the supposed death brother's dungeons.'-Here he paus- of Burns was made known to her: el. Burns shuddered : he was no yet in his presence she endeavoured stranger to the crimes the earl had
to appear cheerful ; but so ill did she been guilty of; he shuddered to feign, that any one might easily see think of his thus meditating his own the true state of her feelings. The destruction : but even death was world to her scemed one void, one preferable to the misery he endured, wilderness; nothing could afford her and as they had agreed, let what one minute's pleasure, since the only would be the consequence, to defer person she wished to live for was no their intended journey till the ter
She had once, in the anguish mination of the campaign, he must of her heart, intreated her father to now support himself under his trou- permit her to retire to a convent in bles with fortitude. But as life was France, and devote the remainder of of no value to him without he could her days to cherishing the loved me. pass it with Matilda, of which there mory of Burns, and religious solinow seemed no probability, he be tude; but this he refused harshly, came courageous even to desperation. replying, he had rather follow herio No numbers nor strength were proof her grave than see her immured in against his destructive sword: wher a convent. Finding all hopes of ever he appeared, victory followed escaping the detestable match over, his steps. His sovereign knighted that her doom was inevitably fixed, him and admitted him to his pre- she endeavoured to reconcile herself sence, in preference to many much to it. She prayed with fervency to his seniors in the army. Though he' Heaven to aid and support her. sought death as a friend, a termina The fatal day arrived; her bridal ter of all his troubles, he came not dress, which was elegance itself, yet; he was spared by Providence finished under the directions of the for yet greater trials.-Go on, brave "haughty countess her sister, was put youth ! although thou art calumniat. on her; and thus arrayed, the sad ed by those who could not injure and almost heart-broken Matilda, thee otherwise than by branding thy leaning on the arm of her father, hitherto unspotted character with entered the room, where was a brillia infamy, still persist in thy love of ant assemblage of nobility to witness glory and virtue ; and though thou the grand event. The fine glow of mayest be destined to many heart- beauty was fied from her cheek, yet rending pangs here below, immore she looked more interesting than tal happiness awaits thee in realms where sublunary uneasiness can Rever reach thee more. The little trie
(To be continued.)
LADIES' DRESSES on her MAJES. stripes of spangles and mosaic, and Ty's BIRTH-DAY.
trimmed with gold rolio ; on the
right side a beautiful drapery formed Her Majesty-AS usual on her of bullion chain ; a body and train of own birth-day, was extremely neat. green and gold velvet tissue. Her The dress was composed of brown royal higliness wore in the evening á velvet, beautifully embroidered with dark green velvet dress, ornamented scarlet and white silk. Draperies with diamonds. and bottom trimmed with rich point
Princess Sophia of Gloucester-Gave lace, tied up with silk cords and universal pleasure in making her apa tassels. The mantle to correspond, pearance again at the drawing-room. The neatness of her majesty's dress Her royal highness's dress was pure was much admired.
ple velvet, with an elegant drapery Her Royal Highness Princess embroidered with silver; purple velAugusta-Brown velvet petticoat, vet train, superbly embroidered with beautifully embroidered with silver; silver, to correspond. a large drapery on the right side, Her royal Highness the duchess of with a most brilliant border, with York-A most splendid dress, pettidamask and Provence roses intermix- coat of white crape, intermixed with ed; a small drapery on the left side, blue velvet; the ground most beaua tied up with a very rich bouquet, tifully embroidered with gold span. and bordered with Italian chains. gles in scales; border, wreaths of The whole had a very fine etfect. oak and acorns; on the right side a Train of brown and silver tissue. drapery showered with spangles and
Princess Elizabeth-A magnificent groups of acorns richly worked in dress of green velvet, superbly em.. gold, and fastened up with diamonds, broidered with gold, the right side of gold cord, and tassels; the pockets the dress composed of a large mash- holes most tastefully trimmed with ing drapery, elegantly striped with an entire new fancy gold trimming, gold spangles, and finished at bottom intermixed with diamonds; a train with a massy border of a mosaic of blue velvet, body and sleeves trimpattern intermixed with vine leaves, med with diamonds, and diamond richly embroidered in' dead and girdle; head-dress white feathers bright gold foil, bullion, &c. the and a profusion of diamonds. contour of which was strikingly ele Princess Castelcicala-An elegant gant; smaller draperies in shell work, dress of white crape, with draperies with rich borders; the whole finish- of patent net, ornamented with ed with a massy border at bottom of white satin and beads, and looped foil and bullion, and looped up with up with handsome bead tassels ; superb cord and tassels. Her royal train, purple velvet trimmed with highness wore a robe of green and point lace and beads. gold tissue, sleeves ornamented with Duchess of Northumberland - A gold and green tiaras, and trimmed rich blue satin petticoat, with a drawith point lace and gold.
of blue satin trimmed with rich Princess Mary-T'he same as her sable; mantua, black satin. royal highness princess Elizabeth, Marchioness of Lansdowne - A only in scarlet and gold.
splendid dress of white crape and Her royal highness Princess Amelia satin, richly embroidered in shells of -A bottle-green velvet petticoat, silver and white velvet; the draperies with a rich etruscan border, and a looped up with chains of matted sila drapery richly embroidered with ver, and fastened with arrows; body