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on the grassy pavement, while some of the ruffians hastened to light a fire of the heath and sticks they could pick up. They took out their provisions, and placed themselves round the fire, where they had not been long seated, when the sound of distant thunder foretold an approaching storm. A violent storm, accompanied with peals which shook the pile, came on. They were sheltered from the heaviness of the rain; but the long and vivid flashes of lightning, which glanced through the casements, alarmed them all. The shrieks of Mary were loud and continued; and the fears of the ruffians did not prevent their uttering dreadful imprecations at her distress: one of them, in the fury of his resentment, swore she should be gagged; and seizing her resistless hands to execute the purpose, her cries redoubled. The servants who had betrayed her were not yet so entirely lost to the feelings of humanity, as to stand regardless of her present distress; though they could not resist the temptations of a bribe, they were unwilling their lady should be loaded with unnecessary misery. They opposed the ruffians; a dispute ensued; and the violence of the contest arose so high, that they determined to fight for the decision. Amid the peals of thunder, the oaths and execrations of the combatants added terror to the scene. The strength of the ruffians was superior to that of their opponents; and Mary, beholding victory deciding against herself, uttered a loud scream, when the attention of the whole party was surprised by the sound of a footstep in the cloister. Immediately after a man rushed into the place, and drawing his sword, demanded the cause of the tumult. Mary, who lay almost expiring on the ground, now raised her eyes; but what were her sensations, when she raised them to Alleyn !-who now stood before her petrified with horror! Before he could fly to her assistance, the attacks of the ruffians obliged him to defend himself; he parried their blows for some time, but he must inevitably have yielded to the force of numbers, had not the trampling of feet, which fast approached, called off for a moment their attention. In an instant the place was filled with men. The astonishment of Alleyn was, if possible, now increased; for the Earl, followed by a party, now entered. The Earl, when he perceived Alleyn, stood at the entrance aghast ;but resuming his firmness, he bade him defend himself. The loud voice of Osbert recalled Mary, and observing their menacing attitudes, she collected just strength sufficient to throw herself between them. Alleyn dropped his sword, and raised her from the ground; when the Earl rudely pushed him away, and snatched her to his heart. Hear me, Osbert, was all she could say.Declare who brought her thither, said the Earl sternly to Alleyn.-I know not, replied he; you must ask those men whom your people have secured. If my life is hateful to you, strike; and

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spare me the anguish of defending it against the brother of Mary.-The Earl hesitated in prise, and the generosity of Alleyn called a bis into his face. He was going to have replied, t was interrupted by some of his men, who has been engaged in a sharp contest with the refians, two of whom they had secured, and now brought to their lord; the rest were fled. li the person of one of them the Earl discovered his own servant, who, sinking in his presen with conscious guilt, fell on his knees imploring mercy.-Wretch, said the Earl, seizing him, and holding his sword over his head, declare by whose authority you have acted, and all y know of the affair ;-remember your life depends on the truth of your assertions.—I'll tell the truth, my lord, replied the trembling wretch. and nothing else, as I hope for mercy. Abou three weeks ago,-no, it is not so much; abou a fortnight ago, when I was sent on a message to the Lady Malcolm, the Count de Santmorin's gentleman- -The Count de Santmorin! reechoed the whole company. But proceed, said Osbert.-The Count de Santmorin's gentleman called me into a private room, where he told me to wait for his master, who would soon be there. -Be quick, said the Earl, proceed to facts.-I will, my lord: the Count came and said to me, Robert, I have observed you, and I think you can be faithful;-he said so, my lord,—God forgive me !-Well, well, proceed. Where was I? -Oh! he said, I think you can be faithful.Good God! this is beyond endurance; you trifle, rascal, with my patience, to give your associates time for escape; be brief, or you die.-I will, my lord, as I hope for life. He took from his pocket a handful of gold, which he gave me ;Can you be secret, Robert? said he.-Yes, my Lord Count, said I,-God forgive me! Then observe what I say to you. You often attend your young lady in her rides to Dunbayne!—What, then, it was the Count de Santmorin who commissioned you to undertake this scheme !—Not me only, my lord.-Answer my question; Was the Count the author of this plot ?-He was, my lord.-And where is he? said Osbert, in a stern voice.-I know not, my lord.—You know not! Wretch! remember your life.—I know not, as I am a living creature. He embarked, as you know, my lord, not far from the castle of Dunbayne, and we were travelling to a distant part of the coast to meet him, when we were all to have set sail for Switzerland.-You cannot be ignorant of the place of your destination, said the Earl, turning to the other prisoner; where is your employer?-That is not for me to tell, said he, in a sullen tone.-Reveal the truth, said the Earl, turning towards him the point of the sword, or we will find a way to make yoɛ.

The place where we were to meet the Count had no name. You know the way to it.-I do.— Then lead me thither.-Never!-Never?-Your life shall answer the refusal, said Osbert, point

licit, but your kindness inflicts a torture too exquisite for my soul. Never, my lord, continued he, the big tear swelling in his eye,never more shall your friendship be polluted by my unworthiness. Since you will not satisfy justice by taking my life, I go to lose it in the obscurity of distant regions. Yet, ere I go, suffer me to make my last request to you, and to that dear lady whom I have thus injured, and on whom my eyes now gaze for the last time :suffer me to hope that you will blot from your memory the existence of Santmorin.-He concluded the sentence with a groan, which vibrated upon the hearts of all present; and without waiting for a reply, hurried from the scene. The Earl had turned away his head in pity, and when he again looked round to reply, perceived that the Count was departed; he followed his steps through the cloister,—he called— but he was gone.

Alleyn had observed the Count with a mixture of pity and admiration; and he sighed for the weakness of human nature.-How, said the Earl, returning eagerly to Alleyn, how can I recompense you for my injurious suspicions, and my injurious treatment? How can you forgive, or I forget, my injustice? But the mystery of this affair, and the doubtful appearance of circumstances, must speak for me.—O! let us talk no more of this, my lord, replied Alleyn, with emotion; let us only rejoice at the safety of our dear lady, and offer her the comfort she is so much in want of.-The fire was rekindled, and the Earl's servants laid before him some wine and other provisions. Mary, who had not tasted any food since she left the castle, now took some wine; it revived her, and enabled her to take other nourishment. She inquired what happy circumstance had enabled the Earl to trace her route.-Ever since I discovered your flight, said he, I have been in pursuit of you. Chance directed me over these wilds, when I was driven by the storm to seek shelter among these ruins. The light and an uproar of voices drew me to the cloister, where, to my unutterable astonishment, I discovered you and Alleyn: spare me the remembrance of what followed.-Mary wished to inquire what brought Alleyn to the place, but delicacy kept her silent. Osbert, however, whose anxiety for his sister had hitherto allowed him to attend only to her, now relieved her from the pain of lengthened suspense.-By what strange accident was you brought hither? said he to Alleyn; and what motive has induced you so long to absent yourself from the castle?-At the last question Alleyn blushed, and an involuntary sigh escaped him. Mary understood the blush and the sigh, and awaited his reply in trembling emotion.-I fled, my lord, from your displcasure, and to tear myself from an object too dangerous, alas! for my peace. I sought to wear away in absence a passion which must ever be 3 c

ng the sword to his breast.-Strike! said the Count, throwing off the cloak which had concealed him; strike! and rid me of a being which passion has made hateful to me ;-strike !and make the first moment of my entering this place the last of my guilt.-A faint scream was uttered by Mary; the small remains of her strength forsook her, and she sunk on the pavement. The Earl started a few steps back, and stood suspended in wonder. The looks of the whole group defy description.-Take a sword, said the Earl, recovering himself, and defend your life.-Never, my lord, never! Though I have been hurried by the force of passion to rob you of a sister, I will not aggravate my guilt by the murder of the brother. Your life has already been once endangered through my means, though not by my design: Heaven knows the anguish which that accident cost me. The impetuosity of passion impelled me onward with irresistible fury; it urged me to violate the sacred duties of gratitude of friendship-and of humanity. To live in shame, and in the consciousness of guilt, is a living death. With your sword do justice to yourself and virtue, and spare me the misery of long comparing what I am with what I was.-Away: you trifle, said the Earl, defend yourself.-The Count repeated his refusal. And you, villain, said Osbert, turning to the man who had confessed the plot, your pretended ignorance of the presence of the Count, your perfidy, shall be rewarded.-As I now plead for mercy, my lord, I knew not he was here.The fellow speaks truth, said the Count; he was ignorant of the place where he was to meet me. I was approaching this spot to discover myself to the dear object of my passion, when your people surprised and took me.-Mary confirmed the testimony of the Count, by declaring that she had not till that moment seen him since she quitted the castle of Dunbayne. She pleaded for his life, and also for the servants who had opposed the cruelty of their comrades.-I am no assassin, said the Earl; let the Count take a sword, and fight me on equal terms.-Shall virtue be reduced to an equality with vice? said the Count. No, my lord- -plunge your sword in my heart, and expiate my guilt.-The Earl still urged him to defence; and the Count still persisted in refusal. Touched by the recollection of past friendship, and grieved that a soul like the Count's should ever be under the dominion of vice, Osbert threw down his sword, and, overcome with a sort of tenderness-Go, my lord, your person is safe; and if it is necessary to your peace, stretching forth his hand, take my forgiveness.-The Count, overcome by his generosity, and by a sense of his own unworthiness, shrunk back: Forbear, my lord, to wound by your goodness a mind already too sensible of its own debasement; nor excite by your generosity a remorse too keen to be endured. Your reproaches I can bear,-your vengeance I so◄

VOL. X.

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hopeless, but which, I now perceive, is interwoven with my existence. But forgive, my lord, the intrusion of a subject which is painful to us all. With some money, and a few provisions, I left my father's cottage; and since that time have wandered over the country, a forlorn and miserable being, passing my nights in the huts which chance threw in my way, and designing to travel onward, and to enlist myself in the service of my country. Night overtook me on these wastes, and as I walked on, comfortless and bewildered, I was alarmed by distant cries of distress. I quickened my pace; but the sound which should have directed my steps was ceased, and a chilling silence ensued. As I stood musing, and uncertain which course to take, I observed a feeble light break through the gloom; I endeavoured to follow its rays; it led me to these ruins, whose solemn appearance struck me with a momentary dread. confused murmur of voices from within struck my ear; as I stood hesitating whether to enter, I again heard those shrieks which had alarmed me. I followed the sound; it led me to the entrance of the cloister, at the extremity of which I discovered a party of men engaged in fight: I drew my sword and rushed forward; and the sensations which I felt, on perceiving the Lady Mary, cannot be expressed!-Still, still Heaven destines you the deliverer of Mary! said the Earl, gratitude swelling in his eyes; O! that I could remove that obstacle which withholds you from your just reward!-A responsive sigh stole from Alleyn, and he remained silent. Never was the struggle of opposing feelings more violent, than that which now agitated the bosom of the Earl. The worth of Alleyn arose more conspicuously bright from every shade with which misfortune veiled it. His noble and disinterested enthusiasm in the cause of justice had attached him to the Earl, and had engaged him in a course of enterprizes and of dangers, which it required valour to undertake, and skill and perseverance to perform; and which had produced services for which no adequate reward could be found. He had rescued the Earl from captivity and death, and had twice preserved Mary in dangers. All these circumstances arose in strong reflection to the mind of Osbert; but the darkness of prejudice and ancient pride opposed their influence, and weakened their effect.

the conduct of Alleyn, and the late scene; Mary dwelt chiefly on the virtues of her lover, and the dangers she had escaped; and Alleyn mused on his defeated purposes, and anticipated futur trials. The Earl's thoughts, however, were be so wholly occupied as to prevent his questioning the servant who had been employed by the Count concerning the farther particulars of his sche The words of the Count, importing that he hat once already endangered his life, had not escaped the notice of the Earl, though they wer uttered in a moment of too much distraction = suffer him to demand an explanation. He t inquired of the man concerning the mysterious scene of the vaults.-You, I suppose, are not norant who were the persons from whom I received my wound.—I, my lord, had no concers in that affair; wicked as I am, I could not raise my hands against your life.—But you know who did?-I-I-ye-yes, my lord, I was afterwards told. But they did not mean to hurt your lordship.-Not mean to hurt me! What then were their designs; and who were the people?—That accident happened long before the Count ever spoke to me of his purpose. Indeed, my lord, I had no hand in it; and Heaven knows how I grieved for your lordship ; and———Well, wel, inform me who were the persons in the vaults, and what was their design.-I was told by afelow-servant; but he made me promise to be secret: but it is proper your lordship should know all; and I hope your lordship will forgive me for having listened to it. Robert, said he, as we were talking one day of what had happened -Robert, said he, there is more in this matter than you or anybody thinks; but it is not for me to tell all I know. With that, I begged he would tell me what he knew, but he still kept refusing. I promised him faithfully I would not tell; and so at last he told me.-Why, there is my Lord Count there, he is in love with our young lady; and to be sure as sweet a lady she is as ever eyes looked upon; but she don't like him; and so, finding himself refused, he is determined to marry her at any rate, and means some night to get into the castle and carry her off-What, then! was it the Count who wounded me? Be quick in your relation.-No, my lord, it was not the Count himself--but two of his people, whom he had sent to examine the castle, and particularly the windows of my young lady's apartment, from whence he designed to have carried her, when everything was ready for execution. These men were let within the walls through a way under ground, which leads into the vaults, by my fellow-servant, as I afterwards was told, and they escaped through the same way. Their meeting with your lordship was accidental, and they fought only in self-defence; for they had no orders to attack anybody.-And who is the villain that connived at that scheme? -It was my fellow-servant, who fled with the

The joy which Mary felt on seeing Alleyn in safety, and still worthy of the esteem she had ever borne him, was dashed by the bitterness of reflection; and reflection imparted a melancholy which added to the languor of illness. At the dawn of day they quitted the abbey, and set forward on their return to the castle; the Earl insisting upon Alleyn's accompanying them. On the way, the minds of the party were variously and silently engaged. The Earl ruminated on

unt's people, whom he himself let within the nparts. Forgive me, my lord, but I did not re tell; he threatened my life, if I betrayed

e secret.

After a journey of fatigue and unpleasant rections, they arrived on the second morning at e castle of Athlin. The Countess, during the sence of her son, had endured a state of dread1 suspense. The Baroness, in her friendship, ad endeavoured to soothe her distress by her nstant presence; she was engaged in this amiole office when the trampling of horses in the ourt reached the ears of Matilda. It is my son, aid she, rising from her chair;-it is my son ; e brings me life or death!—She said no more, ut rushed into the hall, and in a moment after lasped her almost expiring daughter to her boom. The transport of the scene repelled utternce; sobs and tears were all that could be given. The general joy, however, was suddenly inter-upted by the Baroness, who had followed Matilla into the hall, and who now fell senseless to the ground; delight yielded to surprise, and to the business of assisting the object of it. On recovering, the Baroness looked wildly round her :Was it a vision that I saw, or a reality? The whole company moved their eyes round the hall, but could discover nothing extraordinary. It was himself, his very air, his features, that benign countenance which I have so often contemplated in imagination!-Her eyes still seemed in search of some ideal object; and they began to doubt whether a sudden frenzy had not seized her brain. -Ah, again! said she, and instantly relapsed.Their eyes were now turned towards the door, on which she gazed; it was Alleyn, who had entered with water which he had fetched for the Countess, and on whom the attention of all present was now centred. He approached, ignorant of what had happened, and his surprise was great, when the Baroness, reviving, fixed her eyes mournfully upon him, and asked him to uncover his arm. It is-it is my Philip! said she, with strong emotion; I have indeed found my long-lost child; that strawberry on his arm confirms the decision. Send for the man who calls himself your father, and for my servant Patrick. The sensations of the mother and the son may be more easily conceived than described; those of Mary were little inferior to theirs ; and the whole company awaited with trembling eagerness, the arrival of the two persons whose testimony was to decide this interesting affair. They came. This young man you call your son? said the Baroness.-I do, an please your ladyship, he replied, with a degree of confusion which belied his words. When Patrick came, his instant surprise on seeing the old man declared the truth. Do you know this person? said the Baroness to Patrick.-Yes, my lady, I know him too well; it was to him I gave your infant son.-The old man started with surprise. Is that youth the son of your ladyship?—Yes!-Then

God forgive me for having thus long detained him from you! But I was ignorant of his birth, and received him into my cottage as a foundling, succoured by Lord Malcolm's compassion.-The whole company crowded round them. Alleyn fell at the feet of his mother, and bathed her hand with his tears.-Gracious God! for what hast thou reserved me!-He could say no more. The Baroness raised him, and again pressed him in transport to her heart. It was some time before either of them could speak; and all present were too much affected to interrupt the silence. At length the Baroness presented Laura to her brother.-Such a mother! and have I such a sister! said he.-Laura wept silently upon his neck the joy of her heart. The Earl was the first who recovered composure sufficient to congratulate Alleyn; and embracing him-O! happy moment, when I can indeed embrace you as my brother! The whole company now poured forth their joy and their congratulations ;-all but Mary, whose emotions almost overcame her, and were too powerful for utter

ance.

The company now adjourned to the drawingroom, and Mary withdrew to take that repose she so much required. She was sufficiently recovered in a few hours to join her friends in the banquetting-room.

After the transports of the scene were subsided-I have yet much to hope and much to fear, said Philip Malcolm, who was yet Alleyn in everything but in name. You, madam, addressing the Baroness, you will willingly become my advocate with her whom I have so long and so ardently loved.--May I hope, continued he, taking tenderly the hand of Mary, who stood trembling by, that you have not been insensible to my long attachment, and that you will confirm the happiness which is now offered me? A smile of ineffable sweetness broke through the melancholy which had long clouded her features, and which even the present discovery had not been able entirely to dissipate, and her eye gave the consent which her tongue refused to

utter.

The conversation, for the remainder of the day, was occupied by the subject of the discovery, and with a recital of Mary's adventure. It was determined that on the morrow the marriage of the Earl should be concluded.

On this happy discovery, the Earl ordered the gates of the castle to be thrown open; mirth and festivity resounded through the walls, and the evening closed in universal rejoicings.

On the following morn, the chapel of the castle was decorated for the marriage of the Earl; who, with Laura, came attended by Philip, now Baron Malcolm, by Mary, and the whole family. When they approached the altar, the Earl addressing himself to his bride,—Now, my Laura, said he, we may celebrate those nuptials which have twice been so painfully interrupted,

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