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“I wish him to marry, that I may then conclude disengage them, and use all my power to render the deeds in respect to my estate—and the only myself worthy of the union for which he designs child of Sir William Winterton (a rich heiress) was the wife I meant to propose; but from his indiffer- “ And this is not only your solemn promise ence to all I have said on the occasion, I have not but your fixed determination ?" yet mentioned her name to him ; you may.”. “Nay, why will you search my heart to the bot

“I will, my lord, and use all my persuasion to tom, when the surface ought to content you ?engage his obedience; and you shall have, at “ If you cannot resolve on what you

have

proleast, a faithful account of what he says."

posed, why do you ask this time of your uncle ? Sandford the next morning sought an opportuni- For should he allow it you, your disobedience at ty of being alone with Rushbrook :-he then the expiration will be less pardonable than it is plainly repeated to him what Lord Elmwood had now." said, and saw him listen to it all, and heard him “Within a year, Mr. Sandford, who can tell answer to it all, with the most tranquil resolution, what strange events may not occur, to change all “ That he would do any thing to preserve the our prospects ? Even my passion may decline.” friendship and patronage of his uncle--but marry.” “In that expectation, then the failure of which

“What can be your reason ?asked Sandford yourself must answer for—I will repeat as much --though he guessed.

of this discourse as shall be proper." A reason, I cannot give to Lord Elmwood.”' Here Rushbrook communicated his having been

“ Then do not give it to me, for I have promised to see Lady Matilda, for which Sandford reproved to tell him every thing you shall say to me.” him, but in less rigorous terms than he generally

And every thing I have said ?” asked Rush- used in his reproofs ; and Rushbrook, by his enbrook hastily.

treaties, now gained the intelligence who the noAs to what you have said, I don't know bleman was who addressed Matilda, and on what whether it has made impression enough on my

but was restrained to patience, by Sandmemory, to enable me to repeat it.”

ford's arguments and threats. “ I am glad it has not.”

Upon the subject of this marriage, Sandford “ And my answer to your uncle is to be simply, met his patron, without having determined exactthat you will not obey him ?":

ly what to say; but rested on the temper in which “I should hope, Mr. Sandford, that you would Ι

he should find him. express it in better terms."

At the commencement of the conversation he “Tell me the terms, and I will be exact.” told him, “Rushbrook begged for time.”

Rushbrook struck his forehead, and walked “ I have given him time, have I not ?" cried about the room.

Lord Elmwood : “What can be the meaning of “Am I to give him any reasons for your dis- his thus trifling with me ?" obeying him ?"

Sandford replied, “My lord, young men are “I tell you again, that I dare not name the frequently romantic in their notions of love, and cause."

think it impossible to have a sincere affection, “ Then why do you submit to a power you are where their own inclinations do not first point out ashamed to own ?"

the choice." “I am not ashamed—I glory in it-Are you “ If he is in love," answered Lord Elmwood, ashamed of your esteem for Lady Matilda ?” “let him take the object, and leave my house and

“Oh! if she is the cause of your disobedience, me for ever. Nor under this destiny can he have be assured I shall not mention it, for I am forbid any claim to pity; for genuine love will make to name her.”

him happy in banishment, in poverty, or in sick“And surely, as that is the case, I need not fear ness : it makes the poor man happy as the rich, to speak plainly to you. I love Lady Matilda- the fool blessed as the wise.” The sincerity with or, perhaps, unacquainted with love, what I feel which Lord Elmwood had loved was expressed, may be only pity-and if so, pity is the most pleas- as he said this, more than in words. ing passion that ever possessed a human heart, “ Your lordship is talking,” replied Sandford, and I would not change it for all her father's es- “of the passion in its most refined and predomi tates."

nant sense ; while I may possibly be speaking of “Pity, then, gives rise to very different sensa- a mere phantom, that has led this young man as. tions—for I pity you, and that sensation I would gladly exchange for approbation."

“ Whatever it be,” returned Lord Elmwood, “If you really feel compassion for me, and I be- “ let him and his friends weigh the case well, and lieve you do, contrive some means, by your an: act for the best-so shall I." swers to Lord Elmwood, to pacify him without in- “His friends, my lord ?-_What friends, or volving me in ruin. Hint at my affections being what friend has he upon earth but you ?" engaged, but not to whom ; and add, that I have “ Then why will he not submit to my advice ; given my word, if he will allow me a short time, a or himself give me a proper reason why he canyear or two only, I will, during that period, try to

not ?"

tray.”

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CHAPTER LI.

“Because there may be friendship without fami- or conceal them--nor by one sign, one item, reliarity—and so it is between him and you.”

mind me of her.” “ That cannot be ; for I have condescended to “Your daughter did you call her ?--Can you talk to him in the most familiar terms."

call yourself her father ?” “ To condescend, my lord, is not to be fami- “I do sir-but I was likewise the husband of liar."

her mother. And, as that husband, I solemnly “ Then come, sir, let us be on an equal footing swear”

-He was proceeding with violence. through you. And now speak out his thoughts “Oh! my lord,” cried Sandford, interrupting freely, and hear mine in return.”

him, with his hands clasped in the most fervent Why then, he begs a respite for a year or supplication—“Oh! do not let me draw upon her two.”

one oath more of your eternal displeasure—I'll “ On what pretence ?"

kneel to beg that you will drop the subject." “ To me, it was preference of a single life--but The inclination he made with his knees bent I suspect it is—what he imagines to be love and towards the ground, stopped Lord Elmwood infor some object whom he thinks your lordship stantly. But though it broke in upon his words, would disapprove."

it did not alter one angry look-his eyes darted, “He has not, then, actually confessed this to and his lips trembled with indignation.

Sandford, in order to appease him, bowed and “ If he has, it was drawn from him by such offered to withdraw, hoping to be recalled. He means, tha

am not warranted to say in direct wished in vain. Lord Elmwood's eyes followed words.”

him to the door, expressive of the joy he should “ I have entered into no contract, no agreement receive from his absense. on his account with the friends of the lady I have pointed out,” said Lord Elmwood ; “nothing beyond implications have passed betwixt her family and myself at present; and if the person on whom he has fixed his affections should not be in a situation absolutely contrary to my wishes, I may, The companions and counsellors of Lord Marperhaps, confirm his choice.”

grave, who had so prudently advised gentle meThat moment Sandford's courage prompted thods in the pursuit of his passion, while there him to name Lady Matilda, but his discretion op- was left any hope of their success, now convinced posed--however, in the various changes of his there was none, as strenuously reconimended countenance from the conflict, it was plain to dis- open violence ;-and sheltered under the consicern that he wished to say more than he dared. deration, that their depredations were to be pracOn which Lord Elmwood cried,

tised upon a defenceless woman, who had not one Speak on, Sandford—what are you afraid protector, except an old priest, the subject of their of ?"

ridicule ;-assured likewise from the influence of “Of you, my lord.”

Lord Margrave's wealth, that all inferior conseHe started.

quences could be overborne, they saw no room for Sandford went on---"I know no tie--no bond fears on any side, and what they wished to exe--no innocence, that is a protection when you cute they with care and skill premeditated. feel resentment."

When their scheme was mature for performance, “You are right,” he replied, significantly. three of his chosen companions, and three ser

“ Then how, my lord, can you encourage me to vants, trained in all the villanous exploits of their speak on, when that which I perhaps should say, masters, set off for the habitation of poor Matilda, might offend you to hear ?"

and arrived there about the twilight of the evening. “ To what, and whither are you changing our Near four hours after that time (just as the subject ?” cried Lord Elmwood. “But, sir, if family were going to bed) they came up to the you know my resentful and relentless temper, you doors of the house, and rapping violently, gave the surely know how to shun it.”

alarm of fire, conjuring all the inhabitants to make Not, and speak plainly.”

their way out immediately, as they would save 6. Then dissemble."

their lives. “No, I'll not do that--but I'll be silent.”

The family consisted of few persons, all of “A new parade of submission. You are more whom ran instantly to the doors and opened tormenting to me than any one I have about me-- them; on which two men rushed in, and with Constantly on the verge of disobeying my orders, the plea of saving Lady Matilda from the pretendthat you may recede, and gain my good will by ed flames, caught her in their arms, and carried your forbearance. But know, Mr. Sandford, that her off;—while all the deceived people of the I will not suífer this much longer. If you choose house, running eagerly to save themselves, paid in every conversation we have together (though no regard to her ; till, looking for the cause for the most remote from such a topic) to think of my which they had been terrified, they perceived the daughter, you must either banish your thoughts, stratagem, and the fatal consequences.

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CHAPTER LII.

Amidst the complaints, the sorrow, and the affright of the people of the farm, Miss Woodley's serisations wanted a name-terror and anguish give but a faint description of what she sufferedsomething like the approach of death stole over her senses, and she sat like one petrified with horror. She had no doubt who was the perpetrator of this wickedness ; but how was she to follow ? how effect a rescue ?

The circumstances of this event, as soon as the people had time to call up their recollection, were sent to a neighbouring magistrate ; but little could be hoped from that. Who was to swear to the robber?-Who, undertake to find him out ?— Miss Woodley thought of Rushbrook, of Sandford, of Lord Elmwood—but what could she hope from the want of power in the two former ?—what from the latter, for the want of will ?—Now stupified, and now distracted, she walked about the house incessantly, begging for instructions how to act, or how to forget her misery.

A tenant of Lord Elmwood's, who occupied a little farm near to that where Lady Matilda lived, and who was well acquainted with the whole history of her and her mother's misfortunes, was returning from a neighbouring fair, just as this inhuman plan was put in execution. He heard the cries of a woman in distress, and followed the sound, till he arrived at a chaise in waiting, and saw Matilda placed in it, by the side of two men, who presented pistols to him, as he offered to approach and expostulate.

The farmer, though uncertain who this female was, yet went to the house she had been taken from (as the nearest) with the tale of what he had seen ;--and there, being informed it was Lady Matilda whom he had beheld, this intelligence, joined to the powerful effect her screams had on him, made him resolve to take horse immediately, and with some friends, follow the carriage till they should trace the place to which she was conveyed,

The anxiety, the firmness discovered in determining upon this undertaking, somewhat alleviated the agony Miss Woodley endured, and she began to hope timely assistance might yet be given to her beloved charge.

The man set out, meaning at all events to attempt her release; but before he had proceeded far, the few friends that accompanied him began to reflect on the improbability of their success, against a nobleman, surrounded by servants, with other attendants likewise, and, perhaps, even countenanced by the father of the lady, whom they presumed to take from him ;

;-or if not, while Lord Elmwood beheld the offence with indifference, that indifference gave it a sanction they might in vain oppose. These cool reflections, tending to their safety, had their weight with the companions of the fariner ; they all rode back, rejoicing at their second thoughts, and left him to pursue his journey and prove his valour by himself.

It was not with Sandford, as it had lately been with Rushbrook under the displeasure of Lord Elmwood—to the latter he behaved, as soon as their dissension was past, as if it had never happened—but to Sandford it was otherwise—the resentment which he had repressed, at the time of the ofience, lurked in his heart, and dwelt upon his mind for several days ; during which, he carefully avoided exchanging a word with him, and gave other demonstrations of being still in enmity.

Sandford, though experienced in the cruelty and ingratitude of the world, yet could not without difficulty brook this severity, this contumely, from a man, for whose welfare, ever since his infancy, he had laboured ; and whose happiness was more dear to him, in spite of all his faults, than that of any other person. Even Lady Matilda was not so dear to Sandford as her father—and he loved her more that she was Lord Elmwood's child than for any other cause.

Sometimes the old priest, incensed beyond bearing, was on the point of saying to his patron, “How, in my age, dare you thus treat the man whom, in his youth, you respecied and revered ?"

Sometimes, instead of anger, he felt the tear, he was ashamed to own, steal to his eye, and even fall down his cheek. Sometimes he left the room half determined to leave the house-but these were all half determinations ; for he knew him with whom he had to deal too well, not to know that he might be provoked into yet greater anger; and that, should he once rashly quit his house, the doors, most probably, would be shut against him for ever after.

In this humiliating state (for even the domestics could not but observe their lord's displeasure) Sandford passed three days, and was beginning the fourth, when, sitting with Lord Elmwood and Rushbrook just after breakfast, a servant entered, saying, as he opened the door, to somebody who followed, “ You must wait till you have my lord's permission.”

This attracted their eyes to the door, and a man meanly dressed walked in, following close to the servant.

The latter turned, and seemed again to desire the person to retire, but in vain ; he rushed forward regardless of his opposer, and in great agitation, said,

“My lord, if you please, I have business with you, provided you will choose to be alone.”

Lord Elmwood, struck with the intruder's earnestness, bade the servant leave the room ; and then said to the stranger,

“You may speak before these gentlemen.”

The man instantly turned pale, and trembledthen, to prolong the time before he spoke, went to the door to see if it was shut--returned-yet still trembling, seemed unwilling to say his errand.

CHAPTER LIII.

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* What have you done,” cried Lord Elmwood, *that you are in this terror ? What have you done, man?"

Lord Margrave, black as this incident of his Nothing, my lord,” replied he, “ but I am life must make him appear to the reader, still afraid I am going to offend you."

nursed in his conscience a reserve of specious “Well, no matter ;” (he answered carelessly) virtue, to keep him in peace with himself. It was “ only go on, and let me know your business.” his design to plead, to argue, to implore, nay even

The man's distress increased—and he replied to threaten, long before he put his threats in force; in a voice of grief and affright—" Your child, my -and with this and the following reflection, he lord !”–

reconciled--as most bad men can—what he had Rushbrook and Sandford started ; and looking done, not only to the laws of humanity, but to the at Lord Elmwood, saw him turn white as death. laws of honour. In a tremulous voice he instantly cried,

“I have stolen a woman certainly ;" said he to “ What of her ?” and rose from his seat.

himself, “but I will make her happier than she Encouraged by the question, and the agitation was in that humble state from which I have taken of him who asked it, the poor man gave way to his her. I will even,” said he, “now that she is feelings, and answered with every sign of sor- in my power, win her affections—and when, in row:

fondness, hereafter she hangs upon me, how will “I saw her, my lord, taken away by force- she thank me for this little trial, through which I two ruffians seized and carried her away, while shall have conducted her to happiness !” she screamed in vain to me for help, and looked Thus did he hush his remorse, while he waited like one in distraction."

impatiently at home, in expectation of his prize. “Man, what do you mean ?” cried the earl.

Half expiring with her sufferings, of body as well " Lord Margrave,” replied the stranger, as of mind, about twelve o'clock the next night have no doubt, has formed this plot—he has for after she was borne away, Matilda arrived ; and some time past beset the house where she lived ; felt her spirits revive by the superior sufferings and when his visits were refused, he threatened that awaited her ;-for her increasing terror rousthis. Besides, one of his servants attended the ed her from the deathlike weakness, brought on carriage ; I saw, and knew him.”

by extreme fatigue. Lord Elmwood listened to the last part of this

Lord Margavè's house, to which he had gone account with seeming composure—then, turning previous to this occasion, was situated in the hastily to Rushbrook, he said,

lonely part of a well known forest, not more than "Where are my pistols, Harry ?

twenty miles distant from London :-this was an Sandford forgot, at this instant, all the anger

estate he rarely visited ; and as he had but few that had passed between him and the earl ; he

servants here, it was a spot which he supposed rushed towards him, and grasping his hand, cried, would be less the object of suspicion in the pre“ Will you then prove yourself a father ?"

sent case than any other of his seats. To this, Lord Elmwood only answered, “Yes," and then, Lady Matilda was conveyed--a superb left the room.

apartment allotted her—and one of his conRushbrook followed, and begged with all the fidential females placed to attend upon her person, earnestness he felt, to be permitted to accompany with all respect, and assurances of safety. his uncle.

Matilda looked in this woman's face, and seeing While Sandford shook hands with the farmer

she bore the features of her sex, while her own a thousand times; and he, in his turn, rejoiced as

knowledge reached none of those worthless chaif he had already seen Lady Matilda restored to

racters of which this creature was a specimen, liberty.

she imagined that none of those could look as she Rushbrook in vain entreated Lord Elmwood ;

did, and therefore found consolation in her he laid his commands upon him not to go a step

seeming tenderness. She was even prevailed from the castle ; while the agitation of his own

upon (by her promises to sit by her side and mind was too great to observe the rigour of this

watch) to throw herself on a bed, and suffer sleep sentence on his nephew.

for a few minutes--for sleep to her was suffering; During hasty preparations for the earl's depar

her fears giving birth to dreams terrifying as her ture, Sandford received from Miss Woodley the

waking thoughts. sad intelligence of what had occurred ;-but he

More wearied than refreshed with her sleep, returned an answer to recompense her for all she she rose at break of day; and refusing to adhad suffered on the sad occasion.

mit of the change of an article in her dress, she Within a short hour Lord Elmwood set oft; ac

persisted to wear the torn disordered habiliment companied by his guide, the farmer, and other at- in which she had been dragged away; nor would tendants furnished with every requisite to ascer- she taste a morsel of all the delicacies that were lain the success of their enterprise-while poor

prepared for her. Matilda little thought of a deliverer nigh, much Her attendant for some time observed the most less that her deliverer should prove her father. reverential awe; but finding this humility had not

state, all conspired to fill her mind with increasing horror.

He saw her apprehensions in her distracted face, disheveled hair, and the whole of her forlorn appearance-yet, in spite of his former resolutions, he did not resist the wish of fulfilling all her dreadful expectations.

He once again approached her, and again was going to seize her hand; when the report of a pistol, and a confused noise of persons assembling towards the door of the apartment, caused him to desist.

He started—but looked more surprised than alarmed-her alarm was augmented; for she supposed this tumult was some experiment to intimidate her into submission. She wrung her hands, and lifted up her eyes to heaven, in the last agony of despair,—when one of Lord Margrave's servants entered hastily and announced,

“ Lord Elmwood !"

That moment her father entered and with all the unrestrained fondness of a parent folded her in his arms.

Her extreme, her excess of joy on such a meeting, and from such anguish rescued, was, in part, repressed by his awful presence. hensions to which she had been accustomed kept her timid and doubtful-she feared to speak, or clasp him in return for his embrace, but falling on her knees, clung round his legs, and bathed his feet with her tears. - These were the happiest moments that she had ever known-perhaps, the happiest he had ever known.

“Lord Margrave, on whom Lord Elmwood had not even cast a look, now left the room ; but as he quitted it, called out, “My Lord Elmwood, if you have

any

demands on me,The earl interrupted him,—“Would you

make me an executioner? The law shall be your only antagonist.”

Matilda, quite exhausted, yet upheld by the sudden transport she had felt, was led by her father out of this wretched dwelling--more despicable than the hovel of the veriest beggar.

The appre

the effect of gaining compliance with her advice, she varied her manners, and began by less submissive means to attempt an influence. She said her orders were to be obedient, while she herself was obeyed-at least in circumstances so material as the lady's health, of which she had the charge as a physician, and expected equal compliance from her patient:—food and fresh apparel she prescribed as the only means to prevent death; and even threatened her invalid with something worse, a visit from Lord Margrave, if she continued obstinate.

Now loathing her for the deception she had practised, more than had she received her thus at first, Matilda hid her eyes from the sight of her ; and when she was obliged to look, she shuddered.

This female at length thought it her duty to wait upon her worthy employer, and inform him the young lady in her trust would certainly die, unless there were means employed to oblige her to take some nourishment.

Lord Margrave, glad of an opportunity that might apologize for his intrusion upon Lady Matilda, went with eagerness to her apartment; and throwing himself at her feet, conjured her if she would save his life, as well as her own, to submit to be consoled.

The extreme aversion, the horror which his presence inspired, caused Matilda for a moment to forget all her want of power, her want of health, her weakness; and rising from the place where she sat, she cried, with her voice elevated,

“Leave me, my lord, or I'll die in spite of all your care; I'll instantly expire with grief, if you do not leave me.”

Accustomed to the tears and reproaches of the sex—though not of those like her-he treated with indifference these menaces of anger, and seizing her hand, carried it to his lips.

Enraged, and overwhelmed with terror at the affront, she exclaimed, (forgetting every other friend she had), “Oh! my dear Miss Woodley, why are you not here to protect me ?"

“Nay,” returned Lord Margrave, stifling a propensity to laugh,“I should think the old priest would be as good a champion as the lady.”

The remembrance of Sandford, with all his kindness, now rushed so forcibly on Matilda's mind that she shed tears, from the certainty how much he felt, and would continue to feel, for her situation. Once she thought on Rushbrook, and thought even he would be sorry for her. Of her father she did not think she dared not one single moment, indeed, that thought had intruded, but she hurried it away—it was too bitter.

It was now again quite night; and near to that hour when she came first to the house. Lord Margrave, though at some distance from her, remained still in her apartment, while her female companion had stolen away. His insensibility to her lamentations the agitated looks he sometimes cast upon her-her weak and defenceless

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CHAPTER LIV.

OVERCOME with the want of rest for two nights, through her distracting fears, and all those fears now hushed, Matilda, soon after she was placed in the carriage with Lord Elmwood, dropped fast asleep ;--and thus, insensibly surprised, she leaned her head against her father in the sweetest slumber that imagination can conceive.

When she awoke, instead of the usual melancholy scene before her view, she beheld her father; and heard the voice of the once dreaded Lord Elmwood tenderly saying,

“ We will go no farther to-night, the fatigue

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