Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

future life, often determining to abandon Paulina and again feeling unable to break her suares. Her billet was only one live written with a pencil, saying that her servants thought her gone to meet the general; the die was therefore cast, she had thrown herself upon his support and he should be branded with treachery if he refused to follow.

Contrary to his usual practice, Johnson staid in the room while the earl read the letter. The perplexity of his countenance proclaimed a soul which could not bend its lofty feelings to its determined purpose.

He attempted to order his carriage, but meeting the reproving eye of his servant le blushed with shame, tore the billet, and sternly bade Jolinsen not intrude upon his privacies, por abuse his confidence. The faithful valet withdrew in terrified silence. A

pause of awful suspense ensued. Avondel was heard to pace his cham-. per with quick irresolute step, and Johnson listened in the vain hope that honour would yet prevail. But the snares of Paulina were wound around him with irresistible force; the terrible determination appeared inevitable. He rushed out of his house with the impetuosity of irresolute rashness. Johnson gazed on him for a few moments, and then hastened to inform the friendly marchioness that the much dreaded crisis was arrived.

CHAP. XXVII.

It will be pastime passing excellent
If it be husbanded with modesty.

SHAKESPEARE.

AMONG the friends of Lord Glenvorne was a Mr. Sandford, who to prudent conduct and upright intentions united that address which gives success to villany, and those companionable talents of mimickry and playful humour, which often lead their

possessors into dissolute society

[ocr errors]

and serious dilemmas.

This happy compound of steadiness and wit pointed him out to Lord Glenvorne as a proper agent to execute the subaltern part of the scheme which the marchioness and Lady Selina liad concerted to reclaim the truant earl. Without fully disclosing by what means, the marquis had positively assured the ladies that Paulina should be prevented from meeting Lord Avondel at the place of rendezvous, namely, the cottage provided by John

had been placed on this lady's actions, and as soon she drove from her house in a chariot and four, without being misled by the pretence that she was going to meet her husband, Mr. Sandford followert the fugitive, and as he expected soon saw her take a road very different from that to Ramsgate. When the distance from London, and the lateness

son.

A spy

as

[blocks in formation]

or

of the hour, diminished the chancc of his meeting with any interruption in his design, he bade his postilions pass her carriage. Having disguised his attendants as Bow-street officers, he mounted them on post-horses, dered them to stop Paulina as a delinquent escaped from justice, and to charge her with being the run-away shop-woman of a celebrated jeweller, and having committed a robbery on her master. They were then to bring her to a neighbouring inn, where they would find him transformed into a country justice, and acting with all the dignity suitable to his magisterial character.

The terror and rage of Paulina at this interruption are not to be described. For relying on the supposed security of travelling in England, and desirous of

secrecy,

her retinue consisted of only her woman, and one

6

« VorigeDoorgaan »