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^'^^^dG^if^^^^^'^^^l 



SIR ROLAND ASHTON. 



SIR ROLAND ASHTON: 



§, f aie 0f % f inits. 



BT 




LADY CATHAKINE LONG. 



M He deemed it inenmbent upon every individiuJ* however humble, to 
offer the tribute of his influence and example, if they amounted but to a 
mite, on the altar of his God.**— Fuyati Lm. 



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LONDON: 

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NEW YORK: 18, BEEKMAN STREET. 

1854. 



^4^. ^' /<</' 



NOTICE TO THE READER 



The Pablishers have great satisfaction in issuing a 
cheap edition of the Lady Catherine Long's " Sib Roland 
AsHTOK." They have been induced to add this well^ 
known and valuable work to their list of publications, in 
the full conyiction that the talent it displays, no less 
than the piinicples it inculcates, will secure for it a 
popularity quite as extensive as that which has been 
accorded to Miss Wetherell's " Qubechy," and the 
"Wide, Wide World;" — works which have equally 
won their way in public estimation on both sides of the 
Atlantic. The Publishers feel assured, indeed, thaff 
" Snt Roland Ashton " wiU become even more popular 
than Miss Wetherell's tales, not merely because the 
authoress is a native of England, but because she has 
evinced talent of the highest order, and a disposition 
to advance the moral, intellectual, atxd religious cha- 
racter of society. 



lO 

HENRIETTA ANNE, 

COUimESS OF CAENABVOISr. 



Mt dsas Lady Cabnasyoit, 

I DEDICATE this Work to you as a memorial of the Mendflhip 
and affection which haYC sahsisted between ns for so many yeais* 
and which time, it is pleasant to feel, not only cements, but causes 
continually to increase. 

Your idea is also particularly associated with it in my mind, for 
you are fully acquainted with the motiYC, wholly distinct from 
personal considerations, which orig^inally induced me to think of 
writing, and you were among the yc^ first to ezicourage me in the 
undertaking. 

I know there are many most ezoeUent people who do not approYe 
of religious sentiments being brought forward through the medium 
of fiction, and who think that works of that nature are Hot calcu- 
lated to produce good efiects. But my experience has taught me 
decidedly the contrary ; for not only haYC they often been instru- 
mental in awakening and' exalting spiritual feelings, but in some 
instances they haYe been the means, in God's hands, of couYeying 
Yital truth to the soul. 

I am folly aware that my hero is not perfect, nor haYe I en- 
deaYOured to make him so, for perfection is not to be found in man ; 
but I haYC endeaYOured to proYe, as far as fiction can proYC any 
thing, that religion has power greatly to OYercome the natural 
faults of dispositidn, and to strengthen and sustain the soul under 
the trials and temptations of life. The tale flows on " irom graYO 
to gay, from liYcly to seYcre," pretty much as real life does to those 
who, though not of the worlds are constrained to Hyc much in it; 
and I haye not thought it necessary, in the leasti to lower the tono 



•ViH DBDICATlOir. 

of innocent cheerfulness, or of natural feeling and aJBSsction i on 
the contrary, I have endeavoured to represent loye in its very 
highest degree, belieying that in the nohlest characters it will 
always hold that place ; and also thinking that it giyes the loye of 
€h>d a much higher triumph to represent it as capahle, which it 
truly is, of subduing the lofty and yehement feelings of men, than. 
as able merely to control the tame and placid emotions of common- 
place character. 

In dedicating my book to you, I am not afiraid of compromising 
you in any way ; for though we may not always fed the same on 
religious subjects, yetwe bothknow that the difference lies merely in 
the depth of tone, and not in the nature of the colouring ; and you 
therefore have not feared allowing yourself to be associated with 
my wholly untried work, while I do not dread, by any sentiments 
brought forward in it, bringing a shadow of discredit upon a name 
80 justly dear to me. 

Believe me ever. 

My dear Lady Carnarvon, 

Your truly affectionate 

Cathajose LoNa. 

Spa^ June 18» X84i. 



SIR ROLAND ASHTON: 

9 Sab 0f ti^e (S^hnes* 



CHAPTER I. 

** Now in thy yonth beseech of Him 

Who giyeth, upbraiding not, ^ 

That His light in thy heart become not dim 
And His love be uiforgot ; 
And thy Qod in the darkest of days shall be 
Greenness, and beauty, and strength to thee." 

Bebnabd Babtov. 

" * VoTAGEB o'est tm tristeplaisir' " (travelling is a melancholy 
pleasure), said Sir Eoland Ashton to Lady Constance Templeton, 
as lie walked with her in the garden at Clayerton, just before he 
started for the Continent. 

Clayerton, the seat of Lord St. Enran, Lady Constance's father, 
was situated in Cornwall, very near the coast. Only a few miles, 
distant from it was Sir Roland Ashton's residence, Ilanaven, 
which was a magnificent place, and surrounded by an immense 
property ; which, tog[ether with an ancient baronetcy, Sir Roland 
naa inherited from ms father when only fifteen years of age. Hia 
mother had 'been a most intimate mend of the late Lady St. 
Ervan's ; and a similarity in feeling and principles had drawn the 
bonds of amity between the two families very close. Lady St» 
Ervan's death (which took place when* her youngest child. Lady 
"Florence, was about three yoars old) robbed Claverton of half it» 
attractions for Lady Ashton; yet her friendship for Lord St» 
Ervan continued unabated, wMLe the motherless state of his two 
little cirls formed a new claim on her sympathy and kindness ; 
and wnen, a few months afterwards, she lost her own husband, 
her deep grief found a partial relief in the almost maternal care 
she bestowed on the children of her friend, who, with her own twe 
sons, Sir Roland and his younger brother Henry, formed the solace 
and charm of her existence. 

The children of the two families had grown up together on torma 
of the fondest intimacy. Their homes were so near, that they 
continually saw each other ; and during absence at school or col* 
lege, or when Henry, who was in ^e navy, went to^ sea, constant 
oommunioations between them had prevented their ever beinsr 
separated in heart ; and letters were as frequently ezohangea 
between Lady Constanoe and her absent Mends, as between them; 

B 



2 SIB BOIAITD ASHTOir. 

and their mother. She had eyer felt for them the confiding love of 
a sister, and Henry returned her affection in like manner ; bnt 
8ir Roland's feelings hadgraduaUy deepened into one of exclusiye 
love and attachment. Haying, howeyer, on one occasion, hinted 
his wishes to Lord 8t. Eryan» the latter had begged him, for a 
time, to defer making them known to their object, considering her 
too young (she was but in her seyenteenth year) to know her own 
mind on such a subject, finding it extremely irksome to con- 
tinue near, and yet be obHged to remBs the feelings which were 
ever hoyerin^ on his lips. Sir Roland determined to go abroad for 
a year, trusting he should be permitted at the expiration of that 
time, to open his heart to her in whom all his warmest affections 
centred ; and the day on which this story opens was that on which 
he was about to commence what he oonsidered a dreary exile. 

After quitting Llanayen, he had to pass the park-gates of 
Clayerton ; and, haying taken leaye of his mother at the former 
place, he couldnot resist paying a farewell visit at Lord St. Ervan's. 
He found Lady Constance in the garden, and was taking a last 
walk with her, when he made the exdamation with which this 
chapter commences, — "Voyager o'est xm tnste plaisir!" — *'At 
least, so it seems to me," he continued, " when it begins with part- 
ings such as these. Bear Constance, I cannot bear to go. Does it 
not seem like madness to hurry away from, what one loves best on. 
earth, ' pour aller U, oii i>er8onne ne TOffu stteoEid^' (to go tha« 
where no one is expecting 70a.)" 

" I am sure you will enjoy it when onee jou are abroad," said 
Lady Constance ; " but parting is always sorrow, and neyer even. 
* sweet sorrow,' I think, though Shakspeare calls it so. It is bitter 
•orrow to me, I know, parting with youi, Roland ;" and she burst 
into tears. 

" Constance, dear," said Sir R<dand, in great agitation, " do not^ 
I beseech yon, — ^I cannot bear those tears ! 

'*0h! they are only for a moment," she answered, gmiH^g 
through them ; " and selfish tears too, for I know you will enjoy 
your travels so much ; but just at the time — ^" and again ner 
tears burst forth. 

Sir Roland abruptly left her, and threw himself down on a seat 
in a summerhouse near ; he could not trust himself with her at 
that moment. She soon, however, joined him with an April &ce, 
and, sitting down by him^ — 

" There, ' she said, smiling, " I have wiped my tears away, as 
yon had no compassion on them." 

Sir Roland could not answer. 

" You will write very often," she oontmned ; " we shall delight 
in tracing every step or your journey. It will be so dull when yoa 
•8 well as Henry are away." 

" Oh, yes ! I will write continually, and yon will write to me, — 
aU.of yon. Do not forget me. Constance." he added, a deep 
•enousness resting on his countenance, "will yon grant me one 
»vour?" 

"Gladly, if I can." 
Then meet me eyery nighty at midndght^ bef<Mre the throne of 



Sm BOLAITD ASHTOK. 3 

Gk>d. It will be a solace to me to know that there, at least, we 
shall be together." 

•• I wiU, and pray for me, Roland— pray that my weak faith may 
be strengthened, and that I may oontmnally grow in graoe. Ana 
what shall I pray for specially, — ^for you ?** 

** Pray, for me, that I may he preserved from, and in temptation. 
I go where God is not much honoured or regarded ; pray, that my 
love may not become cold. I do not fear it," he added with a 
si^h, ** as regards my earthly feelings ; but I dread as the worst 
evil, — ^yes, truly as the worst evil, ocddness of heart towards God. 
1 rejoice that you have made this appointment with me, Con- 
stance, it takes away some of the sting of parting ; God will surely 
bless oar meeting m His presence, and I shall long for the quiet 
night-hour, for then I shall know your heart is with me." 

Lady Constance held out her hand to him, and smiled through 
fresh-springing tears. 

** Oh ! I hear those hateful wheels," she eried, starting up ; " why 
did you order the carriage round so soon ?" 

*'I must not be late, said 1^ Roland; *'and the sooner we 
part, the sooner will this terrible pain be over. Do not come with 
me ii) the carriage, Constance ; I cannot say farewell before others. 
I shall like to think of my last look of you here in your own 
flowery summerhouse. You will often 1hin£ of me, my dearest ?" 

Lady Constance could not speak. Sir Roland looked at her for 
one moment, then, kissing ihe hand she had held out to him, 
tuned, and was gone. 



CHAPTER n. 

* So q^e tiie seraph Abdiel, £UthM found 
Among tha fifdthle68| faithAil onlj he. 
Among innumerable false unmoved. 
Unshaken, nnsedueed, nnterrifled, 
Uis loyally he k^, his love, his zeal ; 
Kor nnmber, nor example, with him weigh'd 
To swerve from truth, or change his constant mind. 
Though single.'* Milton. 

Of all the characters that the imafi:ination of cfenius had ever 
sketched, the one that had most delignted Sir Roland, even from 
his boyish days, was that drawn with the master-hand of Milton, 
and quoted aboye; and often had he prayed that he might be 
enabled to follow the bright example of the glorious being there 
portrayed. Gt>d had heard and recorded the aspirations of his 
youthhil servant, and had ffiven him a strength of character rarely 
met with. Continual, indeed, were the failings and evils he 
foToid in his own heart ; but the knowledge of his infirmities ever 
led him to throw himself witii greater self-abandonment on Christ. 
for all his strength and all his salvation ; and thus, like the fabled 
Ante&us of old, he rose the stronger from every fall. The light of 
holy truth had early shone upon him, and the blessing of God had 
borne him, almost harmless, through scenes that too often wreck 

B 2 



SIB BOLAITD ASHTOIT. 



both the vii'tae and the peace of youth. Though entering with the 
kindest sympathy into the feelingrs of others, his own heart seemed 4 

lifted above the world, and continually dwelling in the presence i 

of God ; aad in him was realized, to a most unusual degree, the ' 

power of a livinpr faith ; eyidenoing the truth of Scripture, ** Thou < 

ehalt keep him m perfect peace whose mind is stayed upon Thee." 
The generality even of true Christians pay, as it were, but visits 
to the throne of fiprace, and are too apt to suffer themselves at other 
times to be overcharged with the cares and affections of this world; 
but with Sir Roland the peace of God <ibode, for his soul was stayed 

upon his heavenly Father. 

On leaving ClavertonThe proceeded direct to London, where he 
was joined by a Mend whose mind was wholly congenial to his 
own, and who had agreed to accompany him in his travels. Mr. 
Scott was three years younger than Sir Koland. He had not been ^ 

blessed, like him, with narents who had trained his youth in the | 

ways of piety and usefoiness ; but, having been broug:ht up for the 
world, he had pursued its pleasures and dissipations with eagerness . 
and delight. His mother died early ; and his father, though he had 
thrown his son into the society he thought most advantageous in 
all worldly points of view, ^ret when he saw the evils it led him 
into, mourned over that which his own hand had done. He died 
when his son was about twenty, and during the previous seclusion 
of a long illness, he learned the insufficiency of earthly things to 
bring comfort and peace in the hour of death; and bitterly did he 
then regret the life and strength he had wasted on the things of 
this world. His son's dissipated life filled him with alarm and 
self-upbraiding. When he spoke to him on the subject, he would 
laugh, saying, **he must live as others did;" that "young men must 
be young men," &c. 

But when his father's illness assumed a dangerous aspect, it 
seemed to sober him at once. H^ was most attentive and kind, 
and seldom left the house. Tet there/ seemed no conviction of sin» 
no awakening of the conscience, or turning of the heart to God ; 
and the imhappy father had to leave the world under the agnizing ^ 
apprehension that the son, whose late imremitting attentions had 
made him dearer to him than ever, was a stranger to God, and 
wholly given to the follies of the world. He had neglected to com- 
mend his young years to his Maker, and now he bad to leave him 
alone in the world, without one human counsellor to assist him, 
and wholly ignorant of Him in whose service alone there is true 
wisdom. 

^ After the first feeling of natural ^ef and mourning had sub- 
sided, Mr. Scott, having nothing within to sustain and comfort 
him, naturally fell back to the companions with whom his life had . 
been sp^nt. In verv kindliness they tried to raise his spirits, after 
their own fashion, by leading him to " drown care" in renewed 
folly and dissipation ; and be entered into the snare with the gusi^ 
of one who takes up again a favourite enjoyment after having oeen 
for a tune debarrea from its pursuit. But he soon became surprised 
at finding that these things had not the charm for him that they 
formerly possessed. He no longer retained from the haunts of fdly 



SIB SOLAin) ASHTOV. 5 

or yioe light-Hearted, reckless, and cheerM; but a iTBiglit and 
oppression hung over him, and his heart, uneasy and disappointed* 
felt no peaoe. 

Still, noweyer, he went on, and even plun^ deeper and deeper 
into sin and folly, in order to stifle the voice that was speaking 
within. Though he had never been convinced by what his father 
had said to him, yet his conversation had brought new subjects 
before his mind ; and when he began affain to mix in the world, 
the aspect of things seemed changed to nim, and he graduallv lost 
all power of enioyment in scenes that had once seemed so enchant- 
ing. Yet stiU he knew of nothing better, and his old associates 
could in no way help him; they " oeing tied and bound with the 
chain of those sins, which he began so earnestly to desire to 
shake off. 

Just when his mind was in this state, one of his cousins, who had 
been abroad for some years, returned to England. He had seen but 
little of him before that time*^ but, as soon as he became well 
acquainted with him, he took an extreme liking to his society, 
which his near relationship gave him frequent opportunities of 
enjoying. Mr. Singleton was one whose principles and pursuits 
were wholly at variance with those of his young[ cousin ; yet hoping 
to do him food, and feeling a great regard for him notwithstandinfl^ 
his many niults, he let him be as much with him as he chose ; and 
an extreme intimacy thus grew up between them. He was several 
years older than Mr. Scott, and of a most commanding style of 
countenance and character. He was very desirous to be of use to 
his cousin, but he determined not to press the subject of religion 
too much upon him. He felt sure, from what he saw, that his mind 
was unsatiBfied with his present pursuits, and he thought it best to 
let him feel his misery fully, before he tried to relieve nim from it, 
by pointing out the only patli of peace and happiness. With every 
one he would not have acted in this way ; but he was weU versed 
in reading human character, and he saw so much of determination 
and indomitable energy in Mr. Scotl^ that he felt convinced that if 
he commenced the attack, the other would never wiUingly relin- 
quish the defence of any point. 

One morning thorough!^ out of humour with himself and aU the 
world, Mr. Scott threw himself on a sofa in his cousin's room, 
exclaiming that " he was a miserable wretch 1" 

** I shouldn't wonder," said the other, cooUy, continuing a letter 
he was writing. 

" Whjr so ? ' said Mr. Scott, rather indignant at the readiness 
with which his assertion had been received. 

" You seem to me to labour under many disadvantages," said his 
cousin. 

" I am generally considered," returned Mr. Scott, now appa- 
rently set upon making himself out to be remarkably happy, ^*to 
be rather an enviable fellow, and to possess an unusual share of 
advantages in the world." 

His cousin was silent, and pertinaciously plied his pen. 

'* Why should you fancy I was miserable ? * said Mr. Scott. ^ 

'* One retoon was, that you said you were," replied his cousin. 



6 6nt BOLAlvI) ASHXOSr. 

" Oh ! one often says things one doesn't mean.'' 

" Does one? — I don't.** 

" What an odious fellow you are, Sinffleton !" 

" I suppose ' one is saying what one doesn't mean' now," replied 
his cousin, quietly sealing nis letter. 

" No, I do mean it. I hate you when yon are in these humonrs." 

"In what humours?" asked Mx. Singleton, extinguishing the 
bougie, and turning to his cousin in an attitude of patient atten- 
tion : " I have finished my letter now, and can attend to you and 
to your misery — or happiness. Which is it to he ?* ' 

Mr. Scott was excessively provoked, — ^the more so, that he could 
not help laughing. 

" 1 shall not talk any more to you," he said, sfcarting up ; " but 
leave you till you are in a better mood." 

'* I assure you I am in quite a sweet mood," said Mr. Singleton ; 
"so let US (mcuss leisurely this very interesting, and seemingly 
rather obscure point." 

"I wish it were made law," said Mr. Seott, " to strangle people 
who provoke one, on the spot." 

Mr. Singleton laughed loud and lon^ ; so loud and so long that 
his cousin could not re&ain from joining him ; and all prelimi- 
naries being thus brought .to a happy conclusion, they entered on 
the business under discussion. 

" Well, why, I ask you once more, should you take upon you to 
imagine that I am miserable ; and why do you say that I labour 
under disadvantages ? What are they ?" 

** Tour misery we will let rest upon your own assertion. The 
disadvantages rest on mine, and I am prepared to name and prove 
them. You are young, rich, clever, agreeable, fashionable, idle» 
and godless." 

"1 am not going to dispute the latter points,** replied Mr. Scott, 
with rather a neightened colour; " but how, with all your love of 
paradoxes, will you make it out that being (as you obligingly 
nctionise me to be) rich, clever, agreeable, and fashionable, is to be 
labouring under disadvantages. They are things usually rather 
coveted than otherwise.** 

" My sayings,** replied Mr. Singleton, " are perfect as toholea ; I 
cannot be answerable for them in fragments. I again assert, that 
a man endowed with all the attributes and c^ualifications I have 
named, united together, labours under great disadvantages." 

" I suppose you mean, that to a godless man, as you are liberal 
enough to call me, the things first on your list act as snares." 

** 1 do mean that, my dear Willy,** said the ol^er, kindly ; " the 
freight that would be very valuable if God were at the helm, tends 
but the more to sink the snip when Satan steers." 

This pious but eccentrio man then proceeded to lay before his 
cousin many valuable views of himself^ and of God ; and the result 
of many conversations, of many hard-fought battles, and of mnoh 
patient exertion on his part, was that, by tiiie blessing of God, Mr. 
Scott was brought to see things as the Almighty sees them ; and 
not only to lament, but entirely to give un, his former mode of life. 
The energy of- character which nad made mm go farther than many 



esa. BOLAKD ASHTOir. 7 

In the pursuits of the world, made him now surpass most others in 
the diligence with which he subdued the evils of his own nature, 
and sought ocoasioos of merc]^ and kindness towards his fellow- 
creatures. It was after this great and happy change had 
taken place, that he beoame acquainted with Bit Boland, whose 
mind was not less energetic than his own in all good things ; and 
tiie sinularity in their habits and feelings produced between them 
a strong and lasting Mendship. 

Though Sir Roland was so much attached to Lady Constance 
TempletoD, yet his reserve was so great on this subject, that he and 
Hr. Scott had travelled together for some time l!efore the latter 
l)eoame at all aware of ^ state of his feelings ; and then it was by 
accident more than intention that ^e secret of his heart escaped 
him. He nursed it as a treasure too delightful, too sacred, to be 
laid open to common eyes ; though, after it had once been men- 
tioned, he often found a solace in speaking of his future hopes. 

After spending some months in tiie more southern parts of 
£iirox)e, the two mends went to pay a visit to Sir Roland s uncle. 

Lord N , his mother's brother, who was then ambassador at 

one of the northern courts, and who was delighted to see his nephew, 
and invited both him and Mr. Scott to remain in his house during 
their stay at . 

On Sir Roland's arrival, he found that the secretary of embassy, 
Mr. Anstruther, an old acquaintance of his, had been dangerously 
ill, and was consequently unable to fulfil the duties of his office. 
He had, indeed, wholly resigned his employment, as he had been 
told that his best chance of recovery was going to a warmer climate, 
which he purposed doin^ as soon as he should have regained a 

little more strength. This was a great trouble to Lord N , who 

had been long accustomed to him, and who had none but young 
thoughtless aUachis about him, in whom he could place but smaU 
veliance. The person >vho was appointed to the vacant post was at 
that time in a distant part of the world, and some months must 
neoessarilv elapse before lie could enter on his new situation, and, 

in this dilemma. Lord K asked Sir Roland to act &s secretary 

till the one newlj* appointed should arrive, if government would 
consent to his doing so. 

Sir Roland, anxious to continue his journey, and longing to be 
again at home, felt very averse to complying with this proposal ; 
but his uncle was not youn^, and had much important business on 
his hands, and he felt that it would be selfish to refuse his assist- 
ance in such an emergency ; so he sacrificed, as was his wont, his 
own pleasure to the gratification of others, and yielded to his 
nncle s wish for him to remain for awhile with him at . 

He expected to find his new situation extremelv irksome, ac- 
customed as he was to perfect freedom of action, ana to associating 
chiefiy with such friends as he liked ; but it was ^railing to him 
beyond all that he could have conceived. In the midst of a dissi- 
pated capital, and living in the ambassador's house, he found that 
a very different course of life and of conduct was expected from lum 
than any to which he had ever before been accustomed, and which 
it was totally impossible for bim to adopt. His upright mind waa 



8 SIE BOLAITD ASHTOIT. 

shocked continually at things which occnrred in the course of the 
business he had to transact ; and he ventured to mention to his 
uncle several matters, which seemed to him to bear far away from 
tiie open, truthful conduct, which had hitherto been his only line 
of action. Lord N smiled at his nephew's " unnecessary scru- 
pulosity," as he called it, and which he attributed solely to his 
inexperience in the ways of the world ; for long as he had known 
Sir Roland, he had not yet nenetrated into the recesses of his noble 
mind. He was, perhaps, of a rather reserved temper ; but this, 
though proceeding paitlv from natural disposition, was much in- 
creased Dy finding tew who could understand the exalted Christian 
characters written on his heart. They were like hieroglyphics to 
the people of the world, therefore to such he unconsciously closed 
the volume ; while to those who knew him well, and were able to 
appreciate his feelings, every line of his bright and godly character 
was open for perusal. 

The old Machiavellian style of policy is now happily much ex- 
ploded from our councils ; out Lord N , though of an upright, 

npnourable character in ordinary life, was a man of the world, and 
retained much of the old routine of conduct which formerly was 
thought necessary in his situation. To diseuise his wishes, rather 
than make them plain, was, he thought, the grand desideratum ; 
while no art was considered dishonourable that could tend to the 
discovery of the secret intentions of the powers with whom he had 
to act. Sir Roland, however, stated at once that it would be im- 
possible for him to use falsehood or deceit in any way. He didnot, 
of course, fancy that he was to dictate what mpasures were to be 
adopted, such thing[8 depending on persons much bigher in power 
than himself; but in carrying out those measures, as far as he was 
intrusted with their conduct, he assured his uncle he could not act 
otherwise than with candour and honesty ; and he felt convinced, 
lie added, "that openness would, in the end, be found to answer 
the best, even in this world's estimation." 

" I mustlist you take your own way, I suppose," said LordN , 

good-humouredly ; " but you will soon have had enough of truth- 
telling in this lying world." 



Now, without approving the morality ki my friend of the single j 
lie, yet the correctness of his position is, we well know, matter of 

history and experience." I 

"It may be so," returned his uncle ; "but the first lie in diplo- \ 

macy was told such centuries ago, that I confess that I quail under ^ 

the attempt of cleansing this Augean stable. If Diogenes was i, 

forced to take a lantern to find an honest man in his day, I am siure • 

it would need a Bude light to discover one now, at least amongst our ^ 

tanks. And I suspect you wiU find one very necessary, too, in i 

Tour pertinacious search after truth, which lies, they say, at the » 

tottomofaweU." ! 

" ' Thy word is a lamp unto my feet,' " said Sir Roland ; " that is J 

the only light which guides to truth-— all others lead astray ; and J 

I 



Snt BOLAITD A0HTOB. 9 

Scriptnre warns ns that it were better to out off the right hand 
tiian to let it cause 110 to offend." 

** Cut off your own hand, by all means," answered Lord N , 

"if you have any particular predilection that way ; but pray re- 
znember that you naye your country to consult as well as your own 
fancies ; and don't be like the lady, who, determining to nave her 
own Way with the loaf, cut herself through, and the footman behind 
her." 

Sir Roland laughed, and was about to speak, but his uncle con- 
tinued, " Your country will not feel very grateful, I can tell you, 
if you sacrifice her interests to follow some phantasm of your own, 
which no one can understand when they have got it, prooably not 
even yourself. You may, perhaps, think it your duty in pnvate 
life, to go about telling people how frightful and disagreeable you 
think them ; but that will not do here. When there are conflicting 
duties, we must reconcile them as well as we can." 

There was much in the contemptuous tone of his uncle which 
was unpleasant to Sir Roland, but nis usual self-command did not 
desert him. His uncle's age would have prevented any quick 
reply, even if otherwise he might have been tempted to have given 
way to one, and with great temperance he answered, " I cannot but 
thiiik it is an error, thousfh I know it is a common one, to talk of 
' conflicting duties ;' sucn cannot surely exist. There can be but 
(be line of action at one time that is nght; all others, tibierefore, 
liust necessarily be wrong." 

"AU that sounds vastly pretty, and amazingly conclusive,*' 

answered Lord N ; "but 1 conceive, with all due deference to 

your greater experience, that it may so happen that what is well to 
do at one time is iU to do at another. Truth is a very good thing, 
where it will achieve the purpose we have in hand ; but even the 
truth will not bear telling at all times, or in all placeb. If these 
rascally fellows saw we had set our hearts upon any thing, do you 
think they would let us have it ? Not they. It would be putting 
whip, spur, and bit into their hands, to use as they pleased on usw 
No, no, depend upon it, it is not your four-footed piff alone who 
must be tola we are taking him to Fermoy if we woula get bim to 
Elkenny." 

*' But if all act on the same plan," replied Sir Roland, " we may 
also find ourselves at Kilkenny, some fine day, without intending it, 

" There is that danger, to be sure," answered Lord N ; " but 

we must have our wits about us, and only sleep with one eye at a 
time. It is useless, if you really want a thing, to act in such a 
way as to cut up your own project by the roots. In the prosecution 
of a great end, smaller interests must give way." 

" As was the case with the unfortunate Princes Mediatis4» attlM 
time of the peace, I suppose," said Sir Roland, archly. 

Lord N — p shook his head at him, though a smile lurked at the 
comers of his mouth. '* You are quick enough at finding out the 
faults of your betters, I see," he said ; ** but if you are so mida- 
pert, I shall give you double work to do to keep you quiet. But 
rU answer for it you are just like your father ; there never was any 
perguading him to do a thing like other people. Sometimes, when 



10 fiE BOLiJn> AfiHXOV. 

we were boys togetiier— and a bold boy he was— aye, and a noble 
fellow, too — ^he would be wanting^ perhaps to do, or to have, some- 
thing or other, (reasonable enough, I dare say,) and would be 
always for goin^ directly to adc hu father about it, who was one 
of the most capncions bodies that ever liyed. I used to say to him 
sometimes, ' Wait a little, and see what s(»t of a humour he is 
in.' But, ' ^o,' he would answer, looking very fierce and virtuous, 
* if it is a right thing to do, it is a right thing to ask for at all times! 
I hate your deceit.' So off he went, goinff bolt up to his father — 
at a time whan no man iahis senses would have ventured to have 
spoken to him, even to tell him that he had had a fortune of twenty 
thousand a-year left him, — and out he comes at once with his re- 
q^st. ' It needs no ghost' to tell what was the invariable result. 
^W eU,* I would say, when he returned, * you have got your wish, 
of course.' ' No,' with a si^h of resignation, * but I dare say there 
is some good reason why it is refused me.' " 

'*My dear father 1" exclaimed Sir Boland involuntarily, his 
heart glowing at the reoollection of him. 

'* Yes, he was a very dear father, and a very good father," said 

Lord N ; " and a good husband, and a good man. And vour 

mother is just such another spirit. Honest, open, truth-teUing 
people, both— worthy and excellent — and intellectual too, especially 
your father; but they would have ruined the interests of any 
nation in a fortnight. Happy thing that they settled quietly in the 
country ! |I cannot wonder, he contLuued, looking slily but kindly 
at his nephew, " that you are no better than you are, considering 
from whom you spring. 

Sir Roland, smiled gratei^y at the implied compliment to him- 
self and to his parents, while his countenance lighted up with the 
beauty of filial love. " The thought of them is, indeed, most cheer- 
ing tome" he said, "showing what single-minded faith in Christ 
will do. Tet I must confess I do not quite a^e in my father's 
boyish sentiment ; for if you do want a thing, it is best to take all 
lawful measures to obtain it, if it is a matter of indifference, it 
.were best not to irritate the other party by mooting the point at 
all. I think he should have waited till his father was in a mood, 
quietly and reasonably, to judge of his request ; and not have asked 
it of a person who, to all intents and purposes, was at the time non 
compos. We are told to use the wisdom of the serpent as well as 
the simplicity of the dove." 

" Well, well, my dear boy, that is just what I have been saying. 
If you have a point at heart, gain it— honestly of course, if you 
oan." 

" Nay, nay, my dear uncle," replied Sir Boland ; " I say, be 
honest, and gain your point, if you can. A Christian does not 
reckon that he can gain a point with other than honest weapons." 

"My young Solomon," said Lord N , "we must beat our 

enemies with their own weapons, if we expect to beat them at all." 

" ' Duties are ours, events are God's,' " said Sir Boland, gravely ; 
** no Jesuit should be allowed to creep into our councils. It was 
one of my father's sayings, I remember well, 'that the path of 
duly is generally clear to those who have no secret wish to turn 
aside from it.' " 



gnt XOLABD AflttTOA. 11 

** Well, hove it your own way, for a beadatrong, wOM boy, as 

yon are," said Lord IS , wiio, nevertheless, oonld not nelp 

■eeretly admiring what he considered his nephew's chivalroiu 
romance of character; '* ask the ligbt, titien, of your diosen lamp on 
the subject." 

*' You will think I am determined to gainsay all yonr advice/' 
said Bir Roland, ^pood-hnmonredly ; "bnt I eannot ask coimsel on 
a point where plain oommands have been laid down. It would be 
like Balaam, going to inquire of 6k)d, in hopes of being allowed to 
<nirse, where God had pronounced his determination to oless." 

** Upon my word, young gentleman, you are rather strong in 
your language," said Lord li- . 

** 1 beg your jMurdon, my dear unde," said Sir Roland ; '* I did 
not at the moment peroeiye the strict application of the words ; for 
nothinj? would induce me wilfully to say a disrespectfial word to 

Iou. But still, dear sir, if you would but only consider the matter, 
am sure you would [see it ia this light ; we know that all insin- 
eerity is condemned by God, and He oertainly pronounces anything 
but a blessing upon it." 

•* No one, as you well knowr Roland," said Lord N , mildly* 

'' disdains a lie more, as man to man, than I do ; but I assure you, 
in public business yon will find it absolutely impossible to do 
-without it." 

'* I cannot beHeye it," said Sir Roland ; " nay, it is impossible it 
should be the case. Is it not God's intention that nation should 
have intercourse witii nation ? Most assuredly, then, such inter- 
course can be, and should be, carried on in accordance with fib 
most truthful laws." 

" Well, I see you are determined to beat me out of the field," 

said Lord N , puckering up bis cTebrows into a tremendous 

frown, from beneau which his quick, clear, grey eye twinkled with 
tile most good-humoured expression ; " there is no such thing as 
reverenoe for the wisdom of age in these degenerate days ; so I 
shall hand you over to George Anstruther. There's a scholar who 
lias £eu* outstripped his master ! and you will be quick, indeed, if 
you are able at all times to give him a ' Rowland for hiis Oliver.' " 

So saying, and shaking hands kindly with his nephew, he left 
the room. 

" Strange," thought Sir Roland, when alone, " that Satan should 
iunre such unlimitea range through this world ! Well is he called 
the ' prince of this world,' ' the prince of the power of darkness.' 
But a day will come, and that soon I trust, when his power shall be 
ca£t down, and the Lord of truth shall reign throughout His earth." 



CHAPTER in, 

** That keen sareastic levity of tongue. 
The stiDging of a heart the world has stung.'* 

JPhanta8Tnagoria. 

Mb. AirsTXirrsEB was, indeed, an ai>t pupil of Lord K ^'s in 

ihe oarts of diplomaoy ; or zather, he might prq^ly be called^ his 



12 SIB BOLAim ASHTOir. 

aetiye master ; for bold, tmscrapTilous, and Ml of reflonrce, he led, 
rather than followed, his nomum chief. Lord N— ^ made use of 
deceit in his way of carrying on affairs, in submission to the sup- 
posed necessities of the case ; out Mr. Anstruther rejoiced in it as in 
an exercise of ability and ingenuity. To him the Keen encounter 
of wits in these matters was a most exhilarating exercise ; and he 
seemed to have little amusement at anytime, but in placing with 
the weaknesses and sins of his fellow creatures. Tet, notwithstand- 
ing that this was his well-known character, he possessed such a 
power of fascination that, when he chose it, he could unlock almost 
eyer^ heart: and wind its most secret feelings from the imsus- 
pectmg mind. Penetrating to the keenest degree, he delighted in 
reading the thoughts of others. He quickly perceived if there 
existed in any one a dislike towards another ; and by a judicious 
throwing in of now a little praise, now a little censure, of the ob- 
noxious personage, would brmg out all the unkindly feelings that 
lurked in the heart of his companion, and not unfrequently create 
a vast deal more than had before existed. 

He amused himself, too, in diving into the heart's secrets, as 
regarded its likings, as well as its dislikinga; and it might be said 
truly of him, " qu*il aimait planter le couteau dans le coeur d'un 
homme, pour en laire sortir ce qu'il y avait." (He delighted in 
planting a knife in the heart of a man, that he might find out what 
was in it) . If he wished to ascertain the state of any one's feelings, 
he would casually mention the name of the person towards whom 
he suspected a preference ; or more frequently, perhaps, say some- 



thing disparaging of them, in order to elicit a burst of feehng. If 
he were aesirous of observing secretly the ejffect of his woros, he 
would let his eyes fall vacantly upon his companion, in the midst 
of the conversation, gathering at that one, apparently listless glance, 
worlds of knowledge ; or if he wished to obtain power over mm, by 
letting him see he was master of his secret, he would, when he was 
in the height of the turmoil his observations occasioned, suddenly 
fix his dbark, keen eye upon him, in a way from which there was i 

no retreat, and with an expression which told him plainly that his I 

heart was wholly open betore him. He delighted in boasting of -^ 
the various acts he practised ; yet such was the ability with which 
he made use of them, that few were aware of his designs when 
directed against themselves. 

His mother had been a great friend of Lady Ashton's, for they 
were kindred spirits. Not so their sons ! If there was a being in 
the world who was distasteful to Sir Roland— if there was one 
whom he could have looked upon with a well-defined wish of never 
looking on him again, it was George Anstruther ! For his mother's 
sake he had kept up his acquaintance with him, though chosen com- 
panions they had ceased to be for many years. As well might the 
frozen Laplander and the heated denizen of the tropics expect to ^ 
flourish in the same temperature, as George Anstruther and Sir 
Eoland Ashton to find breathing-space in the same moral atmo- 
sphere, — each poisoned the air for the other. There was something 
in the reckless want of principle — the daring disregard of all things 
sacred— the wily reasonings, and cool, playful contempt, of 1£t. 
A2istrathe]>— mingled too, with a careless, gaily good-humoorfid 



SZB BOLAirO ASEIQV. 13 

manner, tinder coyer of which he gfave Tent to tiie most hiUng sar- 
casms,— that seemed to paralyse Sir BolAnd|s yery heart and soul; 
while there was that in Sir Koland's real dignity of mind and up- 
rightness of principle — ^in his keen discernment, and dalm, pene- 
trating eye, under which Mr. Anstruther writhed and shrunk like 
a yictim under the knife. 

There was one point, and one only, which seemed to be a link 
between their common natures; and that was the deyoted loye 
which Mr. Anstruther bore to the memory of his mother. She had 
died when he was yet a child, and he seldom spoke of her ; but 
when he did so, the whole current of his being appeared for the 
moment changed ; the eyils of his nature seemed driyen back to 
their own dark abodes, and feelings, scarcely natural, almost 
angelic, for an instant flooded his mind. To the yery outward eye 
his appearance was changed at these times, and his marked and 
handsome features wore a heayenly expression, in place of the 
repellent, harsh restlessness, which was their p^eneral character. 

It was strange, that to Sir IU>land alone did he oyer show these 
intense workings of feeling. Neyer would he yoluntarily haye 
reyealed them to any liying soul, — it was no relief to him to do so ; 
— ^no comfort did he seek, in speaking of her he had loyed with so 
intense a loye ; but when the remembrance of her took full possession 
of his mind, he seemed to realize her yery presence, and to be borne 
away as by a resistless flood ; and though old recollectioiis, by as- 
sociating Sir Roland's idea with the loyed remembrance of his 
mother, might haye somewhat to do in accounting for his confidence 
with him, we must seek its chief cause in the secret, unacknow- 
ledged, eyen unsuspected influence, which his truthful character 
ana deep feeling exerted oyer him. He felt, intuitiyely, that with 
him all secrets would be safe— -that he would neyer make his feel- 
ings subjects of ridicule, or eyen of conyersation with others ; and 
therefore, though in the presence of any one else he would |)robably 
haye preferred dying in the effort to suppress emotion, yet with him, 
the restraint being a shade less powemd, the sluice-gates of his 
soul would at times giye way, and all the feelings of a naturally 
affectionate heart would "burst forth in one wild, flood;*' though 
•when he regaiaed power to pen them back again, he hated him the 
more for haying been witness to their outflowin^s. 

But on Sir Koland these scenes had a far different effect ; they 
awakened in him an interest which not aU the horror he felt of Mr. 
Anstruther's general tone of feeling could wholly do away. They 
kept aliye a hope within his heart that the awful flat might not 
yet haye gone mrth against him as against Ephraim of old: "He 
IS joined to his idols—let him alone." 

He therefore determined to keep up a kindly intercourse with 
him, how disajg^reeable soeyer to himself, in the hope that, sooner 
or later, he might be enabled to show him " the way, the truth, and 
the life," which were now so wholly hidden from his eyes. He 
knew what must be his eternal portion unless his heart were 
chanffed and his sins pardoned through the blood of Christ \ and, 
not for eyen his worst enemy, could he haye brooked to think of 
ih» horror of ererlasting death. 



14 8IB soiliin) ASHTdor. 

*** Then marrd not if soolk M teak 
In parMt light of hmooenee, 
Hope against hope in love'b deertaA, 

Spite of all dark oifenoe. 
If they who hate the tvespaie moit. 
Yet, when all other lore is lost» 
liore the poor sinner, marvel not ; 
Christ's mark outwears the rankest hlot" 

Yet, ior all his Idndly wishes, it was with a heavy step that he 
now proceeded to pay the inyalid a ■visit, which he feared would be 
a ramfol one in every way. 

Mr. Anstruther had been so weak hitherto, that he had been un- 
able to see any one ; but the interdict was now taken off, and a few 
of his most intimate acquaintances were allowed to visit him. He 

lived in Lord N 's house, in apartments jurt over Sir Roland's ; so 

ascertaining from his servant that he was ready to receive Mm, the 
latter mounted the stairs and entered his room. It was nartiallv 
darkened, and Mr. Anstrulher, who was reolininff on a sofa, lay with 
his back to the light. Serious and almost fatal, as had been his 
illness, his vanity was stUl in fall exercise, and he could not endure 
the idea of any one's nerceiving the ^^eat ravages that sickness had 
made in his looks. One point of his ambition had ever been to be 
supposed superior to the common weaknesses of human nature; 
therefore to nave been sick and ill, like any ordinary man, was a 
terrible downfal to his vanity, and galled immenselv his arrogant 
spirit. In receiving the visits of his acquaintance (mends he nad 

none — Sir Roland and Lord N forming probably the sum-total 

of those who took any real interest in him) he assumed the most 
animated spirits, though often suffering severely afterwards for Hie 
efforts he was so ill calculated to sustain. 

"Roland, my fine fellow, how are you?" he said, holding out 
two fingers as Sir Roland approached him ; " where have you oeen 
disposing your person since last we met ? You see me here in a 
new character. I had got tired of all the old ways, or rather they 
of me, I suppose, and so they tossed me over to a sick-bed by way 
of something new. However, they knew their man, and gave me 
the only really gentlemanlike, aristocratic illness in the world— the * 
only illness I could endure to die of. ' Inflammation on the lungs' 
has something really romantic in its sound ; as if one had nothing 
more gross or material about one than the breath of life — ^the 
ethereal and only point on which one was vulnerable. Theii the 
* sleepless night/ the ' fluttering^ pulse,' the ' hectio colour,'— are all 
80 interesting ! The very sounds are euphonious, and flow so well 
from the lips of the Clementinas and Seraphinas who hover about 

2 our door in spasms of anxiety, and mourn your untimely fate in 
iced and scented handkerchiefs. But now, 8ir Baronet, recount 
allyonr exploits since last we parted." 

He waited for Sir Roland's answer, slad to avail himself of the 
opportunity of rest ; for even such sxnall exertion nearly overcame 
mm. 

" I have been travelling very soberly,'* answered Sir Roland, 
"over many kings' highways, tiirough France, Italy, &c., * t' ' 



ant BOULSD Asannr. 15 

all the (dffhts,' that other people do.*' He then proceeded to ** sblj 
where he d been, and whut faoes he'd seen," as far as he thought it 
miffht amuse his auditor, who lay with his eyes shaded by his hand, 
loolJng the picture of death. He was much shocked by his appear- 
ance, and in a short time rose to depart, saying he thought he nad 
alr^idy stayed too long. 

*' Not at all, my dear fdlow," said the sick man, in the most 
TiTadous tone. " Channed to see jom, only those stupid fellows of 
doctors have kept the room so dark for some time that tiie light 
oppresses my eyes now. Bit still as long as ever you like. What ! 
you will go ? Well, come in whenever you choose—do not stand oa 
any ceremony with me." 

Sir Roland could scarcely repress a smile at the condescensioii 
with which he was given the entrie to a stifling sick-room in the 
bloomy time of sprinpr, when everything without oSered him fresh- 
ness and fragrance ; m company too, with the man least tolerable to 
him of any on earth ; (though that perhaps, was not known to his 

Satronising Mend, though probably suspected ; for we seldom cor« 
lally hate another without having some faint idea of the dislike 
being reciprocal.) But controlling his features, he merely said that 
he would come and visit him again the next day ; and glad of the 
release, he returned to his own apartment. 



CHAPTER 17. 

'*Sprisg, on thy nsthre bills agatai 

ShaU Ud negleeted i¥ild flowen ite; 
And call forth, in each gnuny glen. 

Her brightest emerald dyes I 
Then shall the lovely moimtaln iW6b 
Wrestti of the cliA, again disclose. 
« • • • 

The mooDftain rose may bloom and die, 
— ^It will not meet thy smiling eye I** 

HB8.HBKA1IS. 

When jSir Roland entered his room, he was glad to find Mr. 
Scott waitinfl: for him. " Put on your hat and come out with me," 
he said; ana they strolled together out on the ramxiarts. Taking a 
lonff deep breath of the heav^y air, "What a relief!*' he said; 
"what a change of atmosphere, moral as well as physical." 

" Why, where have you been ?" 

** In Anstruther^s room, oppressive to botii soul and body. But 
now — idiall we ride ?" And ordering their horses, they were soon 
fat from the city, amidst scenes where mere existence was 
luxnry, and where their young buoyant hearts swelled up with 
earth's ten thousand voices to the Giver of all the beautiful things 
which surrounded them. It was spring-time ; and the very hedge- 
rows were pictures, with the red shoots of the rose, the early honey- 
Bockle^ the hawthorn, and maple, with all their various tints of 
green. 

'* If God has made such a world for His enemies^ what must be- 



16 SIB BOLAim ASBTOV. 

that world he has prepared for His Mends !" Such, or some 8uch» 
were the feelings of the two beings who, with their reins upon 
their horses' necks, wandered about through woods fragrant with, 
the smell of the early foliage ; where the larch hung its slight 
pensile boughs like verdant fountains all around, and the beech 
unfurled its fairy banners to the breeze, with many other trees, 
all adding beau^ to the weaie, and sending out their leaves so 
f&st, in the warm Dursting air, that the shade seemed reallv deeper 
when they quitted the precincts of the woods than when they had 
«ntered them. Deep, indeed, it might scarcely yet be called, for 
the young silken leaves but mintly obstructed the rays of the sun, 
— it was softened light rather than shade. 

But lovely was that bright spring day, and fcdly did the two 
friends enjoy it, though Sir Roland's fancy would often turn to his 
own. deep woods, now in their first flush of green, with the spark- 
ling ocean seen between; and to his mother — ana to her who was 
to nis heart as " April dews, that softest fall, and first;" and that 
sick yearning of the spirit for those we love, ever felt most, per- 
haps, at such seasons, began to steal over him, and turn his enjoy- 
ment into regret. "How irksome it is," he exclaimed, ''to be 
kept away nom home at this season ! for I had hoi>ed to see my 
own leaves unfold this year ; and instead of being with those who 
are aU truth and sweetness, I am kept perpetually battling with, 
the falseness and selfishness of these people. I feel as if my mind 
were stifi-— as one's arms become with swimming against a current. 
I long to be at rest and peace, and to be at home tL^aia. But it is 
a shame," he added, rousing himself, ** to sully this pure air with 
one breath of discontent; so let us gallop across the plain, and 
leave all gloom behind. 

• Shflme on the heart tliat dreams of blessings gone, 

• • • • 

When nature sings of Joy and hope alone, 

"Beading her oheerftil lesson in her own sweet time.'" 

" I must beg to decline your obliging offer of violent exercise 
this hot day,' said Mr. Scott; "but if you wish for it, don't let 
me detain you; you can play at El Djereed around me, u it please 
you, * but leave, oh ! leave me to repose.' " 

" You are the idlest dog I ever saw, Scott, and always like bask- 
ing in the sun." 

^* I'll be revenged for that," said Mr. Scott ; " and tell you I 
heard you very much abused the other day, and by a lady too. A 
quotation you made a minute affo just reminds me of it in good 
time for that purpose ; though, alter all, I dare say you are one of 
those vain fellows who had rather be abused than forgotten." 

" Perhaps I am," said Sir Boland ; '* but now, what was I abused 
for? and by whom?" 

** Oh, ho ! you can ride quietly now, can you, and bask like 
others in the sun?" 

" I can always be quiet if Hiere is anything to be got by it," 
•aid Sir Boland« good-humouredly ; " so now tell me." 



SOL JBOLAin) A8HT0K. 17 

^I ihon^bt you felt no interest abont any one here ?" said Mr. . 
Scott, in a quiet way. 

" I feel interested about myself eyerywhere, at all times, and 
all seasons," replied Sir Roland. 

" Well, that is honest, aad a great exertion for a hot da^, so I 
think I will tell you ; though I am afraid you will be disappointed, 
when I say that your fair traducer was only my respected aunt» 
Lady Wentworth !" 

" Only Lady Wentworth ! But Lady Wentworth is one of the 
last people here I should wish to be abused by, being one of the 
very few whose good opinion I think worth having; or rather, I 
should say, one of the few who is capable of forming one (for 
eveij one s good opinion is worth haying). Good old lady ! though 
she is rather yehement in her anathemas, sometimes, I would fain 
not deserve them £rom her. But what did she abuse me for ?" 

" She abused you— but only to me, be it observed — for doing 
what you did just now, and what you frequently do." 

" What I quoting from the * Christian Year r" 

" Yes. ^iCean't conceive,* she said— ^and she waxed quite wroth 
— *how Sir Koland Ashton can quote anything from such an 
author. I trust I haye not been mistaken in him ; that he has no 
tendency to Pusevism !' But I assured her that she need bo under 
no alarm about her fayourite ; I was sure you were as much op- 
posed to those doctrines as she was herself." 

" I am, indeed, no Fuseyite," replied Sir Roland ; " but I quote 
from the * Christian Year, because ' out of the abundance of the 
heart the mouth speaketh;' and I not only haye much of the 
' Christian Year' by heart, but I trust I haye many of the senti- 
ments it contains continually at heart. It is a lovely book of 
petry, and was my deUght long before I thought anything about 
Pusevism, and indeed, before that fearful evu had shown itself 
openly to any extent. I always loved poetry; but amidst thtf 
beauties of the Greek and Latin authors, there was oyer a some- 
thing which, while it pleased, never satisfied me. Their writings 
have a beauty that ' plays round the head, but touches not the 
heart;' to say nothing of the many portions of them that had 
better never have been written at all. But in Eeble's poems there . 
breathes a spirituality of mind, which stretches from the height* 
of heavenly love to tne humblest walks of practical Christianit> . 
In it, the love of Qod, and love of man, are so forcibly, and so 
beautifully, pressed on the heart, that I have found it a ntost 
valuable «dook to me. I can despise no good thing, let it cc^mo 
from what quarter it may; and I think, I confess, that toe are 
often too apt to forget, that though salyation is a free — thank God, 
wholly free rift — ^yet that labour and love are the appointed paths 
to heaven. Too many of us are satisfied with being safe, without 
striving sufficiently to be holy. Satan is sleepless and bus>, whilst 
we are slothful and idle; and to me, therefore, these poems of 
ieble's are particularly animating and arousing, for they bring 
otff duties as well as our consolations continually before us. I 
always felt that there were in them expressions and sentiments 
ihm meaning was not clear to me, but I left those for what was 





18 SIB BOLAiri) ASHTOK. 

distinct in its truth, its dentil of piety, and hesveoly bve. I can 
now trace x>ortions of the leaven which has since worked so £ear- 
fiillj in their auth(»r's mind; bat still I cannot reject the rest on 
their account, nor cease to value what God has so often blessed to 
me. But oh ! to think of sach a mind as that being brought 
again to look to outward things, to be involved in the mms of such 
error! It seems scarcely *less than archangel ruined;' it shows 
the dire malignity of that poison, which can reach and corrode a 
mind like his. It makes my heart wretched, and my soul sick, to 
see this work of ruin going on !" 

" Well, if my good aunt heard yon now, ahe would be satisfied, 
I think." 

"I had quite forgotten what brought me on the subject; for, 
when it takes possession of my mind, I seem to lose thought of all 
else. It is so terrible to me to see Satan striving to satisfy the 
craving souls of men with something short of the righteousness of 
Christ, leading them to trust to their own wi^ks, and making them 
satisfied with a mere form of godliness. Bveadfnl it is to hear 
men, permitted to remain in the Church of England too, saying, 
* that the Atonement is to be preached with reserve.' Thie Atone- 
ment preached with reserve ! What, then, would thev preaoh ? 
Where else can they find tiie ' glad tidings of great joy mat are to 
be unto all people.' Grievously have thev, spito of ucir oheriahed 
' succession, forgotten the jninciple of the apostle : " 1 1 



'. am deter- 



mined henceforth, to know nothing amongst you but Christ Jesus, 
and Him crucified.' Do they forget that ^out of Christ'— 'without 
His atonement—' our God is a consuming fire ?' Their doctrine, 
too, enforces no holy separation from the world in its vanities and 
folHes, no consecration of the whole being to God. In the momisA: 
at church — at the midnight hour with tiie God-forgetting worlds 
in the dissipations and vanities of the ball-room. Pasting one 
day — ^the next at all the abominations of the theatre. What a 
sickening mixture ! How contrary to the spirit of the Gospel ! 
how destroying to the souls of men ! setting oomnletoly arade our 
Lord's declarations, *Ye cannot serve God and Mammon' — *the 
friendship of the worid is enmity against God.' " 

" You nave reason to thank God, my dear Ashton, from your 
inmost heart," said Mr. Scott (and a shade of sadness crossed his 
brow^, ** that though you speak so justly of tiie things of this 
world, you know them only by report. Its foolish dissipations eat 
out the very heart of spirituality; and truly, though in happy 
is:norance of them, do you speak of the * abominatioms of tne 
tneatre.' They are amongst Satan's most anproved workshops; 
and you may be most thankfol that you haa guardians of your 
young days mithful, and pious, and wise enough, to keep you from 
ever entering their unhallowed walls. Yours is, 'indeed, the whitest 
page of the numan mind I ever met with, * the princely heart of 
innocence,' and that it is whioh mi^es you so particularly de- 
lightful to me." 

*' I thank you, Scott," said Sir Eoland, with pleased emotion; 
" but do not write vain things on the tablet you mncy so pure, by 
your kindly flatteries. Bemember that the heart within gives ona 



Sm BOLASD ASEIOK. 19 

enoQg^ to do ; and this experienoe it is which makes Puseyism flo 
fearful to ^e, for it leads nuuai» from the inward spiritual graoe, to 
rest in outward forms and ceremonies. The only comfort I can 
deriye from these things is the additional proof they afford that 
the end of this dispensation is at hand. The increased power per- 
mitted to Satan to deceiye the nations, is one of the predicted 
signs of the Lord's second coming; and the rapid strides of this 
fearful apostasy make it, I cannot oat think, evident, that the evil 
one is exerting himself a thonsand-fohi, * knowing that his time is 
short.' One would almost think that £eble prophesied of this 
very thing (in the fulfilment of which he himself is aiding) when 
he said, 

' Foe armanldnd, tOQ txdd thy Tsoe, 

Thou ni]ui*kt, at suoh a reckless pace 
Thine own dixe work thoa surely wilt QOofoimd: 

'Twas but one little drop of sin 

We saw this motning enter in. 
And, Ic! St eren-tide the world is drowned.' 

It seems snch a delusion, so monstrous! and of such rapid 
growth, too, that I feel lost in astonisfament at it. Yet," he 
added, looking earnestly up, ** Thou, God, art in the midst of ns, 
and we are called by Thy name ; leave ns not !" 

" I was perfectly sure that you did not agree with these doc- 
trines," said Mr. Scott; '* hut I reaUy did not know that you felt 
so strongly upon the subject." 

" I feel more strongly on the subject to-day than I did yester- 
day, and yesterday than the day before; for the evil hourly 
increases, and each time I hear of it, or think of it, it assumes a 
more awful aspect than before. But I have not of late much 
canvassed these things with tou, for I like best to dwell on the 
bright and sunny side of all subjects; and there are so many 
pleasant views to take of the present times that I turn to gaze on 
them rather than dwell upon the deepening shades of the twihght 
of error." 

" It is certainly delightful," said Mr. Soott, " to have encourage- 
ment to beHeve that the ' time of the restitution of all things is at 
hand;' it makes even these dark spots bring comfort with them, 
thou^ brighter and better things also tena to produce the same 
conviction. Good, as well as evil,, is a sign of the Lord's coming, 
and certainly true religion flourishes now to an unprecedented 
degree ; and more has been done for the spread of the Gospel 
within the last forty years than in the eighteen hundred which 
had ^psed before. That reminds me of £!eble, where he says, in 
tbat splendid stanza, — 

* Thus bad and good their sereral warnings give 
Of his approach, whom none may see and live ; 
Faith's car, with awM, still delight, 
Coonts them like minute-bells at night. 
Keeping the heart awake till dawn of mom. 
While to her ftmeral pile this aged world is borne.'" 

"They are magnificent Unas," said Sir Koland; '*and one can 
c 2 



30 SIB BOlAITD ASHTOir. 

Imt earnestly hope that a mind so gifted as his must be who wrote 
them — a heart that seems really to have been touched with *a live 
<x)al from the altar* — ^may be led to see the whole * truth of Grod ;' 
and not be permitted to use his heavenly powers to lead astray the 
souls of men. Well, we may, perhaps, nelp in his rescue from 
«rror as well as in the general furtheratice of God's glory on earth. 

* The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man,' let us remember, 
Scott, 'availeth much.' We are, I trust, both of us, though 
sinners in ourselves, amon'^st those who are ' counted righteous 
before God,' for Christ's sake; let us use our high privileges, and 

* offer up our supplications out of a pure heart fervently.' * 

They passed on, through cheerful meadows, where the field- 
flqwers sent forth an almost overpowering fragrance ;. and through 
stilly woods, where all was hushed, except the thronging notes of 
the innumerable birds, which at that season 

** Poor their foigofcten multitades, and catch 
New life, new rapture, fh>m the anile of spring.** 

^en, issuing forth again, they crossed the plain, and entering the 
city — ^where their horses' feet echoed with ringing sound through 
the almost empty streets — ^they at length dismounted at the gate of 
the Embassy-house. 

What was there in those two young beings to distinguish them 
from the generality of those around them ? The one was certainly 
pre-eminently handsome ; his tall figure, fine countenance, and 
dark meditative eye might have caught the attention of tho 
passer-by; but his companion had nothing but the bright ani- 
mation of his look to attract a moment's notice : they might both 
have passed even as others. Yet on their youthful brows was set 
the *' signet of the Lord," unseen indeed by man, but recognised 
by Him who had Himself sealed them by His Spirit. 

Side by side the children of God and the children of the world 
go through life ; together perchance they quit this mortal scene ; 
these tranquillized by the comforts of me Gt>spel, those sleeping 
under the delusive spells of Satan ; but oh ! what a difference ia 
the awakening ! We may see two young sisters who, thoug-h 
brought up under the same roof, are totally different in their 
spiritual views and feelings. We may behold them, perhaps, in 
the same chamber, stretched by the same disease, in the repose of 
the same death ! ITieir last words may have been words of love 
and sweet affection for each other ; ana they may have (.Med each 
with the other's hand clasped fondly in her own. As far, there- 
fore, as regarded each other, they may have been ** lovely and 
pleasant in their lives," but in their deaths they are divided— the 
one soars to the realms of eternal day, tho otiier sinks to endless 
night ; for to the one the " Saviour was precious," while to the 
other His " cross was foolishness." 

Or look, where a little space from the bloody plain of battle 
(Span's much-loved work) two soldiers drag their wounded, 
suffering forms to the stream, to slake the agonies of their dying 
thirst. Tog^ether they stoop and drink— together die ! The im- 
press of pain is alike stamped on each contracted brow; but the 



Sm BOLANB ASHTOK. 2t 

one loved the '* Lord Ms righteousness," while the other would not 
have Him for his God. Therefore, between them thenoeforth^ 
'* there is a spreat milph fixed/' which neither can pass. On the 
one side hell " heaves her floods of ever-dnring fire, while on the 
other are the realms of eternal life ! 

And when the day of the Lord comes, "as a thief in the night," 
of such — 80 undistinguished in outward appearance, but so dif- 
fering m the " inward man"—- the " one shall be taken and the 
other left*'— left, to be swept away by the fiames that must dwir 
the path of the Lord of all those " who would not Imve Him to 
rule over them ;" whilst the other is " taken" — " caught up to 
meet the Lord in the air, and so to dwell with Ti\m for ever." 
" Oh ! think of this, ye that lorget God, lest He pluck you away, 
and there be none to deliver !*' 



CHAPTER V. 

* It is a weary and a bitter task 

Back from the lip the burning word to keep, 
And to shut oat heaven's air with falsehood's mask." 

Mrs. Heicans. 

SrB HoLANB made a point of goin^ to Mr. Aostruther once at 
least every day; for he knew, notwithstanding the indifference 
which the latter pretended to feel, that his visits were, in fact» 

freat resources to him. Solitude, to a mind like his, was anything 
ut exhilarating; and few of his gay acquaintance cared to 
waste their time on one whom thev neither esteemed nor liked. 
His health continued to improve, though he was unable to leave 
his room. 

One day he said to Sir Roland — ' 

" Yoiir respected uncle has handed you over to me, to be in- 
itiated in the noble art of diplomacy. !^ow, what are the points 
on which you wish to be enlightened ?" 

Sir Roland smiled, and said, " I shall be much obliged by your 
explaining some things to me — some matters which I have to 
take up in the middle. ' 

" The beat advice I have to give," continued Mr. Anstruther, 
taking no notice of Sir Roland s answer, "is that you should 
conceal your own thoughts, meanings, and feelings, and set all 
your wits to work to find out the thoughts, meanings, and feelinga 
of others. That, in few words, is the concentration of diplomacy ; 
like the poor &:entleman's thirty Westphalia hams, reduced to one 
small bottle of essence; take it, and use it <k discretion" 

Sir Roland smiled, and shook his head. 

"Now, pray don't affect to be sanctimonious," continued Mr. 
Anstruther ; for that is acting as well as speaking a lie. We all 
lie— we all know that we lie ; and the only one who speaks any* 
truth at all is he who confesses that he lies ; as to making faoes 
about it, Ihat is childish— ridiculous !" 

'^I can understand its being extremely diiHcult," said Sor 



22 SIE XOLAND ASQSTOir. 

Bolfind, '* to keep u^rigflit under msk enubing buxthens ; but it u 
certaiolv not imposeible, and I hope l^ere are those who do so." 

Mr. Anstruther turned bis head, and looked at him with an 
adapted smile of surpdae and inquiry. *' Are you so young, so 
very young, as to suppose that }" he said. ** Well, I thouffht even 
you had more sense ; though I know, as Willy Soott said the otiier 
day, ' that the making you a diplomat was more hopeless than 
looking for the needle at the pole L-4he most amusing idea he ever 
heard of !' Yet I was foolish enough, I confess, to have some hope 
of you; but I see I am wrong, decidedly wrong. Not that you 
will be a jot better than others— that I never expected" (with a 
contemptuous smile) ; " but I perceive, if ever you do become like 
them at all, it will be a sort of caricature likeness— a somethinjg 
which one perceives is meant to resemble something^ but is mam* 
festly a failure. I am sorry for you, for it is no use resisting : the 
world will turn and twist you ner own way, do what you will; 
and if you will only go through the process quietly, there may still 
be a chance for you. But. if you are to plunge and kick all the 
way through, you will be mutilated in all manner of ways, 



monung, 

shape of roast mutton and men's coats? So will you be trans- 
formedr— pure lamb, that you doubtless think yourself at present^ 
in you must go, and out you must come : only your mutton will 
be worse roasted, and your coat worse out, than others— that's all I 
But now to enter a little more into particulars, after my fa^on ; 
for it would reall y g ive me prodigious satisfaction to mould you & 
little into form. We must hrst consider the ends we have in view, 
and then the means whereby they are to be attained. Without 
joking, what you have first to master is the secret intentions of 
your enemy; for- all the people you have to do with must be 
considered as enemies— poUtiimlly, I mean : that is, all of them 
will pursue their own interest, without the aUghteet regard to 
yours, preferring, indeed, rather to rise on your ruins than other- 
wise/' 

'* It is a pity," said Sir Edland, " that people have not as yet» 
in general, found out that what benefits one will probably in the 
end benefit another too ; and that, on the other hand, by outraging 
others, we are sure, finally to injure ourselves : as a man, sowing 
thistles in his neighbour's field will find that in time the seeds 
blow over into his own." 

*' We leave such vulgar con8iderati(»i8 for those whom they may 
suit," replied Mr. Anstruther, oontemptuously ; " what we have 
to do is to set our point before us, and follow it, * coute qui coute' 
(cost what it may). The pace is too good to stop and * pick up the 
bits' of those who are overthrown in the scramble : indeed, if our 
horses' hoofs were wholly to obliterate the features of a Mend, I 
am afraid— it is very horrid ! but I really am afraid— it would be 
rather a pleasant thin^ than otherwise." 

"'Hateful and hatmg one another,'" said SirBoland, indig- 
Biintly. 



SOL SOLAKD ASBTOS. 23 

" Just 80, if that is the view it omnses yon to take of it. But as 
I was 8a3ring, your first point must be to find out what are the 
nartioular things which the enemy wishes you not to find out. 
K^ow, one very good way is just to observe the subject which, in 
your intercourse together, l^ey treat as trifling, insignificant mat- 
ters. Depend on it those are their hidden tr^isures — there lie the 
golden eggs they are trying to hatch. From them they will 
endeavour to draw off your thoughts, just as the partridge flaps 
and flutters away to draw you fnnn her nest. There fix your eye, 
and never take it off; tear, sooner or later, yon will find the root of 
the matter to be in that quarter. But, nrobably, you would not be 
up to all thatr— at least not at first," ne added, oondesoendingly ; 
*' so your best way will be to get round somebody, to tell you all 
about it. I dare say you are a great adept in the arts of jpleasing V 

"I have never yet put them to the proof," said Sir Koland, 
laughing. 

'* You expect that I should believe tiiat» of oourse }" said Mr. 
Anstrutiier. 

" I do," replied Sir Bokmd. 

'* Then you ought to be ashamed of yourself, my good sir, for 
the neglect of the goods bestowed upon you ! "Wny ! with that 
' preux chevalier' face of y;ours I would have broken all the hearts 
in Christendom before this, and have joined the expedition to 
Central AMca, to find out new worlds to conquer. However, if 
you have so long neglected to manufaotnre your raw— I am afraid 
very raw— mat^ial, to meet the demand of civilized society, it is 
time you begin ; so I advise you to make your apprenticeship with 
' la heUe Louise,' the young French minister's Qhannins' little sister. 
Her brother makes her the dioice depository of all he knows, 
suspects, and invents; and a Uttle judicious attention on your 
part will soon win all from her." 

** Your first recommendation I am really much obliged to you 
for," said Sir Boland ; ** but the other I beg to decline, as I have 
no wish to carry home a foreign wife, and have, moreover, no liking 
&r*la belle Louise.'" 

" You are really most unpleasantly matter-of-fact and obtuse of 
inteUeot!" said Mr. Anstruther — " distressingly so, indeed ! Who 
talked of your liking — or even marrjring — any one ? I suggested 
neither of those paiimil predicaments. I merely proposed that you 
should do what many others of your calibre have found very useful." 

"And then leave the poor victim to die of a broken heart; as 
George Stanley did last year to that pretty girl at ." 

"As to dying, that is a matter of choice or accident, I imagine," 
replied Mr. Anstruther. "People do not die of love now-a-days, 
even if they ever did— which I consider rather apocryphal. I sus- 
pect there was a * feverish cold,' or something of that sort, added 
to the love, in that case. I do not give George Stanley credit for 
producing * une si belle passion ;' and I should not much fear for ' la 
jolie Louise,' I confess, in this instancy. I really advise you to try. 
A little show of attention, a few * petits scans' (nttle attentions) to- 
wards the sisters or daughters of a minister, help those imoom- 
monly who cannot help themselves." 



24 SIB BOLANS ASHT0I7. 

Mr. AnstrutHer said this without the .slightest idea of Sir Roland's 
adopting his suggestions, but merely witn the desire of moi-tifying 
him, by appearing to think him no oetter than the common run of 
Tmprincipled men of the world. 

** Your code is mightilv at variance with mine on all subjects," 
answered Sir Eoland^ cololy. ** I wonder you can exist, Anstru- 
ther, with such a lining to the heart and imagination as you must 
have." 

" My codes and my linings have nothing to do with the case," 
rejoined the diplomat. ** I never encage in matters of that kind, 
for I do not need such resources and assistances. I love no one — 
nor do I affect it." And a sardonic smile curled his lip. 

" I almost think that with you, Anstruther, the will to love is 
wanting more than the power," replied Sir Roland, with a kindly 
smile. 

A strong emotion rushed suddenly over Mr. Anstruther's mind ; 
but with a great effort subduing it, he replied, coldly and care- 
lessly : " Will and jyower are, I imagine, pretty well synonymous 
with me. As regards love, however," ne continued, with a vivacity 
evidently affected, " I have a thorough contempt of the article as 
imjyorteQ into high life ; what it is amongst your boors and savages 
I have yet to learn. But I rdther like, when I am * desceuvr^,* and 
trouble myself at all about such light matters, to amuse myself 
with contravening the littie outbreaks, and manifestations of liking, 
between the young and foolish of the world. The old I leave to 
themselves, as best qualified to work out their own absurdities, and 
to expose themselves unbidden in all the shapes of folly which 
long use and experience enable ^em to command. But the ' chasse 
i rhomme' diverts me in everyway. Now you, I dare say, would 
rather foster all those pretty weaknesses, and would think them un- 
commonly amiable! Apropos," he added, fixing his quick eye 
full on Sir Roland, ** how is my old friend, the pretty Constance ? 
Does she favour your suit ? or are you wandering here in hoi)elesd 
exile?*' 

Sir Roland's colour mounted to his temples, and his dark eye 
flashed with a sudden expression of anger, as he replied quickly, — 

** If you mean Ladv Constance Templeton, you must speak with 
respect of her, as of all my friends ; and not affect an intimacy 
witn those who have scarcely ever honoured you even with a bow." 

"I really beg your pardon," replied Mr. Anstruther, in an 
affectedly soothing voice ; " I spoke quite at random, I had no idea 
of there being anything so serious. I am exceedingly sorry to 
have annoyed you ; but I assure you it shall go no farmer — ^your 
secret is perfectly safe in my keeping." 

The confidential air with which this was said was beyond mea- 
sure annoying to Sir Roland,who rose and went to the window; 
he soon, however, replied in a calm tone, — 

"I especially oisliKe the impertinent familiarity of the present 
day; where men think it a mark of importancai I suppose, to 
* Susan,* and * Mary,' and 'Arabella* everybody whom they know 
by sight or name." 

*' 1 am sorry to have rofflled you, my dear fellow," rejoined Mr. 



SIB BOHUri) ASHTOV. 25 

Anstmtliei ; " really very sorry. I liad no idea the fimbject was of 
80 tender a nature ; but as I see now how the land lies, I will be 
more cautious for the future." 

Sir Roland was about to reply hastily; but checking himself, he 
said, after a few moments' silence, — 

*' I do not mind whom you talk of, only let it be in a proper tone. 
But my horses must be waiting for me now, so I must go, and will 
send my servant up with that Dook you wi^ed to see." 

Mr. Anstruther threw a compassionate smile into his countenance, 
as Sir Koland crossed the room to depart, in hopes l^at the latter 
would turn and perceive it ; but as he failed to do so, he let it fade 
away ; and as the door closed, and he listened to his steps rapidly 
descending the stair, a sigh, involuntarily, broke &om nim. ** I 
am half sorry I vexed him," he thought, "for there are few like 
him !" 

Though. Mr. Anstruther had delighted in harassing Sir iLoland 
on a noint on which he knew he would be particularly suscei>tible, 
yet tnere was a feeling within him which would have made it im- 
possible for him to have betrayed the knowledge he had so un- 
generously obtained, to any other human being. His mind paid 
an involuntary tribute of respect to the noble qualities of his late 
companion, though he would not on any account that this feeling 
should have been perceived. He did not, indeed, acknowledge it 
even to himself; for like many in this world, in order to deceive 
others, he tried first to deceive himself. 

Sir Eoland, having escaped from what was tp him as a scorpion's 
nest, gladly exchanged Mr. Anstruther's society for that of Mr. 
Scott, with whom he generally rode at that hour. 

"It is very wise of me," he said, as they naSsed into the pure and 
fragrant air, " to ^ through my * purgatono just before my hour for 
goin^ out and being with you. I arrays ffo to Anstruther before 
mynde, for I do not think I could sit down to my papers im- 
mediately on leaving his room. My mind always feels as if it had 
been rubbed up the wrong way, and I need "uie air to smooth it 
down again ; and you gain, too, prodigiously by the contrast, 
Scott— the foil sets you off to admiration." 

" I, am much obliged both to him and to you; but you seem more 
than usually * rubbed up* to-day, Ashton; you look gloomy and 
wrathful. It is very odd, but though eyery one that knows An- 
struther agrees, that not a word he says is worth attending to, yet 
every one does attend to it; and he is so full of those 'reckless 
sarcasms, those jests which scald like tears,' that he has the power 
of sending every one from his presence with a sting in their 
mind— a something which spite of themselves irritates tnem when- 
ever it recurs, fretting the mental cuticle, as the needle arrows of 
the Lilliputians tormented the corporeal epidermis of the unfor- 
tunate Gulliver. He either abuses your mother — or praises your 
father with a *but* — or tells some pleasant story of some one, * who 
made himself so very ridicubus,* quite forgetting, of course, till 
the end, that it was all about your own brother, — laments the 
•nropensity' tiiat the person he fancies you like *has to flirting,' 
«c.»— or repeats, or rather invents for the occasion, something that 



26 SOL BOLAJTD AflSTOV. 

yotir best friend bfts said against yDu— qtiite i&ocked, nvhen lie has 
done so, at his inadYertenee-^as He was ' particularly charged not 
to repeat it/ ** 

" Yes ; he pretended to rraeat sometSiing that yon had said of me 
to-day; but il volpe sopranno' (the over-cnnnine fo:0 overleaped 
tiie mark there. Had he put it upon any one else, I might h&ve 
fancied it tme ; but I ceitainly did not as coming £rom you." 

"What was it?" 

"Oh ! merely scmething about my not being a perfect Mettemich 
— ^nothin|f of any consequence; merely thrown out to give the 
pleasing impression that you talked to him conten^ituously of me.'* 

**Was it that which gave voa your unwonted rufliing? or had 
our experienced fciend been nshing in deeper waters ?" asked Mr. 
Scott. 

" They must be deep waters, indeed, if they ate deeper than those 
yon swim in, as regards me," returned his companion, with a kindly 
glance, which, however, gave immediate place to a look' of annoy- 
ance and displeasure, as he continued, " but, perhaps, truth makes 
me confess it was the deepest depths that he disturbed to-dav, for 
he spoke of her. But he did not abuse her, and that was being 
very gracious, and I was a fool to be so annoyed. But don't you 
know what a bore it is, for a person suddenlv, with great eyes 
watching jou, to name anything^—fuiy one of that kind— and the 
light full m your face,— no retreat— no burying yourself in a folio, 
or * bending over embroidery-frames,' as distressed damsels in 
novels always do on such occasions ? " 

" No ; I don't know what a bore it is ; for I never had * any thinsr, 
or any one of that kind,' whom I cared about being mentioned, 
even in the brightest sunshine. I often wish I had ; for though 
your friendship satisfies me now, yet 'Vfhen you are at home agam, 
I might be one of the ^ 

*Scot8 idia hae wi' Wallsee Ued,' 

for aught you would care." 

" You are fishing for compliments now," said Sir Roland ; " but 
you may as well put up your rod, for you will catch nothing to-day, 
nor get even a single nse out of me. The waters of my mind are 
muddy, and altogether at their lowest ebb. But without joking, 
I do feel greatly annoyed at having that feeUng— which it was long 
before I could name even to you— touched by hands so rude 
as his." 

" Ay, I remember it was a long time before you mentioned the 
subject to me, — and then it was more by accident than good will, — 
for which I owe you a special grudge, dotted down duly— with 
mem. : * tQ be paid off wim aggravation, some fine day/ ** 



filB SaLABS JSHSQOr* St 

GHAPTEEYL 

« Her lot is on yoit— lUeitt tean to w«ep» 

And patient smiles to wear throagh suffering's hour ; 
And somless riches ftom alfection's deep. 

To poor on broken reeds, a muted shower ; 
And to make idols, and to find them dajr. 
And to hewaa that worships— tfaeretee pragr r 

Mas. HkHAiffl. 

<* Plant with eailiest eare 
The seeds yon most desire should flll the soiL** 

WaUainaForett. [ 

" I gire tiiee to thy God— the God that gaye thee, 
A well-spring of deep gladness to my heart t 
And, predoos as thoa art. 
And pore as dew of Hermon, He shall have tliee^ 
My own, my beavdltal, my vndellled ! 
And thoa shalt he Jffis ehild."— Mas. Bskaxb* 

jDat after day did Qk Bokad inroseoate Ms labour of love towards 
}b. Anstmther ; and a labour of heavenly love it was — often a most 

irksome one. The physicians had informed Lord N , l^at even 

if the invalid regained sufficient strength to enable him to remove 
to a wazmer climate, and thus prolong his life for a time» yet that 
his lungs, natorally weak,' had been so mnoh afBooted by the violent 
ftttaokhehadhad, tnatit waaimpossiblehecouldeverwliolljiecover ; 
and that they thought, indeed, that any fresh oold, or excitement of 
the chest, might roeedily beoome fatal. With this knowledge Sir 
Boland could not Dear to neglect any means that might rouse tiie 
beinsr, whose mortal life was so precarious, to a sense of his lost 
oondnion before Qod. 

A character like Mr. Anstmther's is hajipily rare; but unhappily 
not wholly unknown in this world of vaded sins. Some there ar» 
who even exceed him in intentional malice; for, thoug-h he took & 
ftline pleasure in playing with the feelings of his victims, yet he 
was not always fully aware of the degree of pain he occasioned. 
There was a perpetual spnng of irritation and virulence witiiin 
biinself, which vented itself recklessly on others, just as the Cathe- 
rine-wheel, fretting round its own oentre, diqpiensSs its burning 
sparks on all around. 

In order to account for the peculiaritieBin his diaracter, we must 
look a little to his early years; for in his case, as in most others,, 
Ihe bitter fruits of evil nroceeded more from tiie training than from 
the natural quality of tne tree which produced them. 

His mother, amiable and sweet by nature, had been educated in 
the purest school of Christianity, and had early learned its life- 
givinff lessons ; but £Eir different was her husband in every way, 
though his real character was, for a length of time, wholly unsus* 
peeted by her. Her parents had died some years before, and she. 
an only child, had been left to the guardianship of her maternal 
paodfather, whose age and retired habits had long kept him aloof 

b&L all thoae who could have opened hia eyes as to the oharaoter of 



'^ em BOLAJTD ASHTOir. 

the man who sought his grandchild's hand. Exceedingly handsome, 
and very prepossessing where he wished to please, Mr. Anstruther 
won upon the old man by his kind and deferential manners. His 
conversation, too, was full of animation and anecdote; and he 
would often lament, with apparent candour and sincerity, the de- 
ficiencies of his own education in matters of religion. But little did 
the old man or yotmg maiden suspect that these pleasing qualities 
were but cloaks to hide the darkness of his heart; and that his 
hours, when absent from them, were spent in the society of persons 
of the worst and most imprincipled descrit)tion. 

When in love with the rich and beautiful Miss Gascoigne, he 
could with tolerable patience hearken to her earnest conversation 
on religions subjects j for a man, in such a case, will listen with 
pleasure to anything from the yoice that is to him all melody! and 
the attention thus yielded ia often attributed* with ill-placed 
modesty, to the weigfiit of the ar^ment rather than to the charm 
of the preaehcrp " Affection is very hopeful ; " acd Miss Gascoigne, 
with a facility, which in more cases than her$ has been fraught 
with misery, though she felt Mr. Anstruther was not a thorough 
Christian in principle, yet beUeviDg that be was well inclined, and 
that^ under her iniluence and admonitioQSp he would soon become 
all she could wish, in an ill-fated hour consented to bt) his wife. 

For some time aU went on smoothly ; and bright was the dawn 
of the married Efe of this ill-assorted pair. Mr, xinstruther still 
for a time continued to listen patiently to the words of his wife ; 
for it was hard to refuse attention to one so lovely » and so earnest 
in her ^eal I But when the novelty of the thing wore off, his 
patient endurance of themes so uncongenial to his mind departed 

The birth of George, their first and onlv child, soon formed an 
excuse to the hitherto tolerably attentive nusband to absent him- 
self more than he had before done from his home ; for, with his 
sweetest smile, he would tell his wife, that now, as she would not 
be alone, he would go again a little among friends he had lon^(> 
neglected, and who nad often reproached him for his continued 
absence. 

The joun^ mother sighed to think that what had doubled the 
attraction of home to her should prove a reason for her husband's 
more frequently leaving her ; but, strong in her confidence in him, 
she felt it merely as a loss of pleasure and comfort to herself. 
Soon, however, she began to find a sensible alteration in his man- 
ner when he was with her ; for he no lon^r exerted himself to be 
agreeable, or made any effort to restrain his naturally irritable dis- 
position. He was indifferent to his chUd, and morose to her ; and 
she began to feel, with fearful force, the effects of her unfaithfulness 
to God in having united herself to one of an tmconverted spirit. 

Her doting fondness for her child served at times to beguile her 
from her sorrows; and in her husband's presence she always 
exerted herself to be cheerful. She rarely now, however, ven- 
tured to speak to him on the subject of religion ; but one day, 
when she nad unconsciously adverted to it, she was surprised to 
see him not only appear calm, but with somewhat of his old accus- 



SEB BOUUn> ASHIOir. 29 

tomed kindness of manner, enconrage her to proceed; and her 
heart beat with a flatter of happiness not to be expressed, when, as 
she continued with animated hope to speak on the subject, she saw 
him take her Bible in his hand, and, oarefoUy taming its pages, 
seem to search for some particular passage. His long dark laeiies 
completely hid the expression of his eye as he examined the holy 
volume ; out after a few minutes, he raised his head, and turning 
the book to her, he pointed to the passage he had been seeking. 
There was a bland smile on his lips as he did so ; but the look of 
dark malignitv which glared from nis eye so terrified his trembling 
wife, that she nad scarcely power or senses left to see the words he 
marked. 

" Read it," he said, in a suppressed tone. 

She read:- "Be ye not unequally yoked together with un- 
believers." 

" May I ask," said Mr. Anstruther, in his smoothest manner, 
"whether those words had ever met your eye when you married 
me?" 

Mrs. Anstruther, oast down as by a stanning blow from the 
bright happiness in which she had been indulging, was nearly 
fainting with terror as he asked the <;(uestLon. ana was whoUy 
unable to reply. Her husband^ triumphing in the pain he was in- 
flicting, again addressed her in his sweetest tone. She gave a 
trembling answer in the affirmative. 

" And did you," he continued in the same voice, " consider me 
at that time what pious and excellent people would call — a be^- 
liever? Answer me candidlv, I shall not be offended." Still hia 
unhappy wife could command no word. 

"Did you," he resumed, in a restrained and concentrated voice» 
"consider me, at the time of our happy marris«e, as deserving to 
be ranked by the devout amongst the number of believers ?" 

Mrs. Anstruther covered her face with her hands, and, bursting 
into an agony of tears, answered, " No." 

He grasped her arm with violence, and his voice trembled with 
passion, as he exclaimed, — 

" Then never again dare to speak on the subject of religion, or 
intrude your accursed cant upon me. You should learn to obey 
before you preach, and not attempt hypocritically to force on otherts. 
the dull m<n^ty you chose to spurn at your own convenience."* 

So saying, he cast her from him, and left the room with thunder- 
ing tread. Mrs. Anstruther, more dead than alive, sat rooted to 
her chair ; her mind was in a state of complete bewilderment ; for 
unprincipled as she had discovered her husband to be, ha had till 
then been tolerably respectful in his behaviour to her, and she was 
little prepared for this outbreak of passion and cruelty. 

Bitterly did she, indeed, feel that the inconsistency of her con- 
duct had brought upon her this terrible trial ; and, also, that it 
had done discredit to -the holy cause she had so much at heart ; 
and with deep humiliation did she confess that it was "right she 

• An incident, aomewhat similar to the one here supposed, occurred in real 
^ and is in print somewhen. 



30 ea. SOLASD iLBHTDir. 

riiotdd be humbled/' and by him, too, fioar Trhom shiB had offended 
Many had been l^e etaruff glee she had had -with her consdenoe be- 
fore she had detenninea to marry Mr. Anstnd^ier ; but affiBction 
had triomphed over failii and pzinoiple, and now she had to eat 
the bitter fruits of her own planting* 

From that time she saw but little of her husband ; and* when he 
did oome home, it was but to harass and torment the gentle creature, 
whose oppressed spiiit fast sunk beneath liis unkindness. Her boy 
was her only eartmy comfort, and richly did he return the love that 
was BO ovemowin^y lavished on him. Yet, even oSi this last re- 
maining spot of bhss, did the blight seem in yaxt to have fallen. 
The child was often present when his father came home, and was 
therefore a frequent witness to the cruelty with which his mother 
was treated ; and Mrs. Anstrather was terrified when she saw the 
effect of these things on his appearance. An expression of fierce 
anger would shoot from beneath his lowering brows, while he sat 
with dosed teel^ and denohed hand, as if ready to spring upon his 
father ; and well as she appreciated the love that made mm feel so 
strongly, jret her heart gneved to see in one so young the evidence 
of such violent feelings. He never, however, mentioned these 
things to her, for he early showed symptoms of Ihat tad which in 
after-life was so remarkable a feature in his character ; but after 
scenes of this kind, he would go to her, and strive to soothe her un- 
happiness by redoubling his own caresses. 

Hls little couch was ^aoed by hers at night; but often would he 
'Steal into her arms and slumber there. Her restlessness— the rest- 
lessness of an unhappy heart— 4»ught him to be wakeful too ; and 
often would he, in the darkness of night, put out his hand to stroke 
her face, and try with childi^ art to discover whether there were 
tears unon her cheek; and, when he found thran there, he would 
creep closer still, and, putting his soft arms round her neck, mur- 
mur words of love and fondness, till sleep again closed his weary 
eyes. 

His mother loved him with an intensity soarcely to be imagined 
by a happier spirit, and delighted in early teaddnghim the things 
oi God, and seeking to fill his heart with the love of his Heavenly 
Father. She delighted, long after the sweet days of babyltood 
were passed, to be with him at that happy time when the little 
wearied body seeks joyfully the repose to pe found in a mother's 
cradling arms ; and whoi me tranquil heart, soothed into forget- 
fulness of the more boisterous pleasures dme day, is open to all 
the sweetest emotions of love and tenderness— and Uien would she 
speak to him of God. 

In all the outward and visible soenes of creation there is a voioe 
which may remind us of inward spiritual things. God does not 
send his gentle dews upon the earth, when the noontide ray, with 
fervid heat, would exhale them ere they had had time to refireah 
the parched and drooping herb ; but He sends them silently down 
at the calm evening hour, when the sun has ceased to exercise its 
burning force, and the hushed winds are gone ; and there they rest, 
sinking deep into the heart of l^e grass and fiowers, till, with 
gentle infiuence, they have refreshed and nourished aU around. And 



en soLAim ASHTOir. SI 

finis Aonld fahihfal parents iratoh for the stilly hoim of life to 
drop sweet, holy ivoidb into their yoimgr babesMiearts, ere yet the 
wond has made them all its own ! 

Amongst the other evil habits in which Qecfrge Anstmther^s 
£ither indnlged, gambling' found a place ; and before many years of 
his married life were x>ast, he had dissipated almost all the large 
fortune which he had obtained with his wife. Without a moment's 
warning, that unhappy woman found herself hurled from affluence 
to almost absolute penurr; and she retired with her child to a 
small, obscure house in toe country. Her Mends, however, did 
not desert her; and amongst the most constant and attached was 
Lady Ashton, and many a month did she spend at UanaTcn. But 
when George Aostruther was about six years old, grief and anxiety 
had made such fearful ravages in his mother's delicate constitution^ 
tiiat it became evident that ner life would soon eome to a close ; and 
for above a year before her death she was wholly conJBned to her 
own home, and was, therefore, entirely separated from all her 
friends. Her husband seldom visited her; and, when he did so, it 
was only to vent upon her and her child that spleen which he dared 
not openlv indulge in the world. 

Preclud.ed from the society of others of his age, the leading 
characteristics of G«orge Anstruther's disposition became morbidly 
developed. His love for his mother was almost idolatry ; yet it 
was scarcely a stronger feeling than his hatred ibr his father ; and 
between these two s^ng passions his heart seemed completely di- 
vided. Hehadbutfewoftneoccupationsandpur8uitsofchildhood,for 
his mother' s extreme weakness made her unequal to the task of carry- 
ing on his education ; so that at seven years old he was an infant in 
learning, though a giant in feeling. At length, the sad day of his 
mother's death arrived ; " where the wicked cease from troubling, 
and the weary are at rest," there did that meek and suffering 
creature find ^ace and happiness at last. 

For some time after this event Mr. Anstruther was obli^d to 
have his child with him ; but, finding that toogreat a restraint on 
his usual habits, he soon sent niin to school. .The place he selected 
was not one where much that was valuable was tai^ht ; and there 
were none there who could in any way excite feelines of afiection 
in the boy ; so that, though snrronnoBd by a crowd, he still felt 
alone. His heart, finding nothing to satisfy it, became bitter in its 
feelings ; and tiie lessons of heavesoly love and wisdom he had heard. 
from ms mother gradually died away from his memory now that 
her voice was no longer there to enforce them. During his holidays, 
his most unnatural father used to amuse liinfi«ft1f by taking ^^tn 
with him into the haunts of foUy and vice, and in teaching mm to 
ffamble and drink, and take the oatiis and words of older sinners in 
his lips. But his ever-increasing detestation of his father was so 
ur a happy thing, that it made him hate all tiiat he heard him 
indse, and taught him to avoid through all his after years, the 
sinfiil excesses which he had witnessed in him ; but it filled his 
whole heart with a root of bitterness so intense and engrossing, that 
he seemed almost incapable of any other feeling; and the hatred 
vliieh one being deserved from him bat too well, extended itself to 



32 SIB BOLAKD ASHIOir.. 

tlie whole human race. It migrlit, indeed, be said to readi even to 
the Almighty ; for his soul rebelled continuallv at His decrees, and 
ever regarded the death of his mother as a dispensation fraught 
•with tyrannic cruelty. Could he have borne to have cherished her 
remembrance in his mind, it might have soothed his lacerated feel- 
ings, and calmed his proud and troubled heart ; and her heavenly 
words, returning upon his soul, might have won him back to love 
and peace. But the thought of her brought with it an agony too 
great to be endured; he kuew nothing of her happiness in heaven — 
nothing of the love of God — so no consolation came to mitigate the 
intensity of his grief. A dark misanthropy took possession of his 
breast; and, if he could ever be said to paxtake of any pleasure, it 
was when he was disturbing in others that peace which seemed to 
have fled his own unhappy spirit for ever. 

Such was the being with whose wayward mood Sir Roland bore 
so patiently; for he knew somewhat of his history from Lady 
Asnton, and felt a deep commiseration for him. 

Mr. Anstruther's father had so far done him justice as to give 
him a ^ood education at school and college : and Lady Ashton, 
interestmg herself in him for his mother's sake, had induced her 
brother to take him abroad as one of his * * attaches.' ' His uncommon 

talents and discerning mind made him most useful to Lord N ; 

who, on a vacancy occurring, obtained for him the appointment of 
secretary of embassy. 

There was little in the present which could encourage Sir Roland 
in his self-denying task ; but from his knowledge of the past he drew 
hope for the future; and knowing from Lady Ashton's account, of 
the many prayers which the devoted mother had oifered up for her 
child, he looked forward with the hope of faith to the fruition of those 
prayers — ^to the time when this now daxk heart should be turned to 
&oa. Mr. Anstruther's occasional bursts of feeling — coming forth like 
the flash of the volcano from the cold bosom of the earth — ^revealed the 
existence of good and strong feeling somewhere in the depths of his 
bein^ ; and Sir Roland trusted that he mi?ht be enabled, by the 
blessmg of God, to open that fount of fire, and see its flame, purified 
and sanctified, rise even unto heaven ! 

Impatient of his long confinement, Mr. Anstruther took advan- 
tage of one warm, lovely day to go out, and once again see the 
beauties of nature, from tne enjoyment of which he had been so 
long debarred ^ but though balmy and soft, the outward air was 
too keen for his lungs, and brought on an increase of cough and 
of feverish excitement, which sent him again to his room and sofa. 
Sir Roland now saw that he must press on the work of the Lord. 
He had hitherto waited for an opening to be made visibly before 
him ; but now he resolved boldly to brmg forward the subject, and 
force it upon the attention of the being whose mortal span was so 
evidently coming to a dose. 

His uncle had not at that time much pressing business on hia 
hands, and he might have obtained leave to visit England for a 
few weeks ; but ardently as he desired to see his mother, and to 
rstum to Lady Constance, he could not at that juncture bear to 
dfisert one who seemed so wholly dependent upon him. He knew 



SIB BOLANB ASHTOK. 33 

i2iat he was the only person whose presence was at all yalaed bj 
hizn, or who would si>eak to him anything that ydght benefit hia 
soul ; and though it cost him a bitter struggle, yet he felt (like his 
great Master) that he came into this world, " not to do nis own 
will, but the will of Him who sent him ;*' and resigning his own. 
pleasure, he gave himself wholly to the work that Qod seemed to 
naye set before him. 

On visiting the invalid a few days after the exposure which had 
brought on so severe a relapse, he found him much exhausted, 
but still endeavouring to assume an appearance of gaiety and un- 
concern; though the expression of his countenance, when not 
speaking, evidently betrayed that both mind and body were iU 
at ease. 

Sir Roland, who began perfectly to understand his character, 
was aware that the ordinary mode of entering on religious subjects 
always utterly failed with him. Keen-sicphted and wily, he de- 
tected from afar any attempt to introauce the subject inci- 
dentally into conversation, and instantly defeated the purpose of 
the speaker. 

The regular attack, too, was not more successful than the '* sap 
and mine ;*' for he would not meet the enemy, but peremptorily 
refused to enter on the subject. Sudden and stronj^ ftmarks, and 
sayin^fs which could neither be anticipated nor parried, were there- 
fore tne means Sir Eoland determined to use, noping that — ^Hke a 
shell thrown into a citadel— -(to follow out the military simile) 
they might fall and burst upon him unawares, scattering the 
inmates that had too long held possession of the place. 

The sick man, in whose countenance there was already more of 
death than life, was running on in his usual reckless manner, 
when Sir Roland, with his eye firmly, yet in sorrow, fixed upon 
him, said, — 

" How can you, Anstruther, with the grave open before you — 
which you know must so soon receive you — * death, and after that 
the judgment !' — ^how can you bear to think and talk on in such a 
way?*' 

]ftr. Anstruther had sometimes had a misgiving that there was 
danger in his case, but his mind had ever repelled the thought the 
instant it had arisen ; and worldly friends, whose " tender mer- 
cies" are, indeed, in such oases most ** cruel,** had contributed to 
keep apprehension from him, by talking of " the things he would 
soon be able to do" — of "the places he would soon visit with 
them," &c. ; and though his physician, more faithful, had often 
insinuated his fears, yet with desperate self-delusion he would 
never give credit to what he said. When, therefore, he heard Sir 
Roland speak in so startlinp: a manner, the shock which his mind 
received was to great too allow of his uttering a sound in reply. 
He knew him too well to suspect him of saying willingly one harsh 
or unfeeling word ; and a voice from within his hollow and aching 
breast also rose up in accents that would not be silenced, and told 
W that it was all too true — that his days indeed were numbered ! 
Drops of agony burst from his brow, and the intense anxiety of his 
oonntenoaoe was more than Sir Roland could bear to look at. In 



34 SIB BOLAlffD ASSTGF. 

a few moments, howeyer, he had mastered his stronff emotioiB. ; 
and asking Sir Roland for the " eau de Ince" which stood near him» 
he remarked, with a faint hut calm voice, that the heat was very- 
great; adding that a pain sometimes passed through his ches^ 
which for a time quite took away his oreath, but ** it was gone 
now," he said : " it was onlv a spasm, and of no consequence. ' 

Sir Roland busied himself with a book which was before him, 
and desired him not to mind him, bat to keen himself quiet. He 
saw that the bolt had sped ; and be was thankfol that the effort, 
80 painful to himself, had not been in vain. After awhile he read 
aloud a passage from the book he was looking at, which afforded 
an opportunity of saying[ something of the ccmcems of eternity ; 
but Mr. Ansl^ther, again assuming his reckless manner, turned 
his head away with affected nausea, and waving his hands 
deprecatingly, said, — 

" No preaching, my good fellow, if you love me ! I have the 
greatest possible aversion to your preachers and sermonizers. Bad 
enough in the open air, where one may be lucky enough to lose 
half mat is said ; but in this confined space, to till the atmosphere 
with lugubrious wa];p^ngs, and amiable consignments of your 
friends to wrdition, is quite overpowering, and enough to * vex 
the sick man dead.' Positively, my dear fellow, if I am to have 
you here at all, it must be on the well-understood condition that 
thero are to be no distasteful, and to me unprofitable, lecturing. 
The thing is so very vulgar and methodistioal^— quite discredit- 
able ! Do oblige me, and keep all that sort of thin? for the exqui- 
site, the evangelical Scott ! I am quite unworthy of it ; and indeed, 
I must repeat, that if I have you here at all, it must be on oon- 
dition of these subjects being entirely excluded. Charmed to see 
you ! but cannot have any preaohing." 

Sir Eoland had walked to the window, and was gazing at the 
beauty of the scene before him. 

" If your eyes can bear the full li^ht, Anstruther, turn them this 
way a moment," he said, as he withdrew the blind that shaded 
the landscape from his view. The sun shone brightly, and it 
was indeed a lovely scene he looked upon. Mr. Aiistruther 
gazed for a moment; then turned away with a sigh of sickening 
regret. 

** Why," he exclaimed sullenly, " am I to be shown the charm 
of things I cannot enjoy ? — ^Butit is, I suppose, one of your saintly 
practices to aggravate men's suffSerings; — ^for the good of their 
souls doubtless. ' And he smiled with bitter scorn. 

"No," replied Sir Roland, " it was not for that ; but, if I am to 
continue visiting you at all, our intercourse must be put upon a 
right footing. Your know that our dispositions have never suited ; 
oiir feelings — ^in most respects, — our thoughts, opinions, and x>rin- 
ciples — are diametrically opposed to each other; you have for 
years been one whose society! have avoided, as you have avoided 
mine. I bring these things before you on the one hand, and I 
show you the enchanting loveliness of nature at this moment on. 
the other, in order that you may dearly and fully imderstand, that 
it cannot be for my Gwn personal jdeasure that I leave the free m i< ^ 



SIB BOiAin) Atmroir. 35 

perfamed air, and tHe sociely congenial to me, for tMs sick room| 
with one — an alien from God, a self-doomed stranger to peace and 
hope. If, therefore, there are to he conditions respecting my 
visiting you, I think it is for me to dictate them." 

Mr. Anstruther's countenance underwent the most yiolent 
changes while Sir Roland was speaking. The firm, and even stem 
tenor of his speech, so unlike his usual tone, completely thun- 
derstruck him. Surprise, pride, indignation, alternately swayed 
his mind ; and his heightened colour and furious look showed the 
anger that he felt. At length, with a hitter smile of derision, he 
said, "I might have expected this, knowing you were one of those 
who proverbially kick at the sick lion." 

Sir Eoland's colour rose in his turn, and his eye flashed with 
an^er at this insolent speech ; hut restraining himself till his irri- 
tation had subsided (which, in his well-regulated mind, it did not 
take many instants to effect), and looking with sorrow on the worn 
heing before him, he answered calmly, — 

" 1 ou are no Hon, Anstruther — nor am I — ^an ass ;" and an Irre- 
pressible smile played over his countenance. ** We are both men 
of like passions, though not of like principles !" 

Mr. Anstruther's own gentlemanlike mind and feelings had 
made him f«el shocked at the intemperanee of his last speech the 
moment it had passed his lips ; but he was too proud to apologize — 
so merely aniswered Sir Boland's quiet reply hj saying, — 

'* I wonder, then, that you cast your precious pearls befdre sneh 
a lemrdbate as, doubtless, you consider me !" 

'^ Par &om it," said Sir jRoland ; '*it is because I yet hope that 
yoa may prove not to be a reprobate, in the Scripture sense of the 
word, uiat I continue to visit you ; for, as has been truly said, 
*heftveidv love, though it makes one prefer to dwell with the chil- 
dren &£ God, yet makes one also yearn over the godless and pro- 
lane.' I leave you now; but ii I eomse againr-remember the 
<xmditk>ns must be of my making." 



' »» 



16 STB BOLAim ASETOIT. 

CHAPTER Vn. 

<* Where shalt thon tnni ? It is not thine to raise 
To yon pure heayen thy cahn confiding gaze; 
"So gleam reflected firom that realm of rest 
Ste^ on the darkness of thy troubled breast. 

« « « « 

Oh I while the doom impends, not yet decreed ; 
While yet the Atoner hath not ceased to plead ; 
While still, suspended by a single hair, 
The sharp, bright sword hangs qnirering in the air ; 
Bow down thy heart to Him who will not break 
The bmised reed, — e'en yet awake, awake t 
Patient, because Eternal, He may hear 
The prayer of agony with pitjring ear; 
And send his chastening Spirit from abore, 
> ' O'er the deep chaos of thy soul to move. 

« « « « 

But seek thou mercy through His name alone. 
To whose unequalled sorrows none was shown. 

« « « « 

Call thon on Him, for He, in human form. 

Hath walk'd the wares of life and still'd the storm." 

Mbs. Hemaks. 

Mb. Ai7STBT7TH£B's mind, when lie was left alone, was in a peist 
feot whirl of agitation and passion. Notwithstanding his abuse o| 
Sir Boland's principles, he had always internally respected hiui 
for them, andT for the consistency with which he nad maintained 
them. Bnt he had been used of late rather to consider him as one 
whose spirit wanted energy and courage ; (being little aware that 
his patient forbearance towards him was like that which a mother 
shows to the wayward humours of a sick child ;) and he had, con- 
sequently, been in the frequent habit of si)eaking to him in a con- 
temptuous and oyerbearing manner. But Ms last speech had been 
80 unlike what he had ever heard from him before, that he felt the 
current of his feelings towards him suddenly and strangely changed ; 
and amid the tumult of his other contending emotions, the convic- 
tion pressed itself upon his mind, that this kist stem remonstrance 
had been dictated, not by impetuous passion, but by calm, delibe- 
rate ludgment ; and that Sir Koland, in fact, had said nothing in 
which he was not folly justified ; and with this couTiction his 
respect for him rose inmieasurably. 

Sir Boland, indeed, had found that it was needful to assert a 
supremacy over Mr. Anstruther's temper, before he could hope to 
obtain a patient hearing of those things to which he was so anxious 
to draw his attention ; and it was that which caused him to speak 
as he had done; for ne knew that if he were despised— so would 
also be the message he had to deliyer. 

After a time — and when all indignation had died away from Mr. 
Anstruther's mind— what had been said on the subject of his dan^r 
took Ml j>ossession of him; and the many words of warning which 
his plysician had spoken from time to time, and which, till now, 
he had always endeayonred to disbelieye, returned to his memory^ 



sot BOLAKD ASHTON*. 37 

confirming tHe fatal fear which rose before him, and filling his soul 
■with terror. Sir Roland's words, " The grave open before you ! — 
the grave open before you!" sounded again and again in his ears, 
and run^ like a knell through his heart. He heard it in his hollow 
cough— ne felt it in the throbbing of his fevered temples—he saw it 
in his almost transparent hands ! Like scorching lightning the 
conviotionglared upon him— ^that he was dying ! His brain seemed 
on fire ! He clasped his hands to his head, and buried his face in 
the cushions as if to shut out from sight and hearing the terrific ' 
image that pursued him. But there it was — " Death !— and after 
that— the judgment !" 

How long he lay there, he knew not, for a torpor of horror took 
possession of him. — He was aroused, however, after a time, by the 
sound of Sir Roland's voice out on the ramparts. It was faint, but 
it came with thrilling power to him; and starting up, in spite of 
his weakness, he humed to the window. It was open, for the heat 
was oppressive ; and leaning against it to support mmself , he gazed 
on the world before him. The sun had about an hour longer to run 
his course, and was streaming in fioods of golden light through an 
openingin dark and heavy thunder-clouds, which had begun already 
to send forth their indistinct mutterings. The mountains were crimson 
with the settingrays, and stood out in bright relief against the leaden 
sky ; whilst the majestic river rolled its ample waters in light be- 
jieath ; and nearer, and just below the walls, the glacis extended its 
lovely groves aad gardens, lying in deepest shade. But these, and 
many other lovely things, were scarcely noted by the dying man, 
whose whole soul seemed riveted on one individual on the ramparts 
below. Sir Roland was standing there alone ; but the sound of re- 
treating steps showed that some one had just been with him. He 
had taken on his cap, which with his riding- whip lay by his side 
on the grass, and he looked unusually pale, while, from time to 
time, he passed his hand across his brow to tmrow back his wa vine 
liair, as if to cool himself. The beauties of the scene around seeme? 
lost also upon him, for his eyes were raised above tiiem all ;— yet no 
as in prayer, but as in abstraction— and his thoughts seemed 
troubled, for a sad expression rested on his fine features. -He 
liad had letters from England, and they had brought all home 
before his heart, and had left a feeling of depression on his mind. 
Mr. Anstruther would have given worlds to have spoken to him — 
to have called him up — ^to have clasped in kindness a hand, which 
till then had been almost valueless to him. Hie yearning of his 
heart was inexpressible, and his strong desire to speak to him 
almost made him involuntarily pronounce his name, for he felt as 
if he held life and death iu his hands for him. He controlled him- 
self, however, and kept silence ; but it was not without a feeling 
almost of desjpair that ne saw Sir Roland turn away without raising 
his eyes to his window, and walk slowly across the little bridge 
whica connected the rampart with the ambassador's house. 

He went early to rest that night, for he was quite exhausted; but 
he could not sleep.' As he tossed upon his feverish couch, how de- 
solate he felt ! Strong emotion had passed away ; but as his mind> 



S6 am BOLAlfS ASHTON. 

in ihe Tagme Hgitt-headedness of fever, wandered from thoxtglit to 
thought, all seemed dull, and dark, and dreary ! He was alone in 
the world ! no human being loved him !— he had cut himself off by 
his own will and choice from all the sympathies of his kind. For 
the first time in his life he felt a terror at being alone;— ^he 
flickering la^p sent up strange figures and shadows through the 
room, wmch his distempered wandering fancy shaped into demon* 
and ill spirits brooding over him. Once and again he had his hand 
upon the bell to summon his servant to him, wishing that something 
living might be near ! but ashamed of betraying ms weakness, he 
withdrew it and bore on, till at length a heavy, troubled slumber 
fell upon his eyes. His mind however, still continued working ; 
and the agitation of his countenance, and his knit brow, showed 
that strife was going on within. 

The elements too, without, were busy. The storm, which had 
been threatening for some hours, drew nearer and nearer; and 
peals of continuous thunderings rolled round and. round the city, 
like the roar of distant artillery. Still the sleeper was not aroused, 
though the sounds seemed to mingle with the ima^s in his mind, 
adding to their fearful and oppressive nature. His frame became 
convulsed, and the damp dews stood upon his brow : and tremors 
idiook him frcmi head to foot, as the thunder ^w louder and 
nearer; till at length one tremendous cra^, which seemed as if 
the welkin itself were rent asunder, burst over the city. He 
fltarted up wildly, and clasping his hands above his head he 
shrieked — 

" He comes ! Oh, God ! Not yet, not yet— have mercy— yet a 
little V And he sunk back again breathless. 

His servant, who had also been awakened by the storm, hearing 
his master's voice, hurried into his room, and advanced to i^e bed- 
side. 

" Who are you !" said Mr. Anstruther, in alarm; for his mind 
▼as still wandering and unsettled. 

The servant spoke ; and on recognising him the invalid breathed 
a deep sigh of relief, and said, "The storm awoke me, and my 
head 18 distracted." 

The man gave him something, and asked if he should stay with 
him; but the proposal was made in so cold and unwilling a tone^ 
that he could not bear to accept it ; so dismissing him, ne again 
laid his throbbing and fevered head on his pillow. "Yes, 1 am 
alone," he thought ; " not even he cares for me! And why should 
he ? I have never considered him but as one paid to do unwilling 
service — as a tool of my convenience ; why should he care for me V' 
Yet the thought added somewhat more of bitterness to his feelings. 

He was too much shaken to get up early the next day ; and had, 
indeed, but just risen to his sofa wnen Sir Roland's well-known, 
and now most welcome footstep sounded on the stair. How did his 
approach agitate him ! The blood rushed so quickly through his 
name that he could scarcely breathe ; and no sound could he oistin- 
ffuish but the rapid beatings of his pulse. There was the beins^ 
far whose presence he had so much longed ; who had seemed au 



filE BOLAin) ASHXOK. 9» 

the world to him ! he was at the door-Hui the TOOBi--fliid how was 
he received ? While his hand was yet oa the mLtazned lock, Mr. 
Aastrath^ felt as if he could haye flown to his feet ; but the mo- 
ment their eyes met— kind and gentle as was Sir Sxdand's look— > 
pride, indomitable pride, unexpected even by himself, rose in Mr. 
Anstruther's breast, and cold and repellent was the glance he gaT« 
him in return. His ap:itation, however, he could not qodl, aw 
stoip the quivering of his lip. His utterance seemed choked ; and* 
to cover his ^nbarrassment, he affected a coufrh, which soon be- 
came but too natural, and it was long befoM his debilitated frame 
recovered from its e£S&cts. Sir Rolaiid was deeply distressed afe 
witnessing his sufferings, and did all in his power to alleviate 
Ihem ; but when the pcuroxysm was over, Mr. Anstruther thanked 
him coldly, and kept his head averted from him. 

Sir Boland had, howev^, marked the ieeiinrs which agitated 
him at his first entrance, and was not daunted by his subsequent 
repulsive manner ; he saw his own line of ooudoct now, and was 
determined steadily to pursue it. 

** I was afraid the storm might have disturbed you last night," 
he began, after a while ; " did you hear much of it ?'* 

** No, not much ; just the last clap or two ; they were very loud." 

" They were indeed terrific," said Sir Eoland, "I never heard so 
awful a storm. The lightning was incessant ; and I could not help 
thinking of the fire that must go forth at the coming of our Lord 
to destroy his enemies, and to deanse this earth from 'all things 
that offend ;' though doubtless it was but a faint image of that 
tremendous hour." 

Mr. Anstruther shook with agitation, but he determined, if pos- 
sil^e, not to betray it. After a few minutes he began, in a hght 
tome, — 

" It is lucky the storm came last night instead of this evening ; 
such a display would be rather awkward amongst all the horses 

and carriages at CJount 's to-night. What costume do yon 

ado^t i&c the occasion?" 

"I am not going; I dine out of town with Lord Wentworth." 

•* Oh, ay ! I suppose a select circle of the saints are to meet there, 
to shake their heads over the pomps and vanities of this wicked 
world ; and to comfort themselves with the pleasing assurance, that 
all who dance to-night will be sure of suffering for it hereafter. 
You stay away frcmi tliose innocent and cheeitul amusements, I 
suppose, by way of what you call * confessing God before men.' " 

**No," said Sir Roland, **I have given that up; — on considera- 
tion, I do not think that that will answer." 

Mr. Anstruther looked round with unfeigned astonishment. 

"You see," continued Sir Roland, "there are two parties to 
all agreements. Now our Lord has said, * Whosoever wul confess 
me before men, him will I confess before the angels of my Father 
who is in heaven.' Now I am not quite sure that that is the sort 
of company I should like to have about me through an endless 
eternity,-— I rather think there would be something more piquant 
in the other — and only alternative. The company of lobt souls — 
the lake of fire~-evil spirits, 'the smoke of whose tennent goeth 



40 SIB BOLAND ASITTON. 

up for ever and ever' — such are tlie things I choose for eternity; 
and in order to secure them, I have determined to enrol myself now 
in the ranks of the * Prince of this world,' who is also the * Prince 
of the power of darkness/ *' 

Though Mr. Anstruther perceived in an instant that Sir Eoland 
spoke ironically, yet he had no newer to interrupt him ; the fearfii 
images he presented to his mina, as he spoke in a rapid yet solemn 
manner, recalled so terribly the awful visions that nad oppressed 
him during the past night, that his blood curdled in his veins. 
The fiery dart oi conviction was in his heart, and every touch, 
renewed its agonizing torture. Yet still he attempted to speak 
lightly and contemptuously, endeavouring to hide from Sir Roland 
the effect of his words. 

" Do vou suppose," he said, "that you are speaking to a fool ?" 

"No, replied Sir Roland, in the deep earnestness of his fine 
voice ; " * the fool hath said in his heart there is no God ;* you, 
Anstruther, say so only with your lips. Tour heart acknowledge* 
that there is a Gk)d, and at this moment you are feeling His tre- 
mendous power. ' The arrows of the Lord stick fast in you, and 
his hand presseth you sore.' " 

"I will not tolerate this!" exclaimed Mr. Anstruther, with 
violent agitation ; " what right have you to speak to me in this way 
— of these things ?" 

" I have," replied Sir Roland, " the right, which Christ gives to 
all who know His love, to proclaim it to others. Ejiowing, jQso, the 
terrors of the Lord, I would endeavour to persuade you ; and as 
though Christ did speak to you by me at this moment, I do beseech 
you to be reconciled to God." 

"I cannot endure this, — ^I cannot — cannot endure this!" ex- 
claimed Mr. Anstruther, in frightful agitation. After a pause, 
however, he murmured, in a low and touching tone, "There was 
but one voice — ^but one — ^from which I could brook to hear sudi 
words ; and that voice — ^those words — are lost for ever." 

"Not lost," exclaimed Sir Roland; "a Christian mother's holy 
words and prayers cannot be lost. They are treasured up in heaven 
as purest things overbad in remembrance before God; and must 
bring down, in God's good time, a blessing on the being so fondly, 
faithfully cared for." 

He spoke with deep emotion ; and approaching: Mr. Anstruther, 
who lay on the sofa with his face tmnea from him, kindly put his 
hand on his shoulder. Mr. Anstruther buried his face in his nands, 
while his whole frame trembled with excessive agitation. Both 
were silent. At length Mr. Anstruther said, with much feeling, — 

" I cannot speak to you now, Ashton, but will you come again ?'* 

He held out his hand and grasped that of Sir Roland, who, pro- 
mising soon to return, left the room. 

As he could not well avoid fulfilling his dinner engagement, Sir 
Roland gave up his ride that day in order to be aWe soon again 
to return to Mr. Anstruther; and he sent to Mr. Scott to desire that 
he would not wait for him. He regretted this trifling act of self- 
denial the less, because he felt extremely averse at ttiat moment 
to speaking about Mr. Anstruther even to Mr Scott ; for though he 



SIB BOLiLND ASHTOK. 41 

liad often lamented to the latter the ohdnxate averdon of the other 
to the things of God, yet that was matter of common notoriety, 
and what any one might have remarked ; but what had just passed 
he felt was wholly between himself and the dying man ; and, with 
proper delicacy, he could not endure at that moment to make it 
matter of discussion with any one else. 

Mr. Anstruther, when Sir iloland had left him, felt like one in a 
dream. Indistinct images floated before his troubled imagination ; 
— ^thought chased thought— feeling crowded on feeling, in wild con- 
fusion. Remorse — ^hope — ^fear — ^horrible forebodings — softened re- 
collections — all in turn rushed over his bewildered mind, and almost 
maddened him. After many fearful conflicts, however, the terrors 
of avenging wrath seemed to give way to feelings of some undefined 
tenderness which overflowed IrU soul. For the first time for many 
years he allowed the thought of his mother to remain with him ; 
and resting his crossed arms iipon the table, he leant his head on 
them, and tears — ^long, deep floods of tears— -burst irrepressibly 
£?om his very heart. 

When he grew more composed, though much exhausted, there 
was a calm in his breast to which he had long been a stranger ; for 
the God who knew what manner of spirit he was of, in mercy had 
sent earthly affliction as a messenger, " to make ready his way be- 
fore him," in a soul that would else, humanly speaking, soon nave 
jiven way to the demon of despair, or to a spirit of proud defiance. 

Undoubtedly the whole work of salvation is of God ; from first to 
last it is tho work of His Spirit ! But, in the prosecution of His 
great and good designs, our Heavenly Father almost invariably 
makes use of means ; preparing first the ground of the heart, and 
then cultivatinff it accordmg to the nature of the soil he has formed. 
Some He draws by love — others He compels to come by fear. To some 
He makes His voice to sound above the storms of earthly affliction; 
while others, again, He wins from amid the fulness of earthly joy 
and aflection ; speaking to them of a love greater than earth s — of 
a tenderness sun>assing even that which a mo^er bears her child. 
And thus should those, who desire to promote His glory on the 
earth, endeavour to make themselves, as St. Paul says, ** all things 
to all men, so that they may anj/ how win some." 

When Sir Eoland returned to Mr. Anstruther's room, the latter 
• received him with grateful kindness ; though he could not naturally, 
as yet, brook to show him the full workings of his mind, and even 
strove to hide from him all traces of his recent strong emotion. 

"it is most kind of you," he said, after an uneasy pause, "to 
come again so soon. I fear you have sacrificed your ride for me ; 
and I know by old experience, how pleasant that is, after such frk- 
Bome work as you have to do." 

" I shall get some fresh air in driving down to Lord Wentworth's 
to dinner," answered Sir Roland, " so 1 shall do very well." 

There was another pause : for though the heart qf each was very 
full of the other, and a strong bond of sympathy had arisen between 
them, yet both were oppressed by that embarrassment which any 
strong display of feehng invariably leaves, when the excitement 
which drew it forth has died away. 

•• Your disturbed night," at length Sir Roland said, ** has left 



i2 Sm BOLOnD ASBXOV. 

70a lang^d to-day, Aiustnitlier, and talldiig is too much for yon* 
%all I read a littler 

This coasidefate offer -was a great relief to Mr. Anstrather, who 
eladlT aooepted it, saying, ^he was indeed, unfit for any exertion 
Siat day." 

"What shall I read?" 

*' Any iMngr you like," he replied. 

He coidd not hiing himself U say "tibe Bihle," thoiurh he 
thirsted for its hitJterto almost mitasted waters. Hs also reooUected 
with shame, that he aetually did not possess a copy of the Holy 
8crii>tures, so «itirdy had he neglected even Ihe appearance of 
relinon ; and he could not have home to haye confessed this fact to 
Sir Koland. He was much vexed however, when the latter, taking 
up a commonplace book of fiction which was lying on the table, 
a&ed, *' if he should read that." 

** If you like it," he replied, in a tone of disappdntment. 

Sir Koland rianced his eye over a few pages, and then read some 
passages, whidi described one of the characters as labouring under 
great trial and sorrow. The author of the work (evidently knowing 
of no higher source of comfort) fed the mind oi his hero with the 
flimsv consolations of earth, teachinfir him to torn again to the 
world for that peace which, thoi^ the world can take away, yet 
Aever can it give. 

" How completely, even in a book like this," observed Sir Roland^ 
** one fedls the instlfficiency of such modes of comfort as these ! 
Often, in reading even works of fiction, getting interested in those 
I read about, I feel an ardent longing to show them the only source 
of real comfort—to lead them to that God who is 'mighty to save, 
and also fadghty to console ;' and though the next moment I feel 
that what I am reading is but imaginary, yet I cannot but remem- 
ber, that there are thousands of real cases of anguish and unutter- 
able sorrow, in which the afflicted soal knows not where to go for 
oomfc^. Many, under the tortures of a late remorse, seem ready 
to exclaim, like Milton's Satan, 

<He ]iii8«nUel which wwj shAli I llj 
Inflaite wntth Old iofinite dcapak ?* 

yet find no hand to point to the cross of Christ— no voice to pour 
His soothing, pardomnjg words within their ear. Even this poor 
tempest-tossed child of fiction of ^om we have been reading, 
when one is carried away by the interest so as to forget that it ts 
fiction, how does one yearn to tell him that there is provided for him 
freely— pard(«L for his sins, strength for his weakness, comfort for 
his griefs ! How different from the woiid's, are the consolations which 
the C^ospel offers to those who sorrow, either for earthly natural 
griefs, or of that 'godly sorrow which worketh repentance.' " 

He drew from^ his pocket a small Bible, and read several passaffes, 
stnking for th^ beauty, and for the comfort they conveyed. Mr. 
Anstruther's eyes became riveted on his eloquent countenance as he 
read these thines. so applicable to his own case: and his mind in- 
wardly thanked him tor the delicacy with which he touched Ihe 



flIB SOiaND ASKTOir. 43 

wwrndfl of fais heaxt, ^rioie speakbig of the wmAs of often. He 
held out his hand for the hook, saying. — 

'* Will you mark those passages, and let me see tiiem ?" 

** WiUingl^," said Sir Roland, who suspected t^t Mr. Anstmliier 
might iK>t himself possess the Tolume; "I have marked many 
Mssages, in different ways, as you will see ;" and lising, he went to 
him. " All marked f Aim— are for ocMsolation ; and witg—^or tbe 
necessity of holiness; and ^ti9— and tkus — for different suhjects. 
This plan assists me much, either when I want these terts for my 
own ocmifort and instmction, or when I require them quickly in 
gttpport of amiment with others. I have a had memory, and these 
ood-lookiiig Gmdmarks easily catdh the eye. Tou have, prohahly, 
not been in the habit of classing tiiese things in this way, or of 
proving Scripture thus by Scripture, so keep this book, you will 
perhaps find it usefdl, and I can get another ; and perhaps, if I 
haTe much business to occupy me, you will copy these marks into 
tiiA new one for me ; and add any observations of your own tiiat 
JWL like, for they will be valoaMe to me. Two heads are often 
fetter than one, even in heavenly things," he added* smilii^ 
kindly. 

He then left him, but said he would inquire of his servant if he 
w«ie still up when he returned from Lord Wentworth's, and if so, 
«ee him agam for a few moments, if he liked it j " for he knew," he 
said, " that a little visit was often a relief in times of sickness and 
sc^tude." 

Mr. Anstruther thanked him, and said be was sure to be awake 
ioT that he seldom slept till the night was &r gone. 

*' And is this the man whom I have so long tried to hate and 
despise ?" he thought, wiien the door closed upon Sir Roland, and 
lie was again left to the stillness of his lonely chamber : " this the 
loan wh(nn I have tried in every way to wound and distress ?" He 
sghed heavily, as the contradt between himself and Sir Roland 
woed itself upon his mind. 

" He knows my heart, and yet how geady does he bear with me,. 
and talk of pardon and of peace ! But what is the little which he 
knows, compared to what I must appear in the sight of God, — 
o£ that Bdng whom I have so long reviled, and striven to deny— 
even to myself— though vainly !" 

Mr. Anstruther's mind, as regarded religions knowledge, was in 
the utmost darkness. The sacared books were almost ^olly un- 
known to him, as for many years he had never willingly opened 
them ; and after the days of coercive attendance at church, when 
he was at school and college, he had seldom even entered a sacred 
edifice. The history of Christianity, and^of the life and acts of its 
great founder, were therefore, excepting m their roughest outlines, 
almost novel matter to him : and as now, for liie first time for 
nearly twenty years, he read to himself the inspired word of God, 
his mind was overwhelmed with the immensity of the subjects 
presented to it. 

It is not, perhaps, in the power of any to whom the Bible is at 
c& fiuniliar^ to form an adequate idea ox the sensations tiius pro- 
dnoed in lam; to most persons of tolerable edneation, however 



44 SIB SOLAKD ASHTOS*. 

dead they may be to the spirituality contained in the Soriptnies, 
are at least tolerably familiar with its holy words ; and when these 
are presented, for the first time, to the mind of one in full maturity, 
it is generally in the case of the illiterate savaffe, the ignorant 
heathen, or the still more debased occuf)ant of the lowest erades of 
ignorance and vice in a nominally Christian land. But here was 
one of refined habits, most cultivated intellect, and naturally warm 
and generous affections, upon whom the glorious Gospel broke for 
the first time, in all the fullness of its light and beauty. True, he 
sdid not— could not, fully comprehend ail its spirituality, its high, 
requirements, and its unbounded blessings; but enou^n of these 
was revealed, to make him aware that ». new and glorious region 
was opened to him, of which he had hitherto been m total ignor- 
ance. 

Yet the feeling of admiration thus produced in his soul was 
painfolly mingled with a sense of deep denression on his own 
account. He felt astounded at the magnitude of his guilt ! and 
the more gracious the promises— the freer tiie invitations he met 
with in the scriptures, the more heinous did his own sin appear in 
having so long neglected to accept them. He felt as if the day of 
grace were jpast for him— as if, for him, all hope was gone ; and 
file very things that should have poured ^eace and comfort into his 
heart simk mm into the deepest despair. The wilderness — ^the 
dreary wilderness of unsanctined feeling, bitter hatred, and mur- 
muring discontent, was indeed past ; but (like Moses at tiie end of 
hia wanderings) though he saw from afar the blessed land of joy 
and promise, yet he felt that he was never to enter it, — ^never to 
enjoy its " green pastures, and its still waters of comfort." 

Yet this state of mind was preferable far, even as regarded his 
own sensations, to that in whicn he had existed for so many years : 
for though a sad despondency sunk his spirits beyond what he haa 
ever bemre experienced, yet his bitter enmity against God was 
gone ; and he felt that he could now love and adore that Almighty 
Being whom he had begun to know, only, as he fancied, to lose for 
ever. 

He was still intently studying the Scriptures when Sir Roland 
returned at night ; but the latter, thinking that rest would be better 
for him than exciting conversation at that late hour, merely said a 
few kind and encouraging words, and then left him; promising to 
be with him again early the next day. 



CHAPTER Vm. 

** Bnt never, never, when the mind once wakes ; 
Charmed back to slumber can it never be 1 
When from the toils th' immortal spirit breaks ; 
Tain is the attempt to bind—it must be free." 

Sib Abchibald Edmovstoit. 

SiE Roland made the utmost despatch with his business the 
following monung, and hastened to go up to Mr. Anstruther. On 



SIB BOLAIO) ASHTOir. 4d 

inqtiiry, lie found lie Had alept rather better tlian usual, but he was 
struck -with the increased pallor and langnior of his countenance. 

" Have you found my marks of any use ?" he asked. 

"Not yet; I have been too much interested in reading: straight 
iiirough. Ashton, my mind has made rapid strides in the last two 
days. I have lived years in them ! — ^years of sorrow — ^years of regret ! 
yet 80 unlike the sorrow and regret of former times, that they seem 
scarcely allied to them — scarcely of the same nature ; only that it 
has all been pain. My life has been one drear reality of pain-—! 
have known no happiness, or joy, or repose ! A great change, too, 
has been made in my heart, hj nnding that the man whom I nave 
ever treated most unworthily, is my best— perhaps, my only friend. 
This is much for me to say," and the blood mounted in nis pal& 
cheek, " but I have done with pride, and I shall be happier — 
easier at least, when I can speak freely and without reserve. 
There is but little time now remains to me, and I feel to have much 
to say; I seem filled with sensation of some kind, thoug-h I can 
scarcely say what, for it appears to settle down upon my mind with 
the shadowy weight of an oppressive dream." 

" My dear Anstruther," said Sir Roland, "why is this? Surely 
you find no gloom in the briffht and glorious volume you hold in: 
your hand. * Joy unspeakable' shines forth from its every page." 

" To you, doubtless it does — doubtless it does," replied Mr. An- 
Btruther, quickly ; "but what does it say to me — ^to me who have 
so long neglected even to read it ? Ashton," he added, throwiiwr 
himself back on his cushions, and covering his eyes with his hand, 
" you will scarcely believe me when I tell you, that it* is nearly- 
twenty years since I voluntarily took that book into my hands." 

Sir Koland could not speak for a moment ; the thought of that 
Saviour, whose love is so infinite, so imspeakable, being still sf ' 
" despised and rejected of men" — struck him to the very heart. 

" I knew you would cease to hope for me," said the dying man, 
misconstruing his silence, and fixing his anxious eyes uiwn him. 
with a look in which the despondency of his soul was painfully 
depicted — " I knew you must cease to hope for me when you knew 
all; thouflfh who can know all— aU the frightful secrets of the^ 
heart (and he shuddered as he spoke) but Gk)d alone ?" 

" I do not despair of you, Anstruther ; I never did, and do so- 
less now than ever. * The wicked have no bands in their death ;' 
they are not troubled, or I should rather say, blessed with thoughts 
like yours ; they have no godly sorrow for sin, and no craving de- 
sire after God. But what is it that weighs so heavily on your 
mind ? what is it forms the chief subject of your bitter regrets r" 

" I can scarcely say," replied Mr. Anstruther — " I can scarcely 
define my feeliogs, or bring to my mind any one thing that stands 
forward particularly as an object of regret ; but my whole life, ex- 
cepting, perhaps, a little ghmmer at its early dawn, seems one 
black offence against God. I cannot look into my former self, and 
see one thought that was not opposed to God. I know therefore, 
that my condemnation is just ; but still-— to be cut oS for ever! to 
be appointed my portion with the oondenmed— Ashton, it is moxo- 
than X can endtire !" 



46 SIB TU&XJJSm AfiSTOaf . 

*' But hgLY^ y<w not/' asked Sir Bioland, ''ibtind in ike Ooepd, 
^ a refoge from the wrath to come ?' Have von not read of Him who 
took your sins upon Him, and suffered, 'the just for the ui^ust/ 
that you might be saved ?" 

**r read of Him who died for His people," replied Mr. Anrtra- 
ther, " but how can I think that I am one of them ? Wherein has 
my spirit been like His ? What one thought of my wretched heart 
has ever been such as He could have aM)roved ?" 

"But whom does it say that Chiist Jesus came t^o ' seek and to 
save ?' " asked Sir Eoland. 

** Eemember, Ashton, I am stdU a novice in these things," said 
Mr. Anstruther, with somewhat of embarrasanent ^ " I am not 
ready to answer every question." 

'* Me came," continued Sir Roland, " to * seek and to save that 
which was lost,' Now are you not one of those who were lost ^" 

"Surely— too surdy.** 

" Then are you not one whom he came to seek and to save ?" 

" It should seem so indeed," replied Mr. Anstruther, looking up- 
with earnest attention. 

Sir Roland continued, " * The blood of Christ cleanseth from all 
sasL* — ^£rom all sin, Anstruther. ' This is a true saying, and w<Nrthy 
of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save 
sinners.' I came not,' says our Lord, * to call the righteous, but 
sixmers to repentaooe ;' ' He that cometh unto me, I wiU in no wise 
€ast out.' " 

The light of hope had begun to dawn in Mr. Anstruther' s heart, 
as Sir Roland repeated the three first of tiiiese texts; but when he 
<}ame to the fourth, he exclaimed bitterly, — 

"But I have never gone to Him— never believed in him— never 
soud^t Him !" 

"But you believe in Him now, Anstruther; why not seek him 
now?" 

" I believe in Him as the Saviour of those who have done His will, 
but not as my Saviour— not as mine !" 

" Anstrutilier, listen to me while I speak to you of the glories of 
the Gospel — of the greatness of Christ's salvation ; for though your 
soul is convinced of its sinfulness — though you are fuJly aware of 
your own lost estate, yet you do not see the plan and extent of the 
redemption procured ibr you by Christ. His sufferings and death 
form one great sacrifice, of such infinite value as to satisfy eternal 
justice for the sins of the whole world ; and all who believe in Him, 
and seek pardon for His sake will undoubtedly be saved." 

" But yet," said Mr. Anstruther, after a few minutes' silence, 
" this doctrine seems to o^en a wide field for sin." 

" It opens no field for sin, Anstruther ; none. The same word 
which tdls us that, by Christ's merits alone can we be saved, also 
affirms that 'without holiness no man shall see the Lord.' The 
love of Christ which the Holy Spirit imjplants in the heart of 
every redeemed being. * constrains us to live, not unto ourselves, 
but unto hjm who hatn loved us and given himself for us;' and the 
people of God are called * a peculiar people, zealous of good works.* 
When you are better acquainted witt the Scriptures, you inll per- 



am BOLAJin) ashtoit. 47 

«exve how inseparable are a true faith in Cbrist» and a desire after 
righteousness ; now completely free salvation and personal holiness 

to hand in hand. Neither have we the least encouragement to 
efer the time of turning to Grod. Christ never invites us to come 
to him on ^^ morro«(7. He says, ' Behold nota is the accepted time ; 
l)eliold now is the day of salvation/ * We know not what one day 
may brin^ forth ;' and we are also given to understand that^ even 
while yet in the body, we may for ouar hardened neglect be ' delivered 
over to a reprobate mind/ God says, ' My Spirit shaU not always 
strive with man ;* and we are told tnat * Satan entered into Judas' 
while yet he was alive in the fiLesh, taking full possession of his 
miseraole soul even in this world." 

" How can I know that such is not the case with me }** exclaimed 
Mr. Anstruther, despairingly ; " scarcely Judas betrayed his Lord 
more than I have done. I have rebelkd continually against Him, 
despised His people, and set at nought His commandments. Oh ! I 
have done the work of a demon on the earth, and I feel that I am 
now justly abandoned of my God." 

"I feel sure that such is not the ease with you," returned Sir 
Eoland, " for those who are abandoned of Qtod, feel not as you feeL 
As I said before, * they have no ^odly sorrow for sin,* no love for 
their Heavenly Father, no yearning Kir His favour ; and you have 
aU these." 

** You try to pour balm into my wounded spirit, Ashton, and 
God knows the xmutterable love it makes me feel for you," and the 
large tears gushed into his eyes. " But I cannot feel ike hope you 
do — I cannot think that the iniquity of so many years can be can- 
celled in a moment." 

" It is not cancelled at this moment," said Sir B^land, who had 
been much affected by Mr. Anstruther's expressions ; "it was can- 
celled when Christ bowed His head upon the cross, and said, ' It is 
finished.' Nay, it was virtually cancelled when the promise of the 
Saviour was made to our first parents. The whole work of salva- 
tion was accomplished when Christ died ; for the whole work is 
Christ's — ^the wnole power — ^the whole glory ! God is 9. reconciled 
father through Him ; our pardon is signed and sealed by His 
blood ; and we have only ' to open our worthless hands, and to re- 
receive it* And will you not receive it, Anstruther ?** 

" God knows how willingly, could I really believe it offered to 
me.** 

" If you sincerely trust for all your salvation to Him, and to Him 
alone,' replied Sir Boland, "then His word is passed— to save 
yon ; ' Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.* ' Behold,' 
He says, *I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my 
voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with 
him, and he with me.' Mark the word, * sup.'* The Lord does 
not mention the first meal of the day, which would denote, figura- 
tively, the morning of life ; not the second, which would point 
to the time of energetic health and manhood , but He says * sup,' 
the last m6alof the dosing day, in order to show that if» even at 

* Bead the Ser. Henry Blunt's explaxiatio&. 



48 Snt BOLAJim ASHTOIir. 

the last lionr of life—* the eleventli hoiir*— we will open our hearts 
to receive Him as our Lord and Saviour, He will enter in and claim 
possession of those hearts, and ' no man shall pluck them out of ' 
&8 hand.' " 

"Mighty love! wondrous mercy !'\ sighed Mr. Anstruther; 
** I can adore it, though I dare not realize it as for myself. Yoa 
must pray for me, Ashton, that my faith may be enlightened, and 
that 1 may indeed be enabled to see inCrod a Father and a Saviour. 
I can feel Him now to be only a Judge and a Sovereign, * who for 
my sins is justly displeased.* ' 

" I have often besought the Lord for you, and shall, doubt it 
not, continue most earnestly so to do. But your own prayers will 
be of more avail than mine." 

" I cannot pray— I dare not lift my voice to God." 

** Do you, then, never pray ?" asked Sir Roland in astonishment. 

" I have not for years. What could a heart, seared as mine has 
been, ask from Croa ? What could so rebellious a soul seek at Hia 
hands?" 

" But now, Anstruther, you surely now desire His pardon and 
favour ; and why not, then, now ask Him for them ?" 

" I can only again repeat that I dare not. My eyes often, indeed,, 
involuntarily turn to heaven, and my thoughts dart upwards to the 
mercy-seat ; but they seem inexorably repeUed, and a chill falls on 
my heart as if all hope for me were passed. A soul like yours, 
Ashton, cannot judge of mine. You can look back, young as you 
are, to a life of godliness, peace, and virtue, and to a trusting faith 
in Christ. But I can only look back to — sin ! Memory to me ia a 
destroyer of rest, and peace, and hope I" 

" But God says to the true jpenitent, that * He retaineth not his 
anger for ever, because He dehghteth in mercy.* " 

" When you speak, Ashton, and repeat the gracious promises of 
God, my heart for a moment springs up, and a bright entrancing 
hope seems set before it, which, at times, I feel almost able to 
take hold of; but then a hand, as from behind, seems to draw me 
back, and a voice to whisper in my ear, * Not for you.' " 

" That hand is Satan's, yield not to it, Anstruther ; the voice is 
that of the enemy of your souL who seeks to drive you from your 
salvation. Oh ! resist him, I beseech you, by earnest prayer ; 
* Believe in Christ and you must be saved,' spite of all the powers 
of darkness !" 

Sir Roland spoke with passionate energy, for his spirit was stirred 
within him at seeing the so evident work of the evil one ; and he 
felt almost as if he were combating with him hand to hand. His 
animated assurances seemed to breathe somewhat of hope into the 
heart of his friend, whose eyes kindled, and whose expressive' conn* 
tenance lighted up with eagerness — ^though his lip quivered, as he 
exclaimed, — 

" And can it be — can it really be — that a simple belief in Christ 
as our Saviour can rescue from destruction !". 

"It is Christ who rescues from destruction, my dear Anstruther," 
said Sir Roland, earnestly ; " but it is belief in Him which, as tiie 



SIR BOLAND ASHTOK. 49 

arm stretched out, lays Lold on the salvation which He sets be- 
fore us." 

" But how, in this poor remnant of life that remains to me, 
how can I prove that my faith is sincere, that my repentance is 
genuine ?" 

" GK)d sees the heart, and knows what He writes in it," replied 
Sir Roland. " But unless His Spirit teach," he added, with a sigh, 
" all my words are vain." 

He paused for a moment, inwardly imploring Gk)d's help, then 
continued — 

•* Your own soul will be able to tell you whether you are really — 
truly enabled to believe that Christ, when dying on the cross, bore 
the punishment you deserve ?" 

** Oh, that I could believe it !*' exclaimed Mr. Anstruther . " Yet 
else, why did He take my nature upon Him ?" 

" Have you read St. Luke's account of the thief on the cross V 
asked Sir Koland. 

" I do not remember it. " 

" Then let me read it to you.*' And taking the book, he read 
ihat touching portion of Scripture. 

When he came to the earnest appeal of the repentant malefactor, 
" Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom," Mr. 
Anstruther involuntarily rose from his recumbent posture, and lean- 
ing upon his elbow — scarcely breathing — ^he fixed his eyes upon Sir 
it^and with agonized earnestness, as if he felt the answer were to 
be addressed to himself. And so, indeed, it was ! God directed 
the words, " Verily I say tmto thee, To-day shalt thou be with Me 
in Paradise," straight to his heart. He felt that the Saviour of 
that penitent was ms Saviour ! — that the gates of the same Paradise 
that were opened to him, were ready also to receive his pardoned 
soul ! He si)oke no word as this blessed conviction rushed over 
him, but gazing upwards for a moment, with a look that seemed to 
enter the very heavens, he sunk back, and closing his eyes, as if 
the prospect overpowered him, muraiured, " Too great — ^too bright 
— ^too joyful I" while an expression of heavenly happiness rested on 
his countenance ! 

ITiere was silence in that chamber for a time ! but in heaven 
there was "joy amongst the angels of Q-od over that one sinner that 
repented." And. though their hymns of thanksgiving reached not 
the outward ears, yet were they echoed in the inmost souls of those 
two redeemed beings, who then poured forth the fulness of their 
hearts to God in love and praise. 

It was long before Sir Bioland spoke, for he saw what had passed 
in Mr. Anstruther's mind, and he would not interrupt the blissful 
emotions — ^the "joy and peace in believing" — ^whioh he knew his 
pardoned Soul was then enjoying. But as he looked on the worn 
features and wasted frame of tne man — once so uncongenial to 
him, now bound to him by so many ties — and felt how soon they 
must be separated for ever in this world, an uucoutrollable gush 
of earthly sorrow mingled itself with the rejoicings of his spirit, 
and unwonted tears sprung to his eyes. His heart yearned over 



60 SIK BOLASD ASHTON. 

tha being he liad been the blessed moans, in God's hands, of 
reselling from everlasting destruction, and whose love to himself 
-was, he knew, so strong. But repelling the "wish that would 
have kept hki here/' he raised his thoughts to that world where 
death and separation are imknown, and where Satan can no more 
deceive, nor sin distress, the perfected soul ! 

** Blest home I no foe can enter, 
And no friend departeth thence !" 



CHAPTER IX. 

** Hf sonl had drawn 
Light from the Book whose words are graved in light I 
There at its well-head had I found the dawn, 
And day, and noon of freedom.** 

Mrs. Hemams. 

Whsn Sir B^land had left Mr. Anstruther and returned to his 
own apartment, he poured forth his heart in warmest gratitude to 
God for the change which had taken place in the soul of hU friend. 
He had never wholly despaired for nim, though, for a long time, 
it had seemed " through moonless skies" that ne was gazing; but 
now a dawn of no uncertain nature had appeared above ttie horizon ; 
and never did the light of this material world give to shipwrecked 
mariner a joy more true, more full, than that which this zeaJous 
and devoted servant of the Lord felt, when he saw " the Sun of 
righteousness arise with healing on his wings" on the once benighted 
being in whom he felt so deep an interest. 

when next he visited him, he found him in the happiest state of 
mind, and ready to receive him with the warmest aflfection. 

" Ashton," he began, holding out his hand, " I wish I had some 
new and imaccustomed words with which to thank you for your 
excessive kindness to me; — a kindness which might well nave 
warmed a colder breast than mine. How can I ever sufficiently 
bless you for it— you, by whom God has led my erring soul from 
death to lifer 

" God has sufficiently blessed me by blessing you, Anstruther," 
replied Sir Eoland, with much emotion. " You can now fully 
trust your salvation to Christ, — can you not ?*' 

"Fully— fully; I feel that He is my only— niy all-sufficient 
Saviour. And oh ! how great a change does that conviction bring 
with it ! I seem like one from before whose eyes a wall has been cast 
down, revealing a prospect of unutterable beauty ! I feel as if this 
world were nothing ; eternity everything ! Well might you tell 
me, Ashton, that * m Christ «Jesus we were new creatures;' for most 
surely do 1 feel changed in every pulse and feelin?. Oh ! marvellous 
is the change ! though to you it could never have Ibeen the same as to 
me ; for though, doubtless, light increased continually in your soul, 
yet you never knew the blackness of darkness that I nave known." 

" Perhaps not," replied Sir Roland, " for I was ear>7 trained in 
the knowledge of God. Yet weU do I remember (and it was- 



SIB BOLAITD AS&TOIT. 51 

aoooinx>aiued by somewliat of the same sensations yon describe) the 
moment when X first felt the sense of pardon in my heart." 

" When was it ? — do you mind telling me ?" 

" I had long had something of the fear and love of Gh)d in me, 
and had chosen His service in preference to that of tiie world ; for 
I had lived with those in whom I saw the hapmness as weU as the 
beauty of holiness. Even in my early youth I remember it used 
to surprise me, that when such pure and fresh springs of happiness 
were offered to men, they could slake the thirst of the soul in the 
foul and stagnant pools by the wayside; or, in plainer language, 
that they could choose the Mvolous, and often aebasing and vile 
pleasures of this world, rather than the exalted joys of companion- 
ship with God. Yet it was present happiness and present peace 
tiiat I thought of, more than the glory of God, or the immortal 
well-being of my soul. But after a time (it was about eight years 
a^) my mind became much awakened on the subject of vital reli- 
gion — of the real union of the soul with Christ. I found that I 
was far from being what I ou^ht to be in God's si^ht; and not 
knowing the freeness of salvation, a miserable disqiuet took pos- 
session of me, and I longed for something to rest upon. How vivid 
still is the remembrance of that hour when the Lo»i revealed Him- 
self to me as the all-sufficient atonem^ot, for whose aaike God 
would accept and bless me ! 

" You have not been at Uanaven for many years, Anstruther; 
but you remember it is near the sea, with downs and woods that 
feather, in parts, almost to t^e shore ? I was one day lying on the 
grass, with that listless enjoyment which fine weather and beautifdl 
scenery are so apt to produce, and my eye roved delightedly over 
the scene, so beautiful ! that was spread out before me. I thought 
with delight, and with a strong admixture, I fear, of vanity and 
earthly pride, of being the possessor of that lovely spot, and felt 
very great in my own estimation ; when, just at that time, the 
passing bell rung out from the tower of our old church. I had 
heard it, of course, often before, when it had brought with it only 
a momentarv sadness to my heart. But now it seemed so at 
varinnce with the bright look of life that shone on all around, and 
taught a lesson so contrary to the proud eartiily thoughts I had 
been inlulging, that it produced a sudden and psunful revulsion of 
leeling witiiin me. Some lines on the subject came into my 
mind: — 

* There is a sound of sadness on onr hill ! 
Beard ye the moan of yon ill-omen'd hell, 
Solemn and slow, like messenger of ill 
Who weeping comes a heavy tale to tell? 

List to its lingering eadence, how it awes. 
Holding the spirit in a holy thrall I 
And what light heart thus questioned would not pause 
For though one answer, tis addressed to all! 

« « « • « 

It warns a being from this troubled sphere. 
It calls a mortal to its parent clay, 
It rings the knell of hope's best promise here, 
It hymns a spirit on its heavenward way 1* 

B2 - 



1)2 SIE BOLAJTB ASHTOK. 

" * Its heavenward way !' " I tkought, " would it he sucli to me? 
My mind was much liouhled, hut Satan hegan suggesting^— 
what the self-sufficiency of the natural heart is ever too ready to 
plead— its own merits. * Did I not love God ? was I not, in soma 
respects, hotter than my companions }* with many other such insuf- 
ficient sources of consolation. But a spirit answered from within, 

* That I had not loved the Lord my God with all my heart, nor 
with all my soul ; and that I could not answer to Him for one of a 
thousand of the things that I had said, or thought, or done.' This 
conviction humhled my very soul, and filled me with dismay ; an 
undefined fear took possession of me, and the hlood rushed throhhing^ 
to my head, till all which had hefore api)eared so clear and cahn 
around, seemed disturhed and dizzy hefore my eyes ; and I remem- 
her shivering from head to foot even imder that summer sun. 
Still the hell went swinging on, remorselessly, as it seemed to me, 
for every stroke shook me to the heart, and I longed to escape from 
its sound— hut seemed chained to the spot. At length the words, 

* Thou hast destroyed thyself, hut in Me is thy help,' came to my 
recollection; and then passage after passage of comfort and hope 
flowed in upon me, till the Holy Spirit opened my soul to the joy- 
ful reception of the free, unpurdiaseahle salvation of Christ. 1 can 
never forget the sensation I experienced at that moment ! Before 
I had heen, as it were, walking on the earth, though looking up to 
heaven ; now I felt as if in heaven and looking down upon l^e 
earth ! For a time I was lost to everything around me. I no 
longer heard the knell of death, or the splashmg of the waves, or 
saw any of the ohjects that before had so much charmed me ; my 
heart and whole spirit seemed with God !" 

He paused : while his upward glance appeared again to seek the 
presence of his heavenly Father ; but after a few minutes' silence, 
which Mr. Anstruther imderstood too well to wish to break, he 
resumed, with a sigh, — 

" Frail creatures we are here — incapable of retaining heavenly 
light ! We can recal the remembrance of such feeUngs ; but the 
excesvsive happiness they produced will not ^low again within us 
in this world — ^though enough remains to fill these treacherous 
hearts of ours with peace and joy." 

" If such, then, was the effect of these things on your mind, 
Ashton, think what it must have been on mine — ^mine which was 
brought out of such darkness ! You had ever had the love of God 
in your heart, thourfi He had not been fully revealed to you as 
your Saviour ; but 1 — ^my heart had been at bitter enmity with 
Him. You may be thankful that you were led to Him by the 
force of love, without seeing Hell opened beneath you as I did. 
Oh ! what I suffered that night ! But it has made Christ's salva- 
tion, if possible, the more valuable to me, by showing from what 
depths of misery it has saved me. Would that my voice had a 
trumpet's power to arouse the souls of men, to warn them to fly 
from misery, and to turn to Him who is mighty and willing to 
save ! But those who have known me through lite, who have wit- 
nessed my cold contempt of everything sacred, would think, per- 



Sra BOLAITD ASHTON. 53 

haps naturally, that it was only the fear of death which had made 
me now alter my expressions and feelings : so that when I would 
— oh ! how gladly — serve the Lord, I am justly shown that He 
does not need me, and will not use me. But it is not fear that has 
changed me — ^I feel it is not fear." 

" I believe you, Anstruther, for fear would not give you the 
jBace and joy jrou seem to have," said Sir Roland. 

" I did feel it once," continued Mr. Anstruther ; " sunk under 
i; nearly ; but it is gone uow, quite gone. Regret, indeed— deep, 
ieep regret — do I feel for having so long offended one so merciftu, 
to easy to be entreated ; and I have a sorrow for sin which humbles 
me continually. And I would not have it otherwise : such feelings 
seem to befit one who has been so long and fearfully alienated 
£n>m God; but far from teaching me now to despair or fear, they 
serve only to enhance my sense of God's long-suffering patience. 
The more I think of them, the deeper is my love for Him. 

" I am veiy thankful, my dear Anstruther, to see you in this 
£rame of mind," said Sir Roland ; " and I know your joy is not the 
less deep and full for being chastened with regret ; out still you 
must remember that all your sins are washed out, that Christ nas 
borne them all in His own body on the cross." 

** You are a gentle comforter, Ashton, — ^true servant of your 
Lord, — ^true, true servant of your Lord. And if ever," he con- 
tinued with the most earnest energy, " in the course of this uncer- 
tain life, trial or sorrow beset your path, think of this scene of 
death — of him whom you have been the means of leading to salva- 
tion, and you will find comfort." He paused, exhausted with his 
own emotions, but, after a minute, he added, "I re^'oice in the 
thoughts of your beinc: high in the kingdom of God; for myself, I 
feel sufficiently blessed, in the hope of sitting on its threshold. It 
will be happiness enough through all eternity simply to dwell in the 
presence of the Lord, to see you employed about Sis throne — and 
again to behold — ^my mother." 

His heart thrilled with joy as the last idea passed through it; 
and he closed his eyes, that their softened expression might not be 
read, even b;^ Sir Roland. It was a feeling too sacred to brook the 
scrutiny of aught but heavenly eyes. 

"It is strange," he said, after a time, " how completely all my 
feelings and thoughts are changed. I, who never, in former times, 
eould Dear to think of my mother, now dwell on her remembrance 
-with the most delighted happiness, whilst it is the thought of my 
f atiier now that is painful. 1 do not know where he is ? but, Ashton, 
if ever you should meet him, try, will you? for my sake, to persuade 
Mm — speak to him, as you nave to me, and may God open his eyes 
as He has mine." 

" I will surely do it if I can," replied Sir Roland. 

" Woidd it be too much to ask of you," continued Mr. Anstruther, 
** now even, if you have any friends on the continent (for I have 
reason to believe he is not in England), to write and ask them if they 
have ever heard of him or known him. I have been very neglectfiu 
in this matter; for he may be wanting my assistance, and, God 



64 iflOtB SOLAITD ASHTOir. 

knows I would willing-ly give it now, if I knew bnt where to find 
kim ; and he might, perhaps, when he hears how near I am to death, 
come and see me once more." 

" I will write this very evening," said Sir Roland, " for I have 
many Mends abroad, and I hope I maybe snGcessfol indiscoveringr 
kim. But tell me, Anstruther, have no thoughts of God ever since 
you were a child — ^no convictions of sin, ever crossedyour mind?" 

" Often and often, but I repelled them instantly, x et amidst all 
Biy seeming indifference, spite of all the rhodomontade nonsense I 
used to talk, so miserable have I been at times, that more than onoe 
(I shudder at thinking of it now) I thought of putting an end to 
sty existence ; but I was kept from it by an intuitive feeling that I 
should then never again behold my mother.* And thus mercifully 
did God restrain niy impious hand by the thoughts of her whose 
vn.jer8 for me had, doubtless, ' eome up as a memorial before 

'* I know the ontlise ci jfnxt history, Anstruther : but what was 
it that preyed so particularly on your heart ? — ^Yet do not talk if it 
kurte you, you seem so veiy weak." 

" It is a pleasure to speak te you while I can," said Mr. Anstru- 
ther ; ** for my lips will soon be dosed in death." And a quiet smile 



played over them as he spoke. 



ie then repeated as much as he himself knew of the history ef 
his parents (with which the reader is already acquainted), and de- 
scribed the effect his early trials had upon his heart. He said he 
was not with hia mother when she died — ^her death took place in the 
iught--and that when in the morning he was teld that she was 
dead, and entered her room, he felt relieved to find her so little 



X used to go," he continued, *' and read in the room where she 
lay, and take my playthings there, and sit for hours, for no one 
eared to disturb me. 1 had no fear of death, for I had never wit- 
nessed it tUl now, in her who, dead, was worth all the liying world 
to mc ! I would amuse myself, I remember well, in building, with 
my playthings, bridges and towers, and things of that sort, whioh 
seexned very beautiful to my childish fancy, and then would look up 
for praise and kind words ; but finding all remained still, as before, I 
would take them down quietly one by one, inst^d of the noisy over- 
throw which before used to be the crowning joy of all : for, withoot 
knowing why, I felt there was a hush over everythinff around ; and 
the least noise seemed to jar in that quiet room of death. An<> 
tiius I went on for some days, and was scarcely to say unhappy, 
though I wearied for her sweet looks and gentle voice. Strange it 
is, that though I have not dared to recal these things to my mind 
for years, yet now that I speak of them, the smallest circumstamee 
flows back upon my reooUection with a force and clearness that 

* Tha t gifted, but eeeeatiic being, ITgo Foeoolo, while pouring forth the 
sorrows of his heart on one occasion, said that he had, indeed, thooght of 
potting an end to himself; bnt, he added, in a peculiarlf touching manner^ 
* Je Grains de ne Jamais reroir ma mUre." (I fear the never seeing my matber 
again.) 



filB BOLAKD ASHTOir. 05 

makes the whole seem as but of yesterday ; and all my chlidish but 
intense feelings return to my heart, fresh and natural as when first 
they came. It is like turnmg over the pages of a long-forgotten, 
volume ! 

" We were in the country, in a poor little house, suited, I sup- 
pose, to our ruined fortunes, and we had no Mends near. The ser- 
vants were kind to me, but they spoke to each other in whispers, 
and often with tears, and I did not care to ask them questions. I 
Icnew my mother was dead, but I had then but faint, indistinct 
ideas of what death was, and I dreaded hearing of something worse 
than what I saw. One day — oh! can Etermty wash out the re- 
membrance of that hour !— K)n that day my father came down ; he 
Lad not been to the house before since my mother's death. He 
must have felt I imagine, as if everything and everybody re- 
proached him, and that probably chafed Ms temper. The saoness 
of the people about made him, perhaps, irritable and sensitive, 
knowing what their thoughts must be ; for they were all aware of 
Ids neglect of my mother, and of her many sorrows. He inquired 
where I was, ana being told I was in her room, he entered in a sul- 
len mood (for he always resented any mark of affection shown to 
her), and bade me leave the place, frightened at his angry look, 
I ran to the bedside and clung to my mother's hand, taking refuge 
with the quiet dead from the violence of the living. He advanced 
— ^I see him now, his eyes flashing with anger— and seizing me, or- 
dered me to quit my mother's hand. I could not do so, and he 
dragged me away, I grasping her hand still with the strength of 
despair. Oh, what I £elt at that moment ! " And he pressed his 
clasped hands crushingly across his eyes, as if to destroy the recol- 
lection. '* The action made her move ; she seemed to follow me, 
and I thought she lived. I called on her to save me ! but with 
frantic violence my father tore my hand from hers ; I heard her 
arm fiall heavily on the bed — and I heard no more. When I awoke 
1 was in my own room, and a kind servant of my mother's was 
watching by me, and in tears. 

" I saw my mother once again. I was feverish, and was kept in 
bed ; but having been left alone, I crept out and stole into her 
room. I did not see her at the first moment, for they had nlaced her 
in her ooffln. The sight of that mournful object fillea me with 
alarm, but 1 could not bear to return without seeing her ; so I got 
on the bed on which the coffin rested, and leaned over to look once 
more at that still, pale face, so ineznressibly dear to me. She was 
surrotinded with flowers — ^the brignt, gay flowers of Spring. I 
stooped to kiss her, and felt a rising agony I had never known 
before, for I was sure they were going to carry her away ; but my 
terror was so great lest my father should return and find me there 
again, that sorrow had not— happily perhaps — full sway over me* 
I took up a flower which lay on her tranquil breast — ^that breast, 
my precious mother, where I had been so often hushed to rest ! — and 
in haste and fear crept back to my own room. I never saw her 
after that ; but dearly did I cherish my stolen flower, and pre- 
served it with the greatest care. I have it now — it is in my 
desk, sealed up with my mother's picture. Yearsr— many, many 



SS SIB SOIAND ASKTOS. 

years have passed since I have borne to look on either ; but, Ashton^ 
shall you thiiJc me quite a child still, if I beg you to let that faded 
flower be placed with, me in my coflSn ? I feel it is a childish re- 

?uest," he added, as deep emotion flushed his coimtenance, " but 
somehow wish that what I have so much treasured, should not be 
cast away as a worthless thin?. "Will you keep the picture ? it is 
very lovely — as she was ; — and it may serve to remind you perhaps 
of me ; for though I had not her features, or her beauty, yet some 
who knew her have said that at times they saw a likeness between 
us. We have, indeed, been alike in some things," and he sighed 
heavily; "for we have both suffered much, though from what 
different causes ! and she, too, died at seven-and-twenty, cut off in 
her lovely prime. I think I should like," he added, while his lip 
quivered, " to look once more on those dear memorials ! Will you 
kindly get them for me ? — ^But no, I will not disturb and melt my 
heart with the sight of them. — ^I shall need no remembrance to 
recognise her in the realms of peace." 

He paused for some time much exhausted, then continued : — 

"Atter a few days (during which I never saw him) my father 
took me away with him, and soon after sent me to school ; but mv 
heart found no resting-place in any of my companions, nor, indeed, 
ever has found one till now." And he turned to SirHolandwitkan 
expression of the deepest gratitude. 

** I can scarcely wonder at the state of mind you used to be in, 
Anstruther," said Sir Roland; "yours was a terrible childhood! 
How different to mine ! nursed as I was in the very lap of love and 
kindness ! and, while I was early trained in the ways of God, I 
have heard that you were exposed to every evil and temptation. It 
is surprising that your outward conduct should have been so free 
from reproach as it has been." 

" My natred of my father, I am sorry to say, served moie tokeep 
me from his vices than anything else," replied Mr. Anstruther; 
** besides which, I ever had a vamty in seeming to be above the 
weaknesses of other men ; and should have lost my power of hum- 
bling them — ^my great delight I am sorry to say— had I debased 
myself to their level. But if I have had less, perhaps, than some, 
of open audacious vice to reproach myself with, my heart, I feel, 
has been worse than mortal can conceive. It is appalling to me 
now to look back to what it was ; my * hand has, indeed, been 
against every man,' and justly has * every man's hand been against 
me,* excepting yours, Ainton, and amongst all my companions or 
acquaintcuice, you were the only one I never could despise; I 
affected to do so— but I never reofly did. I tried, too, to aespise 
your principles, but there, also, I could never succeed; the still 
small voice of other years echoed them in my heart, though so 
faintly that its tones were almost lost." 

He paused, for his voice faltered; but after a few moments he 
continued, " I cannot now bear to think of what my feeHng to- 
wards you used to be, Ashton, and happily I need net do so, and 
the finest animation glowed over his features; " for the deep heart- 
lelt love I bear you now has, I feel sure, blotted out the remem^ 



• . SIB BOLAKD ASHTON. 57 

,< brance of it from your mind ; and, thanks be to God, ' the blood of 
^ Christ cleanseth from all sin.' " 

" The7'e is, indeed, the point of comfort for ns all," said Sir 
Eoland ; "for "without that, * who could abide the day of His coming, 
^ or who could stand when He appeareth?* But I have now no 
' feeling but that of pleasure in thinking of you, Anstruther," and 
he kindly grasped the hand which the other had held out to him, 
" for our hearts and souls are now one, and will be so for ever. 
But I ought to leave you now, for you must need rest after the- 
kind exertions you have been making to gratify my curiosity ; you* 
have talked too much I fear." 

" It does not signify," said Mr. Anstruther ; " I shall soon be 
quite at rest," 

Wlien next Sir Eoland visited him, Mr. Anstruther, during their 
conversation, expressed a strong desire to see Mr. Scott. 

"It is strange," he said, " how much one's heart feels drawn 
towards those who have the same hope with^ oneself. Scott, whom 
formerly I so much disliked— because I disliked his Master — ^Inow 
feel so great a regard for." 

" It is not strange," said Sir Roland, " for all true Christians are 
members of one body, of which Christ is the head. * By this,' says 
OUT Lord, ' shall men know that ye axe my disciples, if ye have 
love one to another.' " 

" I have then, at least, that testimony of being His disciple,'" 
said Mr. Anstruther ; " for I feel my heart warm up towards even 
strangers whom you name as being real Christians. Do you think 
Scott will mind coming again to this sick room ? — ^that he will for- 
get my former cold rudeness to him ?" 

•* He would rejoice in nothing more, I am sure, than in seeing 
you as you are now, my dear Anstruther," replied- Sir Eoland: 
" all but that pale countenance. And yet we must not mourn for 
that either, when we know how near you are to your rest." 

** I have often in former times," said Mr. Anstruther, " heard of 
the bitterness and harshness of religious men ; but you, Ashton,. 
hare certainly none of that spirit; you are one of * Comfort's true 
sons.' But there is one other thing I wished to speak of, which i» 
— ^the Sacrament: I should much like to take it; though," he 
added, with some embarrassment, while a flush passed over his 
pale features, "it will be for the first time, volxmtarily in my life. 
^ut our Lord's words, * Do this in remembrance of me,' haunt my 
snind, for I would fain obey him in aU things." 

" It is, indeed, a Clunstian'^ privilege to do so," said Sir 
Boland. 

" But there is one thing," continued Mr. Anstruther, " though I 
fear it is a weakness ; but I have a ^great dislike to the idea of 
taking the Sacrament from Eoberts. Iknow, indeed, that the act 
is entirely between God and my own soul — ^that none can forward 
His blessing to me, or withhold it from me; but still, I confess, I 
zevolt from the idea of having, at that solemn moment, such a man 
as Roberta to administer to me even outward thiuffs. You know 
what he is— always was at least— frivolous, worldly, dissipated I 



^ Sm BOLAITD ASfiTCnr. 

and I oannot STEfficiently diyest myaelf of natural wealmess to tole- 
rate the idea of the feelings which I am sure would oreroome me^ 
being: witnessed by him. 

" I can ijerfectly understand you," said Sir Roland ; " and I con- 
fess that his presence with us here would much interfere with my 
enjoyment also; j^et God's blessing rests on duty performed, not 
on enjoyment received ; but stiU I ftiink, if we could get a spiri- 
tually minded man to officiate, it would be far better. Do you 
know Singleton— Scott's cousin? He is a true Christian, and I 
know Scott expected kim here to-^day or to-morrow ; would you 
like me to ask nim to come V* 

'* I should very much," replied Mr. Anstruther ; " and his being* 
a relation of Scott's would take away any appearance of rudeness 
•or unkindness to Eobertsj as he being ehaplam to the Embassy it 
miffht seem otherwise, as if I ought to hare sent to him. !But» 
Ashton, if Mr. Singleton does not come, it ought not to be delayed. 
---^I haye a monitor within whioh tells meM£at time is not muoh 
longer for me." 

Sir Boland soon after, when he saw Mr. Scott, told him of Mr. 
Anstruther's desire to see him. He had some time before informed 
Mm of the change whidi had taken plaoe in the mind of his friend, 
which had greatly rejoiced Mr. Scott, who now said he should be 
most happy to go and yisit him. 

Sir Roland then mentioned Mr. Anstruther's wish, that if Mr. 
Singleton arriyed in time, he should be asked to administer Hm 
Sacrament to them. 

" Sing-leton left this room not ten minutes ago," said Mr. Soottj 
'*^ he arriyed this morning, and is gone to look after his things, I 
fancy. I am sure he will be happy to be of use an3rwhere and 
anyhow. I often think it is a yery good thing* that that man has 
no settled ayocation in life--or rather no liying to settle down in; 
for his yocation evidently seems to be that of wandering oyer the 
face of the globe, doing good amongst the upper classes of society. 
He had an excellent Hyinr once, but gave it up for some reason or 
other which he never would explain. He is acceptable everywheie, 
even with the most worldly and unprincipled ; and he always leaves 
them something to reflect on when ne is gone. I have traced more 
good to him than to any man I ever knew, for he waits for no 
opportunity to be olBSsrea to him. but makes it for himself ; yetwil^ 
such judgment and such gentle earnestness, that what one would 
be almost tempted at first to call rash courage, is so invariably 
crowned with success, that it loses its rash character, and becomes 
matter of certain calculation. His playful, radelong smile, too, 
seems to make it impossible for him ever to offend." 

" I know him but little," said Sir Roland, '* but that little makee 
me desirous of seeing more of him." 

" I know him well," said Mr. Scott, with a glowing countenanoe ; 
" and have as deep reason to love him as poor Anstmther has to 
love you." 

"So I have heard you say," replied Sir Roland; " and it is a 
bond strong as delightful. One can imagine — or ratJier one cannot 



cm XOLAKD IfflCTOV. 69 

imagiiie--wliat two souls, imited hf that tie, mnit feel wheiL 
ranging the wide fields of eternity together ! Ah ! how little do 
those possess of real, ennobling happiness, who do not Imow their 
high inheritanoe. How strange it seems that Satan's power shonld 
he so strong; that he should be permitted so much to delude the 
souls of men, and tempt tliem to forsake their real bliss for the 
painted ffewgaws of an hour» Truly does our Lord say, ' What I 
do now taou knowest not;' — and how gracious is the ooiidescen^on 
which makes fiim add, 'But thou wait know hereafter.' How 
comfortins: and animating to be assured, that all which our insa- 
tiate minoiB would lain know now, shall hereafter be spread out 
dear and plain before us ; and our powers be so enlarged as to 
enable us to understand, approye, ana admire all." 

"Our powers will then be boundless," said Mr. Scott— " bound- 
less to suffer — ^boundless to enjoy ! An awful thought as regarcU 
lost souls; but how delightful as regards those who are made per- 
fect in glory ! Here, a yery little joy suffices us, the least excess 
becomes painful — ^indeed, the only expression of happiness at tunes 
is tears. But there our happiness will be pure, pmeot, and un- 
tinged by a single shade that could sully it. 

** We naye indeed a glorious hope, ' full of immortality,' " said 
Sir Eoland; " 'Heirs of God and ioint-heira with Christ,'— what 
animating promises ! And how delightfnl is the earnest— the fore- 
taste we nossess of them eyen here; proyingthat godliness has 
indeed, ' the promise of this world as well as of the worid to come.' 
How do earth's best joys sink beneath these stupendous thoughts 
—and earth's brightest prospects ! yes, eyen mine, Scott, happy and 
delightful as they are, kow do they fade and yani^ away before 
'that day-spring frcMH on high,' which reyeals, though only now 
in glimpses, the perfect beauty of God's kingdom ! What happi- 
ness it 18 to possess these hopes for oneself; what inexi»essible joy 
to be the instrument in God s hand of imparting them to others— 
a glorious privilege I" 

^* When first 1 had these hopes for myself" said Mr. Scott, " I 
liiMight that I had but to tell others of them, to get them joyfully 
accepted by alL It seemed to me that a thing contained in three 
lines would bring aU mankind who heard it, to the foot of the 
cross." 

** How do you mean * contained in three lines' ?" 

" I mean that the gist of the Gospel lies in such small compass, 
that it need be a burden to no memory : ' Man lost, justly, through 
his own sins; saved by the merits oi Christ; and constrained for 
His love's sake, through His Spirit, to do His will.' That appears 
to me the epitome of Christian faith and practice; and it seemed 
so simple, when first I felt and understood it for myself, that I 
wondered all should not equally imderstand and feel it. But it is 
like a difficult riddle, which none can find out of themselves, thougk 
the moment they are told it, it appears so clear, that they wondes 
they had never thought of it before. Melancthon, you may 
remember, says he felt just the same thing, and thought that 
all who heard him speak of the Gospel would immediately ae^ 
cept it; bu^ he adds, 'that lie soon found dd Adam wa« 



60 SIR BOLAKB ASHTON. 

stronger than young Melanothon,' — and I am sure I haye found it 
so too." 

" Yes, every day's experience would serve to convince one of 
that," said Sir Koland, **^even if Scripture were silent on the sub- 
ject; for no one can change the heart hut God. And yet how 
wonderfully is the conviction of the inefficacy of all earthly means, 
without the Spirit's teaching, accompooied by the feeling of the 
boimden necessity for working. It is extraordinary that these two 
apparently contradictory feelings should harmonise together so 
perfectly m the heart ; yet they do so — and most injurious is their 
separation, leading us, on the one hand, to a presumptuous con- 
Mence in our own endeavours, and, on the other, to a supinenesa 
in God's work— as if there were nothing for us to do — ^Satan by 
this delusion so often bringing the blood of souls upon our con- 
sciences. "Well has it been said, 'Prayer without exertion is 
hypocrisy; exertion without payer, presumption.' " 

Scripture condemns most forcibly the latter doctrine," observed 
Mr. Scott, "God himself beinc: represented as saying, *All day 



long have I stretched forth my nanas imto a disobedient and gtdn^ 
saying people.' And again, *I have spoken unto you, rising 
early and speaking.' And we are encouraged, too, so much to 
work, as well as to pray, * Cast thy bread upon the waters : for 
thou shalt find it after many days.' * In the morning sow thy 
seed, and in the evening withhold not thy hand ; for thou knowest 
not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both 
shall be alike good.' " 

A hand laid suddenly on Sir Eoland's shoulder made him tnm 
round quickly, when he met the " sidelong smile" of Mr. Single- 
ton, who said-— 

** If when last we parted it had been asked, * When shall we 
three meet again ?' who would have said it would be in the noble 
city of ! So little do we, grand calculators as we think our- 
selves, know what on earth is to become of us ! " 

" But, though une3;i>ected, you are not the less welcome to uft," 
replied Sir Eoland, shaking hands warmly with him. " I knew 
you were here, but what fair wind was it which blew you our 
way?" 

•* I was on my way to Italy through the Tyrol," replied Mr. 
Singleton, '*and only a few days ago heard that you and Scott 
were here ; but, as you are here, I think I shall set up my tent 
here too, till the fidgets seize me again, and then I shall be off. ' ^ 

" Yes," said Mr. Scott, " as old nurses say, there is no set-still in 
you. You were bom in the year of the comet, and I always think 
its influence affected your constitution, and gave you your erratic 
propensities. * A wandering star' you oertaiuly are, but not * re- 
served to darkness ;' " and he lookea at his cousin with the greatest 
affection. 

" Thank you, Willy." replied Mr. Singleton, with a bright smile. 
** I hope not. But what were you talking of when I interruptea 
you? I heard something about * prospering' and * good,' so wanted 
to come in for my share." 



SIB BOLAiri) ASHXON. 61 

** Oh, it was only the old subject—sowing the seed." 

" Well, as Monteomery says, * up hill, down vale, broadcast it 
•'er ihe land/ What field have you found to cultivate here ? 
There is always enough evervwhere that needs the tilling, and 
you are neither of you among those who put the hand to the plough 
.and look back ; at least, I Know you are not, Scott, and I don't 
much think your friend here is." 

'* He has sown to some purpose just now," returned Mr. Scott, 
"" and his shock is nearly readv for the sickle." 

" Not sown, only watered, fiaid Sir B^land ; " but God has, 
indeed, given an almost unhoped-for increase. I was wishing: ta 
ask you, Mr. Singleton, to do a little act of kindness for us just 
now; which is, to give the Sacrament to a poor fellow up-stairs, 
whose sands are almost out." 

••Up-stairs! who is he?" 

•' Mr. Anstruther. He was secretary of embassy here." 

••Anstruther ! I know that name. Is he a dark-eyed man, 
with high, marked features, and haughty, disagreeable manners?" 

••He was such, certainly," replied Sir Eolana, somewhat reluc- 
tanilv ; " but you will not recognise the latter characteristic in him 
now. 

"What, 'the Word' has done its work, has it? and brought 
down • the high look of the proud.' Well, God be with him then ! 
I shall be most happy to give him the Sacrament in that case ; but 
I really could not nave done so (as it is not my bounden office here) 
if he had been one of those who, having neglected religion all their 
Hves, take this rite, at the last gasp, as a sort of moral or spiritua 
panacea; and place as much dependence on it as the Papist 
does on Ihe 'Viaticum' of his church. But to one who has really 
received the Lord in his heart, I greatly delight in administering 
it ; it gives me such extreme pleasure to be enabled, in such a 
case, to lay a strong emphasis on the word * thee* — * That Christ's 
blood was shed for thee,' I know, indeed, that that most precious 
blood-shedding was for the sins of the whole world ; but still, 
being available only for such as believe it was * shed for them and 
are thankful,' to such only can I emphasize the word, or, indeed, 
administer the outward sign at all with comfort. When shall it 
be? to-morrow?" 

•• To-morrow, if you like ; as it is rather late to-day." 

•• So be it, then. But I shall like to see him first.' 

•• Will you come up with me now?" 

•'No, I will not go up with you at all. Sir B^land. Perhaps you 
will kindly go up by yourself, and ask him if he likes to see me ; 
and then, when y^u are safe off the premises, I will go to him. I 
like such interviews always to be * t6te-al-t6te ;' otherwise, one can 
only say odious commonplaces; or, if one does say more^ 
one appears, to oneself at least, affected — and I dont know 
what. I do not mind the ministering angels hearing me, anit 
I like that those evil beings who are ever at our sides, sick ol 
well, should do so too ; but I iave a mortal aversion to mortal 
ears." 

'*And yet," said ^r. Scott, ** I have heard you say, that you did 



62 UIR BQLAVB ASBJWS. 

not care how many tiboiuandft were present, when onoe you began 
preaehing." 

** That is qnite another thing ; one then addresses the woild in 
l^eneral— looks at Bobody, and thinks of nobody ! one's whole soml 
18 in one's subject ; and I tiunk sometimes I should hardly feel the 
difference, were I to die in the middle, so completely do I feel 
abstracted from the world — so in the spirit with God. Yet to be 
sure, there must be an immeasurable dinerenoe between preaching 
to the perishing souls around one, and being with the fdieady 
glorified: spirits of men in heayen, — ^with the company of angels» 
and the presence of the blessed One himself ! Well, all in good 
time— in God's own good time ! "WiU you see now. Sir Bolond, if I 
shall go to this * lost and found' np-stairs?" 

" If it will not be inconvenient to you, Mr Sinjprleton, I think I 
had rather you should put off your visit to him &r a UttLe while. 
He exuresaed a great wish just now to see Seott, so perhaps it 
would be best for him to go up first" 

" I will go at once then," said Mr. Scott And he leffc the room. 



" You are looking Ol, Sir Boland," said Mr. Singleton ; *' yon 
have been anxious about this poor fellow, I dare say. 

"I have certainly felt much for him," replied Sir Roland; 
** besides which, confinement in this hot weather is very trying. I 
am not used to being tied to business, and find it very irksome ; 
and notwithstanding that being with Anstruther is very exciting, 
yet it is, in fact, my happiest time." 

** I can believe it— -well believe it," said Mr. Singleton. " There 
is scarcely any tie on earth like that which binds one to the soul 
one has been the happy means, in God's hands, of * snatching like 
a brand from the burning.' One feels mightily oompLaoent, at anv 
time, towards those whom one has benefited in anyway; whien. 
feeling is doubtless a boon from the Father of mercies to cheer (me 
en. But when it is to the soul that one has ministered—then it is 
a stringent tie indeed!— a tie strong as the * sevenfold chords of 
light.' A chain of adamant— and wreathed with amaranth too !" 

"It is," replied Sir Roland. Yet a sigh escaped him as he 
thought, how soon the earthly portion of the tie w£d<^ bound him 
to his dying friend would be dissolved. 

" Stronger, I conceive," continued Mr. Singleton, " than that 
which binds the receiver of the boon to the imparter." 

" I think," said Sir Roland, "that Scott— who has told me all 
he owes to you— loves you witix a force, which your regard for him 
can scarcely exceed." 

" Scott's heart is a most humble one— therefore with him it may 
be so ; but the pride of our fallen nature generally makes us revolt 
from receiving favours, while it enhances the pleasure of bestowing 
them ; and I fear there axe few of us, who would take equal delight 
in tiie conversion, even of those most dear to us, if the Lord had 
made use of other instruments entirely, and had left us quite out 
V 1 ^^^^- ^^* ^ ^™® shape or other, mixes with all oup 
thoughts and feelings, sullying the stream which yet perhaps at 
nifit really did spring pure from the love of God. it is a sore and 



sift BOl^AJTB ASHTOir. 63^ 

grievous work to trace the blight within whieh cankers all we do — 
the thoughts from beneath which * rise, like birds of evil wing, to 
IQiUf our sacrifice !' " 

Sir Roland and Mr. Singleton continued to converse, as if they 
had known each other all their lives, for they were brothers in the 
great family of the redeemed, and such nave always much ivi 
common. 

After a short time, Mr, Scott oaiois down agaia horn Mr. Anstra* 
tJier's room, 

'* You found him mnch altered, did yon not }*' asked Sir Roland. 

"I should scarcely have known him at first," replied Mr. Scottr 
'' though it is not a month since I saw him— he is so fearfully 
ohanged ! But in conversing with him, I frequently caup^ht a 
resemblance to his fonuer self, in the peculiar way m which h9 
turns his eyes suddenly upon one when speaking. Thev seem to^ 
liave such power now, as if tijiey were all spirit. They were 
always peculiarly expressive ; but now, from out of his death-like 
countenance, their force is almost overpowering^^yet the expression 
so fine ! If you could go to him, Singleton, about twelve to-^ 
morrow, he would like it ; and then A^ton and I will come up 
when you are ready, and receive the sacrament with him." 

'* I mall be quite happ^r to do as he wishes," replied Mr. Single-^ 
l0n ; " but have everything ready, will you, before I go in. I 
hate tliose tiresome preparations, uiey always distract the mind. 
I suppose they always will, as long as one is here— that is, as long 
as tney are needed — ^for we shall want no such things up there 
(pointing to heaven) ; they are made irksome, I suppose, in order 
to remind us of that. Well, tell your friend to expect me precisely 
at twelve o'clock to-morrow, without any farther notice ; and you» 
Sir Roland, will, I am sure, kindly take care I shall have a < 
field." 



CHAPTER X 

'* Under whatever subterfuges he may attempt to bide his error, the ma& who 
labours to expiate his owu sin, by self-inflicted pains of the body, has lost his 
hold of the Gospel of the grace of God ; he mi^ be very devout, and very 
fervent, but the Gospel he has framed to himself is ' another Gospel,' and, i^ 
jiact, is no Gospel ;— it is not * glad tidings,' but sad tidings." * * 

** From tbat treacherous border the few would make their escape heaven- 
ward, as the few, in every age, have escaped from the fUse bosom of the 
Bomish Church ; but the many— the thousands of the people, would become 
the pitiable victims of this religion of sacraments." 

Tatix)]!*! Anoieni Chrittfanitiy. 

As Mr. Bingleton rose to depart, Mr. Scott's servant came in ta 
ask if his master would see Mr. Roberts. 

" By all means : ask him to come up. Now, Singleton," added 
Mr. Scott, when the man had left the room, " do stay ; this is our 
ohap^.ftin, and you mdy be able to say a word to do tlie poor fellow 
good, and I shall want you when he is gone ; you can have nothing 
to do here but with me." 



64 SIB BOLAIO) ASHTON. 

" Yes, I have a great deal to do here with myself. I want to 
look about me." 

" Well, but wait till he is gone, and I wiU help you to look 
about you." 

The servant uow announced Mr. Roberts ; and Mr. Singleton, 
after bowing to hin.. courteously, sat down again, as his cousin had 
wished. 

" How are you, Roberts ?" asked Mr. Scott. 

"Half deal ! I have been parading the streets with the town- 
crier all the live-long day, trying to detect some hidden parson to 
do my duty for me for a week or two." 

" Why } — ^whither away ?" 

" Lord N has been land enotighto invite me to accompany him 

to , which I should be delighted to do, if I could only get clear 

of the abominable service here. I must go out again, I suppose— 
as one does to catch up a loose horse — ^with a little corn, and try t» 
inveigle some one for hire and reward. I shall have it plav 
carded up on every irespectable serious-looking bit of wall in the 
place." 

" I don't want the com," said Mr. Singleton, with weat gravity ; 
" but as I do not think the service very abominable, 1 will take it 
off your hands, if you like it. You do not seem to value it very 
highly, so perhaps you will not mind intrusting its performance to 
a stranger. 

" I am sure I am much obliged to you," answered Mr. Roberts, 
rather disturbed. " I did not know — I was not the least aware, 
that 1 was in the presence of a clergyman, or I should not — " 

" No excuses to me, my good sir," said Mr. Singleton, ^uietiy. 
** What is fit for the Master's ear is quite good enough lor HSs 
servant's." 

Mr. Roberts was excessively confused, and continued stammer- 
ing out indistinct apologies ; but Mr. Singleton stopped him by 
saying kindly — 

" We wiU not talk any more of that just now ; another time 
perhaps, when we know each other better, we can begin it in a 
soberer strain. I suppose you do not often get leave of absence 
here, for there are but few clergymen who are such waifs and 
strays on the surface of society as 1 am ; but, however, I am glad 
to have arrived just in time to be of use to you, for I weU know 
the pleasure of a little liberty." 

Mr. Scott looked with the utmost admiration on one whom he 
inew possessed all the thunders of eloquence, with which — had he 
chosen to put them forth — ^he might have confounded the thought- 
less, undevout young man to whom he spoke, but who, in the gen- 
tleness of his wisdom, expressed kindly sympathy with his natural 
wishes, before he attempted to show him the evil of his spirit; 
and Sir Roland also, with pleased surprise, gazed on the fine, kind 
countenance of the commanding being before him. 

II When does Lord N set out ?" asked Mr. Scott. 

"To-morrow morning," replied Mr. Roberts ; " and I was 
beginmn^ to grow desperate; but Mr. Singleton's kindness has 
made quite a new creature of me." 



. SZS BOLAITD ASHTOK. 05 

Mr. Sindeton fixed his eyes upon the careless speaker, and his 
lips partea as if he were about to reply, but he restrained himself* 
and kept silence, though a sigh arose. He had been inclined to 
make a comment on Mr. Eoberts's own expression of " being a new 
creature ;" but he felt that this was not a fitting time or place ; for 
a lecture before witnesses was, he well knew, a most unpalatable 
dose to any man. 

'*Are you lately from England, Mr. Singleton?" asked Mr. 
Roberts. 

" I left it about two months a^." 

" Was an^^thing particular going on ? One neyer can believe the 
newspapers." 

*• Nothing very particular that I know of." 

" The Puseyites seem fiourishing-— the vile hypocrites !" 

" My good sir," said Mr. Singleton, quickly, " you will excuse 
me, but I must say, I think we should be acquainted with people 
very well, before we venture to fix upon them the blackest name 
in all the black catalogue of sins." 

" I am really most unfortunate to-day," exclaimed Mr. Eoberts-^ 
" full of mistakes ! I first find a clergyman where I least expected 
it, though that mistake his kindness lias turned quite to my ad- 
vantage (bowing to Mr. Sinfirleton)— and then discover that he is 
a Fuseyite ! which I certainh' should not have expected, consider- 
ing the companv in which I find him." 

** Ton certainly mistake in supposing me one of the Puseyites," 
said Mr. Sinrieton, smiling ; ** for I am very far from being such, 
and highly disapprove their doctrines. But, my young mend, I 
am some six or seven vears older than jou are, and by virtue of 
my bald head I claim brevet rank for six or seven more, so you 
wul perhaps fornve my saying, that experience has taught me, 
that men may fall into all imaginable lollies and errors without 
being hypocrites. You will remember who it is that says, ' Judge 
not, that ye be notjudged,' and his commands are not lightly to 
be disregarded. We may be led away by a thousand corrupt 
motive»— Ihe winds of passion may blow us to aU points of tne 
compass : and the currents of self-interest, pride, worldliness, may 
pervert uie judgment, and make the stream of Hfe flow in any but 
the right channel. But deliberately to pretend to be what we know 
we are not, is what fewhave the consummate villany to undertake, 
cr the bad boldness to carry through. That was why I objected to 
your calling these men hypocrites ; though at the same time I have 
no hesitation in saying, that I believe them to be blindly carrying 
on a work of vast, incalculable evil in the world." 

" Ton do not like to abuse them," said Sir Boland, ** while you 
' cry havoc I and let slip the dogs of war,' against their doctrines. 
Abuse certainly is not argument, and shoula always be avoided ; 
but we are in general least inclined to cultivate that ' charity 
which thinketh no evil,' where it is most especially wanted ; in 
thinking and speaking of Ihose who differ from us either in opinion 
or action." 

"Oh! I had much rather," said Mr. Roberts, "abuse people 
out and out, and 'make a dean breast of it' at once, than pretend 



46 8IB BOLAJn) AfiHTOV. 

a Tast oondderatioii for tiiem, whilst I am anulingly drainngr the 
bolt that is to send them to destnictioxi. I like * a good hater.' 
Tour mild, mellifltious speechee are only the oiling of the point of 
the dagger, in order that it may go more easily to the heart" 

** Yon are poetical, Roberts— that was qnite a flight," said Mr. 
Beott. ** Bnt yon must * rein in yonr soaring: genius, and clip the 
winffs of yonr rampant steed,' before you can come down to the 
level of snch poor sons of prose as we are.^ 

*' I think your ' rampant steed' has folly overtaken mine, Scott; 
BO we two, at least, may tilt on eqml gronnd. Bnt I always 
observe Uiat people who begin so ktWrng tnrect, always end so 
biting bitter. The ' choicest unldndnesses alwavs come from those 
who profess a vast consideration for your tedings ; like Dr. 
Johnson in his memorable speech, when asked the profession of 
some one : *I wish to speak evil of no man, but tram compels me 
to say— he was a lawyer.' " 

** As if," said Sir Eoland, " * a man could not,* as Sbencer 
Perceval, the minister, said, * serv« his Ood as well in the mw as 
in I3ie church.' " 

"I should think he might — easSy,** mid Mr. Scott, glancing 
ingnificantly at the yoimg chaplain. 

** Or would you wish, Mr. Sing leton,*' eontimued Mr. Eoberts, 
without attending to what die omers had said, ''to keep singingr 
the *retoumelle,' after the feushion of Ani&ony; and after abusing 
these men in every figure of speedi, diast peipetually, *But 
Pusey^is an honourable man, so are they all— 4ll honourable 
men? 

"Well ! I must say you bear our friend's impertinenees very 
patiently," said Mr. aoott to his cousin. 

*' He certainly does not treat my grey hairs wil^ all the respect 
I think due to them,'* replied Mr. Smgjeton; "but perhaps he 
has an ugly tri(& of thinkmg his own opinion best; which 1 have 
observed some people have." 

**I always think myself tiie wisest person in the world," said 
Sir Eoland, smiling, and wiUing to relieve the embarrassment 
into which Mr. Scott's observation had thrown Mr. Roberts. 
"Where others agree with me, we are on a par; where tJiey 
differ, my opinion, of course, is, * selonmoi,' best ; so there I am the 
superior. 

^ *'Well argued, and quite unanswerable,*' «aid Mr. Scott. **l 
imagine we all think Hie same, though; it is what *oft was 
thought, but ne'er so well expressed;' -at least, I have lonp had 
an idea that I was decidedly the nearest resemblanoe to Solomon 
that had appeared within our era." 

*' It is commonly observed," said Mr. Singleton, ** that the most 
equally distributed of all gifts, seems to be good sense ; as every 
one is satisfied with his own share of it." 

'* But still to return to the original suhject," said Mr. Roberts"? 
if these men profess to believe things which it is impossible for 
any one in his senses t9 believe— they must be hypocrites ; unleflB, 
indeed, you j)refer calling them madmen." 

«'It certainly does astonish me," replied Mr. gBngkton, 'Mbat 



€□1 BOLASTD ASBWMt. tff 

men o^heneise reaeosable, slioiild l>e led away by ^at appear to 
me much ^oss errors. But still, till I know that they consider 
their doctrines as erroneous, I must not call them hypocrites for 
professing them. I think/' he added, and a solemn expression 
filled Jiis eye, "that they are ' giren up to a strong delusion,' and 
that the nuschief they are doin^ is woeM-^anspeakable ! Theirs 
is, a doctrine 'which as the Bishop of Chests said, if I remember 
right, in one of his 'charges — 'ministers so mudti. to the pride of 
human natnre, that w^e it for that reason alone I should di»- 
trust ifc»* ** 

" I do not see that," replied Mr. Boberts, '* excepting as to the 
clergy; for the poor laity are sorely rough-xidden and brow- 
beaten, I should say— ordered to keep silence *even from good 
words — ^to dispose ii their intellects as best IJiey may-— and to 
swallow, without tasting either, whaterer is set before them by 
their appointed ' pastors and masters.* * Eat your pudding, slaye, 
and hold your tongue,' seems the order of the day for them. 
Thou^rh to be snre, even then, their diet need not pall upon their 
appetites for want of Tariety. It is by no means 'toujours 
perdriz;' for when I was last in Endand, staying in the country, 
there were within a walk, four diurehes with, to my certain know- 
ledge, four different doctrines serred up, 'all well defined and 
separate ' condiments, as distinct in their ' saTOur' as the most 
sickly appetites could desire. And yet the poor wretches are 
ordered not to judge for themselires, but only to ' hear the Church.' 
CWhich Churct— query?") 

"They mean the Artielesy ftc. as the Church, you know," said 
Mr: Scott. 

'Yes; but eacb thinks he is grmg the true explanation of 



* Ton speak in rather a light way on the subject, Mr. Roberts, 
though I cannot but agree in your meaning," said Mr. Singleton. 
" JDadeed I have often wondered that this discrepancy in the Tiews of 
men who haye all derived iheit right of publLc teaching in the 
Church, from the same imposition ol hands, does not stagger them 
in the belief of that act having any efficacy. Indeed we see £rom 
the ver^ first, that it neither bestowed light to goide, nor grace 
to sanctify ; for one of the sevendeacons— those on wnom the apostles 
ih*st laid hands, and who were consecrated, not only for the admi- 
nistration of fnnds, but also for preaching, (at least they certainly 
did preach)— was ^ the author of that drcadfol heresy of the 
' Nicolaitanes ' which Gk)d twice, in the Bevelation, declares that 
*He hates;'— which shows, that though the laying on of hands 
eould set a person apart lor the service of the outward visible 
Church; yet, that it had no efficacy^ in makin€[ him either a 
faithful, or an efficient minister of Christ's real, spiritual Church: 
and fearful experience teaches us the same thing through all 
stages of the 'succession;' so that I cannot nyself attribute the 
digntest value to the present ' imposition of hands.* Do you 
remember that story about some one — I forget his name— who 
asked Louis the Fourteenth for a bishopric, jfor some Mend of 
his? 'Mais n*est-ce pas qu'il est Jansenist? (But is he not a 

F 2 



68 int SOLAKD ASHTOK. 

Jansenist ^') asked 'le grand monarque.' ' Du tout ! Bire/ replied 
the applicant, ' Je le garantis moi atnee — atli§e pur? C* Not in the 
least, Sire, I guarantee him an Atheist— pure Atheist. ) Can one 
think that God commits His power to such men as these? If 
others can, I cannot ! But with regard to what we were saying, of 
these things feeding the ^ride of heart in the laity as* well 
as in the clergy, you will find, Mr. Roberts, that we all 
naturally like to exalt the body to which, in any way, we 
belong, though we may possess none of the -power in it ourselves. 
Pride runs tnrough all of us ; therefore, as the good bishop said, 
' we should distrust' what tends to foster the ungodly seed. It is 
a pleasant thin^, by the bye, to see those two brother bishops* — 
brothers in spirit, happily, as well as m blood— fighting so 
manfully, side by side, against the inroads of this fearful heresy ; 
and, thuik God, some other of the bishops besides, and many of 
the clergy, still remain untainted by its poison." 

" As to the miraculous powers of the Church, where are they?'* 
asked Mr. Roberts. " When the real apostles and others performed 
miracles, men saw them, and were benefited by them ; out here, 
we are called upon to believe things contrary to what we see — 
and that upon the simple ' ipse dixit of men like ourselves." 

** You refer, I suppose, to the change they believe to take place 
in the bread and wme at the sacrament, said Mr. Singleton; 
"but you are aware that on that point they do not all agree; 
some jgroinff almost, if not quite, as far as the Romanists, in 
believing that the elements are converted, by the blessing of the 
priest, into the actual body and blood of the Lord Jesus; others, 
only believing in the 'real presence,' without attempting to 
account for it. I myself can only view that comforting sacrament 
'as a continual remembrance of the sacrifice of the death of 
Christ;' and I partake of it in obedience to His express command, 
'This do in remembrance of me;' expecting, of course, ihe 
blessing which attends every means of grace, if rightly used. I 
cannot feel that there is anything miraculous, or mysterious, in 
it (further than that all God's ways of workina: in me soul are 
mysterious) ; or that the blessing which flows through it difiers, 
either in land, or— necessariljr— in degree, from any of the other 
influences of God's Holy Spirit. Indeed I think of both the 
sacraments, that they are but— to use the words of a livingauthor 
— 'instruments that God blesses in the using, not that He has 
blessed to a perpetual use; for then would the use be never 
senarated from the blessing.'f We see also most clearly that no 
holiness in thegiver of the rite can cause it to be beneficial to the 
receiver; for Christ, ' the Head of His Church,' gave it to Judas! 
— and was he benefited?" 

" It is remarkable, I think," said Sir Roland, "that though our 
Lord generally added to all His injunctions some gracious, 
encouraging promise, yetin instituting the two sacraments. He merely 
gave the command, without any blessing being added. To secret 

• The two Dr. Samnen. 
t Thd Tsbl« or the Lor<L— C abouse Fbt. 



SIB B0LA17I> ASHTOZr. 69 

S'ayer He promised open reward— to congregational prayer, tliat 
e would *be there in the midst of them'— to tiie pure in 
heart, that they should *see Gbd'— in short, I think, to the 
keeping of every other injunction, was a blessing promised, but 
none to the sacraments ; and my soul can rest on nothing but a 
promise, though we know that in ' keeping all His commandments, 
there is great reward.' Yet, notwi'^standing this omission, sucb 
is the invincible tendency of the human mind to go astray, that 
upon these two simple commands, men have built tiie most wild 
and visionary hypotheses. It almost seems as if heavexdy Wisdom, 
foreseeing the evils they would bring out of them, determined to 



But these words are surely not to 1^ taken more literally than 
many other similar expressions made use of by our Lord. As 
here, He calls the bread 'His body;' so in another place he calls 
Himself the 'true bread;' He speaks of His body as a 'temple;' 
He says He is the ' door of the sheepfold,' &c. Now no one, tiiat 
ever I heard of, thought of taking these things in their literal 
sense; whv, then, should so forced a construction be put upon 
that one ngure of speech^ Our Lord surely only ordained tnat 
sacrament as a remembrance of His death, whereby we should 
show forth to the world continually our. love to Him, and depend- 
ence on His merits, till He come again ! He abolished the Jewish 
passover, of which He was then partaking for the last time with 
Mis discinles, and in its i)lace instituted l£is bloodless memorial of 
our blood-bought salvation. With regard, also, to the priest's 
pronouncing a blessing over the bread and wine, imder the 
supposition of imparting any value to itr— that is quite unscriDtural. 
The blessinff which C^st' pronounced had nothing in it, e viaentlv, 
of that kind. Six times, it is said, ' He gave t£anks,' and only 
twice, ' He blessed;' and He did just the same at the multiplying 
of the loaves and fishes; and no one ever supposed tbat they were 
intended to be more than food for the body. And where St. Paul 
reproves the people for ' some being hungry, and others drunken,' 
at the sacrament, and tells them that ' the^r eat and drink their 
own damnation' (more properly condemnation) 'not considering 
the Lord's body,' I believe thoroughly, that he only meant, that 
they forgot the sanctity and holiness of that Being, tne sacrifice of 
whose death they had met to commemoratei and that they incurred 
His just displeasure by the insult thus offered to Him. With 
regard to b^tism also, it appears to me a great error to attribute 
the least efficacy to the mere outward act. It seems to me onlv 
an admission into the visible church of Christ, showing forth 
figuratively the washing and cleansing of our souls by the Holy 
Spirit of God, and ordamed by Christ possibly as a sort of test, 
wnereby the power of faith should be proved ; showing that not 
to the secret believer, but to the open avower of his Lord, should 
salvation belong: 'For with the heart man believeth unto 
righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto 
salyation.' We,tiien, enlist ourselves under the banner of th 



70 ttOL BOIJin) ASHTOIL 

Great Captftin of oar flalyatioii--'ta]ce Hk servioe npon ii»— and 
look to Him for Jkis bksnng. Adult baptism' only is spoken of 
in Scripture; and eyen then, we are not borne out in tlie idea 
that the ffift of the Holy Spirit d^^nded in the least upon it. 
No !—- the oaptism whieh u available to saLyation is that ot whicdi 
John spake before, when he 8aid> 'I indeed baptize you with 
water, out there oemeili One • * • who dmll bi^tize yon with 
the nolj Ghost.' Of that ahnour Lord apoke, when He made 
the promise to James and to John : * Te shall indeed drink of the 
CTip that I drink of; And with the baptism that I am baptised 
withial shall ye be baptiaed.' That bapti«a yiaiblv fell on theon 
at the day of Penteoost; and it faUs not less sordy, though neiw 
inyisibly. on every child of man who takes the Lord for his God. 
That is the only Mptism for the remissieii of sins, I feel convinoed ! 
St Peter, too, when he saw that the Hely Ghost fell on the house- 
hold and friends of Cornelius, says, ' Then remembered I the wood 
of the Lord, how that He said, ' John indeed baptized wit^ watec 
but 3re shall be baptized with the Holv Ghost;' and he afterwards 
exclaims, ' Can any man deny water that these be baptized, seeing 
they have received the Holy Ghost, even as we?* We see plainly 
also, that the blessed saying opesstion of the Spirit was by no 
nieans necessaxily oonsequeirt en the outward act of baptism, even 
at the very first outset of the Gospel : ior some of those who had 
received the rite from the hands of the very Apostles themsdvea 
(Ananias, SappMiav and others) proved utter reprobates «id 
aliens from God I These things^ appear to me unansweraUel 
Lideed, in oonverBins^ with Paseyites, who have begun by assert- 
ing that baptism*--iniant-baptism as well as adult— was neoessary 
to salvation, I have asked them if they really thought that inisnts 
bom of Christian parents in some place whiare, through unavoidable 
droumstances, no clergyman oould ever oome—liying a life of 
devoted love to Christ and of faith in His salvation, and so dying 
—whether such persons would, in their opinion, be lost for want 
of baptiBm? and they have invariaUy been oonfltrained to say, 
I that they did not think they would!' (though the oon&ssion was. 
in each inBtanoe, made with the most evident reluctance). Another 
way I think I have, or I certainly might have, put it to them. 
Worldly, perhaps (Hpenly vicious pitf^nts, take their child to be 
ohristenea merely lor mrm's sake, without one prayer of faith. 
That child they say is saved! Other pazents-Hame, devoted 
Christians— are also bringing their ehild to the font, purposing 
indeed to dedicate it to^^ijoid. Sudden sickness carries it^ff 
before the rite is admimstered ! Will they say that that diild is 
lost ? The child of prayeifal, spiritual parents, ccnd^omed in its 
helpless infancy to the fires of God's wrath ! They dare not say 
it l^therefore again--baiitiBm is mot necessary to salvation." 
'' Bo you object then to infint-baptism }*' asked Mr. Singieton* 
' I incline to think I do. I like the idea of presenting our chil* 
dren— dear as onr own sonls— to God, dedicatijig them, as far as in 
us lies, to Christ, and iinploring Him to bestow upon them His 
Holy Spint, and all the Messed privileges of His redeemed; but 
baptiam a: lonld be oox own act, the open seal of ooi prof esskm, end 



administered oniy ydUL Philip's test; 'If tibou beU&vest^ thou 
mayest/ W& are toM to ' lepent and l>e baptizedL' and how can 
an infJEuii repcait? But putting aside this opinion of mine, to assert 
that a chiLa is regenerated by that simple sprinkling— that it is 
thereby made 'a onild of Gfod» and an inneritor of the Kingdom of 
Qeayen/— I hold to be a fearful and most unscriptural error ; in- 
xdkvuu; the destruotioiL of the ooyenant promise to those ' bora 
again that they ahaE ' never be plucked out of their Pather'a 
hand ;' for the utmost stretoh of oreduHty cannot make us beUeva 
that all who are baptised hare been ' bom again»' unless we ehoosa 
also to believe that we can be the redeemed children of God ona 
moment, and the aeeursed diildren of Satan the next ; or tiiat the 
careless, ungodly, and profane, are those whom God has chosen for 
himself to be ' a peculiar peopla '—though ' zealous ' of anything 
hut /good works/** 

" With respect to infants," said Hr. Scott, " I iiot only think 
that baptism is not necessary for their salvation, but I believe that 
all infants are saved by the blood of Christ, whether of Christian 
parents or not. Scripture tells us that ' God was in Christ recon- 
ciling the toorld unto himself; ' and I believe, therefore, that wa 
are aJl ' bom into a world forgiven ; ' and I firmly hold, that tha 
^cacy of the great atonement is available for all those young 
things who die before the age of reason. But the moment they ara 
old enough to sin wilfully against Gbd, then, of course, the whole 
requirements of the law come upon them (I speak of tibose under 
the teaching of the Gbspel}, and £rom the guilt of their actual 
trans^essions they can then be saved only by an individual appro- 
piiation of the merits oi Christ to their own souls, cTaiming the 
oene&ts of His atonement for themselvea, and laying all their sins 
upon Him." 

" I quite a«ce with you,'* said Mr. Sin^eton ; " and I think 
that you and Sir Roland have disposed of two i)oint8 very satisfac- 
torily. Have you studied as deeplv on the subject of the power 
of jremittiag sins, now again ckdmea for the Church ?" 

" My examinations of Scripture," replied Sir Roland, ** have 
ouid^ me reject that claim * in toto.' The moment the soul believes 
in the Lord Jesus as its Saviour, that soul is pardoned, and * ni> 
man can pluck it out of its Pather's hands.' ' Who shall separate 
us tiom the love of Christ?' asks St. Paul; and if not from his 
love — how can we be withheld by man from his free and fall par- 
don ? * There is,' indeed, * one Mediator between God and man, 
Christ Jesus the righteous;' but, thank Gk>d, there needs no 
mediator between man and Him— the way to Christ is open for 
alL If man does pronounce our pardon truly, Christ must have 
pronounced it first— and that is all the soul needs. If he pro* 
nounce it fals€^r---God does not pledge himself to ratify it to the 
impenitent. When once we have heard, * Be of good cheer, thy 
sins be forgiven thee,' soundiug from the voice of the Spirit 
tiurouffh the innermost recesses of the heart, all words of man are 
SBpernuous— valueless I Besides, if any such power was bestowed 
at all, it was not confined to the apostles. It is said. ' When the 
doors were shut, where the diso^^t were assembledt for fear of the 



72 Snt BOLANB A8HT0K. 

Jew8» came Jesns and stood in tlie midst ; and saltli nnto them. 
Peace be unto you * ♦ * as my Father hath sent me, even so 
send I you. And when He had said this. He breathed on them, 
and saith unto them, Keceive ye the Holy Ghost: whose soever 
sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them, and whose soever sins 
ye retain, they are retained.' Now the power here given (even if 
any were really bestowed) was most decidedly given, equally, to 
all who were present on that occasion ; and we know, from the 
parallel passage in St. Luke, that the two disciples from Emmans 
were there, and others also — probably women as well as men. 
Besides, far from being an exclusive gift to the apostles, we 
know they did not even all partake of it ; for the very next verse 
to those I have been repeating, tells us, that ' Thomas, one of the 
twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came/ 
St. Paul also, most certainly was not present, nor Matthias — as an 
apostle, though he might have been there as one of the discii)le8» 
All persons, therefore, ordained through their line of succession, 
should be considered, by the * successionists,' as incapable of remit- 
ting sins ; for how could these three men bestow upon others a 
Sower which had never been bestowed on themselves ? But I 
eny that the power of absolution was given to any ; firmly be- 
lieving that our Lord's meaning was, that the Gospel of truth com- 
mitted to them all, and through them to us, was that which should 
be the means— by its reception, of * remitting ' sins, or— by its' re- 
jection of ' retaining ' them wpon the soul for ever ; as He says in 
another place, * He that hath the Son hath life: but he that hath 
not the Son hath not Hfe, but the wrath of God abideth on him/ 
And I believe the same meaidng was attached to what was said to 
St. Peter ; and that the * rock' upon which the Church was to be 
built was the truth confessed : — '^Thou art the Christ, the Son of 
fhe living God ; ' and not the zealous, but imstable apostle who 
made the confession." 

"I believe your interpretation to be the true one," said Mr. 
Singleton, " and am pleased— for it is what I have been convinced 
of many a long year. 

" But how, Sir Roland, do you know that any women were 
there ? " asked Mr. Roberts. 

" Women always ranked high amongst the number of our Lord'» 
disciples," replied Sir Roland ; " and in the faithful boldness of 
their love, were, as Barrat beautifully and truly says— 

* Last at his cross, and earliest at His grare ;* 

and as they are said to have been with the disciples that very mom- 
ing, it is most probable that some of them were present when our 
Lord appeared and spoke the words in question. But whether thev 
were so or not, is a matter, I think, of no importance ; the point I 
wish to establish is that no power was by our Lord's woras con- 
veyed to the ai)ostles, but what was equally conveyed to all who 
were then present. We have, however, full Scripture testimony to 
ass^ us that women received the * baptism of fire ' on the day 
T f^^^^o?^** equally with the men ; the aposHe's quotation from 
Joel sufficiently proves that. I have consiaered much about these 



sot BOLAin) ASBTOV. 7S 

iJiingrs latelv, beoaose I think it is of saoh very neat importance 
that they aaonld be rightly understood, especiaily in these days 
when there is again being set up, instead of the religion of Christ, 
a ' religion of sacraments'— of forms and oeremonies— and ascetic 
practioea^in short— of refined Popery I" 



CHAPTER XI. 

** A taint I and what imports the Bams 
Thus banded in derision'g game ? 
Holy and separate flrom sin. 
To good, nay e'en to Ood, aUn. 

A saint I oh, soomer ! give some sign, 

Some seal to prove the title mine, ^ 

And warmer thanks thoa shalt command, 

Than bringing kingdoms in thy hand."— ICabbiott. 

*' Tea, and why eTen of yourselves Judge ye not what is right ?"— Lake zii. 6T» 

'* I will receiye nothing without examining it, for I cannot think my reason- 
ing facilities were given to me to be hoodwinked, and led about in passive 
helplessness by those of other men." — Judah*» Lion : Chablotte Euzabeth. 

** While the toils are ftst gathering aromid the English Church, and while 
the younger clergy, if common report says true, are generally yielding them- 
selves to the fascination, and while some who should loudly express themselves, 
seem disposed to leave things to take their course, and, at any rate, to be 
* quiet,' there is a body at hand that is not asleep, although mute, nor in- 
dUTerent to the issue of the movement, however wary and discreet is the ex- 
pression of its deepfelt Joy. The Church of Rome need not act or speak on 
the present occasion ; her part is to wait her time." 

Tatlob's Ancient CkristianUif, 

" Well, I have no objection to yonr doctrines, I am sure," said 
ICr. Roberts, in answer to Sir Roland's last observation, " if it 
were merely tiiat it opposes those proud, pragmatical, Panistio 
Puseyites ; whose only motive in life, I believe, is to exalt them- 
selves and their order, and to ride onthe necks of the people." 

"Why Roberts," asked Sir Roland, with some warmth, "will 
you deny to others that charitable construction which we probably 
all wish, and certainly all require, should be put on our own 
actions? Why will you indulge that spirit? However," he 
added, smiling, " I need not put myseK into a rage about it ; only 
it is so strange that you who are, in reality ,one of tiie best-naturea 
fellows in the world, always in conversation make yourself out to 
be a perfect Ogre." 

"Why, you see, I have but a certain portion of sweets in my 
composition," answered Mr. Roberts, gooa-humouredly ; " so if I 
exhausted it all in 'honeyed accents,' my deeds might become 
dreadful!" 

" Well, then, send out your bees and fill both hives," said Sir 
Roland. " But, with regard to the love of spiritual power in the 
Puseyites, I think it very likely that it does mingle itself with 
their other feelings ; yet we have no right to say that it is the main 



74 

ol^drtwlikli ih^sei befiowthenu It is eecjakdgr p«ipfiil tc^ 809 
hiw their idea 01 the valna ai tlie ' anortolk fsaso^miim.* takfts 
tiie ^laoe of more i?iiiion,tml thirngs in. ibekt aiinds ; and nothing 
floUYinoes m» of tba evil of their doetrines mynre thiaik the change 
which I see effected in nmay who foKmerly piolMsed and aeted 
upon eyan^elical principles ; those who were once ever wakeful to 
the necessities of souls, oyer deflmns to promote God's kingdom 
upon earth» seeminff now» in many instances, intent only, or at 
least chiefly, on exalting tl* merits aad ^ower of the ' snccession/ 
leaving the sonls of men to fare aa best tibev may., Betoming too, 
in BO many instances, to the Tain and MygIous dissipations of the 
world, which once they had utterly renounced ! Oh ! I have 
traced the effect of thia poiaoa in so manr mindi ! and in some too, 
of whom my heart tearfolly exclaims, ' i e did run weU, who hath 
hindered you ? ' " 

" You will find, Mr. Roberts," aaidlfr. ffingjeton, " that grievous 
error has often beiBU put forward b^ well-intentioned, honest, and 
even pious-hearted men. Indeed, it has been observed that most 
bad systems have been originatea by ffood men — outwardly godd, 
at leastr— Sotan having sagaeiity eBMign to know, that, if wiong 
doctrines were pireaehed by tboie of inmnoral ehaaraeter, the gene* 
raMty of people would inmntbr reject titem. But the great evil 
18, that most of the fbUowera of theae men, adopting their ^rors, 
without holding to the chain of faith whidh, thoo^n slender, yet 
bound them to ike tru^ make ahipwreek of conseieBae, and mitfat* 
and all things. I hove heard a very excellent, but porejudioed nuoL 
fwy, ' that he did not think t^t any Pineyite oould go to heaven; 
but I cannot say that I agree with nim in tliat awlu opinion, for 
I believe, that amongst them may be found many (and amoi^ 
Roman Catholics also) who do sincerely desire to do uie will of God, 
though not clearly rareeinag wherein that will consists ; and who 
al^ really trust to Chriat for their salvation. But isa both oaaesy 
there is so much of efzar mixed, that. I ooneeive, they must he 
saved in spite of the doctrine they hold, and not in aeoordance to 

" Well then,'' aaidMr. Roberta. '' I hone I may be allowed, at 
least, to call theae Puseyites the greatest tools tiiat ever existed ?" 

*'lSo," said Mr. Setyfct, "I ahaU enter my 'veto' against you 
tibere, and quote, though not the Sorintnres, yet the o];Hnion of the 
wisest uninspired man that ever Hvea or wroter— LoruBacon ; who 
Mys (though I may net be quite covreot in my words, perhaps, as I 
quote from, memory) that, 'the Dervish who spina all his life <m, 
one foot in hopes <n gaining Heaven, is a wiser man than he who 
takes no pains at all about it;' so it the matter were at issue be* 
tween you and these eazaeat tnough mistaken mentor even between 
Tou and the q>innmg Dervish, Roberts, in whose iLVonr would the 
learned authority iust quoted have given hia verdict ?" 

Mr. Scott looked at Sir Roland as ne said this with a laughing 
mtizre of deprecati<m ; for he knew that the latter did not like the 
ught tone of irony whioh he often used when speaking to Mr. Ro« 
berts; thinlriug it but ill calculated to eieate in the mind of that 
careless being, arespeetfiff sacred things, or to awaken in him 



that dae regard for " the vast ooncerns of an immortal slate/' 
which it was so desirable that he should feel. 

Mr. Roberts, however, seemed but little discomposed, and replied 
oontem|>tuously, "I do not pretend to be a saint, oertainly; so I 
am afraid. I must yield Hie palm both tomy Puseyite and my twirl* 
ing friends. I am not ambitious of sucb honours." 

"You will, I am sure, forgive me^ Mr. Boberts," said Mr. Sin^ 
gleton, in a grave but kind manner, for he felt that he ought not 
to remain silent, " if I say that the light way in which you speak 
at times pains me. These aie higb and solemn subjects, whethez 
regarded as truth or error, and should not be approached with an 
ineverent ^irit. Bemember^ if we are not ' saints' we are — ^what 2 
Children of oatan ! A saint is one who has been sanctified by tha 
Spirit of God, and taugbt to accept in heart and soul the salyatioii 
of Clmst ; all who are not such, tkerefore, in a Christian land, muadt 
perish— wilfully perish— because they choose not to listen to Him 
who ' brought hfe and immortality to hght.' I am sure if you will 
think of this in the sditude of your chamber, you will not wish to 
disclaim so blessed atitLe, but rathereanieatly desire to prove yonx 
daimtoit." 

He smiled kindly as he ended, and Mr. Boberts, whose spirit 
always hardened itself against Mr. Scott's playful but cutting re- 
marks, was conipletely subdued. His colour rose, -and he seemed 
both pained andTembarrassed, and the ezpreasion of defiance which 
his countenance had previously worn, gave place to one of feeling 
and respect. 

Sir Koland, whose considerate spirit felt for every one, willing to 
relieve his embarrassment, instantly resumed the conversation. 

" I can easily comprehend,'* he said, *' tiiat persons who have 
habitually livea in ignorant and careless disregard of all religioiif 
should be attracted by the doctrine of the Puseyites, and also by that 
of the Qiurch of £ome. I had a friend who, having scarcely ever 
heard religion spoken of, and meeting with some zealous and 
amiable Boman Catht^cs, was induced to adopt their views, and 
become a Papist. Some one observed, ' It was a pity people were 
not contented with the fail^ of their fathers;' to which another 
answered, that, 'in this case, Ihey would have been mighty easily 
contented if they had been.' To such persons, as I said before, I 
can well imagine that the doctrines and practices of Home ajod 
Oxford, may hold out great attractions— they knowing of nothing 
better; but that those who have once ^tasted the good things of 
God' — any portion of whose sends has been informed by the Holy 
Spirit of Gtod— ^who have eigoyed in any measure 'uie glorious 
liberty of the sons of God'— that such persons should ' leave feeding 
on this fair mountain, to batten on that moor,' is past my compre- 
hension ! I reBOBWihex hearing of a speech which the old Lord 
Eldon made many years ago, in which he said ' He could not think 
on a velocipede !' But the Traotorians have tin-thought on a 
velocipede — and on one of tremendous power too — ^for in one mo- 
mesit, as it were, they have taken a oadcward leap of fourteen 
hundred years, and with desperate determination have thrown 
their intellects into the darkness of the earliest ages." 



76 snt BOiAin) ASHTOir. 

*'It is most marveUons !" said Mr. Singleion. "And they cer- 
tainly strengpthen exceedin^ljr the hands of Rome, so that I do not 
vonaer at the latter ezclaiminfl:, * Beat! sono i Puseiti !' (Blessed 
are the Pnseyites !) But they have not yet found out the point at 
which infaluhility is to rest. They say indeed, to us, ' Hear the 
Church,' and yet they differ from each other in every possible shade 
and degree, and ' hear the Church' themselves only on such points 
as they like." 

"Yes, that has often struck me," said Sir Roland; " for if * the 
Church' is to be received as an infallible guide (as the Papists 

* bonfiL fide' receive their church) we must bow our judgments entirely 
to her, and not take upon ourselves to jud^ of any thing that she 
teaches; but this, though they inculcate it, they do not practise, 
for they venture to differ whenever they please ; and if they object 
in one thing, J may — as far as infallibility is concerned — object in 
a hundred. To the Bible I can bow my whole soul, for that is the 
true, unerring word of Gk>d ; but I am afraid Dr. Pusey would 
think me a terrible and audacious heretic were I to say, that I 
adhere to the Church of England, not as taking her for nr^ guide, 
but as mere matter of preference. Indeed, a Puseyite mend of 
mine always tells me I am not ' a churchman,' only a ' man who 
goes to church' — ^not a bad distinction, and perfectly true according 
to their views." 

"Do you prefer it then as the best sect ?" asked Mr. Singleton,^ 
" or as, the Church of England, by law established ?' " 

" As the * Church of England by law established.' A Church— a 
BetUed State-church — ^I think every nation is bound to maintain, 
if it hopes for the blessing of GK)d on it as a nation. Any govern- 
ment is inexcusable, in my opinion, which does not^ as a great 

* Pater familias,' feed its children with nourishing spiritual food ; 
and our church, spite of her errors, has been, and is. deeply vidu- 
able, as a preserver of the imcormpted wora of God, and of much 
that is excellent in doctrine and discipline. To her, therefore, 
shall I adhere as long as it is in any wav possible. If the Tractarians 
succeed, a« is their avowed andpublisnea toish, in reuniting her to 
the Church of Rome, by altermg things so as to suit that church 
(some concession also being expected from her) then I must, per- 
force, leave hei>--or rather she will have left me. But I do not 
like to anticipate that evil day ; if it comes, may God * give strength 
to his people, that they may be faithful even unto the end.' " 

"Amen!" said Mr. Singleton. "But if one thing more tiian 
another could vex my soul, it would be, I think, the having no 
fixed national church to go to. Besides, I feel sure that, if the 
ohurch depart from Clod, God will depart from her, and from this 
—then— feted nation. I almost fancv I have seen * Ichabod' written 
on her ever since the admission of tne Catholics into our national 
counsels; and whenever our church becomes more faithless tiian 
she is, then indeed shall I fully expect to find that 'the glory of 
the Lord is departed.'" 

"The same impression rests on my mind," said Sir Roland; . 
I can feel smcerel^ for the Roman Catholics as men, and am glL^ 
that many of their disabilities have been taken off; but never 



8IB BOLAin> ASHJOV. 77 

shoTild they have been acbnitted into parliament; and never either 
onglit we to have thought ourselves justified in voting supplies for 
the instruction of those who were to go forth and teach the people 
error." 

"Ah! it is a most difficult subject to manage/' said Mr. Sin- 
gleton ; *' and I only wish we could have come with cleaner hands 
into the combat, as reo^ards Ireland ; for though I do not believe 
that, in the whole world, there are a set of men who labour as * in 
the fire/ as many ministers and others do at this moment in that 
country, yet for now many years was the Protestant Church there 
a scanaal and a disgrace to any religion } It is a. deep debt we owe 
to that unhappy nation, and I almost fear the time and power for 
paying it off is fast passing from us. Truly ' Christ has received 
iBarfoI wounds in the house of His Mends' tiiere, and even now, in 
many excellent people, I should be rejoiced to see more of the 
* sword of the Spirit,' less of the Spirit of the sword; more con- 
eiliation to the Papists themselves, though as deep an abhorrence 
as tliey like to Popery, Of all the missionaries that I ever read of » 
Felix Neff appears to me, for this very reason, by far the most 
perfectT-ioining such temper, and gentleness, and discretion— to 
such hi^n clear views, and such unflag^g zeal and devotion. 
Labouring as he did, till he destroyed himself— and on the very 
Yaldensian spots, too, which had been so often red with the blood 
of the x>ersecutea and slaughtered I^testants— yet he raised no 
enmity against, or among the Eomish priests and population which 
were about him, but lived with them on the kindest terms ; so much 
£0, that we are told in GiUy's memoir of him, tiiat the sub-prefect, 
a Soman Catholic, and many others of that persuasion—to show 
him honour — actually attended at the ceremony of opening tiie 
little Protestant chapel at Violins; and tiiat many also, would 
often attend his sermons— Bibles and Testaments hems distributed 
too, for a lengtii of time without interruption. Would— would 
that all were animated by the same heaven-bom spirit ! that all- 
even while devoting themselves as this young martyr did— to 
teaching the most pure and spiritual truth, would remember 'that 
the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.' " 

" I have often wished that the Church in Ireland could be put 
nx>on a different footing than it is," said Sir Eoland ; ** though I 
dare say the attempt would be found fraught with a thousand 
difficulties. It is very easy to dictate what should be done, as one 
sits by one's own fireside, but one must hold some of the reins of 
government one's self, I fancy, before one can justiy estimate the 
aifficulties that surround a minister, in the endeavour to carry out 
any n*eat question. But I have long wished that tithes could 
have oeen entirely redeemed there, and a fond formed from them, 
out of which Protestant clergy or missionaries could be paid ; so 
that, dropping down, as it were from Heaven, in the midst of the 
Boman Catholics, they mij?ht spend and be spent amongst them, 
without drawing money from them in a manner which they feel, 
and naturally resent ; and which is certainly calculated to preju- 
dice them against these spiritual teachers ; for it must be galiingly 
oppressive to them to have to pay for the maintenance of a church 



wldeh they think aeonrsed, and that, too, out of a fnad tviiieh had 
for ages belonged to the ministers of their o'wn fcdtii. I think 
^ere has never been snffident consideration shoi^^ for these 
natural feelings of the Papists ; for what should we feel — and 
irhich nerhaps, we ma^; soon h«re to feel— vere we obliged to pay 
onr tithes to a Bomii^ instead of a Protestant chnrdi ?" 

** As you are so Tery tender of tiiem, Sir Bxdand," said Mr. 
Boberts, '*you had better pay tiie Popish priests at onee, as has 
been often talked of." 

** I should as soon think of paying (shendsts and confeetioners to 
«ell poisoned dru^ and sugar-plnsis/' answered Sir Roland. " If 
people's fancies in religion are to be provided for. their fancies in 
other matters may as well be coniidered also, aad there might be 
a provision for all sorts of absnrditiea. No» the use of a chnrdi is 
to instruct the people in the tnUh ; we must not pay to have such 
fearful error as Fopery taught, thooeh we may &el so mueh for 
tiie victims of delusion, as shall make us desirous of softening: to 
tiieir natural feeHngs ail that may, and must seem hard, and diffi- 
cult to be borne." 

" I care not a rush for them or their fieelings," exclaimed Mr. 
Boberts ; **I should jtist like to stringtbem ail i^ in a row, like 
Ulysses's ill-behaved maids, wiHi a bunoh of Paseyttes at each end, 
by way of tasslds." 

"And a sprinkling of dissenters, too, Eoberts," suggested Mr. 
Bcott; "fori know you equalhr hate them.*' 

•* By all means, or a whole cluster of tliem, if you Eke it." 

** What hangings, drownings, and burnings, you will have, my 
Rood fellow, when ycrar sect of ' Nethinettes' comes in ; you, as 
tiie mighty * Kil ipsissimum* ('Nothing' himself) installed in the 
high chair of state f** 

' When I am arrived at Hiat desirable deration, Scott, ypu may 
be sure I will give you and your dissenters some test which yon 
will not be able easily to swallow; something which will bring 
you under all three forms of deatii." 

" Are you particularly fond of tibe dissenters, Scott?" asked his 
cousin. 

** I infinitely prefer standing by my own cihurdi to being a dis- 
senter," replied Mr. Scott ; *' but when I see the great good those 
men have done in so many instances (CSiristian dissenters, I mwHi, 
not those who deny the Atonement, of oourse,) and how mueh 
God blesses their work, I am readyto say, as some good old divine 
did, ' What is good enough for Christ is good enousrh for ma.' 
Many people seem to overlook the fact that it was wnen in tiheir 
unconverted state, that the apostles ' forbad' others doing good in 
Christ's name ' because tiiey followed not after l^em ;' and tliey 
seem also, to have forgotten mat our Lord answered, ' Forbid them 
not ;' while Bt. Paul, when converted— even when speaking of HiOflB 




OB B6f&Ainil ftBBTOV. 79 

** Wen, Bir Eoland, at kast you irill let me eall Poffodi pnests 
knocrites?" said Mr. Roberts. 

' '^ Oh, in m&Tcj do, Aahton," exdauned Mr. Soott, 'with an im- 
ploring gestiDre ; " he is under tiie inflnenee of that word to-day; 
and we niall haye no peatoe till he has had his fimcy ent. I really 
suspect, Roberts, that some one has been calling yon ' hypocrite/ 
yon seem so exceedingly anxious to past the title on to some 
one else." 

Mr. Roberts langhed, and Sit Roland answered, smiling,— ^ 

*' I am afraid I cannot nant yonr xeqnest, even here, Roberts : 
dumgh I am quite eriered to refixse it, backed as it is, too, by saom 
cogent reascmmgs &om Soott Bat I will tell yon why I cannot 
blind even these men, indrridnally, witli the name you wi^ me 
to give Hiem." 

*^Particulariy not those who assist at Ihe Uqueftustion of the 
blood of 6t. Jannariu8--or at the bursting out of the statue of some- 
body or other at St. Peter's into a profuse perspiration— or who 
sew frogs up in lawn, and put Hiem on the altar to leap about, 
pre^ifing Ihey are 'Qie devils thgr have just cast out of a 
shiiven penitent, I suppose ?" ai^ced Mr« Roberts triumphanHy. 

" You have not, after aU, Mr. Roberts," observed Mr. Singleton^ 
" named the worst of all impostures, me one. most horrible, pro- 
bably, that the world ever produced— namely^ the * Fire in the 
Greek Oiuroh."' 

** To say the truth,*' replied Mr. Roberts, " I never thoroughly 
understood what that fire was, though I have often heard of it." 

" It is this," replied Mr. Singleton. " The Church of the Holy 
Sepulchre at Jerusalem is, you know, built not only over the sup- 
posed site of our Lord*s tomt), but over the — also supposed — ^house 
where the Holy Ghost fell on the disciples on the day of Pentecost. 
The Greek church, with awM profanity, pretend that fresh showers 
of the Holy Spirit descend on their priests every returning WMt 
Sunday. To prove this, they concoct a species of gas, or a phos- 
phoric flame of some land, which they cause to issue forth at the 
appointed times, and, apparently, to fall on the assembled priests." 

" Horrible V exdaimed Mr. Roberts. ** I did not thmk any 
such frightful atrocities could ever have been conceived." 

** It is most lamentable, indeed," redied Mr. Singleton, *' and 
scarcely is it less so, that the patriarcn of this church should be 
regardedbytheXracterianB with special reverence, as th^ 'imme- 
diate successor of St. James, the nrst bishop of Jerusalem.' At 
one time they endeavoured also to train a dove to descend ; but the 
bird — ^more mithM to the nature God had given it than the men — 
proved refractory, and would not descend properly, but flew hither 
and thither at itsown pleasure, greatly discomntingthe holy fathers. 
aad Anally obliging them to omit that scene in their profane farce.' 

" Can that be true ?" asked Sir Roland. 

" A perfect fact, I assure you," vepEed Mr. Singleton, " though 
BO dreadful a one, that I do not wonder at your doubting it." 

*• That is, indeed, worse than anything I nad ever dreamed at** 
bbmL Mr. Roberts ; who seemed reaHy subdued by the frightfol 
Tiew of human nature presented to him. 



80 SIB BOLAND ASHION. 

" You haye driyen me hard, certainly, Roberts," replied Sir 
Boland, good-humoiiredly, " witli regrard to the Papists ; though I 
wont yield yet. I am perfectly aware that in many cases the 
priests must know for certain that what they say is not true ; and 
also that they pretend to do what they know to be impostures ; but 
we must remember that their church teaches them that such things 
are calculated to do good, and to saye souls ; and if they once 
began to doubt the lawfulness of the things she commands—that 
doubt would be, in their eyes, one of the most deadly sins they 
oould commit, — one not to be purged away without the seyerest 
penances ; therefore, you see, the conscience itself becomes bound 
By this terrible system to such a decfree, that, unless the all- 
powerful Spirit of God work irresistibly, the wretched slaye of 
superstition is left to perish in the chain that reduces the whole 
soul to the most hopeless degradation. We haye howeyer taken 
extreme cases, for all are not commanded to perform such reyolting 
impostures ; but if I am right, you see that the indiyiduals them- 
selyes may eyen then be wholly guiltless of the sin of hypocrisy, 
eyen in practising^ these pious miuds ; though there is no douot 
that many delij^ht la these things, and go far beyond what eyen 
the church desires, for their own priyate gain and adyantage. But 
it is the system, Eoberts, that is so awful ; and ia nothing does the 
wily wisdom of its dreadful author show itself more decidedly 
than in thus terrifying men from yenturing for one instant to use 
their own reason. Against the system of ropery it is impossible 
to feel too strongly." 

"I see what you mean," said Mr. Roberts; "but you really 
seem determinea to make yourself 'un ange de d^mence,' (an 
anffel of clemency) for eyerything in the world, good, bad. and 
inoOifferent. You will end in being, like John Huss, who, if you 
remember, when a woman rushed forward with a lighted torch to 
be the first to set fire to the pile that was to consume him, with 
wonderful density of intellect, saw in the act only the simplicity of 
her faith, and exclaimed; ' Sanota simplicitas ! (holy simplicity !)' " 

"I don't know; I think I might naye had my doubts about 
that; though I might haye been constrained to acknowledge her 
burning zeal." 

"You making a pun. Ashton!" exclaimed Mr. Soott; "'Proh 
pudor ! (For shame) !* ' 

" Very dreadful, I acknowledge," said Sir Roland, smiling. " I 
cry your mercy for the deed." 

" But you really do appear to me," continued Mr. Roberts to Sip 
Roland, " to waste your life in making excuses for people." 

" Wasn't it Lord A who said of some friend, that he was a 

sort of man who 'frittered away his money in paying tradesmen's 
bills ?" asked Mr. Scott. " Your obseryation, Roberts, would serye 
beautifully as a 'pendant* to that witticism." 

"Ah, well, I dare say I haye you all against me ; so I shall 
content myself with saymg, as regards all Papists and Puseyites, 
—and dissenters too, to please you, Soott— what the Swiss re- 
pabuoan said respecting all the kings of the earUi: ' Je youdzais 



SZE BbLAlTD ASHT09. 81 

bien, qn'ils enssent tmu ime ohatne an oon, et que moi, je la tuuse !* 
and a pretty tight strain I should giye it, yon may be snre." 

" My good fiiend," said Mr. Singleton, " it seemed mighty easy 
to Jehu to say, 'Come, see my zeal for the Lord,' when that zeal 
consisted in slaying the prophets of Baal ; but when caUed upon to 
surrender one nei^dn, how far did it carry him? I think we 
haye all great need of bearing that example in mind." 

" I am afraid I shall come <|uite withm the sweep of Roberts's 
Tirtuous indigrnation," said Sir Eohmd, "if I say that there are 
really some things in which I think the Puseyites have done good. 
I like, I confess, the restoration of the old church architecture, and 
the beautifying of churches, where not overdone ; I highly approve 
a greater degree of church discipline than has been attended to 
for a length of time; wishing earnestly that it would extend itself 
80 as to make the bishops wno are opposed to the doctrine con- 
scientiously and effectually suppress its preaching and teaching 
throughout their dioceses.; or, what would be still more con- 
scientious and more effectual, exert themselves to get the errors 
expunged from the services. Then, the attention to education is 
most praiseworthv« though I oordiaUy dislike and disapprove the 
exclusive principle on which it is carried on; which, nowever, 
naturally grows out of the erroneous and unsoriptural ideas thev 
have formed of the power and sanctity of their particular church. 

" Well, if you take my advice," said Mr. Roberts, " you will 
let them and all their practices alone. Depend upon it, if you 
begin by admiring one tning in them now, and adopting it, you 
win never end tillyou have gone to the ' ultima Thule' of all their 
absurdities and abominations." 

" I am too old, Roberts," replied Sir Roland, shaking his head- 
while his young countenance fighted up with the most sparkling 
smile — "to start at shadows. No," he continued more gravely, "I 
am glad to accept what is good from anv hand ; for we are told to 
'prove all thin^, and hold fast that which is good.' Ton shall 
hear what a wiser man than I am says on this subject, for I have 
here an extract from a work of that excellent man and pure 
theolonan, Bickersteth,* who, in his 'Divine Wamin? to the 
Church,' says, ' Let us beware of opposing anytiiing really good, 
because it comes from those whose general principles we are con- 
strained to condemn. Let us rather gladly promote that which is 
really excellent, whoever suggests it. Thus we shall not only add 
strength to our own testimony against their errors, but take away 
the strength of error in conjunction with important truths, by 
which alone the consciences of really good men are retained in its 
defence. In short, let us realise the words of St. Paul, 'that ye 
may approve things that are excellent, that ye may be sincere and 
without offence till the day of Christ.' But see how well he guards 
his liberality from the charge of carelessness by an after passage, 

* There Is a slight literary anachronifltt here, as Mr. Bickersteth's work 
WM only pnbliahed in 1848 ; and this conversation, ftom the constraction ot 
the story, most necessarily have taken place firar or fire years before. Indeed* 
it must be confessed, the whole tenonr of this oonyersation is rather antedated 





82 SIB BOLiLVD i^BBXOX.* 

whioh I faa^ also znoted down h^ asd a magmfioeat passage it 
is ; wamijig us of the approach -of tbe troiLblona times, wfiich seem, 
indeed, near at liaad. Qe says, ' Let us not mistajke haitiiig 
between two opinioDs, ics a peaoe-making, peaoe-loving smrit, but 
xemember that heayealy wisaem is first pive, than peaceable. Let 
US never think to Diomote true peaoe hv clotning un&ithfolness to 
God and His trnth with tiie names d judgment and diseretion. 
Tbiae is no judgment or difiozetion equal to that of being en the 
Lord's side^^iiid undcr^ioing snffeEinff for zi^hteousness' sake ; amd 
eternity will make ihiB wax to aU creation. Let us then well 
oount the cost of being a real dixistian, a]l the hazards and 
dangers, all the shame and erael mocki^gs, all the sacrifices end 
heavy losses to which we may be soon exposed. But then let us 
look to that treasury we have in Chzist Jesus to meet all this oost^ 
and at that reoompeBse of reward and that Grown of life which He 
will bestow.'" 

'* It is a Tetv beauiifid passage, I will eon&B8»" observed Mr. 
Boberts, " and 1 don't know that I should quite object to being like 
the man who wrote it ; but it is Ihe process of becoming like such, 
pecsons that is odious and insi^portahle. ' Figorez vons' the flap- 
ping of wiDgs, the struggling of legs, the writhing of antennie, 
before the butterfly can emerjge from its ehrysalis state! I fEinoy 
we should all be tolerably resigned to being perf ect» if perfectka 
eoold be achieved as easdy as renown was by thtU man, who said 
* that he got up one macning and found himself famous !' But the 
transitiQn state— that mnst be hideous ! TVhan considerate, well- 
intentioned friends (like the present company) recommend perfec- 
tion to me, it is extraordinary what an amiable, engaoing fit of 
timidity comes over me. I retieat :a step, and* oourteously waving 
my hand, beg my friends to go first" 

^*And with true Chestetfieldian noliteness, they have, I think, 
Boberts, obeyed the invxtetion,^' saio. Mr. Scotb, wim an ardi smile. 

Mr. Boberte laughed away a rking .flush, and replied-;-" That is 
no disgrace, you mow, Scott, when one has voluntarily yielded the 
'pas;' and remember, that though Lord Chesterfield got into the 
oaniage first, his msj'esty still remained king." 

" I wish your nugesty would make me a gracious donation of 
some of your royal znodesty," said Mr. Scott. 

"Perfectly welcome to the whole of it, my dear fellow! for I 
never make the slightest use of it myself. 

" Eeally, Boberte,*' renlied the other, "I do wish you were a 
good man, for I must conisss, you have a vast deal to say for your- 
s^, and rn^ht be of great use in a jjfood cause." 

"I am veiy well satisfied," replied Mr. Boberte; "'aooordez 
md k t^te, et pour le coiur, je vous rabandonnol' But now I 
reallyinu8tbe<ttr." 

"What I without a lingering Parthian shot at the Puseyites !" 

"Yes, * j'ai vid§ men carquois,* — (I have emptied my quiver), and 
have only to entseat, that if Sir Boland geto installed in state 
amongst them, he will insure me a merciM death at their handa 
when they begin their ' auto-da-fe.' Depend upon it, when one d! 
the first half-hatehed chirps out of the scaioely chipped ei(g«ahfill» 



* 801 JUXLhMD ASEZGOr. aS 

tbat they * aprproye of penances for difPerenoeB of ojonioa,' they 
wHl not be &IUgiowa and fdll-fledged, without maldn^ those 
penances pretty seyere. That is a prospect which it is partunilaily 
disafipreeaole to me to contemplate ; for though I may not he all Mr. 
Singleton would wish me to be (uerhaps it would be better if I 
were), yet I hope I idiould be ready at any time to go to tine stake 
rather than subscribe to what I felt was fidse. These Puseyite 
opinions suit * la jeune eglise/ HuHigh Hie present bencih of bidk>pB is 
not throughout affected by them; but such will parobaUy not be 
the ease with the next» ajao— remember my words, and see if tiiey 
come not true :— if oyer these men get the staff in their own hands^ 
they will make use of that ' argumentum baeiilinum' in a way 
dimcult to be borne; and if sona>e strong measure be not taken to 
keep them out of the Church of England now^ depend upon it 
that day will soon amye. I wazn your-and when you are rasart- 
ins unaer tiieir blows, remember me! There, SeotLjI haye be^a. 
able, after all, to piedueeoae arrow more ; sjid haw^r * drawn it 
to the head,' I take my leaye. " And shaking hands wxth his two 
£dend8, andbowiug wiith great reject to Mr. Bingletan, he left tiia 
room* 

"You don't tak» the right way with that y(»ng man, Soott," 
said Mr. g^uppletcm, as se<m as Mr. Boberts was gone ; " yon should 
not talk so lightly to him." 

" There ! I was sure you would begin a 'tirade' against me the 
moment he elesed the door ; I was yery near going away with him 
to ayoid being torn to pieces, £ir I know Ashtoii also is thiwitiTig 
&r the onsiaught." 

*' No, no, one at atimo," said Sir Boland. ** I leaye youin yery ex* 
cellent hands, so good-bye." And nodding kindly, he left the room. 

" I wish he had stayed," said Mr. Soott, with somewhat of an 
embarrasied lan^, ** for I had mooh rather haye had a ffeneral 
' mile' than haye to sit down for your solemn single-aanded 
reproof. Singleton^ and all yomr detestably-unanswerable argu- 
Dsnts." 

" I wiH def» whati haye to say tiien, if yon like it ; or suppress 
it altogether, if you bad rather not hear it.' 

*' Ko, no-^ on." And he took np a book and busiedhimself in 
taming oyer its kayes. 

*' I am not muLog to bo yesy serreare, WillV," said Mr. Singleton, 
smiliDg, *' so cum't put on that angry look. 

*' I am not aafry," said Mr. Swtt, raising his glowing counte- 
nance to his cousin, with a look of so much good feeling and affec- 
tion, that the latter, looking at hiTn for a moment with an expres- 
sion of great love, said, "I liko to haye a fault to find with you 
even now and then, Scott, it brings out such a bright side of your 
eharacster ; there are few who oon bear as youean to haye it hinted 
that tliey are not * quite perfection.' Howeyer. I locgot, I was not 
gf»ng to praise— *but to blame you— wasn't it ^ 

" 1 know pretty well what you would say," obseryed Mr. Soott; 
" you would tell me that I am wrong, both in langhJTig at Boberts, 
81M in laughing witib. him." 

a 2 



84 Sm BOLAin) ISHTOV. 

••Quite right Goon." 

** No, no, I am not going to mix my own dranght, and take it 
too; thatismorethancanDe expected of mortal man! You must 
prepare the ingredients for the oup; and mind you make them 
very palatable if you mean me to swallow them." 

" I object to your laughing at Roberts, then, because ridicule 
opens no man's neart; it is the utmost that the best temper can 
do just to bear it; no one can like it, or at the moment feel com- 
placent towards the person who uses it. It is not a Christian 
weapoD, and should be put out of our armoury. Ridicule in writings 
may occasionally do good; as people reading what is said quietly 
to themselves, may perhaps, be led to see the folly of what they 
have professed or done, more by this means than by solid ar^. 
ment, and may secretly take their own measures for alteration, 
without their pride being hurt by having confessions to make, or 
by being farfea to say what has caused the change. But in con- 
Tersation. it should invariably be avoided, for the reasons I have 
mentionea. To such as you and I, who have both of us such an 
awful eye for the absurd in life, it is a great temptation; and 
hundreds of times have I given way to it, and hated myself the 
next moment. But of late years I have kept such a tight hand over 
myself in this respect^-especially where anything of religion is 
ooncemed-~that my mind, ceasing to cater for its amusement in 
that way, really does not perceive the absurdity of many things 
that would have convulsed it in former days. I can now more 
sympathize with Sir Roland, who, I can see, feels diBtressed if any 
one makes himself ridiculous. How manv times I observed him 
to-day draw off attention from Roberts, when he saw him embar- 
rassed. You have no jealousy in you, Scott, so I do not fear 
praiBiug your Mend beiore you." 

" It IS impossible to praise him enough," said Mr. Scott, with 
great energy ; " you don't know what that man is, nor half the 
sacrifices he has just made to be of use to Anstrutiier, idiose con- 
duct to him used to be unsufferable, poor fellow !" 

'* That he is your chosen friend is enough to prepossess me in his 
&vour," said Mr. Singleton; " but I certainly like most extremely 
what I have seen of him. But with regard to laughing with that 
young fellow, I think if an3rthing it is worse than laughmg at him, 
when you reflect that by joining him, you encourage him to speak 
lightly of serious matters. Good nonsense is a very good uiing 
sometimes, as long as it is an innocent exercise of wit» and fun, 
and cleverness; but as soon as it verges towards that 

< Mirth nnblest, 
Drowning GK)d*B miuio in the breast,' 

which is so much condemned both by Scripture and good feeling, it 
ceases to be * good' — and becomes * bad ' nonsense. * Wisdom should 
ever be the under-current of your wit.* That young man, Roberts, 
has a very quick, clever, discerning mind, with a wonderfully 
good judgment, and great penetration; and I do not think there 
was a single view of the present feaml state of the church, in 



81B BOLAim ASHTOK. 85 

which I did not folly and entirely go with him; hut his tone of 
feelinff I could not approve. He seems to have been brought up 
entirely in, and for the world, and much excuse is^ therefore to be 
made for him; and we who think — ^who know— that we possess a 
better knowledge than what this world can teach, should never let 
him talk slightingly of those things whose inestimable value 
we are acquainted with. I am convinced he might be easily 
diecked, for though conceited and presumptuous, he is not har- 
dened ; and if all the true Christians with whom he converses were 
faithful, WilljT) and consistent, God might give a great blessing to 
them and to nun. Now put on your hat, and come and show me 
about your fine city here. ' 

CHAPTER Xn. 

** I was not erer thu, nor prayed that Thoa shonldst lead me on ; 
I loYed to choose, and see my path, but now — ^lead Thou me on I 
I loYed the garish day, and spite of fears 
Fride ruled my will,— remember not past years I 

« • « • « 

Those angel &ces smile 
Which I have lored long since, and lost awhile !" 

At twelve o'dock on the following day, Mr. Singleton, as had 

been agreed, went to Lord N 's house and walked straight up 

to Mr. Anstruther's room, where he found all prepared for the 
Sacrament, and the invalid alone, as he had requested. The ex- 
citement of his feelings had lent an unusual glow to Mr. Anstruther's 
countenance; and a deep flush had settled in one bright crimson 
spot — the hectic of consumption — on his cheek. His large dark 
eyes shone with a force of expression which health seldom pre- 
sents ; yet was there nothing of the painfid restlessness and 
anxiety which had formerly so strongly characterized them, but 
rather an earnest, settled look of exalted peace. The dignity of 
an adopted child of God had greatly delivered him from the fear of 
man, and had overcome the diffidence and embarrassment which he 
would otherwise have felt in seeing those who had formerly known. 
him under such verv different circumstances. He had, with a noble 
frankness, asked jforgiveness of Mr. Scott for the contemptuous 
rudeness of his former manner and conduct; yet in doing so, no 
falise shame had caused his eye to shrink from that of the other, 
who met him with the utmost kindness, and showed an interest 
and regard that was most touching to him. With equal openness, 
when Mr. Singleton entered the room, he held out his hand to him» 
and thanked him for coming so readily to a stranger. 

" You must not consider yourself a stranger, Mr. Anstruther,'* 
said the other. *' None who are lookia^ to- Christ for salvation 
can be strangers to those who are enjoymg the same inestimable 
liope. You are truly resting on Him, are you not ?" 

•* Most truly." 

** * The Holy Spirit testifying with your spirit that you are one 
ofthesonsoftjo^r 



86 flIB BOXJLIfD AfiSTOir. 

Mr. Ansfmther looked np'vrith a ooTmtenanoe bo 'beaming "wiilt 
Hie bright hope that "was within him, tiiat before he could answer, 
if r. Singleton stopped him, saying, ** I want no words — save jour 
poor loners — a higner language nas told me all ; the testimony or tiie 
Spirit shines too clearly mrongh those spealdng eyes for me to need 
more. Yon are a luq)py man— «o sfiar tiie possesfdon of your 
inheritance !** 

" I am indeed hap^," replied Mir. AnBtmther; " not even the 
remembrance of my sms can distnrb me now; for when I begin to 
think of them, the sense of God's forgiving mercy rashes in, and 
sweeps all before it." 

" Ay," returned Mr. Singleton ; " a nauBeotm pill so wrapped in 
sweets that its bitterness is lost.** 

Mr. Anstruther smiled at the quaint comparison, and said, " it 
was indeed true, for all hittemess was lost in the sweetness of 
God's loye." 

** And now, my good Mend,**^ said Ifcr. fiSngleton, ** you shall talk 
no more. My mind is satisfied about you, and I willgiadly ad- 
minister the Sacrament to you, in remembrance of Him, ^who 
has indeed redeemed you to Himself by His precious blood- 
shedding.' " 

Then ringing the bell, he desired Mr. Anstruther's servant to 
request Sir Eokad and Mr. Seott to ooniie up-stairs. The moment 
they approached the table, he commenced the serviee, which the 
peculiar circumstances under whieh it was given* tendered un* 
usually solemn. Mr. Anstruther was ezoeesively affected, and 
leant his head on the table the whole time, for he was too ireak to 
sit up. When it was concluded, however, he held out his hand to 
Mr. Singleton, and thanked him with a countenance which proved 
that the *' peaoe of God," which had be^i so sinoerely prayed for, 
had entered indeed into his soul; and that "the blessing of the 
Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit," rested abundantly 
upon him. 

In after times often did Sir Roland recal that look, and never 
without a thrill of thankful joy passing through his breast. J 

" Are you tired, Anstruther?" he said, after the others had left , 

the room ;*' or shall I stay with you a little ^' 

" Stay, by all meaiu ; for evai if I oannoi taik much, I ddigkt I 

in seeii^ you there." I 

** If I tire you, you must tell me; but I had something to say to ' 

you. A little while a^o you asked me how» in your short remaining 
timie, it would be possible for you to prove the reality of your con- 
version. Tou have evidenoea it by the oomplete change in your 
whole self; or rather, the Spirit has shown forth its power and 
work in you in a manner visible to all who see you. But there is 
yet one exertion with which I think God would be well leased if 
you felt equal to it." 

" I shall be only too thankful to be eaabkd to show forth Hu 
glory in any way.*' 

" It is to speak to some of the young and thouffhtless creatures 
around you, and try to arouse them to a sense of ^eir danger, and 
^^ their ingratitude to God. I have myself endeavoured to say a 



HXB BXXLijny AfiHixnr. 87 

word io ^3Bm fhnn. time to time,, bnt I seldom Bee them ; and 
besides^ eyerythiiig ham, mft vna6B,.joji know; I^ on * ex-porte' 
BtttemfiDt." 

" It is from. me» certoiiily, that it skonld oome ; for I have heea 
too lon^ a Btrengtheiier of Satan's hands as ra^eots them, by my 
total disregard of religion, and by the contempt I have so often 
tfazown upon it. And they conld not think tiiat I had any sinister 
motire in contradidancr my fonner self^ and spMLking in fayonr o£ 
Him whose servioa I ODee* m> wholly cast oal Ask Seymonr to 
come to me, wiU yon, when he- is at leisure. I may not be able to 
i^ak mnoh to all, tbongk I shoald like tatalce leave of them \ but 
to him I conld speak bestr— he is of a soberer, kindlier nature l^n 
the rest, and he might not» perhani^ mind rspoatin^ to them an v 
message I might give hun. Ah! how I now regret tbie time whicli 
is past» lost mr ever! What a blessiB^ I might hare been to those 
yonng things, so fiill of Hfs and spirits, but giving all their fresh 
and bright affeotiona to thiswerldl Instead of which I have been 
a cnrae — a blighting, feaHal cnrBe to them; teaching them to 
deepiM their God, and trample upon His laws. ^ Send the poo« boy 
to me nkm; will yon^ Ashton, if von can find'him. Time presses ; 
and my proud heart might shrink from the task if I thonght long 
abont it. It is not pleaong^ta flesh and hkwd to say, * I have 



been, wrong ;' bnt Ood will not sn&r me to £uL I trust, in this 
duty ; and joyful indeed should I be, if He woold bless my words 
to any -^o hear themi." 

Sir Bolaod went uLseaor^ of Mr.- Sevmonr, who was one of Lord 

H ^'s *attachee,' and who lived in nis house; and having found 

him, begged him to go np to Mr. Anstmther. 

When ite entered hia apartment the latter received him most 
kindly, saying, he wished much to see him, and take leave of him. 
The yonng man was mwoh afl^ted at this kindness of manner in 
one, of whicmi, in former days, he had always stood so much in awe ; 
and whose visibly dying stote made his words fall solemnly on his 
ear. Mr. Anstmther did not spare himself, but lamented the 
lebeUion of his former life agaizutihe great Being who had created 
and redeemed him, and entreated Mb yooi^ friend to give his 
heart's best affections and earliest love to his Father and his 
God. 

He subsequently, in a similar manne^ ixxk, leave of all his 
yonng associates, most of whom seeoied, for the time at least, to 
be much afi&cted by his repiesentatioiui. 

Each day now brought a change to the dying man« who suffered 
agonisingly from weaknesa and difScuIty in breathing; but 
seldom did an impatient sound pass his Hps ; or if one did occa- 
sionally esoane, the eye*, quickly turned towards heaTen, showed 
that he supplioated pacdon, and sought the blessing of the Holy 
Spirit, that '^patience" might have 'Hier perCsot work.*' 

''Yon afe a stranrefbilow, Boland,'' waSd Loed N ^ when lie 

had returned from hu short exoursioa with Mr. Boberts; ''alittie 
while ago you could not bear Oeerge Anstnitiier, and now I have 
aakfid nor yon c^?er so many times sinoe I oame home, and am 



88 SIB BOLAin> ASHIOir. 

always told you are ' in Mr. Anstrather's room/ However, it is 
yery kind of ^on, l^onffh I am a&aid it is an irksome confinement.'* 

'* Far from it ; I prefer being with him to being elsewhere just 
now. His mind is much changed, poor fellow, of late." 

" Oh, what ! * the sinner was sick, the sinner a saint would he/ 
I suppose." 

" No," said Sir Boland, pained at the way in which his uncle 
spoke, " I am convinced that it is no feeling of that kind with 
ijistruther. I believe him truly changed; and I rejoice the more 
because his dajs are well-nigh spent, I fear." 

" Do you think him in immediate danger?" asked Lord N , 

much alarmed. 

'* I do ; I think a few weeks, or even days, may see it all at an end.'* 

** I had no idea," said Lord N , " that he was so ill. I have 

not seen him lately ; and during my absence I fear he must have 

f)t much worse. I am sorry I spoke so heedlessly, poor fellow, for 
am truly ^eved for him, and am shocked at what you tell me ; 
I did not tmnk his danger was nearly so preat." 

"This last week has been a very trying one to him in everr 
way," repUed Sir Roland; "but his mind is now at peace; though, 
his health sinks fast." 

** My dear Eoland, you are young, and very enthusiastic (in. 
which your Mend Scott, by the bye, helps you not a little ;) and I 
am sure I do not wish to deprive you of any encouragement you 
may find in your laudable exertions ; but do let me warn you not 
to imagine that real changes take place in people's character in 
this sudden and wonderful way, for the days of miracles are past. 
€K> on in your own way, by all means, for you have been a good 
boy from your birth, and no doubt you will go to heaven and have 
your reward. But don't expect an old man uke me to believe that, 
just because a body gets iU, and is forced to lie in bed, that there- 
fore he becomes a saint all of a sudden. I dare say he gets 
frightened, just as a naughty boy does at the sight of the rod, and 
exclaims he will be good ; but when you have lived in the world as 
long as I have, you will find that your virtuous bed-ridden folks 
turn out as great rogues as others, when they can walk alone 
again." 

" It is so, often, I know," replied Sir Roland ; "but cases do, 
imdoubtedly, sometimes occur, in which the Spirit of GK>d touches 
the heart; even in the closing hours of life ; and as soon as they are 
led by Him to see their own sinfulness, and to accept of Christ's 
j&ee salvation, they must, according to God's promise, become His 
children. And tms real change it is which nas, I truly believe, 
taken place in poor Anstruther." 

" Of course,' replied Lord N , " a man at such a time, when 

he thinks he has nothin/; to do but to die, is vastly glad to be told 
he shall go to heaven without any merit or trouble of his own ; * c'est 
tout simple,' and very pleasant hearing." 

** But. my dear sir, it really is not so simple — so much 'of course' 
as you think. Many, even at that hour, cling to ideas of their own 
liflrhteousness— thanking God they have always been upright and 
religious, or always done their best, &c.— the enemy soothing them 



SIR BOLAin> A8EI0K. 89 

to the last Teith hollow hopes built on a wrong: fotmdation ; while 
others sometimes, not only yirtually, but actually — ^fearfully deny 
the name and existence of Christ the Lord." 

" Well, my dear nephew, if they do so, it is very sad ; for after 
all, I don't think we nave much to boast of, any of us. And in 
truth, I do the poor fellow up-stairs a ereat injustice by classing: 
him with notorious sinners ; for though ne has neyer been a reli- 
gious man certainly, jet he has been under my roof now nearly six 
years, and I don't in my conscience think that even your life, 
Koland, has been a purer one than his; nor one more free m>m vice 
of eyer^ kind. And yet, I don't know how it was, but he was 
never hked ; the vicious were afraid of him, I believe — and the vir- 
tuous too, I fancy, for that matter — ^for he was so mighty haughty and 
disdainfid, and came into the room with his chin in tne air, looking 
so gentlemanlike and disagreeable, that, truth to say, I would fain 
manv a time have conveyed my own person out of the way if I 
€oula have done so unobserved : but that, of course, ' sub sigUlo 
confessional!,' not to be breathed to ears pro&ne." 

" It is that unamiable spirit which he now so deeply regrets," 
said Sir Koland : " proceedmg as it did, from enmity of the heart 
to God. But I always had a hoi>e that the time would come in which 
the better part of nis disposition might be brought out, and his 
heart reconciled to God." 

"And why where you to have Hiat hope about him particularly ? 
or do vou charitably feel the same for everybody— even for your old 
reprooate xmcle ?" 

Sir Koland smiled, and answered, " I cannot, I am sorry to say, 
feel that hope for every one, however much I might wish it ; but 
he had a mother once " , 

" Well, and everybody * had a mother once,' " said Lord N , 

interrupting Sir Koland quickly, whilst his bright grey eye 
twinkled with a merriment which even the gravest subjects could 
scarcely ever subdue ; *\jou need draw no very exclusive ground of 
hope for him on that account, methiuks." 

^* My dear uncle," replied Sir Koland, laughing, ** I think I must 
really give up tallong to you on these subjects at all. You are one of 
those who would make * the scaffold re-echo with the joke,' and would 
delight in causing even ' death's ribs to shake with laughter,' I 
believe, if you could. I know you do not mind what I say, but in 
truth," he added, with a sadder expression, " I do so much feel 
for poor Anstruther — so very much ! and am so filled with grati- 
tude to God on his account, that though I could not help laughing 
at your interruption, yet it grieves and disquiets me to have the 
subject treated so lightly." 

* Well, well ! but I really am very sorry for the poor fellow, and 
will go and see him in a few minutes, though I shall not know what 
to say to him. We were never on a very familiar footing — speaking 
tonus, but no more — ^business ended, so ended our conversations 
generally. But still to know that one who has been so long with 
me, and so young, too," he added, feelingly, " is sinking so rapidly 
into the grave, is a very appalling— a very painful thing But what 
were you going to say just now i 



90 m 

"Oh! Iwae oidTpnagiovsy^bBtlaBiaBi&M^ 
yna a great Mend of my TooiAnst's, — ^was a truly excellent -vroman, 
and taught Hm in early youth, much that was{:eod, and Ilmew that 
he retained for her f eehnga of the deepest love ; and it was that 
whioh alwavs made me heme for kim; m I trasted that what she 
bad teugrht nim--what sheliad sowed with, I fear, many tears (for 
hers was a sad fate) might, at length, be reaped with ahmkLant 
joy ; GtMi's promises are so fall to futhfdl parents." 

" My dear Roland, I am sure yovir parents' iaithfcdness i& abun- 
dantly repaid in yon," said Lord N *, with a glistening eye : 

" for vou are the l>B8t--the very best cfeotore I ever met wim ; and 
thougn I do sometimes abuse yma yagaries, yet, when I come to 
hear you fairly out, I find you as sober and steady as a rook ; and 
no wonder, for all yon say is ' founded on a Bock.' Th^e, you 
see, I know a little mt of Seziptnre as well as yon ; though I dare 
say, you thought I did not know Aanm from Aohilles. You good 

rx>ple always fancy no one knows anything but yourselres ; though 
must confess, there are a menstrous number of dnn^ which, if you 
do understand, / oertaisly do not^ They dos't soit a stupid old 
fellow like me." 

'' What things do yna mean, my dear air {^^ 

** Oh, many things I A migh^ deal that yon say is ntteri^r in- 
comprehensible to me. There are yonr conver8ion$ and conviettonSf 
and C(m-~all sort of things, which to my mind, end in a eomplete 
eon-Jusion, They pa2zle my old brain as much as all your new- 
fangled names for old-fashioned flowers, which are enough to dis- 
tract any man. If one goes nowadays to a gardener's and asks for 
— let me see — a troposoium, for instanccL ezpeotins: to get some- 
thing very fine and new, he gives you nothing but uie old nastor- 
tium which your grandmother pickled the seeds of a century ago ; 
and so on with all the rest. And I dare say, whesk I come to cBs- 
coyer the meaning of your fine high-soundmg terms, I shall find 
them only to be some beautifnl paraphrastic mode of conveying 
some plain, sensible old distich, such as, — 'Speak when yon're 
spoken to ; do as you'rs bid.' It is dreadful to hve in such an age 
as this ! One can't open one's mouth, if it be but to say, * What 
a fine day l' but out comes some moral aphorism, or knock-me- 
down piece of virtue, which one can't recover £p(»n for the next 
half-hour. And the moment one's back is turned one is sure of 
being held up as a ' monmful example ! ' It is the case with the 
whole of you ! You remind me of Ihe French caricature where the old 
school-dame has been reading a fairy tale to her children, which 
ends with stating, ' Ihat wh^i the princess was cured of all her 
faults, she became very beautiful and rich, and married a sweet 
young prince ; ' from whence she drew this apt deduction--with 
skinny finger lifted high : ' Oeci vons montre mes chers enfans, 

S'il mut toujonrs manner dupain avec son firicot, ne jamais mettre 
doigts k la bouche/ &o. 29ow is not that just the way with yon 
all- — sp oiling our xdeasant fables with your dull morals ?' 

Which character of myself ami to walk away with?" askedSir 
Koland^ good-humouredly. "Just now I was * the best creature 
vou ever saw/ now I am a sanctified bore and a driveUer ! The 



4aS, B<».A]n> AflSTOir. 91 

■rory next dyH ildng yon say, I ahsiSL be off ^&?eetiy, for fear of a 
reversal of tiie seat^ioe." 

'^ Tfaea I ^all go on abu^B^ yoa on porpose to keeo roa bere," 

said Lord If ; ** to I gr^uy like to see tbe sort of fights tbat 

eo on in your mind when I traduce yo« or your people—wrath and 
Kiry fltragglBigr wtili good-nature and palienee, but BOTer qmte 
eettuif tiie bet^. Yen are thebnll, and I the matadore. Yon 
let me fling at you what darts I will, and Nourish mj taunting 
flags in ye«r eyes ; bi^ though I hawe at fames seen the front of the 
'noble beart' flodi «p, showing there was a oommotion within, 
yet I have neyer succeeded in getting a single roar or toss out of 
himyet-" 

^'Oiat win do TBfy vnJlf** vs&SL 8i]r Bolfl&d; "and now I am 
oflr." 

*' Ko, no, fAaj yon bere, I have a yasl deal more abnae in store 
far you. Bat first, I really have a faney for knowing what you do 
mtenn when you talk of pec^e *bdmg eonreited/ or 'haying con* 

▼ictaons,' auid sneh like terms. It reminds mjc of Lord s boy. 

Did you met hear that st<*y ^ A rdlgions tutor crept in unawares 
at (me. time into that infldel house, aandprodueed some good effect on 
one of the boys^ wMdi one of the othars, observing, nushed into his 
motiier's room, ezelaiming, 'Do you know, mamma, brother has 
ff^e religion! ' as if it weie the measles or scarlet fever ! And nowv 
pray teU me iHkat you do mean by those £ne terms of yours ?" 

** I ijwll aoflwer you in better words than: my own. * The con- 
science becomes duquieted, and this is eotwietum ; the heart and 
its alfeetions are given back to God, and this ia conversion* " 

" And a mighty long journey it must be fdr the hearts of some 

men to get ba* to fiod," observed Lord N . " Yes, that is 

mdeed cont^emofi, for our affections are generally running in a far 
di^r^it channel from t^iat ! And of course, you will teu me too, 
ftat it is only by the power of God that we can be so changed— sa 
converted. I beUeve you— I folly believe you, Roland ; for I have 
been trying at it, in my poor way, for Has half century, and have 
never yet got one inch nearer tx> neaven, aor been able to tnuck a 
path in my heart that did not lead away from God.'* 

*• The Almighty promises not only to help us in I3ie work," re» 
rfied ^r Eoland, '^bnt to do it for us— in us, if we supplicate BSm 
for fib powerful blessing. But one part of the explanation I 
quoted, you seem, my dearest uncle, to luve known by experience.** 

*'Ah! you mean ^oontictionj* " said Lord N ; *M)ut I dim 

notgoin^ to make my confessions to you, my young master, so 
do not think you asre going to have the ttTumx)h and satisfaction 
of putting me into the right way as you think it. I do not 
mean to be behoiden to such a w ill o the Wisp as you. But 
now," and he sigrhed heavily, " I will go up to ^oor Anstruther, 
and you — ^for it is about your hour — are going to nde — always with 
Scott, I suppose. You saeot him^ I smagine, by way of contrast 
in appearance }" 

"I do not think Scott at all ill-looking,*' said 6ir Boland. 

" Andhow do you know tiiat it was not you that I meant as the ill- 
k»kingoae?" exolaimed Lord N — -. '^^ Well, if ever I heard a 



92 Sm BOLAIO) ASHTOK. 

ftpeeoh of more consimunate vaiiity and oonoeit ! And so you are 
' the glass of fashion and the mould of form, the ohserved of all 
observers/ are you ? You are ' the faultless monster that the 
world ne'er saw ! Upon my word, if that is not the quintessence 
of oozcombical impertinence !" 

Sir Roland coloured ezoessiyely at the unintentional vanity of 
the speech he had made ; but laughing at his uncle's vehement 
philippic, he said, — 

" lam bound, you know, my dear sir, to believe all you say ; and 
how often have you told me that I was a vastly good-lookin^r 
feUowl" 

" A sad mistake, indeed," said Lord N 1 shaking his head : 

" and the worst is, that tlie good lady's recipe for some hideons 
but estimable man — of turning him inside out— would not benefit 
society much in your case ; for with you the one is as bad as the 
other. But that fellow Scott !— -he goes about all day, I am told, 
poking his nose into prisons, and hospitals, and other pestiferous 
places ; motmtinff garrets, diving iato cellars, threading labyrinths 
of filth-besmeared, vice-begrimed alleys ! Well, ' tot homines quot 
sententisd'— (There are as many opinions as tiiere are men). I 
rather wonder, however, where he gets all the money he spends ; 
for I am told he gives away enough to bribe the priests of Jugger- 
naut to surrender the 'mountain of light.' I rather suspect fnat 
he has a mighty long arm, ' ce monsieur li,' and that whilst he is 
perambulatmg about in all directions, he keeps his hand in some- 
Dodj's pocket, not a hundred miles from this room." 

Sir Koland was confused for a moment ; but then with uprigLt 
simplicity answered — 

^ "Scott has a good fortune, but not one equal to the largeness of 
his heart. It can be nothing, you know, my dear uncle, to me to 
give away money for which I have reaUy no other use. The difS.- 
culty of true diarity is the personal labour required, and that 
Scott most freely ana devotedly bestows." 

" Whilst you are pleasing yourself to your heart's content in the 
manner most particularlv delightful to :srou, in reading crooked 
hearts, writing business-letters, and castin g u p the sum-total of 
human vice — and of your uncle's wishes !— -Well, God forbid that 
I should seek to bring you down from your 'good eminence/ 
to the level of tiie ^mes—- ay, and I fear,' he added with an in- 
voluntary sigh, " often worse than trifies of this world. Go on — 
go on—* dans un si beau diemin, il ne faut pas s'arrSter/ (In so 
Beautifol apath one must not stop ;) thoueh 1 suppose in time, you 
will rival Abdol Motalleb, and spread food on the tops of the 
mountains for birds and beasts ! And noddinff kindly to his 
n^hew, he left the room to pay his dreaded visit to Mr. Anstruther. 



CHAPTER XIU. 

What Lord N had said of himself was perfectiy true. He 

' had been for years " feeling after God in the dark /' and virtuous 
sentiments, and holy truths, liad always found something of an echo 



SIS BOLAITB ASHTOK. 98 

in his breast. He had been in the world all his life— thrown, from a 
boy, into scenes the most bewilderins: to the heart, the most searing 
to tlie conscience ; yet throughout all, he had maintained a fair cha- 
racter, and had been beloved and r espected by all his associates. But 
good and evil were so mixed together in his mind, and his judgment 
was so warped by supposed necessities of action, that though truth 
was ever making some feeble efforts to be heard, yet he reaUy 
knew not in what direction it pointed, nor what it woidd have him 
do. His mind was not sufficiently enliehtened to make biin see 
that he could do nothing of himself, and therefore he had neyer 
humbly applied to God for His effectual teaching. He had more- 
oyer, a great deal of heart-pride to contend with ; not the pride 
which feels itself superior to others, nor the pride of nmk, and 
wealth, and power— for no one was more affable and unassuming 
than he was— but it was that pride which makes it difficult to 
confess that anything is wrong, or that any help is required. He 
delighted in Sir Roland— was vain of him Deyond measure as his 
nephew— drank up his praises as if they had been nectar, and 
doubled them by encomiums of his own. Bnt though he felt his 
vast superiority to most others, he did not choose to show that 
he thought him superior to himself. He endeavoured by all sorts 
of stratagems, jesting questions, and pretended misconstructions^ 
to draw out his principles and sentiments, — ^reaUy anxious to learn 
and profit by them, but most extremely imwilling that his aim 
should be observed ; and though, at times perhaps, he would un» 
guardedly make confession of his own weakness and inability, 
yet the next moment he would pass it off as a joke, and pretena 
to treat the whole matter with contempt. But in his heart he 
treasured up all he heard ; and the mists of error began by de» 
^rees to rou off from his mind. He was exceedingly respected 
m the hi^h situation which he occupied ; and, though particularly 
&miliar in his manner to aU ranks and all a^es, vet he had some- 
thing about him which kept off all familiarity troin others ; and 
it was often observed, that though he passed his jests freely on 
all, from the prince to the peasant,— yet that nor king, nor em- 
peror, was ever known to jest with him. He was looked up to by 
all with whom he had to do, for he was keen, shrewd, and ob- 
servant ; and though too often led into the crooked paths thought 
necessary to success in his plans, yet his word once pledged, was 
known to be inviolable. 

His natural feelings were most kindlv ; but long contact with 
the most worldly portion of the world nad taken away much of 
their strength ; and continued absence from his family had 
weakened to a ^reat degree all habits of affection. Strone emo- 
lions were to him so unusual and so unpleasant, that he put 
them aside as much as possible ; and never, if it could be avoided, 
mixed himself up with scenes of sorrow or distress. Not that he 
was incapable of sjrmpathy, but that he was selfishly imwill- 
ing to have his peace and comfort disturbed by the real com- 
passion and reeret he was certain to feel. Nothing, therefore, 
would have induced him to have gone to Mr. Anstruther in his 
dying statoi bnt the fear of seeming unkind and negleotfal ; and 



.04 BBUMOABD iMsnar* 

his reLuctanoe to do^M <vnu9 ao gzeat^liLe dxead of what ke had to 
encotmter was so strox]|^ — ^thaJt even after he had mounted the 
staircase, it was long oefore he conld sanuaon up courage to 
enter the chamber. ]^eyer had death yisited his own noose 
before ; and he felt a nervous a^^prehensian of the whole thing 
that was most distressing:, and which might perha|n surprise those 
^ho have not observed how very mnoh quiet habits of self-indul- 
irence enervate the mind of man, and maJce it a fseble and a timcaroug 
thing. 

Long did he pause at the ante-room dooi^— then take a few tnms 
on the stone landing-plaoe ; then, with a desperate effort pat his 
hand on the lock— then withdraw it, and again pace up and down — 
till at last he had worked himself up to som a state of excite- 
ment and agitation, that in aH probability he would have entirdy 
given up the effort, for that time at least, and have gone down- 
stairs again— had not Mr. Anstruther's servant, suddenly opening 
the ante-room door, just as he was about to turn from it tor the 
last time, obliged him to summon up courage, and, for very shame's 
sake, to ask the man if his master could see him ; and receiving 
an answer in the affirmative, he reluctantly entered the chamber 
of death. 

As soon as he had closed the door, however, his nervous tremouis 
entirely ceased— overcome by feelings of real pMsin and diskess. 
Mr. Anstruther lay there, supported oy pillows, in his bed— lor he 
could no longer bear the j&itigue of being moved to the sofii ; his 
eyes were closed— for he was at that moment particularly exhausted, 
*-and his countenance was so utterly colourless, that at the first 

moment Lord N thought he was gone. The £unt exolamatioii 

of horror which escai)ed huo, however, roused Mr. Anstruther from 
his torpor; and opening his languid eyes he looked towards the 

door to see who entered. On perceivixig it was Lord N •, the 

colour rose in his cheek, and his eyes became animated with aa 
unusually full and strong expression. He had not seen him before 
since the great change in hn views and feeling had taken plaoe ; 
and a crowd of confused emotioDs rushed over his mind. Be made 
an effort to raise himself^ but oould not do it. 

" My dear Anstruther," said Losd ^ , advancing to Ihe bed- 

aide and taking his hand, "my dear fellow!"- He oould say no 
more, for a choking pain rose in his throat. 

"I am quite easy now," said Mr. Anstruther, retoming the 

kindly pressure of Lord 17 'b hand ; "only weak ; but my cough 

is better, and that is a great mercy; it used to tear me to pieces ; 
but it seldom troubles me now* My dear lord," he oontin«ed« 

looking gratefcdly up at Loid N -u a^teted countenance, " I 

doubt not ^ou are shocked to see this rapid change ; but I am not 
dismayed— it must soon end, and then all pain and trouble will 
cease. 

" There may yet be hope," saad Lord 17 ^ after a time ; 

** your vouth— your reffular way <tf life, are much in your favour." 

Mr. Anstruther shooK his head, while a quiet smile rested for a 
moment on his lips. 

"JSTo," he said; "there i« no hope of li£s; but, thank fiod, the 



IMamms of dealk is past My lord, I hflve'WJ«hed nmcii to see 
you, that I mii^t eaqnress my deep sense of your oontuiiied kind* 
ness to me. !&t ibr thatr— I might hxre been a homeless outcast." 
He paused, while Ms kbomiB^ ^leath betrayed his weakness and 
bis agitation. ** I wished aJso,'^ he continaied, after a few minutes, 
"to express my de^ i»gze<r~for the many ways in whidh I am 
CQDSoioiis that I baTesot xeeeiTod-— or retmnea, your kindness aa 
I oujp^t. My pride, sad-— and fwolts of many ^ds— I am now 
painmllT sensible of— *tkapagb too late to prove it to yon ; bat Qod 
knows tliat my regiel-*iuin oease but with my life." 

** My dear fellow," said Locd N , whose tears new flowed 

down his cheeks nnrestcainodly, "wky do yon speak so^ Yoa 
bave been most f aii^fdl axid consoientions to me tiirongb all onr 
interooorse together; you hare saved me every trouble in your 
power, and no one fault hove I ever bad to And widi you sinoe yoa 
ent^ed my bouse ; and dee|^y-4raly shall I regret you." 

"I thank yoa, &om my beart, my dear lord, for your kind and 
cansiderate words; but they eannot blind me to the tnxth'-nor 
leecmoile me to myseH— though tiie kindness that dictates them I 
feel most deeply. I cannot f^eak nmoh--%ut Alston will tell you 
anything you may wish to taow — about one— who bas ever been 
so unwoimy of jour fayour. Ask bim~-<>b ! my lofd— tusk him," 
be oontinued, with «nergy beyond his strength, '* the grounds of 
the peace I now enjoy— and may it be yonrs too 1" 

He closed bis eyes in utter exxurastkHi, and signed that be oonld 
speak no more. Lord N ■ ■ was equally incapable of replying; 
smd after a few minutes, laying bis band with kindly pressure on 
Mr. Anstrutber's sboulder, lie seemed in that manner to take leave 
of him. Mr. Anstrutber's eyes fdilowed him to the door, kind* 
ling with grateful and softened ei^xression ; and Lord N ^'s feel- 
ings again overcame him, as be tnzned to take a last look of one 
who was thus early ** passing away." That look— so full of mutual 
kindness — was the last they ever exobanged ! Lord N— bad to 
leave again the next day for a short time, and ere be retomed, 
his young Mend bad entered into bia eternal rest. 

Wben Lord K bad left Sir Eolaad, the latter bad still soma 

letters to finish befoore be rode out. Wbiile employed on tfaem, 
some one knooked at the door, and Wilson, Mr. Anstrutber's ser* 
vant, made his appearance. 

'* Wbat is it, Wilson?" said Sir Boknd» lather alarmed. " Is 
your master worse?" 

" No, sir, no, my master is not psrtioularly bad just now ; bxrt I 
wanted to take the liberty of speaking to you. Sir Roland. Sir, 
my master is very ill—" 

'* Well, Wihon, but is be wocte^' again asked ffir Boland, look- 
ing up £rom the papers over wbidi be bad been mnning bis eye; 
"diaUIgotohmi?" 

"Not at all. Sir Boland, not at all; but, in fact, to make the 
natter short, I was to bave been leaving Mr. Anstrutber about this 
tbae, and somehow I feel very unwilling to do so." 

** I do not iinder at it|" aniwefed Sir JEU)laad« latiwff c^ 



95 8IE BOLAVS ASBXOV. 

** Yoa see, Sir Boland, my warning was nyen before my mastex^s 
last attack came on, wlien ne was getting: t)etter ; and, sir, master 
used to be yery hard tp bear with at times. Not that I eyer had a 
bad word from him, Sir Roland, neyer ; bnt then, I neyer had a 
good one ; and masters don't know how far a good word goes with 
a seryant. Master neyer was a bad liyer, sir, neyei^— neyer heard 
an oath from his month ; neyer gambled, neyer did anything to set 
a seryant a bad example ; but there was something. Sir Eoland, sa 
uncommonly cutting- in his way. Take what pains I would, there 
was neyer a 'thank you,' neyer a word of praise; only a gruff,. 
* that'll do,* — * put it down.' So when master was a little better — 
before he became so ill again— I thought I would try another ser- 
yioe, and so gave warning. But I have been with master now 
these six years, eyer since he came here, and I know all his way8» 
and how he likes things done, and I should be uncommonly loth 
to giye him oyer just now to the hands of strangers, who don't 
know him scarce by sight. So I was thinkins^. Sir Roland, if you 
thought proper, and master was agreeable, that I should haye no 
objeddon to staying on, and doing what I could as long as he is 
here." And the pocr man moyed about neryously, and cleared his 
voice once or twice. 

*<I think you are quite right," said Sir Roland, kindly; ** and 
to say the truth, I thought it rather odd, Wilson, that you had not 
made this proposal before ; for it must strike any one, that it 
would be yery irksome and painful for a dying man to haye 
strange feuses and new ways about him ; and I think, too, from 
what I can obserye, that your master is not so ' cutting,' as you 
express it, now, but that any one might bear with him. Sickness 
is yery trying you know, Wilson, to us all ; and for a young man 
like your master, to be confined to his room, dying, whilst others 
of his age are enjoying themselves around nim in health and 
spirits — ^without parents too, or relations to cheer him— it must 
seem a heavy trial." 

"No douot. Sir Roland— no doubt it must," replied Wilson, 
feelingly ; " but it is strange, sir, that the worse he gets, the better 
he is to do for. He'U often thank me now, and say * he' s sorry to 
be so troublesome.' But dear me. Sir Roland, I don't mind 
trouble, if one's only treated like a Christian ; and ever since he's 
been like that^ I've oeen wanting to say I should be glad to stay 
and do for him to the last ; but I neyer plucked up courage till 
just now, when my lord went in to master; and so I thought I 
would make bold to step down and speak to you." 

** I think it is a very good arrangement," said Sir Roland, " and 
I will settle with the other man. I am sore your master will feel 
very grateful." 

"As to that. Sir Roland, it is not' much," said Wilson; " indeed, 
if master was always to be as he is now, I should not mind staying 
on with him, if he lived ever so long. Death makes a great 
difference in people. Sir Roland." 

/'It is not death— but the Spirit of God which has made the 
difference in your master, Wilson. Many people get worse and 
worse in their ways and tempers, through long mnesees, till death 



8m -ROLAm) AJBHTON. 97 

cats short their power of tormentiiig here, and delivers them over 
to a terrible hereafter. But God has shown your master tiie eyil of 
his heart, and His own willingness to pardon him for Christ's 
sake; and that it is which has produced the chaniBfe in him. But 
we will try and £nd some future opportunity lor talking this 
matter over to&;ether; for, remember, Wilson, on its being nghtly 
understood and received depends your salvation as well as your 
major's : we are all alike in Qod's sight ; there is no distinction of 
persons with Eim ! Shall I tell your master of your wish to stay 
with him, or would you rather do so yourself?" 

" If it is not too much trouble. Sir Boland, I had much rather 
you should speak ; I don't feel very free yet with my master 
though I am not afraid of him, as I used to be." 

When Sir Boland had finished his letters, and had returned frost 
a short ride, he went ujp to Mr. Anstruther, whom he found some- 
what recovered from his agitating interview with Lord N ^ anj 

informed him of his servant's wish to remain with him. Mr. 
Anstruther was much gratified ; and the next time that Wilson 
entered the room, after Sir Boland had left it» he thanked him 
with such a kindness of manner, as brought tears into the poor 
man's eyes. 

" I have been a bad master to you, Wilson," he said ; " and have 
much to reproach myself with on that account." 

'* Indeed, no, sir, ' said Wilson ; " no gentleman has less to 
accuse himself of on that score ; unless, indeed, it be Sir Boland, 
or Mr. Scott, or that kind of gentleman. I never saw you do a 
wrong thing, sir, in all my days; but to hear the accoimt other 
servants give of what their masters do at times, dear sir ! it would 
dmost make jour hair stand on end. There's Lord " 

"Never mind, Wilson," said Mr. Anstruther, stopping him^ 
"I have no business with other people's faults ; I have enough to 
do with my own just now." 

"Certainly, sir," said Wilson; "but I only meant to show 
that you had never done anything at all, as it were, compared to 
others. ' 

" We must see about it, Wilson, not as compared to others, but 
as compared to ike word of God," said Mr. Anstruther, " for that 
is what we must be judged by." 

Wilson stared at this annoimcement, so extraordinary as coming 
from his master; and was stiU more astonished when Mr. 
Anstruther, taking the Scriptures from his pillow, and taming to 
the parable of the talents, said— 

"You can read well, I think, Wilson ? just read that parable to 
ae." 

When it was finished, he said, "Now do you not see that it is 
not only those who abuse, but those who fail to use properly the 
powers that God gives them, who will be condemned hereafter?" 

Poor Wilson was quite at a loss what to say or think, these- 
subjects being entirely new to him. 

" I ought,' continued Mr. Anstruther, "to have used the in- 
fluence which a master should have over his servants, to lead you 

s 



$8 SOL SOLAin) ASHTOK. 

to 'what is good— to make joa a fellow-walker witH myself In the 
patihs of peace and ffodlmess; therefore, if judged by my own 
2eeds, yon see from we Bible itself .what a fearful doom I deserve 
to have pronounced against me. But Wilson, Sir Boland, whose 
kindness I can never repay, has shown me not onlv my own sinful- 
ness, but the way by which my sins can obtain lorgiveness— even 
'tihjrough the merits and sofferings of oiir Lord and Savionr Jesus 
CSuist. I cannot talk much with yon now, I so soon get exhausted ; 
but I am glad to have been able so far to tell you what it is whidi 
makes me resigned and happy now, while in the days of health and 
strength I was morose, and miserable — and unkind, too, I am 
afraid, my poor fellow," he added, holding out his hand. 

Wilson was much moved, and respectfiuly kissing his master's 
extended hand, burst into tears. Mr. Anstruther was exceedingly 
toudied by thu unexpected proof of feeHng in one whom he haa 
supposed so wholly indifSsrent to him ; bi£ after a few minutes, 
lie continued in a kind voice — 

" You will read the Scriptures constantly, Wilson, and pray to 
iiie Almighty Father tp send His Holy Spirit to teach yon to un- 
derstand them ? You probably have a Bible ?" 

Wilson was silent. 

"Well! you are no worse than your master was," added Mr. 
Anstruther, with a deep sigh ; " Iluul none tiU Sir Boland gave me 
this ! There is my purse — go now and get yourself one, and never 
let a day pass without reading some of its holy and blessed 
words." 

Wilson, with many thanks and promises, left the room, and pro- 
eeeded to do as his master desired. 

"How the Lord smooths my nath !" thought the dying man. 
** Oh ! that I had known Him as I might have done, all the days of 
my life. Oh Gt)d !" he exclaimed aloud, clasping his hands and 
raising his earnest eyes to heaven, " that I snoiud have been so 
long within hearing of Thy voice, yet never have listened ! Surely 
it is because ' Thou art Goa, and not man,' that Thou hast patience 
^ long with Thy rebellious servants: and now * Thou crownestme 
^nth loving-kindness, because Thy compassions fail not.' " 

Lon^ did his mind continue to dweU on this delightful theme; 
for this fresh mercy of God— this new proof of nis Heavenly 
Father's watchful tenderness in continuing about him one whose 
services long use had made so essential to his comfort— drew his 
lieart out towards Him with a degree of fervour and devotion that 
he had seldom before experienced. 

And it is often thus ! for great mercies, and great deliverances, 
are scarcely so touching to the heart, as the wonderful sjrmpathy 
cf the Almighty, often manifested in the smallest, and apparently 
most insignificant occurrences of life. The rescue from imminent 
peril, either temporal or eternal, or the fruition of exalted happi- 
ness, is a work wnich, at a glance, might appear such as a deity 
would delight in! But that "the High and Holy One, who in- 
^biteth eternity," should not only 

" Stay His car 
For eyeiy tigh a contrite ppirit brings,'* 



Sm BOLANB ASHTOK. 99 

bnt — even where the soul's interests seem not coneemed — should 
dei^ to consider what will please and gratify the passine moments 
of life — ^is a sweetness of mercy so great, as to fiU the Christian's 
hfiart with lore and gratitude. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

"In sleep 
The soul hath a capadtj <rf horror 
Unknown to waking hoars.** — CKy <tfthA Plagve^ 

* The morning dawns on hU nnpillowed head 
Who keeps Ms vigils by the suflferer's bed.**— iC?. 

** But now, mine enemy, the strife is past, 
And thon mayst lay thy victim low at last. 
Strike, and I will not fear thee ; Ibr a light 
Flashes aroond me from the depth of niglit-^ 
Not with an earthly hope*s micertain ray, 
Kor pride's fell fire, nor passion's blinding nji 
A light that daszles not the aching eye. 
Bat pore and aoothing, tnmqoU, holy, high r^UniiNOWii. 

Mb. Anstbtjtheb's strength now diminished honrly» but his 
liope seemed to grow brighter and brighter. A deep regiet for his 
past ungracious life was, indeed, often felt; but the nearer he drew 
to his heavenly home, the more did its ^lory and blessedness fill 
his soul. He suffered intensely from difficulty in breathing, and 
Sir Eoland was in continual anxiety about him. 

This deyoted Mend passed eyery niffht in his room; and never 
left him during the day, unless when business absolutely required 
him to do so ; or when ne went out for a few moments to revive his 
oppressed, yet thankful spirit in the summer air, at such times as 
Mr. Anstruther fell into his short, flushed^ and xmrefreshing 
slumbers. 

One night, while resting on the sofa. Sir Roland was aroused 
&om his watchful sleep by sounds of distress and anguish proceed- 
ing from the bed of death. He arose in much alarm, and ap- 
proaching Mr. Anstruther, found him apparently awake, but 
wholly unconscious of the objects around him. His countenance 
exhibited the utmost agony and a^tation, and he moved his arms 
violently about, as if endeavourmg to keep off some invisible 
enemy, while he murmured broken sentences of despair, and of 
earnest supplication. Sir Roland endeavoured to rouse him by, 
taking his nand and speaking to him; but this seemed only to in- 
crease the wildness and terror of his looks. At lenglJi, finding aU 
other efforts vain, he knelt down by his side, and implored that 
the Lord would send relief to the troubled spirit of his servimt, and 
pour peace into his agitated mind. His prayer was answered, and 
Mr. Anstruther soon recovered his full recollection. He sighed 
heavily. 

"What is it, Anstruther? What oppresses you?" asked Sir 
Boland, bending oyer him. 

H 2 



100 SIB BOtANB ASHTOir. 

" Oh ! I have had such dreams, Ashton ! if things so vivid, 86 
actually before me, could be dreams— so fearful— so terrific ! 01i» 
if my hope should at last prove but a delusion !" 

" Do not let such thoughts arise in your mind, Anstruther," said 
Sir Roland ; ** you know in whom you have believed, and that He 
is a faithful Saviour, who will never cast out any who come to 
God through Him. ' No man can i^luck you out of your Father's 
hand.' And what makes you fear it ?** 

" Oh, I have been in suon dreadful straits ! I seemed on a rook 
rising out of the burning abyss of hell. Demons rose on every 
side, and drowned my prayers in curses and revilings. They 
taunted my hope — ' as if one like me could go to heaven !' They 
brought before my shrinking mind unremembered sins, and, howl* 
ing, pointed to the deep forgetfolnessof God which has marked my 
life. Each fiery wave Dore on its crest fiends who strove to reaon. 
me ; some fedlea, but others seized me, and, with horrible rejoicingSL 
tried to drag me down to their own terrible torments. I battled 
with tibem in vain, till, amid the horrors of that combat, a voice of 
comfort reached my heart— it was yours, dear Ashton, raised in 
prayer for m^; afflicted soul. But on ! am I indeed safe ? have I 
not oeen staying myself up with false hopes ? Can sins like mine 
be really pardoned ? or were the terrors of that dreadful moment 
only foretastes of my awful, inevitable doom ? No sufferings I ever 
xmaerwent could be compared to the terrors of that confused, 
affrighting vision. Ah! Ashton, surely the power of Satan was 
there, to torture— to agonize ; and would he have been permittM 
to do so if I were indeed a redeemed child of God ?" 

He spoke with the utmost difficulty, continually labouring for 
breath, and the impress of death was on his fine but agonized brow* 
Sir Roland, much agitated, answered — 

'* Satan, doubtless, wiU endeavour to the last to drive you firom 
your hold of Christ; but do not let this effort of his malice dis- 
nearten you, my dear Anstruther. Kemember that even in your 
dream you were not given up to the powers of evil,— your feet were 
still kept upon the * Rock.* And you must not judge of your real 
state by impressions made on your mind in the irresponsiole hours 
of sleep, when the soul, like a ship without compass or rudder, is 
driven about to distraction. No ; let this dreadrol trial only serve 
as an additional reason for thankfulness that you are delivered 
from Satan's fell dominion for ever." 

" But am I delivered, Ashton } Oh, my soul is tortured by ths 
scaring vision I" 

'* My dear Anstruther, are you not trusting to Christ for all youc 
salvation ?" 

" I did trust to him most truly." 

" Then^do you think He cannot save ? or that He tvtU not ?** 

" Oh ! He is both willing and able," exclaimed Mr. Anstruther 
—faith and hope aguin beaming &om his animated eyes. " Yes I 
and I shall be saved ! It is past, Ashton— thank God I quite passed 
—that dark cloud; and God's favour again shines in my 80ul» 
making all light— all joyful there."* 



BIB BOLAND ASHTOK. 101 

. ** Thank Grod !" said Sir Roland, greatly relieyed. ** But you 
seem so exhausted, Anstruther?" 

•* I feel so, and long to deep again; but dread a renewal of 
these horrors/* 

**I will sit by your side," said Sir Roland, " and wake you if I 
see you become at all agitated." 

In utter weakness Mr. Anstruther again closed his ejea; and Sir 
Roland, taking his station by his side, watched him with the ut- 
most solicitude. If he saw him become at all restless and uneasy, 
he gently roused him, and in his low, penetrating voice, whispered to 
him words of hope, and peace, and comfort. At times, Mr. Anstru- 
ther would unclose his languid eyes, and gaze on Sir Roland with 
•a look of unutterable love; but at other moments he could onlj 
express, bv a faint smile, or quiet pressure of the hand, the grati- 
tude he felt for his deyoted kindness, and the comfort which hia 
words conveyed. ^ At length, notwithstanding his diflBLoulty in 
hreathing, he fell into a deep and tranquil sleep, while an expres- 
sion of heavenly calm rested on his features. 

The morning twilight stole into the room; and after a time, 
seeing that he continued tranquil and undisturbed, Sir Roland 
rose, and going to the window, gazed from it, though often turn- 
ing: towards the bed, to watch u all remained quiet there. The 
crimson flush in the sky became deeper and deeper, till at length, 
the tops of the mountains caught the blaze of the sun's unclouded 
lising. Peak after peak shone out in the beam, which stole down 
the mountain's side, till its streams of light stretched far along, 
and flooded all the plain. A cloud of silvery vapour marked the 
course of the river, and rose steadily for a time, obscuring the base 
of the mountains by a veil of prismatic colouring ; till a light morn- 
ing breeze, rolling it away, left the whole scene glowing " in bright 
tranquillity." 

Long did Sir Roland stand, and look out upon the newly 
awakened world, though scarcely conscious of what his eye rested 
upon. 

There is something very strange in the sensation experienced in 
lookin]^ out at the calm, clear morning light, after a night of 
watching in the room of sickness. It is seldom, perhaps, excepting 
on sudi occasions, that the hig:h-bom of the earth witness the 
ibeauty of that delightful hour, with all its bright accompaniments, 
^ts •* charm of eaxHest birds," its dewy meadows, and fresh 
** untasted air;" and then the unrested spirit has such a dreamy 
feeling ! and all without— the gay and laughing liffht, and bright 
life-like look — seems in such strange contrast with the scene within 
—■where pain, or danger, or perhaps even death itself, reigns in 
ffloomy quiet! But when anxiety has been exchanged for the 
delighted feeling that danger is over— that every passing hour 
brings the loved object of our cares nearer to health and strength — 
then, indeed, there is happiness in the niffht- watch I^then sensa- 
tions of exquisite, unspeakable joy thrilliiig through the breast, 
make us meet the cheerful morning light with an answering gleam 
fromwithinA 



102 Snt BOLASTD ASHTOir. 

But far different from these were 8ir Boland's feelings, as ho 
tamed from the splendid glow which was flooding all the land« 
scape, to gase on l£e pale deatiilike countenance of him OTer whom 
he was watching with more than a brother's love, and who now 
seemdL on l^e very threshold of Ihe grave. He 1^ the window^ 
and again took his silent station by the bed of death. The oppres- 
sion on the Inngs, fnnniddch Mr. Anstmther had suffered so much, 
for many days, whs increasing fearfdUy, and his respiration became 
so difficult, that at last Sir Koland, ahumed, endeaTOured to raise 
him up. The action roused him, yet his breathing was one con* 
tinned spasm : he grasped Sir Roland's hand, and murmured, — 

'* This cannot last; out dli!" — and a bright sndle played OTer 



his face — ** the glory of the prospect— the blessedness of feeling — 
that I am near my Father's kingdom. But open the shuttm, 
Ashton, I would see you once more— once more before— my eyes- 
dose for ever." 

"They are open," said Sir Bcland; " and Ihe sun is stream* 
ingin." 

^* Is it so ?" said the dying man, as a shudder passed through his. 
£rame: " then this is death ! — ^I can see nothing— all is dark. I 
hear your voice, Ashton— and would fain hay e looked on you — 
again looked on that countenance" — ^He stopped, and a deep sob 
heayed his breast. " Oh ! it is a pang to paot !** 

Sir Boland could scarcely repress his emotion. 

" We shall meet again,*' he said ; " soon meet again, in perfect 
happiness, where we shall neyer part." 

** Oh ! yes; oh! yes," said Mr. Anstruther; " time will soon be 
passed, and you— will be with us. A little while ago— how could 
1 haye met—this hour— with all its terrors— so great? but now the 
brightness of Heayen is around me ! The Ahnighty God— blesa 

Jou, Ashton," he continued, straining Sir Eoland's hand witib 
yinff enercy to his lips j " the blessing of him— m^o was ready to 
perish— &]Ion you \ Raise me— oh ! raise me ; giye me more air 1'* 
Sir Roland raised him, and, ringing the bell, desired Wilson te 
throw up all the windows, and to go rostantiy and caU. Mr. Scott* 
Mr. Anstruther gasped a^nizingly for breath; but at interyals 
spoke words of finn trust m Christ— of happiness and neaoe. When 
he heard Mr. Scott enter the room, he held out his nand to him, 
and also to his seryant; then leaning his head on ^ Roland's 
breast, and raising his hand to mark his high hope (for speech was 
gone) after a few long-drawn sighs, he lay tranquil, as in ele^. 

**Ohl change; oh! wEmdrous change t 

Bunt are the prison-ban I 
This moment there — so low. 
So agonized ; and now.— 

Beyond the stars r 

Sir Roland i^azed long with stm^lxng emotion on the oounte* 

nance, so fine m death !— 4hen pressing ms lips on the oold brow» 

and laying the inanimate form he had been supporting back on the 

^low, he coyered his face with his hands, and leaning his head on 

bed, gaye way to a burst of irrepressible sorrow. So continued 



SEEL SOIJLND ASHJO^T. lOS 

for a time lost in a maze of confused feelingy but liis heart, at 
lencrth, arose from tliis trembled state, and poured itself forth in 
silent thankfiilness to Gfod, for His meroy to the sool of him who 
was gone. 

To those who know not the strengrth of the Christian tie, his 
deep feeling: may seem surprising ; but they who have experienoed 
the blessedness of being employed to bring a sool to sidvation, 
know fall weU the gift of love which aoc<mipanies the work. In 
this particular case, too, there was something more than nsual — an 
eartmy as well as a heayenly eanse — ^for the strong aflfeotion felt; 
for that fascination which, as has been observed, was so remark* 
able in Mr. Anstrather, even dniin^ the nnamiableness of his 
former conduct, rendered him, when it was joined to the graces <^ 
the Spirit of God, p^fectly irresistible. Attendance on him had 
been, therefore, a most delightful duty; and Sir Boland, during 
liis Olness, had become attached to him in the warmest maimer. 

Mr. Scott jiad motioned to Wilson, after the first moment, to 
leave the room for a time, and had retired himself into the window, 
that Sir Roland might not be checked in the expression of his 
first grieffal feelings. After^a time, the latter joined him, and 
they ^azed tog^ether on the fine scene before them. The room thev 
were in was one of the highest in the house, having been selected 
for Mr. Anstruther purposely on that account, as it looked over 
the walls, while tiie lower apartments looked on them, thus obtain- 
ing a fresher and freer circulation of air, which it had been hoped 
(unaTaiUng care !) would have benefited him ; and it was in con- 
sequence of being situated so high, that it commanded the beautiful 
view we have before described. As the two friends stood gazing 
npon it together, Mr. Scott, laying his hand on Sir Boland's 
shoulder, said, in a voice of the deepest sympathy, — 

" JSis prospect is far more glorious now V 

A same of heavenly expression lighted up Sir Boland's fSaoe, 
iiiougL his lips quivered convulsively, as he replied — 

*' Yes, his ^ mortal has put on immortality,' and he dwells with 
his King and his God for ever." 

He covered his face with his hand as he leaned against the 
windov, and remained for some time silent. At length, rousing 
himself, he said— 

** I vill not give way to selfish regret: it was for this that I 
prayed, and now— why should I repine ? If I had no other mercy 
to ue 'Aankfol for in Me, this one is enough to bind me to God for 
ever ; md I trust I may hencefortii be more devoted to his service 
than I have ever yet been. Oh ! my dear Scott, whilst we rejoice 
overtkis one soul that is saved, let us remember the thousands 
who are around us perishing^— perishing with the riches of redeem- 
ing love within their grasp !— I will go now to my own room, and 
try to rest. I shall then be more fit for the busmess of the day; 
for irksome and distasteful as it is, it is still the work that Grod 
sets me to do, and it must be done. Will you— if it is not painfrd 
to you" (and a shade passed over his contenance) — " will you see 
U all this for me ?" — an inclination of his head towards the bed 
dowing what he meant. 



1^^ SIB EOLAin) ASETOK. 

Mr. Soott slffnifed that lie would, and grasping his friend's hand, 
Sir Boland left the room withont again looking towards the dead. 

How dreadfdl is everythinff connected with death, to those who 
are left hehind ! And donbtless it Is intended so to be, for deatih 
is the manifestation of God's wrath ajrainst sin; and it should 
neyer be regarded lightly. To the true Gnnstian, indeed ** death is 
the eate of life :" yet stul it is a eate which divides, in partj what 
has oeen, from what shall be ; and though the fature on which we 
enter may be bright beyond conception, yet the parting with those 
we loye. must ever be a pang to nature. " Death," as the good 
and noble— though visionary--Sir Harry Vane well says, '* instead 
of taking anything from us, gives us all, even the perfection of our 
nature. It doth not bring us into darkness, but takes darkness 
out of usr— us out of darkness, and puts us into marvellcus light." 
Yet still the thought of death, and all its sad accompaniments, as 
regards the body, must ever be shocking to human nature. 

sir Roland felt this peculiarly; and it was not till after he was 
informed that Mr. Ans&uther's oody was placed in thB coffin, that 
Le again visited the chamber of death. He then renembered his 
friend's dying wish respecting the little faded flower; and over- 
coming his reluctance, he went to fulfil that—his last desire, 
though he shuddered as he entered the chamber, and beheld the 
still open coffin. Before he approached it, he went to the desk Mr. 
Anstruther had named, and opening it, took out a small sealed 
packet, which he concluded to be the one which had been men- 
tioned. It was some minutes before he could prevail on himself 
to break the seal— which the hand of such love had placed upon it ! 
and, when he did so with a sinking heart— the countenance that 
met his view almost overcame him. There was, perhaps, in Mrs. 
Anstruther's picture no resemblance to the features of he? son; 
but the expression was most i^rfectly his, in its brightest, finest 
moments. This, then, was his mother— the mother he Ind so 
much loved, so deeply, sadly mourned I As Sir Eoland gazed upon 
the picture, he recalled to mmd the sufferings which Mr. Anstmuier 
had so feelingly described, and which he and his mother hal had 
to endure; ana tears started at the remembrance of their piefs. 
though he knew that they were now, where " pain and sorroi^ had 
vanished before them;" and his heart perfectly thrilled as he 
seemed for a moment to realize what their meeting must have 
been. He then sought for the little faded flower that had been 
preserved and cherished witii such deep affection. He fomd it : 
and, after regarding it for a moment with an aching heart, le laid 
it for the second time within the gloomy place of death. Bb had 
not meant to look i^rain upon the dead; but, when he was 1y the 
side of the coffin, his eyes involimtarily sought the features thev 
had so often dwelt upon of late. He was struck by theii still 
unchanged expression; and, after gazing for a long, long timenpon 
the face which lay so calm in death, he stooped — and once more 
pressed his lips upon the marble brow. 



SIB BOLAND ASHTOTS, 105 



CHAPTER XV. 

•* That hour of parting o'er, 
Wben shall the pang it leaves be felt no more !" 

Mrs. Hehakb. 
**lt draws me on— I know not what to name it, 
Besistlees does it draw me to his grave." 

Deidk qf WaOenstein, Coixridge's Tbakslation. 

TsE fdneral was fixed for the next day ; and many of the foreim 
ministers, and of the English, staying at , expressed their de- 
sire of paying the last trioute of respect to the deoisased, by follow- 
ing him 1x) the graye. As Mr. Roberts was absent (haying again 

accompanied LSrd N -,) it was arranged for Mr. Singleton to 

perform the service, which he said, he had no objection to doing, 
over one for whom he really had " a sure and certain hope of a joy- 
ful resurrection." 

The evening before the ceremony was to take place, Mr. Sinjs^le- 
ton received a message from the omciating Boman Catholic pnest, 
to inquire whether it would be displeasing if the procession which 
usually accompanied interments amongst themselves were to attend 
the body to the grave, as if so. it should go no farther than to the 
entrance of the l)urial-eipuna ; but that it was necessary that it 
should accompany it till it arrived there. Mr. Singleton thanked 
Mm for his kind consideration, and confessed that it would be more 
agreeable for the procession not to accompany them the whole way ; 
for, in fact, he did not know what Boman Catholics usually did on 
those occasions, and whether their ritual might not oblige them to 
use ceremonies that it might be painful for a rrotestant to witness. 
It was arranged, therefore, according to his wish ; and, when the 
time arrived for the funeral to set forth on the following day, the 
Mends of the deceased found the Bomish priests and their atten- 
dants read^ to join them, bearing with them all that was usual on 
Buch occasions. 

When the funeral train arrived at the entrance of the burial- 
ground, the Bomish procession, as it had been a^preed, paused, while 
the body and the accompanying friends passed in ; but the priests, 
divesting themselves of their sacerdotal robes— fts a mark of atten- 
tion—followed within the enclosure, as private individuals, and le^ 
mained during the whole ceremony in the most respectful silence.* 
When the procession reached the spot selected for the interment, 
the coffin was placed on high tressels, and the ceremony commenced. 
But when they came to the moment when the body was to be 
lowered into the grave, the pang of parting was so great, that Sir 
Boland, who acted as chief mourner, involuntarily laid a restrain- 
ing hand upon the pall, and leaned his head for a moment on the 
eomn. There was a pause— for all felt affected ! The great change 

* nils account of the conduct of the Bomish priests was given to the author 
by an English clergyman, who was called upon, some ftw years ago, to hnry 
an £ng^sh Ftotestant in part of the Austrian dominions, and exhibits a degree 
of liberality and courtesy scarcely to have been ezpeoted. 



106 Slfi EOULNI) ASHTOX. 

that had taken place latterly in the deceased was yery generally 

known amongst the English at ;, and they were all acquainted 

with the devoted attention that Sir Roland had shewn towards 
him. When, therefore, after a moment, he recovered his self -pos- 
session, and raising Ms head, motioned tor the hody to be removed 
— there was not one in all the assembly that dia not look on Ms 
pale and expressive countenance, .with feelings of the steong^est 
sympathy and admiration. He was, however, wholly unconscious 
of it, for Ms eyes were bent on the ground ; and he remained com- 
posed and coUected during the rest of the ceremony, though a 
shudder passed over him as the heavy, duU, fall of the earth, 
soimded on the coffin-lid. 

When all was concluded* Mr. Singleton addressed a few words 
to those assembled. He spoke of the deceased — of his great 
abilities, and high attainments; but reminded them how these 
qualities had failed in making him either happy in Mmself, or he- 
loved bj others, until that " wisdom wMch is from above," and 
which IS "peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated," had 
shone on Ms mind, and made him a new creature. He recalled to 
them how, a few short months before, they had seen him whose 
body they had just consigned to the eartii, amongst them, in aU 
the strength of youth and health— and besought them " to watdi 
and pray,'* lest their summons should come when they looked not 
for it. He paused a moment— then raising Ms hand, and speaking 
in the fulness of Ms heart— his powerful voice gaining energy from 
the Mgh feeling wMch possessed him, he exclaimed— 

" Oh ! Lord Gt)d, suffer not these — ^the work of Thine hands, to 
perish ! let not their souls sink in the darkness of sin and destruc- 
tion ; but redeem them unto Thyself, through Christ's most pre- 
cious blood." 

A murmured " Amen," rose from every lip. 

Before the assemblage left the burial-groim.d. Sir Roland and 
Mr. Singleton passed over to the side where the Romish priests 
were standing, and thanked them for the kindness and courtesy 
they had shown ; and added, that the^ should be happy in any way 
to snow their gratitude for a token of respect so little to have been 
looked for. " And if," added Mr. Sin^eton, '* in the course of 
our acquaintance, any discussion ever arise concerning the dif- 
ferences in our faith and feelings, let us pray &r the pow^ of the 
Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth." 

Sir Roland, Mr. Singleton, and Mr. Soott, lin^rered till all the 
others had left the bunal-ground, and remained lor a time in the 
<iuiet of its sedusion, conversing on the themes ever most interest- 
ing to thenij and examining many of the monuments around — 
where affection had, as usual, striven in vaiious ways to c<Hn- 
memorate the virtues of the deceased, and to express its own deep 



As they were considering one Mgh and handsome tomb. Sir 
">1and was surprised at seeing a man enter the enclosure, and, 
after looking suspiciously around, advance straight to Ihe spot 
where the body of Mr. Anstruther had been hud. He stood re* 



SIB SOLAJTD ASHTOK. lOT 

ffardmg it for some time, with his arms folded aoroes his breast ; 
but it would have been difficult to have defined the emotions that 
elouded his countenance. The expression was altogether most re- 
pellent, though the features were strikin^lv handsome. As his 
appearance excited no particular interest eitner in Mr. Scott or his 
cousin, thev walked slowly away together, not wishing to be inter- 
rupted in their own thoughts and conversation ; but such was not 
the case with Sir Koland — one glance had sufficed to tell him who 
the stranger was : and his heart sickened at the' conyiction, that 
the wretched father of Mr. Anstruther stood before him ! The 
likeness was so strong that he could not be mistaken. There was 
the some outline of feature — the same harsh expression, which 
used in former times to be seen in his friend— the same tsiL figure 
— and the same peculiarly gentlemanlike appearance, which shone 
conspicuous even though tne almost threadbare garments in which 
he was attired. 

Sir Eoland was so much concealed by the monuments, amongst 
which he was standing, that he was at first unperceived b^ the 
stranger ; but after a few minutes, the latter, utterin? a bitter 
man, raised his head, and his eye then encountered tnat of Sir 
Koland, who remained, as it were, spell-bound at the sight of him. 
He started — and it seemed as if a momentarv faintness came over 
him ; but recovering himself, he instantly advanced to Sir Roland, 
and addressing him in a haughtv- manner, said — 

" I am speaking to Sir Holand Ashton V* Sir Roland bowed in 
reply; ana the other continued in an excited manner — "You, 
then, I have to thank lor doing idiat it was my place to have 
done — ^watching over Mm " — and he pointed to the grave. 

'* I was with him, certainly, during his illness, answered Sir ' 
Roland. 

" And it was you then, doubtless, whom he charged with his 
dying curse for his father ! " 

" Far &om it," replied Sir Roland, greatly ^oqked; " his last 
feelings for you were those of strong interest." 

" They must have been his last then, indeed," returned the other, 
wilh a taunting laugh. 

**! had seen but little of him for many years," continued Sir 
Roland, endeavouring to soothe the evidently excited state of the 
stranger's mind, " but when he menlioned you to me during his 
last iDness, it was witii much feeling ; and at his request, I wrote 
off to every city in Europe, where I had any friends, to endeavour 
to discover where you were." 

" In Paris !" said Mr. Anstruther, gloomily. " I have been there 
for years." 

" No less than three letters of inquiry have I directed there» 
within the last month," rejoined Sir Roland, ** but I could gain no 
tidings of you." 

** Tidings ! no ! " exclaimed Mr. Anstruther, with a shout of 
derision — "how could you hope to discover any one devil (and he 
nound his teeth as he spoke) from out of the legions that infest 
th&t accursed, infernal place? What did he want of me?" he 
continued furiously ; "he who was pampered with all life's lu^"- 



108 SIB BOULISTB ASHT02r. 

ties, whilst I gambled, robbed, plundered, for my dafly bread—and 
failed to ffet it." 

Sir Roland ooidd scarcely restrain bis horror and indignation at 
this extraordinary avowal ; but perceiving that the stranp^er was 
evidently almost unconscious of what he said, and pitying the 
destitution which could have led to such a course — ^remembering 
too, the dying requ^ of his Mend, he oontrolled himself, aia 
answered calmly, — 

** He wished much to know where you were, in order, if possible, 
to be of use to you^ he thought inaeed, that if you knew of his 
dving state, you might come to see him, perhaps, once again; but 
if not, he begged me, if ever I met you, to endeavour— to speak — 
to say— what joy and happiness he had found at last, in the 
knowledge and love of God." 

"There is no God— there can be— there shall be no God!" 
ejaculated Mr. Anstruther frantically, raising his clenched hands 
to heaven, as if he defied the Omnipotent ! 

Sir Eoland was horrified and scarcely knew what course to 
pursue with the distracted being before nim. He was thankful, 
nowever, that his two companions were at a distance; for though, 
xmder other circumstances, he might have been glad of their 
presence and assistance, yet as it was, he was happy that they 
were not witnesses of the conversation he was holding with the 
stranger; as tenderness towards the memory of his friend made 
him averse to his father's state and circumstances becoming known 
to any but himself. He therefore endeavoured to soothe the 
wretched man, and asked him, in a kind voice, how he happened 
to be in just at that time. 

*' I have been here above a week," answered Mr. Anstruther, 
Bullenly. "I knew he was ill" (and he glanced at the fresli- 
tumed earth close to which he again stood) ''so came— I know 
not why— but yet I came. About a month ago I heard he was 
dying; I heard it in one of the hells (fitly named!) of Paris ! — 
—heard it from one of high name, who honours those abodes with, 
jhis presence — one whose associate I used to be, though now, of 
course, he does not know me. However, I heard it there! I 
heard, too, from him, there — ^there in that devilish place, that you 
—Sir Koland Ashton, were tending him like a brother. He said 
too— while a fiendish laugh echoed around from his companions as 
he spoke— that you were making a saint of him I I could have 
murdered him as he stood ! — ^But it was there I heard it. I had 
reasons for wishing to leave Paris— so thought to turn my steps 
Jiere, thouffh I hardly know why, for I never loved him, and he! 
— ^he hated me with the deadliest hatred! and well he mightr— 
well he might !" And the wretched man raised his eyes with i» 
"bitter look to heaven. " Still he was mine," he continued, " and 
the only thing I had on earth ; so I sought to be near him— and s* 
I was— yes ! as near as Lazarus was to l)ives !" — ^And he laughed 
ficomfolly. — " I lingered unobserved near his house — his house— 
the Embassy-house— the great man's house — the resort of princes, 
and nobles, and crowned heads 1 I uras there--a starved and out- 



SIB EOLAITD ASHTOIT. 10$ 

cast being, where lie was revelling in life's Inxuries— and— and^ 
dying." 

He paused, and Sir Roland, mucli moved, inquired wliy He had 
not made it kaown that he was there ? 

"Did I not know," exclaimed Mr. Anstmther, his eye again 
idndling with fdry, "that he hated me!— And yet I thought I 
would toy, at least, to ask how he was — and, had my courage not 
failed me, I might, perhaps, at last— have sent for you." 

"Would to God you had!" exclaimed Sir Roland, much 
agitated. 

" Yes," continued Mr. Anstmther, with a softened expression, 
" stranger as you were, I felt I could sooner trust to you than to 
my own — only child !" A convulsive burst of agony stopped his 
utterance ; and Sir Roland, pained beyond measure, would have 
approached him; but perceiving his intention, Mr. Anstmther, 
iresuming his stem, haughty manner, exclaimed, — 

" I want no pity— will have none V* 

After a pause, lie continued, " I thought, as I was saying, that 
I would try and inquire how he was, and I approached the gate of the 
court-yartt; but at the instant, one, in the royal livery, must needs 
brush by, and in a loud and authoritative tone, ask after *the 
secretary.' I waited for the answer with shaking limbs; — *No 
better.' Another time I lurked near, thougrh iinsem, and again 
had to listen for the reply given to a — stranger ! At last, having 
rested all one dreary mgnt under the gateway, I watched in the 
morning for signs of stir and life in the house, and— for the first 
time, ventured myself to ask for him* — It was well — it was right 
—that to me first should be spoken the word of deatli;— that on 
my ear first shoidd fall that chill, dull, fearful sound! Yes— he 
was dead !" And the uuhappy man covered his iiicc with his 
hMids, and shuddered. " I know not what I felt,*' ho continued; 
" all was blank and cold^ within, and around. I have scarcely 
tasted food since that hour. j. l- liil I once loae si^Kt of the house 
till I saw the funeral com ^ Mntithia morninfl'. I f^aw the coflRn 
that held him," (and he looked for a moment down on the ground) 
" and I saw you— for I fcaew it must be you— again holding the 
place I should have held — chief mourner! I followed at a 
distance, for," he continued with a bitter smile, holding out his 
arm, "what had garments like these to do, by the side of peers 
and princes } I watched till, as I thought, all had left the burial- 
ground, and then came here— to die !" 

** You are exhausted, Mr. Anstmther," said Sir Roland kindly, 
"food and rest will restore you to, I trust, happier thoughts; come 
home with me.^ 

"I have no home !— nor will I go with you," he answered with 
despairing violence. " You have already heaped coals of fire on 
my nead oy what you have done for htm» Go — go j/ou to your 
home, for you deserve a home," and his features quivered con-^ 
vulsively; "but no power on earth moves me from this plaor 
aHve V* 

"It was your son's earnest request," said Sip Roland, witb 



110 Sm BOIAITD ASHTOF. ^ 

strong emotion, " tiiat if I ever met with you, I should try to speak 
to you the words of pardon and of peace. ' 

** Peace !" exolaimed Mr. Anstruther, '* what is peace > I know 
enough of your Scriptures to know that they say—- and truly— 
* there is no peace for the wicked.' Pardon ! — ^pardon for me — me — 
who murdered my wife, and sought to murder hia soul V* And he 
stamped his foot with fury on the side <^ the grare, shrieking 
with a shout of derision/ ** Pardon for me l" 

Mr. Scott and Mr. Singleton had wandered away a short dis- 
tance, before they discovered that Sir Roland was not with them; 
and when at length they turned, and saw him in deep conversation 
with the stranger, they thought it possible that it might be some 
one with whom he was aoquainteo, though he was unknown to 
them, and they therefore continued their waJk, and kept aloof for 
some time ; till at length, Mr. Anstruther's loud tone catching their 
ear, they became surprised, and even alarmed, at his vehement 
gestures, and hastened forward to join Sir Boland. Seeing them 
advance rapidly from amongst the graves and monuments, and 
nervously apprehensive lest they should discover who the stranger 
was — Sir Koland, by an almost imperceptible gesture and glance 
of the eye, endeavoured to keep them back ; smd Mr. Anstruther 
continuing to speak in a loud, excited manner, he said to him, in 
a low tone ; *' We will talk together of these things another time, 
these gentlemen are strangers to you." 

But Mr. Anstruther, in whose eye the forv of madness burned, 
exclaimed aloud, throwing his arms wildly above his head, — 

" What are strangers to me ! — all are strangers. I fear no one ! 
— ^let those who have hope— have fear— -I have neither ! This wiU 
set all at rest," and he drew forth a pistol which he held high in 
the air. 

Sir Roland sprang forward to wrest it, if possible, from his 
hand; but quick as lightning the maniao dropped it to the level 
of his breast, exclaiming — 

"Advance another step, and I send this ball through your heart." 

Sir Roland's cheek became white as ashes, and ms pulse for a 
moment ceased to beat ! 

Mr. Scott, in an agony of terror, rushed forward to place himself 
before his friend; but uie latter held him back with the msp of 
a giant, and by a motion of his hand on his arm, directed! him to 
go round the tomb near which he was standing, wishing him, if 
possible, to get behind Mr. Anstruther, which Mr. Singleton had 
done at the nrst moment of alarm. Sir Roland kept his unblench- 
ing eye full on that of the madman, while, in the deep tone of his 
persuasive voice, he said— but so low that only Mr. Anstruther 
could hear—** You would not injure his friend, pointing to the 
ipnve. 

**No ! no, no, no," hurriedly replied the wretched man, in 
quivering accents, as he gradually lowered the pistol — ** but no 
jne shall tear me from this spot alive." He raised the pistol to 
his head, as the glare of madness a^ain lighted up his countenance, 
out his arm was caught fr^m behmd by Mr. Smgleton; and Mr. 



SIR BOLAin) ASHTOIT. Ill 

Scott coming np at the same moment, they sacoeededin vneeting 
the deadly instrament from his hand. 

Thinking all danger past, they relaxed their hold; but the 
instant Mr. Anstmtner Mt his arm at liberty again, he drew forth 
another pistol, and before a hand conld be raised to preyent him, 
placed it to his breast— and fired ! 

Hie body sprang into the air; then fell forward on Uie fresh- 
made grave! 

Sir Koland covered his hce with his hands, and igfroaned in the 
agony of his spirit. His friends hastened to raise the bodv of the 
soiciae, but life was extinct ; the ball had passed throiigh the heart, 
and the life-blood of the miserable man was welling forth in 
tonenta— sinking deep into the Hght-strewn earth that covered 
the body of his son! 

Perceiving that all aid was vain, thev laid the corpse again on 
the ground, and hastened to Sir Eoland's assistance, for he was 
completely overcome, and had leant his head on the tomb that was 
near him, in almost a state of msenaibOity. 

"Take my arm. Sir Boland," said Mr. Singlet(»i, "and let ns 
leave this dreary place." 

Sir Roland made an effort to recover £rom the dreadful shock 
he had received; and taking the arm of his Mend, he tamed in 
tdlence to leave the bnrial-gromid. But before they had gone far 
he perceived that a crowd of persons, attracted by the report of 
the pistol, were mshing in at the gate; and the thonffht struck 
him, that if the deceased had any papers about him, tney might 
lead to the discovery of his name, wmcn was what he so anxiously 
desired te prevent. This fear gave him strength in a moment 
and with sudden energy he withdrew his arm £rom that of Mr. 
Singleton, and begging him to wait for him, returned with rapid 
steps to the place where the murdered body lay. 

*^What would you do^" said Mr. Scott, who hastened after 
him. 

" I must see if he had any papers," replied Sir Boland, hur- 

*' Wlr^ } what can it signify ? Let others £nd them ; why harass 
yourself?" 

"I must have them," answered & Boland, with a gesture of 
impatience. 

" Let me search, then, for you," said Mr. Scott, as they arrived 
at ihie fatal spot ; and resting one knee on the ground, he proceeded 
to examine the garments of the deceased. In doing so, his eye 
rested on the fine features, and the likeness instantly struck him. 
He started; and, looking up to Sir Roland with an expression of 
surprise and horror, was about to make an exclamation, when the 
latter earnestly silenced him, for by this time some of the crowd 



" There is not the vestige of a paper," he said. 
" Thank God," murmured Sir Aoland : " tell them so." 
Mr. Scott informed the people around of th^ fact, and the two 
friends then passed on. 



112 filK BOLAJfD A6HT(»r. 

" Forgive me, Scott, for being bo impatieiit with you," said Sir 
Eoland. 

" Don't think about it," answered Mr. Scott, kindlv pressing the 
arm that Held his; "I shonld have been dead, I tnink, if Ihad 
been in your place." 

" It has been terrible, indeed," replied Sir Roland* " having all 
along had the knowledge which you have but just acquired. But 
as you love me, Scott, mention it to no one — ^not even to Singleton. 
I feel for Anstruther ashe would have felt for himseli^ had he been 
alive, poor fellow !" 

They then rejoined Mr. Singleton, who had, during their ab« 
sence, been accosted by one of the guard, with inquiries concerning 
the disastrous occurrence which had taken x>lace. He related aU 
the circumstances, as far as he was acquainted with them, and 
begged that, if possible. Sir Roland might be spared any interro- 
gations for the present, as he had been so much overcome by the 
mghtful event. Sir Roland, coming up with Mr. Scott at that 
moment, thanked him for his consideration, and informed the 
guard that no papers of any kind had been found on the per- 
son of the deceased; and fervently did he trust that no clue would 
ever be afforded which could lead to the discovery of the unhappy 
man's identity. 

When he arrived at home, he felt thoroughly exhausted. 

" I shall leave you, Sir Roland," said Mr. Singleton, " to Scott's 
care ; he is, I know, an excellent and silent nurse (rare perfection !) 
and you must need rest both for mind and body. You have gone 
through very much to-day." 

**I shall go to my own room, too," said Mr. Scott, " for there ia 
nothing like perfect quiet ; so pray rest ; and may God be with you, 
my dear Ashton — as ne assuredly will." 

Sir Roland confessed that he should like to be alone, for his 
mind was troubled in no small degree, and he needed the refresh- 
ment of prayer. After a time he told his man to ask Mr. Anstru- 
ther' s servant to go and see what had been done respecting the 
unhappy suicide ; the news of whose miserable end had reached 
the Embassy-house long before Sir Roland had returned there — 
**0r no," he continued, "I should prefer your going yourself^ 
Thompson— and iell "Wilson I would thank nim to wait on me, 
instead of you. Make arrangements, if you can," and a shudder 
passed over him, "for having this unfortunate man buried re- 
spectably, and I will be answerable.— But do not let him lie near 
— ^Mr. Anstruther." 

Sir Roland made this arrangement resecting the servants in the 
Hear that, if WiLson saw the body, he mi^rht observe the likeness 
to his late master, which was so very striking in death; whereas 
his own man. not having seen Mr. Anstruther since his last fatal 
attack, would not so readil^r be struck with the resemblance ; and 
Wilson was well satisfied with the change, for he had felt a sincere 
regret at his master's death, and was better pleased, after the 
funeral, to be employed about the living than the dead. 

Sir Bx)land, the next day, gave Mr. Scott an outline of the elder 
Mr. Anstwither's history, as far as he was acquainted with it, re- 



. SIB BOLAKB ASHTON, 113 

newing Ms request that lie would be silent on the subject to every 
one. It was a recital calculated to excite the greatest horror 
in a Christian breast, and Mr. Scott was greatly smiocked at hear- 
ing it. 

•* I wish I had known earlier," he said, " who it was you were 
talking to, so as to have taken part of the burthen off from you; 
for it must have been dreadful, Knowing who he was, to see him in 
that state of excitement, and to have to bear it alone." 

" It was terrible," replied Sir Roland ; '* and I should have been 
very glad to have had you and Singleton by me, only I dreaded 
your discovering who he was. That apprehension was as trying — 
or more so— than the sight of him ; though it is frightful to witness 
the workings of insanity in any one— and in this case the whole 
circumstances were so harrowing !** 

" Tell me, Ashton," asked Mr. Scott, " what did you feel when 
lie levelled the pistol at your breast ?" 

"What did I feel? Why, deadly fear, to be sure ! What could 
you have expected me to feel ?" 

"Why, * deadly fear,' certainly— at least, I think I should have 
felt it; but not having ever been put in that situation, I could not 
tell from experience, so I wanted to know your sensations— for I 
knew you would tell me the truth." 

"My deliberate opinion," said Sir Roland, "is, that death, to a 
Christian, is better than life in its best estate; for to him * to be 
absent from the body, is indeed to be present with the Lord.' But 
when a violent death is suddenly presented to one, I could scarcely 
believe — judging from my own sensations — ^that any man could 
remain wholly unmoved and fearless. Human nature shrinks 
from the act of death, under all circumstances ; and the sudden, 
forcible rending asunder of soul and body— in cold blood especially, 
must always be a thing harrowing to every nerve. I remember 
a very spirited officer saying, * it was useless to pretend that sol- 
diers felt no fear in danger — ^unless, perhaps, in the heat of battle 
—but that he was the Dravest man who could best conceal and 
control his fear.' " 

" Well, you certainly concealed and controlled yours yesterday, 
Ashton, for not a step did you move." 

" Standing still was my best chance, you will remember. But 
it is a painful subject to me, Scott, fresh as it now is in my mind; 
for the fearful end of that unhappy man— or rather the fearful be- 
ginning of his worse state — ^iills me with horror I How unlike the 
feelings that accompany the thoiu^hts of his son's death ! — thei/ are 
aU joy, as far as he was concerned— though it is inconceivable how 
much I feel his loss. But the two events are at present so mixed 
together in my mind, that the one poisons my enjoyment of the 
other ! How remarkably, in this case, have the ways of the Al- 
mighty borne out His words :— the -wife's unfaithful marriage so 
fearfully visited !— the mother's faithful prayers so fully an- 
swered ! 

An officer of justice called in the course of the day to take Sir 
Roland's deposition, and ^at of his friends, concerning the un-^ 

I 



114 6Ifi HOLAKD ASHTOy. 

Lappy ooonirence whicli had taken place the day before ; but Hiere 
Beemed not the sHghtest suspicion as to who the stranger was ; and 
the questions whion were put were, happily, not such as to oblige 
Sir Koland or Mr. Scott to betray the Knowledge they possessed^ 
which was a great relief to the mind of the former. 

A plain but handsome monument was soon after erected by Sir 
Boland oyer the spot where George Anstruther's remains rested ; it 
bore a simple inscription, stating his name and age, and that he 
died " trusting in the merits of the Lord Jesus dmst ;" and at 
Ihe conclusion there was earved that encouraging text, so pecu- 
liarly applicable in his case—" Cast thy bread upon the waters, for 
thou shatt find it after many days."* 



CHAPTEE XVI. 

** Oh, shame beyond the bitterest thoogiit 
ThAt evil spirit ever fram'd, 
That sinners know what Jesos wronghtt 

Tet feel their haughty hearts nntam'd-- 
That souls in refuge, holding by the cross, 
^lould wince and firet at this world's little loss."— Eeble. 
*' Tien dletro a me, e lascla dir le gentl ; 
Sta oome toire flerma, che non crolla, 
Giammal la dma per sofllar de* ventL" 

pAJVTE: Purgatorio, CsoktoY, 
** And compassed with the world's too tempting blazonry.**— Kebijb. 

<* It is only the heart which is fixed on God which does not get bewildered o» 
the earth." 
" Separate yourself ftom what separates you firom God.'*-«-£ettres Chrmemnu^ 
** There's nothing here, there's nothing in all this 
To satisfy the heart, the gasping heart I 
« « « « 

These cannot be man's best, and only pleasures I"— Xk>i£RiixuE. 

A DAY or two after the events had taken place which we have 

recorded in our last chapter. Lord N-« — returned from , but 

only to announce a still lon^r absence, which he was about to 
maxe. He had business which oaUed him to England, and which 
might possibly detain him there for some months, and Sir Roland^ 
during that time, was to act as " charge d'affaires." 

It required all Sir Roland's patience to keep him from murmur- 
ing under this arrangement \ and indeed more than all— for he did 
murmur— and bitterly too, in his own mind, for he had folly pur- 
posed, as soon as Lord N— *— should return from his shcort ab- 
sence, to request to be allowed to go to England himself for a few 
weeks. He had stayed willingly at — *- as long as Mr. Anstrutlier 

* This text is supposed to adrert to the practice of scattering rice on the 
surface of the waters during the artificial irrigation of the land, by which 
means t&e grain, sinking deep into the softened earth, brought fi>rth an 
abundant increase, when the temporary inundation bad subsided. 



SIR BOLAITD ASHUQiN, 116 

required his society, but now that that friend was laid in his quiet 
and hai^py grave, he felt a double desire to depart; and the thought 
of staying was more irksome to him a thousand limes than it had 
been before. He missed Mr. Anstruther so exceedingly — and the 
constant delightful occupation of tending and watching over him— 
that his heart yearned more than ever for those he loved — ^far 
away. He imbosomed his troubles to Mr. Scott; but when he 
had poured them all forth, he said, laughing — 

" JNow, how I hate myself for what I have been saying ! One 
has no idea how horrid one is, till one's thoughts break out into 
words ; then one begins to understand somewhat of the blacknesg 
of one's heart. How short-lived are its memories ! A little while 
ago, when poor Anstruther was dying, I felt as if I could forego 
chcerfnlly — so fall did I seem of love and gratitude — all diat Q-od 
Slight ever call upon me to give up ; or do willingly anything 
which he might set before me to do : but now, the moment my 
Irishes are thwarted, up springs the old, thankless, detestable 
nature again ! And I felt so desperately cross too, with my kind 
nncle, who I know would not intentiimally vex me for worlds ! 
He tries me oertainl^^but it is, not knowing what he does. But 
God tries me, knowing fall well what He does ; and what folly 
and madness it is to repine at His dispensations— merciful and 
kind as they invariably are. Pray take a sponge, Scott, and wash 
out from the * tablets of your memory* all that has passed within 
the last quarter of an hour, and you will see how wonderfolly 
well I shall behave all the rest of the time." 

Lord IST had indeed, no idea of the sacrifice he was exacting of 

Lis nephew, in obliging him to remain at , for he was totally 

innocent of having ever even suspected his attachment to Lady 
Constance Templeton. A conscious feeling had always made Sir 
Boland enclose his letters to her, in thosene sent to his mother, or 

to Lord St. Ervan ; and Lord N had been so little in England 

of late years, that Lady Constance's existence even was scarcely 
remembered by him. As it was however there was no help for 

it— and Lord IS must needs go, and Sir Roland must needs 

stay ; and the latter kept his word most conscientioualy to Mr, 
ficott, and behaved ** wonderfully well," during all the prepara*- 
tions for the journey. But when the carriage which was to con- 
vey Lord N to England, actually came to the door,— and what 

was worse, actually drove off on its homeward destination with, 
"decidedly," as Sir Eoland thought, " the wrong person in it" — a 
violent irruption of splenetic combustion seemedT about to take 
place. He tried to laugh himself out of it, but that utterly failed 
(it was no laughing matter to him, poor fellow !) and reasoning 
was just as bad ; so he told Mr. Scott, with a smile, " that he 
must go and take the matter seriouslv up, for that it would never 
do to be so beaten, and by such a trine.' 

He did go, and "took the matter seriously ui;)," for he felt 
almost alarm"ed at the power which so slight a tmng as the post- 
ponement of his wishes for a few months, exercised over him. He 
went to Mr. Anstruther*© apartment, which was now his favourite 

I 2 



116 HB, BOLAKD ASHTON. 

sitting-room, and there looked into his own heart with ahamo 
and fear. 

" Is it possible," he thought, " that I have forgotten all the 
lessons I so lately learnt in this spot ? Can I so soon sin against 
FiTn who then shewed me such mercy ? What if God, iustiy dis- 
pleased at my wayward folly, my deep ingratitude, should, in very 
fEiithfulness, afflict me more sorely, even as regards her^ and shew 
my weak and wiKul heart that it must learn to bear — ^and to 
resign ? How could I hope then, to possess my soul in patience, if I 
cannot now brook this light disapnointment ?** And leaning his 
face on his hands, he prayed eamesuy that faith and temper might 
not give way before tnis, so slight a trial. 

" Why should we not go to religion for the loss of our temper as 
well as for the loss of our child !" asks that mistress of the human 
heart, Hannah More. Ah ! if all would but do so, what a smilinff 
face would this world wear, compared with its present fretful ana 
frowning look ! Evil passions destroyed in their birth, would then 
never live to " set the course of the world on fire ;"— man, ceasing 
to ** hate his brother without a cause," would never become a mur- 
derer i and godliness and peace would again reign in the earth 1 

** Ah belU pace I 

Ah, de* mortali universal Bospiro ! 

Se 1* nom ti conoscesse, e piu geloso 

Fosse di te 1 riprenderia suoi dritti 

Allor natura: vi saria nel mondo 

Una sola famiglia ; arbitro Amore 

Beggerebbe le cose, nh ooperta 

TitL dl deUtti si Tedria la terra." •^MoiiTi. 

That ** trifles form the sum of human things" (another of Hannah 
More' 8 excellent sayings) all will acknowledge ; yet how few act as if 
they believed it ! For one hour which is agonised by fearful mefs, 
or torn by afflictive bereavements, how many thousands do we 
spend in oppressive and stinging bitterness, owing to the tempers— *- 
selfish, m^gnant, unfeeling — of ourselves or others ! 

" Ah ! ma am," said an unfortunate servant to his late mistress 
{he having in an evil hour been induced to marry a violent and 
Quarrelsome wife) " in former times, if there was any disturbance 
in the house, I could go into my own room, and shut the noise 
out ; now, I shut it in r A bad case, certainly ; yet not so bad as 
when the noise is — not only in our room, but in our heart ! If ** a 
contentious woman is," as Solomon says^ " like a continual drop- 
ping"— of water, a contentious heart is like a continual dropping — 



• "Ah! lovely Peace! 

Ah ! of mankind the universal sigh ! 
If men bnt knew Thee — and more Jealous were 
Of Thee I Nature her rights would re-awert, 
In all the world there would be found but one 
Sole family. Love, the blest arbiter. 
Would govern all things — ^nor the Earth again 
^e her fair surface blotted o'er with crime" 



SIX BOLAND ASHTON. 117 

of fire, wastingr, Mackeninff, desolating: all within ; and consuming, 
in misery, aU the goodly fael which a gratjions God has so richly 
providea, to keep aliye the cheerful hlaze of kindly smiles, ana 
of hright and warm affections ! 

Sir Roland was wise therefore, and faithful to himself and to 
his God, to check with a strong hand the first heginnings of evil ; 
and when, having implored the washing of Christ's hlo<xl, and the 
strength of His Spirit, he was again enahled to commit himself 
and Ms every interest to the care of his heavenly Father, he felt 
once more tranquil and at peace ! 

" Lord 1 what a change within ns one short hour. 
Spent in thy presence, will arail to make ; 
What burdens lighten, what temptations slake, 
lYhat parched ground refresh as with a shower! 
* We kneel, and all around us seems to lower— 

We rise, and all the distant and the near 

Stand forth in sunny outline, brave and clear ; 
We kneel, how weak 1 werise, howftillof poweri 
Why, therefore, should we do ourselyes this wrong, 
Or otiiers, that we are not always strong ! 

That we are ever oyerbome with care, 
That we should ever weak or heartless be. 

Anxious or troubled, when with us is prayer* 
And Joy, and strength, and courage, are with Thee.*** 

New trials, however, awaited Sir Roland, arising from the situa- 
tion which he now occupied at .^ As a subordinate, he had 

l)een allowed to take his own way with tolerable impunity ; but 
now that he was left ' en chef,' he was, of course, much more under 
observation. He had alwajs, as in duty bound, attended at coiut> 
and when invited, at the dinners and occasional evening narties of 
the sovereign at whose capital he was residing ; and uiose who 
were unacquainted with his character and principles, imagined 
fhat it was only shyness at first, and then his continual attendance 
on Mr. Anstruther, which had prevented his joining in all their 
gay amusements. Great, therefore, were the expectations formed 
of what was to take place, when one so young, and so rich, should 
hold the reins in his own nands ! Many^ an anxious mother, and 
gay, joyous daughter, looked forward with delight to the brilliant 
Vf^tes' which it was thought 'lebeaumimstre ^glais,' ('The hand- 
some English minister,') would of course give for their amusement ; 
and *bals costumes'— 'courses 4cheval'—*th€&tres de soci§t§'— 
(•Fancy balls,/ 'races,' 'private theatricals,') 'f6teschamp^tres,'&c. 
glancel in bright and rapid succession through the enchanted brain 
of many a fair out thoughtless being, who seemed unconscious that 
she was formed for nobler purposes, than iust to flutter— and to i&de ! 

But Sir Koland resolutely refused, eitner to attend the late par- 
ties given by others, or to swell the number of them himself. He 
gave frequent dinners, and early evening parties, which were 
always exceedingly agreeable ; but beyond tl^t rational mode of 
exgoying society ne would not go. He had to encounter argument 

• Rer. R. C. Trench. 



118 SIB BOLAin> ASHXOH. 

irpon argument, remonstrance upon lemonsfaranfie,—- but nothnur 
snook him ; ana the amiability of temper with which he bore all 
the frequently iiritating things that were said to him, generally, 
in the end, disarmed his assailants, and turned their wrath into 
admiration. 

At length, all other efforts having failed, a yoitng, mamed 
English lady, of high rank and sreat beanty, Yolnnteered, as a 
*' forlorn hope," for one final assaiut. Lady Stanmore reigned as a 
sort of queen over the sode^ in which she moved ; and, beinx 
acoostomed to see all aronna submitting to her sway, dhe haa 
acquired some faint idea that no one oould resist her wisnes. From 
natural kindness of heart— for she was most sweet and amiable iu 
manners and disposition — she had been very attentive to Mr. 
Anstruther during his last illness — continually calling to inauire 
after him, and sending him anything which she thought likely to 
promote his ease or amusement. The obiect of these kind atten- 
tions had, indeed, many a time turned wim a sickening mind from 
the Yolumes of new publications she had sent for his perusal, 
though he felt the pudTiflMi and amiability of her thou|:htful 
attentions : and often did he breathe a prayer for her, asking of 
God to enlist her warm and sympathetio hc«rt in His own blessed 
service. 

This attention on her part towards Mr. Anstruther, had estab- 
lished a sort of amicable feeling between her and Sir Roland, even 
before they had beoome persraially acquainted with each other; 
and she now trusted that the little claim it formed, might give her 
additional influence over him, and induce him the more readily to 
comply with her requests; and certainly her entreaties were 
rpartiy perhaps for that reason) those which he found it the most 
dmcult to withstand. She was confident of success, and boasted 
in anticipation, to the band of discomfited champions who had 
gone before her, that she was certain of reducing this " Timon," 
as she called him, to perfect subjection to her will; and that they 
would see that in less than a week, cards would be issued for a 
&ncy ball at the Embassy-house, die herself, after " unexampled 
solicitations," being induced, with Lord Stanmore as aide-de-camp 
(for she was wise enough to feel that a husband's side was the only 
safe place for a young married woman, and never went into publiG 
without him) to accept the station and duties of mistress of the 
ceremonies! 
, The evening after this bold declaration, she was to meet Sir 

Boland at dinner at the ambassador's; and then and there^ 

'did she determine to " carry" the hitherto impregnable fortress. 

Dinner concluded, she wiled Sir Boland away to a distant part 
ef the room, strolling from picture to picture, making observa- 
tions, and asking his opinion— so that, even had he wished it, he 
could not have declined accompanying her— and then when tiiey 
reached a deep-niched window, through which, spite of the blaze 
of lamps within, the last faint streaks of sunset were still dis- 
oenuble— whence they could 

** Gaze on the twilight's tender gray. 
Escaping unobaeryed awayt" 



SCR BOLAITD ASHTOIT. lid 

«he seated Herself; and said playfully, to Sir Boland, that slie Ixad 
nrnoh to say to him— matters of grayest import to discuss. 

*' I am all attention/' he said eonrteonsly ; whilst leaning 
against the open window he looked out on the quiet of the eyenuur 
}Miur. His thoughts flew for a moment to Ijigland, and a ^gk 
arose. He waited for Lady Stanmore to proceed, but she too» was 
silent! The themes she was about to enter upon, seemed so un- 
oongenial to the spirit of that gentle hour, that she felt she had 
1>een an unskilful fi^eneral in arraying her forces to such disadvan- 
tage. There was also something in Sir Roland's countenance and 
maimer, which, young as he was, bore great command ; and the 
iUgnitv of his mind, which, tiiough lively and animated, 3ret never 
yerged towards levity, acted as a restraint upon the follies of 
others. Lady Stanmore herself too, felt the influence of that cdlent 
scene; for hers was a heart formed by nature for all good and wise 
emotions, though crroumstanoes and education had placed her in a 
. situation which, with her great attractions, she found too fascina- 
ting to withstand. 

Ferceiving at length that she did not speak. Sir Eoland turned to 
ber, saying — 

** Is the subject you wore about to introduce, of so overwhelming 
« nature, that it deprives you of the power of speech. Lady Stan- 
more? or are you malidoualy collecting all your powers toget^ier, 
to destroy me at once by a ' coup de main ?' 

'* No," she replied, "my ar^fuments seem rather to have faded 
sway with that last ray of light.-*In short," she added, rallying 
her spirits to the onset, " i must resolutely turn away from 
* twilifirhf s sober livery,' and from that imploring moon which I see 
just nsingr through the trees, and return to the glare and blase of 
these lamps, if I hope for victory in the cause I am about to plead." 
And she sooilingly seated herself with her back to the windo^ 
having the brilliant room and its |^y groups just before her, and 
motioned for Sir Boland also to sit down. He obeyed; and ejie 



*I wisbed very much—- I wanted to say— I meant to ask ^ 

She could not get on, so laughing, thougn with some embarrass* 
nent, she exclaimed— 

" I shall never succeed in pleading my cause if I begin in this 
aetfe formal manner; so let us introduce the subject with a little 
preliminary nonsense ; though I am afraid, ' qu'u me faudrait Mre 
ioosles fraismoi-m^me' (that I must take all the burden on myself) 
in that case also ; fi)r you are never guilty of talking nonsense, are 
you?" 

"Ton underrate my powers cmeUy," replied Sir Roland. "It 
28 not my hourly study certainly; but there are, I assure you* fine 
specimens of that kind of oratory on record, of my production. 
Snt perhaps you would better like to have some grave, deep, philo- 
sophical subject started, from which your lighter fabric might rise 
with all the charm of graceful airiness. Shall I begin— as a pecn- 
liar-minded friend of mine did once to a young lady, whom he met 
for the first time at a dinner-table — and ask you *what your 
opinion is concerning the mode in which oysters derive their 
nourishment^'" 



120 SIK EOLAlTD ASHTOX. 

'* Yes ! I think that will do beautifally/* replied Lady Stanmore, 
smiling ; " any subject will shine after that ! But we will go on. 
by gentle degrees, and I shall parry your Mend's awful question, 
by asking in my turn, how people in this country can like to derive 
tneir nourishment from those lively animals, so very long after the 
creatures themselves have been * dead to aU sense of propriety;' it 
is horrible — dreadful ! It must be at least a quarter of a century 
since those we had to-day, have 'mourned' (though, alas! not 
• sweetly,*) * their parted sea !* Well, that may lead on to other 
dinner contemplations ; and dinners lead to conversation, and con- 
versation to society, and society to company, and company to 
amusements, and amusements to " 

" The point of attack," interrupted Sir Roland, laughingly. " I 
half suspected what the * grave subiect of discussion' was to be» 
from the very first ; and I was fully convinced of it," he added* 
in a quieter tone, " when I saw that you were forced to turn your 
contemplative eyes and softened feelings, from God's beautiful 
works out there, to this hot room and well-dressed conpany; 
— ^though perhaps, I am too free in reading what i>a8ses before 
me." 

'* Oh ! one is weak and sentimental sometimes,'* said Lady Stan- 
more, fearing that her arguments would again melt away from her 
^asp ; " the 'witching hour' of eve is all very charming, Then it 
IS arrayed in loveliness like that we looked upon just now; but 
those are things we cannot command ; black, stormy nights will 
come, as well as bright and stilly ones ; and when the mooa, which 
now, * apparent queen, asserts her matchless reim,' is ' hi! in her 
vacant mterlunar cave,' (one must be poetical of course ia talking 
of her)— why then the 'sable-stoled' night is a dismal thing ta 
look out upon. Kow, the bright gleam of lamps and smibs we can 
always command witJiin ; and it is surely wise to apply ourselves 
to wnat is in our power at all times, and not to depend for pleasure 
on what we cannot control l" 
She waited for Sir Roland's answer, and he replied — 
" I think indeed, it is wise— and the only wisdom— to look for 
happiness to that which we have it in our power always to com- 
mand. But perhaps 1 may be allowed to demur to ptrt of youx 
description as to what we can always command. Lamps, I will 
concede — ^but cannot smiles : I mean what you, of course, intend 1 
should mean — smiles of happiness. That smiles of eome kind» 
may always be commanded in the scenes you speak of, we wiU not 
dispute— smiles of gaiety, of vanity, of excitement— and may be 
sometimes of real pleasure ; but are they always smiles of happi- 
ness ? I need not ask you to believe me, when 1 venture t) assert 
that they are not ; a mind like yours, Lady Stanmore, will answer 
the question for itself, or I am mistaken— will tell you whe^iher the 
smiles you meet are not nnfrequentiy those of absent, heart-siok* 
ness !" 

^^ "I do not say," replied Lady Stanmore, not quite at her ease. 

that one is always positively, substantially happy at thoseplaoeB ; 

5S^ ? . IP^ °^^* confess that .a weU-lighted, brilliant ball-room, 

nlled with— out of compliment to you I will say only apparentbi^ 



Sm BOLANB ASHIOy. 12V 

fiy and happy beings— is an animatbg and ezHlaxating sight. 
on mil concede me t?Mt, at least V 

** I most draw largely on my imagination if I do/' said Sir 
Boland ; ** for I am afiraid you -wul reallv think me the 'Timon * I 
know you call me, if I venture to confess that I have never yet 
trostea myself within that magic circle." 

** Never been to a ball ! — ^really, never been to a ball !** exclaimed 
Lady Stanmore, in the greatest astonishment. " Ton don't mean. 
to say that ! I knew that yonr estates lay in ComwaU ; but I was 
not in the least aware that you had been broiigrht up in its mines I 
Do you reaUy mean that you have never, posiuvely never, entered 
a ball-room?" 

Sir Roland confirmed the terrible fact by a bow of profound 
humility, looking at the same time with a smiling eye to Lady 
Stanmore. 

"Well ! I suppose I am bound to believe that bow,*' she said v 
though I am ha^py to find you have grace enough not to put the 
shocking confession again into words. The case is really far worse 
than I had suspected ; the evil is deep-seated— firmly rooted, I fear« 
I thought I might have been able to have called back some fond 
zemembrance— to have reanimated some smothered embers in your 
oold heart ; but alas ! your mind is like Australia : * a land of no 
recollections.' What shall I do ^ I have nothing in common with 
you! 
" Oh, yes ! you have— much— much ; 

< The oommon air, the earth, the skies, 
To me are opening Paradiae ;' 

and so they are to you— I know they are : let us think of them, 
and then advocate your ball-room, if you can !" 

"Yes ! I can, ana will," said Lady Stanmore, yaily ; "notwith- 
standing that you think to flatter me into your opinion, by attribu*- 
ting to me all sorts of vulgar tastes. I wiU assert, and without 
fear of contradiction, that the ' common air ' is often uncommonly 
cold and disagreeable— that the * earth ' is often dirty and dreary 
— and the 'skies' often cross and gloomy; and so, with many 
thanks for fresh argument suppUed, I say again, 

• Tnm fhnn snoh Joys away. 
To those which ne'er decay,* 

—but which can be renewed at pleasure." 

'* Tou are a sad perverter of reason and poetry, I see,'* said Sir 
Boland ; ** but may I ask Lady Stanmore, what it is this discussion 
is meant to lead to ? Are you so very complimentary as to make it 
any point for me to appear at the f&te which I believe you are 
goinf to give next week ? or do you only wish to humble and dis- 
appoint me, by making me foil of anxiety for the invitation you 
intend to withhold ^ " 

** Oh, no ! I assure you I fly at nobler game — at least, not nobler, 
for you are the quarry that I seek— but though I should be de- 
lighted to see you at our house on Wednesday, yet I want a more 



123 SIB SOLAin) ASHTOIT. 

enlai^ed field of aotkm than one ' f dte ' can sapply. In short I 
want you to do, what you ought to do — contribute to the * gene- 
ral joy' of the whole society here. I want y;ou to open your 
fine apartments, and fill them with all that is enchanting in 
life. Now do. Will you give one party? Begin with the 
quietest kind: a concert — and then you will see liow pleasant 
it is ; and you will go on to balls, and — Oh ! you haye no 
idea how delightful you will find it — and everybody will be 
so enchanted with you ! — ' tous yous tuerez i force de plaire !' 
Now win you } " And she turned her animated eyes beseechingly 
on him. 

Sir Roland could not but return her look with a smile ; but it was 
a sad one, for he grieved to see that young and kindly heart given 
up to such follies ; (though across that shade of regret there shone 
for a moment the image of one still younger, and still lovelier, 
than the beautiful creature at his side— whose soul was raised tax 
above these things; and he blessed 0od that it was so.) He 
answered— though not tiU a sigh of mingled foelings had forced its 
way— 

*^ Ton have heard music at my house, Lady Stanmore.' ' 

" Oh, yes ! instrumental — some of these bands— and magnifiooit 
they are. But I want a real concert, with all the finest opera- 
singers, and ' five hundred invitations.' " 

''^I cannot do that," he said, gravely. 

"Why not?" 

"There are many reasons — some which I cannot discuss with 
you,'* he added, with a slight embarrassment. 

" Well, then, let it be a oaU !" exclaimed Lady Stanmore ; (who 
seemed to think with Sir Archy llacsycophant, that " every rerasal 
was a step ;") " do the thing handsomely at once— let it be a fancy 
ball! Ton should do something to atone for your past life off 
neglect ! Tour court-dress would do perfectly for you, so you 
need have no care about that ; and I, and Lord Stanmore, would 
take the whole trouble off your hands, if you liked it ; you should 
just keep out of your great apartments for a day or two, and then 
return — and find yourself in the palace of the fairies ! Ton can- 
not, t am sure refuse, when I am kind enough to make such an 
offer." 

" It is hard, indeed," said Sir Bolaad, "to refuse you anything; 
but nevertheless , I am afraid it must be done." 

" But why ! What reason can you have ? I will listen to every 
thing you have to say, sure of being able to answer all your ' un* 
answerable ar^ruments.' " 

" But what if I will not yield to reason, and determine to have 
my own way, simply on the old regal plea—* Le roi le vent ? ' (the 
kingso wills it,)" said Sir Boland. 

"^Hiy, then, I shall ^ve you up for ever, and, as the Gbrmaa 
lady said; ' leave yon die in your hole.' But that will not be the 
case I am sure. So now — do tell me what are your reasons ?" 

" Mentioning them would involve a graver discussion than might 
Xnrobably be agreeable to you," urged Sir Bolaad. 



Sm SOLAND JLSHTOir. 123 

Lady Stanmoie certainly shnmk from the idea of amy really 
serious sabject being started, so sought to parry it by sayine — 

*' Tou do not really mean that you think, because one likes- the 
eheerfol pleasures of life, that one must, therefore, be dead to 
nature and all her charms !" 

" Oh ! no, did I not sav that I knew you were aliye to them all } 
But the love of nature, though a more refined and ennobling taste 
than tiie delight in the — &rgiye me if I call them — fnyoloua 
pleasures of dissipation, yet is not a whit more spiritual, unless we 
look ' through nature uu to nature's God/ Poor Rousseau fondly 
thought he worshipped God on the moimtains,' because his sen- 
sitive, but unprincipled mind, was melted by the lovely tilings 
around him in those lovelyplaoes ; but what God did he worship ? 
surely not the God of the Christian ; — surely not the God who said, 
' blessed are the pure in heart ! * And I have a Mend who says he 
can 'worship God in the fields,' but ' cannot worship Him by Act 
of Parliament ' — as he calls going to Church. I confess I have 
never been able to discover his God in the fields ! I am more in- 
clined to agree with Lord Bacon, when he says, * I have sought 
Thee in courts, fields, and gardsns, but I have found Thee in Thy 
temple ;' though stOl more perhaps with Augustine, who says, * X 
sought Thee long in surrounding things, but when I looked within 
myself, then I found Thee.' Yes, Lady Stanmore, I know that jrou 
are alive to all these things, ana also — to all generous and land 
affections. I knew you by the latter character, you will remem- 
ber, before I had the pleasure of being personally acquainted with 
you." 

*' It was very little I did for him, i)oot fellow V* said Lady Stan« 
more, answering Sir Boland's meaniog, for she knew that he ad- 
verted to her attention to Mr. Anstruther ; "but I always felt more 
interested in him than others did— there always seemed heart in 
him, if one could but get at it. And then, when one is very pros- ' 
perous and happy oneself, one feels so much for those who are not 
so ; and there was something so sad in his early death — pining 
away— whilst we were dancing and singing around him— all but 
' you ;— you never left him !" 
I The colotir of emotion rose in Sir Eoland's cheek. 

I ** He would not have exchanged his painful death-bed/' he saids 

" for all the pleasxires this world could nave given him." 

*' Why }*' asked Lady Stanmore in astonishment. 

*' Because he felt it was the pathway to his Father's kingdom.— 
He had leamt to estimate life — and eternity." 

Lady Stanmore looked down in silence. 

" He offered up many a prayer for you. Lady Stanmore," con- 
tinued Sir Koland, withdrawing his eye from, ner softened coun- 
tenance, " that your steps might early "be led into the only path of 
• peaee and true lutppiness." 

Lady Stanmore turned to the open casement and leant out ; but 
not before a starting tear had marked her emotion. She was olent 
for a few minutes ; out soon recovering — ^though still looking from 
the window, ^e said — 



124 SIB SOLAITD ASHIOK. 

** But yon know, Sir Koland, Solomon says, * there is a time for 
all thin^ ;' and amongst those ' all thing^s, he names dancing.*' 

" But does he name the time for it }** asked Sir Roland. 

"No," replied Lady Stanmore, retoming again to her seat, and 
continuing with renewed gaiety, " therefore we are at liberty to ^x. 
that for ourselves ; and I say, that the time to dance * par excel- 
lence ' is — at my house next Wednesday — and at yours the Wed- 
nesday after ! So will you engage me for the first set of quadrilles 
on both of those occasions ?" 

" I will— if you will in conscience and honesty teU me that I 
am wrong in settling the ' time for dancing' to be, when we have 
nothing better to do. 

" When I offer my hand, I expect it to be accepted uncon- 
ditionally and thankjrally," said Lady Stanmore,igood-numouredly, 
though with somewhat of pique in her tone. 

" My dear Lady Stanmore," said Sir Roland, ** could I have 
accepted it, your offer would have been feltr— nay, it is felt, as most 
flattering, and would have been most gratefully received ; but you 
must remember that to avail myself of it, I must outrage all the 
main principles of my life." 

" On ! Sir Roland, what must yourprinciples be worth, if they 
can be overthrown by such a trifle ? They must be more out of the 
perpendicular already than the leaning towers of Saragossa or 
risa— literally tottering to their fall !" 

•* What would our great Duke have said," rejoined Sir Roland, 
*'if in the heat of the battle of Waterloo, he had perceived Lord 
HiU dressed in the French uniform? What would he — and all 
the two armies have thought ?" 

" Ah ! j'aper^ois le pi^ge qu'on me tend," (I perceive the snare 
that is laid tor me,) said Lady Stanmore, laughing, and shaking 
her head ; " so spread my wings and fly off, but only to settle down 
in some other place ; thongh I must say you are very modest," 
fihe added, looking archly at Sir Roland, " to compare yourself to 
one of the most distinguished of&cers in the army. 

'*! did not think of that," said Sir Roland, smiling, "it was 
merely that his was the first name that occurred to me ; and if 
I had gone into the ranks, I might have stumbled on ^e name of 
8haw, so that might not have saved me from your saroastio reproof 
either." 

" Ah ! but yon ^d people always do think so very much of 
3rour8elves ; you think ' surely we are the men, and wisdom shall 
die with us.' 

"Are you acquainted with many of our 'profession,' Lady 
Stanmore?" 

"No, you are the only one I know to speak to ; I bow to a few 
others here, but do not Know them." 

" Then even if you tiink me so vain and self-conceited, you 
fihould not include all in your censure. One whom you con- 
demn to ' the ranks,' ought not to be taken as a fair i^>ecimen of 
his army." 

" Oh ! but I know you are all alike in that ; all of you fancv 
yourselves like Atlas, bearing the whole world on your shoulders. 



SIB BOULITD ASHTON» 126 

* One often feels the weight of it certainly/' said Sir Eoland. 

"How?" 

" It is oppressive to the spirit, when one thinks, 'how,' in the 
words of Scripture, * the whole world lieth in wickedness ;' and 
when one sees how the love of it beguiles the best and loveliest ; 
and one feels its weight too in oneself, when it so often clogs the 
soul in its endeavours to rise above its ensnaring pursuits." 

The solemnity of his tone checked Lady Stanmore for a moment, 
but then she said — 

" But you all think everything depends on yourselves." 

"No, Lady Stanmore, forgive me, we do not think that; for 
-every hour teaches us we can do nothing of ourselves ; but we 
ought to atf^ as if we thought it ; as I read somewhere the other 
day, * Every man should feel as if the battle depended entirely 
on himself ! -—not that it depended, but as if it depended— there 
is a wide difference between the two." 

"You are a subtle reasoner, Sir Eoland.^ But why talk of 
battles at all, — above all, of Waterloo, that prince of battles ? We 
are now in tne ' silvery times of peace ;' and instead of trumpets 
«nd bayonets, I only .offer you sweet sounds and pleasant sights." 

" The warfare of the Christian, you must remember, is chiefly 
within," said Sir Roland; " and are you not. Lady Stanmore, at 
this moment, a very Napoleon ranging all your forces against 
me?" 

" To give me so high a rank is rather a questionable compli* 
jnent — coming from you," she answered, smiling ; ** it avows me 
oertainly great in power, but that is but to prove me pre-eminent 
in evil, according to your view ; for you rank me as belonging to 
the terrible armies of the world." 

" I have not ranked you amon^ them," said Sir Roland, " you 
have yourself claimed your station there. Would," he added 
earnestly, " that I coiild * transplant you out of the kingdom of 
tiiis world into the kingdom oi God ;' but it requires a stronger 
^rm than mine to effect that." 

There was a pause. Lady Stanmore would gladly have given 
xip the object sne had originallv in view, for she felt now but 
faint hopes of success ; and her better feeling were awakened by 
what Sir Roland said, in a way that was painful to her, because 
48he could not make up her mind to follow where they led ; but the 
thought of the mortification she would feel if she had to own to 
her friends that she had been defeated, made her determined to 
leave no effort untried which might at last give her the victory. 
She therefore soon began again in a gay tone — 

" But now. Sir Roland, do tell me when it is you think it possible 
that there may be ' nothing better to do than dance.' " 

" I thought so yesterday evening -, and so I danced." 

" You danced yesterday evening ! You actually danced ? 
Where ? Oh ! I know ! It must have been at the Opera— in dis- 
use — as one of the * corps de ballet! ' Your feet, * asserting their 
indisputable right to dance,' you could refrain no longer ! I see it 
all now— youp * besoin de sauter' (necessity of jumping) not being 
allowed tae^Bpoimte by the well-regulated safety-yalyes of private 



126 SIS SOLAND ASHTON. 

balls, beoomes oondensed, till, wheH at high pressure, it explodes 
on the stege, in spangled muslin and chaplets of roses !" 

" Ah ! 7;^ou have at length discovered my incognito !" said Sir 
Boland. ** What now remains for me ?" 

" Bnt now, do really tell me," said Lady Stanmore, ** where did 
yon dance ? or are yon only imposing on mr "weA mind ?" 

" No, I assure yon I did dance. Idanoea two quadrille s. " 

••And where r 

" At Lady Wentvorth's." 

*' Oh ! now I know you are leading me orer * bog and fell,' and 
I will follow you no farther." 

' ' No, really I did dance there. There was a set of children there ; 
but not enough to make up a quadrille by one, so I filled up the 
Tacant space, and we danced mostperseveringly to an old country 
dance which was all that Lady Wentworth, who was orchestra, 
could bring out of the stores of her memorv. There is nothing Tery 
dreadful now the marvel is out, is there r ' 

" No, but you are very provoking." 

"Why?" 

'•Because you are reasonable, and there is nothing so tormenting 
m existence as having to do with a reasonable person ; one must 
either submit to be considered wn-reasonable oneself, and that is 
bad enqugh, or one must, perforce, become reasonable oneself, and 
that is worse. ^ Nothing is so intolerable as reason ; it is like the 
railroad, running all on one level— no awful heights, no frightful 
precipices, to vary and enliven the scene— one nat dreary plain* 
with your object always in view, never lost in the dim, exquisite 
haze of tmcertainty^, so exciting and delightful, but always 'perch^ 
U,' vulgarly visible to all the world, as well as to yourseu. So 
now, that I have, I hope, reasoned you out of being reasonable, I 
will make one more effort to render you agreeable. ' 

Sir Boland smiled and bowed. 

" Are you content to leave the fashioning of your baU entirelv 
in my hands, or do you wish to have 'voix.au chapitre?' " — (A 
voice in council.) 

"Dear Lady Stanmore, let us drop this subject^ and torn to 
some other on which we might a^pree. 

'* No, no— not yet ! that beating of a retreat of yours sounds 
most inviting for a pursuit ; I am sore you feel your courage fast 
melting away." 

" On the contrary, it is to save l^e miserv of a triumph that I 
wish to pursue the subject no further," saia Sir Boland, smiling ; 
"unless, ' he added more gravely, "you will really talk of it in 
sober seriousness ;— then I have no injection to saying what I feel ; 
otherwise, we waste words to no purpose." 

" Are you going to claim the right of eldership, and lecture me ?" 
said Lady Stanmore, with a hesitatinff smile. 

"I may do so, you know," replied Sir Boland; "for I have, 
I know^ not how many years over my head more than you. 
I am, indeed, quite old enough to take orders," he added* 
noiling. 

"And I am old enough only to give them* I suppose." 



SLR SOLAin) A6HT0V 127' 

** Well, then, give them now ; and say whether we shall drop 
^s subject, or treat it as reasonable creatures." 

** As we have gone so far, I may as well hear all you haye i» 
say, and then yon shall listen to me ; and if I fiiil to oouyinoe 
you, we will th#n let the subject rest fereyer." 

" Will you open the case, then ?" 

"Why no — I think not— no, you shall begin, and tell me all 
your weighty objections to these things." 

"In the first place, then, theare is great expense attending: 
them ; an expense of means that might oe much more pr^tably 
employed." 

"I grant you that, perhaps, as regards a humble private indi- 
yiduaf like myself," said Lady Stanmore ; "but you are the repre- 
sentative, for the time being, of the greatest nation in the 
world, and in your case, therefore, such eonsiderations sayour of 
illiberaHty " 

" If the money saved were expended on selfish pleasures, I might 
perhaps deserve to incur that suspicion; but scarcely, I think, 
when But however, if vou tnink me illiberal, Lady Stan- 
more, I must perforce submit. ' 

Sir Koland spoke with rather a pained feeling, and a glow of pride 
stained his cheel^ for his munificence was known to be unbounded. 
Besides ^e large sums he spent in private ways, there wiere many 
pubHc works of charity and utility to which he had subscribed 
largely, and to which subscriptions ne had thought it right to affix 
bis name, in order that it mi^t not be said, that he lived in a quiet 
-way for the purpose^ of avoiding expense; for he felt that his 
country, as well as his religion, was in some degree implicated in 
his conduct. 

Lady Stanmore was shocked at the expression she had used ; for 
she knew how little Sir Koland deserved the imputation she had 
apparently cast upon him. She hastened to say— 

" Oh, no ! you know I cannot think you illiberal— -no one can 
do that ; your name is known too well, and seen too often, for any 
one to do that. Pray forgive my seeming, but most uninten- 
tional rudeness." 

" It is easy to forgive you anything, Lady Stanmore," replied Sir 
Boland, touched by her manner; "particularly when I feel the 
pride of my own heart require so much forgiveness. It is painful 
to feel how soon a word spoken against sel^ causes that smoulder- 
ing fire to blaze." 

" I was very; unjust," she replied, sweetly ; " but what I said was 
meant for foreign ministers in general, not for you." 

"Well, taking it for them then," repHed Sir Koland, good- 
humouredly ; "I think they might do more good to the places in 
which they reside than bv giving fttes and balls ; for even if 
there were no objection whatever to such parties of dissipation, 
surely it would redound more to the high estimation in which we 
all desire our country to be held by other nations, if each succes- 
sive minister were to leave behind him some lasting memorial^ 
ACcordinfi[ to his means, of good done to the country m which he 
liad resided. Do you think I am wrong in so viewing the subject 
AS far as expense is concerned }" 



128 SIB BOLAIH) ASHTON. 

** No, certainly not," said Lady Stanmore. " And yet, alas !" 
she exclaimed, lifting tip her hands in pretended dismay, " what 
does that most indiscreet admission involve ? My poor fabric is 
dispersed by it to the four winds." 

** Touched by IthnrieFs spear, so may everything that hides the 
light of truth from your heart, dissolve and vanish away/' said Sir 
Itoland, with a bright smile. 

"Thank you," said Lady Stanmore, gratefully; "I know you 
wish all for my cood. But now," she added, with a pretended 
sigh, " as I am reauced to the awful quiet of despair, I may as well 
listen to all you have to say, and get my lecture over at one sitting. 
I only wish I had given my fite^ ior 1 do not want my pleasure 
in it to be disturbed.'* 

" You will think me very hard-hearted then, I am afraid," said 
Sir Roland, smiling demurely, " if I say that I hope it may be 
disturbed." 

" Yes, I do think you very hard-hearted ; for, as you know you 
think we ball-goers will have no happiness hereafter, you should 
in common charity wish us to have as much as we can here." 

** Oh, do not speak lightly on those subjects, dear Lady Stan- 
more," said Sir Roland, earnestly; ** think what is involved in an 
* hereafter without happiness ' " 

"You are so very solemn, Sir Roland," said Lady Stanmore, rather 
startled ; " you talk as if you thought I were on the brink of the 
grave." 

" And who shall say that you are not on the brink of the grave ? 
I would truly have you ever remember that you may be so." 

" Then I snould be for ever gloomy and miserable. 

" No, you would not— when you Knew and felt that your trea^ 
sure lay on the other side of that grave." 

" But I cannot help having many treasures here, too. I have 
my mother — ^my husband — ^my child" — and the tears started into 
her eyes. 

" Enjoy them to the utmost," said Sir Roland, most feelingly: 
" they are Heaven's gifts, meant to be loved and cherished ; and 
God g:rant that they may form part of your treasure hereafter ! 
But will your enjoyment here be lessened by the certainty of possess- 
ing those pure ana sweet affections in heaven ? Here, you may be 
called upon to part; there — ^partings are unknown." After a mo- 
ment's silence he resumed, " Another strong objection to dissipated 
parties is the great temptations into which tney throw our servants, 
when we consider how much we are answerable for them whilst 
in our service, it is a fearful thing to expose them night after night 
to the force ojt almost every evil. I need not dwell on this objec- 
tion ; I am sure it must commend itself to every conscience not 
wholly dead to its great responsibiUties. Then for ourselves — 
these things come as mists and clouds between our souls and God. 
It is difficult enough to be sober-minded at any time— how much 
more so when we are surrounded by all most calculated to intoxi- 
cate the brain ! "We naturally acquire the tone of feeling of those 
witii whom we associate, and you, perhaps, know better than I do, 
Lady Stanmore, whether the conversation at those places is calcu- 



SIR BOLAlfD ASHTOSr. 129 

lated to lead tlie heart to God, or whether it is not rather likely to 
deaden all spiritual feeling^." 

" But," said Lady Stanmore, " the society at dinner-parties 
just the same. I am sore I never heard a word at any one of them 
which could do me any ^ood — except, perhaps, to-night," she 
added, looldn^ kindly at Sir Roland. 

*' You coula not even have heard that little in a ball-room," he 
replied. 
**Whynotr 

" Because those who love to speak of the things of Qod do not 
frequent ball-rooms." 

"But t^hy should they not just as well as dinners ?" 
" The nature of the two meetings is very different," auswered 
Sir Boland. " I caonot but think that dissipation is injurious, yet 
I feel that society is highly advantageous to all men; it rubs off 
the ans^les of their tempers, and teaches them to look kindly on 
their i^llows, and prevents their hugging themselves up, and 
* nursui^ their own dignity too much. A dinner is a rational 
mode oimeeting, and sanctioned too, we must remember, by the 
highest authority. It takes place at a reasonable hour, and affords 
reasonable T)eople an opportunity for reasonable conversation—as 
we can fulfy testify at this moment— can we not } But even to 
dinner-parties amongst worldly people, I should scarcely feel my- 
self iustiiied in ^ing, excepting as obliged by my situation here, 
if I aid not go with me earnest aesire, and indeed continual prayer, 
tiiat I miffht be enabled to speak to my great Master's glory." ' 

" You have indeed done so to-nighv' said Lady Stanmore, with 
some emotion; " but you have never done so before to me." 

" No, Lady Stanmore, I have generallv seen you surrounded by 
those who would not have welcomed sucn intnudon, and I am not 
fond of public disputations. I wish indeed, that all men could 
enjoj the things of Gbd as I do, but I think I should do harm by 
forcing the subject in general society. The Almighty almost 
always gives me the great happiness of being able to say some- 
thing for Him; and to-night He nas seemed to make my way with 
you so easy, by your kinof patience, that I could not but enter on 
the path opened before me. It has been with true pleasure that I 
have done so, and may the blessing of God rest on wlat has passed, 
as far as it has been according to His will and word. But at a 
ball how should I have dared to have talked as I have done? how 
could I have said, ' Love not the world, neither the things that are 
in the world?*" 

" But why should we not love the world— to a certain extent, at 
least?" 

" I cannot better answer you, than by finishing the passage 
which I began from the word of God," repKed Sir Koland : " 'If 
anv man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.' " 

'* But what would you have me do ?— If I did not go out at all, I 
should only sit at home wishing to go." 

" What I would have you do. Lady Stanmore — as you ask me,' 
said Sir Boland, " would be to pray earnestly— continually, that 
new heart, new affections, new desires, might be given you; the 

3C 



190 SIB B0LA3n> ASHTOK. 

yan would seek and enjoy ne^ pleasures, and new oocnpatiGns; 
and, above all, yon would learn to know and love that Being, of 
whom tmly it has been said, 'None who find Him seek farther/ — 
Have I been too severe a lecturer ?" 

" No ! a most kind and faithful one; but I know not what sort 
of a disciple I shall make. I feel there is a great deal of truth in 
what you have said, but what can I do ? I cannot all of a sudden 
leave off these things; and it might not be liked, even if I were 
willing." 

" I was not urgiiW' you. Lady Stanmore, to ^ve these things up 
suddenly," said Sir Koland; "I was only stating why I could not 
take them up soddeniy: No, it is far better to ' count the oost 
before you b^n the warfare,' and not to enter in haste on a course 
which you might net hove strength to pursue. Besides, though 
reli^en will certainly, I think; lead to our giving up these worldly 
disflipationB, yet it is a terrible mistake to fancy that merely giving 
them up ma&es one religious, or even proves one to be so. A 
hennit may oarryiite world in his breast tiiough he dwell in ' un- 
tn)dden solitudes: ' and- so may we in the m(»ose seclusion of our 
own chambers. But if really and truly you are inclined to befieve 
that the service of God is better, and more satisfying than that of 
the world, let me entreat of you to begin at tiie nght end — ^by- 
prayer : that golden key which will open to you all the treasury of 
heaven, all the riches of Christ; and then, as truth enters and fills 
your heart, error must give way." 

" But if," said Lady Stanmore, hesitating and colouring deeply 
— " if I thou^t it wrong to go to these things, and it was wished, 
that I should— what ought I to do?" 

" You have always with you the two best guides a woman can 
have, dear Lady Stanmore — your GtodL and your husband ! Keep 
them ever near yen in their legitimate places— God ever first, your 
husband ever next, and you cannot go wrong. Prayerfol studiy of 
the Bible will help you through every diflScmty; for aU Scripture, 
we are told, is given by inspnration of God, * that the man of God 
may be peidect, thoroughly famished unto all good works.' " 

" Well, Mary," said Lord Stanmore, when Lady Stanmore and 
Sir Roland rejoined him, " have you been successful ? You look 
vfery little elated for a conquerOT.'*^ 

'* No, my forces are all routed and dispersed, and I do not know 
whether I shall ever be able to muster them again." 

" Lady Stanmore has imposed a severe task on me," said Sir 
Boland ; " or rather, has forced me on a dreadful service, the diffi- 
culty of which you, Lord Stanmore, can best appreciate— that of 
refasing a request of hersi" 

" No, he is not capable of appreciating that difficulty," said Lady 
Stanmore, taking her husband^ s arm, and looking at nim wit^i the 
utmost affection, "for he has never refused me anything is hi& 

"Has Ashton refused you anything?" said Lord Stamoore, 
shaking his head at Sir Boland ;—^* then let him look to himself." 
" I must leave my cause in Lady Stanmore's hands," said Sir 



Snt -BOUiSJ) ASHIOS. 191 

Boland, ^ and I liaye no doubt she will do me jiiaiioe; and may I 
begr, if you can forgive me, and if yon are not better engaged, that 
you Tnfl both honour me with jour company at dinner to-morrow?" 
This was asreed to; and with tba kind^ feelings, the parties 
then separated. 

Lady Stanmore gaye ber fite the following week; bat Sir 
Bolana 3 arguments and words, often recurred to ner mind, and bar 
pleasure was not undisturbed. 



CHAPTER XVTL 

''A web of a difBerent ooloiir, but wiongbt by the same sabtle hand." 

Charlottb Eluabeth. 

<* And what i» home, and irtwre? bat with the loving." 

MB8.HBMAm. 

1^0 sooner is our great enemy baffled on one side, than he com- 
mences the attack on another* Haying failed in forcing Sir Roland 
to act contrary to his principles, as respected those dissipations 
which be thought uncongenial to the spirit of Christianity, his wily 
adyersary changed his mode of warfare, and raised up temptations 
in the course of duty. % B^oland's large fortune and many 
worldly adyantages, made him a person of importance and considera- 
tion eyery where ; but the high station he temporarily filled at , 

of course added yery much to his conse<][uence there ; and his pecu- 
liar character, aided by the charm of his countenance and manner, 
caused him to be an object of great attraction, especially, as was 
natural, to the younger portion of his female acquaintance, with 
many of whom it became, for hia sake, quite a fa^on to profess 
seriousness and reli^on. 

Some there were in who sincerely agreeing with him in prin- 
ciple, were thankftd to find that one so young and admired, could 
alflo be so strong and steady in his uprightness ; and some who had 
before been utterly careless on the subject, really were aroused, and 
led by the force oi his example, to search and see whether his way 
was not the way of godliness and peace. But many others, either 
from excited feelings, or from pure affectation, in order to please 
him, adopted for the moment a tone of conyersation and a hue of 
conduct, wholly at yariance with their usual habits and disposi- 
tions. But whateyer was the cause, to be so courted and admired 
as he was, was a great trial to one oyer whose head scarce five-and- 
twenty summers had shed their brightness ; and Six Roland felt tho 
eyil ; the more so, because it was one which was calculated to draw 
his heart from God, rather than make him fly to Him for strength 
and refuge. That he was not one who could close his eyes to nia 
own defects, or be content to slumber in the midst of danger, was 
an inestimable blessins' ; but his watchfulness of conscience, inyalu- 
able as it was, made nis mind, under his present circumstances, a 
scene of perpetual warfare ; for he could not endxire quietly to giyo 
way to the feelings of yanity which, spite of himself, were roused 

X 2 



182 6ZS SOLAin) ABHTOir. 

perpetually witMn him, wlien he saw the eyident and flatterinfl: 
admiration which he excited, and the marked attentions which 
were shown him on every side. 

None however, of the fair, and in many instances, amiable beings 
who surrounded him, had power to withdraw his thoughts for one 
moment from Ladv Constance. Her image dwelt unceasingly with 
him, dressed in all the bright hues with which the heart so fondly 
delights to deck the distant objects of its love ; and the remembrance 
of her sweetness, and cheerful piety, warm and quick a£fections, and 
exceeding beauty, came across his soul continually, with ever-sooth- 
ing, yet ever-animatiuff influence. The appointaent he had made 
to meet her every night in prayer, had never been forgotten or 
neglected. It had been a source of the greatest pleasure and com- 
fort to him ; riveting her image ever closer and closer to his heart. 
In society the most uncongenial to him, or when watching in still- 
ness by mr. Anstruther's death-bed, he had ever found rest and 
peace in joining his spirit with hers before the throne of God. The 
silent mrdnight-hour was rich to him in feelings of heart-felt love 
and pure devotion ; for happily those two delightful sentiments 
were ever imited in his breast. 

Home thus ever shone before him in all its brightest colours ; 
and ardently did he desire to be again within its happy precincts* 
and with her who formed the dearest portion of its charm— free 
from the glare of public life, and from all the thronging temptations 
of the world. 

Inexpressible therefore, was his delight, when he received a letter 
from his uncle, saying, that he expected to be able to return to his 
post in the course of the following month ; and that the new secre- 
tary whom the government had appointed would accompany him. 
The joy of his heart was unbounded; yet never did time seem to 
move with such leaden feet, as during the interval that elapsed 
between the receipt of his uncle's letter, and the time when he 
could set out on his much-longed-for journey. At last his uncle 
arrived, and with him the new secretary; and gladly did Sir 
Boland relinquish into the hands of the latter, all the papera 
and letters, &c. which had tormented him so long, and given him 
so many weary hours. His extreme rapture was^ however, rather 
damped by a claim which his uncle made upon him for future ser- 
vices. There was some important business which he had com- 
menced, for the completion of which, the concurrence of sevewd of 
the different courts was indispensable ; but some hindrances bavins^ 
occurred in the course of the affair, it could not be earned forwara 
at that time ; and Sir Bpland having commenced it^ and fully 
understanding all its bearings, Lord N — ^had, whilst in Englandf» 
obtained a promise that he should be appointed on a special missioa 
for the purpose of carrying it through, when the proper time 
arrived. Sir Eoland could not well refuse to undertake this busi- 
ness, as his tmcle made so ffreat a point of his doing so ; but the 
very idea of it was most irksome to him, desirous as he was of 
remaining; at home. He determined, however, not to think of the 
evil day tiU it arrived, so set himself with all diligence to speed his 
joyful preparations for returning to Eugknd. 



flIB BOLAin) ASHTOir. 183 

At last all was concluded ; and haying: taken leave of Hs nnole, 

and the many friends he had made in , he stood in the court of 

the Embassy house, waiting: for his servant to put the finishing 
stroke to the packing of his carria&re, and conversing with Mr. Scott, 
who was going to stay some time longer on the continent with Mr. 
Sin^ton. 

** I ou will come soon to Llanaven, Scott," he said. 

" Not I !" answered the other — " not for these six years at least. 
I will never sing second to any one." 

" Then, stay away for ever !" said Sir Roland laughingly, shak- 
ing his friend's hand. And sprin^pig into the carriage, he threw 
himseKback in the comer, exclaiming, " Home !" 



CHAPTER XVm. 

'*0hl dear, dear England ! how my longing eye 
Turns westward, shaping in the steady cicada 
Thy sands and high white Glifb 1" 

Ck>LEBIDGB. 

The form that stands before me folsifies 
No feature of the image that hath lired 
80 long within me." 

COLEBIDOE. 

81E RotAiH) passed through much beautiful country on his way 
f^om — - ; but the nicture of home in his mind was so far more 
enchanting to him, that he scarcely saw what passed before his out- 
ward eye. He had received letters from Lady Constance, and from 
his mother, just before he started, full of dehght at his anticipated 
return. All was well with them ; " but all would be better when 
he was there again, to share their nappiness." How often, and in 
how many ways did he f ancv to himseu his return home— his meet- 
ing with Lady Constance — ^nis quiet evening with his mother^— his 
early morning walk over his own delightfoT grounds, with his own 
sea sparkling and dancing in the light. Love was with him, 
certainly the first and most arresting object in the bUssfol scenes 
which imagination spread out before him ; but it could not exclude 
other objects of interest and affection from his breast. It did not 
stand forth in tiie landscape like some splendid but overpowering 
mountain, shining in the sun's rich rays itself, but casting all into 
shadow around^ but it stood rather as in itself a source of light 
("whose fountain who shall tell ?"J gilding every other object, and 
bringing to view all the beauty and loveliness of surrounding things. 
His affection for his mother, ever deep and lively, gaining fresh 
strength from his heightened feelings, and his full heart seemed so 
fraiignt with love and. happiness, that it expanded to embrace the 
whole world! 

Those who would underrate true love, would underrate the 
Almighty's first gift to the affections 1 With some, indeed, this 
feeling is ephemeral as the morning dew, and the character raised 
by it perhaps^ a moment above its ordinary level, sinks again wlieat 



134 azs soLAim seaBcroiE* 

the cause wliicli elevated it is past ; "but vitli others, true bye 
endures through long, long years of married life ! — ^peace, and joy, 
and affection, gilding the decline of life with rays ashright as were 
its morning heams ! Happy are they ! 

The evening wasperfectly cahn on which Sir Roland crossed the 
sea on his return to England ; and thexippleof the waters as he looked 
into their dear denths from the vesseTs side, soothed his thoughts 
into the most deligntful state of enjoyahle happiness. The moon 
was not visible; but still, as nis^ht came oUj the ruffled waters in 
the wake of the vessel reAectea light from the innumerable stars 
that lit the sky, aaid fromthe never wholly-dying summer twilight. 
It was just such a time as quiets down the thrilling agitation, and 
flutter of both mind and body, which so often destroys the enjoy- 



ment of expected, and longed-for meetings ; and the absence of the 
moon, which Sir Roland had at first regretted, was in fact, a bless- 
ing to him ; for there is oertainlj a most exciting power in her 
peculiar light. Even if tiie heart is at rest, and there is nothing to 
disturb its tranfjuiUity, yet the moon herself, with all her soft and 
pure accompaniments, produces strong thoujgfh undefined sensations, 
akin to melancholy, which depress the spirit, while they elevate 
the soul. ; but when real cause exists lor anxiety, and sorrow mixes 
with this feeling — ^then the blue and silvery gleaming of the star of 
night, draws forth all the deep sad-heaiiteanpss, which perhaps, 
had slumbered in the glare of sunshine. '* Daylight is the flesh 
and blood-^moonlight is the spirit." Perhaps it was this feeling, 
which in former dasrs, induoea the idea of melancholy persons being 
moon-struck — of "moon-struck madness," which we find in our 
older poets ; but he that as it may, poets, old and young, have ever 
|»aid tribi^ to the charm and power of the queen of night ; and not 
all the nonsense-verses which have been perpetrated to her disho- 
nour, can dim one ray of her real beauty, or tu:e one <diftrm from her | 
•sofbening infiuenoe. Indeed, Sir Walter Scott's dedaxation, " thst 
never was there lover who had not got, at least, as £ar as ' Oh ! 
Thou,' " in a sonnet to her praise— far from detraettag j&om her , 
glery , proves only, how loveliest things viU flow toge&er. <^ 

Sir Roland oontinned en -deck -enjoying the sdUness of the daric- 
enin^ hours, till midnight brought ogwin the weloome time ior 
meeting her he loved, in the presence oi Ood. All was auietiiL 
the vessel, exoejptkig the occasional voice -of the oarers ; ana unob- 
served, and unmtermpted, he poured forth his soul to the Lord 4d 
•earth, and air, and seas. Long did he pray—for his heart was filled 
with dee}), though tranquil feelings; and it was ever a delight to his 
pure spirit, to pour forth its hopes, its wants, its thankfulness, to 
Him who hears and answers the prayers of those who love him. 
He thought with deligrht, that but one more night would elapse be- ^ 

fore he should again, in very life and form, meet her whose image 
had been to him through long ahsenee, the last waking thouglit at 
night, as well as the "morning-star of memory;" and vn*apping hin 
doak around him, he laid bifn^ftl^' down on the dedc, and slept in tla» 
wsdt, still, summer air. 



Sm -SaiAKD AMBXOS, 135 

The stin's briiilit iMams early awoke bim ^e next mormnff ; 
making him exchange his undefined but pleasant dreams, &r 
the T^oity of eqjoyment, which the beaatifal soene before >tiTn 
aflforded ; where £he lightest of all possible bieeEes sgring^ing up 
with the dawn of day, jnst agitated tiie waters sufficiently to 
make them, towards the ^east, one sheet of trembling, sparlding 
** shinunerin^" light. 

The vessel impelling itself oowwds thnrarhi^ smooth waters, 
at lenglh entered the forest of masts, whieh lines the Thames as it 
flows wr&aA the suburbs of London. The 'Wheels stopped ! — and 
onoe again Sir Boland trod bis native land. 

Certainly the disembarking Inm « steamer at London-bridge, 
is not the most sentimental or romantic of landings! The pebbly 
fihore of liie oeean might innire enthusiasm— but not ^An^.'— and 
aever surely, eonld the most amrotedlorer of his country, returning 
from the longest -exile, on coping forth at that spot, be inclined 
toezoLaim, 'H>h1 oaraterradegii avimiei-4ibacio, (Oh! beloved 
iand of my forefatiiezsi— I embrace -tiice!) still less to "suit the 
aiction to die word." 

Overlooking, however, all these minor condderations. Sir Ro- 
jand was enehanted to find himsdf again in England, and only 
wished that the next instant could have transported him to Ola-* 
verton; but having, unfortunately, budness to transact at the 
f aveicn Offiee, he was obliged to remain some hours in London ; 
though as soon as that was despatched, he joyfully — how joyfully ! 
tamed his face towards the west. The nulroad, that :&iend of 
the impatient, did not at tiiat time ran its level oourse in that di- 
rection, but four horses and a light caliche, bore him on wkh 
tolerable speed, and brought him rapidly on his way; till at 
length* he oegaa to leoognue old aeeustomed scenes, •and points of 
view familiar to him ; and ^cker, and thicker still, grew tiie de- 
•liffhtfiii evidences that he was near his home, till at last, the woods 
of C9averton appeared in sight. As that had been the last place 
he had visited before his departure from Bngland, so, naturally, 
was it the first to which he directed his steps on his return ; and 
hiB happiness was unbounded whBn the carriage passed through 
the park-gate, and he found himself onoe again in a spot so ines- 
Iiressbly dear to him. 

it was a lovely evening towards the end of July ; without a 
breath to ruffle the lake which calmly spread ^ its lucid mirror to 
the light," skirted in some parts by hanging woods, and in others. 
by miniature diffii, whoae bright and clear reflections were pictured 
to the life on the silvery waters. The deer and sheep had sought 
the woods and far-stmohing trees for ahelter from the still fervid 
Jbeat; and aU nature seemed to repose in luxury and enjoyment. 

When he was within a short distanoe of the house, he fancied he 
descried some one walking in the garden ; he thought it must be 
Ladv Constance, and stopping thecarria^ (which he ordered round 
to me stable) he jumped out; and flying down the green dope 
which ctivided the loadTfrom the shrubbery, he bounded ovor the 
mm raOings, and found himself onoe more^-«4here. Ho pansed a 



186 SIB BOLAinO^ ASHTOir. 

moment to recoyer breath, and to still the throbbing of Ids heart ; 
which, what with excitement, happiness, and exertion, beat almost 
to suffocation. While standing concealed among tiie trees, he 
again caught the 'flutter of the white dress which had before at- 
tracted him, and he now saw that it was Lady Constance, who just 
then entered the very summerhouse where he had last parted fiwm 
her. If he could have chosen the time and place of theur meeting, 
thus it would have been ; there— in the same spot where he had last 
seen her ; and where he had so often pictured her to his imagina- 
tion, in her great beauty, and in her— to him still more precious — 
tearful regret. She was standing within the walls of the summer- 
house when he advanced, so that she was not aware of his approach 
till he was almost dose to her, when hearing a step, she came 
forward. 

" Roland ! dear Roland !" she exclaimed, in the ioyful surprise 
of the first moment ; then turning deadly pale, she would nave 
fallen, had not Sir Roland sprung forward and caught her. 

" My dearest Constance," he said, in alarm, " what is this }" 

** Oh !" she exclaimed, in a voice of the deepest anguish ; and 
leaning her head on his shoulder, she burst into an agony of tears. 

" Constance ! Constance !" cried Sir Roland, terrified at her 
emotion, ** what has happened ? Tell me I beseech you— my mother 
—Henry?" 

Lady Constance shook her head, but could not speak. 

" Your father?" at length he asked, in a voice almost inaudible 
from agitation. 

A renewed burst of sorrow in Lady Constance proved but too 
truly, that he had now touched on the cause of her overwkelming 
afflictibn. 

** He is not — " he could not finish. 

" No," answered Lady Constance, understanding him, and strag- 
gling for words, " but he cannot live." 

*' My God !" exclaimed Sir Roland, looking up, in the anndsh of 
Ms mind. " Oh, ConstiEuice !" he said, after a pause, "is this the 
meeting I have so longed for— in tears of such affliction ?" Andhis 
own burst fortli as he spoke. 

Yet still she was there — ^he was with her ; and there was a strange 
mingling of extremest joy, and bitterest sorrow in his heart, as he 
seated lumself in silence by her side. He longed to know what had 
caused this sudden danger to one for whom he felt so much regard* 
yet he could not bear to ask Lady Constance, knowing that the 
subject must be so painful to her ; but she, becoming more com- 
posed, was about to speak to him, when a step on the terrace made 
ner rise hastily. 

" It is your mother," she said to Sir Roland. 

" My mother here !" he exclaimed. And flying along the gravel 
walk, the next moment he found himself folded in her fond em- 
brace. 

The servants had informed her of his arrival, and she had come 
out immediately to meet a son who was the ddight of her heart. 
The joy of meeting for an instant banished all teouble from their 
mind8r--but only ior an instant ; and Lady Constance joining them, 



SIB SOLAin) ASBTON. 187 

her pale face and tearful eyes brought back sadder, and more 
painral feelinp^s. 

" I will go in," she said, to LadyAshton. "I have taken my 
walk as yon wished, and now you must stay out and enjoy the 
air, and dear Eoland's welcome company." And smiling through 
her tears, she held out her hand to lum, and kissing Lady Ashton, 
passed on to the house. 

Sir Roland looked after her in silence till she had disappeared. 

** How ill she looks !" he said, with a heavy siffh. " Oh ! my 
dear mother, how little can we reckon on this wond's happiness ! 
If you could but know how I have looked forward to this hour! 
with what sinful impatience I have longed for it ; and now— to meet 
—with such bitter feelings!*' 

He begged his mother to tell him how the event had occurred, 
which had thrown this sudden blight on prospects which had seemed 
so full of happiness when last he liad heard from home ; and Lady 
Ashton informed him, that a few days previously, Lord St. Ervaa 
had been examining, with his steward, some buildings which were 
out of repair, and on which his carpenters were at work, when a 
beam, which had been loosened from its place, unexpectedly fell» 
and struck him with such violence that he was taken up senseless. 
For many hours he had lain without speech or motion; but, after 
a while, he had gradually regained the powers of his mind ; but 
the injuries he had received were of so fatal a nature, that not the least 
hope could be entertained of his recovery^ and indeed, it became 
but too evident that his last hour was rapidly approaching. Lady 
Ashton said that she had come over on the &st intelligence of the 
dreadful event, and had remained at Claverton ever since ; and she 
expressed her wish that Sir Eoland should continue there with 
them; to which, of course, he readily acceded. 

" And Constance," he said, "how has she borne this ? Tell me, 
my dear mother, how has she been?" 

" Poor child !" answered Lady Ashton ; "she and Florence have 
both suffered terribly, the blow was so sudden. I was not here 
at the first dreadful moment, but I believe Constance was nearly 
frantic when her father was brought home ; and one cannot wonder, 
for you know how devotedly fond they were of each other, and how 
constantly he made her his compamon. But since I have been 
herelshe has been quite csdm — ^too much so indeed — I had rather 
see more frequent tears ; they might relieve her." 

" She shed many when with me," said Sir Eoland ; his own 
starting at the remembrance. 

"I am glad of it," replied LadyAshton. "She has scarcely 
left her father's side since the fatal accident took place ; nor has 
she once closed her eyes. It was with difficulty I had persuaded 
her to come into the air for a short time just now, when he was 
asleep." 

"But she will kill herself," exclaimed Sir Roland; "she must 
liave rest." 

" I cannot persuade her to lie down ; she says she cannot bear to 
lose one of the few moments that remain of his loved presence, and 
I cannot wonder ; indeed, it is the same with myself ; and I fear 



138 fiiB JU>xJUO> Aesaox. 

the time fiast approaches mrhen she will have leknxe enough for 
sleep — ^and tears, too, poor girl !" And Lady Ashton covered her 
face and sobbed aloud. 

Sir Eoland pressed his mother to his heart, and would have 
spoken of comfort, but could not. At length Lady Aahton became 
more calm. 

"He has begged me to be guardian to his ehildren," she aaid; 
" and I have of course oonsMtted." 

A jo^ indescribable rushed through 6ir Eoland'B wh.ole being aa 
lie received this communication from his moth^v--so tr^nbliag a 
joy, that he could not trust his voioe to speak in reply. 

*' He has, you know," continued Lady Ashton, ** no near reia- 
lions but his two cousins. Captain Tem^eton (on whom this pro- 
perty is entailed) and his ei^«r, Mrs. Mordaont. The latt^^ the 
moment she had lieard of the £atal aoddent which had taken 
place, wrote by express, in the kindest manner, to entaeat that tiie 
two girls might be consigned to hes care ; and she urged Jttdsr eon- 
siderate offer so strongly, tiuit it wbs most painful to Lord St. 
Ervan to refuse. But she is one of the last persons with whom he 
'Would wish to leave i^iepi ; for she is a most tiM)roii,^hly worldly 
character, and has besides, several sons, aiDt eonsidered very 
steady, who have their home with her in London. I have heara 
Lord St. Ervan say that he has frequently ask^d her to visit bim 
liere, but that she always refused^ saying, thoug^ with the ntsaost 

good-humour, that she could not endure his '* puntanical ways. ' fie 
ad left his children wards in chancery, by a deed he executed the 
moment bis senses recovered from the effects of thcetumiifl^ lilow 
he had received, but he directed thst they should live with their es:- 
oellent governess. Miss Grower, for he never dreamed that Mrs. Mor- 
daunt would wish to have l^em with her^ but when he received 
her letter, which was couched in the strongest, as wellas the kindest 
terms, he felt a terror lest, when he was gone, she might, throiigh 
good intention, p^tien the chancellor to let IkBThave the charge 
of them ; and the plea that she was the only near female relation, 
and that otherwise they would be left alone with a governesa, was 
one, which he feared, might very naturally meet with «aeoe8s. 
!Fhis idea fiUed him with sack apprehenflio& that he asked me if, 
under these circunustances, I would consent to being named llieir 
guardian, to which of course I agreed : as I should be most happy 
to render them any service in my power, and be to them of ym&t 
little comfort I could." 

" And they will live with us, then ?" aaid Sir Boland ; at the mo- 
ment forgettmg, in that joyful thought, the dreadful circumstance 
wMch would be the occasion of their change of abode. 

" No ; I begged him earnestly to let them do so," said Lady 
Ashton, " temng liim what a happiness it woold he to me ; hut he 
declined it positively, and with so much warmth and agitatiozh-^ 
entreating me to name it no more— that I dared not repeat n^ 
reouect. They are to live with Miss Gower, at "Westley, whieh & 
<mly ten miles distant, and is the only house he possesses in the 
ooun^ that is unentailed." 
" Westiey I Westley is no place lor tham to live in/' exflHaimed 



SEE BOLAHn) AfiHTOK. 199 

Sir Eoland— " notior a day ! and close too, to that odious town of 
X—, with its barracks and idle lounging officers— they will be 
harassed to death : I cannot consent to their Hying there, — ^I can- 
not endure the liioughts of it" 

" My dear Eoland, ' said Lady Askton, imiling at his TehemeDee» 
**yoa forgot that yonr oonsent nas not been aaked." 

Sir Roland coloured deeply, for he felt that he had spoken more 
in accordance witlL his wishes, liian with the realities of the case. 
He laughed faintly and said, "Oh! yes, I spoke foolishly — I did 
. not mean that, of course ; I only meant that my ioill would not 
consent to their Hying at that place. But my dear mother," ho 
continued, laying bis cheek to hers and kissing her fondlj, **will 
you not tiy , once more, to move him ? Try— impLoro of him to let 
GustD. Hve with yon." 

"I would gladly do it, if I thought it would be of any ayalL, 
flear Boland," replied Ladjr Ashton* returning his warm caresses ; 
"you cannot l)e more anxious about it than I am ;" (Sir Roland, 
however, felt that he was far moTO anxious even than his kind 
mother) " but he so resolutely forbade the subject being mentioned 
again, that I really dare not renew it. He is in so weak a state 
that any agitation might destroy him at once." 

" DidThe give no reason ?" 

"None-Hbutlie entreated me to vrgB it no farther." 

Bir Roland was lost in thouglit, and ikej walked on for some 
time in silence. 

" I trust I may see Mm," at length he said, with much emotion, 
'*if only osice more to ohup liis hand; it would be painful indeed^ 
never again—" 

" Oh ! yes," repHed Lady Asbton ; *'lie knew of your arrival, 
and was delighteo, thougli^ the news threw him for a time into 
great agitation ; but he said lie must see yon* and would £end 
when he felt equal to the exertion." 

"Dear, kind Mend," exclaimed Sa Roland. "Oh! my dear 
mother, now much ^hall we miss him ! And those poor fi:iris 1" He 
dasSied the starting tear from his eye. " What a blow ! ISow 
80(Hi is happiness aestcoyed ! This lioor is the one I have had 
ever before me — eyex !— from Hike first moment when I left this 
country ! but I had arrayed it in aU the glowing colours of happi- 
ness. How mDumfcd is fibe diffeienoe ! But now, dear motiier, 
tell me of Henry ; it is longer than usual sinoe I have heard of 
him. Happy fellow! he knows nothing: of our present griefis. 
When did you hear from him last, and wbere was he ?" 

" He was still on the South American station ; but he said -they 
were soon to leave it, so that he feared he mi^ht lose many of our 
letters. He begged, however, that we would contLnue to write, 
and that we would direct to different places, as his ship was mor- 
ing about, and he -did not know its exact destination; by which 
nieans, lie lioped that at least some of our letters might reach him. 
1 wrote about this sad event, and ofyour expected return, and 
directed my letters both to Rio and to Valpaiaiso." 
" Did he talk of coming home }** 

••No." 



140 6IB BOLAin) ASHXOir. 

" Shall we g^o towards the house now? I feel so very axudoiu 
to see Lord St. Eryan. There is no fear of anything sudden, is 
there?" 

'* The doctor says he cannot tell ; a state like his is heyond the 
tisual calculations of art. He thinks it x>ossible a sudden stroke 
might come, and depriye him of sense, if not of life ; but he rather 
«xpects that nature will gradually give way imder his excessive 
weakness and exhaustion. We have but to wait — and thankful 
may we be, that his trust has long rested on Him who never fails 
His people. His mind is in perfect peace ; and it is wonderful how 
he is sustained in cheerful hope, even when looking on his — so soon 
to be orphaned children. Poor Florence, child-hke, grieves him 
most, with her loving expressions and imrestrainea tears ; but 
Constance's mind seems to strengthen his, she is so very bright in 
fedth for one so young. God's everlasting arms are indeed * under- i 
neath her and aroimd/ But I almost fear for her when aU^ is ^ 
over. These afflictions must be felt, though we may submit with 
fulness of heart to God. Trials would not De trials were they not 
sufferings." 

As they approached the house they saw Lady Constance cominff 
towards them. Sir Roland hastened to meet her, and she informea 
Lim that her father wished to see him. He gave her his arm, and 
they returned together to the house. Before he parted from her to 
fN) to Lord St. Ervan, he took her hand, and looking at her with. 
the deepest affection, he said — 

" Constance, you know not how fall my heart is of you." 

** Dear Eoland," she replied, ** you were always so kind ! — and 
your travels have not spoilt you, or made you forgetful of those 
whom you loved at home." 

** I must have forgotten myself ere I could have forjarotten them,'* 
lie replied. '* Constance, our appointed meetings beiore God have 
been most precious to me ; have l^ey been so to you ?" 

" They have indeed," said she, looking up affectionately at Sir 
Eoland's anxious countenance ; *' I have never once failed in pray- 
ing for, and with you." < 

" You are looking so ill, dear Constance," said Sir Boland ; '* will 
you not take care of yourself for our sakes?" 

Lady Constance's coimtenance became agitated, as she answered^ 
"*' I am well — quite well ; but do not think of me now, dear Roland, 
j;o to hinif he wants you." 

" Will you not come with me ?" 

" No, he wishes to see you alone." 

** Yes," answered Sir Roland, " and I wish to speak to him 
tdone." And the hand that held Lady Constance's trembled, as the 
thought of what he wished to say to Lord St. £rvan, darted tiiyougk 
Ms mind. 

** Go, then, now," said Lady Constance, ''he Ib quite composed, 
ttid his mind is peaceful and happy." 



SIB SOLAHB ABOTOir. 141 



CHAPTER XIX. 



Sib RoLiiTD left Lady Constance and monnted the stairs to Lord 
St. Ervan's room. He paused an instant before he entered it. for a. 
faint sickness came over him at the thought of the scene he was 
about to witness. The stilhiess of the chamber of death struck a. 
cMU to his heart ; but soon summoning his courage he entered. 

" My dear Roland/' said Lord St. Ervan, in a low voice, as he 
Approached, his accents seeming to come painfully forth, " I rejoice 
so much to see you once again. 

Sir Roland kissed the hand held out to him in silence. 

" You find pain and sorrow where you left all smiling," resumed 
Lord St. Ervan ; ** but you know who guides and directs. At first, 
it seemed dreadful to leave them,*' he stopped, and closed his eyea 
' a moment, ** but Gk)d has taken^ away mat sting too. And you^ 
Roland, you are well, God be praised ! — ^It is a joy to see you once 
more ; you were ever Ihe best" — He stopped, and grasped Sir Ro- 
land's hand with convulsive emotion. 

"My dear Lord," said Sir Roland, deeply touched, " words can* 
express the sorrow of this hour. Oh ! is there anything I can 
do; any charge you can leave with me f— it will be my joy to 
fulfil it."^' 

"Serve your God. my dear boy. ever more and more faithfully^ 
that is my best wiAn for you; and put all your trust in Him who 
alone can support in an hour like this. Yes, he can support! — ^my 
Saviour's feet have trod the rugged path of death for me, and made 
it all smooth and easy to my feeble steps. Trust Him, Roland — 
trust Him I" 

" God grant me grace to live wholly for Him," replied Sir Ro- 
land ; adding, after a pause, in a hesitating voice, '^but is ther& 
nothing, as regards this world, that I can do i have you nothing to 
commit to my care— my attention ?" 

" Nothing, sighed Lord St. Ervan. "No ; all my earthly oon- 
cems are settled. ' 

Sir Roland knelt on one knee by the side of Lord St. Ervan'a 
bed, stUl holding his cold and feeble hand. Thev were both sQent 
—the same subject at that moment filled the heart of each, yet 
neither could speak of it to the other. Lord St. Ervan well remem* 
bered Sir Roland's former proposal concerning Lady Constance, and 
earnestly desired that he should renew it now ; but he could not 
be the mrst to mention the subject, ignorant as he was of the pre- 
sent state of his affections ; for absence he thought, and the charms 
of other, newer friends, might have displaced the first love of hift 
"boyhood's waxen heart ;" and he could not endure the idea that 
his beautiful and precious child should be trusted to the compassion^ 
or cast on the faded affection, of any man. Sir Roland was equally 
embarrassed, and could not summon courage to pronounce the name 
which seemed the sum of existence to mm. At lenfi^th Lord St. 
Ervan, opening his eyes, on wbich the heaviness of death began 
already almost to settle, turned to Sir Roland, and said-- 



149 SIB BOLASD ASHTOIF. 

"Your mother will have told you our arrangements for my 
children. She is indeed most kind." 

Sir Roland's heart fluttered when he found this opening made : 
and he answered, hurriedly — 

"She has informed me that she is to have tiie charge of your 
children. But will ^u not, my dear Lord St. Eryan. let them 
aho reside with her ? it would make her so happv. And surely— 
forgive me— hut surely it would he far hotter— Jar pleasanter for 
them, too." 

•* It cannot he," said Lord St Ervan, hastily. 

Sir Roland felt convinced tiiat Lord St. Ervan would gladly have 
acceded to the proposal, had Lady Ashton had a home of her own : 
but Llanaven was, in fact, hir home, though his mother resided 
there ; and he could fully appreciate the delicacy which made it 
impossible for a father to throw his daughters on the society of men 
like himself and his brother. He now, more than ever, desired 
that he should consent to his union with. Lady Constance, in the 
event of his being able to obtain her affection ; as in that case he 
thought he could not oliject to her living with Lady Ashton. His 
anxious feelings were ever on his lips, but for a time he could find 
no words to expresst&em. Fearing, nowever, firom Lord St Ervan!a 
extreme weakness, that life might ebb away before he had spoken 
the wish of his heart with a strong effort he began at length — 

"You will remember, mv dear Lord, a CQnveEsatiQn.Ihad.witb 
yen before I left England r ' 

Lord St. Ervan, roused to animation, fixed his eyes eagerly oa 
Sir Roland, who continued — 

" You cannot suppose that my heart is changed ; that one. wh,a 
had from chQdhood loved Consteuice, could ever cease to do so. 
Kg, her happiness is more than ever mj care, and her love — ^that 
which alone can make me happy. Will you not now—now after 
above a year of exile— wiU yon not let me seek a place in her 
heart?" 

" Oh ! if you had one," replied Lord St. Ervaii^ "I should indeed 
be happy ; the only sadness of my heart would De removed. But, 
Roland, my poor boy ! have you indeed thought of her — h&t only- 
through a]i vour wanderings ? I grieve for the pain I must have 
fiven vou ; but you were both so young, and I thought it best you 
oth H^ould know vour own hearts. But now you have given me 
great happiness, mr being convinced of your constancy, there is 
no one on earth to whom I could j?ive her with such nerfect peace 
and confidence. Truly grateful, indeed, to Gbd shoula I be, could 
I seeyour faith plighted before I died." 

" Tnank you a thousand, thousand times," said Sir Roland, re- 
X>eatedly pressing the hand he held to his lips ; " you cannot Imow 
the joy your words g:ive me ! But now, dear Lord St. Ervan, as 

Jrou are willing to nve Constance to my care— to trust her to my 
oye — ^you will surely not object to letting her and Florence reside 
with us at Llanaven ?** 
He looked earnestly at Lord St. Ervan, who replied — 
** I can say nothin? tiU I have spoken to my child, and I feel that 
iife fast fails f— send her to me, will you ?** 



SIB BOXAKB ASHTOir, US 

Sir Roland left tlie room with a spirit much lightened ; yet he 
was Tery unwilling that his wishes should be so abruptly mentioned 
to Lady Constance. He had earnestly desired Lord St. Eryan's 
consent to his final nnion with her, bnt he would fain have had 
time allowed him, in which he might have sought to awaken in her 
heart a feeling, corresponcBngto that which had so long dwelt in 
his own ; for to offer her his hand without haying first endeavoured 
to win her heart, was. he thought, a step Hiat well might startle 
her, even though she had ever, he knew, resardBd him with the 
kindest feelings. He had so honourably folmled Lord St. Ervan's 
wishes, that he had never sought to excite in her mind — ^however 
nmchhe desired to do so— an exelusive feeling towards himself; 
and he could form no idea how this sudden proposal would be 
received. The ^low of dawning hope and confidence which had 
arisen within him, almost faded away as he descended the stairs, 
and walked along tiie terrace to the summer-house, where he ex- 
pected to find Lady Constance; and a timidity he had never 
experienced before, made him pause ere he approached her. He 
even thought of returning to lird St. Ervan, and entreating him 
not to speak for the present to his daughter; but recollecting the 
desire he had expressed of seeing the engagement formed before 
his doath ; and fearing to antate anddistress nismind— he gave up 
that idea ; and " casting all his care upon Gh)d," he advanced to- 
wards the summer-house, where he found Lady Constance, and 
informed her of her father's wish to see her. He walked by her in 
silence to the house ; but when they had reached it, he felt it was 
impossible to part from her, without speaking some, of the many 
words which crowded to his lips. His heart seemed bursting to 
open itself to her, but broken, incoherent sentences were all that 
couM find utterance. He dared not in that hurried moment enter 
on the sublect that Cjtused him so much anxietv ; but Lady Con« 
stance could not have fiailed to have observed the earnest tender 
ness of his manner, had not her heart been fiUed. to the exclusion 
of every other feeling, with the thought of her father. Her love 
for him was so intense, that though she knew that she and her 
sister must soon be orphans ; that thev would have nothing they 
could call a home— no relation with wnom to live— yet she never 
thought of that; her whole sum of feeling seemed centred in the 
one overwhelming thought of her fether's death, the moment of 
which, she could not conceal from herself, was fast and fearfully 
aporoaching. Without him the world seemed one universal blank; 
and no thought of her future comfortless life intruded to mix with 
the pure current of her filial regret. The tension of her mind on 
that subject made all things else pass as dreams before her ; and 
not all Sir Roland's warm expressions of love and devotion could 
rouse her mind to a consciousness of what he was saying*. The 
sound of his words reached indeed her ear, but their meanmg was? 
lost to her mind, further than that she felt they were woms of 
kindness and aflfection— sounds familiar fror^ him. 

"Pear Roland," she said in reply, "I know that you feel for 
ns — ^that you love us." 

"As my own life ! Constance," he replied. 



144 Sm SOLAKD ASHTOK. 

She smiled kindly; but her mind was evidently wandering €sr 
away, and Sir Roland fearful of detaining her any longer, reluc- 
tantly suffered her to leave him. 

When she entered her father's room, she was surprised, and for 
an instant delighted, at seein&r him apparently so much better ; for 
the excitement and joy he felt at the hope of her happiness had 
lent an unwonted glow to his cheek, and lighted his eye with an 
anusual lustre. But she knew by sad and bitter experience how 
delusive were such appearances ; and the hope which for a moment 
glanced through her mind, gave way to a darker sense of desolation 
than before. 

" My dear child," said Lord St. Ervan, as she approached him, 
and knelt down by his side, " I wish much to speak to you, and 
have many things to say. Your kind Mend Lady Ashton, has 
urged me to let you reside with her, instead of living at Westley ; 
but considering that her sons were often with her, that arrangement 
did not at first seem desirable. A conversation I have since had 
with Roland has, however, opened new prospects for you, Cdn- 
Btance, and you must decide whether or not they shall be ac- 
cepted." 

^*My dear father," said Lady Constance, "you have always 
arranged every thins: for me, and I feel incapable, especially now» 
of forming any iud^ent for myself. Tell me what you think 
best, and it must be right." 

" In a case like that which I am gjoing to mention— you, my dear 
Constance, and you alone, must decide. Have you ever suspected 
that Roland was attached to you ? " 

Lady Constance started, and instantly replied, " Never."— The 
next moment, however, his manner ana last words at i^e ante- 
room door, and several other little circumstances, flashed across her 
mind, though at the time they had not apparently made the 
slightest impression ; but before she could speak again, her father 
continued — 

'* He has however confided to me his ardent desire to obtain ydur 
love ; and if you were favourable towards him, and felt you oould 
form an engagement " 

Lord St. Ervan stopped, for he saw that his daughter looked in 
his face with an almost bewildered expression. 

"My dear Constance," he added after a moment^ " do not agitate 
yourself. If this subject is painful to you, let it be dropped for 
ever." 

"Oh no!— not painful," she answered hurriedly, leanin&[ her 
head down upon the bed—" but so unexpected ! " Her mind waa 
now thoroughly roused, and she saw in an instant that Sir Roland's 
proposal had given her father satisfaction ; and so earnest was she 
to please him, that had the proOT>ect been one in which lier hap- 
piness was to have been wrecked for ever, she would have consent^ 
to it without a shadow of hesitation But such was not tiie case ; 
Sir Roland, with his mother and brother, had been the only objects 
of real affection she had ever known beyond those of ner own 
&mily; she had other acquaintances and friends — ^but none like 
these. Still she had never thought of Sir Roland in the light of a 



SIB BOLAND ASHTON. Ii5 

husband ; and it is difficult to say, what would have been her 
decision at that moment, had she had nothing but her own feelings 
to consult; but she saw at a glance, that by engaging herself to 
him, she would not onlv insure a kind and happy home for her 
sister, but would also cheer the dyin^ hours of her father. These 
thoughts, which passed like lightning through her mind, re- 
conciled her instantly to the idea of forming an engagement, which 
otherwise she might have hesitated to undertake. 

Her father laid his hand fondly on her head« and soothingly 
said^ 

" You shall defer your answer, dear Constance, till your mind is 
accustomed to the tnought which is now so suddenly brought be- 
fore it, and till your heart is sure of the decision it would wish to 
make. I knew not what your feelings might be. and I would not 
have tried to penetrate them; only time with me is almost at an 
end — and on your determination, my darling, must depend '•" 

"My dearest father," interrupted Lady Constance hurriedly, 
" your wishes must be mine. Tell me only what you think, what 
you feel, and I " she paused. 

" Think not of me. my dearest child," replied Lord St. Ervan, 
*' but ask your own neart its wishes, and be ruled by them. I do 
not say that it would be otherwise than joy to me, to confide you 
to one, who of all the human beings I ever met with, appears to 
me the brightest image of his Maker : but still the heart will not 
at all times follow the lead of reason, and if you could not be 

^* Oh ! yes," exclaimed Lady Constance, " I will—I will be his." 

She rose from her knees, and threw her arms round her fatiier's 
neck, who pressed her with all a dying parent's loye, to his 
heart. 

" My God« I thank thee," he murmured, and closing his eyes, 
sunk into an almost deathlike state of exhaustion. Lady Con- 
stance, in terror, called the nurse, and they administered areyiying 
draught, which after a time partially restored him. 

He opened his eyes, and seeing the nurse near him, he whispered 
Bomethmg to her, and she instantly withdrew ; and in a few mo- 
ments after, Lady Constance was startled by finding Sir Roland 
by her side. ^ His countenance betrayed the greatest anxiety ; but 
that exnression was in an instant changed to a deep fiush of joy, 
as Lord St. Ervan, placing Lady Constance's hand in his, said 
£iintly, "She will be yours. ' 

Sir Koland put his arm round Ihe being he so long had loved, and 
she, with perfect confidence laying her nead upon his breast, gave 
iray to a burst of tears. 

Lord St. Ervan's strength sunk under the great excitement of 
Ids feelings, and now that all motive for exertion was over, his 
powers seemed almost suddenly to fail. Feeling himself dying, 
ne whispered to Sir Koland, ** I would see Florence— your mother." 

Sir Koland, roused from the fulness of his mingled feelings, 
observed with terror the great alteration which had taken place, 
and in much alarm was about to speak, when Lord St. Eovan, 

L 



146 Snt SOLAJTD ASHIOK. 

l)eiiding his fading eye upon the still weeping: girl by his side, 
«eemed to warn nim not to alarm her; he therefore gently 
disengaged himself, and placing Lady Constance on a chair 
oy her father's bed, hastened to summon his mother and 
Xiady Florence to the chamber, intimating in a low tone to the 
former that the last sad scene drew near. When Lord St. Ervan 
saw them enter the room, he extended his arms to take a last em- 
brace of Lady Morence, who, with the tmrestrained grief of 
childhood, wept alond upon his breast. Tears streamed &om his 
eyes, as he tenaerly soothed her, and whispered to her of that happy 
land, whither he was hastening, juad where she would «oon follow 
him, through that Bedeemer, whom her young heart had already 
learned to love. He then turned to Sir £.oland and be^ed him to 
pray with him, adding, " My soul is in perfect peace.** JBLis request 
was instantly oompl^d witn, and all Jcnelt round the bed of suf- 
fering, so soon to be exchanged for the glories of a heavenly 



When sir Eoland had ended a prayer, in wliich his fall heart 
poured forth all its holy feelines, lie raised his head, and became 
instantly and painfiilly aware, mat a fresh change had taken place 
in Lord St. Ervan' s appearance. He still breamed, but that was 
aU the sign of life he gave. They watched by him for some hours, 
but he gave no proof of consciousness;, nor cad a single sigh mark 
the moment when his soul departed. He, "passed away in sleep^ 
in the deep quiet of the night I " 



CHAPTER XX. 

**Aiidy«twemoiinitheei Tes! tbj jplAce is void 
Within our hearts, ^ • • 

* "* And o'er that tie destroyed, 

Though CEiith rejoice, fond natnie sfill must melt.** 

Mrs. Hexass. 
The funeral was over, and the first shock which death leaves on 
the mind, was beginning to subside ; but Lady Constance's spirits 
seemed not to revive, so incalculable to her was the loss of one, 
whose eye had never looked upon her but in love and kindness 
Ever since her mother's death, which took place when she was of 
too early an age to retain anything but a faurt remembrance of iL 
she had been her father's almost constant companion ; and he had 
delighted to train her young mind, not only in the purest spirit of 
religion, but also in the paths of learning and science. All her 
occupations^ therefore, reminded her of his care and aiSbction ; and 
the notes with which he had enriched her books of study, were oon- 
tinually before her eyes, reminding her of the time when e&e had 
tead them with him. How much did she miss the wisdom of that 
mind, which she formerly could consult on every subject! Ths 
earth, the sky, the ocean, — all brought him to her remem- 
brance, who had taught her the knowledge of liieir treasures, and 
Ihe love of their Creator ; and the eheeifulness of whose mind had 



V 



added a <hBjm to tU his instruotioB. Yet tbe tkooglit of Ids 
iiappiness was joy to her heart, and she loyed to be away from 
others, that she might, xmixiterraptedly, indulge her thoughts of 
Inm. " She awoke each day to the stapendons thought, l£at her 
^BL0ser was in heaven, but me felt Hie more, tiiat she was not there ; 
tibat a veil of separation himg befcween tibem, whioh nothing bnt 
death eonld raise." 

But affcer a time die WKwUbalb she was acfiiig seM^yy and nn- 
kindly, in alraenting 'hendf so mneh "fron those, who strove witii 
every attention whidi Ysuve ooiald suggest, to sooithe her sorrow, and 
win her baek to cheerfolness ; and as soon as lAie fe3t her faiilt,,d)9 
lesdLntely denied its indxdgeiMe. 

The engagement between her and Sir Roland was Imown only to 
themselves. Lady Ashton, and Miss Gower ; for Lady Ashton 
Hiou^t that it wonkL be painM to Lady Consbmee to have it 
made subject of comment and eonveisatien, so immediately after 
her father's death. To Henrv Ashton they would of eourse hare 
immediately communioated it, aad they been oertaia where he was ; 
but they did not lik» l&e idea of a letter eontaimng inteUigenee of 
molL a nature, to be passiag from hand to hand, and Anally per- 
iiapB, to be opened by a stranger. It was Lady Oonstanoe^s wisjx 
Ihat the marriage dioukL net take place for eome time ; and finally 
it was decided, that it riiould be &fexred till Sir Roland retaxnecL 
&om the oontinwrt, after fulMiag his engagement with Lord ^ . 

It had be^i a ^reat trial to lady Oonstaaiee having to leave C9a- 
irerton and all its hAiHats--«ndeared by so many ties-— so many 
zeeolieetioBs ! And soon a new source of grief arose, in the bad 
state of health into whioii Miss €kywer had Mien, and wMoh, very 
sooB alter Lord St. £rvan'« deatii, obliged her to quit '^e pupils 
to whom she was so much attached. This separation was a most 
rpaixtful one on both sides, and to Constance the loss was irre- 
pexable ; for Miss Gow» had lived witii her firom-the time of her 
mother's death, and was in every way quaMed to lead her young 
mind in the healthfol path of sokd piety, and edf-denying exertion. 
£ind as were her other Mends, none could so well ent^ into h^ 
•ioeAmgs as regarded her father, fornone had known him so well as 
'Miss Gower ; and ^be loss, therefore, of this valued companion, 
jcenewed in some degree the acute regret she felt for him. 

fiir Boland was unrsmittnig in his devotion to Lady Constance ; 
and the stren^ of his ottaohment, which daily increased, showed 
itself in nothm^ more than in the self-denial which he exercised, 
in never intmdmg on her solitude, or ppessing her in any way to 
be with him more than she herself desired. ^Aae was deeply touched 
hf his tender and ooasiderate auction ; but the very circumstance 
•of tiieir engagement, wMoh should have brought ner heart into 
•dosest union with his, seemed to have a totally eontrary effect. In 
.heap childidi years, when she had been so much with him and his 
bzotiier, though Henry, who was nearer her own age, was more 
'freouentiy her companion, yet Sir Roland was ever the one she 
iiad looked up to for help in her griefs and troubles ; and to him 
-^he would now— had their relative circumstances remained un- 
'dumged-^have freely poured forth all her Borrown—looking to him 

L 2 



148 fltB BOLAin) AfiHTOir* 

for comfort, counsel, and love. But her hurried engagement had 
arrested and altered the whole current of her feelings. The new 
tie that was formed between them, had arisen before her heart was 
prepared to receive and sanction it ; and though she reyered and 
admired him beyond any living creature, yet she now felt a *gkrx.e* 
and discomfort in his presence, which was most painful to her. 
She was in fact doubly oereaved. In her father stie had lost tiie 
being whom most she loved on earth ; and Sir Roland — to whom 
she would once have gone in all the falness of her grieving heart — 
she now felt an insurmoimtable difficulty, in approaching. She felt 
as if more would be required of her than she could nve ; and that 
feeling restrained the expression of the sentiments wnioh reaJly did 
exist in her heart. 

How often do the sweetest and tenderest ties of life— if unaccom- 
panied by corresponding feelings— instead of drawing hearts into 
closer union, erect a barrier between them, causing the sense of 
distance to increase, as the nearness of the bond presses upon the 
reluctant spirit ! It was this feeling which stole over Lady Con- 
stance, as she became calm enough, after her father's death, to join 
again in the usual routine of life at lianaven, and which shut up 
her whole hearts-even to her sister— for she foimd it impossible to 
talk of Sir Roland as she used to do ; and where there is one pointy 
which we feel we must avoid in conversing with those most inti- 
mate with us, it throws a restraint on all communication. A 
coldness and abstraction of feeling seemed to usurp dominion over 
one, who was by nature so open and so free ; whose mind had 
seemed to dwell upon her lips, and whose every word had ex- 



pressed the feelings of her gmleless, loving, and expansive heart. 
This change was unperceived by Lady Ashton, who though 
Lady Constance's depression was only the natural state of a mind. 



unrecovered as yet irom its terrible bereavement. For a time Sir 
Roland strove to believe so too ; for he Imew that the effect of grief 
ever lies most heavily on the young and untried spirit; but he 
oould not long blind himself to the truth ; the quickened eye of 
love saw deeper into the secret of her heart. He knew it' could 
not be grief for her father, which made her so cold to him— ^for, pre- 
vious to her engagement, she had freely told her sorrows, and 
sought his sympathy. But now, if her eye caught his— instead of 
lighting up in smiling brightness as in former tunes, or returning 
Ills looks of tender concern with her usual sweet and grateful ex- 
pression—she hurriedly withdrew her glance, and with busy idle- 
.ness, would appear to occupy herself in some way apart fr^m him. 
If at any time she was alone with him in the room or garden, she 
would suddenly seem to recollect something which she had to fetohr- 
something to do elsewhere — as an excuse for leaving him. In fact 
he felt her alienation in a thousand ways ; and thin^ to which he 
could scarcely have given a name— wounded him to his inmost soul t 
Yet she was never unkind, nor had she any feeling but that of 
love for him, who loved her with so full a heart ; but she dreaded 
that he might speak— and she not be able to answer as he might 
wish ; or that he miffht think her ungrateful for not fully respond- 
ing to his feelings of devoted attadunent. At length the suffering 



SIB BOLAin) ASHTOlfT. 149 

of Sir Roland's mind became so intolerable, that he resolved to 
speak to her ; and either restore the former freedom of their inter- 
course, or break for ever the tie that bound Uiem tos^ether. He 
had tried everv means which affection and devoted love could 
devise, to win ner back to confidence and peace, but fdl seemed in 
vain ; and had he not known that — if their engagement were oiice 
at an end — ^Uanaven could not continue a home to the orphan 
sisters, he would at once— whatever it might have cost him— bave 
restored her her plighted troth, and have entreated her to break a 
bond which seemed so great a burden on her spirit. But situated 
as she was, he coxdd not do this— and indeed the bare idea of it was 
agony to him ; — ^but he determined at least to speak openly to her 
upon the subject, and then leave her free to act as her heart 
dictated. 

He had much occupation, connected with the care of his own 
property, and with the public business of the county; but when he 
could find time, he often accompanied Lady Constance in her rides 
and walks about the beautiful country in which they resided. On 
the smooth sands, or amongst the picturesque clifis of that lovely 
region, they had delighted in former happy days to roam for 
hours together, searching for the many objects which the facile 
mind of childhood considers as treasiu^es; or climbing up the rocks 
by unaccustomed ways, whose danger made them all the more 
enjoyable. Amongst these well-known places, again would she 
and Sir Roland orten ramble together; but the unchanged scenes 
without, made the change within but the more strongly and pain- 
fully felt. Lady Constance continuallv struggled against her 
feelings, and strove to be aU that Sir Eoland could wish; but the 
very effort produced the constraint which she was so anxious to 
throw off. 

They were strolling alonj^ beneath the cliffis, on one of those still, 
soft, genial davs we sometimes have in the. month of February, 
" when Spring s first gale comes forth to whisper where the violets 
lie ;" ana overcome by the lassitude occasioned by the unusual 
warmth of the air, they seated themselves on a grass-covered 
l^ge of the rock, whilst Lady Florence, at some distance, regard- 
less of the heat, was climbing about in search of the little flowers, 
* which bloom the first,' or playing with a Newfoundland dog, which, 
belonged to Henry, and which was a universal favourite, for the 
absent sailor's sake. 

Sir Roland ^nerally had with him a volume of poetrv, or of 
some pleasant interest, such as suited the light studies of the open 
air, and now he read for some time to Lady Constance, as tney 
sat together; but even while thus employed, he could not but fed 
the coldness and abstraction of the manner in which she listened. 
He ceased after a while, but the pause in his voice seemed unob- 
served by her. 

He spoke to her at length, and she started as one awakened 
from sleep ; but turning to him with a kind smile, though with a 
heightened colour, she said — 

" I b^ your pardon, I have been very rude and Inattentive ; the 
heavy air and the rolling of the waves sent my mind, I think, to 



ISO fiOb SOLASD ASBTOX-* 

sleep; but I liked -vrhat you were readii^, tlioag:li my fihottglits 
had wandered from it for a moment." 

" Constance/' said Sir Soknd, " I oasnot bear l&at sad and 
patient look. I bad rather a tiionsmd timea sea yon oocasicmally 
overwhelmed with siief* iStaai for joa to appear as if aH feeling* — 
allpower of ex^oymest was gon&. 

He paused ; then with earoeal enei^ he oontanned-^or he had, 
after silently eommittingr bis wa^ to God; nerwd bimself to speak 
upon the subject that was to deoide aU biB eartblj fate — 

" I have long obsewed' the sorrow amd oppivsaon of ^onr mind, 
and I was but too wHlihgr for a while to Mlieve thai; it was the 
natural effect of the fpnms you had had to endure; but time as it 
passes brings no dKange to you; and l&ereseirve and embarrass^ 
ment you always show when in my society, presses the painful 
conviction upon me, that ir-who would do ail to make you happy 
— am the miserable eanse of yoos unhappinesBr" 

"Oh! no, no," said Lady OonstBnoe, interrupting him, "dear 
Koland, do not say that; indeed it is not so. I am not— you do 
not make me unhappy^ but i cannot so soon forget"—- and she 
burst into tears. 

Sir Eoland with difficu lty r e pre saed his ownemotlon, but waiting 
till he could command his voioe, he said — 

" Dear Constanee, would that vou eould always let those tearar 
of natural feeling flow freelv berore me. Oh ! that it were as in 
old times, when every trouble of your heart was brought to me ; 
when I was your comforter, and your sii»p<»rt ! I know indeed, 
that you have now a better and holier rerage to fly to ; One who 
'in cul our affliction is afflicted'— 'but still, if your heart were 
mth me as it used to be, you would love to claim the sympathy, 
which is yours now, a thousand times more than ever. Yes^ I 
cannot disguise it from myself-— it w«re worse than madness to 
endeavour to do so— you io not love me !— the fatal tie, which 
should have bound us together, heart and soul, is felt ae a galHng 
chain by you. I will not ask you to break it^-I canuot ask you i» 
do that— not yeth-my selfish heart refuses to do thatyet--but I 
would entreat—beseech you to believe, that worlds oiiuld not indoee 
n^e to urge the fulflhnent of yoor engagement, unless I saw and 
felt it was your heart's desire it should continue. You have been 
— perhaps unwisely^ preeipitatdy — offined an afifeotioii-— wholly 
yours— but which, I now feel, does not meet with on aaswerinr- 
leelmg in your breast^ It were vain to offer me liberty I it wonla 
be like opening the cage to the pinioned bird— i have no power to 
fly; but! set you free-— perfectly free-^tiiough my own faith I 
shall ever keep plighted to you, till— your will shall perfoi«e break 
the bond." 

He spoke hurriedly, as. fearing his res<dutioa should MLand 
Lady Constance was too much agitated to interruut him. When 
he paused, however, she instantly besou^it him to oeUeve she had 
no wish to end their engagement— no oesiie but to make herwtf 
worthy of his affection. 

"Do not speak so," replied Sfar Roland; "if I am itt anyway 
worthy of you, it is only in the devoted love I bear yov^ But^ 



BIB BOLAITD JkBBIOV* 1^1 

Constance, are you speaking your whcle mindi in saying you wish 
our engagement to continue ^ Remember, dearest, it were better 
— oh ! many, many times^— to break it off now, than to find, too 
late, that you had mistaken tho idlings within you. I have no 
wish," he added with a sad tmule, " to persuade you that you do 
not love me ; but I do most earnestly desire tiiat 3rou should hold 
yourself as free from any restraint. — ^I have sometimes dreaded, — 
you will let me say all 1 feel; Constanee }** he^ continued, lookmg 
at her for a moment l^rsn withdrawisfi: his e3^s from her eoun- 
tenanee, while hi» own- wais erossed by strong and oontending 
emotions, **I have sometimes dreadeei that — amongst ihe many 
persons with whom you are- aequaaited, there might perhaps have 

been some one whom— ^wiose good qualities — ^who might '* He 

stopped— then continued wim a desperate eflfort— " who mig^t 
have left a favourable impreeeron on your mind. Forgive me fox 
venturing on such a subject — feut I would not for worlds — ^wer» 
such tike case — stand in l^e warv of your happiness. Coxdd you 
confide in me sufficiwigy— to tell me — ^for I do not love you self- 

idily— whether ** Hfr raised hi& eye» for a mjMnent, and Lady 

Constance met t^eir gnxe- unshnnkingly, though her colour had 
mouoted to her temples^ 

" No, Roland,'* she agwwered, " I have nev« given a thought to 
any being; and I feel sore that I- could not intrust mv happiness 
with greater security to any one than to you, whom I nave known 
from childhood— whto have ever been the kindest and best of friends. 
But I have feared yaa. would not be satisfied with me. I mean," 
she added, as she raised her te>ubled eyes to his, *' I thought my 
oold heart might not content you — I feared " 

** Dearest Constance," said wr Rolarai, ** do not distress yourself; 
do not say anot^r word ; tell me only tiiat you wish no change — 
and let me now as for tite. first time begin to try to make you like 
me." 

Lady Constance was much moved by his generosity, and with a 
glowing smile dbe held out her hand to him, saying— 

" That would be impossiWe,. lor you have ever been one of the 
dearest of my friends. 

"Thank you, dear Constanee, for your kindness," he replied — 
though a sigh rose as he felt how inadequatelv her feelings an- 
swered to his; — "let us then be at least true friends. Should I 
suceeed in obtaining your fall affeetion, then we shall indeed be 
happy !— If not— better, far better, that I alone should suffer." 

After this conversation, Lady Constance felt much of her reserve 
wear off; and her intercourse with Sir Roland became more like 
viiat it had been bef oro their engagement. Ok Roland was careful 
not to disturb this tranquil state of things, by showing any anxiety 
to engage a more exclusive feeling;— though he would lain have 
done BO — and their days flowed on in works of piety and useful- 
ness, and in pleasant study and recreation. 

Sir Roland had not expected to be called away from home till 
late in the^ spring. €hpeat, therefore, was his discomposure, at 
becEring from his unole, that oiroumstanees having brought theis 



152 BEft BOULND ASHTOIT. 

foreifpi plans more forward than was expected, his presence was 
desired immediately, and that he trusted ne would be able to join 
bim without delay. This was a severe trial to him, coming, too» 
just at the time whon a feeling of returning coniidenoe had oe^iuL 
to dawn in Lady Constance's heart towards him, and her mind 
had seemed to snake off somewhat of its oppression and unhappi- 
ness. His habitual submission to the will of God restrained hinu 
however, from murmuring; though a sigh of deep regret would 
often escape from his bosom. Lady Constance endeavoured by 
every thoughtful attention to speak her regard for him, and to 
render Jiim perfectly happy in his feelings respecting her. He felt 
all her kindness ; and her sweetness of manner towards bim would 
have made him indeed but too happy, had there not been in all her 
looks and actions, a something— ^undefined, but not the less felt — 
which continually brought to his heart the ohUling conviction — 
that all she did for him, proceeded more from a desire to give him 
pleasure than from the spring of love within. Still he hoped that 
the time would come, when her heart would be wholly his ; when 
he could feel that she soufirht his side— not because she knew that 
then only was he happy—- But because that then only could she be 
happy herself. The oppression on his spirits increased hourly, 
however, during the few day^ that intervened between the receipt 
of his uncle's letter and the time fixed for him to go, and he felt 
utterly miserable. 

" Come with me, Constance," he said on the morning of his de- 
parture ; ** come with me once more upon Ihe shore. My kind 
mother's preparations will not be finished yet, and we shaH have 
time for a walk." 

Lady Constance hastened to prepare herself, and was with him 
a^ain in a few moments. She took his arm, and they walked on 
slowly, sadlv, and in silence, till they reached the little turfy bank 
where thev had sat a few weeks before, during that conversation 
which had. served at the time to restore somewhat of peace and 
hope to Sir Roland's bosom. But how was that peace now again 
troubled ! that hope, where was it fiown ! 

" Let us rest here." said Sir Roland. — " Oh ! Constance, how 
miserable I feel ! my heart seems to droop within me ! It is weak 
thus to give way ; — but there are times in which one's soul seems 
crushed Dv a weight it cannot resist." 

" Dear Roland, ' replied Lady Constance, "you will soon retam 
to us ; will you not ?" 

" I know not, Constance ; it seems to me as if I were going for 
ever ! But I must not— must not give way to this despondency. I 
am a ereat professor, but I fear a poor doer of my heavenly Father's 
will, for my heart is terribly rebellious. But now, dear, I will try 
and shake off this unmanly folly, and enjoy the few moments that 
yet remain to me, of being with you. But yet there is one thing 
1 must say. — On this very spot, Constance, some weeks ago, you 
assured me you did not wish to break our engagement. — I would 
not renew this subject," he added, seeing Laay Constance looked 
digressed — "onl3r that I do so earnestly desire your happiness! 
and I wish that if ever we are united, it should do with &e fall 



SIB BOLAFD ASHTOK. 158' 

coasent of your wliole heart,— unbiassed by anytbing but its own. 
inclinations. When I am away, my mother's home isnght still be 
yours and Florence's, even if—" he stopped abruptlyTior a throb ' 
of such agony passed through his heart, as for the moment com- 
pletely overcame him ; leoovering, however, he continued—" even 
if our engagement were at an end. — ^I have spoken of Florence, 
because I fear that that child's happiness may be dearer to you 
than your own — 1 have at least sometimes fjancied that-— you 
sacrificed voiirself for her." 

He fixed lus dark eyes with intense anxiety upon Lady Con- 
stance, whose countenance could at that moment ill bear the scru- 
tiny, for she felt conscious that a desire that Lady Florence should, 
continue under Lady Ashton's protection had mingled with her 
other feelings, in determining her to continue her engagement with 
Sir Roland. Still she knew that her high regard for mm, and her 
desire for his happiness, had had by far the greater share in her 
decision, and this reflection enabled her — ^when the first moment of 
discomfort which his words had produced, had passed— to meet Ids' 
searching fiance with openness. She replied— 

" B.olfljia, I will not deny that one of the charms of my engage- 
ment to vou has been the thought of my sister's happiness ; but • 
I can troly say, that never would I, even for her sake, have re- 
newed my engagement, had not you yourself been one whom I 
loved, and who I knew would make me happy. Have I not 
known you," she said— kindly desirous of setting his heart at rest — 
"since my earliest days? and when have I ever heard an imkind. 
word from your lips ? And do you think I cannot trust you now — 
when, as you tell me, all your heart is mine ?" 

" As I tell you, Constance," repeated Sir Roland, reproachfully ; 
**you know that all my heart is yours— at least all I dare give to 
mortal being." 

" I do know it, in truth," replied Lady Constance, " but I did 
not like," she added, playfiilly, ^* to presume upon my knowledge." 

" Dear Constance," replied Sir Roland, enchanted at this return 

of ease and confidence, " you have taken a load from my heart ; 

A so that, strange to say, the lastr— the parting hour, seems the 

\ happiest and the best to me. God is very merciful — ^who in the 

^- bitter cup of separation infuses so sweet a draught ! and, in His 

deep compassion, sends earthly comfort to temper earthly sorrow. 

, Constance, you will write to me, in my sad exile ? ^ You do not 

know the weary life I am about to lead. You will write to me ?" 

"Surely I will," replied Lady Constance ; "and tell you all I 
do ; so you will not escape the task of Mentor, but will have to 
fulfil that, in addition to all your other burdens." 

" That will be rather the charm, that will compensate for all the* 
rest," said Sir Roland. "What a joy and dehght will it be, to 
^ leave all the wearisome work, and bustling scenes I shall be en- 
Raged in, to meet you in quiet and solitude— you and God, dear 
Constance. Yes ! thanks be to Him ! the thought of you is ever 
accompanied with His gracious presence, for I know that you love 
Him as I do. But oh ! now, when all smiles upon me, must I 
depart ? and leave what alone makes life pleasant, to mix in soenes 



ISL 6XR lujuasm nsBTon* 

vAdoh, I detest. I would grre maMa to sts^ with you ! it seems im^ 
X)08BihLe-— impossible for me to go. Desr Constance, if you knew 
-ynisat an agony it is ibr me to part from you-— you whom I have 
loved, beyond the time to which memory goes back ! — ^And yet, 
pcsiraps, he added, sadly, *'it is best for me to go. When I am 
away, yon may perhaps ^ink of me with greater tenderness than 
yon do now." And he coyered his &oe with his hands to hide his 
straggling emotion. After a £8w mEoments he started np, exdabn- 
ing, " But this is useless folly, and we must part; yet 1 am crael, 
aiuL selfish enough to fsel, that wene this partmg the same angni^ 
to yon, that it is to me — I should be hicppy ! Do not hate me, 
ConBtanoe, for I am very miserable." 

Lady Constance, whose tears flowed fast, replied — 

** You are unjust Roland— indeed you are— to doubt that I lore 
you. Oh ! do believe me, when I say I do— and when I tell you 
now sad this parting is to me. If only I could feel that you were 
satisfied with me--%at you did not doubt me — ^liien I too should 
"he happy. Surely my tearS' miiBt ^w that this i» no joyful 
moment?" 

Sir Roland pressed h^hand to Ms hearty said felt somewhat of 
consolation at the sight of her distress ; but his w^re mingled — 
confused, emotions, and he could not speak. He knew she loved 
T^jm ; but he felt tiiat her love was not like his, and his mind was 
troubled. He straggled long' for oompoeare^-Hind' prayed earnestly 
for strength and oomfort— and they were sent| his heart was lifted 
up to Him whose unfailing love is ever satisfysn^ ! and he rerjoioed, 
witli calmed feeling, that this world was not " his all." 

'* Constance," he said at length, *^I do not doubt your love ; and 
yon will forgive the wayward&ess of m^* uBieasoBable heart. Oh ! 
yon are dear to me — dearertjuui anytmng on earth should be — ^for 
you make me forget every^ing amost, but yourself. I sufiTer 
sorely for my idolatry ! When my heart eives God of^am HDs 
proper place within me— then I shall again be nappy-— not till then. 
But all must be well; and we AaM perhaps soon wander on this 
shore a^ain with more joyful spixits* But new>" he added in a 
constramed manner, ** I must be goingr- Yen will oome back with 
me?" 

Lady Constance had stiU continued sittmg on ih» bank, but now 
she sprung up, and with a faltering voice exclaimed, ^*0h! Roland, 
do not speak so coldly to me !" and she burst into tears. 

** Coldly ! Constance," said Sir Boknd, as every nerve trembled, 
—"coldly! I cold to you!" 

He felt the injustice of the aoonsation, yet it brought with it a 
joy inexi)ressible. That reproof was dearer to him than aJl the 
protestations of love which language could have supnlied, for it 
showed him that she valued his ai»etion— that she Mt pained at 
any apparent diminution in it ! He was at tiiat moment happi^ 
than he had ever been through all hia H£b — a new existence seem^ 

given him ; and as he looked on her he was about to leave, he fdt 
ow far better it was to be absent— and beloved, than present— and 
an object of indi£^ence ! He could; not express what passed within 
hiaw hut he spoke huxried words of de^ aaeotion, and when I^dy 



SIR EO£JUn> ASBTOir. 1^ 

Cmstance again looked at him, she saw in his oonsfonaiioe a joy H 
had never beamed with before. 

Arm in arm they retnmed to the honse ; Sir Remand's heart too 
foil of hapinnesB ahnest for speeeh, and Lady Constance happy 
too in the oonseionBneas of the peaee and joy she had given him. 
They jmned Lady A^^n; and after a fbw minutes Lady Constanoe 
leffefthe room, l&at Qir Roland might be wilii his mother alone; 
bat when the grating sonnd of the carriage-wheels was heard on 
the gravel before the house, she agsdn joined them. Sir Roland's 
spirit sunk anew under the prospect of separation, and it was not 
without a painful efkat Hist ne spoke composedly. 

At last the servant announoed ^at Hie carriage was ready, and 
feeling that delay only laobnged liie sufferixig; and increased the 
difficulty of partmg, he rose, and embraced his mother, kissed the 
blooming child who hong in tears about his neck, and pressing - 
Lady Constance for a nKnnent to his heart, threw himself into the 
carnage, which soon here hdm for away from the dearest ol^'eots (d 
his earthly aiSEbctions. 



eHAPTBK XXL 

*• I do not think Us bri^ Mne ejvs ae, Hke Uf bfofker^, keea, 
ISor ioa brow bo fUl of ehildtth tlxnght at his iMtb «v«r been ; 
Bnt his jonthftil hewt'9 » fUntalB dear, of miBd and tender fteling, 
Aad his very look'* a dseam of Bc^t, xieh.dtBtha of love revealing.'* 

MOCLIIIIB. 

" Hit T«rv Ittarti atfaiist 
To gaw at naiore in her gresaamy. 
Upon the ship's- tall sLde be stands possessed 
With irisiOBS piampted. by intense, desire." 

GOITFEH. 

SiE RoLAin) was one whose; society was most delightfal, for to 
the most pleasing masBers^.he added aU the oharm of a cultiyated 
mind, and of a liydy, bng^ poetical imagination. Lady Con- 
stance felt his loss exeee£ngly ; yet, when hex first feehngs of 
regret were past, she experienced a repose of nerves and of mind 
to which die had loxi^been a stranger. It wasy howeyer, deeply 
painful to her to feel that Sir Eoland's absence was a relief— painful, 
as regarded her own fatnre prospectS'-painf ul, doubly, as it made 
her seem in her own eye% so ungrateful to one whose heart 
was so wholly given up to hes. When she thought of his 
ahnost faultless oharaeter, of his ardent piety, and above all, of 
the deep, devoted love he bore to her, she wondered that she could 
feel anything but the livelieal attachment to him; and often» 
bitterly, did she weep over the coldness, and waywardness of her 
hearty and trouble with self-reproach* as she could not but be 
conscious that now, in his absence, she felt a peace his presence 
had never imparted. And yet her feelings were not unnatural; 
for wboi with Sir Roland, ^e was perpetually watching over her- 
Ktf in order to be kind and attentive to him ; she was fearful of 
paining him,, anxious to be pleased with all he did, and to show 



156 snt BOLAin) ashiov. 

him that he made her hap^y ; and thus, niioonscioiisly, she was 
ever acting a part, though influenced by the purest feelings, and 
the kindest motives ; and it was an inexpressiple rest to* her mind 
and spirits, when she oould again speak and act, without having 
to think how she spoke and acted. Now that he was absent she 
breathed more freely, and her step regained its elastic spring ; tiie 
liveliness of her girlish spirits again began to animate her coun- 
tenance, and her voice was once more heard in the tones of joyous 
cheerfulness which had long been silenced. 

It was a happy thing for ner in some respects, that Lady Ashton 
was of a most conflding, unsuspicious disposition. Singularly 
amiable herself, she was willing to think all the world the same ; 
and glaring indeed must have been the defect she could ever have 
perceived m those she loved. The beautiful simplicity of her 
character, and the singleness of her mind, though they assisted 
greatly in making her an upright, uncompromising follower of her 
Saviour's, yet unfitted her exceedingly for any deep insight into 
the characters of her fellow-creatures, and made her but litde 
versed in reading their feelings and sentiments. What they ought 
to feel— that, she supposed they did feel ; and no questioning doubt 
on such subjects ever entered her mind. Her own uneventful life 
had served much to increase this peculiarity of disposition. Mar- 
ried early, to the only man she had ever loved, she lived with him 
in oontinuallv-increasing confidence and aiSection, till death's heavy 
hand severed the perfect tie which existed between them; ana 
then, the dutiful love, and amiable consideration of her sons, 
conspired to keep distrust and anxiety far from her breast. 

From the moment that she found Lady Constance had promised 
her hand to Sir Roland, no doubt had ever crossed her mind, as to 
the whole of her young friend's heart having been given with her 
faith ; and all the many thin^ which had brought such bitter con- 
viction of the contrary to Sir Roland's love-quickened eye, had 
>assed beneath hers, without awakening one mistrustful feelingr. 
Jt would in truth have been difficult for any one— especially a 
mother — ^to have looked on Sir Roland, and to have imagined it 
possible that the unshackled heart of any girl could have refused 
itself to his love ! 

Lady Ashton's unquestioning confidence was a great relief there- 
fore to Lady Constance, freeing her as it did &om scrutinizing 
observation, and making her feel perfectly at her ease. Yet it 
often also made her feel uncomfortable ; for in speaking of Sir 
Roland, Lady Ashton always seemed to infer her devoted attach- 
ment to him ; and would express, with every kindness her heart 
could dictate, her sympathy for the sorrow which she thought his 
absence must occasion her; and Lady Constance, whose whole 
soul was truth itself, was forced to keep silence, when she would 
otherwise gladly have opened her heart, and all its feelings to one 
whom she loved as a mother. She hoped indeed that the time 
would come, in which her feelings for her future husband would 
be all he could desire, and all that his mother now fondly imagined 
tiiem to be ; yet it was painful to her to see Lady Ashton give 
her credit for sentiments, which she was conscious she did not 



Yi 



SIR BOLAin) ASHTOK. 157 

Sir Eoland had left England but a few days, when Lady 
Ashton receiyed a letter from Henry, dated from Rio, saying that 
he was coming home directly, and that he hoped to obtain leave 
of absence for a few weeks, or perhaps even months, before he was 
obliged to join the new ship to which he had been appointed. 
This unexpected news spread universal joy among the inmates of 
Uanaven ; for they had not seen the young seaman for above three 
vears, and he was always the life and delight of the house when at 
Bome. 

There is something singularly captivating in the profession of a 
sailor — something so chivalrous, so full of daring, and of danger ! 
In early youth, the being, who under all circumstances would be 
beloved, becomes, when absent on his storm-rocked home, the ob- 
ject of intensest interest and affection ; and a halo of bright, but 
tenderest feeling, ever shines around him, and the sublime element 
on which he moves ! 

Henry Ashton was indeed, in every respect worthy of the great 
affection that was bestowed upon him. He was wholly unlike 
Sir Roland in countenance ; though in their tall slight figures, and 
in the fine outline of their heads, there was much resemblance. 
Sir Roland's was a high, intellectual style of beauty, very rarely 
to be met with ; and on his pale brow there was a pensive dignity 
unusual at his afe — ^heightening the expression of extreme sensi* 
bility which filled his dark steadfast eye. 

Heftry's countenance, on the contraiy, was a continual alternation 
of li^ht and shade. His full blue eyes had a languor and gentle- 
ness in their expression when at rest, which was most touching : 
while, when animated, they lit up with a lustre which seemed 
almost to emit living sparks. His naturally fair complexion was 
bronzed by the sea-air, and by the burning suns of southern 
climes ; yet his forehead, shaded by his gold-brown hair, was pure 
and white as in childhood. He had not the fine features which 
Sir Roland possessed, but his countenance — ^varjring with every 
tiiought and feelinp^—was irresistible in its clumgeful beauty. 

The character of the two brothers had many things in common, 
for they were both generous, both affectionate, both warm-hearted, 
and both warm-tempered : but the development of these qualities 
in the one differed so much from what it was in the other, that at 
fibrst sight they might have been i)ronounced totally dissimilar. 
There was a difference of four years in their ages, yet their attach- 
ment was unbounded; and it would have been difficult to say, 
which— of the fair-haired sunny child, whose countenance " like 
spring time smiled," or the dark- eyed boy, whose very soul 
beamed from his face— had the more devoted love for the other. 
Yet it was curious to trace the different ways in which the same 
feeling would show itself! When quite a little child, if anything 
were given to Henry, he would invariably ask the same for his 
brother ; and if denied it, he would often dash his own gift down 
on the ground, and with bitter words, and streaming tears refuse 
to take it ; while Sir Roland— equally thoughtful for the" little 
one — if refused the boon he asked for him, would carry off his 
own i)osses8ion, and give that to the child— nor feel he made a 
•aerince. 



IBS BIB BOLAin) jonxcnr. 

TLenrfB temper l^oagh quick, was thorougUy amiable ; and His 
naturally careless, joyous ctispoeiticm, would carry away in. its 
bounding flood, many a crieYanoe, and sense of wrong, which 
iroidd have wounded another to the very sovd; and though his 
mood would ohale and fret at any opposition that he met with, yet so 
much of playfohiess and of sweet temper mingled itself wi& his 
flashing nts of anger, that it were hard to say whether they did 
not bring out more of beauty than th^ hid ; as water, when thrown 
high in the air by opposing rocks, shines in the sunbeam witii a 
sparkling light liie tranquil stream can neyer show. Hisiiaults — 
easting scarcely more of shade o^er his diaracter than the summer 
cloud leaves on the ocean—- waeeforgiTenalmostbefore felt ; andiie 
had therefore ncYer fully set himself to «orveet liiem, fornevi^had he 
fully learnt to know them. His religious Iselings were strong and 
enlightened, and vice he could not toksate ; but his mind was not 
in perfect training and subjection, and the power of aelf-.goverBineat 
iras almost, to him, unknown. 

With Sir Roland it was diflferest ; hk temper was naturally far 
more quick and fl«ry than that of his brother ; but &e Tiolenoe of 
his feelings could not be misunderstood bv a heart early awakaoBed 
to a sense of its responsibilities before God; and happ|r ^ras it for 
hfm, tiiat the undaunted energy of his mind, equalled its ioree and 
Tehemenoe. He early learnt to know the de^ik and power of the 

Sassions against whicn he had to contend ; and strenuously did he 
etermine to hare the mastery orerthem. When at sc^oolt Henry 
would flght a hundred battles, and laugh as he foufl;kt; but Bir 
Boland's sense of right, and nobility of chnaKSter made him a^or 
Buoh debasing, unchristian, and ungentLemanlike scenes. Never but 
jcmce — and that when quite a boy — did he allow his passion to 
triumph over his better principle, and then he si^ered bitterly for 
80 doing ; for in the battle which ensued— and whidi did not take 
place tul after he had endured unnumbered provocatians— he struck 
nis adversary with sux^h violence, that the blow, falling on the 
temple, dashed him to tiie ground. The boy was taken up sense- 
less, and it was at first thought — dead; but though he afterwards 
leeovered, yet the shock to Sir Roland was so dreadful, that it acted 
as a most salutary check against any further outbreaks of passion- 
ate feeling. It could not, however, still the power of tiie tempest 
-within; a mightier force than xmassisted immaii energy was 
xequired to effect that ; and hamo^, such foree was in time given, 
—the force of a living, loving faith, which slaked the inwaid Are, 
and imparted so oontmual a sense of Gx)d's presence to Ms soul, 
as hushed the tumult of passion, and gave him a self-subdued— or 
rather, heaven-subdved spirit, such aslew are blessed witiL 

The exact time of Henry Asnton's arrival eould not be oalculated ; 
end as he would land at Falmouth— whicJi was not very far from 
Llanaven— there would be no time for the post to reach the latter 
place before he eould do so himself, lliis kept his fdends in a state of 
continual excitement and expectation ; and every aoimd — emeoiaUv 
l^e noise of the reeeding waves, -drawing i&e pebbly shingle with 
^em in tiieir retreat, which from time to time reamed than from 
the flhore--iseemed tha weleome approaohof bis caniage-wheels. 



Snt SQLiJm ABBWX* 159 

Lady Morenoe, incapable of Betting to anytking, pasBod meet of 
the day on the heicphts, watching for nis ship, which would probably 
pass in sight: and tiien she would return hacoB vrhen tne light 
failed, and teU of all the suoeessiTe objects she had seen, which slid 
had felt sore were his ship, but which, as they neared her expectant 
eyes, transformed themselYes into fishing-boats, sea-guUs, or some 
such light gear. 

At lengt£ one morning, the Tehement barking of his old New- 
fonndland, aroused their attention; and Lady Florenee, half doubt- 
ing — shaving so often been deofiLYed-— began repeating those pleasaat 
lines:— 

*' The gladBome iMHindiiig of his mndent honnd, 
Says he in truth is her&--oi]r long, Umg lost, is foand," 

*when the sound of the jwanpling of hones and the whirring of 
wheels were really heard belore tae house, too distinctly to be mis- 
taken. 

All £ew oat of 13ie room— and Lady Fkxr^ioe readied the house- 
door loxig before the bell oould be rung, or any servant eouUL 
appear. Senry, for it was indeed he,.GpruiLg from the carriage, and 
catching the duld in his arms, neaily squeezed h» to death ; then 
rushing to his mother and Lady Coimtanoe— in an ecstasy of hap^ 
ness, pressed them both together to his jovful heart. 



**ilijid am I really here again f" hesud,; " really here ^— It is too 
deUfl^tful ! Eut where is Eoknd V 

"He is gone," answered his mother, when she oould £nd words 
to speak ; *'his business with his unole took him away just before 
we inew you were ecming." 

"Howintolerahle!" said^enry, impatiently, as his brow con- 
tracted to a sudden frown ; " I had so reckoned on finding him 
here— luid did so lonff to see him ! — ^HowoYer it is something, is it 
not (and the doud cleared from his joyous countenance), to find 
oneself onoe more amongst so many tnat one loyes ? Tou cannot 
think," he added, as he seated himself on the drawing-room sofiE^ 
holding his mother's and Lady Constance's hand in his, whilst 
Lady Florence knelt befwe him, — ^* what a relief it is to look at 
vour loYely, blooming ^sees, after having for weeks had nothing 
out the rou^h, weather-beaten visages oi our old tars to refresh 
one's eyes W1&. And Constance — dear lovelv Constance ! how you 
are ^[rown — and mere beautifal than ever ! And my dearest momer 
looking so well, and ten years younger ! And you— you little tor- 
ment, (to Lady Moarenoe) twioe as blaok and frightful as you ever 
were before, and, I have no doubt, seven times as mischievous ! I 
have kept a monkey on board ever sinoel went to America, on pur- 
pose to remind me of you ; and now I have brought him home in 
Older that on improving syston of 'enseignementmutuel' (mutual 
instruction) may go on between you." 

" Have yon^'*^ said Lady Florenoe,— " ^dieere is it }" And awajr 
die flew. 

" How beautifal she is !" said Henry, when shse was out of hear- 
ing. ''Idon'tmindteUiBgyouthal^ toyouriaee, Constanoe, ior 



160 SIS SOLAin) ASHTOir. 

nothing can make you vain— but I am not so sure about that little 
feiry." 

"Do not be too sure about me," replied Lady Constance ; " how 
can jou tell what evils may have grown up since I have been 
^epnved of— what you used to call— your * paternal admonitions ?* " 

** Did I call them so ?" asked Henry. "Well ! I don't feel very 
paternal just now, so I may perhaps let your vices escape for a 
time. I feel very filial, I know," he added ; and putting nis arm 
suddenly round his mother's neck, much to the discomfiture of cap 
and cape, he pressed his rough lip vehemently to her cheek. 

"Mj dear Henry," she ezdaimed, shrinking from Imn* but 
laughmg, " when did you shave last? not since you took yonr mon- 
key on board, I should think? You have carried off at least a 
square inch of my cheek." 

" Not <][uite so bad as that, I hope, my beautiful mother,'' he 
Teplied, kissing her again with the utmost gentleness and affection i 
^' out I confess I have not shaved to-day ; for I left the ship before 
I had light to discern my chin from the captain's, and clei^^ out, 
and got off as fast as possible, to come here. And I have had no 
breakfast either, for tea-cups as well as razors have shared the 

flenitude of my neglect to-day, and I am regularly starving ; shall 
ring ?' * And he jumped up-;-stormed at the bell — and then threw 
himself down in his place again, with such force as made his two 
companions start. 

"I had ordered breakfast for you," said Lady Ashton, quietly, 
** and here it comes." And the door opened, ana a man appeared, 
bearing all the requisites for his repast. 

What is so pleasant-looking as an English breakfast? Its 
white damask, white bread, white cream, white sugar, clear china, 
and bright silvers-all so delicate, so refined, so pure, so dean! 
Bo thought Henry as he seated himself at the table, and ate many 
satisfactory, wedge-shaped pieces of the lotS, and drank sundry 
cups of tea. 

His mother and Lady Constance sat silently by; with that uncon- 
scious smile of pleasure on the Up, with which we often watch the 
enjoyment of those we love. Henry frequently looked at them as 
he satisfied his really craving hungers—with a laughing eye, and a 
nod or shake of his head, as much as to say, he was far too busy to 
talk ; till at length, pausing in his operations,—- 

" This is what I call enjoyment !" he said, tiirowing himself back 
in his chair, and contemplating the "wreck of matter" before him, 
and the bright happy faces on each side — " this is what I call real 
enjoyment ! it only wants Boland's dear old face there opposite me, 
to make it perfect. I wii^ my uncle and all his politics were in the 
depths of the Black Sea rather than have taken him away at this 
moment !— but still this is very delightful ! — ^When did I last see 
butter?" he continued, in a soliloquizing tone, "or cream— or a 
white doth — or white bread— or white hands ? You land ladies have 
no idea of the effect of tliese things on us ' rude and boisterous cap- 
tains of the sea.' (including lieutenants). Yet it is n9t all 
the mere love of the good things of this world, but it is a little— just 
a little— because they are part and parcel of a system of humanized 



Snt BOIAin) ASHTOK. 161 

life, which is most enchanting— perfectly ecstatic t after knocking 
about for years at sea, as I have done, seeing scarcely even a mer- 
maid combing her hair, and being fed on nothing but * toasts of 
ammunition bread/ Oh ! it is glorious ! But now my dear mother, 
* mamma mia, tutta graziosa ^ buona/ (mother mine, all lovely ana 
good), let me go to my room, (the old room I suppose,) and make 
myself respectable, and fit to appear again in your delicate presence 
^— and to kiss your delicate cheet." 

** Wait till I ring, and know that everything is ready, and a good 
fire burning," said Lady Ashton. 

The bell was promptly answered by an old servant who had not 
appeared before, and who now came in with coals, for which he 
supposed he had been summoned. 

"Heave on the coals, old fellow," exclaimed Henry, " and then 

S've me your hand ;" and he shook it, and not onlv it, but with it 
e whole person of the imfortunate man with suon vehemence aa 
nearly deprived him of breath and senses. 
** How are you, James ? and the old lady at the lodge, and all of 

Jou? Your face is the pleasantest I have seen for many a year, 
think I must take you to sea with me, next time I go ; you'E 
come of course?" 

" Thank you, sir— quite well— glad to see you home apain— grown 
so tall— ^not a bit like Sir Boland— quite well," said the poor man 
by snatches, as he regained breath and power of speech. 

"And now, James/' said Henry, releasing him, " come with me 
to my berth, and see that all is made snug there." 



CHAPTER XXIL 

** A wondrous and mysterious thing 
Is hidden in the breast ; 
A sea of tears, a ceaseless spring 
Of waters ill at rest. 
* • ♦ • 

Oh I many are the founts through which 

This mystic water flows, 
And many are the things whose touch 

Disturbs its dim repose. 

For joy hath its own flood-gate meet, 

A tear-spiing all its own ; 
And pleasant are its waters sweety^- 

But they rarely flow alone. 

For near, too near, the fount of woe 

Opens its portal wide ; 
And seld<mi do those waters flow 

But these flow at their side.**— C. G. G. H. 

^ I BSALLY think Henry is mad," said Lady Constance, laughing, 
when he had left the room. 

**He does seem so, certainly," said Lady Ashton; "but he will 
get reasonable enough in time, I dare say. A sailor returning 

X 



162 Sm XOLAND ASHTOir. 

liome is like a prisoner set free ; and Henry's 8|»iitB, at the best* 
are almost overpowerinffly joyous." 

** Oh ! I delignted in nim as he was/' said Lady Constance ; *' he 
used to be like moying sunshine, making all bnght around him. 
3at now he is Hke thunder and lightning V* 

" He is always so, at first, when he returns from seju" said Lady^ 
Ashton ; "but you have neyer before seen him at the nrst moment. 
He used to have time to part with a little of his nonsense to the 
winds before he reachedTdavertan ; and there^ of course, he was 
under a little more restraint.** 

Henry's spirits were certainly always high, espeeially when. 
returning home after any absence ; but his violent outbreaks on 
tiie present occasion, did not all proceed from pure joy. The mind, 
when excited, chooses any excess that may seem easiest— laughter* 
or tears — rather than trsmquillity ; that state, difficult at all times 
to be attained b^ a warm, aniznated temper, is impossible then. 
Henry*s rapture, indeed, at returning home was unbounded ; but 
the sight of the mourning dresses of the two sisters, gave his 
heart such a revulsion, that the moment his first joyful greeting 
was over, he was o;i the point of bursting into violent tears. • 
Desirous of restraining this natural impulse, he made a desperate 
€!ffort over his sorrowful emoticm, and the exertxon sent him to tbe 
opposite extreme of obstreperous gaiety. When, however, old 
tTames had finished all his operations, and had left his room, he 
locked the door,* and throwing himself into a chair — ^tears, though, 
of a calmer nature than those ne would have shed at first, streamed 
from his eyes. The sight of the two young things whom he loved 
so much, in the black weeds so unsuited to their years, had brought 
more vividly to his mind than ever before, what they must have 
sufi[ered ana gone through; and it was some time before he could 
regain his composure. This burst, however, relieved him; and 
taking up a pen, he poured f(»rth in a letter to his brother, all his 
mefs, and his joys ; his regrets for his absence, his delight at 
being again at home, and his unbounded admiration of Lady Con- 
stance ! and having finished, he applied himself to repaiiing the 
neglects of his early toilet, and then descending, went to rejoin the 
party in the drawing-room. 

"And do I really see liiat 'Idessed uniform' again?" exclaimed 
Lady Florence, who had re-entered whilst Henry was away, having 
first seen the monkey installed in c<»nfort by awBrm fire; — "it 
certainly is the most delightful dress that ever was invented." 

" I am ^lad I am so charming an object in your eyes, Flory ; we 
will certainly have a midd]sifl uniform made for the monkey, and 
then you shall carry him about on your shoulder. — ^When did you 
get my letter, dear mother, saying I was coming home ?** 

"About a week ago.— What letters of mine have you received ? 
tmd when did they reach you ?'* 

•* I have only had one for these six months — dated July, which. 
it>llowed me apout from place to place for an age — ^for our ship was 
always in motion.** 

He sighed as he looked at Lady Constance, for it was that lettei* 
which had announced to him the tidings of her father*s death. He 



SIB BOLAITD ASHTOir . 163 

saw tliat she remembered it too, for the tears started into her 
eves, and she tamed away. He strove to divert the current of her 
t&oi^ts, and began speakin? of Sir Roland. 

"When did he go?" he asked, " and how long will he be gone ? 
Are you quite sure that it was solely to please * mon. respectable 
onde,' that he has returned to the continent? Gossip has wide 
wings, yon know, and &om what I heard, even out in the * far west,' 
I suspect there may have been * metal more attractive,' than mere 
old men's politics, to draw him back again." 

Lady Constance felt most thankful that she had turned away, 
before Henry began talking of his brother, for the subject was 
to her always embarrassing ; and Lady Ashton's open nature would 
have prompted her instantly to undeceive Henry, by telling him 
of Sir Boland's engagement ; but being rather of a tuniddispo- 
srtion, and not liking to act without being quite sure that what she 
did would be agreeable to Sir Eoland, she determined to keep 
^ence, till she had written, and ascertained hiswishes on the subject. 

Sir Roland had, indeed, just before his departure from England, 
particularly requested that his brother — who, it was expected, 
would have continued abroad for some time longer — ^might not be 
informed of the position in which he stood as regarded Lady Con- 
stance.; for determining that his union with her should aepend 
€ntbely on her own free choice — and not feeling certain at tiiat 
time, of what that choice might ultimately be— he thouffhl^ with 
considerate kindness, that if she should at last wish to creak of^ 
their marriage, it would be less unpleasant to her to do so, if the 
knowledge of their en^gement were confined to the few who were 
already ao;quainted with it, than if it were more widely known. 
Most certainly, "had he anticipated his brother's return, lie would 
have desired him instantly to have been informed of it ; for he 
loved him too well to wish to show him any want of confidence. 
But at the time of his own departure, there appeared no chance of 
Henry's c(»ning home; for the ship he was in had still a consi- 
derable time to remain abroad; audit was only in consequence of 
obtaining his promotion as lieutenant much earlier than was ex- 
pected, tnat he returned so soon, having been appointed to another 
ship. 

Lady Ashton, after a moment, replied to Henry's observations 
about his brother, by asking, — 

" Why, what have you heard of him ?" 

** Oh ! I heard that all the Continent waa at his disposal — every 
ntan wanting him for his sister or daughter, and every sister ana 
daughter wanting him for herself; and I thought it just possible 
that he might have found, amon^ the many ofiered, some one 
worth accepting." 

A smJSe played over Lady Constance's countenance, and a feeUng 
of gratification stole across her mind, at hearing Henry's account 
of nia Roland ; f<»r it is pleasant to find that others value that which 
"we possess, even thougn we naay be conscious that we do not suffi- 
<Jientlj appreciate it ourselves. Our vanity, as well as our affec- 
tion, 18 otten gratided at feeling that what others covet, is devoted 
solely to ourselves. 

M 2 



164 SIE ILOLAKD ASHTOir. 

Yet a sigli involnntarily arose in her breast, as she saidi ** He 
is indeed worthy of all the love that can be bestowed upon him." 

" Yes," said Henry, " I know of no one who deserves to be loved, 
if he does not. There is nothing like him! He is the perfect 
Bayard of our day — ^the * chevalier,* par excellence, * sans penr et 
sans reproohe,' (the cavalier, beyond all others, * without fear, and 
wi^out reproach.') Nevertheless, if I had been him, I would have 
tried my fortune in this cloudy little island of our own, before I 
sailed across the sea to seek it. I had rather many you, Con- 
stance, a thousand times— though that," he said, with a smile, 
"would be no great exertion; or I would rather even have the 
reversion of Ihat sun-burnt Krp&Y there, when she has got tired of 
her monkey, than espouse all the * Pogalubofs,' * Tibofs,' * Bul- 
cacofs,' *Timidofs,* in existence — ^with their impossible names. 
But now, riory, go, and put on your bonnet, and come out with 
me and mv 'blessed uniform,' and you, Ck)nstance — come alone 
— and momer dear— come too; I long to see each 'dinsle ana 
bosky dell,' and every nook *by flood and fell,' and all the dear 
old child-remembered haunts. Come with me, all three— witdies. 
— ^graces— whatever you are ! Hy, you two young ones, — mother,, 
can I feteh your things ? or shall they ?" 

"Florence will, she knows where to find them." 

Shawls, bonnets, all were soon on, and the happiest quartet in the 
world saUied form on a fine bright March day, with a wind just 
fresh enough to make exercise defightfol. Henry walked between, 
his mother and Lady Constance ; and Lady Florence spun about, 
first on one side, then on the other, but more frequenthr in. front, 
walking backwards before them, in the way in which children are 
wont to do, to the infinite torment of their seniors ; till Henrv 
threatening to "capsize her if she came across his bows again, 
made her sober her glee for awhile, and she walked quiefiy by^ 
Lady Ashton's side; but finding such inaction irksome, she de- 
voted herself exclusively to the society of the old Newfoundland^ 
who seemed never tired of fetehing the sticks and stones she 
seemed never tired of throwing. 

" Let us ^ and see the old lady at the lodge," said Henry, "aihe 
was not visible this morning as I passed." 

They called accordingly, and the sailor's frank cordial ^[reeting, 
accompanied by a shake of the hand, rather less distressing thfUL 
the one he had afflicted her old partner with in the morning, en- 
chanted the poor old dame, who declared, " he was Mr. Henry all 
over ; though," she added in true west country dialect, " he waa 
grown up so long." 

When they had taken leave of her— Henry having^ first inajsted 
that she should come up that evening, and drink his health in a 
bowl of punch— he said, "Constance, ao you remember, years ago, 
our all climbing up to the top of that old woman's house^ yoa» 
and Koland, and I? and I wanted to help you; but you said you 
could manage quite as cleverly as we did; so you tumbled down, 
and beat your bonnet into the uiape of a cocked-hat, and hurt your 
arm, and were so cross !" 



Snt BOLAKD ASHTOir. 165 

** Yon might be a little more ciyil in your recollections," said 
Lady Constance, langhingj ; " however, I utterly refuse to recollect 
anywing about it, and I beUeve the whole to l>e a figment of your 
own invention." 

" True, I assure you ;— you were dreadfully cross sometimes, and 
used to scratch awfolly." 

** You had better not bring such things too vividly to my recol- 
lection, lest I should be tempted to renew that pleasmg exercise,*' 
said Lady Constance. 

" I have a good thick coat>sleeve now, happily, and not the poor 
little bare arms you used to tear so unmercifully. I have the 
nutrks now— the surgeon, when bleeding me, thought I must have 
fallen into the hands of the CSiippewa Indians in tender youth, and 
liave been tattooed." 

"What could you be blooded for ?" asked Lady Florence. 

" To cool my temper, my dearly beloved ; I grew so fierce in those 
hot climates, that i became a terror to all beholders, especially to 
small girls, with blue eyes and rosy cheeks. It was dreadful the 
deaths I put them to ! I hove some mto the sea— imnaled others on 
<}actuses— bobbed for sharks with others ! — ^but I nave kept one 
particularly dreadful mode of extinction, solely for the benefit of 
small English girls, which tortures them horribly— especially if 
their hair curls, and their names begin with an F." And he east a 
terrific glance at the curly-haired "F." by his side. **But now 
let us go down to the shore." 

Lady Ashton said she wa9 tired, and Lady Florence went home 
with her, while the others descended the clins, by a corniche path, 
-which led down from the shrubbery. 

** How exactly everything is as it was," said Henry. " The trees, 
to be sure, and you — are grown ; but the sea does not seem to me 
an hour older ! Do you really mean to say that it has been splash- 
ing away on this shore ever since I went? Do you remember, 
Constance? " 

"No — ^I do not mean to remember anything," she replied; 
"" your memory is such an ill-taught thing, I desire to have nothing 
in common with it." 

"Oh! do not be so cross with me," he said, beseechingly; "I 
was going to remember something very pretty of you : how you 
cried and bemoaned yourself one day when I fell down this cliff, 
and did not hurt myself at all. You were so sweet, so very sweet 
as a child, spite of your scratchings — ^which to do you justice, was 
only your baby-work. Oh ! the many hours we have been here 
together !— the many holes we have dug in the sand, and watched 
to see filled with watel^--the many times we have stood with oiep 
backs to the sea, purposely, when the tide was coming in, and thm. 
been so wonderftilly surprised, when the waves came over our feetl 
Those were delightful days !" And he walked on with a smile on 
his cheek, as if he were going over in his mind, the charms of those 
happy hours. 

" JBut," he continued, after half a minute's silence, "if there iff 
one pleasure in existence more delightful than all others, it is--tc 



166 ess. BOLAKB JkfiHTOZT. 

Ise, as I am now, with those one loves, and to whom, one can say 
* Do you remember }* — ^The Mends of after days may be, and often 
are, dear, but not like these — ^the first." 

"Well, dear Henry/* said Lady Constance, "I will not check 
another of your reeollections. I shall like to hear them, though 
they will often perhaps sadden me." 

" Dear Constance,' he said, with much feeling, ** do not fancy 
m.e a heartless wretch, because I seem in spirits, and talk nonsense. 
I cannot help being happy, for I am at home again with those I do 
60 dearly love ! but still 1 grieve so very much for vour affliction !" 
— ^He kissed her hand affectionately, and added, ^'but you know 
how much we all love you, and that we would do anything to make 
you happy." 

" I am much happier than I was," replied Lady Constance ; " but 
stiU I cannothelp Reeling his loss, and shedding many, many tears ; 
even your return has saddened me, thinking now fond he used ta 
be of you, and how much he would have rejoiced to see you 
ajBfain." And with renewed tears, she entered on some of the par- 
ticulars of her father's deatih, and of her own sad feelings, to wnich 
Henry Ashton listened with the deepest interest ; answering with 
kind, heart-soothing words; and leading her thoughts back to 
cheerfulness, by his animated affection, and bright views of hie 
and of eternity. 

"And my dear brother," he said, "how did he like going back 
again ? He used to tell me, when ne was abroad that he longed so 
much to return home." 

" It was no wish of his to go back," answered Lady Constance; 
thankful that the trembling of her voice was concealed by the 
lingering sobs, which she could not yet quite overcome, 

*^If he were here, my happiness would oe complete," said Henry; 
*' only that there is ever the undjring sensation which aooompanieft 
extreme happiness— the scHoething which whispers amidst it all — 
' How fleeting !' ' Why are the joys that wilf not last, so perish- 
ingly sweet r It is a very good tioinc^, though, Constance, that it is 



80 ! Joy on the one side^-^sorrow on the other— lift the souL towards 
God. And s^r all it is 'unwise to cast away sweet flowers, 
because they are not amaranth.' " 

" I am glad you have those contented, yet serious feelings, Henry,"* 
said Lady Constance ; " that is the only frame of mind which turns 
all to good." 

" I cannot imagine how people get through life without them," he 
answered. " The commonest HttLe squalls of trouble one would 
think were enough to set people on the k>ok-aut for a sure anchora^re 
and quiet haven ; and yet one sees thousands— women too, who 
seem as if a breath would blow them into nothing — ^bearing on 
through weights of woe, heavy enough to crush the earth — ^witnout 
one bright or hopeful look to the * land of pure delight' — ^without 
one moment's sense of the love of God, or one craving for His sym^ 
pathy ! I have known little of trouble or sorrow, myself, certainly^ 
But 1 know this — ^that with God I could be happy, were I alone in 
the world ; but that without Him— not aU tne heights of my 
glorious profession— not all the riches of the world— itslbest riches,. 



JSIS SOLAIO) ASKTON. 1>7 

bxyme-loyeH- not yoa, nor my dear mother, nor — almo^ ^eaxer tban 
all — ^Koland himself, could make me happy without Him. I am as 
sure of that as if I had lived aU the years, and goose throng all 
ihe tronbles of the Wandering Jew." 

"Yes,* it is true," answered Lady Constance; "without TTiiyi 
tiiere can be no aMdLng peace on eaxtii ; but my weak heart has 
4>ften been very sorrowful even witii Him. And yet, perhaps I 
should say, it was whoi forgrettingr Him, aaid linking too much of 
my earthly father, that I missed the oomfort which my Heavenly 
One alone could bestow. I should think ihe sea, Henry, must be a 
place peculiarly fitted to awaken thoughts of Gk>d in the heart." 

** It is in the power of no place to do that," replied Henry ; "it 
is the Spirit of God akxae, as you well know, Constance, th^t can 
ever awaken our dead soals, or put one ray of light into their dark* 
ness. The sea may perhaps, as weU as the starry heavens, and 
other works of €K)d, furnish an argument for the Deist against the 
Ath^st ; — as Napoleon, when going to Egypt, hearing some of his 
generals talking infidel tradi, pomted up to the star -lit heavens, 
and said ' Messieurs, qui est-ce qui a fait tout oela }' (' Gentlemen, 
'who made all that ?') out never, dear Constaoee, will such things 
make a man a Christian. I remember indeed on one of those-^(^ ! 
heavenly nights, which we have in the south, ^diere the sky is 
literally paved with stars— that we were talking on the subject of 
Christianity on board of ship, and one man said in a tone of the 
greatest contempt-^pointing upwards : * Yes, you turn from such a 
glorious sight as this, and set up a rush-light in its stead' — ^meaning 
revelation. Enormous noodle ! as if revelation did away with the 
God of nature, and did not rather exalt Him a thousand-fold. But 
"^se irreUgiomsU are so intensely silly ! I do not wonder at Scrip- 
tore always calling them * fools !' Their arguments are such as 
Balaam's ass might blow away/' 

" Yet they are not so easily got rid of; either," said Lady Con- 
stance. 

** Ko, becaose they have struck deep in the unfathomable mire of 
i^ vnregenerate human heart ; and their roots are nurtured from 
beneath by the fosterer of all ill things. I can make allowanees 
for all mistakes in religion, but I cannot tolerate those who scoff 
at it." 

** But there are some who, though unbelievers themsdves, yet do 
not scoff at Christianity," said Lady Constance. 

" Yes, and I have a true, though painful Mendship for several 
persons of that kind ; painful, because the more I like them, the 
more, of course, do I feel, fi»r what I know from Scripture, must be 
their hopeless case, as long as they reject the only hope of sinners." 

" Yet now strange it is, said Lady Constance, ** that many who 
deny Christianity are remarkably amiable, upright, benevolent, 
and moral people-~o^n more so apparentiy maji really pious 
Clmstians." 

" More shame, then, for the pious Christians," said Henry, 
smiling. " Yet it is to be accounted for tiiis way : Satan cares not 
^fOB jot, whether we sleep away, or violently sin away our souls ; 
therefore, tiiose whom he secures by opi9,tes, he is judioioiis enough 



168 Sm SOLANB ASHTOK. 

not to arouse by making them commit alarming crimes ; while the 
Tery faulty dispositions of others may be the means, in Gh>d's 
hands, of making them feel they are not £t for heaven on their own 
account, and so of leading them to Him, who alone can take them 
Uiere. Whitfield said, he never had so much success in preaching 
as among the colliers, who having evidently no righteousness of 
i^eir own, were most thankfol to hear of, and most ready to accept^ 
the imputed righteousness of another. Those amiable, good sort 
•of honourable unbelievers, and worldlings, remind me of a story I 
have heard my mother tell of an old man, whom she knew when a 
girl, and who was suffering dreadfully from gout, or something — 
and was complaining accordingly, when a Mend said, *You do 
not look ill in the face.* * I'm no* ill in the face,* he answered in 
a rage. Now, these people are * not ill in the face ;' the outward 
man is well enough to look upon ; whilst within exists the deadly 
disease of unpardoned sins, and an undevoted heart." 

"I think," said Lady Constance, "that Erskine hsl^s so admi- 
rably, * God is not obeyed by our doing what He desires, but by 
our doing it out of love to Him." 

" Yes, that is the only acceptable motive— the only one of God's 
-own planting," replied Henry. " * Love is the fulnlment of the 
law,' both to God and man ; 

* Love is life's only sign I 
The spring of the regenerate heart, 
The pulse, the glow of every part, 
Is the tme love of Christ the Lord, 
As man embrac'd, as God ador'd.' 

But how delightful it is to hear you talk in this way, Constanoe ; 
and yet so strange ! You were quite a little girl when last we 
parted, not much older than Florence — skipping and flying about 
-as she does now, and talking anything but sense — ^though very dear 
nonsense. Now, you are grown sober, and tall, and - — " he stop- 
ped, and looked at her with an expression which showed he did 
not disapprove the change which time had made. She laughed* 
and coloured as she said, — 

** You must not forget that time is as awake and busy on the 
deck of a man-of-war, as he is on 'terra firma* (firm ground). 
You, too, are very different in some ways, to what you were ; though 
not in all." 

"What am I changed in?" 

" You are much taller, and " 

" Much handsomer," interrupted Henry, " am I not ? Say so, 
dear Constance; do flatter me a Httle; it is so pleasant to near 
oneself praised." 

" I do not know that you are handsomer," said Lady Constance. 

" Ah ! your eve has been spoilt by having my Adorns brother 80 
long[ before it," he said, smiling. ^* Well, if I must yield, let it be 
to him, and welcome. 

" You are too different to admit of a comparison." 

•* That does not satisfyme at all," said Henry; "I want some- 
thmg positive said in my favour. If you go on provoking me, I 



•will not 3^eld even to my peerless brother ; and I will make you 
-this evening sing, * Les yeux noirs, et les yeux bleuz * (Black eyes 
and blue eyes ;) and take all said in nraise of the latter to myself. 
How often, by the bye, have I thonprnt of that silly song, when I 
«aw the dark-eyed, out really beautiful women of tne south. The 
remembrance of my anticipations of what you would be, * Signorina 
mia,' made their ma^;nificent gazelle-like orbs shrink into shrivelled 
sloes in my estimation. But I am grievously disappointed after 
all !" 

" I think you are talking great nonsense, my dear Henry," said 
Lady Constance, quietly. ** If you wish me to understtuid that 
you think me celestially beautiful, say so at once, and waste no 
more time ; and I in return will say that I think you quite good- 
lookinfir enough for any man ; so let that matter be considered as 
* signed, sealed, and delivered,' and settled for life." 

Not for life, alas ! Constance ; unless we mean for the future to 
jnibsist solely on Hebe's fare — determined to ' flourish in immortal 
youth ;' but " 

'* Well then, for the present at least ; so now be rational again." 

"But why should you return my civilities with such asperity? 
Art thou incensed at oeing reckoned beautiful ?" 

" Not in the least—but I hate," added Lady Constance, with a 
provoked smile, " having inuendoes made on the subject. It seems 
so much as if one was considered ' la bSte' as well as * la belle.' " 

" You know, Constance, I could not — — " 

" Oh ! don't make me compliments on my understanding now," 
she cried. " Do let it be inserted at once in the agreement, 
that I am, besides all other good things, ' wisest, virtuousest, dis- 
creetest, best '" 

" Yes, if you add also, * provokingest, hard-heartedest,' " said 
Henry, laughing, though half angry. 

** Agreed," she replied. 

" But tell me, Constance, do you really suppose every woman 
likes to be thought beautiful ?" 

** If she is so, of course ; why not ?" 

" Ay, if she is so ; but who is to decide that Question }" 

" A sensible woman will decide it for herself. ' 

•• But I thought it was reckoned the proper thing for a young 
lady to be wholly unconscious of her beauty ; and to start like a 
timid fawn, if zephyrs whispered it in flitting by, or flowers bowed 
tiieir fragrant heads as she passed, in acknowledgment of her 
surpassing loveliness !" 

•'^Any one might well start under those circumstances," said 
Lady Constance, laughinfir with her gleeful voice; *' but I imagine 
that that race of young ladies is past— evanished with the wnis- 
pering zephyrs and bowing flowers. These railroad days cherish 
not such unconscious lovelinesses. No, my dear Henry, it is the 
part of all sensible bodies, men or women, to And out what they 
are, and to appreciate themselves accordingly." 

"Well, that will do, as far as people's sense concerning them- 
selves goes," answered Henry; ** but now are they to show their 
fiense in their estimate of others }*' 



170 SIR SOLAKD ASETQK. 

'' Oh ! that is equally simple/' answered Lady Constance, gaily ; 
** we should reckon all as sensible people who are sensible of our 
merits, of course." 

** Then," said Henry, pausing: in his walk, and turning to her 
with a bright smile, " you must write me down in our agreement 
^-* most sensiblest ' — for no words can express what I think of 
you." 

There was something in Henry Ashton's manner as he said this, 
which startled Lady Constance; and an undefined sensation of 
dread took possession of her. She considered herself akeady as 
Sir Eoland's wife; and words like these, even if spoken in jest, 
she could not like. She coloured deeply ; but a slight feeling of 
di^leasuie enabled her to me^ her companion's eye calmly, 
though gravely, as she said after a moment's pause, — 

"Now a truce, dear Henry, to all this nonsense; I hate this 
foolish style of conversation, liiough I have given way to it my- 
self. It IS so dif^rent to what we had be^i havinff before — so- 
different to our former habits ! Do let us be as in the dear old 
times, or I shall have no oomlort in you, and shall feel for you. 
quite as a stranger." 

"Bo not do that, Constance," said Henry, completely checked, 
and his bright look giving way to one of pained embarrassment; 
" I would not offend you for the world." 

"I know you would not," she replied, "and yoa hare not 
offended me ; but I want to consider you as my old companion — 
the brother of my childish days; and if ^u are to be makins^ 
absurd speeches every moment, you will tire me to death; ana 
liien I must take refuge with my mother, (for so she always oalled 
Lady Ashton) and give you quite up — ana you might as well be 
at sea again." 

Henry Ashton took her hand, and kissing it with deep, affec* 
tionate respect, said, — 

" Forgive me, Constance, I will not be so foolish again." 

" I have nothing to forgive, Henry," said Lady Constance, much 
touched ; " I was talking nonsense as well as you ; and after all I 
am making a great deal, perhaps, of nothing; only— I do not 
like " 

" I perfectly understand you, my darling sister," said Henry, 
comprehending her meaning, and with iatuitiye delicacy, resuming 
his old, natural, unconstrained manner again; "you like thatl 
should be the ' Henry' of your scratching days, and not the ooH" 
ceited, presumptuous coxcomb I was just now." 

"Yes," said Lady Constance; "we cannot be better than we 
were when digging holes in the sand, and letting the sea wash 
over our feet." 

Lady Constance was truly wise in thus early putting an end to 
Henry Ashton's demonstrations of regard. Sue was young both 
in years and in experience, yet she could not misunderstand his 
manner to her; ana though she did not suppose that what he felt 
^ her on this, the first day of his return — ^was love — ^yet she felt 
that it was what would — ^if allowed to oontinue and increaae— 



Sm BOLAlffD ASHTOV. 171 

render her interooiirse with him extremdy unpleasant, and com- 
pletely destroy all the happiness and freedom oi their former days. 
She wished eamestily to tell him of her en«:aTCment to Sir Roland ; 
as that, she thought, would immediately settle their relatiTe posi- 
tions, and prevent his eva having a feeling for her, heyond what 
he might freely have for his childhood's companion, and the he- 
trothed of his brother. But as Lady Ashton had told her of Sir 
Bohmd's wish that it should not he known, she did not like to do 
what she thought he mi^ht disapprove. What she had said, how- 
ever, seemed to have entirely the desired effect; for Henry Ashton 
immediately treated her with the sanke free cordiality he nsed 
towards her sister — ^making no difference in his manner hetween 
the two ; and this set her quite at rest, and enabled her to enjoy 
his society again without fear or scruple. And true enjoyment it 
was; for ne was fnU of information, and anecdote; having seen 
jnudi, observed much, and read much ; and having witiial, an 
internal laboratory which converted all into pro&t. 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

•* Our best affections here. 
They are not like the toys of inikncy* 
The soul outgrows them not. 
We do not cast them off." — Unhnoton, 

^ There are noble tilings which pass oFer thy powerful sUnd."—- /von^. 

IlOE time passed happily at Uanaven, while Sir B.oland was in 
an t^e turmoil of business, and of almost incessant travelling 
abroad; The transaction he was carrving on, was happily, one in 
which he felt great interest; for, unlike many diplomatic matters, 
it was of such a nature as, if well conducted, would conduce to 
the happiness of thousands. But his own happiness was sorely 
disturbed by receiving no letters from home. He knew, of course, 
that many were written; but he was so constantly in motion, that 
hie did not know where to tell his uncle to forward them to him ; 
80 that after the first few davs, he was above two months without 
beholding the handwriting oi either Ladv Constance or his mother ; 
and consequently, all that time had elapsed, before he knew of 
his brother s arnval at home. 

On his return to his uncle's, he found a pile of letters awaiting 
his perusal. They had been arranged for nim by Lord N — -*s 
thoughtful order, according to the date of their arrivals, and with 
eager haste he began to examine their contents. The first which met 
Ms hand was from Lady Constance, written with a kindness and 
affectionate cheerfulness, that gladdened his very heart; and long 
did he gaze on the characters which so beloved a hand had traced, 
ere he felt inclined to open any other. The kindly style in whioi 
she had written was not in the least assumed, for the relief which, 
as has been observed, her spirits exx>erienced from Sir Roland's 
absence, had communicated itself to her whole being; and her 



172 BIB BOLAlin) ASHTOK. 

regard for him again flowed forth, almost as fi-eely as in the former 
pleasant days of their nnclouded affection. 

The next letter he opened was from Lady Ashton, containing^ 
the unlooked-for news of Henry's expected arrival, but saying 
that the time of his coming was uncertain. 

Another kind letter then presented itself from 1^7 Constance, 
full of pleased anticipations of Henry's return, fajid. more than 
«yer satisfactory in its tone of feeling towards himself. He pressed 
it to his lips, and felt a glow of joy and of confidence in the lore 
of her who wrote it, which had never before warmed his heart. 

Alas! how slight a veil may hang between the extremes of 
pleasure and of pain! A seal broken — a little sheet of paper 
unfolded— a word— written or spoken ! — and the whole hue and 
tenor of our lives may be for ever changed ! 

With an almost listless hand, (so fall was he of happiness), did 
Sir Roland open the next letter. It was from Lady Ashton, telling 
him of Henry's actual arrival, and giving[ an account of his looks, 
&c. He read the beginning with excessive pleasure; and paused 
a moment, as a flow of deep auction came over him, at the 
thought of his brother, and of the joy and happiness which all at 
home must have experienced at this delightrol meeting. How 
ardently did he desire to be at Llanaven at that moment ! The 
yearning of his heart, to his brother especially, was inexpressible; 
and the thought of his being at home made mm, with impatience, 
sigh for tlie weary time of his own exile to expire. How did he 
long again to be amongst those so dear to him ! to cDJoy witii 
them tneir rambles through the woods, their rides over the Tbreezy 
downs, their moonlight walks by the side of the restless sea. But 
lie strove to subdue the murmurs that involuntarily arose, and 
one upward glance brought down peace and strength. Again he 
took up the letter. What was there in the few short words that 
followed, that could so completely unhinge his soul ? They were : 
** Shall I not tell Henry, now he is come home, of your enga^- 
ment to Constance?" Simple words! — ^yet they brought with 
them a hurricane of feeling to Sir Roland. He glanced impatiently 
at the date, and saw that the letter had been written full twi 
months before ! An idea new and horrible seized his imagination 
•—tremors shook him from head to foot— the paper rustled in his 
shaking hand, and the characters flitted and taded from before 
his eyes! Unable to still his painful trembling, he leaned his 
his head upon his hand. 

"With what an agony," he thought, at length, when the con- 
fusion had cleared a little from his mind, *'have I thirsted for 
these letters ! and now with what agony do I receive them ! Two 
months ! And Henry has been two long montlis with Constance, 
in all the freedom of early friendship — ^unknowing of her engage- 
ment ! He must love her ! — ^he must love her ! — ^it is impossible 
but he must love her ! And she—?" He shrunk as if a gulf had 
opened before his feet. His mind rapidly reviewed the scenes of 
ttieir earljr youth, recalling how Henry had ever been Lady 
Constance s chosen companion— the partner of all her occupations 
—the participator in all her pleasures ! The thoughts which these 



SLR BOLANB ASHTOIT. 17^ 

recollectioiLS awakened within him now for the first time, seemed 
to scorch his very brain as they crossed it. He started up with 
the insupportable suffering, and walked to and firo with hurried 
steps. " Oh ! GK)d !" he exclaimed aloud, " saye me from this — 
save me from this. Why did I not teU him at once of our engage- 
ment, and put him on hii guard? And yet," he continued, as he 
pausedin his agitated walk, "Idid it for her sake! But to lose 
ner!— now, when my happiness was at its height; her— whose 
image never leaves me — ^to see her love another !— -Oh ! my Fati^er, 
avert this intolerable anguish from me !'* And again he agitatedly 

red the apartment. *yBut," he said, with sudden hope, " I may 
tormentmg: myself with that which has existence only in my 
own wild brain:' and he again took up his mother's letter. It 
contained nothing to alarm nim, save that the reality — so terrible 
to his imagination— -remained unchanged: " Henry was there with 
Constance, believing her imshackled!" His impulse, when he 
had finished reading the letter, was instantly to write, and desire 
that his brother should be told of his engagement; and he seized 
a pen and wrote to that effect. He then with a trembling hand 
took up another of the letters; it was from Henry himself— the 
one he had written in the height of his feelinsps, on the first morn- 
ing of his arrival. He spoke with ecstasy of oeing avain at home, 
again with those he loved ; — ^but though at another time Sir 
Boland would have delighted in dwelling on all the pcurticulars 
of that which interested his brother, vet now he had but one 
thought in life, and his eye ran feverisnly over the lines, till it 
rested on the name of " Constance." His head swam, and his 
heart beat audibljr, as he read the expressions of extreme admira- 
tion with which his brother spoke of ner — and crushing Ihe paper 
in his hand, he burst into tears. 

"If such," he thought, when he grew more composed—" if such 
were his teelings on the first day of their meeting, what must 
they be now ? And will she not— idoes she not return them ?' ' 

fie dared not answer that question to himself— he knew she had 
Hover loved Atm, as his love to her desen^, " and now," he 
thought, "will all her heart be filled with him— her childhood's 
favourite— whose blighting love has come between me and happi- 
ness." His mind was too confused for prayer, and he sat as if 
paralyzed. A fiush of indignation for a moment darkened his 
brow— but then a milder feeling softened the expression of his ej;e 
as he refiected, " And if he does love her, is he to be blamed ? is 
he not ralher ' sinned against than sinning ?' Oh ! that I had 
known he was coming home ! or that my dear mother had not 
attended to what she thought were my wishes. He ought to have 
known all instantly, and not have risked his happiness— or mine." 

He dwelt on the thought of his brother, of that young, gay» 
joyous beinff— and a tide of noble tenderness rushed over him. 

"He shall not be told it now," he exclaimed aloud, in the 
fervour of his generous feeling. And he took the note he had 
written, and tore it into fragments. " I may be — Oh ! God grant 
that I am, premature in my fears ! And yet, can he be so long 
with her— so intimately, — and remain indifferent?" He thought 



174 Snt SOIAlfB ASHTOir. 

of her loTeHness, her gentkiiess and piety, and all the attractions ' 
which bound his heart so completely to her : and a smile, though a 
sad one, rested on his lips as the vision passed before him. Slowly 
he took up the pen and began to write. The eSart was great ;— ^e 
paused. '*I will at least," he thought, '*read all these killing 
letters before I decide." 

He read them in the order in which they had come. Those from 
Lady Ashton contained not a word to influence him eitlier way, 
though she frequently renewed the (question contained in her first. 
Those which Lady Constance had written immediately after Henry's 
arrival, were shcvt, but joyous and afEectionate ; often saying that 
his own presence was all that was wanting to make their happiness 
complete ; and in reading these. Sir Boland's fears vanished, and he 
upbraided himself for his faithless folly, and for his doubts of her 
truth. Then again, her letters became more sober, and more full; 
and yet they seemed, he thought— but it might be only fancy — 
less free than before; she seemed more studious of pleasing ium, 
more full of inquiries as to what he was engaged in; — ^but she 
dwelt more, he thought, on what she read, and what she did — less 
on what she felt. At the moment of reading them, he was satisfied 
with their contents, but when he had closed them, it seemed as if 
something were wanting. Again he read them, and again he was 
satisfied ; — ^he closed them — and again the nameless want pressed 
on his heart. Henry's letters were frank, affectionate, and foil of 
happiness; and though he often mentioned Lady Constance, yet it 
was never again with the vehement, enthusiastic admiration which 
had, at first, so startled and alarmed Sir Eolaad--and again the 
latter smiled at the folly of his fears. 

But these letters must be answered, and what should he say ? 
After a second perusal of them, he felt so tranquil, that he thougnt 
his first design, of infonning his brother of his engagement, could 
involve no risk of that brother's happiness, and would be but 8 
just mark of confidence and affection on his part ; and he detor* 
mined to write both to Lady Ashton and to Henry himself to that 
effect. Yet still he Uit dissatisfied — ^he i>aused, and passed his hand 
often across his troubled brow. He could not determine what it 
was best to do. A decision would have been difficult had he been a 
dispassiimate judge in the case of another ; but here where all his 
hopes of earthly happiness were involved — ^wh^re an affectian that 
seemed his very sell, was henceforth to form his sum of human 
Joy or misery— can it be wondered at that he found it almost 
impossible to decide ? If Henry and Constance remained in their 
feelings towards each other, as they had been in former daj8» 
all would be well either way ; but if not — ^would it not be crushing 
the hearts of the two beings he loved best on earth, if he suffexel 
his claim to interfere between them ^— Hard thoughts were these ! 
A bitter sentence to pronounce against himself ! — Should he write 
to Lady Ashton, and ask in confidence, whether she had perceived 
^ly particular attachment between Lady Constance and his brotlu» ^ 
Jlo,— this course displeased his open nature ; it seemed as if he 
^^Tp lacing a spv upon their actums ; and it might also be need- 
lessly disturbing his mother's peace. Should he endeavoux to ob-> 



SIB SOUuBTD JLSHTOSr. 175 

tain his brother's confidencje? But then it seemed as if the bare 
sugrgestion of the thing might awaken in Henry's breast feelings 
wmch else might never have existed. Again he thought (and this 
course seemed to ofier most of x>eace) that he would write at once 
to Lady Constance herself, and ask— without naming his brother, 
— if, in his absence, she sdll wished — as she had said she did, when 
they were last together — ^that their engagement should continue. 
He would entreat ner to remember what he had before told her — 
*' that worlds should not induce him to urge the fuMlment of her 
vow, unless her whole heart could ratify it." He would beg of her 
to consider herself entirely, and to let him feel at least, that she 
thought him worthy of her fullest confidence. 

Yes ! this he would do !— But ere he had got through many lines, 
"No**— he thought "this might seem like distrust of her, and 
might be felt as throwing myself on her generwdty. What ahaU 
I oo ? Oh ! my God, undertake for me." 

He pushed the writing materials from him, and started up. " I 
cannot write to-day," he sai^ : " I cannot sufficiently command 
my thoughts. To-morrow may bring calmer feelings. I must," 
he added, with a fednt smile, " like Hezekiah, ' spread my letter 
^before the Lord,' and doubtless I shall be directed aridit." 

He locked up the papers that had such power to trouble him, and 
went to gaze once again from the (dd accustomed window. He was 
in the ro<Hn where he had so long watched over Mr. Anstruther, in 
days when his own prospects had been brighter than now they 
seemed. He recalled to mind the elevated state of feeling he had 
often enjoyed in that spot, where he had felt at times as il nothinap 
could shake the happiness which rested on God alone— which had 
Him for its source, and satisfying portion ; — and again somewhat 
of peace stole into his heart. 

•^A few short years," bethought, "and I shall be even as that 
being, who here once suffered so much, but who is now beyond the 
reach of evil ! 

< How shall I then look back and smile. 
On thoughts that bitterest seemed erewhile; ' 
And bless the pangs that made me see. 
This was no world of rest for me.' " 

It was just a year since Mr. Anstruther's death ; and the world 
-without was so unchanged ! There were the same bright lights, 
the same length and breadth of shadows — ^the same vivid colour- 
ings ; and Sir Belaud, after looking forth for a time, could have 
almost fancied that, if he turned, he should a^ain behold before 
him Mr. Anstruther' s pale, and suffering, yet spiritual countenance. 
He remembered his words— that "if ever he was in trouble he 
should think of him, and be comforted" — and he was comforted. 
A blessed conviction filled his mind that the same Gtod who had 
sustained the dying spirit of his friend, would be with him also, 
and would strengthen him under every tnal. 



176 BIE BOLAITD ASHTOMT. 

CHAPTER XXIV. 

** How often is our path 
Crossed by some being, whose bright spirit sheds 
A passing gladness o'er it ; but whose course 
Leads down another current, never more 
To blend with ours ! yet far within our souls, 
Amidst the rushing of the busy world, 
Dwells many a secret thought, which lingers still 
Around that image." — Mrs. Hemaxs. 

When ready for dinner, Sir Eoland descended the stairs, and 

found Lord N in the ctawingr-room, who informed him that 

they were to dine at the ambassador's, to whose house they 

accordingly proceeded. 

When first Sir Roland had returned to from England, he 

had stayed but a short time at Lord N ^'s, and had had so much 

business that he had scarcely had time to see any one. His appear- 
ance, therefore, on the present occasion was hailed with the greatest 
delight ; for though some were strangers, yet many in that large 

party had been in when he was formerly there ; and by them 

he was warmly greeted. One indeed, there was, to whom his pre- 
sence brought a mixture of pain and pleasure difficult to be con- 
cealed ;— from whose eye, no power could kee^ the springing t^ir» 
when she again so imexpectedly beheld betore her one, whose 
image she could not banish— though she knew he thought not of 
her. 

Isabella Harcourt was a pale but loTely-looking creature, who had 

become acquainted with Sir Eoland when he was at the year 

before. She belonged to a gay, worldly family ; but, of delicate 
health and shnnkins: mind, she even then wearied of the fashion 
and dissipation which could not give her peace ; and craved for 
something to rest upon — something to satisfy the void within. Her 
only brother — ^younger than herself— was then fast sinking before 
the fell power of consumption, to which fatal disease he had since 
fallen a victim. To him she was devotedly attached ; and gladly 
would she have exchang^ed each gay scene, and cheerful meet- 
ing, to have stayed by Ms sick couch, and soothed his suffering 
moments. 

At a little evening party, at that time, while sitting alone in silent 
abstraction, she suddenly caught words of heavenly wisdom, which 
were accidentally uttered in her hearing ; and turning, met a coun- 
tenance that had never since left her memory ! Her young and 
romantic heart became irresistibly attracted by bir Eoland's charac- 
ter ; and, too timid to speak much herself, she would often sit by 
and listen, when he spoke of relinon to others, till her whole soul 
seemed filled with the subject. Kever^ till then, had the words of 
truth reached her ears ; and they fell like dew upon a heart, which^ 
though so young, was tired of all the fflare of life. She gradually ob- 
tained clearer and clearer views of religion ; but she also began tear- 
fully to understand the nature of her reelings towards Sir Koland ; 
and bitterly did she mourn over the incaution with which she had 



SIS. BOLAWD ASHTOX* 177 

suffered her heart's best earthly love, to fix itself where she felt it 
was not returned. 

Sir Eoland was indeed to her both " bane and antidote ;" for 
while he was the cause of much earthly sorrow, his words and 
bright example, were the means of leading her to Him, who never 
faib or disappoints His people, and who alone coidd heal the wounda 
80 unwittingly inflicted. There was also a feeling within her, which 
told her that, whether for happiness or sorrow, this world could not 
be Ion? for her ; and her affectionate heart would at times rejoice, 
even mrough tears, that one she loved so much, had not placed his 
hopes of happiness on a being, so soon to have been lost to him. 

It had been impossible for Sir Roland, during his former stay at 

Lord N 's, not to perceive the effect which his presence always 

had upon Isabella Harcourt. Her mind, though diffident and re- 
tiring to the utmost degree, was like a shrine of crystal, too trans- 
parent to conceal what it contained ; and her ever- varying counte- 
nance revealed but too faithfully every emotion which agitated her. 
Often when Sir Roland was conversing with others, (for she seldom 
•s^ke to him herself,) would her attention be rivetted on him and 
his words, to the total forgetftilness of all around her, till suddenly 
perhaps, catching^ his eye, she would shrink back into concealment. 
She repeated to her brother (often without knowing its meaning) 
all that she could recall of Sir Roland's conversations on religious 
subjects ; and the boy eagerly listened to things so new and so de- 
lightful to him. His parents and eldest sisters were always kind ; 
and would trv to cheer his drooping, and often fretful mind, with 
aceoimts of their pursuits and pleasures ; but in these he could feel 
no interest ; and though Isabella, in her fond love, had been ever 
striving to soothe and please him, yet her naturallv pensive mind 
had dejected, rather than enlivened him. She had loved the poeti- 
cal, and senlimental, and fanciful style of German literature ; and 
had been but little acquainted with Scripture truth. Her thoughts of 
death had been rather as of a release of the spirit from the burthen 
of the flesh, that it might with freer love hover around the objects 
of its earthly affections, than as that which must fix man's doom 
for ever. She had endeavoured to feed her dying brother's mind 
with the fancies which had filled her own ; and often told him 
** that the sighing of the summer winds in the high branches of the 
trees — * The Psithurisma of the dark-blue ^ine* — ^was the voice of 
those of other days, calling them to join their happy throng !" 

Such fanciful imaginations were ill calculated to supply thd 
invalid with strength to bear up under the depressing innuence of 
sickness and confinement, or to Support and guide a spirit already 
on the confines of eternity. But when Isabella Harcourt had heard 
the words of sober, though exalted piety which Sir Roland spoke 
— these nnsubstantial fictions rolled away before their influence, 
like the vapours of night before the morning sun; and as she 
repeated to her brother the words wliich had had such power to 
arrest her own attention, then indeed he too be^an to feel that there 
was something which at last could suit and satisfy the wants of his 
sonl. Jle ur^ed his sister to go as much as possible where she 
€ould meet Sir Roland^ and to listen, for his sake, to all he said; 

N 



1^8 SIB B0LA17D AS TON. 

and Isabella, thus stimuLated, vatclied with almost breathless 
eagerness, to catcb the faintest sounds of a voice already too desur 
to her;— idrinkinfi: in at the same moment, poison to her neart and 
health to her soul. The latter, however, was all she oommunicated 
to her brother, keepiiu' her xmhappiness concealed; and scnne 
months after, when Sir Kolaad had departed for England, and her 
brother died, it was with a mixture of joy and sorrow not to be 
described, that she felt that the latter had owed his salvation 
almost entirely, as far as human means were conoemed, to one thus 
doubly endeared to her grateful heart. 

Her close attendance upon her brother had greatly iiijured her 
health, which had nev^ been strong ; and, in fact, the saiBe dis- 
ease which had laid him in his early grave, was evidently stealing 
with insidious power, into the very sprixigs of her life. The loss 
of the brother ss deeply loved, and her other grie&, preyed con- 
tinually on her spirits ; aid though in gentle aciiuiescenee with her 
Mrents* wishes she still went out into society, it was evident to all 
(but those most immediately about her), that the grave just dosed 
on the only son, must soon be opened again to receive her— 4iis 
nurse— his comforter— the guide of his young st^s to the tiarone 
of grace and mercy. 

Sir Boland could not be insensible to ihe devotion of this sweet 
and beautiful creature ; yet he was fax above the ranful weakness 
of doing aught to increase a sentiment, of which he knew too well 
the force. 

It has been said that the feeling entertained for those who love 
us, but whose love we cannot return, is " ni amour — ^ni amiti§ ; mais 
une classe apart." (Neither love, nor Mendship, but a class of its 
own.) No truer saymg ! It may be vanity— it may be kindliness 
— (probably a mixture pf the tw<^ — but give it what name we will, 
we may observe, that a sentiment of interest ever dwells in the 
breast of those who have been beloved, frar those who have wasted 
on them the treasures of a vain affection, even though the measure 
of that interest amount not to reciprocity. 

Painfully did Sir Koland feel this towards Isabella Haroourt; 

aiLd when he met her so unexpectedly at the ambassador*'8, on. 

the occasion we are speaking of, nothing could still the pfmg that 
darted through him at witnessing her uncontrollable emotion. She 
looked so ill, too ! and when the sudden suffusion of colour which 
had arisen for a moment, faded away from her cheek, it '* left its 
domain as wan as clay.'' The sight of her — dad too in her mourn- 
ing garments — ^for an instant completely unmanned him, for he 
was in no mood to deem lightly of tiie pain of unrequited love ; it 
seemed to him at that moment, the one only grief of life — ^the 
single, all-poisoning drop of gall, which could embitter the whole 
cup of existence. He did not approach Isabella Harcourt directly,, 
but lingered long in his greetings with other friends, in order to 
^ve her, as well as himself, time to recover their composure. In 
"uie mednwhile, dinner was announced, and it was only m the little 
oonfusion incident on taking their places at table, that they cauffht 
each other's eye and exchanged salutations; and being ^finally 
eeated on the same side of the table, but not next to each other. 



eiB EOLAlfD ASttTOK. 179 

they had no £etrtiier interoonrse at tiiat lime ; though the sound of 
Sir Roland's voice would at intervals reach the poor girl's ear, and 
send a very sickness to her heart. 

After dumer, when all were again assemhied in the drawing:- 
Toom, Sir Boland felt ih&t he oiig:ht, in oommon civility, to go and 
•speak to her ; bat he could not bear to approach her, and remained 
imr some time near ihe door, in conversation with others ; till per- 
ceiving that Lord N was talking to her, in his kindly, cheerful 

manner— brin^g every now and then a smile on her connt^iance 
— ^he thought it a favourable opportunity, so crossed the room, and 
joined their party. Her manner was agitated for a moment as he 
addressed her ; but as he immediately afterwards joined in his 
ondic's jesting conversation, her embarrassment soon passed; 
though a deeper shade of depression seemed to sncoeed to everj'- 

smile which Lord N 's observations prodnoed. She had never 

in her life sought to speak to Sir Roland, though she had fe^uently 
been a party in conversations he had had with others ; but now she 
eamesuy desired to address him, and to tell him of the blessing he 
had been to her and to her brother. Sinoe Frederic Hareourt's 
death, she had had no one to whom she could speak on the subject 
of religion— no human being even to whom she eould talk wilii 
pleasure of him; for no one about her could have understood her 
feelings of tearful happiness as regarded his immortal state. Her 
femily, though kind, were thoroughly given up to the world, and 
ike language of spirituality would have been as Arabic to tiiem. 
Having (with some reason, certainly) laughed at her former fanciful 
ideas; they treated her new feelings with no more respect: but 
jokingly calHng them '*le8 demi^res fantaisies d'Isabelie," (Isa- 
bella's last feuides,) expected soon to see them depart as the omers 
had done, and be replaoed by something perhaps more visionary 
still. Isabella's candid mind made her sensible that she had laid 
herseK open to these suspicions, and she bore th^n, therefore, with 
the greatest sweetness and patience; but she deplored that those 
she loved, could not discern between the rovings of a childish, un- 
taught imagination, and the breathings of that religion which is, 
beyond all other things, a " reasonable service." 

With these feelings, it would have been the greatest delight to 
have been able to speak to Sir Roland — ^to have talked to him of 
her biother^-and to have heard again from his Hps, words of truth, 
and strength, and eomfort. 

But how could she speak to him? With his uncle by, it was 
impossible ; and even had they been alone, how would she have 
summoned courage to have addressed him ? While these thoughts 
were passing through her mind (rendering her so abstracted, that 
thoufifn she mechanically smiled when they smiled, yet in fact s^io 

hewa scarcely anytlung of the lively raillery Lord N was 

bestowing upon his nephew) another gentleman joined their circle, 
and Sir Kdland availing himself of the interruption, moved away, 
glad of ending a scene so painful to him. Isabella Harcourt's eyes 
followed him as he departed; and there are few perhaps of the 
energetic actions of life, which equal in difficulty and exertion, the 
powerful effort she made at that moment to preserve her composure / 

V 2 



180 SIB BOLAKD ASHTOIT* 

She had heard Sir Roland sav, that in a few days he should again 

quit ; it was not probable they would meet again before that 

tune; and she was confident that if many months elapsed before 
his return, the grave would first have closed abave her nead. She 
190 longed to hear from him one word at least of heavenly truth, on 
which her memory might dwell ! and to tell him of the change his 
former words had been the means of effecting. But no I he had 
left hei^-and her heart seemed turned to stone; its flutteiii^ 
action ceased, and a slow, heavy, throbbing pulsation succeededl 
which seemed to paralyze her very life, and to deprive her of all 
power and feeling. 

There was music, and she was asked to sing, for her voice was 
beautiful. She rose immediately, and without embarrassment sat 
down to the piano. Generally on such occasions, her voice and 
hands would shake with nervous timidity ; but what was all the 
world to her at that moment ! They placed before her Beethoven's 
harrowing song, " In ^uest^tomba oscura." (In this dark tomb)^ 
and she went through it without pause or fault. How many times 
had she simg that music to herself, while her voice had failed, and 
her heart sunk at its sad despairing words ! — But now ! — ^not the 
vocal miracle of E^pt itself could have been more insensible to its 
own thrilling strains, than was this sad musician to the power of 
the harmony she was producing in such perfection. Had she 
caught Sir Roland's eye at that moment, probably tiie whole baiv 
rier of cold insensibility would have given way, and some terrible 
outbursting of feeling have ensued; but the tones which failed to 
arouse her, were too trying for him to endure in the presence of 
others; and at the very commencement of her singing, he had 
retreated into a deep window apart. It was the same in which he 
had the year before held his long conversation with Lady Stan- 
more, and he could not but painfully feel the contrast between the 
bright and tranquil hope which had animated his bosom at that 
time, and the a^tating suspense and heavy despondency which, 
new oppressed him. ^ Often had he heard the music which Isabella 
Harcourt was now singing, £rom Lady Constance, and that remem* 
brance alone was sumcient at the moment to trouble him; but 
mingled with it was the agonizing pity he felt for her who was 
then before him, whose feelings he could too well interpret, and 
whose present unnatural calm could not deceive him. He remained 
in his concealment after her voice had ceased, intending, if possible* 
to escape from the room unperceived, and walk home by nimsel^ 

leaving word for Lord N that he was gone ; but before he had 

effected his purpose, he was painf ally embarrassed by seeing Isabela 
Harcourt, with some other young lady whom he did not know» 
enter the recess ; he himself being hid> by the voluminous curtainy 
which, though looped back, yet hung so as to throw a deep shadow 
where he stood. 

" Ton look ill to-nifht, Isabella r" said her Mend« ' 

'• Do I ?" she replied. " I am not very well." 

*' Did the singing tire you r" 

"No— not much?' 

They were silent, and stood looking out at the summer night. 



SIE EOLAND ASHTCIT. 18t 

"Miss Aubrey," said a young man, joining them, " there is a. 
general petition for your * Ombra Adorata* (adored shade)." 

" Suppose I were perverse," replied the younff lady who wa» 
thus solicited, ** and refused to sing more than me third word^* 
•aspetta' (wait)." 




instead of enjoying the * fortunato Eliso* (fortunate Elysium), which 
I was anticipating in hearing you." 



' I must say, I think the presidinggenius of the revels to-night 
seems in a most lugubrious mood. He first makes one mournful 
ghost speak for itself," and she laid her hand lightiLy on her com- 
panion s shoulder, ** and then he invokes another. Tou do really 
look sadly like a ghost tp-night, Isabella," she said, kindly. 

** I am tired ; and the room is so hot." 

*' But is not heat now the best thing in the world for the voice» 
Miss Harcourt ? will it not make Miss Aubrey sing so that we i^all 
be constrained to exclaim, 

' It were the Bnlbnl — ^bnt her throat 
Though tonefhl, poon not such a note.* " 

"Ah ! * Una voce poco fa* (a voice is but of little oonsequenoe),"^ 
.replied the obdurate songstress. 

. ^* I tremble for your next quotation !" said the delegate, with 
affected terror. 

" What ! do you really suspect me of intending to follow in the 
wake of the three hundred and sixty -five young ladies who yearly 
perpetrate wretched puns on that unfortunate song ? No — ^from this 
moment it shall be nameless for me." 

" Well, then, if you are too fastidious, and too veracious to say, 
' Mi manca la voce ' (my voice fails me), will you not come and. 
exert it in our behalt? You really must. Hark ! the populace 
are raging horribly ; I shall be rent piecemeal. Come, * Ombra, 
Adorata,' " he said, entreatingly offering his arm. " Miss Har- 
court," he added, in a more subdued manner, and turning back for 
her, ** will you not come with us ?" 

"Thank you, no," replied Isabella; " I will wait here, if Miss 
Aubrey will return. To follow your song-quoting example," and 
she smiled faintly, " I wiU rej>eat from my own of to-night, * In 
questa tomba oscura lasda mi riposar' (In this dark tomb let me 
rest)." 

" I will return to yon, dear Isabella," said Miss Aubrey, looking 
kindly back. 

" * Lascia mi riposar' (Let me rest)," repeated Isabella, murmur- 
ingly to herself, when the others were gone. " Oh ! yes, * imploro 
pace (I imi)lore for peace)." 

She was silent, ana leaned her head against the side of the open 
window, while every breath she drew was an oppressive sigh. Sip 
Boland knew not what to do ; his distress was extreme. In her 



182 SIS BOLAim ASETOIC. 

present position, if Isabella Harcourt turned, site eould not but 
perceive nim ; and to leave tbe recess witbont being observed was 
naw impossible. And yet be could not bear to speak to her — the 
ver^ sight of her was grief to him. For several minutes she re* 
mamed without moving; but at length she rose, and kaned out of 
the window^ aztd Sir Roland, taking advantage of the slight noise 
she made in moving, left his shadowed spot, so ^[uiekly that she 
could not pereeive whence he came, and approachmg her, said, in 
as steady and cheerful a voice as he could command, — 

" Miss Harcourt, are you prudent in going to the open window 
after being in thai hot room }'* 

She started at the sound — ao unexpected — of his voice, but she 
coYiLd not answer him ; the blood so long apparently stacnated at 
her heart, rushed in torrents to her head, and she could l&rdly 
prevent herself from falling. Sir Eolami spoke again, — 

** Are yo:i not cold, Miss Harcourt?" 

" What is it r f^ said, confusedly. " Who spoke V 

" It wus I," said Sir Eoland. " Axe yoa not wefl ?" ^ 

'' I was dizzy for a moment,'* she answered, sinking into a dtair^ 
but perfectly composed again ; " but it is past." 

** Are you often so,^** he asked. 

" Sometimes. No — net often." 
^ He stood in painful silence. She made an effort to speak— her 
lips moved, btft no soirad issued from them. Again she tried, but 
the effort was vain. 

" You are net weU," said I9ir Boland; " ^toU I call Mrs. Har- 
court?" 

''!Ko~no," i^e replied; beet added, after a pause, "I have suf- 
fered much, fflnce last we met, and " a eimvulsive sob arose, 

and &r a moment »he was neariy overcome. 

"I know you have," replied Sir Roland, mudi moved; "but 
there is One, Miss Harcourt, of whom we used to speak, who is 
€/ver with His people in their trials." 

*' Yes," she said, raising her ealm, tearless eye to his; " €fod is 
f^h us in our sorrows." 

Sir Boland rememberinflr the touohiiig petition he had overheard 
from her, " imploro pace, said, ** Our gracious Lord's words are 
ever verified to those whose faith is strong: 'Peace I leave with 
you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I 
unto you. " 

" Ufot as the world giveth— no— net as the world giveth," said 
Isabella, with almost a wild en>re9^on. 

"No, Miss Harcourt," said Sir Roland; "His is that peace of 
God whieh the world cannot give — and neither can it take away." 

Gay voices were heard a^ain approaching, and Miss Aubrey, and 
her former companion, wiih several others, entered the li^le re« 
treat. A light, animated eonversaticm ensued, during which Sir 
Roland once more addressing Isabella, said, — 

" 1 mu st wish you good night now; tHs has been a busy and a 
wearying dav tome, so I shall escape amidst thfis gay ' tttttaBtar,' '* 

They shook hands— and they parte^. 



SnL SOUJQ) ASHXOK. 18» 

Sir Roland stole out of the room unobserved, and returning home, 
Telired to his own apartment. His mind felt shattered and dis- 
turbed; his own anxieties pressed heavily on him, and heightened 
a thousand- fold the sentiment of painful, heart-felt regret with 
which he thought of Isabella Haroourt. There was something so 
touching in everythinfl: connected with her (for he had heard much 
•of her from some who knew her well), and he saw so clearly that 
the feeling oi preference she had for him, had originated at first 
from a hiffher source— that it was heavenly truth which had first 
.attracted ner— that the deepest respect, mingled with all his other 
feelings respecting her. 

"On!" he exclaimed, vehemently, claspiug his hands; "what 
would I give— what would I yive to see Oonstance strive to hide 
lier feelings towards me, as this poor, poor nrl does ? But she has 
no love to hide," and a bitter flmile passcHi his lips. " It is the 
full heart that is the ' sealed fountain. Tet why should I reproach 
her, ungrateful that I am ! is she not all kindness and affection ^ 
And if she does not— cannot love me, why should I blame her ? 
And am I sure indeed that she does not ?" 

A hope fall of happiness rose within him, as he thought of her 
letters, and the many expressions in them tiiat breathed affection. 
But, then, might she not have said the same thin^ to a brother ? 
He felt uDMsy and dissatisfied with himself and with all things. 
^* Oh vain, unquiet heart," he saad, *' be still— be stilL" 

It was absdntely necessary that he should answer his letters 
from home, the next day, and havinsr finished aU his business with 

LordK , he applied himself to the heavy task. He earnestly 

implored direction that he might be led to the conclusion that 
would be best; and also that he might be kept upright in his de- 
sire of seeking above aU things, that ' favour of God which is better 
than life itseE* 

He determined to reply to his brother's and Lady Constance's 
letters first, and then bring the fall scope of his feelings to bear 
upon the answer he should make to Lady Ashton. When he had 
finished writing to them he felt such a flood of affection in his 
lieart, and such an elevation of mind, as raised him above aU selfish 
feeling; he determined that, let it cost even his Hfe's happiness, 
lie wcRild do nothing that should in any way disturb the peace of 
those so inexpressibly dear to him; ana resolutely taking his pen 
he told his mother that it was his wish that his brother should not 
he informed of his engagement to Lady Constance. When done — 
lie sealed the letter, and put it with the others, and his heart felt 
lightened of its load. He looked at the little scroll— and though he 
felt, that possibly it bore in ite thin folds, the joy or sorrow of Ms 
life, yet he could not wish one word unsaid— one line untraoed. 
He felt the joy of a hard-bought victory— the glow of " pure self- 
sacrificing love." 

" Now, he said, " conscience is clear ! If I suffer, the stings of 
selfish guilt wiU not mix their poison in the cup ; if I am happy — 
then indeed I shall feel it to be a God-given, God-preserved happi- 
ness I" 



]B4 SIS TLOZAJ^D ASHXOJT. • 

. CHAPTER XXV. 

** Yet mourn ye not as they 
Whose spirit's light is quenched ! — ^for him the past 
Is sealed. He may not fall, he may not cast 

His birthright's hope away ! 
All is not here of our belov'd and bless'd — 
Leave ye the sleeper with his God to rest !*• 

MBS. HEHAN8- 
" But their hearts wounded, like the wounded air. 
Soon close ; where past the shaft, no trace is found. 
As fh>m the wing, no scar the sky retains ; 
The parted wave no furrow from the keel ; 
So dies in human hearts the thought of death. 
E'en with the tender tear which nature sheds 
O'er those we lore, we drop it in their grave." Youko. 

** What griefs that make no sign, 
That ask no aid but thine. 
Father of mercies ! here before thee swell ! 
As to the open sky. 
All the dark waters lie 
To Thee reveal'd, in each close boflom-cell.** 

Mbs. HEKAm. 

When Sir Roland had sent his letters to the post, he went out to 
eojoy the beauty of the weather and of the counlry. He felt the 
want exceedingly, of his former companions, for Mr, Scott and Mr. 
Singleton were stiU travelling together in other countries ; and 
his mind dwelt with deep regret on the thought of Mr. Anstruther. 
He wandered towards the burying-ground, desirous of once more 
visiting the snot where his remains reposed. What a crowd of 
emotions did the sight of it produce ! how many recollections did it 
lecal ! The Mehlf ul catastrophe which had occurred there a^ain 
brought a shudder, oyer his mind ; while the remembrance of hi& 
friend — of his elorious hope of salvation, and of his strong affec- 
tion for himself, served to soften and elevate his feelings. He 
rejoiced in the conviction that one more redeeihed soul was added 
to the innumerable multitude that surrounds the throne of GKkL ; 
and he read the passage— which, as has been mentioned, he had 
had inscribed on Mr. Anstruther's monument : ' Cast thy bread 
upon the waters, and thou shalt find it after many days' — with an 
earnest determination, more than $ver to 'spend and oe spent,' in. 
the service of that God, who can reward his people with such deep 
and soul-felt happiness. 

There was another grave in that silent place, over which he 
heaved many a sigh. Yount Harcourt was buried there ! At- 
tracted by a new and splendid monument erected since he last 
visited the place. Sir Eoland turned to examine it; and found 
mscribed the name of Frederick Harcourt. Much there was 
Derides, of "blighted hopes," and "crushed affections," and of 

amcted parents, heart-broken for an only son." In reading it* 
Sir Koland recalled to mind the ultra-lasnionable mourning, and 



SIB BOLAm) ASHTON. 185 

vain, g&y, frifling conversation of her lie had met the niffht before ; 
and he sighed to think how soon the "world" can diy up that 
• deepest well of human affections — a mother's love. But where 
was the sister's grief recorded ? the grief of her who was her 
brother's comforter in Ufe, and who would soon, alas ! be his com- 
panion in the grave ! where was her grief recorded ? Not on the 
monumental stone! — ^nowhere on earth! — ^but in the presence of 
Him who alone knew the strength of the tie which He nad formed 
and severed. 

<* The sorrow for the dead 

Mantling its lonely head 
From the world's glare, is, in thy sight, set firee; 

And the fond aching lore, 

Thy minister to move 
All the wrong spirit, softening it for Thee.** * 

On leaving the burial-ground Sir Roland met Mr. Roberts, and 
they strolled together conversing on various subjects for some 
time. 

" I must go and inquire after this poor girl again, before I go 
home," at length said Mr. Roberts. 

"Whatpoorgirl?" 

" Miss Harcourtr— Isabella Harcourt." 

''Inqidre after her," said Sir Roland, astonished. ''Why she 
dined at the ambassador's last night." 

" I know she did. But dining one day, does not prevent people's 
dying the next you know, if they like it." 

" Roberts, how can you bear to speak in such a way ! TeU me 
ivihat has happened ?" 

*' She was taken ill last night ; and is, I understand, in a very ' 
precarious state to-day." 

•* How was she taken ill ?" said Sir Roland, greatly shocked. 

" Somethinsr of a fit I heard. Poor girl I I thought she looked 
desperately ill last night. That odious mother of hers, for whom 
I cherish a pet aversion, will draff her about, I believe, till she is 
actually a corpse, because she is the beauty of the family ; protest- 
ing too all the time that she * outrages her own feelings for the 
sake of her. remaining children,' by ^oing out at all. I really 
l)elieve there is many a quiet, gentle girl, who is made a stalking- 
horse to a fantastical mother's vagrant absurdities, till she drops 
in the field— the hard-run field of nightly dissipation." 

"I believe you," replied Sir Roland ; ** and am afraid it is the 
case in this instance. That poor girl has never recovered her 
t>rother's death, and will, I fear, soon follow him." 

"I am really afraid 'she will," answered Mr. Roberts. "As I 
looked at her beautiful face last night, and her shadowy figure, she 
seemed scarcely a creature of this earth. I should have taken to 
crying if I had looked at her long, though it would have been 
almost like * iron tears, down Pluto s rugged cheek.' I have called 
there twice already to-day; so you see 1 am not quite a brute 

* Mrs. Hemans. 



186 SIB B0LA2n> ASHXOir. 

thonflrh I confess I spoke like (me just bow. Hod yon Bot keard of 
her illness before ?" 

"No." 

"Will yoa go "with me then now, and inquirer" 

" No-— do you flpo now, and just write down the answer, and send 
it up to me, wnen you get home, and I wHl call tkere aflier 
dinner." 

Sir £dbad declined aocompanying Mr. Roberts, because he 
could not bear to be under observation when he went to make an 
inquiry, the answer to which might be so distressing. He was not 
much surprised, though shocked and deeply pained, by what he 
had heard; he had seen that Isabella Harcourt's general health 
was very weak ; and the unnatural calmness of her manner the 
Ijreceding evening after dinner, contrasted with the strong: agita- 
tion she had oetrayed on their first meeting:, convinced him that 
she had made an effort over herself most dimcult— and as he feared 
most fatal. He fdt miserable at the thoughts of her death, and 
accused himself, as if he were in part guilliy of it ; though in fjEiet 
he was wholly free from blame. 

Mr. Roberts, on Ms return home, sent up a written message, 
saying that Miss Harcourt was rather better ; and after dinner Sir 
Roland called at the hou3e himself, and was happy to hear that 
she continued to amend. He felt indescribably rebered. " And 
yet," he thought, "why should I rejoice that her trials are to be 
prolonged ? * The sooner death, the eariier immortality;' " and to 
her he well knew the future state must be an immortality of glory. 

He left the next day, but before he set out, he again oalled 

at Mr. HarcouTt's, and hearing that Isabella was oonaioered out of 
danger, he departed with a lightened heart, in ptroseeiLtion of the 
business in which he was engaged. 

Mr. Roberts's report that Isabella Harcourt had "had something- 
of a fit," was not so great an exaggeration as such reports often, 
prove to be. On returning home from the dinner-party the night 
before, after having parted from Sir Roland in the maimer 
described, she continued to maintain the appearance of perfect 
composure. On wishing her good-night, h^ father pressed bear 
fondly to his breast for a moment, and said, — 

" You look sadly ill, my darling child, you really must give up 
going out lor a little while ; these hot rooms and late hours do nc^ 
suit you." 

She answered her father only by a prolonged kiss of affection ; 
she could not trust herself to speak, for the voice of kindness had 
begun to stir the tide of feeling within. She retired to hfir own, 
room, and began to prepare herself for rest; she took off h^ rings 
and bracelets, and laid them on the table, and then proceeded to 
take a gold chain off her neck, to which hung a small miniature 
which she always wore, though concealed from sight. She held it 
a moment in her hand; and as she gazed on the features of her 
brother, and th<^ught of his loving affection—now lost to her for 
ever on earth ! and remembered too, all her harauness ! her foroed 
composure gave way, a flood of self-pity rushed over her, and 
uttermg a cry of irrepressible anguish, she fell on the floor. The 



Snt BOLllTD ASHTOIT. \%f 

flonnd of lier fall, and of lier ^ef-foU cry, aronsed her youngest 
sister who slept in the same apartment, and who springing 
towards her, found her senseless, and in strong convulsions. 
She spread the alarm, and assistance being procured, Isabella was 
laid on her bed; and when the physician arrived, he bled 
her, and used every means his art could devise; yet it was 
long before she became tranc^^uil, or recovered the sHghtest degree 
of consciousness. After a time, however, she slept; the nervous 
action of the muscles ceased; and when after many hours she 
awoke again, her mind was perfectly clear, though her weakness 
was so great she could scarcely utter a sound. Immediate danger 
seemed then passed, and it was at that stage of her illness that 
Sir Roland received the account which so much relieved Mm on the 

morning of his departure from ; but her enfeebled constitution 

had received a shoek she was never destined to recover. 

When all anxiety as to her life was, for the moment, at an end. 
Mrs. Harcourt and her elder daughters resumed their usual habits 
of gaiety ; and Isabella was left almost entirely to the ootananion- 
ship of nier yoiuigest sister Sophia, an aatiaUe and sensilue girl, 
between whom and her sister there existed a strong affection. 
Having no pcetensions to beauty, Si^iixia was treated rather 
di^tingly by the rest of the family; and Isabella, who was 
kind to every ooe^ was on that aocoant, perhaps, more particularly 
so to her. 

A few days after her seizure Isabella was lying* on the sofa in 
her room, and Sophia was sitting with her, when the latter said, — 

'* You must be very much the fEuhion here, Isabella, fi>r so 
many ^ple have called to inanire after you." 

" It IS very kind of them," she relied. 

" There are cards of all sorts and sizes, with every type under 
the sun I believe," continued Sophia; "would you like to see the 
names of your ' anxious inquirers r' " 

" Yes," said Isabella— for she thought Sir Boland might have 
called, and that his card might be anum^ the number. Sophia 
went to fetch them, and soon returned with a packet of eards in 
her hand. Isabella looked over them, and after a time she found 
the one she sought. It was that which &ir Boland had sent up on 
the morning of his departure, and over the name there was written 

in pencil, "1 leave to-day." A deadly pang crossed Isabella's 

heart, as d^ thus learnt uiat he was actimUy gone; but a 
moment's consideration served to convince her tnat it was best 
that it should be so, as it would tend to the recovery of her 
composure sooner than if she fancied he might still be calling, or 
that she might be likely to meet him, shoold she ever again be abio 
to leave the liouse. 

" Here are cards enough to make trays for all your minerals. 
Sophia," die observed; as she kindly began fasfaioning some of 
th^. " It wHl be pleasant idle work for me." 

Ske shaped them with neat-iianded care ; — but she could not S9 
use Sir Boland' s! She looked at it for a time, till fast-cominff 
recollections grew too strong for her. 

"Give me my Bible, will you, dear Sophia," she said; "thera 



18d am ROLAND ASHTOK. 

is a passage I wish to write out; one that suits such a poor weak 
thing as I am— weak both in body and in soul." 

" What passage is it ?'* 

" It is where our Lord Christ leaves * His peace for His people/ 
I know the sense but do not exactly remember the words." 

She took a i>en and wrote on the back of Sir Roland's card the 
passage he had repeated to her on the last evening of their 




ive, neither can it take away." She placed the card in the 
Bible, and it was used bv her as her mark when reading that 
sacred book, to the hour oi her death. 

Mrs. Harcourt— with that wonderful blindness which so often 
prevents those who live with invalids, from seeing the danger 
which every one else perceives — ^would not acknowledge, even to 
herself that she was uneasy about her daughter's health; being 
swayea partly, though she knew it not, by a disinclination to 
leave on her usual habits of gaiety and dissipation, as well as 
being naturally averse to the admission of melancholy and 
desponding thoughts^ concerning a child of whom she was really 
very fond. She haa been advised to remove her to a wanner 
oHmate; though the physician who gave the counsel was fully 
aware that the prolongation, for a few months, of a flickering 
existence, was aD. that could possibly be hoped ; but Mrs. Har- 
oourt had no wish to follow this course ; as some attention having 
been paid to one of her elder daughters by a wealthv, but not 
particularly reputable peer, she was anxious not to throw any 
difficulties in the way of a match she desired, by leaving — — - at 
that moment. 

Isabella Harcourt had lingered for two months, in all the 
variations of the flattering and delusive illness which was destroy- 
ing her, when Mr. Scott returned to . She had been acquainted 

with him durinff his former stay in that city; and though she 
had never heara him speak on the subject of religion, yet she 
knew that his principles were the same as Sir Roland's, and that 
they were particular friends. For these reasons she wimed much 
to see him again : and she longed also to tear once more the sound 
of any voice which could speak to her of God; for kind and 
devoted as her sister Souhia was, she knew but little of spiritual 
religion, and her other mends and acouaintancea were not of a 
ehiSB from whom she could derive any benefit in that way. She 
wished, moreover, most earnestly to be enabled, through Mr. Scott, 
to convey to Sir Roland that which she had been incapable of 
telling him herself, namely, the happy eflects of his words on 
herself and on her brothw. She therefore be^ed of her mother, 
if he should call, to be allowed to see him m l^e sitting-roomt 
where she usually received her friends ; and Mrs. Harcourt, who 
was naturally of an easy and &:ood-natured disposition, promised 
to giant her request ; though she laughed at her for her ^* metho* 



SLR BOLANS ASHTOX. 189 

'dism," saying, she supposed sho wanted to see Mr. Soott in quality 
of a " father confessor. 

When the latter, therefore, called a few days after, Mrs. Harcourt 
said, that she had ** a foolish sick child, who had taken a fancy to 
seeing him, if he wonld not mind going into another room." Mr. 
Scott though rather surprised, was not at all displeased, for he re« 
membered Isabella Harcourt well; and having heard that her 
health was declining, but not knowing the state of her mind, he 
gladly went, where he thought perhaps a few words mi^t be made 
of service and comfort to a dying fellow-creature. He followed 
Mrs. Harcourt into Isabella's little sitting-room, where they found 
her reclining on the sofa— for she was &r too ill to sit up— with 
Sophia, who had been reading to her. The sight of her shocked 
Mr. Scott greatly, for she looked in the very last staffe of consump- 
tion ; and her thin white hand seemed, when she held it out to him, 
aearaelj to belong to a living creature. But the disease which was 
destroyinff her, had lost none of its usual beautifyinfir effects in her 
case, and ne thought he had never before seen anytning so lovely. 
Her complexion, when in comparative health, had been very pale ; 
but now a bright flush lighted up her eyes, and gave an animation 
to her countenance which it had never before possessed. 

" Decked for the tomb," he thought; "may she be also prepared 
for heaven." 

" Isabella, my love," said Mrs. Harcourt on entering, ** vou 
aaid that you would like to see Mr. Scott, as an old friend, ii he 
called ; and he is therefore come to pay you a visit. Now, Mr. 
Scott," she added, gaily turning to him, " you must not make her 
melancholy — you must cheer her spirite. We are thinking of 
going to Italy, and then she will get quite well, and strong again." 

Isabella involuntarily shook her head, as the tears started into 
her eyes ; and a feeling of dis^st rose in Mr. Scott*s mind, for he 
knew that they had been advised to go to a warmer climate long 
before, and he knew also what report said was the motive of Mrs. 

Harcourfs prolonged stey at ; and he felt indignant that the 

health, ana indeed the life of one child, should be sacrificed to 
ambitious projects for another. He answered Mrs. Harcourt's in- 
junction by sayinfif, " He hoped he should not be so unfortunate as 
to.bring gloom, where he wished all might be happiness." 

** Thank you," replied Mrs. Harcourt, ** I really believo I may 
trust her to you, for I know in former days, you have often made me 
laugh with your amusing observations ; so, as the carriage is wait- 
ing, perhaps you will excuse me." 

" Gladly," thought Mr. Scott ; but, as he was not in the ** Palais 
de la v§nt§,"^ all that transpired was : *' I beg I may not detain 
you ;" and with great empressement, he advanced to open the door 
for her to pass. 

Sophia remained in the room with her sister some little time, and 
then wandered into the next, and placed herself out of hearing ; 
for she knew Isabella wished to speak to Mr. Scott alone. When 
she was gone, Isabella began with some embarrassment,-* 

" I thought I should like to see you again, Mr. Scott, partly be* 



190 SIB EOLAITD ASHTON. 

cause I know you feel, as I hope I do, on the subject of religion ; 
and it is a great comfort to be able to speak to those who can un- 
derstand one." 

Mr. Scott with much surprise replied, — 

" I am most happy. Miss Harcourt, to haye this opportunity of 
seeing you ; and most happ^r am I also to find you feeling an in- 
terest in the only subject which can bring peace to the tried «gmt. 
But have you no other firiend— no acquaintance from whom you can 
receive benefit on these subjects ?" 

" No," she replied ; " many kindly call to see me, but none sperfc 
of other than weajrisome subjects — subjects which sadden instead 
of enlivemng me. They mean it all amiably, to keep up my ^ixits,. 
but they know not how they depress me, and make me long for^^ie 
quiet of the grave for this poor weary head, and the peace of faeavoi 
for my soul.' 

She spoke with many pauses, but Mr. Scott could not interm^ 
her. He felt astonished at her words, and was deeply toudied, and 
delighted at seeing one — so beautifal — so calculated to feel« and 
inspire earth's best affectioDfi, yet thus cut off in the micbt of 
youth's hopes and joys — so supported bj; a spirit, evidently not of 
this world — so raised above all that perishes, to the Imperishable 
Himself ! — and he marvelled how the light of truth, could have 
penetrated into that dark house. He knew indeed, that, as Augna* 
tine said, " God can ^eak without the noise of words," but he also 
knew that it was seldom that the work of salvatLon waa commenced 
in the soul, without some visible means being made use of, by the 
Great Giver of the Spirit. At length he said, — 

" When — i£ I may ask — did you first begin to think seriosaly of 
religion?" 

"Only last year." 

" Last year ! Not when I was here, surely ?" 

" Yes, it was," she replied, raising her handkerchief to her £ace, 
to hide the colour which rose as she recalled the circumstances 
under which she first felt an awakening: on the subject; "but 
though I was acquainted with you, you nev^ spoke to me concern* 
ing it." 

"No," replied Mr. Scott, "I thought you would not listen. I 
remember hearing then— you will not mind my saying so now — 
that you were very romanesque, and indulged in many fanciful 
ideas." 

" And you were willing I should perish in them," said Isabella^ 
with somewhat of stem sadness in her deep, feeling tone, as she 
turned her eyes on Mr. Scott. 

He felt the rebuke, and colouring Mgh, he answered, " I did not 
know— I could not be aware. Miss Harcourt, that you would be 
anxious or willing to hear anything on these subjects." 

" Oh ! " said Isabella, " it is pleasant to speak to the willing, but 
the unwilling need it most, Mr. Scott ; and perhaps many a ome 
whom we fancy averse to these things, may be only waiting for 
the electric spark of the word of truth, to fire the whole train 
•of holy afiections in their hearts. God will, doubtless, always, if 



SIB BOLAim ISHTOK. 19t 

He see fit, apply it in His own best thne ; bat if we a^ backward 
in speaking, we lose the crown." 

** I confess," said Mr. Seott with tbat genuine hmmlity which 
Mr. Singleton had truly said was so beautiful a part of nis dia- 
racter, " liiat I have deserved your rebuke. Miss Harcourt ; 
and may God paid<m me, and quicken me in His most delightful 
•ervice. — ^You will forgive me ?" 

" Oh ! willingly ; and I am sure you will now be glad to * water,' 
what another has ' planted ;' thoogh we both know Ihat God alone 
can * give the increase.' " 

" It is so indeed," replied Mr. Seott. "But yon seem to have 
found some one — ^have you not ? more faithfcd and kind than me. 
Miss Harcourt, to arouse your mind ?" 

Isabella did not answer ; for she diraiik firom entering on the 
subject which yet she so much wished to speak about. 

" May I know — if it is not too much to ask — ^who it was who was 

00 much more faithful iiian me V again asked Mr. Scott, smiling,, 
and slightly cdouzing. 

'' He was only an acqnaintanee of mine, though a friend of 
yours," answered Isabella, trying to master the dimculty she felt 
m speaking of Sir Eoland; *'and he knew not at first, that I was a 
listener to his words." 

" Ashton?" asked Mr. Scott, surprised. 

Isabella Harcourt answered by an inclination of tibe head. 

** I never knew that he had talked to you on reli^ons subjects," 
continued Mr. Scott. " I wonder he never mentioned it, for he 
generally told me of any one for whom he felt a hope." 

** Perhaps he did not feel one for me, last year. And yet I re- 
member, that latterly he would speak as if ne bought I under- 
stood him." 

*' And was it solely by his means that your mind became en- 
lightened ? Did you never hear reU^ous truth from any other ?' ' 

" I heard Mr. Singleton several times in the puli^t, and he was 
indeed delightful ; but in conversation I never heard any one but 
hdm ; — at dmners, or early evening parties." 

** Your trials, perhaps, said Mr. Scott, in a feeling tone, "have 
helped to make tne love of God preciotts to you." 

'They have done much, indeed," she answered with a starting 
tear, "to hasten on the work; but oh! how our estimate of 
things changes as death draws near ! What was once so terrible 
to me— the loss of my dear brother— is now all joy ; excepting that 

1 miss his sweet voice and look so much." 

" You have then comfort. Miss Harcourt, in thinking of his^ 
present state ?" 

" Comfort !" she exclaimed, her whole countenance lighting up, 
and her eyes beaming with the loftiest expression, as they were 
raised for an instant to heaven ; — " comfort is a cold word, Mr. 
8cott ; I have all happiness in thinking of him." 

" Was it his iHness which inclined him to heavenly things ?" 

** Oh no, not that alone ; his health was always delicate ; but it 
"was not that ; for formerly he would be impatient at his weak- 
Jie86, and munnicr that he was cut off from the usiLal exercises and 



192 SIB BOLAKD ASHTOIT. 

enjoyments of his age, and would think his a hard and cruel fate ; 
and often then, though I felt it was not ri^ht, I knew not what 
to say to him. But last year, I beard words imlike what I had 
«yer heard before ; and I repeated them all to him, though I 
scarcely understood more than their general tendency myself ; and 
then it was, that grace and love grew up in his hes^; and often, 
very often, would he teach me the meaning of those things, of which 
the words alone, were all that I could teach him." 

** Well, Miss Harcourt/* said Mr. Scott, " you were kind enough 
to say that you hoped for good from me to-day, but you have 
taught me a lesson, which I trust I shall never again forget— or 
neglect." 

" I cannot wish you to forget any heaven-tan^ht lesson, Mr. 
Scott," replied Isabella, kindly ; ** but you owe nothmg to me. I was 
indeed to blame just now, in speaking to you, I fear harshly ; but at 
the moment, such a horror seized me oi what must have been my* 
eternal state, had I been left to die with no brighter hope— no 
clearer faith, than the foolish fancies you alluded to, that I felt 
indignant— j;ou will forgive me now" — and a look and smile of 
the utmost kindness glowed on her features, " that you who knew 
the way of life should have withheld the knowledge of it from me, 
— and I so evidently sinking." 

" I would almost ask you," said Mr. Scott, with a pained look, 
'* not to mention that again, though it is perhaps as well that we 
should be made to shrink imder the sense of sin. The Lord often 
«ees fit to humble us, and show us our deficiencies on those very 
points, on which perhaps we have piqued ourselves as excelling ; at 
least 1 know I have often thought, with great complacency, how 
very zealous I was in speaking; and now I am justly reproved for 
my want of zeal." 

"You cannot, I dare say, always speak as you would wish," said 
Isabella ; " but try, oh I try. Think of me— 4ying— and try." 

Mr. Scott felt a sudden emotion which prevented bim from an- 
ewering immediately ; but after a moment ne replied, — 

"With the help of God I will." He then added— "I cannot 
however grudge Ashton this * crown of rejoicing'— for such I am 
confident it will be to him hereafter." 

Isabella was infinitely relieved by Mr. Scott's thus making a way 
by which she might naturally, as it would seem, enter on the sub- 
ject she wished so much to have communicated to Sir Roland. It 
was still however with great difficulty that she summoned courage 
to say,— 

' * 1 much wish that you would tell him how great a blessing he has 
been, not only to me, but also to my brother. His faith and love 
were indeed, far hiffher and clearer, and more joyous than mine." 

" He had less to bear," replied Mr. Scott. "It was, doubtless, 
hard for him to leave this world, especially so young ; but that 
was his only source of trouble. You have had to bear the bitterer 
lot of seeing him languish and depart; and this perhaps tends to 
sink and sadden your spirits, even though your faith may not 
be dimmed by it. He had not the trials you have had." 

Oh, no, no,' she replied pressing her hand on her eyes to stem 



sot BOLAITD ASHTOir. 193 

baek the tears whicli still would have their way. *' Yet,*' die oon« 
tinned, when she oonld command her voice, nnconscionsly advert* 
ing to the canse of grief which she felt had helped to accelerate 
her fate, "nothixig would have saved my life— nothing could have 
saved my life, and all is well ordered. I must be happy soon, and 
though these foolish tears will come sometimes, yet in general my 
mind is in perfect neaoe. Tou will tell him that, will you ? and of 
my brother, that ne may be encourajged to go on, and speak for 
God — ^always-^verywhere. If the injunction is to be accepted 
concerning this world's wealth, 'freely ye have received, mely 
give ;' how much more of the heavenly treasure— the knowledge of 
luSirist as our Saviour! That inestmiable gift we have indeed 
most freely received ; and we should be ever 'ready to distribute, 
williug to oonmiunicate,' of that which can make all rich for 
eternity." 

*' Asnton will, I am sure, be most rejoiced to know that his 
Words have been the means of sustaining you, not only under aick« 
Bess and sorrow, but in the view even of- — *' 

"Do not stop," said Isabella, faintly smiling, "I can bear the 
word ' death,' tor my mind is familiar with the thought of it ; and, 
thank God, it brings no terrors. You have been very ^ood in coming 
to me, and I am very, very glad to have seen you again." 

" I deserve anything but your thanks. Miss Haroourt." replied 
Hr. Scott ; " but I am sure I owe much to you ; and shall, I tanist, 
never again be forgetful of the best interests of my fellow-crea* 
tures." 

" I am sure you will not," said Isabella, again smiling. " But that 
thought must now give place to the remembrance that you have 
been of comfort--great comfort to me. My heart feels much re- 
lieved and lightened by having* spoken to you, for the kindest and 
dearest sometimes cannot xmderstand one. But true Christians 
must understand each other ; they are taught the same lesson, in the 
same school, by the same heavenly Teacher. Is not that what you 
understand by the communion of saints? that they, as true be- 
lievers, are one body, of which Christ is the Head ?— that they have 
one commonality in the Spirit of God, * one Lord, one Faith, one 
Baptism' of the Holy Ghost ?" 

** Surely," replied Mr. Scott; "how else can it be understood? 
Yes, that it is which spite of all errors in imessential pointsy-spite 
of all remaining infirmity, binds the hearts of true Christians 
together, with a chain whose links will be even more closely 
riveted in heaven than they are upon earth ; — ^for there — all dissen- 
tient opinions, all erroneous feebngs, will be done away with for 
ever, and we shall all be 'made perfect in Christ Jesus.' ^ The 
' Church triumphant' in heaven, and the ' church militant still on 
earth,' are thus continually One, though its members occupy for a 
time different chambers in God's universe. Death cannot separate 
those who are Christ's ; 

• Flesh it may aereiv bnt not souls diride.' " 

*'It is a blessed and delightful view to me," said Isabellai 

o 



1^4'^ SIS B«bAir» ASBSOV^ 

''.espedfllly "wlieii I think of Fredeno; and rauea fhe besrt &r 
al>ove the things af this life, whiah are but for » seasonr-aad so nxi- 
satisfying ! Yet I feel very inconsistent ! At timas I seem, so far aboTft 
the earthy that all its tumult and jazring interests, cannot toiidi, ^ 

or trouble me ; wbilst at other times tiie least thinar will depress me. I 

But still God surrounds me with blessing^— ^tia kind and loving 
Mends, and e^ery comfort ; and makes my passage to the tomb so 
smooth, it seems all pleasure to glide g^entlT down. But I must not 
detain you longer, Mx, Scott Your yisit nas be^d very pleasant 
to me ; and we know," she added, with a happy smile, " that iMs 
will not be our last meeting— nor our partuig nere— a xwrting for 
eyer. God bless you." 

\ ** God ever bkss you« Miss Harooait,"' he replied, with, mudli 
emotion. " We shall indeed meet again." 

A few days after this interriew, Isabella Haroouxt was driving ^ 

slowly in the carriage, in a retired part of the enyirons of ^ i 

with her mother, who had at last beeome really alarmed about her,. j 
when Mr. Seott rode by. He reined back his horse, and she 
started up, intending to stop the caiziage ; but her weakness was 
so exeat that she sunk back again exhausted, and merely smiled 
and shook her head« as if to say that she eonld not speak ; and he . 
passed on with a heavy heart* She neyer 1^ the house again. 

Mr. Scott went &om the next day, and iu about a fortnight 

afterwards, he read, recorded among the deaths in Galignani's 
paper, " Isabella, third daughter of Henry Harcourt, Esq., in her 
nineteenth year." ■ 

When dying, Isabella gave her Bible to her sister Sophia, -vtHdk 
earnest entreaty never to neglect its happy truths; and when*^ 
after she was ^ne, her sisteor opened the book, and found Sir Bo- 
land's oard in it, well did she remember the day in. which Isabella. 
wrote the ^eaoe-givin^ text upon it» and took it for her Bible's i 

mark. This little incident served to oonifizm aa idea she had kng* I 
entertained. She had a quick, observant mind; and youi^ as she I 
was, she had long suspected, having been so mxioh with Isabelia^ | 
that there was some grief, which preyed upon the mind of the ' 

latter, independent of the regret she felt foot her brother,— a giieT 
which had fearfdlly inereased from the night of her sudden illness. 
She had not noticed at the time whose card it was, that Isabelia had 
taken to write that passage on fimn the Scriptures ; but whCTi 
she found it was Sir Boland's^ she instantly raooUeeted his iuaa» 
as having frequently heesi mentioned between her brother and 
sister; and from that, and several other eiremnstances whieh now 
recurred to her, she felt convinced Ihat Isabella had been attached 
to him, and that her attachment was not a happy one. She kept 
tliis secret, however, close in her own breast ; whilst bitterly, witk 
senewed grief^ did she weep for the sorrow and soffering, whidi she 
had so often witnessed, without being folly aware of its cause. 

Isabella Harcourt was buried in the sametomb with her brother | 
and, at her earnest request, their names were united by an encir- 
cjing line, and beneath them was written, " One Lord, one Faitiir 



\ VFLkSm AfBxoav 196 



CHAPTEB XXVT. 



Looki ehe«rftil, when «ne carries iB Mill feetti 
The vudJCMble tKMun r— CouBOMn. 

When Lady AslitoiL i«eeiyed the letter whidi it had oost Sir 
Scdand so much to write— eontaimn^ his request that Henry 
xnigrht not be made acquainted with his engagemeiit~-8he imme- 
diately informed Lady Constance of it; and though they bodi 
&lt smprised, yet supposing that he had sooie good reason for his 
determmatio% they of coarse acqvieseed in it. Had Lady Aiditon, 
been aaked at that tune, whether aay greater attachment than was 
desirable had sprung up between Hcair and Ladv Constance, she 
would unhesitatingly have answered '^No ;'* ana had Lady Con- 
fltanoe herself been applied to» die would hare returned the same 
aaiswer. But if Henry had been ashed^ he would at once haye de- 
okrecL that he loved Lady Constauoe more than his Hfe, and that 
he f oUt belieyed his lo^e was returned hj her. Iol each of these 
oases the answers would haye be«a made in all sinoerity of heart; 
fbr Lady Aahton had no iusMoiou of the truth, nor was Lady 
Constance in the least aware that H«uy was attached to hen or 
that she felt for him otherwise than she had always done before. 
But Hf(nry--thoBrQushlr aware of the state of his own heart— had 
perceived with equn ofteaaese what passed in I^y Constance's; 
and he was but too eorreci in thinking that she returned, in some 
measure at least, the unbounded alfeciiion wkUdi he felt for her. 

It haa been said that Lady Constamoe was wise, and right, in re- 
jpressin^ Henry's expressioiLe of reaard for her on the £st day of 
Ais aittval ; and so she undodbtecUy was. And yet unfortunately 
tile effect waa exaetly contrary to that which she wished and in-^ 
tended ; for firom the very mssumt of her speakia^r & change— the 
least to be desired— took place in the nature <tf his feeling for her« 
flEud r^adered it one of deyoted attaehment. The enthusiastic ad- 
miration, which he had deeeribed in the letter which had so much 
troubled Sir Boknd, waa a most natural feeling for a sailor to have 
OB his first emaneipation fimn hi» watery iMrison, towards one, so 
oharming as Lady Constanee^ and wh^n he had known and loved 
froBi a oBtld ; btit it was a sentiment ef so slight a nature, that had 
it been aikwed a &ee ezpresaaoa^ it might perhaps have remained 
merely on the surfaee of his mmd, and have been soon effaced by 
absence; but the instant its outward demonstrations were re- 
pressed, it sunk deep into his heart, Unking root there, and flourish- 
mgbut too luxnriantiy. He felt however from that moment, a 
lestraint which prevented hta ever again saying a syllable which 
oould make Lady Constance imagine that he cherished for her any 
ezelusiye feeling, or aspired to any greats degree of her favour than 
he had ever before possessed ; aad thus she was deluded into a 
^rfeet security of feeling ae regarded both him and herself. She 
Aad been accustomed in early years to have him as her almost in* 
eepai^able companion^ wheiMTtt he waa at home^ so that it was na 

02 



196 Snt BOLAND ASHTOir. 

new or maryellotis thin^ now, that lie should be constantly at her 
edde. He had ever lavished on her all the tender and affectionate 
attentions which a devoted brother could bestow on a fa- 
vourite sister, and she was not surprised therefore, at now again 
receiving them ; and his fear was so great lest he should say any- 
thing wnich might offend her, that it placed a check on all expres- 
sions which could have given her an insight into his feelings ; and 
if at times he had unwittinglv paid her any attention which 
might have seemed particular, he instantly did something of the 
same kind also for Lady Florence, so as to take away all appearance 
of preference. 

He could not account to himself for the spell which thus seemed 
laid upon him, but he was not the less conscious of it ; and it not 
only i^ected his manner to Lady Constance herself but it had an. 
influence also on his way of speaking of her to others. Even in 
writing to his brother, he felt such a restraint in mentioning her, 
thathe couldnot openhishearttohim, as he hadbeenever usedtodo; 
and this it was which made all his later letters differ so much in tone 
and feeling, from the animated avowal of his delighted admirationy 
which he had written on the morning of his return to Llanaven. 
It was not however, Lady Constance's first check on his conversa- 
tion alone, which produced this effect ; but that judicious and 
proper step on her part was so consistently followed up by the 
quiet, and dignified conduct which she maintained, that ne felt a 
respect for her, and almost an awe, which he could not overcome, 
and which made him love her all the more ; for the heart whidi 
if lightly won, might have been lightly prized, appeared to him 
wortn every sacrifice. He controlled even his verylooks therefore, 
lest they should offend ; and though he could not imderstand why 
lie might not love, and tell her tiiat he did so, yet he felt that 
though he did love, he could not tell her so. This feeling was 
tiie more unaccountable to him, because he could not but think 
thathe perceived that she liked him— that she was ever happy to be 
with him, as he was ever enchanted to be with her. Her manner 
to him in other respects too was as free and intimate as in their 
earliest days; and lively-spirited as they both were, thev amused 
themselves in their ligpt-nearted conversations, or in tneir ram- 
bles about Hie cliffs, with as much zest and pleasure as did their 
young companion Lady Florence herself. 

Totally unsuspicious, Lady Ashton rejoiced to see Lady Constance's 
recovered gaiety, and Henry's happiness ; and she encouraged as 
much as possible everything which could contribute to their cheerfbl 
pleasures ; often joining in their walks and expeditions, and seem- 
ing to grow young again herself, amidst their animated smiles. 
Throuniout all, however, Henry Ashton felt the subduing power 
of Lady Constimce's manner, and never could he go beyond the 
limits it imposed. 

It was not that Lady Constance purposely acted in that way, for 
she had no idea of anything existing in Henry's mind, which re- 
ciuired repression. Had she dreamed that he liked her, she would 
instantly— -notwithstanding Sir Boland's express wish to the oon« 
trary— have informed him of the position in which she stood, and 



SEB TUOrjOSn ASHTOir. 197 

Iiave ended his hopes for eyer ; hut she saw nothings that could 
awaken the slightest suspicion, and her conduct resulted mcrelv 
from the sense of what she owed to herseKand to Sir Roland, — ^which 
a pure, high«principled feeling instinctively taught her. Her 
deep regard for the latter indeed, continually increased, for it 
was impossible to be allowed an insight into his noble mind with- 
out loving and admiring him ; and, unaware of any preference 
for Henry, she wrote in answer to his letters, with aU the warmth 
of old affection ; expressinff continually a recret— which was most 
sincere and genuine — ^that he was not with them to share, and in- 
crease their pleasures. Henry too, continually wrote to the same 
effect, for he knew no reason why he should dread his brother's 
presence ; on the contrary, he often longed to have him there, that 
ne might speak to him of the sentiments, of which neverthe- 
less he could not write These letters so unintentionally deluding, 
completely lulled all those fears in Sir Roland's breast, which had 

been so terribly excited at ; and an undouhting confidence 

sprang up, which increased his love and happiness a thousand-fold. 

It being summer-time, the party* at lianaven dined early, and 
then enjoyed the whole of the dehghtfol evenings out in the air ; 
often indeed prolonging their rambles, till the stars were the only 
lights to guide them home. This style of living brought Henry 
and Lady Constance continually together, and indeed they were 
seldom separated ; for Henry having no public business and no 
superintendance of the property to occupy him, as Sir Roland 
haH, was able to devote all his time to his mother and to his 
sisters. With his feelings, this life was of course most delightful, 
and it is not to be supposed that it was without its charm for Lady 
Constance, who thus unconsciously learnt to find Henry's so- 
ciety indispensable to her happiness. Had Sir Roland enjoyed 
equal advantages in tiiese respects with his brother, he would in 
all probability have been equally, if not even more beloved ; for 
there was much more in fact in his character that suited Lady 
Constance, than in Henry's : there were far higher attainments, a 
deeper tone of feeling, and a purer and more exalted sense of re- 
ligion. The graces of the Spirit in him seemed indeed, scarcely to 
derive any assistance from the things of earth, but to be entirely 
maintained from above ; and might be, not imaptiy, compared to 
the flowers which grow in the loftier regions of the Alps, with 
scarceljr a grain of soil to nourish their growth ; but which, * rooted 
in the rifted rock,' and blooming with a splendour and brilliancy of 
colour unknown to others of their kind, 'disdain,' as Rogers 
charmingly says, 

"To grow in lower dimes. 
And delighted drink the doads befbre they fUl.** 

But Henry's feelinpfs were more like the flowers of the lower 
ranges of the mountains, which having a greater depth of earthy 
soil between them and the * rock,' expand in wUaer profosion, 
though with hues far less pure and bright ; and which, unable to 
support themselves alone, seek to twine about the plants of conge- 



D0B .tiB WIXU3XD Jdoaoar. 

ntal ffrowth ubiA ibiiriflli arooiid. Koeli ifideed, of tbe lo^e ^ 
Qod dwelt in hia heart, but theare was mote admixture of earthly 
feeling in him, tiiAn in his brother ; and hia piel^, though true aaa 
irarm, wms BBOce tinetured with the inconsisteney, so ofb^i to be 
found in persons of hgkt and joyous tem^rs. Neyerth^ess there 
wasafrtTHmesfl and wxuiatlL in his duqieaition and manners, whidi 
made him a oniTersal ^avoiuite — one whmn every one felt it 
was impossible not to kve. He was the very p^eetion of a aaikr ! 
Aill of the lire and «wth«wa«w— the romai»ee, poetry, wild gaiety* 
and sentiment, which so often unite Hior hetmgeneous matenais 
in the formffilaen of <^ioae restless beioga— the most delightfol oar- 
haps to think of— the least satis&etQry peihaps in general to live 
vi^ (nayal reader of eonrse excepted) of all mortals in ex- 



The evenings at liaiiaven geaerally ended with nuude, for 
Henry Ashton had a fii^ v<noe, and often j<aned the sisters in 
thdr songs ; Lady Ashton also oeoasionally asrinting in their em." 
oerts. Lady Florence, though in most things remarkably childish 
ior her age, idiowed nneomm o n talents both for playing and 
einging ; and w«a» in those aeoomplishments, almoat equal to her 
aister. 

" I never ean go to aea again*" cried Henry, floorudiing about 
the room one evening, after they had been sinffinjs: one of hia 
fayeuzite songs, "neyer! Fancy» after all this divine harmony, 
goin^ where the whde of one's musie is ' ^ii»ng to dinnar,' or 
neavrng the anchor to the strains of a two-«tmiiged fiddle i I AaH 
die no odier deaUi !" 

" Ton will have the winds whistiing through the shrouds^ to 
enliven you/' said Lady Constaaoe. 

'' I>elightfiil proepe<^ certainly !" answered Henry. '* ^o— . 

* Xllgo no more to tiie xoaiang teas,' 

I'll work for my bread no longer* Ambition's toroh is quenohed 
within me." 

" Did it ever bum very fiercely ?'* 

'* Often ; once indeed I'was nearly destroyed by its spontaneous 
oombustion. We were in a boat, and wanted to land from the 
chip ; but a heavy surf beatinr us continually back, in a fit of 
deraeration I jumped overboam, and swam to shore with a rope, 
and by that means we all got in at last Like a blockhead as I 
was, I went in with all my clothes on* which, by a natural pro- 
cess, became saturated witn salt water. Heaiinff I was drendaed» 
the captain of a man-of-war near, sent for me on board, andkindlj 
rigged me out in one of his own uniforms: a post-captain's uni- 
form ! — ^Ye powers I what I felt 1 laughing gas was desperation — 
despondeney to it !— Two epaulettes ! — one on each shoulder !^-None 
of the 'single blessedness' of your . lieutenant's rig. No — the 
perfect— the right thing I I looked from shoulder to shoulder till 
they seemed to expand into wings of gigantic dimensions, heanng: 
up my soaring genius beyond the extremest Ararat of all fame 



^ond glory ! My bretst swelled -vitii tiuiigs too Ing for eartli or 
seas ! — I was very near ordering the oaptain offliis own qnarter-deelc 
— ^but I stopped just short of that insanity ; and an unlucky fire 
having dried my own garments— whieh at that moment appeared 
to me the most despicable tilings on earth — ^I was foroea to put 
iiiem on again— constrained to 

*Forget1lie«vtaln,aiidTC8iiiiietiw "mid."' 

The change was disgusting ! — nasaoons in the extreme. Bat now; 
I haye given ambition to the winds, and only long to be allowed 
to vegetate in this spot all my days. This *dolce far niente, 
(' sweet do-nothing') life is so very onarming !" 

'*<Doloe' ('sweet') it is,'' said Lady Constance, <'bntl refuse to 
oall it * far mente ' (* do-nothing ;') I think we are very busy, and 
well employed." 

''I am sore," ezofeimed lady Florence, ** I anualways ' stowing 
away' some piece of knewiedge or ot^OE, as yon would say," 

'* I cr^ you metrof, &ar daoMs," said Henry; '* I did not mean 
to despise your doings— nor indeed my own. I think we are 
mightily active, hard-working people. But wheiK one has been 
used to the rough life of a sailor, badtiing it with the dements, 
turning out for ni^ht- watches with the thermometer below zero, 
&c., tms inexpressiblv delectable existence seems all like a de- 
lightful stream of self-indulgence ; it is tike paasiog through the 
aoft summer air, where one is nnconscioafl of any lesieianoe. — * How 
shall I hence depart J" 

'* But when * self' is good, Henry, to indulge it is good alfio," 
observed Lady Gonstanoe. 

''That is a very pleasant piece of philosophy of yonrs," he 
replied ; " but rather of the Epicurean school, is it not?' 

^ No," she answered: "the Spicurean would foUow ' self' with- 
out making any very mznote inquiries as to the oharaoter it boie ; 
but malign it as you will, if rig^itiy understood, mine is true Chris- 
tian philosophv. It is that, we must remember," she added more 
gravely, *' which constitates the happiness of the angels in heaven, 
and which ^sdll form ours there too some day I hoi>e ; for there our 
•will, will be Ood'sj and Qod's eurs. When our 'will' or our 'self ' 
becomes perfectly m unison with God's will, then our hoHness is, 
as Erskine sa^ 'purified from self-deniaL' I delight in that 
idea, it is so original, and so true ! I like all that passage of his." 
And rising she fetched the book, and read from one of Erskine's 
delightful introduetiomi : " ' Thmeis no self-denial in t^e character 
of God, it is His delight to do tbat which is good. Neith^ would 
there be any self-demal in our virtue, if we p^ectily loved Qod, 
because that love would find its highest gratification in a con- 
formity to the will of God. But how are we to ctow in this love ? 
How IS our heliBess to be imiified from sdf-aenial? No other- 
wise, than by abidLog in tne love of God, as reveakd in Jesus 
Oirist.'" 

" I have notlung to advance against that, oertaanly," said fienry 
Aahlon, "only thai it stakes me out to be yary rebeUious, I am 



200 eODEt SOLAim ASHTOir. 

afraid ; for it costs me sometimes an immense deal of self-deidal to 
do even the least little bit of good ; which I fear proves that ' self' 
with me is intrinsioallv bad.' 

" It is so with ns all, dear Henry," said Lady Ashton ; ** it was 
only Christ who could say, ' the nrmoe of this world cometh, and 
hath nothing in me,' I am afraid he possesses large territories in 
all of our hearts ; but still in the main, our way of life may, if we 
are God's children, be good, and pleasant too.' 

" I grant it— I know my life is very pleasant, and I am qnite 
willing to believe, on yonr assurances, kind friends, that it is very 
good also. But now, Constance, let ns come a little to particulars 
as to this 'dolce far molto' (* sweet do-much') life of ours. To 
begm. — What good is it to keep pricking the air through loops 
of silk, with that species of small harpoon which you are usin^ 
there?" 
" My * crochet' work, do you mean?" 

" Yes, if that's what jou call it. But to proceed— after the 
manner of the old b^n m * Water my chickens,' (how I should 
like to play at that game once more in my life 1) I aak, what is the 
* crochet' work for?" 
" To make a purse." 
" What is the purse for?" 
"To hold money." 
" Whose money ?" 
" Yours— if you can get any." 

•* I have done," he answered, looking np from the drawing he 
was finishing, with a pleased simle ; ** I am a perfect convert to the 
truth of aU your positions." 

" You Hked the one I did for Boland the other day," said Lady 
Constance ; " so I thought in the fulness of my generosity, that I 
would do one for you too." 

" Did you do that purse for Boland ?" said Henry, looking down 
again at his drawing, while his colour heightened a littie — ^for he 
would have preferred having had the first done for himself— "I 
thought it had been my mother." 
'* No," replied Lady Ashton, " I sent him one some time ago.'* 
" Ah ! he needs more of them than I do," said Henry. 
He felt at that moment what he had scarcely ever felt in his 
life before : an inclination to be irritated with nis brother; and 
the question arose in his mind : why Sir Boland should have so 
very large a fortune, whilst he had, as he called it, ' to work for 
his bread. ' But this mood was too intolerable to last, so, * ' Pshaw," 
he thought, " it is much better for me to have something to do, and 
not be an idle fellow all my life ; and he can never nave more 
than he knows how to use weU." And the momentary dond 
passed away. 

It was in truth a matter of Bia*prise to many that Sir BoLmd's 
property being so very large, his brother should have been left 
with a mere younger son's fortune of a few thousand pounds. Bat 
their father had purposely so disposed it ; for he was thoroughly 
acquainted with the dispositions of his two sons, though they y 



BIR BOLAFl) ASHTOlT. $01 

but boys at the time of bis death ; and he felt conTinoed, that to 
leave an independent fortune, to one of Henry Ashton's yolatile 
temperament, and reckless disposition, wotdd he the thing in the 
world most likely to injure, and perhaps even, completely ruin 
him. He also well knew the noble ana generous temper of his 
eldest son, and he was confident that he could ^ith perfect security 
leave all Henrjr's interests in his keeping ; and therefore, with the 
exception of ten thousand pounds to me latter, he left tilie whole of 
his vast property to him. 

"Well, Henry," said Lady Constance, after an usually long 
pause in their conversation, " have you laid by the character of 
inquisitor?" 

" No, I am going to put Florence to the * question.' next— What 
are you doing there, Giovinetta, with that many-coloured niece of 
silk, which looks like all the signals in the na^ sewn together V* 

" I am making a case with many divisions } 

"What is the case for?" 

** Needles, and other implements for working." 

"Who for?" 

** You, if you know how to use it." 

" Ah ! I see I ought to have examined my witnesses separately; 
you are too cunning, you landswomen, for us simple mariners; but 
nevertheless, I mean to be an incorruptible judge, spite of aU your 
•sops for Cerberus/ What makes you &ncy I ever used needles 
and thread, or such unseemly, ana womanly trumpery, Signora 
Krenze?** 

'* 1 have heard that sailors like to mend their clothes instead of 
going in rags and tatters, so I thought I would supply you with the 
means of making a decent appearance." 

'*But there is no 'true blue' after all, amongst the rainbow 
colours you have got together there." 

" I keep that lor the last ; when you are going away it will be 
time enough to * hoist the blue Peter. " 

** You are getting a great deal too nautical for me, young lady. 
and very unieeling to boot, to mention such a thin^ . That detestea 
gignal ought to be expunged out of the books of the Admiralty. 
And he sung low in his 'moonlight voice' — 

** Parte la nave, spi^ga le yele 
Yento crudele, mi fit partir." 

C The ship departs, the sails are spread* 
The cruel winds force me to go.**) 

But instead of the " Addio," &c., which succeeds the verse, aheavy 
sigh burst forth, at the thought of the bitter hour of parting that 
mnst come so «oon. 



CHAPTKE XXVn. 

"Tbqr loiow th* AJm^ghtf' ■ power, 
WbOt mken^l by tiie jnshing mUni^^ AowiTy 
Ifstoh fbr the^tlU teeeR 
To faoirl mad «hafe waM the bentfiiif trees ; 
Watoh Ibr ttae «tfll fiUte gkm 
To bathe the landecape in a fleiy iihiiM; 
Tonching the tremnloiu eye with sense of light 
T<o nqpid aad ta0y«iiBibr all hot angel sight 

* They knew fli* AfaDightyslove, 

Who, when the whirlwinds rock the tq^most grore, 

Btend in the rfiade, aiid hew 

Tlw tamnlt with a 4e^ nTfiUlag ftari 

flow, hi their fleasiBt awi^v 

Curh'd by soaie pomr anseea, they die away, 

like a bold steed that owns his rider^s arm, 

Fh>ad to he ohBok'd aad Bsath'd I7 that o'a 

* Bat there are storms witUn 

That heaye the itrqggUng bant with vflder dkL* 

« « « « 



••A gilflf wfflmftmpang, Y«id, daifc and dnar, 

A stilled, tfivwsy, naJoyaasiewMd grief, 
Which ftads Ha nataral flsrtlet, 00 rdkf 
" In word, or itgh, or tear." Goijbbidob. 

A PA£TY of fciencb and neigiiboiin were invited to slay a £bw 
davs at Llanayen, which was aa intolerable aonoyaiioe to Henry 
Aimton, who ooidd ill bsook to have hia preien.t ha^y node of 
life broken in upon, by persons in whomne felt no iatezeat. A 
{swmomingv belore thay were to arnTe, he was walkin|[ wiik liis 
mother and the two sisters on the shoue ; the wind was riamg, and a 
daik line in the distanoe of tke ocean, showed that the ronogh 
waves of the Atbmtio were pouring in. 

''There will be a gale before night," he said. ''It is strange, 
tiiat I never care for a stonn when I am at sea, but hate to bear 
the wind howl and rave when I am on shore. I never could enter 
into that somewhat selfish feeling of Lneretius : — 

* Snave, marl magno tnrhsntibos cqnora ventis 
E terra magnvm atterias spectere lahovem.* 

C It is sweet, when the winds distarb the snrf aoe of the mighty 
sea, to behold fross the qniet land the great laboar afathers.') 

You understand my beautiful Latin of course, good people ? ** 
"I do just understand that," said Lady Ashton, smiling. 

"because I have heard it before from one, whose heart is kind and 

feeling, as your own. Roland often edifies us by his quotations ; 

eonsioerately translating them for the benefit of tne unlearned." 
"I rather think, Henry," said Lady Florence, "that you must 



liaTe Ibeen ike BtSm^ vriio ifken tbe aLntes sjmL tiks wen Mnytng 
jJ)out his head in a higk vind, wished himsalf ' song at sea.' " 

** Ko bad wish either, Flosy. But however, it is not quite that ; 
the slates and tiles do Bot £nghte& me; hut you see all hands are 
employed on board ship in a stiff gale» And one has no time to be 
afraid, howeyear much one might have die indination." 

'* It m»Bt he T«7 fearful thoa^," laid Lady Aaht<Mi, whose heart 
sickened at the though of Heuy's frequoat exposures, ''to feel 
at mwh times thaJb msm is ' Aemaf but % plafik between us and 
eternity/ " 

" Tbeace is really nedaiMfer, dear mother, in « mAn»of-war ; onieas 
indeed (»iegetsonA lee aoere. But here when I hear the winds 
roaring aiiaet(»niiin|r« I have time to ait and think how many brave 
• ^^ows may be ankiQg aoddiowning: in how many ^eees perhape 
in 'iheUM of night,^ the 'seaa»an's ery is heani a£mg the dee^* 
TheB. I eaU to mind all the thrilling magmfieenoe.of a aea-storaiv 
tin I find myself tMrnbliag «t the thought of things which ha^ 
no power to sheke a nerve when I am aetnally in the midst of 
Ihem. Dear mother I I dere say yeu often He awiake aad think at 
me till your poor heart siuks, as von hear die waves tiionder en 
the riiore, and the winds blow as if they would tear the eld house 
4o pieoes ! but remember* the wind s^dom blows with you* and m^ 
at the same time ; aadthen, » I saki before, there really is soaneiy 
any danger to a man-of-war." 

Lady Ashton pressed the arm of her eon while he stooped down 
to kiss her tearful ehe^. '* I will toy and remember your words, 
dear," she eaid ; " I shall need eom^ort i^om them new, more thin 
«Ter, for I shall mere than ever dread e^ to you." 

"Why more thanevar? " 

*' Because you are dearer to me than ever." 

Henry's heart swelled for a moment, then in his gayest tcme he 
eaid, " I see I must begin to make myseK detestable tibat you may 
aU be glad wh^ I go away. I am too irresistLble new, am I nol, 
Florence? But, Constanee, you w^e asking me the other daf* 
about storms in the Atlantic. In former days I used to fancy th«t 
a vessel went up and down the waves like a horse galloping oyer 
a hilly country ; (though I had no idea then of ih.e hOls iuto which 
the .waters piled themselves,) but that is not at alltilie case. When 
there is a furious wind, c£ course, one moves rapidly, but not 
nearly so much so even then, as the waves ; but when there is no 
-wind, only the terrible swdl after a storm, then the ship lies 
fiopine on the waters, whit^ rise and fSoll horribly under her.; 
bearing her m one moment as if she was going to scale the 
heavens, and men sjnkiag away from under her till she seems 
bmried in an abyss, with huge sMmntains of water on every side. 
At such times one can observe the dread magnifiecnee of tiie thing; 
for there is comparatively hnt little to do ; bat wlien the wind blows 
a hnrrieaae, «ie has no time for obBervation,^ for every nerve and 
muaek is on the streteb. It is as mwh as one can do to prevent 
going overboard ; and the etraimng and groaning of the veesd is 
awful ; and sometimes she hangs on the summit of a mountainous 
«wire--*fo the wwvea at aii^ times, are of eourae mwh. -higfaer and 



204 Sm BOlAKD A8HT07« 

bharper than in the mere swell— «iid quivers as if she recoiled from 
the learfal descent before her ; just as a horse might rear, and 
back, and tremble, refusinff to leap into a chasm. That is horrible, 
appallinff ! and if one had out the time, one might then be terrified 
to one's heart's content ; but as I told you, one is happily too busy- 
to suffer much. But the swell is perfectly sickening^ till one gets 
accustomed to the motion ; you can imagme it — as nearly as the 
creeping of a flea can ^ye^ you an idea of the actions of an 
elephant — ^from the sensation in the descent of a swing, which was 
always intolerable to me. Do you remember, Constance, our onoe 
watching an unlucky turnip which had got into the sea, by means 
best known to itself? It was a stormy day, and every wave as it 
came curling onwards to break on the shore, bore turnip on its 
foaming crest, and we always expected to see it thrown up at our - 
feet, and determined to wait till we had got it ; but when the wave 
rolled over and dashed itself to pieces, turnip had slid down its A 
back ; — ^then again rode in triumph on the ridge of the next wave ; 
then again slid down the back of that one ; and so on with every 
one in succession, till at last we ^ve up the hopeless vegetable^ 
and came home to dinner without it." 

"I remember it perfectly," said Lady Constance, " and recollect 
the provocation I felt at seeing it continually disappear, and after- 
wards beholding it swimming with the utmost tranquillity, amidst 
the coating of white bubbles which covered the water after the 
wave had broken on the shore." 

"Well, that is exactly the way one is carried up and down at 
the will of the mighty waves in those great seas, after the violence 
of the storm is over. There one lies like a log on the immensity 
of the waters, submitting in passive helplessness to its caprices,— 
now aloft, now below. I often thought of what this dear mother 
of mine would have likened it to;— that she would have said: 
'Thus we ought to repose on God's providence, and in acquiescing 
faith, and unquestioning dependence, resign ourselves to all the 
variations of fate, which the great and good Ruler of storm and 
calm might deem it best to send us ;' 

* That on his guiding arm nnseen 
Our undivided hearts might lean ; 
And this our frail and foundering baik 
Glide in the narrow wake of his beloved aik.' 

Have I guessed right, my dearest, best» and wisest mother ?" 

" It might have so occurred to me, Henry, but I delight in 
having it as your own thought ; and I trust Ihe remembrance of 
your words may often be allowed to bring down quieting balm to 
my faithlessL and trembling heart, when! hear the storms rage — 
and think of you." 

Henry felt much affected, and was silent for a time. At lengtli 
he exclaimed, " How the wind rises ! it will blow ' great guns' to- 
night, Flory ; I hate these on-shore winds ; there is sore to be 
miiBohief somewhere or other on this coast." 

Henry Ashton was right ; it blew a hnzrioaiie all that nighty and 



8IB BOLAKD ASHTOK. 205 

all the next day. The ocean was covered with breakers as far as 
the eye oould reach ; and the foam and spray from the waves be- 
low, as they dashed agpainst the rocks, flew over the very tops of the 
cli£^. In the afternoon, the wind having^ Inlled a Uttle, Lady 
Constance ventured forth with Henry, to view the magnificence of 
^e scene. A few hours before, he had " swept the horizon" witii 
his glass, and not a ship was to be seen ; but now one vessel was 
just discernible, though what she was l^ey could not make out ; 
but proceeding along uxe cliff they found one of the preventive men 
on his stormy look-out. 

'* What is she ?" asked Henry, as they came up : for the old maa 
was attentively examining the vessel with his telescope. 

'* Can't say rightly, sir ; the spray dashes over her so, she's all 
in a haze." 

*' Give me a look with your glass," said Henry ; and he took it 
out of the .sailor's hand. "Tour focus does not quite suit me/* 
he added, altering it. 

" May be, sir,' replied the man, whOe a fifood-humoured smile 
lighted up his tanned and seamed visage ; " old and young seldom 
see alike, Mr. Henry." 

" Except through one kIobs, old shipmate," answered the other ; 
*' ffood John Bunyan's sxass of faith, — ^all see alike through thal^ 
old and young, rich ancLpoor ; isn't it so ^" 

" Aye, aye, sir," said the old man, shaking his head, " an' we 
look steady enough — all see alike there ; no doubt of that." 

" I can't make her out yet," said Henry, still examining the 
vessel through the glass ; *' she seems to labour prodigiously. 
What is she Bkely to be ? Is there any steamer due ? 

" No, sir ; none of the g^at ones, any how." 

*' Let me look at it," said Lady Constance : and she watched it 
£or a few minutes. 

*' It is not a steamer," she said, ** I see it distinctly now—- it ia 
no steamer, but I do not know what kind of vessel it is." 

"It would puzzle a much more experienced eye than yours, Con-* 
rtanoe, to make her out now," replied Henij : " but we will take 
another turn, for it must be shivering work tor you to be standing 
here, and we will ask Dickson to give us another look bv and bye.^ 

** It is not cold," said Lady Constance, " though it is blustering ; 
it is Uke billows of cotton in one's face, the wind is so very soft.". 

" Have you often such gales in England at this time of year ?** 
asked Henry. " I have been so long away, that I almost forget 
^e behaviour of the elements in this remote comer of the globe/' 

" Do not speak slightingly of us^" replied Lady Constance ; " re* 
mote we may be, but like the spider in a oomer, we spread our 
dominion far and wide." 

'* And do you think I've touched my hat to the royal colours so 
many, many hundreds of times, ' asked Henry, " without fully 
appreciating the power of the flag which 'has braved a thousand 
years, the battle and the breeze ?' ' 

**No, I dare say you are very proud of it as it floats over your 
lead. But why do you touch your hat to it ?" 

** It is the ensign of the sov^eignty we serve ; and no sailor in a 



man-of-wttr eVer moQnis tixe sMp^s aider -wftlioiit tofaolmtir ^ ^^ 
to it, as he puts lib loot upon the deok. Maj^tria always sap- 
posed to be preewst there." 

" I like that/' said Lady Gonfltoace ; '' fbir I am sure those ex- 
ternal things keep up the inwazd h^mg Tery mneh. I wonldn't 
have been bom in & ramblio fbr any^migr T tke feelinr of loyalty 
ift 80 ennoUin^r and deKghtfaL I am snve I could die jfor th& 
Clueen!" 

" Well, dearest Cosfttance/' rsf^cl Henry, Ieokin|r at her am- 
mated and beautiful countenance, ** I trust for both your sakes 
you TviU neret be pat to the trials thoogh I feel sure you would not 

**I do sodelifkt^" aoid Laity Conslanc^ <^i» the juztapositLon. 
of those two apostolic injunctions — *Fear God, honour iheting,' " 

" So do I," replied HiBnry ; '* ani notihsEigr is wattling yAea one is 
sure, that in following cme's own feelings ofae is alsi^ obeying' the 
Lord ; * duty and delight poing hand in hand.' ** 

"How bnght^ then," merved Ladr Cb&stonce, '*wfU be t&e 
time when in obeying the Loitl, we bbaU be inysriably fE^owing 
our own feelings— our wiU, as we were saying the other day, beinsr 
lost in God'Sk Kew it is a perpetual warmre, the oLd nakire, 
against the new; and the heart is often so backward too, in itsen- 
deayours for others ! !No one knows the ezertioii it is to me Botas^ ' 
times to go to the school, or the cottages^ to read to the peo^e, or 
teach the children. On hot indolent summer days, how often I 
long to sit on the oliffis. aaid do nothing but ^oy mj existence, 
listening to the booming watens wwtching tiie woods jttst stirring' 
in the air, or flzingmy ^e Msdesiiy to ages on the ceaseless waveff 
which roll on and on, tiU they 'die upon the shore/ And then 
what trouble it is to maka mymM gfy and do w^t I ought ! And 
yet I love the poor children, and my heart quite yearns over them, 
when I am amongst them ; and if 1 see any gooa doing in any one 
of their souls, oh ! it is worth all the kadscapes upon earth ! Bofe - 
it would fare ill with me if I lived amongst tliose who did not 
keep up the warmth of heavenly lo^^e in my heart. Here you all 
help me ; my motherwitii her most persuasive war, entiees me on : 
you animate me, and make all cheemi with your mgh spirits ; ana 
Bcdand," and a sigh composed of mingled fedings rose to her lipa . 
— ** witii him I am convineed I eouldg^ to tite stake ; his standard 
is so high, hia zesi so vnflagffing, ms love so perfect !— i>ne is 
ashamed to be left so far behina ¥ 

Henry's brow was knit fbr a monMiLt; he loved his brother 
almost, if net to the fiill» as intensely as he did Lady Constance, 
but anything whkk seemed to bring' ^ hearts of those two be- 
loved being's too near to each other, eave him a ^ang whidi mad» 
him inwardly start, asid whieh mSM fbr the instant the deej^, 
pure stream of his brotherly kve. To a superstitious fancy it 
might have seemnd that he intnitively dreaded evil from that 
quarter, though there was then no appearsEnee of anything to • 
tvonthie him. His brow, however, soon relaxed, as the secret 
conviction (which he certainly had) that h« was ^ most beloved * 



(^ite two^ stole overlus mind, and ag^Low Oi reventaiBfrlQfvetO* 
wards his biotLer wanned his heart as he answered — 

" Yes, one could not only go to l^e stake toUh him, but /or him/* 

*' Dear Henry!'* exdaimed Lady Cemstaaoe, ha heart faQ of 
affbetion for both the brothers. 

Affain the cloud passed oyer Henry's mind and brow, and he 
QonlcLBot return her bn^kok with on imtaroiibled smile ; for he 
knew not whether it was Ute sense of what his Imvther deser^vd* . 
or his own deToti<m to him, whkh had brought forth her aAproymg 
exclamation. But hating himself §ai the feeling whi& oamft 
tiins, like the glanees of a demon's eye^ aorose his breait, he drew, 
himself hastily up with a sort of shudder; and imoMiseioaslsr 
quickened his pace, as if to escape from some haimting evil. 

" Are you eold?" said Lady UonstaAee, wtMdmng at hdsf^ver- 
ing, and at his rapid moyements, "tMs blustering ^aleis^ I thinks- 
so warm ; it is sank aaexeciioAto ' make head agamsiiV as you 
would sav." 

" Yesy* replied Hemy, aa his mand varamed its quiet, '^and 
yoamisarahle womaoL eaDry so math sail, I wosd^ you oanmake 
any way at all." 

^' I tmsk I should have been bkwzi down, several times to-day,'* 
axis#6red Lady GonstB&c^ "if it had not been for your . strong 



They drew near again to the dd aeaman, with whom they^ 
found Lady Aahton talking, she haying been tempted forth by 
Lady iloreaee. 

" Well, Dickson^ can tou make her out yet ^" 

** Yes, Mr. Heiury, plain enough now ; she is some merohant 
vessel, and seems terribly cripplea by the storm. She has got up» 
signals of distress, and I doubt whethear she will hold out long." 

y Longenough to get into fahnoatht I hope/' said Heni^ ; " Uie 
wind blows a hurrieane again sow* aaad she ought to fly like thd 
send befnse it" 

" She'll neyer get fhese^ sir ; she is wates-Iogged, I'm thinking,"^ 
replied the man. 

^* Give me your giass^ She is indeed," said Henry, af^r care- 
folly eixamining the yessd, which was now about a mile to the 
westward of tlMsi, with scareely a sail set,, and the wayes continu* 
ally breaking oyer her. " If she ships many more seas she will go 
down. We must get out to her, Bickson, or all hands may periah." 
, ''Bless youl mt. Henry, what boat eouJd liye in such a sea» 
amongst these rocks and breakers } It would be a sheer tempting 
of Ptcmdenoe." 

"It must be tried Hioug^, Master Diokson," replied Henry^ 
coolly ; '' you don't think 1 shall let those poor £^ows go down, 
bafore my eyes without an effi»t to saye them }** 

lS.e again raised the jksa. " There's a woman on board," ba 
ejrolaJTnad, *' I am sure 1 made (me out. Do you look, Dickson." 

" There are two," said the old man quietlsr, as he kept the glass, 
fiteady to his eye, " and a child too, or I'm mistaken.'^ 

" Diekaon," said Henry husziedly» " you oaxmot leaye your pest 



aoft am bolaih) ashtoit. 

I know, bnt yoiir walk extends nearly to the honse ; do yon g^!>ack 
with the ladies, in case the wind prove too strong for them. I 
must go and get help down at the Tillage." 

'* It's madness— and can't be thought of/' said the sailor, grasp- 
ing Henry Ashton's arm like a vice ; " we must let matters take 
their course, for we can't mend 'em.*' 

" Tou talk like a hard-hearted wretch," exclaimed Henry, his 
eyes flashing as he shook off the old man's grasp. 

Dickson touched his hat in quaint acknowledgment of the com- 
pliment paid him, and auietly answered, *'Not a bit, sir; I'm as 
0orry as can be, both for the women and the young 'un ; but nothing 
will save them, and there's no use throwing away good lives after 
bad." 

Hemy Ashton turned from him, not choosing to argue further 
when his mind was made up. 

" My dear mother," he said, '* you will go home, will you not, 
with Constance and Florence? It will only make you nervous 
watchinor my cockle-shell as it tosses about; but I assure you there 
will be but little danger when we have once passed the surf and 
rocks near the shore." 

''Ay, token !** said Dickson, doggedly--8haking his head. 

Henry felt infinitely provoked at the old man's pertinacious 
doubts; especially as by expressing them, he was likely to ala^rm 
Lady Ashton as to the result of his venturous experiment. With 
a somewhat quivering smile he said, ''Do not mind him, dear 
mother, his blood is old and cold ; but a stout heart and a stnmg 
arm will do much, with the blessing of God, in such a cause." 

*' But if it is so hopeless," said Lady Ashton in terror— evidently 
divided between her natural affection and her warm benevolence, 
— and clinging to her son's arm. 

" It is not so hopeless, dearest mother," replied Henry, sooth- 
ingly ; " and how could you endure for me to ffo home and sit 
qmetiy, whilst the ocean was swallowiog up my fellow-creaturesh-* 
iTalmost within hearing of their cries. Ix>ok at that vessel, and 
remember it contains human beings, who to all appearance must 
soon meet witii a watery grave unless we can help them. Think 
of all their terror, their a^ny— the loss in many cases perhaps 
of soul as well as body— think of women like yourself, and of that 
little child!" 

He paused, and Lady Ashton burying her face on his arm, mur- 
mured, " Go— go, I cannot keep you— their blood would be upon 
my soul." 

She threw her arm around his neck, and kissed him— as if per- 
haps for the last time ; but her heart was strong, though her tears 
burst forth. He pressed her to his breast, and then motioned to 
Dickson to follow her, as she resolutely turned to go home. Lady- 
Florence went with her ; but Lady Constance, who had watched 
with fixed look, and bloodless cheek, the result of Henry's con- 
ference with his mother, stood like a statue— utterly incapable of 
moving. 

" Constance," said Henry, with a tremor in his voice— for he was 
fully aware of the danger of the venturous attempt he was about 



8tB BOLAin) ASHTOir. 209 

to make — "yoa will "wish me • God speed,' will you not ? You will 
pray for me? — ^My best— my deare8t---my most beloved !" he oon» 
tinned yehemently, as he pressed her hand to his lips, and burst 
into tears — ^for he thought that this might be their last meetinjr. 
and all restraint gave way before his sto)ng emotion, — " you wul 
pray for me ?" 

liady Constance could not speak, nor did a tear wet her eye ; all 
she seemed to have of life was the power of breathing, and of 
suffering. 

" Speak to me, Constance," continued Henry ; " time must not 
be lost, but even now, if you teU me to stay— but no, you could 
not €*o it— you could not desire it. But oh I if you knew what I 
feel at leavmg you— you to whom now for the first time— it may 
be for the last^I dare to say how much— how completely you are 
all the world to me— my hope— my joy— my first— my only love ! 
Oh ! forgive me," he aaded, — " you will forgive me at such a time 
as this ; and if I perish— you will at least know how you were every- 
thing — everjrthing to me ! My dearest! you wifl bid me go, will 
you not ?" 

He listened for her answer, and at last caught the scarcely 
audible word by which she sent him from her. He stood, for a 
moment, as if he could not part— Uien fiew down the path that led 
to the village, nor once turned to look on her, whom he felt he might 
be leaving for ever. 

Lady Constance sat down on the cliff, where Henry Ashton had 
parted from her, with her hands clasped on her knee. She seemed 
perfectly torpid ; as if a sleep had come over every thought. Her 
eye followed the waves as they rolled in towards the shore, as if 
her only motive for staying there was to watch their ceaseless 
motion. At times she looKed at the unfortunate vessel, but regarded 
it without the smallest emotion, nor remembered that there were 
perishing souls on board, whose fate at another time would have 
awakened the utmost anxiety in her breast. She did not even 
think of Henry ; for in fact her mind was for the time incapable of 
framing or retaining any one defined idea. " Feeling itselr seemed 
almost unfelt ;" for the terrible emotion which for an instant had 
swept across her soul had benumbed her by its very intensity. She 
felt no pain of body or of mind, only a sense of suffocation seemed 
to rest on both. The spray, continually dashing up from the thun- 
dering waves below, almost drenched ner, ana the wind blew her 
hair across her face and eyes, but she was scarcely aware of it» 
though sometimes she raised her hand and mechanically threw it 
back. 

It was not the sense of Henry's danger which thus oppressed 
her ; had that been her grief, her spirit wakened to double 
life, would, as it were, have lived in the ijresence of CK)d, for him, 
and for his safety — ^but it was his love which stunned het — a love 
80 fatal — so unlocked for — so fraught with every evil and every 
misery ! Yet even that was scarcely so overwhelming to her, as 
the conviction which the last few moments had brought with it 
that she returned his feelings— that he was indeed all to her, as she 
wsks everything to him ! She might have remained in his presence 



JilO sat BOLAin) AJSBTOK, 

for ever, without beiiig aware of the nature of her ieeHngn; Irat 
parting i-Hhat it was whioh rent the vdi from her eyes— and by 
showing her her own heart, hrought with it an aopiish so intole- 
rable !— that had its impreanon remained long on her mind in aH 
its lirst vividness, li& or reason must have given way. She re- 
mained on that bleak point till old Dickson, having seen Lady 
Ashton and her young ocaapanioiL safe under the shelter of the 
trees at liaaavei^ retumed to her. 

" You'd best let me see you home, my lady," said the old man, 
as he stood scnrowfiilly by Ihe poor girl; ''it's bad walking against 
finch a storm &r one like you, by yoiuself . You'll scarcely keep 
your feet a miaute^ and mav be might be blown over the clin when 
the wind takes one of its liaats. bhail I help you up »" he eon* 
tuiued« taking her am with rough kindness; tor he saw the utter 
sorDOw of her faoe. 

She rose, and walked hj the sailor's side, who often stayed her 
with his arm, wheai the wind was too strong against h^, and who 
strove with hom^ feeling to eheer her evident dejection. 

" It was hard," he said, " to see fellow-creatures in such jeopardy ; 
hnt nuny had been saved in worse straits than that, and Mr. Henrv 
had a oool head as well as a stout heart and arm ; and as he wauii 
go, it was to be h<md Qod would take care oi hon, and send him 
eafo ashore again.' 

These and other topics of consolation passed Lady Oonstanoe's 
<ear, but one wc^d chaaed another ^m her mind. At the entrance 
to Ihe ahiubb^ry, however, she turned to thank the kind old man, 
whose features worked with strong feeling as he answered, 

" You Ihank me for nothing, young lady, — ^but you will pray, no 
doubt for Mr. Henry, that it may pkaae the Lord to nrosoer 
him, and send him baiok; it is no eommon job he has got in nana." 
And he turned to reswne his watohfol walk. 

lady Constance nauoed when she had oloaed the idurubbery gate : 

" Pniy for hiiU} she thou^t, as her powers of mind began to 
Touse a little from their aleep ; " psav fsi his return!— Oh ! no- 
better for him to sink into the oeean, man retom to heax^--what he 
must hear." 

6he walked on, and her thou^ts became gradually dearer and 
clearer, though her feelings stm continued unmoved. When she 
had psjBsed the thi^ ehrubbeij, she came upon the open lawn 
which stretched quite to the 0I1&' edge; and there she &und her 
lister who, as the view wa£ intercMited from the house by trees, 
had had a table brought out, and set under the shelter of the 
shrubbery on the opposite side, to support a standing teleseooe, 
through which ^ was intently gazing on the veaseJ, which was by 
that time almost ofiposite the house. 

" It seems lower in the water than it was, Constance," she aaid, 
when' she saw her sister approachi "Oh ! if it should go down 
l>efore any help ooaes ! and I see nothing of the boat yetl 



; IMUULNO ASSTCMb 2U 



{MASTER XXYHL 

*■ Whf ihonld T fear became tbe raigcs toTI ? 
I have one Wb ! — 6od gare It me — one lift 
Ob asefor Him and laaii I nill not Hear r—KS. 

The spot where Henry Ashton bad left LmLj Oonstanoe, was a 
bluff, high point in Lk&aYai Ptark, &&m whkk the ground gra- 
dually desoendin^oa both sides, fiiDaed two ootbs, beytod which the 
high diffs immediatelT rose again, fiur Boland's house was situated 
about midway down the descent to the west, the gronnd oontinuing 
to slope from it, quite to file level of the shore. iHie woods, feather- 
ing in some parts almost to the water's ed^e, and in odiers, mmne 
over the cliffs, were iaterspersed with glades of the greenest tui£ 
and with dells, where the de^ coached down anud mgh fern, and 
glowing heather, and where the ddioate heath peculiar to Cornwall 
grew in rich pro&ision ; ihe scene altogether contrasting beauti- 
Silly in its cahn and quiet, with the ioR sweU and bright, restless, 
spai^ding, of the eyer-«oimding sea. 

In the ooye to the east of the high point (which bare ^e name 
of Tower's Cliff )« was situated the little Tillage of Oamoombe, abo«t 
a mile from Llanaven ; and thither had Henry Ashton flown, witii 
all the speed which his hi^ motive eoukL laid him« to endeavour 
to procure assistance in his bold and generous enterprise. 

He found most of thefoiJars and ^s&Bxm&n. beianging to the place, 
collected together on the shore, looking attiie vessel, which seemed 
fast settling, and which was drifting on to the east in utter helii^ 



" We must do something for her," he exclaimed, as he arrived 
almost breathless with the zapidU^ with which he had descended 
the hill. 

The men all teoehed their hats to him, but answered as with one 
voice, " I^tiiing to be done, ar." 

^ ** Something we must tiy, however," said the youss^ officer ior 
dignantly ; ** unless we wirald wish to pass, as Cornish men too 
often do, for wreckers." And he sent a glance &*om his fearless eyie 
through the little crowd assembled; a g£inoe which some could but 
ill stand. *' I hope, however," he added more diaerfuliv, " that we 
shall be able to rode^n a HttLe the honour of oar coast 

"I am afraid, sir," said a respectable-looking man, ''that no 
hdp can be given these poor lelkws ; we have unluckily no means 
of getting a rope out to tbem, which would be the only chance." 

''I think, and I beUeve," replied H<enry, ** that by good care and 
management, Terry, we might get a boat out to them with ropes; 
theyare not near a quarter of a mile ofiL If not-*I'il swim." 

'^ 1 on'd be dashed to pieces codi these ro^s, sir," observed the other. 

"Not a bit of it," said Henry, gaily; "at any rate Til trj!:. But 
ire will make an attempt the <»ner way first Here i who will lend 
a hand te get my boat down to the shore, as you preventive men 
daren't lend yours I suppose, as your <^ELcer happens te be absent" 

Several men voluntecrod for this safe piece of service, and the 
V 2 



212 ffiB BOXA^D ASBTOV: 

light boat was soon at the brink of the wayes. Henry jumped 
into it. 

'* Give me all the ropes von can muster/' he saicL And coil after 
coil was laid on board. 1*11 tie one end of this round me," he 
continued, laughing, " and then perhaps you will be able to haul my 
empty jacket ashore when my body is all ^one to bits ; that will oq 
better than nothing. Now who will go with me ?" 

Kot a voice answered his appeal. 

*' Cowards !" he exclaimed ; with a glance which literall^r shot fire. 

Then shouting between his hands, his sonorous yoice rising above 
the roar of the tempest, while laughter danced in his clear blue 
eye, he exclaimed — 

"Holloa! are there no women astir there? Is there no Grace 
Darling on the Cornish coast ? Must Northumberland carry away 
all the honours?" Then speaking a^in to the men around, he 
said : " Grace Darling— a woman !— risked her life to save men ; — 
here— men leave women and children to perish before their eyes !" 

" Are there women on board?" asked Terry, in an altered tone. 

** Yes, and a child," answered Henry Ashton. " Couldn't you 
make them out with your glasses I Perhaps not though, down 
here, but on the point, old Dickson and I made them out plain 
enough ; two women and a child, and there may be more for aught 
I know." 

" If I thought there could be a chance " said Terry, hesi- 
tatingly. 

" There can be no chance," replied Henry, in a kind but earnest 
voice, "if we do nothing ; but God may bless our endeavours, if, 
in dependence on Him, we * do as we would be dene by.' " 

" 1 11 go with you, sir," said the man, stripnin^ off his heavy 
jacket, preparatory to setting out. " God's Diessmg is the best 
inheritance ; and though my wife and children depend wholly on 
me " 

" Tou all remember," cried Henry aloud to those on shore, " and 
bear my words to m^ brother, that if we perish, Terry's wife and 
family are to be provided for.' 

A loud cheer answered this injunction, while a voice from the 
crowd exclaimed — 

" He wouldn't want the telling." 

Tears started into Henry's eyes at this tribute of confidence in 
his brother's generosity, and Terry, quite overcome, stooped to 
arrange some of the ropes at the bottom of the boat. 

" I want another hand still," said Henry, looking round ; '* come^ 
you have strong voices among vou, have ye aU weak hearts ?" 

"If you'll give me a hundi^sa pounds, I don't care if I go with 

Su," said a bold, reprobate-looking young man, whom Henry- 
Lew bore but a bad character. 

" I'll have no such Jonah on board," he answered ; *' unleas to 
heave out to the fishes, if the boat wants lightening." 

A loud lau^h followed this reply; and the unfortuate object 
against whom it was directed got pushed about from one to another 
in a most unmerciful manner. 
"Well, Terry" continued Henry, "you and I must brunt the 



8ZB SOZAIO) ASHTOEir. 21) 

waves alone I am afraid ; but never mind, one volonteer is better 
than twenty pressed men. ^ Now mark, you men on shore— for I 
suppose some of you will wait to see what becomes of us — above all 
thinffs take care that the hawser does not chafe agaiimst the rocks, 
for if it breaks, we may all go down with one foot almost on the 
shore." And he threw them the end of the rope he had fastened 
to the stem of the boat. 

" I'll ask them once more," he said in a low tone to Terry, " for 
three would be far better than two— that is, three that could be 
depended on." 

Then raising his voioe, he called out, "Now, men, I give you 
one chance more— will any of you come ?" 

'* I will," said a pale-looking lad, who had but lately joined the 
group. 

** You !" exclaimed Henry, as a buzz and murmur rose amongst 
the men ; " you look, my poor lad, as if the weight of an oar would 
crush you." 

" I am strong," said the youth, holding out his muscular hands, 
" though I look so thin. I don't mind going a bit ; I have no one 
to leave behind." 

''Have you any one to go to?" asked Henry kindly, pointing 
upwards. 

** Yes, the same God as you have Mr. Henry," replied the boy, 
his pale cheek flushing up. 

"In with you then," said Henry, " and sit down there.— But 
stay, can you swim?" 

•^Yes, sir." 

"And you, Terry?" 

"No fear of that, sir." 

"Now then, my men," exclaimed Henry to those on shore, "be 
sure you have an eye to the rope, and watch as I told you, that 
it doesn't chJE^e against the rocks." 

All was now ready. 

" Trim the boat well, Terry," said Henry, " and sit still both of 
you. Now, boys, be ready to shove off, but don't stb a finger fill 
I mye the word." 

W ave after wave dashed up, but yet Henrv Ashton sat mute at 
the helm. At last— " Now,'*^ he cned,— "the moment the next 
wave has broken— off witii us.— Now,— yo— ho— y." 

The boat grated on the shingle, then, partly rising over, partly 
going through a heavy wave wmcn came thundering to the shore, 
it soon rode safely belund a ledge of rocks which at a short distance 
from the land, rose some feetout of the sea. Henry and hismen were 
drenched from head to foot, but that was a matter not the least 
refl»rded. 

The danger of swamping at the first outset was hapnily passed; 
but a far greater diffLoulty remained to be overcome. On each side 
of the Uttie reef, behind which they now lay in comparative quiet, 
the sea was pouring in furiously; and the waves— dashing against 
the seaward side oi the rocks, which to the left were little more 
tkan a wall— came over into their boat, tJireatenine to fill, and sink 
her. To remain tharefi>ie, was impossible, as well as wholly use- 



21f SIS SOLAim lABXOOV 

less ; but how to stand ajsraiiist tiie msh. of wsien on. either side^ 
was a ouesdon not so easily decided. To the left the opening wag 
tolerably if ide between the zeef and a neqrhbonriBg range of rocka^ 
and tiie waters therefore had kiss wwet ; but there was a shoal at 
that point, so near the sur&oe in waoes, tiiat tiie boat might have 
been stove in an instant had she been daahed ea. it. To toe right» 
on the contrary, the sea was deep, but the cvpenisg was nanrow— 
high rocks rising near ; — and a oontinnoiia terient g£ confiietins[ 
waters came in with snok fnry— forming imiamerable eddies ana 
whirlpools-^that it seemed impossible that any boat conld be got 
through against it in safely. On tbda side however, Henry Aahton 
was compelled to attempt Ms passage into tiie open sea; and after 
a brief but ener|^tio commenaatioiL of their souls to God — ^in which 
his two companions joined most sincerely — and a blessing implored 
on their exertions, he ordered his men to puU for the opening. 
They did so r—but the ioiree of the cnnent seizing liie boat, tnmed 
her round like a shuttlecock ; and she was only saved from destmC'^ 
tion by a wave of tremendous force ooming in nrom the right, whidi 
overpowering the rest of the waters, wlurled her hack to the qmet 
spot from wmch she had made so ineffectual an attempt to escape. 
' " It will never do» sir, I am afraid," said Terry, drawing a long 
breath. 

" We wont give, it up yet, my friend," answered Henry; " we 
must think of the women and children. How would it be f<v us 
to get out upon the roek at tiua rig^ side where the reef is 
deepest, and taking everything out of the boat, draw her by a ro|» 
at her bows through the passage ? She might graze a little, but if 
we could get the rope over that jutting rock we conld surely 
puU her round, and she might spin like a miniuiw if she liked it, 
when we were out of her; and eome the wcrst, should the rope 
break, or the boat be bea;t to pieces, W9 should be prot^ safe on 
tiie reef till the storm abat^." 

This idea was instantly acted upon, though not withoofc nmeh 
difficulty, for tiie rocks were aiipnery with sea-weed, and offered 
but litde on which either hand or mot oould take &rm hoUL How- 
ever, with perseverance, they at last succeeded in ^etdnr ontiie 
reef ; and havinfir taken everything that was looae ont of the k)«t» 
they proeeededto pass a strong rope whidh l^ey had attaidied to 
her bows, over a mass oi the rook whi^ praieoted some feet acma 
l^e narrow paasaffe. Haying done this, they endeaTonred to ob- 
taon footinr on the other side firm enough to enable them to rtaiflt 
the fdrae drthe ourrent against which thepr woold have to haul the 
beat;- fer, if b<f a andden jerk tSiey shfldu be jneoipitaited into tfaa 
soa at that point, death would be almost memtabie. They tkoee- 
fore scraped away the slippery sea- weed, and fixed their feetfizBl^ 
in niches, and broken parts ca the rook; and having aonieved tiiis 
important {Kont, tiiey not forth all their atrengtii to make the boot 
tuBL the point, and to drag her through tho tomnit of the aminting 
irateis. To add to their other difficulties, tike waves— thooBn then 



feree just there was much diminiflihed by the depth ol tba reef <n 
vrMi^ they stood, and also by the shelter of the roeks wfaick xaa 
oat, on the right, a oonsKdezablfi way iaiio tibuB sear-€Niitiniia]|y 



broke over them, blinding them with the spray, and rendering 
their hold of the rope almost hopelessly slippery. However, their 
stout hearts did not give iwiy, and -mm desperate energy they put 
forth all their strength for the final eflTort. They felt the boat 

Sield to their ftsreniMnui paHf and tffter a fewmonents lliey saw 
er head appear loimd the point, under the projeetmg rock ; but 
there the resistance was tremendous. 

** I almost wish we had thought of hoisting her over the reef," 
said Henry, " she is but a light thing; or ix we could even now 
drop the rope with the hook, irom the end of that locli^ so as to 
grapple her, and keep her head out of tiie water, we might be able 
to get he]r throogh; but thie way we shall nerer succeed; l^e 
rope will never stead the strain. She's tearing at it now like a 
dog at its chain." 

Terry mounted the reek with the rope and hook, and after maay 
failures, suoeeeded at last in making it take last hold of the fore 
pOErt of the lioat. He then with little dilBoalty raised the head 
above the waters^ and Henry and his flseble-lookin^, but stout- 
hearted eompanion, hauled away manfully ; and when it had passed 
the point of »>ek where Terrv stood, he dso descended to where 
the others were standing; aad-^he main force of the current being 
Hieii passed— their united efforts soon brought Hie little boat along 
iide of Hiem. 

" StoF away aU Hie things, and lump in, my men," said Henry. 
And following them, he seized tne rudder. *' God has been very 
mereifol to ns, and we will trust Him yet a little forther. Mfe 
nmst watch our opportunity though, or we shall get swamped at 
last.— ICow for it— strike with your oars." And they rose nuoy- 
anHren the crest of an advancmg ware. 

"Well!" he cried, "we've 'hoped afanosi against hope;' but 
we'ife been brought well through, thank God, and I can never 
sceflbiently thank yon, my men, for your steadiness and courage. 
Now then,— pull away as fast as you can. I would take your oar, 
Wamer, and let you steer,'^ he added, *' but yon have not know- 
kdgB enough to manage the helm in such a sea as this; and if the 
wn.ve once took m on the broadside, we should be capsized in a 
monent. ' 

••I can hold on, «r," said the boy, " never fear.** 

Ihey proceeded in siknce, for it was hard work for the rowers; 
and Henry Asditon's attention, and stren^ too, were folly ooon^ 
pied in keeping tibe boat's head right against tiie wnves. 



916 Sm BOLAITD ASHTOir. 



CHAPTER XXIX. 

** Tlioa haft paid the penalty of thoaghtleu Iotb 
]>earer than most." Sullivan. 

** How affection grew 
To this, I Jmow not ; day succeeded day. 
Each Ihtnght with the same innocent delighti, 
« Without one shock to raffle the disfrnise 
Of sisterly regard which veiled it well, 
nil M» changed mien revealed it to my soul." « 

Talfoubd. 

The nuuMBuvies of the little boat and its crew, had leen watched 
with intense interest by the assemblage on shore ; and when they 
were seen dancin? over the waves, after the peribus passage 
through the rocks had been passed, the spectators sent up a shout 
of exultation, and waved their hats in the air to cheer on the in- 
trepid little party. They, however, needed no such stimulus to 
their exertions; and the acclamations of the neople — which 
sounded to them scarcely louder than the "wauing sei-bird's 
cry," — added but little to the enthusiasm with which they had 
undertaken and carried on their noble enterprise. 

Lady Ashton, on reaching home, had retired to her owi room, 
to pray for the safety of her son, and for the rescue of tie jpoor 
creatures in the vessel who were in such awful peril. She resisted 
the inclination she felt to watch the progress of the wreck, lor she 
knew the only help she could affora would be by offering upher 
earnest supplications to Heaven; and she also knew that by liat 
means only could she obtain for herself the strength and composure 
which she so much needed. 

The projecting point of Tower's cliff prevented any; of Heory 
Ashton s operations from being visible from Llanaven, tiU his lE>at 
had got some littie way out irom the rocks. But when it wat at 
last seen riding safely on the waves, Ladv Florence, in an ecs^sy 
of joy, called to her sister to inform her of it; and Lady Constaice, 
then Arst roused to anything like feeling, threw herself on her 
knees and burst into a passionate flood of tears. 

" Do not, dear Constance," said Lady Florence, her tears starling 
in sympathy with her sister's, "do not cry; they seem to go oi so 
safely — and the people in the ship appear so animated by seong 
them. Henry has a rope tied to the back of his boat ; so you «e, 
dear ConstaDce, he has taken every care. I can see his dear &oe 
every now and then as he turns — ^this glass makes things so vary 
clear. I see that littie child, too, quite well now— one of ^e 
women is holding it in her arms. Poor little thing ! how welit 
must be, for the waves ^ over the deck continually, though I dire 
say it is not half so mghtened as its mother. The boat is voy 
near no Wj and the ship does not drift away as it did. I see Henry 
making signs to them about something. jOo oome and look, Cox.- 



flCEL BOLUTD ASHTOIT. 217 

stttnce ; you would not feel half so anxious if you saw better what 
was going on. Do oome." 

" No thank yon, dear," replied Lady Constance, who had resumed 
her cahn composure ; " I could not look steadily through Ihe glass 
now — ^I am sure I could not ; and you can tell me what happens. 
Besides I can see the vessels very well, though not what goes on in 
them/' 

*' I do think they must have struck on a rock," continued Lady 
Florence, " all the people seem in such a ferment ! There — Henry 
has reached the ship at last;— gnite dose — and they aj^ trying to 
get a rope to him, but the wind blows it away.— He has got it now, 
and is fastening it to a cable he has in the boat. Ah !" she screamed 
suddenly, " he is over !— he is over ; he is gone down !" — And she 
threw herself on the ground, and in her frwitic terror, tore up the 
verygrass with her hands. 

"Florence, my dear Florence," said Lady Constance, with stony 
coldness, " do not be so frightened ; remember how well he swims, 
there is no danger for hSa." And stooping over her sister she 
raised her up. 

"JSTo, I am sure he's dead— 'drowned," rei)lied Lady Florence, " I 
saw him go down ; — ^I saw something strike him when he went 
over." And again she threw herself upon the ^und. 

Lady Constajice was horrified ; vet still retaining her unnatural 
calmness, she knelt down and looked through the glaiss. It was some 
moments before she could sufficiently make out the scene— now brought 
80 near to her view— as to understand what was gpiuff on ; but 
when she did — sinking back, she covered her face with her hands, 
and passionate tears again burst forth. She seemed capable of 
enduring with a cold— almost stem resolution, the idea of Henry's 
danger— of his death !— but now again she saw that he was safe — 
and ner heart melted within her. 

** I knew it," cried Lady Florence, mistaking very naturally the 
cause of her sister's tears, "I told you he was gone ! ' 

" Oh ! no, dear Florence," sobbed Lady Constance, "he is not 
gone, he has reached the boat asain. I was selfish, and forgpt you. 
— ^Do you watch again, dear," she continued, rising and giving her 
place to her sister, "you will see better than I shall what happens." 

Lady Florence had. joyfully sprung from the ground at nearinflr 
of Henry's safety; and she now, wiping away her tears, resumed 
her attentive watch. 

^Lady Constance sat down again on the grass by her side. Her 
thoughts were still in a whirl of confusion ; yet across the deep 
^loom which hung like a cloud over her faculties, there shot at 
times a gleam of joy, indescribable ! at the recollection of Henry's 
words; — ^but these short moments of unallowed happiness were ever 
followed by a deeper sense of horror, and misery, and benumbing 
dread. 

••They have lowered one woman into the boat," said Lady 
Florence, " and now the other is safe ; but it seemed as if they must 
have missed it, it is so tossed about : and now a man is swmginjg 
down the roj)e with the child in his arms, and Henry is holding his 
oat to receive it; and one of the poor women too, got up tor a 



218 Sm WOBLkJm ASH90V. 

mameat, lyot maatd. tlurowa dawn again b>;tlie roeldng of iheba«fc» 
Henry has given her the child, and she is holding it to her, and 
wrapping it up ; I soppooe she is its mother. Poor thing ! — oh ! 
poor thmg !" And the blinding tears prerented her for a few 
moments firom seeing what was going on. 

She soon however continQied, 

" Henry is waving something white as if to the people on shore, 
for his face is tamed that way. Yes—be has moved the rope from 
the back to the front of the boat, and I suppose they are going to 
draw them back, and they have a rope fastened to the ship too, 
which makes it so mudh safer I I mnat go and tell my mother; or 
will yon, Gonstanee }** 

•• No, do yoa go, Florcnee." 

She went, and aimoimeed to Lady Ashten the joyfol news of 
Henry's success, in bringing off the women and the child. Lady 
Ashton's tears flowed fast^ lor her heart was thankful ; and it also 
yearned paisfnlly over the sfm whose held intrepidity had been so 
much blessed. 

" Well, now, dear Florence," she said rising, " our part comes ; 
wemnst go down to the village^ and see what can be done for these 
poor sufferers." 

" I am almost sure," said Lady Fkrenee, "that one of the womeii 
in the boat is a ladj ; she did not look the least like a common 
•w».^^ ;— tiie oiqvtain^s wife perhap*— and the child seemed to be 



" Do yon think so }** naked Lady Askton ; " then we will have the 
oarriage, and send some belter things £ov h(» to put on. I have 
ilbeady sent some common ones with other comforts down to the 
fSlage, but if von are right in your eonjecture we will bring the 
poor thing up nere." 

" And the child }" exclaimed Lady Flonenee, *' that will be 
ddightfiil ! Put on your bonnet, dear mother, analet na go; or do 
you mean to wait for the earriage ?" 

*' No, that will detain iul for it is not yet ordered ; and it will 
have to go round by the road ; but witk the wind at our backs we 
shall be at the village in a very short time." 

They sallied fortib full of joy, and buoyant with the hope of useful* 
BOSS, and Lady Aahton imvited Lady Coofltance to join them as thev 
passed near where she was sitting on the lawn; bat she dedinedr 
saying she would attend to having comfortable arrangements made 
in the house in ease Lady Ashtxm loought any one baek with her 
fiom the viUaga 

The two happy ones then pvooeeded on their joyfol way, leavmf 
tile wretched Xadj Constance bdbind;— she whose kindly spirit 
would at another tmie have been the first in all acts of bene volenee, 
hat whose powers both of body and mind seemed now almoet gone 
^-broken down by the weight of her oppressive misery. When shft 
was again alone she quite f ori^ what she had undertaken to do» 
and for a lonsr tune remained with torpid mind, seated on the ffnm 
with ont the s&i^test motion, till at length recolleGting herseli, she 
started up, and entered the house. 

When me had finished all the arrangements necessary for ^ 



fix snfiAini Asiu'CUL 819 

accommodatioii of any guest who might come, she went into her 
own room, and throwing* herself on ner knees, implored of God 
guidance and strength. The little affairs in which she had heen 
occupied, had hrougnthaek her wandering semM^i to the realities of 
life ; and she now with a dear mind, and determined will, hegaa to 
consider what she must do. There seemed indeed hut one course 
pointed out hy duty, and that she resolutely determined to follow. 
She sat down instantly, wad wioto to Hemry, informing him of her 
engagement to- Sir Boland, and telling him why it had not been made 
known to him before ; entreating him also to leaye Llanayen as 
soon as possible. She expressed her deep sorrow for the unhttm>y 
error into which he had been led, assuring him t&at never till mat 
day had she had the slij^itest suspieion of his sentiments— and 
beseeching him to think of her no more. Of her own feelings she 
said nothntg; she couM not say tiie tratiL~and she would not say 
that which was not true. 

When die had finidied tSisfoying letter, she ooneealed it in bet 
drees, intending to put it into Hen^s hand when she should take 
leave of him at night ; and haying fulfilled her hard task towards 
him, she sat down to look mto bar own heart. 8te 8Bw--she Mt; 
how^ much, nnz(^ more tendeny she loved ^x> one she must psrt 
from, than the one to whom her fidth bdonged, — and her sonl was 
oyeorwhelmed with shame and snef. fiSie comforted herself in some 
degree by the hope Ihat neitker b]^ word or look had she e?er 
betrared foelings^-whose existence, mdeed, had been unknown to 
herself but a few short hours before ; and she deterxnined noTcr 
to reveal to living soul the weakness of her heart. 

It was not her intentioiL> moet oertainly, to marry Sir RolasiQ 
whilst her heart remained ftul of his bmther ; but ooiuidering her- 
self bound to him by every tie : — ^by her own reiterated promise— 
hy her fo>ther^s wirfi— and 1^ his own deep love, and true devotipn,'-^ 
sue determined in the strength of Gk>d, to subdue the faithless pre* 
forence she folt far Henry ; notinng doubting but that her heavenly 
Fattier would in answer to oontinual prarer, and in furtherance (n 
eonsoientious exertion, do for her» in her neart, what she despaired 
of ever domg for herselfL Forti^d by these thou^|htB she deter- 
mined to give wajr^-no, not for an instant— to yam— and as she 
eoold not help foeHng^tfaem— einfid regrets. She resolved to drat 
out all tenderness of reeolleetion ; and not even to dwell witii pity 
on the thoughts of Henry's woimded heart, lest her own shonla 
oontinue to feel for him too mneh. 

Miserable, wretched, indeed nhe ootud not help bexn^ ? but sho 
mtmnured not, nor blamed any bat herself: and in her deep aoram^ 
leagned herself entirely to the will of Goo. 



JHH) .SOL XOLAITD ASHTOir* 



CHAPTER yyX- 

** The psoM of aaxioDfl tear, awaittaig soon 
The dlmlj-Tkioned otjeet of its dread ; 
When the hiuhed bosom fears to pant or sobb 
And the heart dares not throb." Ahov. 

" Mj n6Ue bojr-whom ereiy tongue 
Blflit at that honr.*' Sodthit. 

Ladt Ashton and her young oompanion arriTed at the village 
jnst as the party in the boat reached me reef of rocks which it had 

OL Henry so mnoh trouble to pass, in his waj out ; and where 
dif&cmties arose. His prompt and energeUo mind, howeYer» 
soon determined what oonrse to pursue ; and the moment the boat 
neared the reet he made a signal to the men on shore to leaye off 
hauling in the rope. It might haye been possible to haye shot 
the boat through the opening in the rocks without its being upset* 
but the rii^ was yery great ; oesides which, there were many more 
still to be brought from the sinking yessel, and he determined, 
therefore, to leaye his boat on the seaward side, and endeavour to 
induce some of thepeople on shore to come out that little way to 
their assistance. He made all the party get out on the reef, shel- 
tering the women and child as well as he could from the soaking 
spray ; after which, he clambered to the other side himself^ ana 
endeavoured to speak loud enough to make his voice heard by some 
of the spectators on shore. But his attempts were wholly unavail- 
ing, the tumult of the storm being so great ; nor could he make 
an^r one understand his signals ; so, in despair of otherwise obtaining 
assistance, he threw himself into the sea where it was calmest, ana 
after buffeting for a time with the waves — ^which, when no longer 
sheltered hj the reef, rolled with tremendous powei^— he was thrown 
with stunninff violence upon the shore. He lay senseless for a few 
minutes, to me agonizing alarm of his mother and Lady Florence, 
who had witnessed his bold leap into the sea with dismay ; but 
soon recovering—after a few words of deepest love to his mother — 
he entreated some of the men to go with him out to the reef with 
another boat. This request was more readily complied with than 
his former one had been ; for, besides that it was attended with 
much less risk and difficulty, the hearts of the men were wanned 
with the enthusiasm and bravery which Henry and his companions 
had displayed ; and the success of their enterprise had animated 
them all. The sight too, of ihe women and the child, so near, yet 
^vided from them by me boiling surge, seemed to kindle every 
Madly feeling in their natures ; and now, instead of a general 
xefosal, Henry had many more offers of service than he oould 
accept. He selected, however, two men whom he knew to be amonff 
the boldest and strongest of them, to go with him ; and obtainea 
their promise, not only to take the boat to the reef, but afterwards 
to go on with lum to tne wreck in the place of Terry and Warner, 
who were both much fatigued with the great exertions they hxA 
already made. 



SIB SOLAKB AflHTOir. 221 

The boat was soon ready, and a rope attaolied to the stem ; and 
Henry Ashton committed idmself once more to the mercy of the 
waves. He was not, however, so happy in his ontset tiiis time as 
on the former occasion, fbr the men, oeing over-full of zeal and 
animation, did not wait for him to give the signal for lannohing^ 
but pushing off immediately after a huge wave had broken on the 
shore— without perceiving that another was foUowing fkst upon 
it— the boat was struck, and immediately swamped. The danger, 
which is always great in these cases, was much increased now by 
the tremendous weight of the billows ; but the two men, who were 
active swimmers, soon refrained the boat, which was at no very 
great distance ; and clinging to it, though it was bottom upwards* 
were quickly drawn to snore. But with Henry it fared less well ; 
he had received a blow on the head as the boat went over» 
which confused his senses ; and before he could recover £rom its 
effects, the waters had drawn him a considerable way out. He 
was exceedingly exhausted with his previous efforts, and having 
missed the ropes which were thrown out to him at first, he was left 
wholly dependent on his own powers for regaininjpr a place of 
safety. He felt his strength almost fail him, and for a moment 
the torpor of despair— added to the effect of the stunning blow he 
had received-— made him almost cease from exertion ; and casting 
an imploring glance to Heaven, he was nearly sinking unre- 
sistingly in the foaming waves, when he caught a fleeting glance 
of his mother, standing on the shore, with the most agonised terror 
depicted on her ooxmtenance, and with her arms stretched out 
towards him. That sight roused his almost dormant faculties, and 
fresh-strung his weakened arms, and he determined to make one 
more effort for his life. He dreaded, however, being again dashed 
on the shore, having suffered so much from the rude shock he had 
sustained on the former occasion ; so he determined, if possible, to 
reach the comparatively calm shelter of the reef; reeling certain* 
that if once he were seen on the rock&— should he have strength 
enough lefb to mount them— the men on land, whose spirit and 
courage he knew were now completely roused, would not fail to 
risk every danger to reach him. He was happj enough to be able 
to succeed in this attempt; and it may well be imaffined with what 
emotions of transport Lady Ashton heard one of the fishermen 
exclaim, " That he saw Mr. Henry on the reef." He had been lost 
si^ht of for some minutes, the height of the waves intercepting the 
view of him from those on shore ;— who also, imagining that he 
woidd certainly endeavour to regain the land, had fixed all their 
attention in that quarter. No time was now lost in launching the boat 
again for the rescue of the gallant yoimj^: sailor,— for whom at that 
instant every one would gladly have risked his own life— and as. 
liie men proceeded tMs time with more caution, it was happily and 
safely sent on its venturous way, witii Henry's two former com- 
panions in it, and another volunteer, who took the helm. 

The first danger at starting being over, there was no great 
difiiculty in reaching the littie naven under the lee of the reef; and 
Henry, cheered by seeing the strenuous efforts made to loin him. 
crawled over tiie rook, as well as his weakness would aIlow» and 



22S flat BOLAIKS ASSTOIR. 

dineoted the par^ there to oonte over to ihe side naaeest the shore, 
vhence liiey oofnid be eodly let down into the boat Ab this would 
be eomparatiTely a safe btuiness— when he bad seen Terr^ in the 
boat, he desired die new reinforoement of lowers to oome with bim 
in order to set out on a second expeditka to the wreok. They all 
cndeavonied to iiezsQade him to let the otiiber sailor go in his plaoe, 
fleeing howsujffiiaing and eachanated he was; but he well knew that 
Ibo presence of an officer was infalna}de on snoh oooaaions, whose 
vrder was as essential as eooxage ; and that unless he were there to 
direct and eootml both his own men, and those <hi board the wre<&, 
there would be in all probability swck a msh ibr the boat, as would 
inentably sink her. He therefore peraistad in going, tiiough he 
f <^ at times almost ut if he should die~-80 eztremdy spent was 
he, as well as suffering from the efSaets of the stunmug blow on 
ids head, and of the vidbBntoontusiQns he had reeeired on his chest 
and side when thrown with such loroe on the shore. He felt, how- 
ever, a trust in God whiidi was most refreshing to his soul* and 
wkdoh kept him in perfect peace aa he sped foxwazd on his dangerous 
way. 

In liie meantime tiie party on tiie leef having safely descended 
into Hie boat, were all, after tremendous tossing in the surf^ safely 
iandad; and every one was anxious to be of sendee to those wbo 
had so narrowly escaped a watery gmve. The women and the 
iittle child were of course objects of eapeeial interest ; and Lady 
Ashton accompanied IJKm to a respeotame ootta^e, where she had 
provided freah ciothing for them« and indnoed tkem to tske some 
refreshment ; and peroeivii^ i^t Lady Florence was ri^^lit in her 
eonjeoture that one of them was a person of superior situation in 
life (the other— a foreiflin^^— being evidently her servant) she ex- 
pressed her hope that she would go to Uanaven ; which mer being 
gratefully accepted. Lady Ashton, after seeing the party safdy 
depoiited in the oaniage under lady Florence's care, returned hi^w 
eeff to the ahore ; bexojr now fer too anxious and uneasy about her 
eon's fate, to think of going home till ahe had seen him again 
tetum from his dangenyus expedition. 

Henry's strength was happuy not ao muoh taxed with having to 
manage the hdm on his second expedition, as it had been on the 
first, as the ropes at the bow and stem served muoh to steadv the 
boat. He succeeded in bringing off six more of the men and bind- 
ing them on the reef; and tfim set out a third time for the captain 
and feur other sailors who were all that remained on the wredc 
mie vessel had-— as Lady Florence had coiyeotured when watching 
it through the telescope---«trQflkon a rode, which though an advan- 
tage as prevmting its drifting awav from those who were goinsr to 
its reHef, yet made it inevitable that it nnist socm be dashed to 
pieces by iSbe viol^ice of the waves which broke incessantly over 
it. That it had stoodso long the fear of the ihodcs itevery instant 
received, had been matter of iojrfni surprise to Henry; and he 
trarted that it would bold togetner, till he had made this last expe- 
dition to it; but to his horror, when he had now got about half 
vniy, he saw it suddenlyjpart asunder, and in a moment, as it were, 
tlissolve m the waters. He instantiy out away the rope which at- 



8EB Boauuni iunnnnr* 9S^ 

tsehed faii boat i» it, snd in great agitation* aochortad lii« Biea i» 
EodDuble their exertiana to reach the spot. They rowed gkiksLsAj 
jGMrward—though the difficaltf was anan mueh inoreaBed by having 
lost all assistaaoe from the ship— aaid in a short time tkey saw two 
men bating on a spar« and &mer on still, another; and lumng 
with great diffieuhy got them into the boat, they learned from 
than* that having aqpeoted the diip to go to pieees from one mo- 
ment to another, they had all seciued aometiung with which to 
keep themselves afloat, till Hbe boat should reach them. This 
aooonnt greatly eniDonraged Henry and his men, and after a short 
time they were ha|my enough to rescue also the oaptain and the only 
qflier jftmaining sauar. 

CoBipletely exhausted, Henry now gave np the management of 
the heun to me oaptain of tiie merohant-yessei* and threw himself 
at the bottom of the boat, for his life seemed almost «me. Wh@a 
thev drew near to the reef he endeavonred to speak, but conld not 
make one audible sound ; and the men not bein^ aware of what he 
wished to say — (whidi was to desire them to dmib over the reef, 
and let a hoist mm tiie shore to take them off as the others had 
dcue) — went on unhesitatingly to the dangerous opening between 
the rocks. Henry, who saw their fearful mistake, and oiew that 
it waa then too late to remedy it, thought all hope of being saved 
wtis gone ; yet, in his extreme weakness, he ooold soareely keep hie 
mina soffieiently aliye to watoh the event. And when, contrary 
to all rational ex^ctatkm, the boat was hauled, by the exertioBB 
of the excited men on ahcne, safe through the awrol torrent, and 
was borne by a tremendous wave fai^ upon the beach, amid shouts 
iibat rent toe air, the gallant spirit which had infrised its high 
enenry into so many heurts, seemed flown for ever. 

" He woidd go ! exclaimed Dickson, (who had been relieved 
from his watch), olaq;»inff his hands above his head, while tears 
gushed from his eyes, as ne saw Henry Ashtoa'sMfelees body lifted 
&om the boat, " he would go !** 

Lady Ashton, whose soulseemed at the moment raised above her 
mighty grief, laid her hand on the old man's arm, and said, 

"If ne has perished, he has periidied as a servant of God should 
do." 

" Ay ! he has perished nobly/' repHed Diokson, *' but he was 
80 over-venturesome !" 

Henry was carried into ihe nearest cottage, and every effort 
was used to recal animation; but thouffh it was, happilv, soon 
evident that life %as not extinct, it was long before anythmg like 
oon&ciousness could be restored. Lady Ashton be^^ged the men to 
procure something on which they could convey him to lianaven, 
as the carriage was not then at tne village ; and a litter ot hurdles 
amd a mattress being soon procured, his exhausted frame was laid 
on it, and carefully covered with cloaks that the wind might not 
chill him in his wet garments. There was not a man there who 
was not forward in offering to be one of ttie bearers of his rude 
touch, for his frank, generous character, and cordial manners, had 
llways made him a tavourite ; and at that moment the remem- 
brance of his brave daring, united to the deathlike appearance 



224 BIS 30ULB0 AIULXUA.' 

of Ids fine oonntenajioe, awoke in their rude breasts a sympathy and 
admiration seldom called forth. Almost all the inhabitants of tiie 
vOlagre, excepting those who were busy in attending to the sufierers 
from tiie wreck, accompanied him and Lady Ashton over the cliffy in. 
token of their deep interest and respect ; and then, after having 
seen him safe home, they took their leave with expressions of so 
much kind feeUng and aandration as moved Lady^ Ashton to tears. 
She said she could not then thank them as she wished, but hoped 
soon to visit Uiem all at their own homes. 

Thoughtful at all times, and for every one, she had previously 
sent a messenger to warn the sisters ot Henry's state, lest they 
should be too much shocked at the sight of him ; all was therefore 
ready for his reception and comfort when he arrived, and he was 
immediately conveyed to his bed, and laid there in peace and 
tranquillity. 

Then, and not till then, did Lady Ashton's strength and spirits 
give way, and she sunk fainting, on the floor by her beloved child's 
bedside. After a time, however, she recovered, and a few hours' 
rest enabled her to be again unweariedly watchmg over one whose 
late noble and generous conduct had endeared him a thousand- 
fold to her heart. 

To Lady Constance the trial was dreadful of seeing Henry 
brought home in the deathlike state in which he had reachea 
Llanaven ; and it was impossible for her at the first moment to 
repress the floods of unspeakable tenderness and grief, which 
would burst forth. The anxiety of eveiy one on his account too— 
his praises on every lip— conspired to heighten her feelings for him» 
and to add to the mais of her heart, left alone, as she was, to oom- 
bat the worst, and most powerful of spiritual enemies,— those that 
steal into the breast under the guise of the gentle, sweet, and de- 
lightful affections of life. Alone indeed, she was not, for God was 
wiHl her; and on His strong arm she leant, and was supported. 



CHAPTEE XXXI. 

The doctor who was called in to Henry Ashton blooded him 
immediately ; and having watched him for some time with great 
attention, was able at last to cheer Lady Ashton with the hope that 
no matenid injury had been sustained, although the blow on the 
head, he said, would make it necessary for him to be kept quiet and 
free from excitement for some time, lest inflammation should take 
place. This, though not wholly satisfactory, was yet a great relief 
to Lady Ashton's mind ; and enabled her to devote some of her 
attention to the stranger who had been cast by Providence on her 
care and kindness. 

This youn^ creature, lliough a mother, seemed scarcely beyond 
girlhood ; while her quiet, distressed countenance spoke of early 
sorrow. Lady Ashton learnt from her that her husband was with 
his regiment at Gibraltar ; and that circumstances rendering it 
advisable for her to return to England without delay, she had em- 



• SIB S0£A2n> ASRTOK. 225 

barked with her little son a fortnight before, in the merchant- 
vessel which had met with so disastrous a fate. Her name was 
Montagne, and she had purposed proceeding, she 8ajd« directly, to 
the house of an nnde who resided in London. 

This was all that Lady Ashton learnt from herself; and she had 
too mmib. delicacy to intrude any farther into the secrets of this 
evidently soirowrol heart. ^ The child's nurse, however, (a Maltese 
woman,) more communicative than her mistress, occasionallv men* 
tioned circumstances, from which Lady Ashton gathered, tnat the 
husband of this poor girl had been most unkind, and neglectM of 
her ; and that, having been lefb in almost perfect destitution, and 
abandoned by her la^Tul protector, she had at length determined 
to accept the repeated invitations of her uncle, Mr. Stanhope, and 
return to England, to take refuse with him in her distress. 

This account filled Lady Ashton's kind heart with pity for a 
Toung creature, so earlv tried with such severe afflictions ; and 
ner compassion was still farther, and most painfully excited by 
the fear which she could not help Entertaining, that she might soon 
be called to endure another sorrowinthelossof her little boy, who 
seemed her only joy and comfort. The poor child, she was informed* 
had not been strong for some time before he left Gibraltar ; and a 
feverish restlessness and irritating cough had much alarmed his 
mother, and made her fear for his lungs. The continued exposure 
for many hours on the wreck, while the sea was breaking over 
them, had greatly aggravated his illness; and Lady Ashton felt 
extremely anxious and uneasy about him. He was a pretty child 
of two years old ; and seemed to know no rest or happiness but 
in his mother's arms. 

Mrs. Montague, unwilling to intrude on Lady Ashton's hospi- 
tality, had been desirous ot setting off directly for London ; but 
Lady Ashton would not permit that ; and was glad in any way 
to be of service or oomiort to her. With her usual untaiUng 
kindness, having obtained Mr. Stanhope's direction, she wrote to 
invite him to Llanaven ; and in a few days she had the pleasure 
of announcing his arrival to his niece, and of seeing the comfort 
his presence afforded her. 

An were most assiduous in their attentions to her, and her child ^ 
and it was with a pleasure, second only to that of the poor mother 
herself, that after a few days they saw the severe illness of the 
patient infant give way, and heard the doctor pronounce him out 
of danger. 

Xiady Ashton was exceedingly pleased with Mr. Stanhope, whom 
she found a most ^gentlemanlike and agreeable person, as well as 
an enlightened Chnstiau. He told her many circumstances in the 
lustory of his niece which much interested her ; and which made 
her feel more than ever for the desolate state of this uoor young 
creature. She was, it seemed, the only child of his sister; 
and had been brought up by her mother in the indulgence of. 
every wish and fancy. Mr. Lindsay, her father, was a man of 
ordinary mind and thoroughly worldly character; but some year 
after their marriage, Mrs. Lindsay had become decidedly pioa 



226 SIB BOSAVD AflEnOir 

and very earnest in Ber desires to servo Gkni* She had, howerer, 
unfortiinately, adapted hi^h Celvinistic views, which preventiiig: 
her, as those extreme opmicms invariably do, irom '• rightly diyid- 
ingr the word of truth/ hud led lier to look, in all events, solely to 
the sovereim decrees of God ^ instead of ■nsiiig--in dependence on 
his ^^race— ier own exertions in the path of duty, For^tting the 
distinction (which ib ^o admirably set forth in Wilberforoe's 
"Practical Christianity") between apiritnal life and moral power, 
she imagined that— be eaiLBt- it is impessible lor any one to obtain 
the former, unless taujrht hy the Spirit of God— that ther^re all 
human instruotiQns and bjdiortations wero ui^i^bb. 

" My sister would often tell me," said Mr. Stanhope, ** that she 
could not make ^neral invitationa, when she knew that Christ 
died only for ' His people.' I used in yain to show her that by- 
refusing to do so, she was refusing to do what God Himself had 
dcme throughout the whole of the Scriptures : those sacred books 
being not only full of exhortations, ana promises, but also of re- 
proaches, that men * would not come to mm that they might have 
fife.' I nidged on her the passages in which dod repeatedly an- 
nounced that he had ' no pleasure in the death of the wicked' — 
that it was not his wiU * that any diould perish j but that all should 
oome to everlasting life ;' and I reminded her how St. John, after 
r to the Christian oonyerts on the subject of Christ havingr 



died for their sins, adds, * and not iar ours <mly, but also for the 
sins of the whole world.' I endeavoured to show her how these 
passages, and many others equally strong, proved that, though we 
cannot even think a good thought of ourselves, yet that we must 
necessarily possess a moral power by which we are enalded to go 
to Qod for 9piritual^paweit; otherwise, that all CK)d's promises and 
reproaches, would be but awfiil mockery of the unhappy beings 
mom He in fearful power had created, only to destroy— <mly to 
oonsign helplessly to everlasting oondennation ; a thought hornble 
as untrue ! But she was blinded. I would vrge at other timee 
that the ungodljr were said to be condemned because they rejected 
the blood of Christ ; and I asked her, how^-if, as she said, ' Christ 
died only for his elect'— these ungodly ones could be said to reiect 
that which had never beoi offiered to them i She could not explain 
—hut her awful delusion still continued; and the effect was, that 
though she delighted in the society of real Christians, and did all 
in her power to forward them in a life of holiness, yet unless she 
saw that God had visibly drawn any particular heart to Himself, 
she never used the slightest endeavour to awaken the deadness of 
that heart, to show it the way of life, or even to restrain it from 
outward evil. To her husband she never spoke on the subject of 
rdiffion, and Mary— Mrs. Montague, of w&m she was doatingly 
foncL she suffered to go on in every way exactly as her fancy dic- 
tated. To my earnest entreaties on this subject she would rei^y, 
' that when the converting grace of God came to the soul of ner 
child, all evil would be subdued by it ; but that if it was decreed 
that s he was never to be one of Christ's redeemed, all her endea- 
vom to improve her would only add to her final oondemnatioii.* 
I a*ed her one day, what oouree she had pursued the year before. 



.8d SDXiAin) AsasTox. d27 

when the ddld had had the scarlet feyer? whether she had sent 
for a&y phyBidan to her > Unfinspicious of the deduotion I meant 
to draw from her words, she answered, that * of course she had 
had a physician, and had followed his prescriptions/ * And yet,' 
I said, 'yon knew that without the hlessin^ of GK>d, that man's 
advice and prescriptions could be of no avail.' She admitted it. 
•Then why, I ursed, * will you not do for the child's soul what 
you did for her body } Why will you not guide her to the ereat 
Physician, and follow all His spiritual prescriptions for her, look- 
ing to Him for His blessing on your work ?' She was sLLent— but 
stm imconvinced; for Satan, who delights in stirring up the aoti- 



vity of the wicked, rejoices equally in keeping the godly idle." 

*^ I was afraid at first," said Lady Ashton, " that you were going 
to say that all the power is in man nimsetf." 

" Oh ! no," replied Mr. Stanhope ; " I am convinced that that is 
not ike case, for it is God alone wno can make us either 'to wQl or 
to do of His good pleasure.' But though I know full well that we 
liave no power of ourselves to turn to BSm, yet the power is surely 
promised, if sought In the parable of the marriage-feast, itis, I 
think, plainly shown that all are invited—all may come in. Those 
who did so, were certainly compelled, but the others were freely 
and honesty invited t and the guilt of the refdsal was distinctly 
laid at their door; for it says, 'those that were bidden were not 
worthy to come in.' That some are forced to enter, does not argue 
that others are forced to stay out I — ^These things, I feel, are far 
beyond our comprehension; and it is, I think, in the endeavour to 
be ' wise above that which is written,' that we make so many mis- 
takes. I believe that man must have power of some kind, or God 
would not entreat and invite him ; neither could he be considered 
a responsible agent. Again, I receive as perlect truth our Saviour's 
word^, 'No man can come unto me except my father draw him. 
These two things I cordially believe, though I cannot understand 
how the seeming contradictions they involve are reconciled; but 
feeling with adoring gratitude that it is G^ alone, who has drawn 
me to the knowledge and love of His Soil, I accept with, I trust 
a fiinoere heart, all my salvation from Him. When we have cas 
off the dulness of these mortal bodies, then, and not till then, 
fihall we comprehend these things. But in the meantime much 
evil arises from taking up either side of this question, to the de- 
terminate exclusion of the other." 

*' I folly agree in what you say," said Lady Ashton ; " and feel 
that indeed much evil is done bv endeavouring to explain infinite 
things according to our finite ideas. When we can understand 
how» in ourselves, mind acts on body, or body on mind : or when 
we can even find out how one blade of grass grows— then we may, 
with some shadow of reason, reject what we find in the jBible, 
because we cannot oomprehend it in all its beadngs. Will you 
tell me farther about your poor niece ?" 

** Her disposition," replied Mr. Stanhope, *' was always ronark- 
ably gentle and amiable; and therefore the evil effisets of her 
mother's injudicious treatment were not, fo la length of time, so 
visible in her, as they would have been in most others. Bat whea 

i^2 



228 CIB SOLAITD ASHTOV. 

she was about fifteen, she took a great fancy to one of her ooob^, 
a niece of Mr. Lindsay's; and her mother allowed her to have her 
continually at the house. I never liked this girl ; she was yain. 
and foolish, and affected, and fall of feoitastical romance ; and was 
always filling poor Mary's head with nonsense. There are barracks 
at the town near Mr. Lindsay's estate, in Lancashire, and among 
other young officers, in an evil hour, appeared Mr. Montague. He 
was flood-looking and agreeable ; but as wild and unnrincipled as 
poesiole. Mary, it was supposed, would naturally inherit all the 
proper^ belonging to her parents, which was very considerable ; 
and Mr. Montague, really I believe liking her, and certainly likingr 
the idea of her * broad acres,' contrived te make himself particu- 
larly acceptable te her, though he was far firom being a favourite 
wiw her parents. Indeed I have understood that he rather endea- 
voured to displease them, for the purpose of making them refuse 
his offer; trusting that poor Mary's love would overcome her sense 
of duty, and that he might persuade her to run away with him; 
for he thought that if he married her without settlements, he 
should obtain unshackled power over the fortune which he fancied 
was irrevocably settled on her. He therefore, when forbidden the 
house, induced this foolish cousin of hers to contrive meetings 
between them, and to convey letters to and fro, which the unprin- 
cipled ^1 was but too ready to do; thinking it very fine and 
interestmg to lead her young but indiscreet oompamon, into a 
sentimental and clandestine correspondence. Bhe filled her ears, 
too, with continued invectives against the cruelty and tyranny oi 
her parents, whom she represented as sordid and unfeeling, ob* 
jecting to her marriage only becouse it would oblige them to part 
with some of their fortune. At any other time Mary's affectionate, 
feelings would have made her resent such language; but then, she 
was blinded by her own wishes, and could see nothing clearly; 
and being contradicted now, for the first time in her Ufe, and on 
the point on which naturally she felt the strcmgest, she gave way 
to £[reat irritation; and was finally induced by her two worthless 
advisers to leave her home, and set off' for Gretna Green. Her 
father, who was of the most harsh and irascible nature, took no 
steps to follow or reclaim her; and when after a short time she 
wrote to him, asking his forgiveness, he returned her letter un- 
opened: desiring her cousin— -the author of all tiie mischief—- to 
inform hef , that as she had chosen to act in defiance of her paxenta* 
commands, she must thenceforth consider herself an alien from 
their hearts and home ; and moreover, that as his fortune was not 
entailed, he should most decidedly leave it away from her. From 
her mother she heard nothing; for though that Kind parent's heart 
was broken with grie^ she oared not venture to oppose her hns- 
band» who had forbidden aU intercourse. Things were in this 
miserable state when Montagrue's regiment was order(^ abroad* 



m seemed to consider his wile merely as anexi)en8ive incumbrance. 
However, as she had no Qther home, he could not refuse her going 



SIS BOLAND ASHIOK. 229 

ont with lum ; so she accompanied him to Gfibraltar, to whioih place 
Ids regiment was ordered. 1 went to see wliat I could do for lier 
before she set off, for I always loved her very muoli ; and I never 
saw a creature so altered— so thoroughly miserable. It was dreadful 
to her to leave England without agam seeing her parents, especially 
her mother, of whom she was excessively fond ; out her father was 
inexorable, and would not allow even a letter to pass between them. 
My poor sister sunk under this cruelty; and the first letter her 
unhappy child received after arriving at Gibraltar, was to announce 
the death of this most tender but mistaken parent; and no mes- 
sage of love or forgiveness was forwarded to soften the terrible 
blow, or soothe the wretchedness of this early victim of sorrow 
and folly. A few posts after, she received the news of the death 
of her father also, which had taken place very suddenly; and this 
intelligence was followed by the account that all his property had 
been left to his brother ; and that her mother's fortune— about five 
thousand pounds— was all that she was ever to expect. From that 
time Montague, I have understood, ceased even the outward ap- 
pearance of kindness and respect towards her, spending his time 
and monev in the worst ways. At Gibraltar her little boy was 
bom ; ana there, for nearly two years after his birl^, did she coidure 
privations and neglect of every kind; till, nearly starved, and her 
child's health as well as her own declining— she at last acceded, 
to my often-expressed wish, that she should return and live witk 
me. Montague was most willing that she should do so. as he was 
hy that means relieved from the charge of both her and her child; 
and, anxious to escape from him, she set out in that unfortunate 
vessel, in which, had it not been for your son's bravery, she must 
inevitably have perished," 

After this sad account of the unhap^iness of her guest. Lady 
Aishton felt more than ever interested in her fate ; and was very 
desirous of finding out whether she had any comfort in looking te 
God for pardon and consolation. In conversing with her sooa 
after, however, she discovered that the same mistaken views which 
liad acted so injuriously on her mother's mind, were working 
much mischief la hers. She fancied herself to be one who was by 
an irrevocable decree, condemned for ever. She knew that her 
oenduct had not been such as was in accordance with the will oS 
€Fod : and never having been taught the willingness of her heavenly 
Fatiier to pardon and accept all who came to "Sua m Christ's name, 
die thought her doom already fixed,— her eternal portion appmnted 
nith the lost. Ther^ was something in her gentle and meek re* 
signatLon which was most touching to Lady Ashton's feeling 
lieart ; she acknowledged the justice of God in all the bitter trials 
that Had been sent her, blaming herself alone for all her sufferings ; 
and her gratitude at the im^jrovement in her child's health was 
unbounded. Yet still the chill sense of God's anffer and of her 
own hopeless state, as she imagined it, prevented her enjo 
peace or mind; and for a length of time ane seemed incap * 
xeoetmg uiy spiritual consolatioiu 



2S0 SIR BOLAJO) ASHTOK. 

CHAPTER XXXII. 

** What a lot Is mine I 
I who woold rather perish than requite 
Long yetn of kindness with one thr(A> of pain. 
Host make that soul a wreck." Tai.foob1>. 

As soon as Lady AahUm's nneasineBB on aeoount of her fion had 
l)een allayed sufficiently to enable her with comfort to leave the 
honse, she was yenr anxious to revafd the men who had so bravely 
assisted him on tne day of the wreck. She took measures fw 
establishing Terry in a small farm close to the yills^ which liad 
long been the oljeot of his ambition, but which hitherto he had 
not had sufficient capital to undertake; and as she had liber^ 
from Sir Roland always to do what she thought ri^ht and kmd, 
she desired the steward ta provide for him every thmg which was 
necessary, and to have the lease of the feirm made out for hm 
dhrecUy. When this was settled, she requested him to take the 
lad Warner, who was an orphan, into his service; she .herself, also 
bestowinff upon the brave boy a handscnne reward, as well as on 
aU the other villagers and sailors who had exerted themselves on 
the late occasion. The vessel which had been lost having been 
insured, the captain, who was also the owner, was not a leser to 
any great amount; and the sailors who had formed his crew, after 
being liberally svcpplied with clothes^ &c.. by Lady Ashton's ^ne- 
rosity, were provided by her also, with the means of immediately 
reaching their homes, or wherever else they had intended 
8<«ig. 

Henry Ashton very willingly submitted, fgr the first few dxn 
after his f atigruing exploit, to me confinement and quiet which had 
been prescribed tor him, for he felt almost incapable of 8peidan|r» 
or of making the least exertion ; but when the eflfects of his 
fktigaes and injuries began to wear off a little, he became most 
impatient to rejoin the party down stfdrs, being naturally ex- 
eeedingly anxious to see Lady Constanoe again. He half howem, 
dreaded their meeting, for he had no idea how fidie would recem 
him after the avowal which his excited feelings, at the moment of 
their parting on the cliff, had dtawn from him ; for though he was 
fnllv persuaded that he was net an object of indifference to her, 
yet ner former maimer had given him no encouragement to speas 
as h* had done. When constantly in the habit of being with her, 
he had not thought deeply on the snWect— giving himMlf up 
simply to the enjoyment of her society ; mit now, when a^o^^J^ 
his Chamber, where his weakness kept him still reclining, he thoni^it 
over each oirouaastance whic^ had occurred during their late inter- 
oouse together ; and when he recalled her rebuke on the fint dsT 
ol his arrival, and the restraint he had always felt since that time 
astothe expression of his fe^ings, he began to be terrified atthc 
idea that he nnght perhaps have deeply offended her by his te- 
hnMDt deolaratiomi of atta<^iment at their late interview But 
then again, the conviction of her alfeotlon came to cheer him, and 



so. SOLAini ASHTOIT. 231 

he thouglit, "Why slioxild I not love her?" He knew no reason 
indeed* why he ahiwld not, — and yet he was anxious, and uneasy ; 
and the uncertainty began to prey upon his mind. 

"I must ffo down stairs again, he said to his mother one 
morning; "I am much better, and this confinement gets in-' 
tolerable." 

'*I shedl be delighted to see you again among us ," she replied, 
" if you feel equal to it." 

** I feel quite equal to eiuoying my life again among you all, dear 
mother," he answered with a smile; "but not to staying up here 
aj^ longer." 



_Ie accordingly went down that eyening, though it was with 
difficulty that ne was able to move his stil»ned Hmbs. When he 
entered, leanuur on his mother's arm. Lady Florence josrfuUy went 
to meet him ; but Lady Gonstanee remained at the winidow, where 
she had been oouYersing with Mr. Stanhope. She was fuller aware 
of his entraikoe, but she continued lookixijg: out, as if watching the 
pale light fading firom the sea ; tHough sight, hearing, every tiling 
was for the moment gone ! But when at len^jth Florence called to 
her, saying, that " Henry was c<»tte down again," she was obliged to 
show that she knew he was there, and to come forwar^and meet 
him. Speak to him she ooold not— iutd they shook hands in silence ; 
Florence happily by her gaiety preventing any one beside them- 
selves bein^ aware of the restraint which lay so coldly on them. 
The twUight- hid the expression of their oouhtenances — and they 
were thankful that it cud so. Henry's heart sweUed almost to 
bursting ; he saw that it was not the melting of afiection at meeting 
again what it loves after perils and dangers past, which was work- 
ing in Lady Constance's mind— had it been that, her silence would 
have been more eloquent to him tiian thousands of gentlest words ! 
but that it was coldness, and, as it seemed to him, di^leasure, 
which marked her manner ; and fhe instant her passive hand had 
quitted his she left him to return again to the window. 

Mr. Stanhope begging Lady Ashton to introduce him to Henry, 
began directly to oSer his grateful thanks to the preserver of his 
niece ; and to express the high admiration which he felt for his 
gallant and noble conduct. 

HeoTy could not be insensible to the warmth of his commenda- 
tions, or to tiie kindness of his expressions : but assured him that 
far grest^ exertions than he had made, would have been overpaid, 
b^ the happiness he had felt in being the means of rescuing 
his fellow-creatures— especially Mrs. Montage and her child— 
£rom such a dreadful death. But conversation was irksome, and 
painful to him, in the present excitement of his mind, and he soon 
became silent ; Ti^ile Lady Ashton and Mr. Stanhope continued to 
talk tocher with great interest. 

Cons'^noe still remained at the window ; and after a time 
Henrjr's desire to go and roeak to her became so strong, that he 
could no longer resist it. He with difficulty rose, and was en- 
deavouring to make his way quietly alonff by the help of 
ch&irs and tabks, when Florence perceiving him ran to offer her 
assistance. 



282 Sm SOLAKS ASRTOXr. 

He was annoyed, and said quickly, 

" I am not a baby, Florence ; I can manage very well for 
myself." 

But seeing the colonr rise in the litHe girl's obeek, and the tears 
fill ber eyes, bis heart reproached him ; and smiling down. with. 
* good-bumonred crossness' on her sweet face, he added^ 

"However, as you are here, you tormenting little animal, I 
may as well make use of this strong shoulder of yours." And hd 
playfuUy leant on her, till her slight form bent beneath bis pon-> 
<Lerous band. 

" There, he said, when Ihey got to the window, " I think 3roa 
have had enough of playing the crutch to such a ' gouty old oom«> 
modore' as I am ;>" and he put bis aim round ber and kissed her 
afiectionatel^. " But you, he continued with a bitterness which 
reacbed--iis it was intended— Lady Constance's very soul, " you 
have a heart within your breast ; and that makes you land 
and strong, to love and help. But now go," he dontinued, " and 
brin^ Monsieur Jacko to pay his respects to me ; and mind he is 
in his best trim, combed and brushed to a nicety— not a kair out 
of its place— or I shall have a terrible word to sajr to his ^ouni^ 
mistress.!' And having despatched his little helper on ws — as 
he hoped, lengthy busmess— he sat down near where Goastanoe 
was standing. For a long time both were dlent ; at length Henry, 
whose miud was in a complete turmoil of anxiety, and sorrow, and 
indignation, and affection, said in a low voice, 

" And is this the way we meet, Constance, after a week's absence — 
after such a parting ? Is this your first greeting, after allmy pain 
and danger?" 

Lady Constance Tms moved even to tears ; but endeavimring to 
repress them, she said in a calm voice, 

** You are better now, are you not?" 

" Yes, I am better, I thank God— for my mother's sake— not for 
yours. You care not how I am ; and for myself— I could tbnost 
say, would God I bad perished in the ocean rather than hav« lived 
to see this hour !" 2nd he leant bis head down on the window. 

** Constance/' he aald again, *' why are you thus ? My dearest, 

rk to me— I cannot bear my existence if this is to go on. Why 
bitter unkindness ? Have I offended you by the worls that 
were forced from me when I felt that we might be parting for 
ever? I thought not of offence; and would rather navd sunk 
fathoms deep into'the sea, than have spoken of the feelings tbat 
had so long dwelt in me, could I have thought they would 
have been so displeasing to you. Think them unexpressel, dear 



' Can you not forgive me ?" he added. 

"I have nothing to for^ve, Henry," replied Lady Constanoe, 
sadly; "only do not again"— and her voice trembled— "repeat 
words like those — and then all may be well again in time." 

"But, Constance, my dear Constanoe, why may I not sptak 
tbose words again ?" 



ant BOLAITB ASHTOV* 238 

** Because it would be Tsm-—tisele88— worse than useless !" she 
answered hurriedly — endeayourinff to pass him. 

fie canght her muslin dress to detain her— it rent in his rongh 
grasp. Lady Constance hurst into tears. 

*'0h! forgive me/' he exclaimed; *' rude ruffian that I am ! I 
did not mean it, Constance ; you know I could not mean to hurt 
a thing of yours." 

*' Oh ! I am not weeping for my dress/' she answered with a 
half-smile struggling through her tears, " I care not if it were 
torn to atoms; out a bird flying across one sometimes would 
overset one's foolish spirits ; and I am not guite well. Do not look 
80 ruefully at that work of ruin/* she added (for Henry sat with 
the torn dress still in his hand, as if mourning over it ; though in 
fact his thoughts were far olherwise occupied); *' there!" — and 
she playfully tore it still more:— '* you see the destruction 
of that slight thing does not cost me a sigh." Tet one rose to 
her Hps. 

" But there kre things," replied Henry looking up at her, though 
the fednt light scarcely enabled him to read her countenance, 
** which you would rend with a light and careless hand, but whose 
destruction ifr— 'iny destruction." 

"Henry," saia Lady Constance firmly, though she quivered 
in every nerve, "there must be no more of this. WiU you bo 
again my Mend, and brother, or must you be to me as a stranger ?" 

" Let me be your friend again, then, if I may not be anything 
more. But oh! Constance, think how long we have known— 
how long we have loved each other— though not perhaps as now 
I love." 

Poor Constance did think of it— and the thought choked her 
utterance. At length she said almost inaudibly, 

" Henry, you do not know how much it costs me to move one 
I have loved so long; but it must— must be done, lou must 
forset me— you can never be to me more than you have been from 
childhood." 

" But why may I not hope that in time I may be more, Con- 
stance?" urged Henry vehemently ; "I would wait years— my 
life almost. Why must I be silent ?" 

Lady Constance dared not tell him why, for she dreaded its being 
too much for him to bear. She paused a moment, endeavouring to 
ouell her overpowering emotion, then spoke almost haughtily— for 
she had wound herself up to end this cruel strife — 

" It should be enough lor you, Henry, that the subject does not 
please me — ^that I request— nay, desire— it may never be renewed. 
KoW;" she continued in a kinder and more cheerful tone — ^for she 
was in terror lest helshould be over-excited—" let this subject rest 
for ever, and let us talk of other things— that is," she added 
anuling, " when I come down again in respectable ai)parel ; for I 
must change this poor dress before the lamps come in, to betray 
my misfortunes." And disengaging herself, with a kind look, she 
left the room. 

Henry remained sunk in thought. He was somewhat happier 
than at first, for Lady Constance was kinder, and that removed a 



284 snt saLUfD ashtok« 

load of ice from his heart : bat yet, on farther tiioiight, he almost 
Tdshed that she had retained her cold r^>ellant manner. 

" It would soon," he told himflelf , ''have made me oease to love 
her ; or else I might still haye hoped that there was something 
misnnderstood— somethings— which if removed— onr hearts might 
have been drawn together again. But this cold command ' not 
to speak because she does not like it/ seems as if there were no 
cause of displeasure, except the love whioh she forbidsr-'fis if she 
really did not care for me. And yet"— and he dwelt fondly on 
the many things which had brought '' ooBfirmation strong" to his 
mind that he was more to her than all otiiers in exist^ooe. He 
mused, and mused, till his heart grew dark within him. 

"Can she be ambitious^" hetfi»ufi^; *' and <»n she be willing 
to sacrifice her love for me, beoause I am not rich and great ? I 
cannot think it— I cannot believe it-^-ehe was ever so noble ! and 
B4>land would surely help me if I wanted it." 

The thought of his brother brought with it a sudden dart of 
anffuish. "Did she love Boknd? He had been long with her, 
ana she admired his character so much, and so continually wrote 
to him ! But no," he thou^ £«ain, '* I know— I feel her love is 
mine, and she used to wnte orben to me too. "So — her heart is 
with me, and there must be some dreadfol — some fatal reason 
for her conduct, unknown to me. Any how it makes me mise- 
rable— nnserable !" 

Florence and her monkey— and lamps and tea, came in— and 
lastly. Lady Constance. She had not before been able to see 
Henr/s ooontenanee ; and she was now greatly shocked at the 
change in his appearance. Not less so was he, at that which had 
taken place in her, and which was wholly unaecountable to him. 
"For,' he thought, "she has had no illness— no fatigae— no 
stunning blow !" Aks! shehadhadthesicknessof the heart— the 
weariness of the labouring and perplexed spirit— the stunning 
force of agonising; sorrow !— worse— a thousand times wone than 
all he had suffered ! 

She seated herself at a distance, oat of his sight ; and wearv, 
depressed, and miserable, he soon pleaded a fatigue he truly feit, 
and retired to his own room. 

CHAPTEB XXXTTT. 

** But absence — absence !•— anjrthing bat this I 
I cannot bear 
This present agony t tbis nearness of despair."— if if. 

Whbn Mrs. Montague's little boy was quite out of daaager, she 
felt verjr anxious to leave Ilanaven. fearful of being burSenaoMe 
to her kind hostess, though Lady Ashton wished her much to stay; 
but as the country air was considered best for the child at tbat 
time, it was determined, that instead of accompanying her ande 
to town, she should take ti cottage which was pleasantly sitoated 
near the village of Gamcombe, and stay thne for some montha, or 
till the child's health sheold be quite jre-eataUished. 



SOL XOLAKD lAHTOV. 235 

Lady CoiiBtaiice mm most aiudous to be able to tell Henry of the 
reason of her late eondoot towards him, but it was some time before 
Le was suffioiently reoovered to make it safe for him to haye any 
exeat excitement; therefore, all she ooukL do, was kindly, bnt 
Smdy to repress anything like a renewal of his former expressions, 
and to keep as muoh as possible out of his society. The party of 
Mends who had been invited to IlanaTen had been requested by 
Lady Ashton to d^er tbeir visit in consequence of Henry's illness, 
and of the i^eoaiions state of Mrs. Montague's little boy ; but when 
both the invalids wese ccmvalesoent, another day was named for 
them to come, and they aooordin^ly socm arrived. 

This was nerhaps the most tryinff time (»f all for Constance, as 
&r as reeaiaed the steadifftstness <n her resolutions ; for it being 
impossible whilst otiier oompanv was in the house, to keep away 
£rom Henry, she found it most oiffieult to resist showing him more 
kindness and cordiality than she wished. Evaythinff, indeed, 
conspired to tr^ her unhappsr heart to the very utmost; mr his late 
brave action, mrmine a ocmtinual subject of conversation, kept her 
feelings for ever onTue stretdi* ^e could not enter a cottage but 
the £rst person inquired after was " Mr. H^iry;" — and loud praises, 
and long discourses always foflowed the mention of his name, which 
she had to listen to and bear as best she might; so that even in the 
vary path of her duties, trial and temptation rose up before her. 

The first dav that he>>traB thought equal to it, Henry drove down 
with Lady Ashton to the village, to visit Terry and some of the 
other peoi^e. and thank than for the assistance ther had rendered 
him on the day of the wreck* Constance had g(me there previously 
not knowine ca their intention, and was in Terry's Cottage when 
they entered it. The remembranee of Henry's gallant behaviour, 
together with his changed looks and unexpected appearance, so 
overcame poor Terry and his wife, that they ourst into tears ; and 
some of the other villaffers also, hearing that he was come, crowded 
in, making it altogetiaor a touohing scene. Lady Ashtonf'-s mo 
thier's-heart was quite overeome, and Henry himself was much 
moved. To poor Constance it was teniae ! especiallv as Henr/s 
eyes continually sought her, as the peo|^ poured fortn in the best 
manner they oonid their delight at seeing him again. But her 
eyes were dry, and thoudk every nerve within her trembled, she 
endeavoured to subdue all outward appearance of emotion. She 
made her escape as soon as possible; am wben alcme again on the 
wild shore* she sat down benind a look, concealed from every eye 
but His who ** knows our bitterness !"--aad her foil heart bursting 
forth, — l(Hi^» long did she weep. 

After atmie shie heard the carriage pass on its wayhome; and 
seeure then £toBt the chance of being seen, she rose and pursued 
her sad and solitary way back over tne clil^. She hastened abn^, 
fioff ev»y step was magki with remembrance ; and though m 
ffeneral she had much e(Hnmand over her thoughts, and never suf* 
feted them to rest on the forbidden ground, yet lust then, her 
jfeelinffs were so miwh excited, and her spirits so shaken, that it 
seemed abnost as if nature mnst give up tne xmequal contest. 

In the evening, Henry was gkKsny and silent. To Lady Con- 



^36 SIB BOLAITD ABHTOIT. 

stanoe liiB maimer was abrupt and cold; lie would not speak to her, 
or remain near her; and onoe when his mother asked him to sing^ 
a partictilar duet with her, he answered aloud that ** he woidd sine 
it— but with riorence;" casting on Lady Constance as he passed 
ker a withering glance of disdain and indignation. She endea- 
Toured to be calm, and occupied herself in promoting the pleasure 
of her guests; but her heart bled within her, for she Imew what 
must he the force of the feelings which could make Henry act to* 
wards her in such a way; ana though at moments, perHaps, sha 
felt her pride roused by his manner, yet she grieved more tor him. 
than for herself; and she could not long feel angry with one whom 
she was— how unwillingly ! making so unhappy. Though he might 
be now quite able to bear the lata! intelligence she had to commu- 
nicate, yet amidst the bustle of a large party she could not find aa 
opportunity of being with him alone a sufficient time to inform 
him of it; and seeing the impetuosity of his character— which was 
80 much greater than she had imagined — she dared not siye him 
the letter she had written, lest some violent and uncontrolled out- 
break of feeling should reveal to others what she was so anxious t» 
keep concealed from every eye. She longed to be separated from 
him—to be anywhere rather than with him; for his dispirited 
countenance, and eyes for ever fixed on her in sorrow or reproa4Bh 
—or in affection, still more trying— kept up a never-sleeping strife 
within her. Lady Ashton, too, added frequently to the difficulty 
and misery of her situation, by begging her to watch over him, ana 
prevent ma over-exerting himself, when the younger portion of the 
part^ were out together~«utreating him also to keep quietiy by her* 
At times he would obey this injunction, and giving her nis arm* 
would endeavour to win from her kind and encouraging words; 
then— failing to do so— in anger and despair, he would almost 
violentiy cast her off, and go and join, with mad and reckless mirth, 
in the conversation and amusements of the others. 

How often in the bitterness of her heart would she contrast the 
oonduct of this wayward child of impulse with Sir Eoland's feeling 
.and devoted tend»ness ; and wonder why she could not tear her affise- 
tions from Henry, and bestow them on one who loved her so perfeotLy, 
and so nobly ; and who would never, she felt sure—even could Ee 
at that moment have looked into the depths of her fSedthless hearts 
have treated her otherwise thaa with generous kindness. Sbe 
trusted, indeed, that she might in time do him full justice: that 
she might truly give her heart where her vows were paid, aud be 
enabled to look back to this harrowing period merely as to a levered, 
distracting dream. She omitted nothing in her power to efieoi 
this \ she banished Henry as much as possible from her mind, and 
continued unremittingly to correspond with Sir Boland. She con- 
stantly carried his picture about her, that she might remind herself 
of his claims uuon her; and often did his full dark eye seem to re- 
proach her for ner want of love, and to renund her of the noMe, 
devoted spirit which animated the original. But above all, she 
looked to God for strength ; and if He cud not as yet give her foil 
power over her wa^ard feelings. He at least enabled her to escape 
the guilt of ever willingly yieloiog to them. 



SIB SOLAHTB ASHT017. 237 

Mrs. Montagne was at length established in fier new home ; the 
other friends who had been staying at Llanaven had all by degrees 
departed, and the little party there were again alone. Constance 
had wished it so to be; yet now, how did she shrink from what 
lay before her ! Just at that time she received a letter most unex- 
pectedly from her cousin, Mrs. Mordaunt, regretting that her 
absence from town that year had prevented tneir meeting; and 
saying, that her sons having engaged a moor in the Highlands, she 
purnosed going there with them, and taking a littie tour in Scot- 
oma. She invited Lady Constance most kindly and cordially to 
accompany her in her expedition; assuring her of the extreme 
pleasure it would ^ye her, and begging her to join her in London 
as soon as she possibly coidd. 

At any other time, Lady Constance would instantiy, for many 
reasons, nave declined this proposal; but at that moment all she 
seemed to desire in existence, was absence from Henry. Li the 
letter she had written to him, she had entreated him to leave 
Llanaven, knowing of no other means by which they could be 
separated; but now she felt that her departure would be by far the 
most desirable step; as besides depriving Lady Ashton of her son's 
society, his sudden absence would have looked most unaccountable 
and suspicious. She remembered also that her father, though he 
did not wish her to reside with Mrs. Mordaunt, yet had expressed 
his i)articular desire that she should in every possible way show 
gratitude for her cousin's kindness in offering to take charge of 
Her and her sister; and this, joined to the other consideration, at 
last made her determine to request leave to accompany her to the 
H^fhlands. 

laady Ashton did not like the proposal at all; and was much as- 
tonished at Lady Constance's wi^ to leave friends whom she loyed 
so much, to go witii tiiose of whom she had hitherto known so Httie ; 
and she said, moreover, that ^e thought Sir Roland would not be 
pleased at her doing so. Lady Constance, however, repHed, that she 
was sure Roland would approve of her motives ; and urged that the 
change would do her good. Lady Ashton looked at her pale coun- 
tenance, and saw indeed that she seemed ill ; and not liking to 
oppose her farther, she yielded a reluctant consent to her wish. 
Constance thanked her with an aching heart; and anxious that 
she should not have time to retract, instantiy wrote and sent off a 
letter, gratefully accepting Mrs. Mordaunt's mvitation. 

She lelt now that deliverance was at hand> yet how did her 
spirit sink at the thought of separation ! She determined no longer 
to delay the terrible task she had to do, but resolutely and at 
once to perform it; and more aware now than she had been before 
of the irritability of Henry's temper, she tiiought it would be best 
to speak to him, and endeavour to sootiie the violence of his iirst 
feelings, rather than to leave Mm to sustain alone the unmitigated 
severity of the blow. She therefore asked him to accompany her 
on a walk by the sea-shore ; and he, though much surprised, in- 
stantiy compHed with her request. He gave her his arm, and once 
xnoxe, in silence, they descended together the comiche path down 
the oli^. Ihey reached the shore—yet still they were silent, for 



238 out Boujn) Asarm. 

Heiuy was in a sUte of tortaringr expeetation, and Lady Constance 
knew not how to speak. Suoh an anguish seised her heart at the 
thoneht of what she had to say, as ahnost paralysed her. At 
length with a trembling voice, 
" Henry," she said; ** you have been angry with me lately." 
" Have I not had reason, Constance ?" he exclaimed, vehemently; 
"have you not been omel--nnjiist I" 

" If you will only listen calmly I will try and explain " 

'* Hear me first, I implore you," interrupted Henry. " And oh ! 
forgive me for the impi^enoe ai^L unmanly temper I am conscious 
of having shown. But you are so changed, so cold, so heartless 

towards me, when formerly you were so affectionate, so . I 

have felt almost mad ! for you would not speak — ^you would not 
tell me why I should not love you. Constance, who can love you 
better than I do r— Oh ! let me speak," he added, for she had en- 
deavoured to interrupt hxn. " I know I am not rich; but I feel 
certain that Boland would do everything to make me happy ; and 
then— will you not be mine }" 

Lady Constance turned from him, incapable for the moment of 
speaking, for her very heart sickened. 

" Say at least," continued Henry, ** that I need not despair — 
that you are not axtgr^ with me !" 
"I am not angry with you, Henry," she repHed, as her tears 

flowed; "but I cannot " 

They heard voices at a little distance; and looking baek saw 
Lady Ashton and Florence walking towards them. 

"Come with me this way," said Henry, impatiently. "Con- 
stance, I must have your answer." 

" You have had it, Henry," she replied, sa^v. " I have told 
you that you must not love me, far I never can oe yours. But, I 
beseech of you restrain yoursdf; for the sake of all you love, do 
not let your mother see your feelings. — Oh ! I entreat of you, be 
calm when they come up !" And she looked at him imploringly; 
for she dreaded lest his vehemence should be observed. 

" I cannot wait for them," replied Henry, in gloomy agitation. 
" Will you not come with me ?" 

" I dare not ; your mother will think it so strange if we go 
when she is coming to join us. Henry, dear Henry ! will you not 
stay, and be tranquil ? Walk for a moment towards the sea, and 
then retom to us, and I will go and meet them. Pray— pray do !" 
And she dasped her hands in agony. 
Henry looked at her, and his oountenance softened. 
"I will do anything you wish," he sighed. And he walked 
slowly away; whue Lady Constance went to meet her sister and 
Lady Ashton. 

"I am glad to find you," said the latter. " It is such a refief 
to be without strangers again, and able to enjoy each other's 
society." 

" I am very glad the house is quiet again," said Lady Gon- 
stance ; " visitors, with whom one has not much in common, soon 
weary one." 
"We are all out early to day," observed Lady Ashton; "we 



Sm BOIJJn) ASBTOK. 289 

will sit heze a little wkile, and get Henry to read to us. I dan 
eay he has some book with htm ; he is like Roland in that." 

*' I had strolled down here for a little while," aaid Lady Con- 
stance, with some embarrassment, for it was most distressing to 
her to remain with Henry ; " but I thiok I must now oocniyy 
myself at home." 

" Oh ! not for this one monmu: ; it is so oharming to feel oneself 
so free again. Stay and enjoy this delightful air witii ns." 

Lady Constance oomplied, fearful of attracting attention if she 
persisted in a refusal. 

"WewiU sit down here," said Lady Ashton; "and Florenoe, 
go and ask Henry to come and read to us, if he has a book." 

Lady Florence went, and taking hold of Henry's reluctant arm, 
drew him back to where the others were sitting. There was a 
languor and dejection in his manner which terrified Letdy Oon* 
stance, who dreaded lest it should be obsetved. She was seated a 
little behind Lady Ashton, and she looked at him with a beseech- 
ing countenance. He was touched by her distress, az^ exerted 
himself to appear oheerful. 

''Will you read to us, Henry ^" asked his mother ; " haye you 
aboek?" 

** I have nothing but mv pocket Testament." 

*' Well, read us something out of that. I am sure when one 
looks on this ocean, which had so nearly taken you from us the 
other day, we cannot enough tkbk of God, or ULank Him suffi- 
ciently for His mercy. But who that sees it to day— its little 
sunny wayes chasing each other as in sport, would think that it 
could eyer be roused to the force and fury that we witnessed 
then!" 

"Like the human mind," said Henry, as his brow lowered; 
" calm till roused by the winds of passion, and then the storm is 
terrible !" 

He looked towards Constanoe, bat she had placed herself so that 
he could not see her countenance. 

" How soothinflT the plashing of the water sounds," said Lady 
Ashton, " as it rolls so gendy oyer on the beach !" 

''And yet," said Henry, "its bright smiling look, and soft 
wliisperinss, seem but like the blandishments of a murd^er, when 
we remember how many it 'has roughly cradled to their last long 
sleep.'" 

" l)oes it not rather seem like penitence ?" said Lady Ashton, 

*' Mourning with low regretful murmur, fi>r the deeds 
Its fury and its wrath so ruthlessly have done r* 

•' Did you eyer see any one lost, H^nry ?" asked Florence ; " it 
must be so dreadful." 

"It is dreadful," he replied; "though I never saw but one* 
Tliey say a field of battle is less trying to the feelings, than one 
solitary death ; and I suppose it is the same with the wide fields 
of the ocean ; for I am sure the destruction of a whole fleet could 
scarcely haye shocked me as that one thing did. It was a little 



240 8ZB BOLAJfO) AfiHTOlT. 

lad, a nice little fellow, who fell orerboard wKen reeiinff one of tlie 
topsails in a tremendons gale of wind. It was impossible to stop 
the ship, for we were running at eleven knots an honr ; and I 
believe 1 was going madly after him, without knowing what I did, 
had I not been held back by a brother officer, who knew I must 
inevitably have been lost too. But I saw his face a little 
wa3r off as he rose on a great Vave— and oh ! the expression 
of it !^ The remembrance is terrible even now. We had soon 
le£t him £Eur behind ; but for a length of time we knew where* 
abouts he was, by the flock of vile sea-birds which hovered about 
him." 

'* Horrible !" exclaimed Lady Ashton. 

"Yes; this life is full of miserv*" 

"Yet you, dear Henry, can Know 'of misery but the name;' 
excepting as your kind heart makes you feel for others,? said his 
mother. 

Henry was silent. Then, " Shall I read i" he said. And he 
drew forth his book. 

His mind was full of a strange mixture of tenderness and wav- 
ward anger towards Constance ; and he threw himself back on the 
shingle so as to be able to see her, as he said, 

" After all, life saved is sometimes only sunering prolonged !" 

Lady Constance, startled by his sudden action, looked towards 
him for a moment; but when she caught his eye, and saw the 
terrible expression of his countenance-— almost alarmed, she shook 
her head, and turned awav—her own emotion being almost uncon- 
trollable. She would ^aoly have risen and left them all, but she 
dared not stir ; and Henry, now feeling for her distress, opened 
his book, and read out of it some of the sublime chaxyters of the 
Bevelations. The subject, as he proceeded, took full possession of 
his mind, and raised it to the contemplation of the magniflcent, 
splendid, and eternal things of heaven. Earth, and its sorrows, 
or a moment faded from before his eyes, and the love of God 
seemed aU in aU to him; and when next he looked at Lady 
Constance, it was with a calm elevation of expression, far different 
from that which before had marred the character of his beantiiiil 
oountenance. They soon after rose, and giving his aim to Lady 
Ashton, he assisted her up the cliff*; and when they reached the 
house he retired immediately into his own room. 



SEE BOLAin) ASHTON, Sit 



CHAPTER XXXIV. 

^ niera are hidden bnt mairelloas inspirations through which the tempted 
Imt pore spirit reoeires strength to triumph over eyen that which ia dearest 
tott."— F.r 



** Will he not pity ?— He whose searching eye 
Beads all the secrets of thine agony ?— 
f Oh I pray to be foigiren 

Ihy fond idolatry— thy blind excess."—- Mrs. Hebkahs. 

** Help me to raise these yearnings fiom the dust. 
And fix on Thee, th* Undying One, my heart"— Mas. Hbmahs. 

Henby Ashton felt thorooglily miserable ; not only because bis 
hopes .seemed all dasbed to tne around, but because be was 
eonscious that bis conduct towards Lady Constance was not wbat 
it sbould be. He was sbocked wben be reflected on bis violence, 
contrasted witb ber gentleness, and forbearing patience ; and be 
felt bimself, indeed, utterly unwortby of ber Iotc. His soul was 
humbled before God; and earnestly did be implore strength to 
subdue bis bastv temper, and to bear bis great tnal. 

Instead of tbe narsb, indignant feeling be bad so often of late given 
waj to, be now felt full of devoted tenderness towards Lady Con- 
stance; and willingly would be liave endured any sorrow ratber 
than have seen ber suffer. He wrote on a slip of paper, '* Can you 
forgive me? and will you come out witb me again tms evening }'* 
and then, it being near tbe time of their early dinner, be went down 
into tbe orawing-room. Lady Constance was arranging some music ; 
and going up to ber be silently put tbe little paper mto ber band. 
8he read it, and wrote underneath bis words, "I do truly forgive, 
and will eo out with you." He was looking over her, and felt 
overjoyed as she traced these words ; but wben he saw ber add, 
*' but hope nothing," — ^his impatient indignation again returned ; 
and he was about to leave her in his former abrupt manner, wben 
cheeking bimself, he quietly tooh tbe pencil from her hand and 
■wrote, "Then may God have mercy on me." 

Dinner was announced, and they proceeded to the dining-room, 
where, in pursuance of bis kind desire to spare Lady Constance all 
uneasiness, he exerted bimself so much to be gay and pleasant, 
that bis spirits really were relievecL and at moments he lelt almost 
oheerfol. His mother remarldng the difference, said . 

" You are more like yourself to-day, Henry, than you have been 
sinoe your illness. I like to see that your spirits axe better wben 
we ore alone than whm there is company ; I always pity those who 
aeed excitement." 

"I require none," he answered; "I have too much already 
within myself, of one kind or another." 

After dinner, while they wereyet sitting round the table, a ser- 
Tant came in with a letter for Henry, saying that a man had just 
brought it over express. He opened it wben the servant had left 
the room, and having read it witn a quivering look and heightened 

& 



242 SIR SOLANS ASHTOX. 

colour, he threw it over to his mother, and coyered his face with 
his hands as she read it. 

" To-morrow, oh ! that is cruel !" she exdaimed. 

" To-morrow !" cried il^orence ; " yrh&t of to-morrow ? You are 
not going to-morrow, Henry? 'Oh! you cazmot go." And die 
threw herself on her knees by his side, and leaned her head against 
him, sobbing violently. 

He glanced for a moment at Lady Constance, who was sitting 
pale and tearless ; tiien bending over the Httle girl, he stroked her 
hair and caressed her, to hide the tears he was ashamed to show. 
At last, jSnding he could not repress his emotion, he started up, 
and gently remoTing her, said, 

'* Get you gone, you little witch ; why do you come and wile 
these great tears from a sailor's eyes }** And going to his mother, 
he sat aown bj her and leant his head on her shoulder. She em- 
braced him with a fall heart. 

"This is, indeed, short notiee,'.' she said. " What can be the 
cause of this sudden summons ?" 

" I do not know," he implied ; " you see it only says that ordras 
have been received for sailing without delay. I must be off to- 
night, I fear, but will speak to the man who mought the letter." 

^* Shall I send for him here ?" 

" No," he repHed, *' I wiU sto to him, when I am fit to be seen. 
But it won't do," he added, forcing a smile, "to show these 
woman's eyes to all the world. Let us go into the drawing-room, 
ftnd after a turn on the lawn I shall be more of a man again; but 
this is a cruel wrench." 

As he entered the room with his mother he turned to look ior 
Lady Constance ; but she had taken tibe opportunity of escaping to 
her own room. When there she sat down quite overpowered ; for 
her heart sunk within her. 

" Yet why," she thought, " should I grieve ? it is what I have 
been desiring. Absence ! how hx better than being together— yet 
80 divided !' 

I%e had, indeed, determined to go away, herself; but then ahe 
would have left Henry at home in quiet and safety. But for him 
to go-;-to enter again on his perilous duties, was terrible to her ! 
Yet still, after the first shock, she fdt it was best for him ; his 
mind would be occupied, and when far away from all the seenee 
which could recall his ill-fated affection, he would sooner be likely 
to overcome it. She again thought of writing to him^ and of giving^ 
him the letter at the &8t moment, as then all fear oi his betraying^ 
his emotion to his mother would be over ; but she dreaded for mm 
the effect of such a stroke coming on the pain of parting* ; and de-^ 
termined again, cost her what it mi^ht, tiiat she would speak to hka 
and try to soothe his lacerated feelmgs. She prayed eaxneatiy that 
strength and comfort might be imparted to them botli ; and be* 
ought that nothing might escape her whidi might serve te b^ny 
he state of her own heart 

She was yet on her knees when Lady Aahtom came to the door 
V ~, ^F ^ ^^^ ^^ ^^ ^>^ <^ lart "^"^^ with them befo» 
JleniT's departore. She started up onhearing henelf oalled; and 



ing,bi 
The 



SIB BOLAin) ASHTOlf; 243 

though she would infinitely have preferred staying at home till 
she could take the promised lonely walk with Henry, yet she could 
not refuse the invitation ; and in the confusion of tne moment was 
indeed glad to busy herself by putting on her bonnet, and makings 
other little preparations, so as to hide her agitation. 

Henry had spoken to the man who brought oyer his letter, and 
found that it would only be necessary for him to join his ship early 
on the morrow; therefore, he declared he would not go that evenr 

E, but would start very early the ensaing^omin^. 
"hey then all set off for the yillage, that Henry might take leave 
of Mrs. Montague, and of some of his poor neighbours there ; and 
they afterwards walked home by the shore. When they came to 
the little cove to the west in Idanaven Park, Lady Asnton pro* 
posed that they should sit and rest there a little, before she went in 
to make her linal preparationB for Henry's departure. The sun 
had just set behina the woods, and the full moon rose from the 
ocean. 

**£epeat me something," said Lady Ashton to Henry, who sat 
between her and Lady Constance; "sometiiing that I may re- 
member when you are gone." 

'* I will repeat, then, that beautiful entreaty to be 'thought of,^ 
which you like so much, and which is, indeed, suited but too well 
to this sad and lovely hour/' And he spoke in a low, and often 
broken voice, those exquisite lines : 

** Go where the water glideth gently eTer— 

Glideth through meadows that yet greenest be ; 
Go listen to our own beloved river. 
And think of me ! 

Wander through forests where the small flower Uyeih 

Its fairy gem beneath the giant tree ; 
Listen the dim brook pining as it playeth. 
And think of me ! 

Go when the sky is silver pale at even. 

And the wind moaneth on. the lonely tree ; 
Go forth beneath the solitary heaven* 
And think of me I 

And when the moon riseth as she were dreaming 

And treadeth with white feet the lulled sea, 
Go, silent as a star beneath her beamings 
And think of me! 

Tes ! think of me in Joy's most blessed hour. 

And when afSiction draweth tears firom thee ; 
In the world's orowd-r-and in thy lonely bower. 
Oh] think of me r 

He took his mother's hand as he finished: and Lady Ashton 

nsed his to her lips with a mother's painful love. He looked at 
y Constance ; her head was turned away, but the moonbeams 
flhone on the tears which fell abundantly on her handfl and dress, 
and he sadly felt, ** At least she loves me. 

B2 



244 sea BOLANB ASEIOIT. 

" I could linger bere with yon till midniglit, Henry/' said bis 
mother; "but Imnst go, — ^I have so much to do." 

" You need not all go," he answered ; " and I shall be of no use. 
Constance^ stay with me, and let us enjoy this scene a little 
longer." 

Sie remained by him. — He waited till the others were out of 
hearing, then tummg to her he said, 

" Now at tbis last moment, Constanoe, will you not bid me hope ^ 
Bo not be cold and heartless, when we must part to-night— never 
more, perhaps, to meet." 

He waited for her to speak ; but she was silent ; while in her 
bent brow and agitated oountenanqe he saw evidences of the 
deepest emotion, and most agonized distress. 

" You terrify me I" he exclaimed. " I entreat you for my sake — 
for our early love's sake, tell me why yon look so wretched?" 

" What can I say?" she replied in broken accents: " how can 
I tell you, that you must not think of me— must not love me, but 
— as— engaged to Boland." And her head simk upon her clasped 
Lands. 

Henry started to his feet, as if a scorpion had stung him— aacL 
xecoiled from her in horror. 

** Engaged to Boland !" he shrieked. Then in a low voice, and 
dowly , as if endeavouring to imderstand the meaning of the words, 
he repeated, '* engaged to Boland?" 

"Oh, yes!" murmured Lady Constanoe; "I am— have long 
been— engaged to him." 

He rushed from her. He walked up and down the beach in a 
state of distraction; his wild actions and frantic exclamations 
speaking the intensity of the anguish which tore Ids heart— his 
senses were bewildered imder this dreadful shock. Though Ladj 
Constance had forbidden him to hope, still he had hoped; but Una 
— ^this was worse than death! "Engaged to Boland!" Had it 
been to any other, it would have been less torturing, but Mb own 

brother! 

And then the thought of that brother rushed over him,— Hiat 
generous, devoted brother, to whom he had been looking with lull 
confidence to smooth his path to hanpiness ! His whole soul melted 
with agonizing remorse as he felt that he was the destroyer of that 
brother's happiness, for he knew that he was the one loved; and 
delightful as that conviction was, it brought with it pangs un- 
spetuLable. Then fury flashed over his mind as he thought of this 
tyrant claim standing between him and Constance ; and raising Ids^ 
arms a moment as if in supplication to heaven, he dashed himself 
on the ground. 

By degrees he became more calm; and rising, he sat for some 
time almost in a state of torpor. Lady Constance, from whom he 
still kept aloof, was even more severely tried than he was. She 
had not, indeed, the flrst force of the stunning blow to sustain; 
but she had to witness the expression of Henry's anguish, and to 
resist the strong temptation of saying what would have turned that 
anguish into ioy. Sir Koland's often-repeated entreaty that she 
would never let his claim interfere witn her happiness, rushed 



SIB BOLAWD ASHTON. 245 

aoross her mind, and at tunes she could scarcely control the impulse 
which promptea her to fly to Henry, and speak words of peace and 
happiness; but she could not so abuse the generosity ^ich had 
made her free ; and in agony of spirit she implored of God to direct 
her path aright, and to heal these tearing wounds. She f^cied 
her loye for Henry had been wholly unperceiyed by him, a.M she 
resolyedto conquer it; yet the sight of his misery distracted her, 
and unable to bear it any longer, she coyered her face with her 
hands and wept conyulsiyely. 

Henry arose at length, and walking slowly towards her, stood 
rigid by her side. He knew that she loyed hmi— he saw her grief 
— ^yet for her, at that moment, he felt no pity ; he looked upon her 
as the betrayer of both himself and his brother, and his soul was 
fliled with bitterness. 

" Why," he said, addressing her in a voice of stem coldness, 
•* was not this told me before ? Why was my happiness to be thus 
cruelly, thus wantonly destroyed ?" 

Lady Constance felt his injustiQe, and was terrified at his words 
and manner. With a trembling yoice she told him it had been Sir 
Eoland's wish that their engagement should not be known. 

** And was it his wish, too, that his brother's love should be per- 
mitted-— and then crushed?" 

" Oh ! Henry," said Lady Constance, distressed beyond endur- 
ance, " do not speak so. I take God, who knows my heart, to 
witness, that I never knew you loved me — ^never dreamed of your 
feelings towards me, till that day on the diff ; and surely I have 
not since encouraged them." 

He looked in her troubled, yet ingenuous countenance, and he felt 
her truth, and his own harshness. 

"No," he replied, in a faltering voice; "no, you have been 
kindly, kindly cruel. But you, Constance !— has it been no effort to 

you r 

" I am.bound, Henry," she replied, with dignity, " by every ti . 
to Roland." 

Henry's heart sunk within him ; he sighed bitterly. " Tell me,' 
lie said, " when this miserable engagement was formed !" 

Lady Constance gave him the outline of the case; ondhe then 
clearly saw that her heart had never had a part in it. This con- 
Tiction relieved him greatly as removing the painM impression 
which had at first rested on his mind-— that hers were fickle and 
light affections, easily won and as soon lost; but as his value for 
her love increased, so did the intense wish to claim it as his own» 
increase also. He thought if he could but once hear her confess 
that it was his— that he could go and live on that remembrance fbr 
ever; but he saw that she strove to hide her feelings, — ^thatshe 
seemed to think they were unperceiyed by him ; and respectuur 
her the more for the hieh principle which guided her, he restrained 
his earnest desire ; ana determmed, with an effort worthy of tma 
love, not to let her see that he had read her heart. 

" You are sure," said he, at length, " that Roland loves you?" 
*• Yes," she replied; her heart torn with the remembrance of 
hifl devotion. 



246 HIE EOLAin) ASHTOIT. 

** But can lie love yon as I do ? Im^Jssible !" 

** He does;;-oli ! yes— lie does," cried Lady Constance, with 
terrible emotion. 

** Dreadful ! — dreadful ! — every way miserable !" exclaimed 
Henay. And as he reflected that ne had stolen from Sir Roland 
the treasure of Constance'*s love, he ejaculated with heartfelt 
anguish, and deepest affection, " My brother— my brother !" while 
burst after burst of grief broke from his labouring breast. 

When he grew calmer, Lady Constance rose, and with foreed 
calmness said, " And now, Henry, we must part— and you " 

" Not yet, oh ! not yet," he cried. " Think, Constance— it is a 
parting for ever ! Never can I see you again, never— never !" 

" Try, dear Henry," she said, terribly shaken, " try to look to 
God for comfort, and then in time '* 

" Oh, never !" he said, despairingly, " never ! — ^No ! I am an exQe 
from my home, an outcast — a heart-broken, miserable wretch ! 
You— ^loVt to me ! — ^Roland ! Oh ! my Qt)d ! my God, have mercy ! 
— he to whom I was going with hopeful heart— ^now— worse than a 
stranger ! And to see him no more ! the dearest, the noblest, the 
best ! — Oh !" he exclaimed, again throwing himself on the stones, 
" I cannot live through this— this agony is insupportable ! Prav 
for me, pray for me, Constance, that my heart may break, and life 
cease at once." 

The strt^gle in Lady Constance's mind was dreadful as she 
looked on Henry as he lay before her in his extreme agony. She 
would have given worlds to have been able to say that which would 
have raised nim to life and h9pe, and again she thought of Sir 
Roland's entreaty that she would consider herself as perfectly free 
—that she would for^t her engagement to him, should it ever 
interfere with her wishes. For a moment her heart throbb^ 
'wildly in indecision; and tiie fatal words had almost passed her 
lips, which would have made her guilty and miserable for ever. 
But Ihere was u merdfal restraining power over her; and though 
she could frame no prayer, yet her heart was drawn to C^ and 
she continued mentally to exclaim, " My Father ! my Father ! my 
Father !"— till lie mighty force of the temptation was subdneo, 
and stiength and clear thought were again restored. Then were 
rapidly brought to her mind her solemn and often-renewed vow&— 
the love so de^ep, so disinterested, so long cherished, of him whose 
nobleness had set her free— fmd with renewed power she fought 
and conquered. 

" Henry," she said, in gentle yet firm accents, " you must not 
give way to these feeling^ and I — ^must not again witness them. 
In time, do not doubt it, Gfod will give you comfort if yon seek it 
from Him ; but now I must leave yon— I cannot tstaj*' 

Henry continued lying on the ground as if wholly insensible to 
her words, till the ringing sound of the pebbles beneath her retreats 
ing steps roused him. He sprung up, exclaiming,— 

^' Constance, yon cannot leave me thus. Oh ! do not go from. 
me when I am so wretched. I would not — I will not offend joa ; 
l^ut still at least say Farewell !— tell me you forgive me — ^all my 



ea B0LA2n> ashtok. 247 

^iraywwdneiss— my intemperaaoe— ^ my folly and w">4T)fiffff Say 
Farewell." 

" Farewell, Henry, and may our God bless you !" 

She turned, and took the homeward path alone. He longed to 
follow her, to support her steps once more along ike way they had 
so often trod together ; but a feeling of deep respect checked hiny, 
and he remained immovable, gazing on her retreating form, till it 
was wholly lost to sight. 

'* Now I am indeed alone," he thouffht. '* Home ! blessed home ! 
is lost to me for ever. All gone !— My mother ! from you too I 
must part !— Oh, that I could but feel resigned ! that I could but 
lift my heart to Gh)d. But such a blight ! so sudden, so terrible — 
and on everything. My very life seems gone. But di ! my God," 
he exdaimea, raising his eyes to heaven, '* Thou wilt have mercy, 
though I cannot aak Thee as I should." 

He lingered yet for some time on the beach, for he could not 
endure the thought of returning home. How could he again see 
Lady Constance i How meet—now part with her ? 

At length the great dock struck ten : and fearful that his mother 
might remark ms prolonged absence, he slowly took the road 
towards the house. The mo<m, now high up in the skies, was 
bathing everything in her silver light, as he turned to gaze on the 
well-known scene; and mentally he took leave of every endeared 
object. 

"Never," he ezdaamed, " will these wear^ feet tread this dear 
path again ; never more shall I dare, even in heart, to visit Ihis 
h>ved^Uboe ! The sea must henceforth be my only home— for I am 
severed from every tie. Oh ! that I dared lay my head upon my 
mother's breast, and tell her of my grief !— But I must not narrow 
her dear heart with my wretchedness. Oh ! GK)d, lead me to rest 
an Thee !" 

WixBD. he entered the house, he found Lady Ashton in the hall ; 
^nA hurriedly saying that he had staid out later than he intended, 
and had stiU some little things to arrange, he retired to his room. 
When there, he locked the door ; and opening his desk, he proceeded 
to take from it all the many little things which he had treasured im 
for Lady Gcmstanoe's sake. There was a little sketch of her, which 
he had taken but a few weeks before— the purse which she had 
worked for him— a seal— a pencil-case ;— and other little tokens of 
remembrance which she had given him from time to time. All 
must be parted with— he dared not take with him one thing that 
had come from her. But oh ! what an agony it was to put each 
cherished trifle aside, and feel it must be his no longer ! Each 
fresh thing, in succession, seemed to tear away a portion of his 
existence ; and when at last he came to the most valued of all— ^the 
golden lock of haiiv-his powers of endurance seemed completely to 

five way, and his head sunk upon the table amidst outburstings of 
eart-broken anguiidi. B.ecovering a httlc; he looked up, and felt 
that it must be done— that this too must be put away from him ; 
and with a feeling of despair he opened the case, where the bright? 
lock had so long hun, m^Tigl*^ with the scarcdy less beautiful hair 
of his mother and of Imj Florence, and contrasting well with a 



248 6IB B0LA3n> AflHTOlT. 

jet-l>lack enrl from Sir Boland*8 forehead, wMcli lay immediatelj 
-within it. He took it np to separate it from the rest, and as ite 
slender lensih unfolded before him, how well did he remember the 
day— juirt before he went last to sea— when Lady Constance had 
let him choose it from among her girlish curls, ana his mother had 
cut it off and arranged it with the others — cherished remembrances 
all, of those so dear to him ! whose thought had then, brought witJi 
it nought but neace and joy. He coiled it again in his hand, and 
felt as if it could not be given up ! ^ 

Glancing, however, at the vacant space it had left in the case, he 
felt a gloomy satisfaction at having separated it from Sir Roland's : 
and in a bitter mood he cast away his brother's also, as bringing 
with it now none but hatefol thoughts ; but a sense of proud, dis- 
dainfol indignation succeeding, he again took it up, and replacing it 
within the folds of Lady Constance's pale-gold tr^ he determined 
to send them both, so united, to her. Hatred and wrath, however, 
were such strange ^ests within his heart that they could not long 
maintain a place there ; and gradually his breast began to heave 
with mingled emotions of tenderness and brotherly love; and 
pressing both the beloved locks he held in his hand together to his 
lips, he rested his head again upon the table as gentler tears flowed 
forth. They remained undriea upon his cheek, for nature was ex- 
hausted — and he slept I 

After some hours of imeasy rest, he was awakened by the ser- 
vant coming to tell him that the carria^ would soon be round. 
He started ; and f(Slt bewildered at finding himself up, and his 
things strewed all around him ; and at first he could not recollect 
what had happened. But then the sad reality retained to his 
mind, and he nad again to take up the load of misery, whidi he 
had forgotten for a while. He exerted himself however to shake 
it off; and having added the lock of Lady Constance's hair to his 
other treasured tokens of her affection, he folded them all together, 
and merely writing within, "Pray for me," he sealed the packet^ 
and left it directed to her. Then, with repentant love, he put his 
brother's curl back into its ctiie, and locked it in his desk ; and pro* 
ceeding to change his dress, he descended to the breakfiE^roain» 
where he found Ids mother and Lady Florence waiting for him. 



CHAPTER XXXV, 

** I bid adieu 
To every recollection whicb might toaoli 
My doty to him. I shall never muse 
On childhood's pLaeures, innocent no mo 
Forme • • » • 

• • ♦ nor repeat 

One name — never I — I am very weak, 
I did not know how weak/'— Tax.toubd. 

^ LiBY AsHTON h&d been too much occupied on the previous even- 
ing to remark the paUor and agitation in Lady Constance's ooun- 



SEBL £(MULin> ASHTOK* 249 

tenaace wlien she returned home ; and sayingr she was tired, the 
latter soon vent to her own room. She was more tranquil than she 
had been for a length of time ; for the dreaded hour was over, and she 
had been enabled to act as she felt dutv required. Tet the remem* ^ 
brance of Henry's agony was terrible to her ; and al^orbed in 
miserable thoughts, she let the hours pass unheeded by, tiU the sua 
rising warned her that the time of his departure was near. She 
had not thought of rest ; for the trying scenes she had gone through 
had left her too feverish and excited for sleep. But now she dr^ed 
lest a summons might come for. her to go and take a last leave of 
Henry ; for she knew that her sister and Ladv Ashton purposed 
beiufir wp to see him, and they might naturally suppose that she 
would wish to do the same. 

Terribly indeed did her heart yearn to see him once again — and 
she would have given worlds to have watched even the vessel which 
was soon to nut leagues of ocean- waste between them, till its lessen- 
ing sails had disappeared from the horizon ; but she dared not meet 
him. Fearful, however, lest her resolution might fail, she hastily 
threw off her dress, and laid down on her bed; and had scarcely 
taken this preeaution, e'er Lady Florence's light stenwas heard at 
the door, and her* young &ce looked in, bright and glowing as the 
morning, though a tear was on her cheek. She approached her 
sister's bed and told her that Henry was down, and that Lady 
Ashton had sent her to say he would soon be gone. 

" I cannot go down," said Lady Constance, " I do not feel well ; 
you must wish him good-bye for me." And dhe turned her &oe 
to the pillow to hide her tears. 

Lady Florence returned to the breakfast-room ; and Henry was 
rdde ved by knowing that he should not have the struggle of a part- 
ing before witnesses, though his heart sunk at finding that he should 
no more see her whom he felt he was leaving for ever. 

The entrance door was on the north side of the house, and there* 
fore at a distance from Lady Constance's room, which faced the 
sea ; but in the stillness of the morning, when nothing was astir 
but the wakeful birds, the sound of the carriage was distinctly 
heard ; and when it drove up to the door, and the rushing of the 
wheels reached Lady Constance's ear, the desire of seeing Henry 
once more was so irresistible, that springing from her bed, and 
hastily throwing a cloak around her, she opened the door, and ran 
down a passage at the end of which was a window looking out on 
tiie entrance. 

There was the carriage which was to convey him away; and 
footsteps moved to and fro beneath in the hall— and there were all 
the busy sounds— the " dreadful notes of preparation ;" and then 
— his voice was heard. That loved sound in a moment recalled 
Lady Constance to a sense of her dul^. Though it was impossible 
she could be seen by any one inside tne house, yet if Henry looked 
up as he got into the carriage, or lookeb back— as he was sure to do 
— ^when driving away, she would then de distinctly visible to him ; 
and her secret stand there would speak more of encouragement to 
his love, than any open appearance down-stairs,amongst Ihe others,, 
would have done> and might indeed too clearly mark the natoze of 



^M SIB XO^AJfD A8HT0H. 

the feetinpfl yrbxk made her so urgently crave for vet one m(»o look. 
She felt that this was wrong, and she]mew that she had no right to 
make even this small conoessicm to her own heart ; and flying hadL 
^ witibi greater speed than she had come, she happily reached her own 
apartment imohserved. She felt strengthened h^ this self-denial: 
and though when she heard the carriage drive oft, her heart seemea 
to die witiiin her, yet her conscienoe was at ease, and she was ahle 
wholly to give herself up to the will and guidance of Gk>d. She 
threw herself again upimher hed, and wozn-out both in body and 
mind, she fell asleep, and remained in that happy state of forget- 
fulness, till the day was far advanced. 

The evening which followed was a mekneholy one to all the 
party ; and the beauty of the weather, and the glorious moon, 
instead of being enjoyed by than as usoal, seemed only to add to 
their depression. Lady Constance proposed returning nome eaxly 
irom their walk, and strove to occupy herself so as to distract 
her thoughts from the subieet which yet would ever present itself 
to her mind. The pang of parting was too recent for Ladv Ashton 
to bear to talk of it, and Lady Constance was thanknd to be 
«pared the burden of converaaiion ; and ihey therefore both took 
up their books. 

But Morence-*vhose re^t for her late playfellow and com- 
panion, though perfectly sincere, was by no means the de^ 
feeling that oppressed her two comi^anioas — rather enjoyed 
^nl^1l^gillg her sorrows by feeding Ihem with melancholy thoughts ; 
(as many young and unwise spirits love to do;) and sitting aown 
at the pianoforte, she began singing that saddest song, the 
^* Treasnres of the Deep/' fier voice was rich and beautiful, and 
her pswers in the ddi^tfol art of musio were, as has been said, 
far beyond her years. 

Constance kmged itom the first to stop her, but a conscious 
feding restrained her from d(»ag so; and Ladj Ashton, who 
never liked to inJtoilwe with the pleasures of o^ers, bore the 
harrowing sounds in ddence, though they were the last she would 
willingly have listened to at timt moment Both of them sat 
tranqml even during those sad and beautiM lines— 

** But BUHe— thy bUlowB and thy depfha bave more I 
High hearts and hraye^ are gathered to thy hreast < 
They hear not now the booming waters roar, 
The battle-thunders cannot break their rest;" 

but at the next verse it seemed as if Lady Censtaale's nature 
could sustain no more, ^le was never one whose emotions oooUl 
readily express themselves m tears; but the <|uiveiing of ber 
countenance, and her sob-like breathings became so uBOontrallahle 
as her sister, continuing to sing, came to the words — 

** Daark xoU thy tides o'er nanhood's noble head ;^ 

.that fearful she must be betraying her intolerable sufierin^ she 
instinctively looked up to see if she were observed. But Xady 
jlshton's affectionate heart was at that moment wholly absorbed 



SIB SOUJTB ASHTOF. StSl 

in its own regretfol feelings ; and she was stealtibily wiping away 
the quiet tears of love and sorrow which had flowed down her 
cheek. At sight of her emotion, Lady Constance's endurance 
completely gaVe way, and, in an agitated yoice, she called to her 
sister — 

" Oh ! Florence, do not sing that song." 

** Dear Constance," said Lady Ashton, turning her tearful eyes 
towards the poor girl, and holcGng out her hand, " yon are ever 
so thoughtful!" 

Constance kissed the kind hand which was pressed in hers ; and 
completelj overccnne, sunk upon her la&e& at Ladv Ashton's side, 
and Duryingher face in her lap, hurst into an aJinost hysterical 
flood of tears. Lady Ashton hent over with the fondest adSection, 
saying, 

''Do not, dear child, do not grieve yourself, or mind me; he 
will soon i)erhaps return, and I ought not to giye way; but he is 
eo dear — so very dear !" 

Constance knew that but too well ; and she longed to nour forth all 
her feelings to Lady Ashton ; and not to be forced to Keep cdlence» 
while that kind mend attributed to sympathy alone in her 
sorrows, the tears and sighs of anguish wnic£ burst fortli chiefly 
for her own. 

Poor Florence was in consternation at the efibcts of her song, 
and added her tears to those of the others, as she stood with her 
arm round Lady Ashton's neck; till the latter smilinjrly said, 
" We are really all very silly; we must not let such trifles over- 
set us." 

'' Trifles I" thought Constanee. 

She was stLLl further tried when, on going to her room that 
' ht, she found lyinsf on her table, the packet which Henry had 
" ^ ^ which r " ' ^ " * " " ^ ' ' 



left for her ; and which the servants, havmg but just found, had 
placed there. Recognising his writing, ms opened it with a 
trembling hand, and how was she overcome at its contents ! Not 
aE the most agonized expressions of grief could have touched her 
as did those mute evidences of his uncomplaining misezy— of the 
eomplete separation which had taken place between them, and 
which must thenceforth for ever exist. She knew what it must 
have cost him even to let his eye rest upon the little tokens which 
lay before her, fraught as they were with such sweet, yet bitter 
xeoollectlons ; but what must have been the struggle to part with 
-^em — ^to cast away all that could link his memory with the 
iiappiness now gone for ever ! She wept for hours— she could not 
Teslrain her teus, Perpetuall^r did Henry's ima^ appear before 
her ; first as the bright, joy-pn^vinff creature which ne had ever 
bitherto been ; then as the nuseralue wanderer he now was from 
his home. And all for her ! She was the unhappy cause of all 
his misery— herself most miserable ! At length her eye caught 
the words which he had written within the cover of his packet, 
and which she had not observed before : — " Pray for me. ' She 
instantly sunk upon her knees, though fresh tears burst forth, and 
earnestly did she pray for him, and for herself. Sks rose calmed and 
strengthened, and then went to seek the rest she so much needed. 



252 8IB BOLAjn> ASHTOir. 

The next momingr ahe arose vriih. an animated desire to do Iter 
duty in every way. She determined that the example which 
Henry had set her, should not be lost, but that she would also put 
away from her idl that might recall softening impressions, or lead 
her thoughts to dwell on tiiat, from which sne ought so carefully 
to withdraw them. She could not indeed, as he had done, cast 
away all that might remind her of her unfortunate love, for the 
whole atmosphere was filled with his remembrance; but she 
determined on the more difficult task of denying him a place in 
her memory ; and strengthened by renewed supplications at the 
tiurone of grace, she went down fall of the wise and pious resolu- 
tions which had been ^yen her from aboye. 

Mrs. Montague's society proved a great resource to her just at 
that time, for she felt a strong rega^ for her, and really loved 
the little child ; but even there the name she most wished to avoid, 
ever sounded in her ears ; for Mrs. Montague, naturally grateful 
for what Henry Ashton had done for her, was continually speaking 
of him. The two friends, however, often conversed on other, 
higher subjects ; and though Lady Constance was very humble in 
her estimate of her own powers, yet she was encouraged to believe 
that her words were not entirehr imblest. Lady Ashton's unre- 
mitting kindness towards Mrs. Montague in endeavouring to lead 
her to "the Holy Spirit— the Comforter," seemed after a time, 
by the aid of Almighty power, gradually to melt the seal from 
her heart, and open it to receive the joyful intelligence, that there 
was mercy and pardon for her, through the blood of Christ, as for 
all who would accept it; and as this conviction began to enter 
her mind, she seemed to gain a new existence. Joy and love 
sprung up out of the former darkness; and in the transporting 
hope that the gates of Heaven were indeed open to receive her» 
she seemed for a time to lose all sense of earthly sorrow. When 
she was in this happy state of mind, it was a great comfort to 
Lady Constance to be with her; and many a time did she reproach 
herself for her own unhappiness, when she saw Mrs. Montague's 
oheerfol resignation to the many sorrows of her lot ; and her taitli 
too was often invigorated and refreshed by the conversation of 
one to whom the pure truth of Ood was so new and so delightfdL 

As the cause which had made her wish to leave Llanaven was 
now removed, she was very anxious to give up her engagement 
with Mrs. Mordaunt; but Lady Ashton would On no account allow 
of her doing so ; for she thought that she had enjoyed the idea of 
it, and that she now only wished to relinquish it on her aooonnt. 
It was determined, therefore, that she should go the ensuing week» 
and, after staying a few days with Mrs. Mordaunt in London* 
proceed with her to the Highlands ; and Lady Ashton decided cm 
going up with her herself, wishing to see her safe in her cousin's 
charge. 

Lady Constance had seen but little society beyond that wlii<& 
she had had at her father's, or in Lady Ashton's house ; and she 
would have shrunk from the idea of going thus among strangers^ 
had not the harassed state of her mind made her feel as if *Nany 



filB BOLANB ASHTOir. 25S 

ohange must better her conditioxi." She longed to be taken awav 
£rom ner own thoughts ; and to be forced into conversation whioh 
had no reference to the object whose remembrance she wished so 
much to banish. She indeed most conscientiously fought against 
the indulgence of her feelings, at all times; but everything at 
home tended to encourage them. She had not only herself, but 
every one else to struggle against, for it was so natural to talk of 
Henry ! She never intentionally suffered herself to be unemployed ; 
yet often would the open page remain unturned for ages, or the 
needle rest idle in her hand, while her thoughts were following 
one solitary vessel tossing about on the stormy sea. She wo^a 
rouse herself when she found her mind thus wandering, and renew 
her efforts to fix her attention on what was before her ; and by 
degrees she began to obtain some command over her fancy ana 
iTdCollectio^. 

Never from the very first had she permitted herself to dwell on 
Henry's name— excepting in prayer ; but she would sometimes be 
for hours supplicating God for him ; and the faint light of early 
dawn would often creep into her chamber, while she was yet on 
her knees. She was young, and had still much to learn of the 
deceitfulness of her own heart, and of the wil^ strength of her 
£reat spiritual enemy. We may be, perhaps, in a general way, 
' not ignorant of his devices," as St. Paul expresses it ; but the 
last moment of our lives ydll probably be the first which shall free 
us from his attacks, or dehver us from his delusions. Lady 
Constance soon found that this seemingly pious exercise, was only 
a snare to bind her to that which she should strive to for^t ; and 
unutterably bitter was the moment when she felt that this indul- 
gence, too, must be resigned. She continued, indeed, in heartfelt 
terms to commend him she loved to his heavenly Father; but 
from that time she did so in brief words ; nor ever sufiered his 
cheridied name to linger on her lips. 

When the day came for her departure from home, her spirits 
drooped anew. She had never before been separated from her 
sister for even a day ; and she felt as if driven away from all she 
loved. At parting, she threw her anus round the child ; and all 
the sorrow of her heart seemed to burst forth in the continued 
:aoods of tears which she shed. The little girl had gathered for 
lier a nosegay of the sweetest flowers in the garden ; but she 
"urould not take a bud or leaf away with her from lianaven ; for 
all there breathed ot him whom she was determined to forget. 
Not liking, however, to pain her sister by refusing her little 
prei^nt, she took it ; but before she had got manjr nules on her 

1'oumey she threw it away. She held it long, it is true, in her 
Land on the carriage window before she could resolve to give it 
^p, for trifles are at times so precious ! but she did let it drop at 
last, and then her heart was lightened. 



254 SiR BOLAITD jifiHTOK. 

CHAPTER XXXVI. 

'* Why, what a motley thing is this same life t 
Laoghter and sij^ ooramingling ! Scarcely ends 
The smile, hnt tear-drops stray adown the cheek 
From griefs Aill anguish pressed. — Uneqnal war ! 
The smile may gleam apon the Up, yet bring 
No message ftom the heart; — ^bot who that weeps. 
Knows not the bitter foimt from whence these waters flow 7*^~MS. 

Wheit the trayellers arriyed in London, they dtove directly to 
Mrs. Mordaunt's ; and Lady Afihton, having oonsigned her 
charge sa&ly to that lady's care, returned herself the next day into 
Cornwall. 

If Lady Constance liad heen under the influence of a £Edry'i 
wand, she could scarcely have undergone a greater change tluui 
fiihe experienced in going ^m Lady Ashton's at Llanaven, to Mrs. 
Mordaunt's in Lower Qrosvenor-street. The house was large and 
liandsomely *fumish€d, and Mrs. Mordaunt herself was a clever 
and lady-like person, and lived in the high society in whioh she 
had been bom. But there was an air of refinement about every- 
thing at Uanav^L which Lady Constance looked for in vain inner 
new abode. Even in Henrv Ashton's exuberant spirits, there was 
never the sli^test approach to anything but what was gentleman- 
like ; and Sir^land s manners as well as his mother's were particu- 
larly pleasing and delightful. But at Mrs. Mordaunt's there was 
frequently a something in the conversation which seemed to require 
repressing, lest it should verge on what was disagreeable, so that the 
r^y refined and Chiistian mind felt no repose ; whilst a word on the 
subject of reli^on was never dreamed of. It was, perhaps, the air of 
roirituality diffused over everything at Llanaven, which made 
tne society there so peculiarly delightrul; for though its iumatefl by 
no means thought it necessary to force religious observations into 
all their social mtercourse, yet amongst themselvea they felt that 
such topics, when occurring naturally, were ever welcome ; and 
f aUiujg in with the accustomed tenor of their mindi, seemed never 
out of place. Indeed the pure invigorating sea-oreeze does not 
differ more from the muiky atmosph^ of the great Emporium of 
the world, than did this nealthy tone of feeling from that of the 
society into which Lady Constance was now thrown ; and, spite of 
all her unhappiness at Llanaven, she would often gladlv have 
returned to the seclusion and quiet of that dear, deli^tfnl place. 
That was, however, out of the question now ; and amidst* her 
many unpleasant feelings she was forced to acknowledge that the 
change really had a good effect upon her spirits. 

Only two of Mrs. Mordaunt's sons were at home at that time : 
Bobert, the eldest, and the youngest— Augustus. The other- 
Philip — ^who was evidently the mother's favourite, was just then 
absent ; but was to join them, it was said, in Scotland. He waft 
in the law, and by no means one of those who are said " to follow 
that profession without overtaking it ;" for he was very clever, and 
was getting on exceedingly welL The eldest son, however, had 



SIB SOLAS!) ASHTOK* 255 

attained erem a greater deeree of exoellenee than bk brother in 
his particular profession, wnieh 'was that of perfect idleness ; "vrhile 
ijbe yottnffest, a youth of most moderate abilities, -was in one of tiie 
pnblic omoes. 

Mrs. Mordatoit pursued tiie ordinaay routine of a London life ; 
and though it was late in the season, there were still dinner-partie& 
going on, while a few lingering balls and ooneerts serred oooa- 
fdonadly to diversify the soene. 

A short time after Lady G<mstanoe's amval in town, there was^ 
a large dinner-party in Grosyenor-street ; but all there were 
strangers to her, except Mrs. Mordaunt and her two sons. At 
dinner she found herself between Augustus Mordaunt and another 
young man whose name she did not £iow, but who had evidently 
determined to place himself next to her, and who, as soon as 
they were seated, without the slightest pre&oe or introdnotion,. 



^'You are quite wdl I hope, Lady Constanee, and eigoy your 
Tisit to London?" 

She was rather surprised at this abrupt and familiar oommenoe- 
ment of aoquaintanoe, and answered his inquiries with cold 
civility. He then proceeded in the same tone to ask after Sir 
Boland Ashton and the other members of that fiunily, speaking of 
them as if he had liv^ all his life in their societj^ . Lady Con- 
stance looked at him with astonishment, and asked if he were well 
acquainted witili them. 

" Not particularly," he replied; *' I once saw a man's back half 
way down Grafton street, and I was told it was Sir Roland 
Ashton ; and I think, yes I am sure, that a few montJis ago I read 
the name of Henry Wuliam Ashton as proBQU)ted to the rank of 
lieutenant in her Majesty's navy. That is- all the personaL ac<^ 
quaintance I have with them." 

Lady Constance was alarmed ; she supposed of course that her 
i&eighbour was mad, and die sat with &ar and trepidation bv his 
side. She endeavoured to give her attention to the low-toned obser- 
rations of her other companion, but that did not improve the 
state of things at all : for- the stranger seemed seized witn the rage 
of persecution towards the unhappy Augustus^ though lie appeared 
to be as perfect a stranger to him as he was to Sir Boland. AH 
his timid insinuations were oau^rht up and repeated in a loud tone ; 
and an inquisitorial examination entered into, as to the motive 
and whole oearing of what he said, even if he only observed that,. 
'•August was often a very hot month." The unhappy youth 
suffered dreadfully under tms process, being evidently m extreme 
terror of his tormentor; and ne at length took refuge in total' 
silence, his face having become purple from the continual coatings 
of colour which had overspread it during his many confusions. 

Lady Constance was exceedingly embarrassed ; and longed for 
i^ moment of retiring to arrive. But the crowning stroke to her 
dismay was put at last by the stranger's asking her m a loud tone, 
** How she liked the Mordaunt family }" adding, " they are gene- 
rally considered, I believe, a very odd set." 

Lady Constance gazed at hbn now in utter consteniatian ; but' 



256 8Ut BOLAin) ASHTOir. 

gaddenly^ a onrioualy sappressed smile lorkinff in the oomer of tiie 
sapposed maniao's mouth, caused a new Unit to flash upon her, 
and her own lip curling in sympathy, she replied, " that she liked 
them all very much, excepting one. 

"And that is the youngest of course I I have heurd he ia a 
very " 

The unfortunate Augustus coloured deeper than ever, and seemed 
readjr to sink into the earth ; but his dismay changed into an ex- 
pression of extreme, and childish delight* when liady Constance 
repUed, 

^* No, not the youngest/ 

"The eldest thenT 

"No— the second.". 

*' Well now YOU really are a cousin worth havinff! — one after 
my own heart ! exdaimed Philip Mordaunt (for such the lunatic 
proyed to be), his quick black eye shining with delijght. *' En- 
chanting 1 after passing eight-and-twenty years upon tins dull earth, 
* to meet at last with a kindred spirit^ one who can discoyer one's 
deyices. Lad^ Constance, how is it possible that two souls, oast 
io evidently in the same mould, should not have been drawn 
together b;^ strong attraction long ere this }" 
/''It is just possible that there may be some antagonistio prin- 
ciple which has counteracted the force of the attraction," answered 
Lady Constance, with somewhat of gravity tempering her smile: 
for thoug:h all fears of his sanity had ceased, she did not yet feel 
quite satisfied at her cousin's manner. 

" Oh ! ay !" he replied, pretendinff to muse deeply ; "like the 
oontracting and exi>anding power of the metal in the pendulum, 
keeping it always in ibS proper place. Well, it may be sol" 
Then tuming round with a really pleasing smile, he added in a 
lower voice, 

" But my fair cousin need not contract her Idndlv good-natore 
for fear of my presumption expanding too much ; I shall ever keep 
jny proper place as respcts her, I trust." 

Xady Constance snmed, and inquired if the mode of introduction 
lie had used towards her was that which he usually adopted in sooh 
oases. He answered, 

"No, but that he knew he was not expected, having been absent on 
business, which it was supposed would have detained Him much longer 
than it did ; and the fancy having seized him of preserving a brilliant 
incognito, he had threatened Augustus with extincUon if he re- 
vealed his secret." He then asked her how she had found him out 

"I perceived by your ill-suppressed mirth," said Lady Constance, 
*'that there was some mystery ; and catching a likeness to year 
mother, I felt sure you were— you." 

Philip Mordaunt then entered on many amusing subjects of con* 
Tersation, and made himself so agreeable that Lady Constance grew 
qmte at her ease with him ; and now instead of wishing for it» waa 
rather sorry wijen the signal for retiring was given. 

^^en Mrs. Mordaunt had been a few minutes in the drawinv- 
»>om, she went up to Lady Constance, and said she hoped Philip 



flIB "BGtkKD ASHTOir. 267 

had made Mmself very agreeable. Constance in reply informed > 
her of his proceedings ; at which she was much amnsea, and said it 
was exactly likehim, for he delighted in distracting and mystify- 
ing people ; but that he was, nevertheless, a dear, good-natnred, 
clever creature. 

As they were talking together a singalarly lovely person came np 
to them ; and in the pleasantest manner possible oegged of Mrs. 
Mordannt to introduce ner to Lady Constance, as she said she be- 
lieved they had a mutual Mend, of whom it would give her much 
pleasure to hear some news. Mrs. Mordaunt performed the requisite 
ceremony ; and then leaving them, went to devote her attentions to 
her ot^er guests. 

The moment Lady Constance had heard her new acquaintance 
named as Lady Stanmore, she recollected Sir Roland's having often 
mentioned her with great interest : and she felt sure that he was the 
mutual friend who had been alluded to. The thought of him, and the 
dread of what might be said, made her feel ready to sink ; but as 
she was one who possessed par excellence the painful but beautiful 
habit of blushing, her heightened colour passed very well for the 
little embarrassment of introduction. Lady Stanmore instantly 
began on the dreaded subject, and spoke of Sir Roland in terms 
of such excessive praise, that Lady Constance's mind was Med 
with a painful mixture of gratification, remorse, and pride. The 
conversation was most trying to her ; and yet after the hrst minute 
she felt it a jo^, in such a land of strangers, to speak of any mem- 
ber of the fanuly she loved so much ; and she listened with delight 
to the high character given of Sir Roland. 

Lady Stanmore said that he was admired and esteemed by every 
one ; and that there were many she believed, who would gladly have 
had nearer ties than those of mere acquaintance with him ; but that 
he was a perfect disciptle of Plato's ; and seemed to bear a charmed 
life about him ; walking unscathed through all the " dread ar- 
tillery" which was directed against him. She then adverted to 
his "peculiar opinions," as she caUed them ; and playfully, though 
not without some emotion, spoke of what she caUed his attempt 
** to convert her." " And I am angry with myself," she added, 
" for not being angry with him for it ; for it has often made me very 
imoomfortable. ' * 

"Roland's ouinions if rightly received could not create discom- 
fort, I should think, in any heart," said Lady Constance. 

*' Then, I suppose, you would insinuate that I am uncomfortable . 
because I have not rightly received them !" 

Lady Constance smiled. 

•• Then are you one of the advocates of those dreadful opinions ?" 

*' I am an advocate of the opinions Roland holds ; but I do not 
find them dreadful." 

" Ah ! I see you have held, one the right side, and the other the 
left, of the same book ; and learnt together what he would call * its 
lutprar lessons.' '* 

^*They are happv lessons," said Lady Constance. "The only 
happy ones," she added abstractedly. 

'^That is a bold word," observed Lady Stanmore ; "and a sad 

s 



om too, ftomfOBBm ywwt I he^t^.moM^ Hiai .flk TWiftfat 
fllndy of tiie.phy«0opiffi»<iMft Hfyfc so^¥evr':^o£»iHid» Aawa ateoadL 
iBHOcently sBBpooMLit. to be. Bnt Itnw^r^' bIib oontimied^&i: 
afciB saw tEiMftble oa Lady C^Dfta&tt^'s ooBntieiiiiMe,; ''-stody lAat. 
he mi^ht, and whom he might, he did his masters n&^diaiBreditr 
:^t it is ewteoiflhingr howrhia lydvohiag wttdfl-ocmfeiTmaIly>iing in 
my eeoro^ aAdd]:»P:theix hittanieMinUKoveiypleamifk Ipei^etiiidly 
800 Yisionfr of servants^ ctamM to xmiasDnlj eodsr heeansoof Ihe 
tegnptatiQiis whioh he says I. tiffow thorn into ) aad the lightest of 
hfUl-dreeses hangs heavy> (ml mo, beeaiuo hie terdfiBo ma ^lith 
htmag to easwet for the use of. eyei^thing I hare." 

** But did he press on you merely me evu of those tluDgB ? That: 
Unotlikehim; housHiOlyg^aiiohdefiSfBi^aadi^ that the 
ehange mustJie in the heait* 

"Ohj yeSihadiddotfaat. ButlbfOioyerhiooght thelfiobne. 
eotteerning those thii;^xather:xipon myself, byrasiinshimto do 
SK^metfadng, whieh he wafr nngsradoos enough to refdse.' 

*' I am sure he felt he ought not to do what you wished, or ho 
wonld never hare refused," r^edLadyCkxnstance.waimly-; "for 
h^hateft saying 'no' to any one/' 

" You need not bo afraid .thttt his refnaal made nshate each other 
T«ry bitterly," said Lady Staxuaaore, " for he has the art of inoMng 
his 'no' almost as pleasant as* yes;' and that is agreat thing for 
fM- to 'Say, who haw bein^T'COi^tradiated: above, all thing8ia.ezis- 
teaee. Butdoyounevec^gooutinthewoxldi'^ 

"Nottolatepaxties," 

" And do you not long to do so ?'* ' 

*' ]^ot yer7 much," replied Jiady Confltftnoe, smill&g. ** I shiidd 
sot think dissipation oould.be yery desirable in any way*'* 

" Perhaps not— particularly ; but Ihen what is one to do ! A^ 
3JJDU notTery dull at home ?'* 

" DuU !" ezolaimed. liady Gdnstanoe, '^no; the happiest and 
Use merriest people in: tha world." (She^forgot all her siorowB at* 
tiiat. moment.) ' 

"I wish I coold decide one way or th^ other/* sighed Lady 
fiftanmore; "fdrnowLenjoy nothing.'" 

Lady Constance lookedat her. till Ibettear almostsweDed injier 
eye, and she lOn^d to speak ; but ever difSdent; she ahmnk frmn. 
the idea of seeming.to ^b&ack one oldes thanhorseli, especially after 
ISO short an acquaintaoce. 

Lady Staomore read ' herj ezpro^TO' ooimteuBsee howerer; and ' 
add^d, 

" Say what you like, f or r see- you are'resthaniinr^onietihiiigT 
and you cannot make me more uncomfortable than I am. l^t I 
do not know what makes ma talk so freely to you, unless it is that 
I'take up your friendship 'vdtere- 1 left'c^ Skr Poland's, and dioose 
to fancy I haye kno^m you a loxig time ; though he deoHaed beinir 
much of a counsellor t6 me, and referred Ime- rather cavalierly to 
my husbknd." 

'* Is Lord Stanmore then a religious . person V asked Lady Gdv»- 
stance with pleased surprise. 

" ^-^, pyerhaps not ezaotls: wiittt yoa would call areligioiisp^e* 



80A<; bat Hft is^tto beet-. Imftband^ aaid tbe bestietaiytliiDS. in tbft 
world." 

' But why then, skonld. Eokod re&r yipii to Ida oa these 



«^* 



'* Beoause he w9a my husbaaad* I. su|ipo6e ! ' He pieoiMihlj wisely: 
thought that as such he was the beat coanaeilor I could haire*~bet- 
ter at least than any. other young man." 

Lady Constance was silent, for she felt piusled. 

" I should howevev. add^'/ continued Lady. Stanmove. rather re- 
luctantly, ''that he named another counselor before even him ; 
but I scarcely like«pealdng of se awful a Beii^. in^this plaee." 

"Why net? we are s&yjoig no haim»!' said Lady Constance, in 
the simplicity of a heart to which the thought of God was as the 
breath of life — ^though His name never lightly passed her.lips. 

" I do not know*; out it seemaout of 'place, in oommen, every- 
day life." 

*' But we are talking of .the things of Qtodif andwhy should we 
not, with all reyeraaoe, mention HisnamerHfor it- musthaye been 
Him to whom £.oland referred yon." 

* * I will not d^iy that it mui— but I- hate, all app^axanoe of parade 
in these thiiu^." 

** L think Ishoulddo so too/' said Lady Gonsteaoe^^ntly ; "but 
2X0 one can hear us now." 

Ladv ^anmoire loolfied^rouad'to aicertain if that'weee seally the 
ase, th»L said — 

L remember his words as if I had heard them but yesterday, 
' Seep God eyet first, .^^Mor hneband^ evev. next, andiyou* cannot go 
wrong/ " 

The tears sprung to Lady Constance's eyes,.and. rolled in an in* 
stant down her. cheeky as she heard words whieh so oompletdy 
brought before her.him whose, wisdom andpiety had dictated them; 
and slie felt a Ibye for him at that mement whioh banished eyery 
other feeling. 

" I am very foolish," she said ; " bat' what.yon repeated was tho 
only word of religioK I had*, heard ever sinee LadytAshtonleft 
me, and you do not know howdt has refreshed .me ; , ittwas quite a 
spring, in the desert. I have never in. aU m^ life before, been 
separated from those who had.the love oi God in them ; and you 
cannot conceive how I thirst after their conversation, now, alter 
being derived of. it for tixree whole days." 

Lady Stanmore smiled. 

** There certainly must besonething very fascinating," she said, 
" in that which makes its absence so totterly felt* Bo you talk oi 
religion for ever at heme, and of nothing else ?" 

" Oh ! no, of a thousand other Ihings; but stiOr- it is thnre— W9 
always feel that." 

" Well, I dare-say you good people are very good; but you seem 
to me to be always m the cSbads." 

'* You have a little bojr» I knew, Lady Stanmoroy and* when he 
is old enough to go tosonool,.will you not often talk of him with 
Lord Stanmore, and iind pleasure in doing so because you know he 
loTes him as weU as you do; and even tEough yon. often, talk of 

8 2 



260 OB BOLAHB ASHTOIT. 

other things, will it not he a delight to know tiiat whenever yon 
are inclined to speak of him, it will he a welcome snhject? And 
do you not think it would he an irksome restraint to live only with 
those who were strangers to him, and did not care for him ? to find 
that if yon spoke of hun jonr companions thouccht the snhject dis- 
agreeahle, and changed it as soon as possihle } 

** It would, indeed !" said Lady Stanmore, as a glow of emotion 
flooded her sensitive countenance. 

" I was sure you would feel it so." cbntinned Lady Constance. 
"Well, then, only," and she lowered her voice, " put the name of 
God in the room of that of your child, and you have hefore you the 
feeling of those who truly love Him. Would yon mind my quoting 
something from Malaohi }'* 

"Oh, no." 

" He says, ' Then they that feared the Lord spake ofben one to 
another ; and the Lord hearkened and heard it, and a hook of re- 
memhrance was written heforo him, for them that feared the Lord 
and that thought upon his name. And they shall he mine, saith 
the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I ahall make up my jewels; 
and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth 
him. Then shall ye return and discern hetween the rifirhteous and 
the wicked, hetween him that serveth Qod and him that serveth 
Him not.' " 

"His jewels," said Lady Stanmore, thoaghtfnlly; "what a 
heautifal idea ! To he one of the jewels of the Lord ! What high 
praise !" 

"High privilege rather," ehserved Lady Constance. "The 
earthly jewel is without lustre till the light shines on it, so are we . 
till the Spirit shines on us." 

" Ah, you— what shall I call you, for I hate cant names ^— yon 
thorough-going Christians are dreadful persons to argue with; you 
have something ready to say at all times." 

" I do not like to argue, I feel afraid ; hut what we have been 
talking of now seems so plain." 

" Tes, as plain to you, pehaps, as Freneh is to a Fren(^unan,*but 
di£Scult to those who are not accustomed to the language. I un- 
derstand now, however, what yon mean about the love of God; 
but do you really so love him as to feel unhappy when not talking 
of him ? 

" No ; but I do feel uncomfortable when I am with those to 
whom I can never speak of Him with satisfaction ; and this little 
conversation to-night has been very pleasant to me, for at least 
you do not seem to dislike the subject." 

" I do not dislike it as you represent it, or as Sir Roland Ashton 
did; but I have some cousins who provoke me infinitely. They 
are always talking at me, or finding fault with me, and weary me 
to death. They look, too, like — anything but ladies^ and say, * they 
cannot afford to dress well, and subscribe to Missionaiy Societies 
also.' They fly from meeting to meeting, and talk of dear 
Mr. this, and sweet Mr. that, and then go home and are so cross to 
their servants, and so easily put out ! and talk of Christian tempers 
in such an unchristian manner i But you dress yourself as well 



Sm BOL&HD iJBHTOir. 261 

as possible, and look so nice ! and do not seem to repent of every 
snule you give. And he, too— Sir Roland I mean— looked always 
so very gentlemanlike; and as if he thoug:ht it worth while to be 
agreeable; so that he gained 'golden opinions from all sorts of 
men/ To be sure, your looks, poor things," she added with a 
smile, " you cannot help; but you do your best to compensate to 
society foryour want of beauty, and that is- all tiiat can be ex- 
pected. However, not to talk nonsense, I confess I like clean 
religion— not dirty; I like civil religion— not rude; I like quiet 
religion — and not a perpetual flutter of 'spiritual dissipation;' 
and I like warm, loving religion— and not a spirit of detraction, 
and of cold harshness.' 

" I remember," said Lady Constance, ** that Eoland used to say, 
' if ever you were led to God, it would be through tiie affections ; — 
by love and not by fear.' " 

*' Bid he say so?" exdaimed Lady Stanmore, a tear swelling in 
her soft, dark eye, and a lovely expression of pleasure overspread- 
ing her countenance; "he juag:ed of me too wdll; for it is more 
fear that I feel, than love, at this moment. I am a&aid of being 
condemned— afraid of losing heaven — ^afraid of— everything I be- 
lieve. But I find no love to God in this cold heart; though some- 
times I think I should love Him, if I were more worthy of Him. 



does appear to me, that you scarcely as yet see, or feel what Christ 
has done for you." 

*' What do you mean ?" 

" That He has saved you." 

** Saved me ? Oh, no ! Oh, no !" she said, in some agitation. 

" Why do you say so ?" 

" Because I know I am not £t to go to heaven." 

** Can you teU me of one who is fit to go there ?" 

** You seem to be so, and I am sure Sir Roland Ashton was." 

** But, dear Lady Stanmore, if we are fit, how have we become 
so?" 

'* By being virtuous and good, and loving God." 

" Oh ! no, that is not it. It is by believing in and trusting to 
Him who is ' able and willing to save to the uttermost aU who come 
to God through Him !' Chnst has borne the punishment of our 
sins, and of yours too; for His was an all-sumcient sacrifice. If 
we are saved, it is by beUeving that He has suffered in our stead, 
and that we are pardoned for His sake. Then we appear before 
God as clothed in His righteousness— as He appeared before God on 
the cross clothed in our sins. It is Christ who must open God's 
gates tons ; and then as His redeemed— the purchased of His blood, 
we shall be allowed to enter in, unquestioned." 

She spoke rapidly, for her energy quite for the moment overcame 
her dimdence. Lady Stanmore was much moved. 

"I cannot think this ban apply to me," she said. 

•* To whom then ?' ' asked Lady Constance. 

" To people who love God." 



'* Christ OBse to asTe those -wbiok wendflat^aMtihiiae wko «niki 
•:go to heaYen withoot Him." 

** I do not say that asyxMii do tikataxnel^." 

" Christ idll he aa entirre Bamur, «Fiuiiie. If nre look .to wiff' 
thin^ hvt E]iin»'Sis Bpirit^is niitiejidiiM' vs." 

*' Bat weiaay' do our .b66t» And thfiaiHe-«fiI]Jia:ve.iniezey on as." 

'* Had tkel^f <iniiie.oi»8sik»ne hisfiKat?" 

" Ko, :theEt tUmtesrs 3)iiziiies.aie." 

**^ He ;vfas. 8aT«d in th&^alywafy which fsapeiL lams : Jie-heliffTBd 
that Chxist sofPeved, in oidertiiatiiie* ought he pai^dsnedt nadiihefe- 
toe he<w»nt*to:€k}d and. 'sought Ibe .-pardon, ^hidi had heen.so 
dearly purchased, and so freely given. Rolaaad has dcmeitha same, 
I haye dose the same; 7ou«vill--<«h'! LtmstTou will. he able also 
to iLo so in tine. Bemember what 'Isadsdi rnajA of Christ : ^.He was 
wounded for our transgressions, He was braned for«uriniq«itifls; 
the diastiseiMnt of ovr 'MoetPBsiuiMnffim,.' and >wit^ fiisstri^ 

WB are healed TheLofdhaih. laid n9«n.fiim'theiaiiqmt9^ 

ef U8 ail.' Yoat8ae,*1iiere'ris na mentioKL^iiade of 4axrrighteoiiBiefl8, 
only of Christ^s meritorious, Tioarial sacrifiee.'' 

''Oh! you 'must speHik plainer to ^me," aaid I^dy fitsamaie, 
smiling smd eolouring. 

'* I mean l^iat His death had-saeh-yaltieinCbd's eyes, tiiat for 
the sake of it. He 'grants ^Him -tiie >pezd«n of all who seek lor it 
through Him; am hy -ealling ^it a *yioarial -sacrifioe, I mean of 
eourseliMEt it is anMMriiiee of one personfer enisther-^instead of that 
ot^€i^-of Cfhrist instead of ns." 

" Yet you, who say you are saved so entirely without any merit 
of your own, seem to desire so much to do what isriffht." 

"Not half so much as we oi^ght," answered LadyConstBaoe, 
quickly. ** Besides we l9ve-Him who 'has loved 'US, «iid He said, 

• if ye love me keep my commandments.* And when we gye our- 
selves up to Him, He -puts ffis spirit into our hearts— ^His pure 
Spmt, and that makes us love holiness. As ^cnme old writer said, 

* We work fr&m Kfe and not fn- life.' BHt«till if you knew all, 
you would seewe had nothing to beast c?;'and it is tiiat which 
makes us feel so thankful not to have to depend for gaining Heaven 
on our own merits. Itiis such an unspeakable eommrt also, to be 
able for His sake to go to God at all times; when we have done 
wrong^-4ar a new sense of pardon; when we are unhappy—for 
comfort; and we always find it, because He 'ever Hveth in neaven 
to make intercession -for us.' " 

** Your^words are so new to -me,** said Lady Btanraoie, *''they 
really almost seem like anoflier language ! Jftut '&ere i|reatiies 
such an exalted spirit over these Ihings as almost overpowers me. 
There must be a great reality in them, of which I, akd '&oae I 
associate with, have certainly no idea. E v er y th ing wiiii yon and 
Sir Koland seems to go up, and up — ^to €K>d ! and at times I aeem 
almost to ^ with you a fittle way. T cannot say what I feel at 
moments, it seems as if a curtain were li^d, showing something 
mdescribable, and bright, and awfol ! I almost seem as if oil tiie 
verge of an invisible world." 

"We are so, undoubtedly," said Lady Constanee ; '^noQung 



V 



tM3 
.%at ihe Tdidaefs of--^. But hate is Ifve. ^CtrdanAt ooiftidir 

.tO'flS." 

" TfaectiaeoflBkn owiWBniagrTW)*? *tn«rt»al Menfd' seems to have 
^be<ii*Teiy':8flenia)tod^«»d iMemstiiigr," Hmid that IfUdy as she ap- 
proached ; ** shall I be very unwelcome if I intermpt it ? I loi^ 
for MntetauBie,. uodymrpmmrs- m-etflc^U kawm, Ladv Steu- 
more, form&iiotvtoippealrto'yoii tcftAe odrnpaaawntrnme?' 

•M shaU.ke'fieTy.ii^y/' Teplitfd Lddy*S1»»aMire. " Lady Cott- 
irtBnoe do yoariwt-ninr r ' 

•-•Wilhyaa4W^3wilJi-we ?" 

•*0h! 7B8,.if lyta-imaih it;^«id'tf tlie*e Is anytJiSag -ire boHi 

JBIMW." 

Ti wsrwwtt to theiiaa«flo>te/4aid'«o«ii*ll»fi!idMMfmiethkig^ which 
Wtod them. ^W%^0t Litdy Sliwniore 'WftsBlayiit^'the introduotoijr 
•fmiplMoy, idle mid in a JMr T^we 4jo Lady ConSlaaioe, " I should 
Jike^to<tcfe^yoii.«g«iB ; wuld i^^fttt dri^Ffe out with^me to^mcwow ?" 

•^Oall. lieiie,^ aada unlllf I 'c«n ; Iishcrtfld- like ity«y much." 

The soond ^f^tMrlD^aa^lM vtsiofts soon bi^ugfkt up the party 
from below,"Wtei<fc'Was in fttdtlfes. Mofda«nt s hope and inten- 
tMn;;for.M!ay«matloiLhed begun 0i$relyto19ftg between her and 
km lac^-gfueste. Theininn^ilt Hie g^tlettLen* watered the drawing- 
yewn. Lord SfeMlm«fe twk his fe?ro«rite^fiftation by the side of m 
lovek* wife, who^wvs^ter glad'^e httre him- by her; and Augiistds 
Mordaunt also took that which was his favourite^-by Lady Oon- 
4rt«TOe'ssid0?orMttier,*s his brother Phiiip'aftei'wards designated 
It, **to 4^ *aotth*eftst of h^r." He feepton mtmnuring small, 
inane praises' of her singing, dJorteg the bars «f symphony whicdi 
<x»a9i«Bally'0e<mrreid; 'Which ^exevted Lady Oon^nee's tisible 
faculties to so trying a degree, that she had difficulty sometime^ 
when she opened her lips, to preveiit a burAt of merriment from 
eomin^ fonh insteeld of l^e patheltic nx^tes of BeetiMyven or Rossini 

Phihp'M<xpdauiit, perceiving what^Jnw going <m, and ever bent 
<iii tti8cbi^,*took hisHrtxition in sight of Lady Constance, though 
•c«Bc©aled from others, and owntriyed to attract^er eye from time 
to time, imitating in large all his brother's small ^rformances; 
till at length, having succeeded in making it Impossible for her'to 
trust her voice at all, during one -very important passage, he fdt 
Mtistted with his ffacoess, and 1^ h^'in.peaco. 

'Robert Moi^auiit in the meantune stood by, and with the air of 
a connoisseur propounded his admiration of both Lady Stanmore's 
and Lady Gonatanee's poirers. ^ut ^en the latter retired f^m 
the pianoforto, and gave way to other performers, his attentioifii 
•^wsere ostentatiously and pompously devoted to her. He stood 
before her making speeches, a-id taking up her trhole attention ; 
«iid stooping, would frequently say a few ^words in a low tone, 
in ordier Iteit his intimacy with nis beautiful cotisin might be 
observed by the rest of the company; determined evidently that 
they should imagine there was sometmBgtory partiouhur between 
them. • 

•Xaidy CoQStanee disliked him at all times, and now more thaa 
JSRie wotdd fidn havetisen from l&e 80£a and haye left hiar ' 



264 a 

Imt he stood 80 immedistd j befoce lier» ^bat ahe eooll not do w 
without asldiiff him to let her wus, widdk she was &r too shy to 
do; and thoo^ cohmnng with yezatioii at his ahsmd and oh&n- 
siTe attentionsy die was ioroed to lesign heiaelf to her fsle, ttid at 
stilL 

Lady Stanmore, who knew Mr. Mordanntrs old halitt of devotiog 
himself pointedly to whosoever was tiie "hri^t particolar stai^ 
of any party, and had often herself soffered firam his peraeCTtkxoi, 
felt for Lady Constance, though she ooold not refrain oeeaaioiiaily 
from giving her a look which made it most difficult for her to keep 
hCT conntenance ; hnt at length seeing her look really nnoomfait- 
able, she heggea Philip to go and ''get Lady Gonrtanoe ont of 
qnarantine/ He prooeedea immediately on his mission; and, 
delightinfir in tormenting every body, went np to his brother, and 
whisper^ that Lad^ Stanmore seemed mudi hurt at his negiect of 
her, and that in met he believed^ she had something very par- 
ticular to say to him. Highly gratified, Mr. Mordannt went off to 
Lady Stanmore, who soon, bcnea to death by him« formed aecrel^ 
strong resolutions never again to snecoor the nnf oortimate. 

Phuip meanwhile seated himself by Lady Constance. 

** I b^ you will observe that I do not stand before yon," he said; 
*' for I can afford to give joa freedom, certain that yon will not 
wish to exercise it liy leaving me. Are yon not infinitely obliged 
to me for delivering you from the ' Giant Despair^ who vras im- 
prisoning you?" 

** I think yon might leave it to others to langh at yoor brothefs, 
and not do so yonrselC replied Lady Constance half joking, but 
half gravely. " I am nsed to see brotnirars love each other." 

"Ah! when one has left people behind, they seem so very per- 
fect!" 

Lady Constance felt that they did. 

'* But now what would you have me do with -such a oonple of 
brothers as I have }" contdnned Philip ; " the one such a ' Pom^oeo 
fiirioso,' the other always fall of his 'sentimentalibas lachrymiro- 
mm.' What can happen ? I must either laugh at them, to show 
the world I am wise enough to see their follies — or cry over them, 
to show how much I feel for them. Your gentle nature might per^ 
haps make you lake the latter course ; I confess the farmer better 
suits the temper of my genius. But I wish narticularly to ask yon 
one question. Are you in the habit of making every one in loTe 
with you?" 

Lady Constance laughed and coloured; "Ido not call that love," 
she said. 

" The ' sieur' Bobert means his to be taken for such, I can assme 
you ; and if you managed well, I think you really might beoome 
laAj Constance Mordaunt ! which would not sound so ul after all, 
would it ? But as for the wretched Augustus, his really is love— 
I can see that" 

" Then why do you laug}^ at him ?" 

" Because tiie love of a simpleton is always laughaUe." 

" I do not think it is ever a subject mr laughter, wheai it is 
genuine, let it be in whom it may. But as for your brother 



flIB BOLAITD ASHTOir. 266 

Aagrastas, I tliink he would like any one wIlo was good-natared to 
him, and did not langh at him." 

" That is a very sweeping piece of insinuated oensure, Lady 
Constance/' exclaimed Philip ; " including a mother and hoth her 
^dest hopes," 

" You seem to me by far the worst." 

" Oh ! no, I assure yoiL I am sometimes very kind to him, and 
take him out a walk with me, or show him the exhibition, or the 
Zooloncal Gard^is. But there he stood at your north-east 
ehoulder— (whispring, by the bye, as if he had been the * cooling 
western breeze'; and it was irresistibly ludicrous ! But again 1 
ask— are you in the habit of making every one in love with you ? 
I only want to know— as you wiU be with us some time I hope — 
what we have to expect — ^what will be the average of suicides, Ac, 
which may be looked for. I have something to do with a lite in- 
Burance omce, and it mav materially aJBfect the fands of that com- 
pany, should you have the habit alluded to, and stay long in a 
place like this, where population is dense." 

" Oh no, I have no such habit ; you ma^ be quite easy about 
TOUT Mends. I think, however, that nothing is so absurd as to 
lanoy, because people Hke to talk to each other, that therefore they 
must necessarily be in love. There are pleasant men in the world ; 
why should not one be allowed to talk to them in i>eace ?" 

**^We were not, I believe, talking of pleasant men at that 
moment," replied PhQip. " But even then, though it may per- 
haps be play to you, it may be death to the pleasant men ; and is 
alwavs, believe me, a dangerous exneriment. Cease to try it, I pray ; 
and leave people to die of natural deaths. It is very difficult to 
define the exact line of demarcation between * liking, and some- 
thing stronger; (a pang went through Lady Constaince's heart, for 
she felt that indeed it was so;) and when once that imperceptible 
line is past, retareat is impossible— recovery hopeless, therefore, 
my dear cousin, take the advice of an old and experienced man, 
and tread not those precipices; for with all your pretended tender- 
ness of heart, you of the flowing robes, always put us nearest the 
edge. However, I must now take myself oft and leave you, lest I 
should be set down as one of the slain ; which I am not, mark 
you," he added, shaking his head defyingly, ** and never mean to 
be; which fact I think it best to state at once, in order that you 
really may be able to eiijoy my agreeable conversation and sweet 
society without scruple or remorse." 

The moment PhQip Mordaunt had vacated his seat, Augustus 
took up his station again near Lady Constance. He had not dared 
to do so as lonff as his brothers were there, but he lost not a moment 
when tiiey had departed. He did not venture to sit down by her, 
however, but leant on the back of her sofa, and said — as nearly 
nothing for some time as possible. * 

Lady Constance was too shy to get ut> and cross the room alone 
(for she was sittiog rather apart from all the others) and encouraged 
by her remaining neav him, Au^stus began at last to speak in in- 
teUigible language, which was highly distasteful and embarrassing 



to hsF ; mWe JBUMp ihom. « dktaace locked Mestod]^ «,t 4ur, 
glancing also at Augustas, and diakbigiilB head ina^eBinxe- 
Ytfrnug' mmmBt; till -st last imiieapeiiatiQii sihe rose, and .joined 
iirs. MoxibHUkt,*>w]io w«b ibe nearest >pergaii with whom she couM 
take refuge. She longed to escape and go up stairs, knt feared 
being thought rude ; and soon after, the party, to her-great rdbef, 
hroke up, whenimaisdatttely widiiog her eousios good night, and 
tlioroagyy WEeaxied, she. retreated toiiKr ownrosm. When thsre 
fl^e sat for some time enjojriiie the rritef of^fldlitade,.y€t8adiiL 
spirit. Her nsms haag mties&iy by her < side, smd it was long he- 
fore she could zoQfleJMTflelfso&fiMntiytDb^l^in. the task of iw- 



* And is .Ihis r&B Jife that p«]ple kad?" «he th^qght. "^ Ah ! 
^dear Ilaziaven!" 

Starting tesrswanied her timt di&musiaot^paMQe that sul^Jset ; 
-Slid with 41 sigh as if of iMfftiagg witii thssB i&e lored, she reso- 
lutely closed l^iatipageiof findTaooUectMu. 



jCHAPTER*XXXVII. 

**!««« Is eOTspukNiAlfUii NtttaNtormiei, 
JOid her teigM ICMkk makM tfm .tkufwmmr^*f^iHA. 
Btttin the crash ^C m a n 4 i w >twrol»g flrite, 
Tlie teartfB Wkd sotttade-^ow ctoaHy «»& !*-^S. 

** 0*111011 Tidh-worid wueai I 
^nicni.iinrtsinM'ml]& of spirits ^^ i^ 
« » » -« -dott'tlioalle 
Bpresd all sironiia, y«t by n—m llliny mmoi 
fibotfiMmm^tr?' Jlta.;Hnii9iB. 

The breakfttst^taJble the nest -meming was not quite so weari- 
.wme a jsoea^ as usual, for Philip Mordaunt made himself very 
agreeable.; nefraininff moreover, <£rem laughmg at his brothers so 
. audaciously as he had done the previous evening. 

Before they had separated, a note oame from. Lady Stanmore to 
OoD^taaee inviting her to dine earl^ with her that day ; and as the 
weather was very hot, to take a dnve afterwards into the country. 
This proposal arrived just in time to save her much embarrass- 
;ane&t ; for Mrs. Mordaunt had just before asked her if ahe would 
like to go to the opera with her that evening ; and though she 
would on no accoimt have gone there, yet she would have found it 
:^ery difficult to have declined doin^ so-; for few things are so un- 
lileasant as having to refuse that wiuch another offers irom a good- 
natured wish to please ; there is something ^parettUy so un- 
.gracious in the rejection of proffered kindness ! And it almost ibh 
^variably ffives offence ; particularly wh^i, as in a case like the 
present, the refuial necessarily implies a eensuie of that, in whicdi 
tihe kind uroposer seesmo harm. 

J^rom this diffieuity Lady Staamwe's note ImppUy relieved poor 
•Gontftanee, who haa been sitting in nervous trepidation — har 
Bh e o k a gutwiiig hattoc, and her heads beooming eoldar eveiy 



zimfeant---*4lLinkmg: how ^ihe etrald^ with most -mtltdb, and Uett 
xfSlesaoe, decliae gobiG: wit^ Mrs. Merdaont. Bhe inmeoiately eaE- 
piessea-Bo stpong a aeaire to aoeept the isntation to diae witii 
Xady -Btanmere, ihat her *eoBflin, Who was Ihwrqnhghly gtMd- 
natared, imtently 'agreed to her doing so; t^liag her *^ not to 
eonsider Jber, for that aherwosild find-Bonoe oneiidserfeo gouwith her 
to the opera." 

Lady CiRistonee joyfoliy wiote her vamrest ; aod^tliEEee o'doek 
fshe went to Lady fttaaimore^a. LoivL 18team«re <iras ^oiiig to « 
parliaBientBary dnuMr, eo theyweve mire of thewhtle e^eninsTto 
themselTes ; and atdbovt five o'olook 'thegr'aet out en .their drrta. 
The^wentto Hampttead; and enjoyed eoceeediagly the pore air 
of the heath, tad Iheamseanniee of-iealaonatry whiah now and 
then ixresents itself on that beautiful dde of London ; and than 
retnining by Primeeeffill they drove all downOdcford^treet to 
Lady Btamnore's htnue in 'Paik Laaw ; that pErtieuiar had toi 
Tetozn being choaen at Lady Gonatanee's iuui'aaBdafjiit, as durmg 
her foRoer Tkits to London «he had ahrayadelis^tedixnsweingihB 
eremng aky ^ficom that'point. 

Certainly 'there -axe few «odnes -which eaanl Ootfoad Btreet, jst 
Ihe time i^ien te sun is ainhisg in the tar weat. Xhe.^koaRiy 
fiTenne of hooaea-^tfae msiky atiooaphiare, all an fire with the 
lurid lE^lendoor of Ihe aatttqg aun-^the nunsFre aloodsyindistinat 
in thenr Tugsed outiinea, bat Tefleeting e^avy ihade of swarthy 
colourings-altogether form a scene of heavy, oppressiTe .grandenr 
seldom to be surpassed. 

'Whan ihe spirit within ose k dirtnrbed and nnhappy, these 
soanasaasiuneaehaiactar'neeaiiBrlyinipTOasivB'andatrila^ The 
«nmtry with its <dear lotvely anoaats, its peen fields, its murmur- 
ing nvers and shining lakes, seems in unison with'iue quiet giiefiay 
«i3. gentle w irru w s of the heart; or eren if wilder 'passions are 
abroad, nature rather aoo^s than irritates the wretchedness of 
man. But in London the unhappy spirit has to battle againtt 
eTer:fthing ! There is gaiety to mook it-Hhare is mnery to har- 
row it^there ia activity to kaep it attve ix) its oufiGeringe— evecy- 
thi ng in short but what it craves — ^peaoe ! 

We paas, perhaps, in all tiie outiraid aplflodbanr fH equipage and 
attendants — sorrowing', solitary ereatarea— famidit Ihrongs of 
hnman beings who looow us not, nor oare for ub. '* Biyers of 
Iranian faces pass by ns, bat:not one'tamsto look on ub ; or if it 
did, could it r^ the deadlr a^pony which periiaps lurks within ! 

And they too have their leehngs !— Eaoh one inihose thousanda, 
who paas us in the orowded ** atony •hearted" .streets, is a world to 
bimaelf : a world of love, and liate, and azi^ing want, and 
torturing^ anziety'—ofjoyfiilaniieipationr-flr.ornufleiy^^ dull, 
dead-heartedness ! 

Then niffht S-^-^ght, when all tiie vwt <eano|iv of «m<^e whioh 
the busy day kept pouring fdrth, .'has aonk, 4Enn hit the ^^ at 
last clear .and bri^tr-^how si^emn is night over .the sleeuini: 
fitreetsl The moonbeams bring -so whito on the houses, and the 
fihadowB so doubly bhuk.; the rolting <d the whealB heard at inb> 
aaaaamshb diBtmoaaihxoagh the en^y Bgnaases ; auid;thfr diuxiol^ 



268 sot BOLAITD ASHTOIT. 

docks taking up the tolling hour from each other, and repealing it 
all around, till me last faint chimes scarcely fall upon the ear ! all 
is so sullen— fio mournfully silent. And the cold moon which goes 
80 noiselessly along, over the heads of the hushed multitude — as if 
she thought that hush were peace ! Oh ! could she look with 
intelligent eye, on that over which she glides so gently and xm- 
moved, what scenes would be revealed to her watching glance ! 
Unroof but one single street of all the miles of habitations which 
compose the largest capital of the world, and what yitsissitudes of 
life would be unveiled ! Here, death with all its grim and fell 
accompaniments— there the £rst child's welcome birth ! Here 
avarice and hatred— there love and peace ! Poverty— sin— luxury 
—desperation— joy— madness— grief ! all mingled together — ^yet all 
80 separate ! 

Thoughts like these make London a scene of deep and harrowing 
interest for those who sympathise with their feuow-creaturea— 
who feel for human woe and suffering. And amid the thousand 
causes of sorrow and reeret which iill the labouring mind, the only 
source of real comfort flows from the knowledge that all must ho 
right ! That though the moon— herself but a creature of Gbd's 
hand— knows nought of all the things over which she spreads the 
mantle of her light, yet that the Lord— the imiverssQ Father, 
knows, and sees, and permits all this ; and that when " The wrath 
of man has worked the glory of God— the remainder of wrath will 
He restrain." 

When the drive was over, and the oarriaffe stopped at Lord 
Stanmore's door, the eveninjg: twilight was sml so bright, and the 
young moon was shining so mvitin^y, that Lady Stanmore pro- 
posed to her companion to take a uttle^ walk in the Park betore 
tiiey went in ; and dismissing the carria^, and taking the foot- 
man with them, they strolled along the crisped and parched grass, 
down to the springs near the Magazine. The fine trees looked 
beautiful in the moonlight, for that white tint served to oonoeal 
the blackened hue of the foliage; and their walk altogether was 
delightful. 

" These are the hours I love the best of aU the time I spend in Lon- 
don," said Lady Stanmore — ** these little odd hours, stolen as it were 
from the world. Dearly as I love my husband, I sometimes enjoy his 
dining out alone at these great dixmers (for he never leaves me for 
other oinners) that Imay get a little quiet evening, either quite alone, 
or with some one who is really comfortable to me, as you are. Some- 
times I remain at home, and open my windows to listen to the 
dear street organs which I love so much ; and sometimes I drive 
into the counter, or take a walk Jike this. I always think London 
the most romantic place in the world ! Maxiy people do not know 
what I mean when I say so, and I cannot denne it myself though 
I feel it. How solemn and grand that sunset was just now ! and 
how quietly the moon shines now amid such thousands of human 
bein^ ! and we perhaps almost alone, of all those thousands, ei^oy- 
ing It I never know what it is I feel at these times ; a moumfiiL 
tearful sensation fills my heart as if I had onoe been happy, a ^4 



8ni BOLAKD ASHTOSr. 269 

were so now no longer ; and yet I never was. so happy in all my 
life as I am now. How strange it is that so many things should 
pass within us, which we can neither control, nor comprehend ; 
which seem something beyond earth — and yet are not of heaven — 
for they are sorrowfuT." 

" I, too« have often wondered whence these sensations come," 
said Lady Constance, " and what they are ; for as you say, they 
are too sorrowfid to be feelings which can exist in heaven, and yet 
they soften, and refine the heart. I think they must be aspira- 
tions of our higher nature, pent up in souls which are too narrow 
for them. There are some thin^ which we know we shall enjoy 
hereafter, but the foretaste of which even, is too much for our poor 
spirits here. Music is one — ^that we know we shall have in perfec- 
tion from the golden harps of the angels, and the songs of the re- 
deemed : yet music here — ^how sad it often sounds ! amidst brightest 
happiness making one's heart as ' a fountain of tears !' Beautiful 
scenery, too, how oppressive that is ! But tJ^ere, the everlasting 
hills and clear fountains of God's paradise, will form a part of our 
perfect happiness." 

** Yes, and love," said Lady Stanmore, " that, too, is painful here 
—that, too, wifl be perfect there. I do not mean only what is 
usually called— ;love— but affection of all kinds; doating love of 
relations — especially of children — ^how painfiil it is ! Sometifties 
when I look at my oaby and press its soft cheek to mine, I feel as 
if my heart must burst. One may truly say of love, * *Tis bliss but 
to a certain point— beyond 'tis agony I Of all kinds of love that 
certainly appears to me the most perfect, for it is unmixed with 
anything else. My husband loves me, or I should soon cease to 
love him ; but besiaes that, he is pleasant to me in a thousand ways : 
and all my Mends I love for something in themselves. But my 
baby— what can that do for me ? At first it does not even know 
me — and yet upon that little thing I bestow love enough to fill the 
world." 

*• I cannot, I dare say, judge of that," said Lady Constance ; 
** yet I can believe all you say about it. Oh I it is happy that this 
world is not our last— or best." 

Lady Stanmore sighed. 

** I wish," continued Lady Constance, " that you felt a clear hope 
of salvation. A heart like yours cannot even here, I am sure, oo 
satisfied ^th earthly things." 

** It is not. — ^But last night, when we were inteirupted, we were 
speaking of being on the verge of an invisible world. What were 
you going to say about it ?" 

" That we always are so ; we walk surrounded by beings invisi- 
ble to us." 

" Why should you think so?" asked Lady Stanmore ; "it is a 
most uncomfortable idea." 

" It is certainly uncomfortable when we reflect on the evil beings 
that are ever at o^x side, seekinfir to tempt, and to destroy ; but it 
is delightful when we Ihink of the angels of Gfod who are sent ' to 
minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation.' " 

" How do you know that they are so sent V* 



2911' OKsomiD'Amos^. 

" Him asrmtanBtrilni of i^" 

«' In the firit'itf : EEefaiewi/' 

** I must, I aee^ nad the SoriptoeBimaee attentiTely/' 

*' Do/' said Lady Coiurtaiioe ; " you will find them aa heantiMi 
aa "WW. aa ocwiifwfang asd stmig thaoiiig'*' ' 

*'BirtdD7rama]iy8iqipoae," aakedLadyfitaonuir^ ** thatthBie 
are spintabefofe msr.eyea at this memeni; and yet inrviaibie to me? 
The thoQKhtiBA tmdbling. one." 

" Probably liierei axe. Soixptaxe ghreant leaaento believe that 
tiiere are eyil . spmta. ever by. ua ; and eDeoora^es na to hope tdao 
that there are good <aa» eyurreadj- to snoeoorjthe tiied and t^npted 
people of God." 

"Where } Deeft Boriptnre apeak o£ it^.beaidea in theplaee you 
mentioned.^" 

'* Yesi You Tenember-when the Ma^ of Syria sent horaea and 
ohariota, and a ^^eai hoat to compaaa the oity' of Dethan about, in 
ovder to take Mnha pnsentr, .that hiasenraBti'WBa afraid ; and the 
prophet told him not to fear, for there were more, with thun than 
agamst-diem^iand tlwn he prayed thathia a^rvont's eyea might 
be opened ;. andat* BagrB$ ' And the Lord opened tiie eyea of the 
yoimg man, and he bbov^i and behold the moontain waa fioll of 
norses ami chaiiota offfire^- joond abontMisha.' " 

*' Can-it reaJly be? Can/ tiwre be dreadfolr and gbiiena spiiitB 
oloae to ua^ and. we unconacieva of tiiieir pre8eBee>^" 

"No doubt;. Indaed; we know by oar. oiPRn easperiaioe, that 
diaembodied spinti nnurt^at timea^ be. iu' the yevy room, wit^ ua 
without onraeeingtfaem." 

"Whatdoyoameanr? Qhoeta^" 

" No. Buti bare you eTer been in the room when- any one haa 
died?" 

" Oxuce— oniy.oaoei . It wea: a Uttle brother: of mine, sweet little 
oreature ! He died leaning on me, with his dear arm round mj 
neck. It waa *manyv':|^ar& egir. * ' 

" His spirit* wliear it Jei't met body muat* then have been in the 
room, and close to you, for an instant at. leaatrf~and yet you oould 
not see it." 

" That is tnie ; . tirangih it neverrstruck me b^ore. Butwfaat a 
fearful ftelinf this ia^;— 4taeenia tocoameot ua: se intimately wiUfc 
another world." 

" It la, I think, very aiwfoL In alliirobaiMiit^. also,- aounda fpaaa 
olose to our ean» and'-axeyet unheard. We are eiYea to undersUnd 
in Scripture, that the moment the soul depprts-fiom the body, it ia 
either ' preaent'wiih the Lozd,' ov^lae otmai^^ned to Satan's kin^ 
dom. And can we suppyose that when the painfol moment of deam 
is post, and rail the gtones oi heav^o, burst.' on the redeemed soul, 
that it utters no sounds of joy and praise } Or can we believe that 
when the careleast ungodly, unbeheviuf sinnar, is seised hy the 
dreadful bein^ who aarein waitiaar for their pveyj and is drained 
down— wberevii is.grief to think of :!— can we brieve that no abnek 
of horror or despair bnrsta forth ? Yet no aomuLreaehes our ear— 
and menwilloftenoallit' a happy releaser Saehtheiightsajitbeae 



and made * their calling and electaon sure/ througu Him^ and li 
-would never -wiDingH^ d» with any> one at; the hsdor of. death, by 
whose side I did not ho^ to ■stand in thO'day of. judgments" 

They walked on^in silesoe iot a iMirthof time, but' Lady Goir- 
stanee felt the arm that h^d heTB^xemble violently. 

" These things are horrible — overpowering 1 " said Lady Staa*- 
more at length. 

Lady Constance jnressed her arm affectioxately; 

** Better/' she said, '* to feel tiiem so now, dear Lady Stanmore, 
than then— first— wh^ escape is impossD^ Bist I like rather.ta 
dwell on the bright sido of t^e thftng; for 'it ia better,' as seiaft 
one said, *to be drawn, than driven to heavoi!' Think of tfa& 
ecstasy of joy when all trouble is past, and we eccohaiLge perhaps a 
STijfferinff death-bed for all the glories of heaven;" fier' voice 
trembled, for she thought of her father. 

"Do you remember," she coatiimed, alter alitlie pause, /'liie 
beaxrtifal words in the Revelation f 

" Which do you mean }" 

" * They shafl hunger no moi>e, neitber^-thifstt any more^ neither 
shall the sun lighten them, nor any heat: Eor the Lamb which is 
in the midst of tho throne ^aU feea them, and shall lead :them unto 
living fountains of waters : and God shall wipe away: aU tears iiom, 
their eyes.' " 

The tears swelled into LadyStamnox^'s-ey^^ as: she heard tixesfr 
words. 

''How new all 'these thoughts seem to me," she said; '* while 
your heart and memory are faH of God's word.'.* 

** It is a letter written to us by our beet fxKuA/' repHed Lady 
Constance. '*Dear Lady Stanmorc) will you^ not read it, till the 
Spirit which it promises fills your heart with the love of God. and 
of Christ ? Then, thenonly, will you bO reaUJ; happy !" 



CHAPTER . XXXVni. 

*'Gette infatigabl^ persdfA^Biice tie la sottise qi^ ne muiqae Jamais une 
occasion d'^re sotte." 

Whek Lady Constanee retuEoed home from Lady StaimuMre's, 
she found the attenttvo Atnustusready to hand her out of the car- 
riage, he having resigned "the ohaxms^of the *' ballet " in order to 
secure that privilege, hoping afterwards to enjoy a little conversa* 
tion with her. She however retired immediately to h3eriro<»a ; and 
lie was obliged, much to his mortification, to coajtenti himself with 
lighting her candle, wishing her good night, and watching her with 
a pathetic look^ as she- went- up^ the first M^ of* stairs from tho 
drawing-ro<»n. 

Lady Constanoe went to rest that^ i%ht, haprpier than sh» had 
been for a long time. She felt a ffreat interest in Lady Stanmore, 
and trusted l£at ib»bifBaBiiasyiuuiis^^ JuAJboem 



272 Snt BOLAND ASSTOir. 

whdlynmprafitable ; and the God whom she had tried to serve, left 
her not comfortless. 

The next day heing Snnday, the whcde party walked together to 
St. George's church ; and then retomed home to luncheon. While 
that essential occui>ation was going on, Mr. Mordaunt's groom 
brought round his horses, and walked them up and down before the 
house. 

" You are going out early to-day, Bobert,*' said his mothor; 
" how does that happen ?" 

" I promised to go to Roehampton. Murray has got a new 
horse, and wants me to look at it ; and if it goes well, he is to drive 

me over to Hampton Court to dine with the T ^'s; so perhaps I 

shall not be at hoine till late." 

" What will the Paric do without you," said Philip, " now, 
when there are so few stars left ? The * Gog,' wiU be all agog !" 

" Tour language is elegant !" replied his brother, contemptuously. 
" Why cannot you call things by their right names, and say ' the 
statue of Achilles !'— -it sounds much better, I assure you. 1 wish 
I could polish you a little." 

" Many thanks; but I was always particularly obUged to ' John 
Bull* for supplying me with the very appropriate name of * Goy,' 
for that unpleasant man in the green skin, and uneasy attitude* 
opposite our Duke's house. Don't you think * Gog' is a delightfol 
name for him, mother? Lady Constance, does not* Gog' sound 
remarkably well ? so aristocratic ! something so decided and autho> 
ritative in it. * Gog !' what can one want more? Augustus, you 
have often told me that you knew nothing like it in the Greek of 
Homer or the Latin of VuTp:il. * Gog !' " 

" There, Philip," said his mother, " yon have convinced us all I 
dare say, by this time, even Eobert, so we will let the * GK>g' alone 
for the present." 

" I am never to be convinced by Philip's rhetoric," said Mr. 
Mordaunt, witii an indignant glance. 

PhiUp shrugged his shoulders in token of resignation. 

" Where are you going, Philip ?" said Augustus, in a timid 
voice. 

" My steps are free and unconfined as the wind, and the dust in 
this weather. I go unquestioned, and unquestioned come." 

" You can 'drive with us in the carriage, Augustus," said Mrs. 
Mordaunt, " if you like it." 

Augustus' countenance grew very bright. 

" Constance, the carriage will be at the door at three." 

** Thank you," said Lady Constance, colouring highly, ** but I 
shall be going to church." 

"What again?" ' 

" Yes, I am used to goinfi[ twice." 

" You can go in the evening to some other church, if you like it, 
for at St. George's the service is at such an inconvenient hour," 
said Mrs. Mordaunt; " and then you need not lose your drive. Or 
perhaps (for she was thoroughly gpood-natored and desirous of 
pleasing her young guest) you would rather ro now; and then wo 
will dine early, and go to the Zoological Goraens afterwards; it is 



SIB BOLAITD ASHTOIT. 273 

quite the fashion to do so now. I will pnt the carnage off if you 
would like it best." 

" Thank you very much," said Lady Constance, " but I had 
rather be quiet to-day; do not think of me." 

** Are you not well, my dear ?" asked Mrs. Mordaunt, anxiously; 
** or is it," she added, looking sideways at Lady Constance, with a 
smiling eye, and a mouth jokingly puckered up, ** because it is 
Sunday?" 

Lady Constance coloured higher than before, and said, '' I cer- 
tain^ do like being quiet on Sunday." 

" Well, my dear, I am for letting everybody go to heaven their 
own way," said Mrs. Mordaunt, " and I dare say yours is a very 
good one; but I am afraid I should find it rather dull." 

Lady Constance made no answer. 

Mr. Mordaunt rose, and ringing the bell, ordered his horses to 
be called ; he then took his leave with somewhat of less parade than 
usual, and the remaining quartet sat sUent, doing notmng. 

" Shall we go up stairs, Constance ?" said Mrs. Mordaunt. 

Lady Constance rose. 

•* You, of course, are going out Philip," said his mother, in a 
low voice, and with a peculiar smile, as sne passed him. He mur- 
mured an assent; then turning to liuiy Constance, he whispered, 

" I am not quite a heathen; I am going to church again, though 
I am sorry I cannot go with you." 

** Augustus, at three I shall be ready," said Mrs. Mordaunt. 

" Thank you," he answered, consequentially ; " but I am going 
to church." And he gave a triumphant, and appropriating look 
at Lady Constance. 

His mother cast up her eyes with an air of resiarnation at his 
folly , and knowing that he wished to bo persecuted, merely said, 
** Oh ! by all means ;" and passed up stairs with Lady Constance. 

The latter fondly hoped to escape Augustus' unwelcome com- 
panionship when sne went to church; and in order to do so, she 



sent her maid down stairs when she was ready, to summon the 
footman who was to walk with her ; and then descended quietly 
herseK, without going into any of the rooms. But her watchfiu 



cousin, intent on his prey, was sitting with the dining-room door 
open, on purpose that she should not escape him ; and the moment 
her light step fell on the i>avement of tJie nail, he issued forth with 
his hat on, and his gloves in his hand. She was very much annoyed* 
but could not i>revent his walking along the pavement at her side, 
or going into his own mother's pew; though ane determinately and 
coldly refused his related entreaties that she would take his arm, 
and sat as far from him in the pew as possible. On their return he 
still accompanied her, ma^ng solemn observations on many parts 
of the sermon (aU of which he misunderstood,) and asserting that 
" this was the only way to spend the sabbath. 

After she had oeen in her room some little time, her maid 
brought her a sealed note from him, entreating her to come down 
into the drawing-room, as he had somethins: of importance to say 
to her. She went down accordingly, and ne, encnanted beyond 

X 



fl74 SIB XQSAJD JflBXOR. 

measure, eave her « ehak with somewhat of hk eldest bTothei^a 
pomp, added to his own niaUerie, This, however, she declined. 

" Lady Constanoe," he began, '* I feel happy in being able, as I 
hope, to render some tnfting serrioe to one whom it wHl ever be 
my happiness to make happy." 

Lady Constonce made a sli^t inolination. '* Painfal duties 
arise ia life sometimes, and thos is (me. (A pause.) But ceone 
what may, we must do our duty. I can no longer coneeal irwai 
you. Lady Constanoe " 

He paused a^rain, and Lady Coaistaflakce, who had at first been 
dreadfully inclined to laugh, aow became rather alarmed; and 
yague ideas of some bad news hayiiiir anived &om Llanayen, took 
possession of her. 

" What is it?" she said; "pray' tell me. There has been no 
news £rom home, has there ? Tell me, pray, Augustas." 

** Oh ! dear no," he answered deliberiiMy, uid with a look 
which seemed to say how Isiflisg he otmsidered all from thence, 
compared with his own deep respoiudbilities ; *' but I must tell you — 
that, unknown t>o you, my mother is making preparations— for 
giving a ball on Thursday next!" And he seemed overpowered with 
tilie importance of the iateUigenoe he had eomBumicated. 

" Is that all }" said Lady Coiwtainee, mueh relieved. 

** That all !" exclaimed Augustus, waib mirpcise and indiffna- 
tion. " I thought I had understood that you abominated mose 
things—tbat they wef<e repHgaaat to every feeling of your nature 
— ttiat you abhorred " 

'* Thank you, Augustas," aaid Lady GonEtance, kindly; "I am 
really much obliged to you for havinjg taken so much trouble about 
me, and fcH* having: told me about thas, as it will perhaps spare me 
a great deal of diffi<»]lty ; for th<NU^ tlie terms you use are rather 
strong, yet I certainly oo not like mw late-houxed dissipatioDs." 

Augustus' joy was beyond bounds. He wiw Beally kind-hearted, 
and was rejoiced to have been of use ; aaid Lady Constance's maimer, 
80 cordial to what it had been before, petfeoUy enchanted faioL 
He was begianing to pour forth foolish words; but Lady Constanoe 
resuming her ccdd and distant masmer* said, 

"I feel smre <^t you are glad to have beea of service to me, 
Augustus, in tbis affair; bat vou wwld also much oblige me. If 
you would cease that way of aadzeMUig me. We are couaiiis^ and 
as such, I should wish always to hare a friendly feeling towards 
you ; but tiiat is all-^and nmst oyer h» all* betweoi us." 

Augustus was daunted for a BMNDeat^ but his excessive Tani^ 
soon recovered from tilie blow it had XMStved; and indeed his 
manner to her was often so exeeedinglT disagreeable, that she £elt 
inclined to write to Lady Askton* and ei^ niat she mnat zetBm 
home. But she feH that A» eoold net d0 l&b witibout giving great 
offence to Mrs. Mordaunt ; and remembenng also, that her oonng 
at all had been against Lady Adrton's with, she fdt averse to tdce 
such a step ; so dhe gave up the ideaef it, andht^^ by eoniiiuial 
repression, to get rid in time of his distasted flod pramaytiKBBS 
assiduities. 

What had been said about ths ball brought with it ahw mocih 



I 



^ !i te one flo yonn^, and w dinnoMfied to <fpptm 
wiU and wishes of oilers. Though she had 8aid> *'l8 thrifc 
all V' at the mameaA; when 'her mind was relieved by finding thA 
fhat ** was all," yet no^ on tlimking over the snlijeot, she loiind 
it placed her in a yctty disagveeahle sLtoation as re«fkrded Mnk 
Mordannt ; but knowing: that the 'plainest path is ever the smootiieet 
and best, ^e determined to speuc to her aboat it as soon as i4» 
ooidd Wsibly find an opportiuiity. She determined vdt to attesd 
1^ ball, for she laiew Ijms Ashten would not Uke it; and i^e ate 
well remembered her father's^disflm^obaitionof 'tiiose things, whiek 
woxdd have been quite sufficiient for her, ev^ if she had not di»- 
liked the thoughts of it herself. She felt also ifor a moment 
displeased at the idea of being deceived into doing a tiling whioh 
she did not approye ; but be&ng sure Hbaib M^. MOTdaunt had been 
actuated entirely li^ « wish to piease^hoWeveir migtakflm,— that 
dieht shade of anger soon passed m>m her mind. 

Sirs. Mordanmt had indeed iteagined, that by suiprnuig Ladj: 
Constance into a scene ef tiiat 'k£ad» tdw wonM be giving her 4 
great pleasure. She had ««ften seeiD. gMs who—though forbiddet 
certain things— yet were -very glad wml eiroDsnstanoes seeaned t» 
affer a sort of apcdogy &r their dosg them; (those for in^aaoe^ 
who not being allowea to waltz, deligkted in those daoees whet« 
wsakzuLg was introduced wader another name ;) dad matfining thai 
Lady Constance possessed the same lax mindplea, she thought tim 
would be but too gkd to find heiself obliged to go to so «ay aaod 
t^easant a Hung as a ball; and Ihemtfre, with Teaily kind 
]iitentioii» had arranged this Mttfle surprise Jfor her. 

T!he n«Lt morain^ Constaoce spoke at once and (mtely to her ott 
the subject ; thanking her so sincerely and cordially for her ki&A 
wish to nlease h0D» and ex|i»esidiig suoh paised conoem at seeming 
vngratetal, (liie tears spriaA&ag idto her «ye8 as she spoke) th«A 
His. Meidaunt, «ilber the fiist moKoat of mapleastn^e, ksssed hMt 
affectionately, sayiz^* she was ''a dear oreature, though a sad 
litde Puritan^** and « gnater degree H>f kindly feel&ig and inti<. 
macy was established between i^Min firMn that aKHeut, than hwi 
ever before existed, 

Ihey8pentthere6t«fl2ientiondBgin''uiiavoida]biyi 
the nnLmpy ball ; and mu«h pleasant «onTana«io& |MUMed 1 
them whust so employed. 



GHAPTSB XXXIX. 



** (Ai! c^e« neiez^CEaUepiteMiM ^pie «eile4e to settiM toi aMrche 4 a«A 
b«tr 

<'*Oiit ttlB aa«stflrabi»p(Mi«^to4lMKtdrM7,iAidiiui«iies« stNdpi 
to its d^Mt"*^ 

Oir the 8tlL Off August, Lady Constlmce and her friends set ^ 
{bTSootknd; and their journey haviog been hapiMlyaieceaiplidi^ 
the party found themselyes u a smaU but WiMhly eoM»iiM>le 
bxraseiuthe neighbourhood of Lech Lomond. Mr. Mordaunt had 

T 2 



276 SIB BOLAin) ASHTOV. 

engaged a moor in that neighbonrliood ; and whilst lie and Ids 
brothers were shooting, Mrs. Mordaunt and Lady Constance 
wandered about the beautiful scenery that surrounded the Loch. 

When the first ardour of the ' chasse ' was over, it was proposed 
to take a little tour ; but Mr. Mordaunt, who had some little discern- 
ment— though not much — ^had found out by that time, that his de- 
Yotions were anything but acceptable to Lady Constance; and 
though maryeUing that so handsome a pNerson as himself, and with 
80 ^ood a fortune, should fail in creating an interest where he 
desired it, ^ret findine that such unfortunately was the case in 
the present instance, he accepted an inyitation from a friend in 
the neighbourhood, and went to stay some weeks with him at 
his house, instead of accompanTing the tourists in their journey. 
With many pompous speecnes ne took leave of his ' fair cousin,' 
and of his moth^, and left them to the care and guardianship of 
Philip and Augustus. 

Augustus was enchanted at seeing one rival off the field ; and 
his assiduities towards Lady Constance became greater than ever. 
He was far more insufferable to her than even nis eldest brother 
had been ; for to the weakest intellect, he joined the most egregious 
vanity. He was good-looking;-all the fanuly were so — and thought 
himsSf particularlv irresistible. He was exceedingly afraid of 
his mother, and of nis brothers also, because they laughed at T^im 
without his ever beinff able to discover why ; and Laay Constance 
having at first pitied his embarrassment, and spoken kindly to 
him, (as she would have done to a frightened child,) he set it 
down immediately in his mind that she must be in love with 
him. This feuioy never left his head, and nothing could discourage 
him. 

Her provocation was extreme, and she would often tdt for hours 
in her own room in order to avoid him. She wished herself at 
Llanaven a thousand times a^day ; and yet again a thousand times 
a-day felt it was best to be awa^ ; for the petty annoyances of 
her present life, were far less tryinff she knew than the heart- 
struggles she would have to endure there. 

Mrs. Mordaunt and Philip were excessively amused at Augustus' 
proceedings, and ^icoura^ him bjr being unusually gracious, and 
cordial ; but at last Phihp perceiving that it annoy^ Lady Con- 
stance, determined to put an end to it. 

They were going out one day in. a boat to one of the islands 
in the Loch, when Mrs. Mordaunt having fra^tten something in 
the house, after Lady Constance and Augustus were in the boat, 
returned with Philip to fetch it. Constance was going to follow 
them, when Augustus, thinking it would be a very acceptable 
piece of pleasantry, pushed off from the shore, and declared he 
would TOW her to the islsnd, and lenyo the others to follow in 
•nothei boat. She reqnMiied nim to return, and insisted indeed 
«B las doing so, but he only laughed ; and finding all argument 
useless, she was so extremely displeased that she sat perfectly 
sflent, nd refosed even to answer a word that he said. 
He was not used to the water, and rowed veiy ill; and Hie boat 



Sm BOLAKD ASHTOK. 277 

rocked from side to side so yiolently tliat at times Lady Constance 
was really alarmed for her safety ; out. havinfi[ made an exclama- 
tion of fear at one particularly dreadful lurcn, and receiving the 
assurance — hy no means consolatory — ^firom him, that " she need 
not fear, for if she went down, he should perish with her," she 
determined for the future to repress her terror, and sit as quiet as 
existing circumstances would allow. 

Philip meanwhile having perceived what was going on, ahraptly 
left his mother; and oallmg to a lad to help him to push on 
another boat, he jumped in, and seizing the oars was sooti in hot 
pursuit. Augustus saw him from a distance, and exerted himself 
more vigorously than ever ; but Philip's more stalwart arm made 
his little skiff soon gain upon the other. Lady Constance was 
truly thankful for this prospect of deliverance, whilst Augustus 
continued to cheer her, as ne fondly imagined, with hopes of 
escaping from their pursuer. 

Seeing his brother, however, gaining on him much more than he 
liked, he turned the head of the boat away from the island which 
thev had nearly reached, and rowed out again into the open loch. 
Lady Constance now grew desperate, and though not much versed 
in such matters, she got up, and taking hold of the rudder, sud- 
denly turned it so as to point the boat's head again towards the 
shore of the island. 

Augustus was exceedingly vexed, but he tried to laugh it off; 



and Philip having by liiis tune come up with them— in a voice of 
thunder, and with flashing eyes, ordered him instantly to row to 
tiie shore, and let Lady Constance land. All Augustus' fear of 



Philip returned when he received this fierce injunction ; and he 
began to be afraid he had gone too far in his sportive wit. He 
obeyed, therefore, and Lady Constance, to her great relief, in a few 
moments found herself a^ain safe on solid ^ound. 

As soon as they had all three landed, Philip knowing that Lady 
Constance was tiien beyond the reach of annoyance from Augustus, 
felt his love of tormenting return strong upon him. Still keeping 
up the appearance of violent anger, wnich had at first been per 
fectly natural, he drew Lady Constance's arm through his, and 
placing himself between her and his brother, exclaimed, with a 
menacmg air, 

" Augustus, your aim is perceived; and though, doubtless, had 
Lady Constance's heart been disengaged, your talents and abilities 
could not have fisdled to make her completely devoted to you, yet 
learn to your confusion that her heart is no longer hers— nor yours 
— but mine ! I claim her as my own ! We are engaged to each 
other by vows and promises innumerable ! Speak to her again, 
therefore— at your peril !" 

Augustus was rendered furious by this announcement; and he 
would not tamely submit to have his bright castle of vanity 
crumbled to the earth. His fear of his brother vanished for the 
instant before the violence of his excitement; and he vowed that 
Lady Constance should be his, and his alone. 

*' Ask her," said Philip, oooUy. 



icogustiuk aSMdfid to Lady CcmstaBoe in T^hemwi tesns; Imk 
"Mfxte she oonld uMer a word, Phalip ^daimftd, " There, you J^eatd 
irhat ahe said/' 

" I did not hear her voice/* replied Ai]gsttgi3i& 

*' Then yon. should. haiRe liibened, ^ sa«4 ' ahe waa,inifie» and 
vine only / and abe will prove it to you by going where I lead hem 
while you must instantly return* aad hiingrmy motbar here* ]Sow» 
begone !" 

Augustua still h^tated; but Philip. teUng hold of X«ady Con- 
fltence g^atly but fjisuly by the wrist,, conunenoed sorambllnir ^ a 
ledge of rooks— ^suppor&ig her with suph stisengtib, that her 6et 
aoarcel^ needed the slight bold they oould take of the rugged, paitib^ 
wav— till the unhappy Augustus,, sedng all facfeher remonstmuxi 
iiseless, proceeded, slowly towards the boats. 

Lady Oonstanoe was really t^iTified by Philip's ircnih and man* 
ner. Her first fear of him returned to her imfAl and she thoudbit 
^ had o nly escaped ^am. an idiot to fallJ into the hands of a 
Viadmaa. Wheu they had reached a smooth e^ot, howeyer, he 
i^easod her ann>.aiLd gave way to a dicill. burst of laughter. Bbo 
9tUl feared for his senses* and her ternfilsd look adding to his un- 
oontrollable memment, only prolonged, the t^m of her fean; foe 
he could, make no intelligible sound* and it was lonp^ era he oould 
cease wiping away the tears his immoderate nm^ caused, to 
4ow. 

" I bejt your pardon/' at Ifist. hci said^ "I wall, i^eak in a 
v^nute/' 

Lady Ooiistaiiiie iiie& saw tha4^ her fears ware Taiu,. and. relieved 

!pm ner- anxiety i^e could not help laughing with him; and 
ugustas was gone BOT»fi lit^e disteju^e before th,ey were beeonifi 
eftmposed aiid rational again. 

' Li a few minutes, howeyer* a.new Ibar seemed tp seize uponLadj^ 
Can^tance, and she exclaimed, eamestl]^ 
. ** Oh ! gbJI him back* pray,.Philip; call him back, aikd tall: him 
9 was but a joke about our being engag^ed/' And. she called him 
h%iwelf at the height of- her silvery voice. 

*'If you choose to have him ba^," said Philip, ** I dedaze I wiU 
l^ye him here, and. go. back, myself; and wl nevier help yoa 
again/' 

But Lady Constance's mind w»a too much, exoited; and again 
she called to Augustua, i^id signed, fbr him to return. Too happyt 
tp obey her, he instantly turned, the boat's head, and. rowed b««& 
again towards the island. 

" Why have you brought hipi hack ?" said PhiUp» indignantlF.;. 
** Lady Constance, must X. helieve that you like that intpleisaluft 
sUlyton T* 

*^ Like him ! oh ! no, I oaimotr bear him ! I beg your pardon for 
8«Q^g so. But I am so afraid^-'-as he becomes sullen sometimfia— 
that he may refuse to return with Mrs. Mordaunt, and may eHudbj^ 
himself in writing to that fellow-derk of his in the Foreign Offiioa» 
to whom he sends such volumes every day; and if he should, mfiii* 
tion your ridiculous accoimt, and, it was repeated, it migh^ j:eaeh 



279 

Lknoveo. Oh ! FliiHp,.lie ia near; if yaa ha.'we naiH^ any Meod* 
ridp foir me, tell him it was only a. joke.f* 
"^I devour my 0"wai words ! Never !" 

But seeing distaEess evidently painted, on. Lady Constance's faoe, 
and having himself moreoYer some little private reasons for not 
wishing a repoit like the one in question to reach England, he 
promised quickly to- arrange the matter with his hrother. 

When Ausrustos had huided^ he oame up toLady Constance with 
a look of soon imbecile triumph ouhis oountenaaoe, thai Philip 
felt tempted to throw him into the loch* Se did not do so; how- 
ever; but addressiiur him in a low, aolemii voice, he told him, 
'* that if a syllable of what had passed was repeated by him, either 
by letter or word' of month, to any living soul, excepting his 
mother, his pvospeots in Hfe wonld be mined for ever. Instant 
expulsion from me Foreign Office,, and all fhtore hopes in that 
quarter, would be tiie first step; and it was impossible to say what 
would be the second !" 

'* And now," he added, "having wanted you,. I bid you again 
depart. As you row our mother here, you may freely pour forth 
an your griefs and wrongs to her; but a syllable tetany one else, 
and you know— -or ratfa^," he added». impves8ively,"yott do no^ 
know— what will happen !" 

** Why did you not make him. xvromise }*' said Lady Constance, 
when she saw Augustus again in his boat rowing away ; for she felt 
but half satisfied. 

*' Make him promxse, my dear cousin; V replied Philip ; ** certainly 
sot. That would haiFe made him supnose that I depended upon 
him— whereas I mean him to feel that ne depends upon me,— and 
happily he believes every word I say. Let me advise you never to 
give orders in such a way as to allow people to fancy you can be 
disobeyed; if you do, you. may be sure you wiU be." 
'* But why did yon say he might tell nis mother }" 
** Because I know he oare not for his life ; besides which I should 
Bot mind if he did tdl her. Ifhe does not, I shall." 
"Tell her what?" 

" That we are engaged^" answered Philip, very solemnly. " The 
words which I spoke, and whieh you did not contradict, in this 
Ssotland, you know, ane sufficienib of themselves in & court of law, 
to constitute us man and wi&; soyou cannot retract, even if you 
wished it. But I have no fear of that being the case." 

Philip Mordaunt was so inoomparable an actor, that his mother 
even, who knew him best, was continually taken in by him ; and 
Lady Constance, who was unused to this species of jokmff, at that 
moment really fiBlt an. actual terror take possession of her; for 
tiiongh PhiUp had always been on the pleasantest terms with her, 
and had never shown her anything but a brother's kindness, yet, 
in this vain, and extraordinary family, she felt as if she could be 
secure of nothing. Her persecutor, however, not wishing really to 
terrify her, and seeing ^e was uncomfortable, hastened to reheve 
her in purt, by saying, 
''But do not feaz; I wiH promise never to claim you. till yon 



280 >™ BOLASP AflBiaV. 

claim me; bo unless AngnstnB bwrwitncai ajwinst ^ y«ir fjAe 
Seski yoi- own hands. No, my dear consin," lie ^^"f^^^ 
«^Si: tS^^ way, "theri is happfly noUiing of that M>rt be- 

li^erhad a^rter, and have often lon^l fe one; and jo^i seem 
mS^likeitthanailyhodyleyermetw&i. You donot n^d mv 
Sways calling yon ^consin/ do yon? I am so W of B^^Tta 
foS, 'iaX^Constence/ and Angosti«i' ^^^f^. }S^ 
C-o^n^Oance/ that I hate the very sound. My mother s Con- 
stance' sonni charming; hut I should not perhaps qmte like that 
WmyUps; hut may I always call you/deareonsm, or lair 
cousin/ or even »fat« 'cousin' sometmies? «t.«4. „^ 

Ladv Constat smiled. "Take care." she repbed, "lest we 
should quarrel irrecondlahlv in the latter case. Do you not re- 
membe/that when Horace Walpple was aS^edtomakeun aqm^ 
between two ladies, he said. 'Ihd they ^^h other uglyr 
• Then,' he said, ' perhaps I may succeed.' However, y^^."^®^ 
me by whatever name makes you feel me the most of a frimd and 

^**^on are trnly kind," said Philip. " I often long to talk to 
you as if we had known each other all our lives. I have no one 
who is quite comfortable to me here. My dear mother listens to 
me with exempl^y patience ; but then! feel that it is patience, 
and I want sympathy. Now you I am sure would qrmpathize 
with me— if you kaew I were in trouble." ., ^ , „ ^ 

" My dear Philip, I am sure I should," said Lady Constance, 
with energy; for her heart melted at the idea of any one bemgm 
trouble. . ,, •• j 

" Now you are really my own delightful cousin, he aiMrwered, 
taking her hand and kissing it with the utmost attection ; " aad I 
will talk to you, and tell you all my misery. You see— I ameii- 
gaged ! but 1 can't marry ; and that troubles me." , 

" You are engaged?' said Lady Constance, surprised; thea 
why not marry ? You are not very poor, are you ?" , . 

" Oh ! no, I am getting on very well ; but my * love is a inino?, 
and rich ; and her guaraian will not hear of me, and forbids ne 
the house— wanting her, I am sure, for his own son — like all ojd 
guardians in plays and farces ; so for the next two years I cann)t 
marry, and can only see her indeed occasionally, and at other 
people's houses; for since my unfortunate proposal, he keeps h^e 
entirely in the country, and seldom allows her even to go to his 
sister, who is in town. She was there, however, the last Sunday 
we were in London ; and it was with her that I went to church 
that evening, for she is a good girl, and as lovely as she is good; 
much too good indeed for me ! Iwish you knew her, Constance.— 
There ! now that I am talking of Clara all reserve seems gone willi 
you, and I can and may call you Constance, may I not ? it seems 80 
natural and comfortable. But do you not pity me ?* ' 

' I do truly ; but still you know that she loves yon, and you 
know that you love her : is not that joy enough ? And after two 
years, if all go on well, you will be happy— how happy V And a 
'^ '^■^d rested on her beautiful brow. *' But tell me aoout her, and 



sot BOLAITD ASHTOir. 881 

abont yonrself," she oontmued ; " for I am fliire it must be a idief 
to speak ! Clara — what is she ?" 

" Clara Leslie. She is very lovely,^aot perhaps so stiiotly so 
asvou are, but—-" 

'Never miad comparisons/ ' said Lady Constance, laughing ; " she 
is beautiful in your eyes, for she has the best beauties, goodness and 
love for you ; and that is enough to make you happy. Now, go on 
till you are tired." 

" Ah! when wiU that be?" 

He went on, however, and relieved his heart by pouring it forth 
into Lady^ Constance's kbd ear. She grieved over his trouoles ; but 
as she hstened to them, her own sadder ones, disturbed by his 
words from the depths in which she endeavoured in general to oury 
them, rose up in such overwhelming force, that leanmg her iauoe on 
her hands, she gave way to imcontrollable tears. 

" I did not mean to distress you, my dear cousin," said Philip, 
with much emotion; "I will not say another word of my foolish 
love." 

** Oh, yes !" said Lady Constance, " go on, and do not mind me ; 
it is a reuef to ciy sometimes — even for notliing." And her tears 
flowed afresh at tmnking how much she had to weep for. 

After a time Augustus and his mother arrived at the little 
island, — ^the former beingevidently very sullen and very imhappy; 
and after a rather dull walk (for Lady Constance and Philip were 
both saddened by their late conversation), they all returned to the 
mainland. 

Lady Constance was now much more at her ease than she had 
been before with her relations. She felt a great regard for Mrs. 
Mordaunt, who was an amiable person, and full of agreeable con- 
versation, and who was indefatigable in her endeavours to make 
the time pass pleasantly to her ; Augustus was subdued, and for 
Philip she really felt a great affection. She saw much in him that 
was solidly good, and amiable, though mixed with a good deal of 
worldliness and vanity. He would often talk with her on serious 
subjects, which he promised to think more of than he had hitherto 
done ; and he said he should like her to know and talk with Clara 
Leslie, and help her to clearer views than she then had. She 
could not, however, always persuade him to behave to Augustus 
as she wished; for lie would often encourage him in his folly, and 
then at other times, when really he might, by accident, have 
s]X)ken a sensible word, he scared his few senses from .him, by 
ms contemptuous, dogmatical manner. 

Augustus Mordaunt was certainly a person whom it was almost 
impossible to improve. The least rebuff seemed to annihilate him 
— excepting where his vanity was concerned— and the smallest 
meed of praise made him think himself Solon redivivm. He was 
not able for a length of time perfectly to fathom the affair of the 
engagement ; for he saw evidently mat though Philip and Lady 
Constance were much more together than they had hitherto been, 
yet that there was no love between them ; and his own hopes 
would flicker up, if Lady Constance for a moment forgot the oold 



her natore. Once, indeed, when a& felfc pained at aometyng 
Philip had nid tohim,. tuAsfaka kindly whisn the finmei had left 
the room, he recoYering the imoleof his presomptum inan instant, 
and was- aboob to poor Ifarik a i«liimft ol alnDsditf, whan ahe 
stopped faiflL h^ aaying^ 

'^AugfQstoSy X afaul apeak tn mt no naia;.ainoa I find yoa aze 
weak enoneh to imagine I can nave any motive in.heiiig kind to 
yon, heyond that of the commonest conmaBmoa." 

This-seTere rebnlBe^ hadj happfly the^ oesijEed ^Eeet,. and nothing 
more waa heard of hia hopes or pratenBianB; and dorinfl' the re- 
mainder of th^ sti^ in Sootiand, he oonfaoited himself by heing 
aOfint, and very arosB^ and hy^poinlBd]^ ainiding^lAdy Ckmstance 
an ail occasian8» 

After hwving>mado aavaral littb tonx8» the party, joined again 
hy Mr. Moidfumt^ setnaied ta London; and at laist the sad yet 
joyfdl day was £bi:ed for Lady Constance's return to Llanayen. 

Lady Ashton wxote a pmssing in^^tation to Mza. Moidaiint to 
aocompan^r her chaDgahaekinlo Comara]!, and gi^e her the pleai- 
sure of a ^at ; and Mah. Mcmlawnt^ i^ wasmnoh softened in. her 
dislike of "Methodists," and felt a real affection for her young 
eensin, whose eaBtreme aimaliililQr aodnnaflfeeted piety had greatiy 
won. upon her^ aoeadod witiLpleaanrato the proposal ; and, aooooL* 
panied by Philip, set ont wioLLad^ GaDstanos mc LLanaren. 



CHAPTER XL. 

*'Hoiin came for-nm in irHaah no cxniaQlfltfca worid appetv ny hrnit, la 
wfiieh I in ynn comlMrted myMlf, and nid, * How I will n(Kl».Mid then prar, 
and then deep;* Inrt yetangntah woold not 1«st» ma^bnt followed ma stiU 
when I read, prarooAed. me ihungEajei; and abated awax deep ;*-ye8, maBf 
sadi boon bare besn.?>-4L Bbbbsbi. 

Life had gpDne on most smooffily witiBL Lady Ashtondoring^Lady 
€anstanoe's absenee. She had heard repeatedly from, both Sir 
Boland. and Henrv., and nooeiyed good accounts of both. Sir 
Bdiand, who had also wiitton continually to Lady^ Constance, was 
atiU fully employed, in. the business of ms mission; he deeply re- 
mtted his proknged absenoe, and. added that it was impossible 
m him yet to- name a time for his return; He spoke to Lady 
Constance in unabated teims of His deep attachment; and of the 
hapmnesawithi which, he looked: forwam to the time when they 
ahonid meet again». never he honed, more to partr. These letters 
ffled her. with sadness, though tney no longer rent her heart as 
oncte they had dona. She felb her regaia for him grew eyen 
atronger aind stronger; for his was a. character whose beauty wav 
tba moxe yalned, the more it was known ; and her efforts to bring 
far aflfeotion» into their legitimate oHannel* seemed not whofly 
wsthoufr a blessing. It had been a fireat relief to her haying' so 
UDohjoaw matte X to QomniiinioAtR tft hiiyi ^^^lyfng her stay in town. 



and lies tour in Scotland^, as it enabled hemior Wl hem liattos wxthr 
ont alludij]^ nmoh to wsel£ or home oonQasQ^; aaud also ft&YQ a 
tone o£ oheerMness to lier Qonunimicatioiis^ wluoli db0.,oould not 
Qtherwise, kave qomsiAnded^ 

Henry's letters to liis nuothar were written ut appaxently tfaa 
Bigbest spicitsi^or he ooidbi not bear ber tQ> be tDonbled by bis 
Tumappiness— yet at tunea at few word»of tbe.deepesti malanoboly 
would reveal tne grief tbaib never left him. 

When be bad driven fix)m tiile door on the sad day of bia licpacr- 
tare from Uanacven,. be looked: baok at the disar home — wbore bk 
boyish pleasures had been so perfect, and wheTC hi? htid lutdy ex^ 
perienced both asidh, ezoess of happiness^ and Buiih rackini; misery 
—Hind ezamiued over and over again each window, in the hope, 
yet dread, of seeing Lady Constance; andtbonidi h& felt the blakk 
of disappointment at finding she waa not tiiei^i yet he loved her 
the more &r the resalutionand principle wbii^h he felt sure alaim 
bad prevented her fxmxi taking one last farewell. Ho looked on 
every object, as be passed rapidly along, as knowing he should 
look on it no more; and his heiUTt seemed aluiost to break as h& 
heard the park-gate swing to and fro on its hiu^ea alter he had 
passed it Tor ever. Amidst alL bis enshy bo we v or > hiA kindly 
teart did not forget the f eelinas of others ; and knowing tjiat the 
old woman at the lodge would be waiting for him i bo mastered 
himself sufficiently to look out for a moment as he parsed ; and 
waving bis hand, be threw out a little sum. of mo&cy a^ a farewell 
r^oaexnbrance. 

When every thing of home was gone, he dropped on bis knees 
in the carriage, and leaning* bis bead on the seat, ga;re vent to bis 
great grief. His spirit was young and unsubdued ;. and for a time 
bitter murmurs rose in bis heart against the crueltnr of a fate, 
which not only separated him from all wham be loved, but made 
even the thought and remembranoe of them misary to him ! On 
her, the dearest of all, he dared not let his thoufi^hts dwell for fk 
moment ; princi|de as wdl a& feeHng shut ber lo^d image for 
ever from his mind ; and be could, no^ at. that distraoted moment, 
form even tbewidii, or hope, that the time might, ever oome in 
which be could think oi her, and. not be miserable. 

It was too much wretchedness,, howover^ for him: to be at emnil^ 
with God, as well as cut off from all eajrthly a^Bsotioins^ and Mk 
heart, soon softened, towards^ the powerful yet gracdaus Being whose 
compassions fail not, and who drew his soul to Himself for comfort 
and peace. Mtar deepen and uaom j^rvent prayer than he bad been 
able to ofE^ up for many dayi^ be felti his spirit muck relieved* 
and bis heart calmed. He would; be thought, tcy to live for. 
others more than he had hitherto d&ne ;— be would look more tD> 
the end for which be was created, namely, the glory of God;, and^ 
would strive to be more like his blessed. Lord,, inpatioence,. and. 
exertion ;r-«nd.in> these gxeat and heaven- gmded resoluMonSi be 
obtained somewhat ol tranquillity. 

When he joined his ship, he found it was tO' sail with sealed 
orders, but be cared not ior that ;there was but one spot in the 



284 sot BOLABB ASHTOV. 

world for him— the rest was a vacant wilderness; and when at the 
proper time, the orders were examined, and it was found that the 
ship's destination was the Mediterranean, it seemed almoat sur- 
prising to him that others should rejoice so much, at heing sent to 
that fQways feiYourite station, when it was a matter of such total 
indifference to him. He felt that this was wrong; hut sach a 
coldness had again crept over his heart, that he walked the deck, 
almost like one in sleep. He strove to animate himself, and tried 
to talk, and listen to the conversation of others ; hut hefore half a 
sentence had reached his ear, his mind was again far away. 

The ship had a fine passage out, and soon reached (nbraltar; 
and the ofacers had leave to go on shore, and examine the pecu- 
liarities of that curious place. Henry landed with the others ; and 
while wandering with listless steps over the rock, he suddenly 
remembered that Mrs. Montacue's husband was stationed there. 
He determined instantly to find him out ; and leaving the others, 
he directed his steps hack towards the town, inquiring for the 
military quarters. Having been directed to them, he soon disco- 
vered Captain Montague amidst a group of officers ; and going 
Tip to him, with a sailor's frankness, he introduced himself, saying, 
that, " as he had had the pleasure of seeing Mrs. Montague yer^ 
lately, he ttiought he woidd oe glad to hear a good accoxmt of her. 

The young man coloured up painfully, and instantly taking his 
arm, walked away with him. One or two of the more thoughtless 
of his companions called after him, saying, 

"You'll let us have the interesting news, Montague," &c. ; hut 
he took no notice, and continued on ms way in silence, till he was 
out of sight and hearing of them. 

" You saw her lately ?— In Cornwall ?" he asked, in a low voioe- 
" And the child, how was it ?" 

"Much better." 

"Thank God I They said it was dving/' 

" Yes," said Henry, " my mother reared at one time that it conla 
not live." 

" Your mother ! You are not ?— can you he— Mr. Ashton ?" 

" That is my name," said Henry, smiling. 

His companion grasped his hand without speaking a word, while 
every feature quivered 5 then quitting him aoruptiy, he walked np 
and down in jn*eat agitation. In a few minutes he returned, and 
again taking Henry's hand, said, 

" How can I ever thank you for what you have done— for savmg 
me. from being a murderer." , 

Henry, who knew nothing of Captain Montague's history, (t^TO 
from several littie things which had reached his ear, he had iudged 
him nota very attentive husband,) was rather startled by this address; 
but taking no notice of the latter part of it, he answered that ne 
had merely done what any sailor would have done in his place; 
adding, good-humouredly, 

" Touland-fighters thmk a great deal more of these things than 
we do. The water is nothing to such fish as we are." . 

But Mr. Stanhope informed me that it had been a most desperate 



BIB SOLAin) AAHTOK. S85 

risk for yon; and that you had been seyerely iojvred by your 
exertions." 

'< Ah ! that was only by my own folly. I need not have been 
linrt^ had I ta^n oare." * 

** I cannot express to yon what I feel, Mr. Ashton," a^ain ex- 
olaimed Captain Montague, " for I am the greatest wretch on earth ; 
and my cruelty and neglect had nearly consigned those I should 
have watched over, and loved best on earth, to a watery crave." 

•• Of that," said Henry, much surprised, " I know nothing ; but 
if you have formeily, as you say, been unkind, you are happy in 
having it now in your power to make the future a different scene." 

" I will leave nothing undone to atone for my past conduct." 

"Atonement is out of our power, Captain Montague, either to 
God or man," said Henry, gravely ; " nothing we can do oan tdfect 
the past." 

Captain Montague's eye sunk under the remonstrance of his 
young companion— whose senior he was, however, by several years 
— ^but feeling that his intentions were sincere, he soon answered, 

" True, nothing can undo the past ; but I trust the future wiU be 
very different." 

'* Be it so," said. Henry, kindly ; " and I shall be much mistaken 
if you find it hard to obtain forgiveness. Mrs. Montague seems 
to be one of the sweetest persons possible ; and it is a dear little 
child." 

Captain Montague sighed, and was silent a moment, then said, 

" 1 had written to you, Mr. Ashton, to try and express my 
thanks; but probably the letter had not reached you before you 
sailed &om England. 

" It had not, repHed Henry ; " but thanks were not needed. I 
oame off without Knowing where I was bound, or I should have 
been happy to have brought out anything for you which 'Mxs, 
Montajgue might have wished to send. 

(Captain M!Qntague thanked him, but looked confused, for he 
knew that his wife would not have thought of writing to him at 
that time ; though when he despatched Senry Ashton s letter, he 
iiad written a most kind and affectionate one to her, full of remorse 
for his past conduct, and of loving promises for the fature. 

The report of the loss of the vessel in which Mrs. Montage had 
sailed, had reached Gibraltar, unaccompanied by any particulars^ 
several days before Mr. Stanhope's letter arrived, mentioning her 
safety, and that of the child ; and during that fearful interval, he 
bad had the weight of their blood upon his conscience; which 
dreadful fading had left so strong an imj^ression on him, that» 
when he was relieved from it, it seemed as if all other sensatioiui 
were absorbed in joy and gratitude; and his affections, turned 
back into Iheir natmral dumnel, seemed to flow in a fuller tide 
than they had ever done before. After a few minutes' silence, he 
oontmueo, 

"I have applied for leave of absence, for I long to return to 
Ei^land ; but I fear I shall not be able to get it for some weeks yet ; 
and perhaps I may we Tou again before that time. I shall be 



SM 8M !E«LOn) JtiSBT(fir. 

BioBt haq)p^ I'gp^ l^tafke fheme sny^migTmii^ 

or to do anything in my power to serve you. Will you dine ^wifli m 

tfns e^Bmag at Hke mess ?" . 

Henry accented the invitation; and Captsfai KontaSfue Qm 
walked ^th lum about the place, poiirtang ottt -all thtft ws most 
worthy of >obflervation--^lad ind^ to imow acoy civility to one to 
whom he feit so deefAy inderbted. EEenry was vm^k pleased Tritt. 
liim, and wiOh wefvemL of the officers whom he met at table; and 
taiking leiwe kindly of them all, when dinaer wius over, be retimed 
to his -veesel. 

This me«txn|[ wi1& Oaiptam Vetftagtie seemeA for Ifhe tiiiie to 
relieve ifads spinlts a Isttie, for it dvew mB liherogbts away 'from him- 
wilf ; bat WMn aigain on board, and foUowmg the monotonoiu 
routine eff a «sBlerNs life, las fiense «f sdsney isceoM almoin deepened 
-qpon him. 

He had wmvt bc^re been in the MeStemoifian; and hal ius 
heart befen «t 'ease, how wovAd he have eirloyed its lovely (dfiiate, 
and its besntiM shoresi But new, as he IdokBdi into the xAeai 
Asiiths &£ lis blue waters, he only seemesd to lone for repose within 
Iheir bosom. He seemed incapable of peace, and to bedriven from 
CFVvry «al>jeot «n which his thoughte oooid reA ; fat everv avenuB 
to feding was Med with the objedte iiiat fiheuM fc« avosiM. EfS 
wesj ^rayeni had been so ifoll «f herl fer he was com whose ^niit 
had mtherto sought rather to bring the blessing of God doviL<n 
his«Bi4My lieasmB, Ihaa to raise itoelf vpte Bb 

Yet it was Mt the feeimg SMrely «f tdisapnomted tdBPeetaons, or 
•f f»paratk>n 6om witat he loved, which brou^t 1ii» deadly bqp 
on everything ; it was the fear of sin, the dread -of fpailt upon mB 
soul, which sadecrerytfaoovht of hCTie«o ten^ ffis 

ycmxg^ nmmitic heart, w<oaMi«tber ha^ ^de&gbbed t^ihermse, m 
smrisbjag up ite vegrrts, and dwelfinig upon lAte recoUedsooB « 
former happiness ; but his awabeaied oenseieDLee, attdhagh "pimap^ 
would not allow of ^m4omgaomm; aadmet ksvHig strengtii to 
oepe with the evil, and 4nbdoe it» he found Ids wily icfoge wasm 
tBdeavouniw to ahvt out mmory altogether, like Me wldeh be 
led unhappify (■wu e utod nalhing ta fill tthe spaee thus left » 
vacant ; sail all that he ioitthereiBve in g^tenl, w«a avoid, ahao^ 
mnflpdmJde sense of ujtter desohttion. 

Ilierew«re none ^n board widi whom he hederrer saikdbefts^j 
sod if asy of his ioraier afainnaijles had seen him the^ 
searoely have leoocniwd in his fdbe, mefauaeholy ooantenanee, A* 
tetuves of his, w&na onee huayant anftd^ and Monding heart, had 
Made all br%ht«nnDid,«nd ofteiafusedits ^Mnem «Ten into tin 
weary night-wvtoh. 

Aniongalllui now ooKpanieBSi ttsrawushut «ne whocxcM 
any interest in him; and that w«i Mr. SI. Gfaur, Hm Urslrli^ 
tenant fie was « middle-ttged man, with a gnrve hut {Aeaw 
oountenance ; and though he was one who spoke but little^ yet tan 
little was invariahlF iiiid sbhI (waalifltii^. A hmgh or joki 
seldom indeed passed Ms own li^; hot ai ofteer on boafdw«B 
mora tolecantof the laaghtsr sadjokw «f oUmps. Sven vbcn 
the "sky-larking" of the half-crazy 'mids/ passed ahnost all 



fiS7 

iKrands of ondxuraaifie, Bpd oaHed fantk luod woiids «nd aemte loaks 
from, otkera inldteiBfaip, liiBindi4gart amile, and kmd excuse, weoe 
ever ready. 

''There s agisat neiflfi %eloir Hiese, Ms. St CHair/' ths oaptmn 
would exelaim. 

"Yovmg Bpirhs, sir, ymmg spiixtB^ all the hetfcer when work 
ooi&efi," would he the kiaod-Akeartod answer. 

Yet when in passing along deok«, his "Have a care, youi^ 
gentlemen," was heam, it was isLvariahly tseaited with respect ; 
and tiie " At, a^;, fiir," was never more i^heenfiiLly returned than 
to him ; while quiet would he for a moment fosteFed. 

The ligiut-heartod heongs over wbem he exetwised ^is 'mild 
eontrol,' used among themselves to call hia St. John St. Clair — 
John hieiing his dinstiaaBL name; hut the ajppeHation was given in 
all kindliness, for he was greatly heloved ; and the strong religious 
opinions whidi ansgested tbe name hzinging withtheon no harah- 
nesB, were tdesated for his sake; and in mas^y instanoes indeed* 
hecame, through him, reverenced for their own. 

Under eixcnmstanoes of less intolecahle mdksna^h HJeniy Ashton 
wooM often have gladly conversed with hian ; hot it was imposfidhlo 
for him to talk rniMh on indifior^it suiyeots, and the souroe of liIs 
affiction was one whieh he eonld lay '0|>en to no hnman eye, nor 
could he seek aocsifiart under it from any hionaa vetce. Scapody 
indeed, to Hea-vien oovld he, at that difitressful time, kok for ccta- 
solation. " II ^toit triste de la tristesse, qui §toit alors le fond de sa 
vie," ("Se wns sad, with Hut sadness whieh was then the gzoand- 
wwk of Us liie,^) and all his eneo^s seemed g(»e. 

Alter <erai8ing about fo):.BQ(me tuae- the ihip touched at Malta^ 
and when there, Mr. St. Clair received a letter from a friend of hU 
who had formerly sailed with Ebnry, and who »ade partiocdar 
inquiries afisr kim ; asking if he were still 1^ Mfe of the<Grew, as 
helial fenneriy been. SmpriicMi at neoeiving a chaiaotier of him 
so vnlike what his piesent anpeasanoe wan*anted> Mr. St. Clair 
wstohed him more closely; aiMlhe s0en heeame eanvinoed that it 
was trouble of faeort wiudli had eonvserted tibe once|:ay and high- 
iq^iited young saJlQC, into tiba silani; mftlmniholy being who then 
trod the deeks with so absbEsetednn aic !DiiB oonvietkMi roused 
all his kindly fediags; and mnde han wuaoiis if pessiUo ta 
assuage the fl0Rtmr«f so ymag a heart. 

When Henry's turn, tiMBBfom, eawe for looeinQg thenija^ht-watehy 
hue lingered sone tine on deck, watdiing for ano^portuaity (^ q^ 
oonwwaation with Urn. fiaBry« unaware of hu objeoL took no 
notice of him, bat eontinBed Ms numoteBons wnU: up and down in 
silence ; till at length, fiiUof his own aul theugliis, he stopt and 
leant over the f infeaay^ hiaiwe bncied oa his una. . A strong but 
kind hand laid on nis shoidder, aoon roused hisx froai his revezie. 
Ho started, aadwasiathar anrprandfltfiadin^it was Mr. St Clair's ; 
iat he had seaxaeljr ezohanged a sylkhle witiLhha, ecBoepting on 
matters <^ duty, sinoe fas had hesaon beard. 

** These nlg^t soeaes witon mrianflh^ tiamghte, ICr. Aaht<Bi»*' 
add tiie first-lieirtaB8Bt. 
^ IIMaMra m thm^nnvfaiiB^" aepHwi Hiwi^iibaBnlyv 



288 Sm BOLAin) ASHTOK* 

** Not if we like holding oommiuiion with the Father of ouz 
epirits," said Mr. St. Glair ; " but otherwise darkness is generally 
felt to be a dreary thing." 

** All times are much alike, I think/* replied Henry. 

'* To me, I confess," said Mr. St. Clair, '* these tiimqiiil honrs, 
when most of the poor fellows are below in their hammocks, are 
particularly delLgh^al ; the unusual quiet makes one more mindful 
of * Him, ne'er seen but ever nigh.* " 

Henry was silent, and again lefint down his head. 

" Has the thought of him no charm for you, Mr. Ashton ? " con- 
tinued his kind companion. 

" It used to have, answered Henry, without raising his head. 

"You have not the look of one whom sin has separated from his 
Gbd," said Mr. St. Clair, in a tone which would have unlocked 
the closest heart. 

" No," said Henry. " I have sins enough certainly, but I have 
no fears of Qrod's anger; though I cannot just now enjoy His 
love." 

His young heart was touched by Mr. St. Clair's manner ; and 
with that yearning for commiseration, so natural to all, especially 
1k) the young, when affliction is new and bewildering to tnem, he 
longed to pour forth all his miseries. But that was impossible* 
His troubles did not belong to himseK alone— the most sacred feel- 
ings of others were involved in them ; and those he could not 
betray. 

** Prayer will bring God's light back into your heart, young 
man," replied Mr. St. Clair, in a softened voice; **no sorrow can 
withstand His gracious presence there. You have found that I 
daresay at times." 

" I have never known sorrow till now." 

" Then you must have had the life of one of a million," sighed 
his companion. *' But nevertheless the burthen is not the lightor 
because our shoulders are unaccustomed to bearing it. I don't seek 
your coi^dence as to your earthly trial8,'^you can tell them to :sroui 
God ; and it is but poor pleasure to hear th© record of sujfferin|;s 
which make one's heart bleed, while one cannot raise a finger m 
help. But a little word of God's peace will sometimes oheer a 
drooping spirit, if Satan's power is not too hard upon it. You seem, 
I am happy to see, to have some hope beyond this world." 

" I hi3— but everything now seems gone ! " 

'* Oh ! that mustnotbe?' said Mr. St. Clair with kindly warmth; 
''you must rouse yourself, and not let the evil one gain so mudi 
advantage over you. B«member,--doubting of God's mercy is a 
sore sin ; and so is, rejecting His consolations." 

*' I used to think," said Henry, " that sorrow would always raise 
the heart to God ; but I find it far otherwise." 

The recollection of his conversation with Lady Constance when 
he was walking with her on the shore, on the first day of his arrival 
at Llanaven. rushed over his mind at that moment, and completely 
overwhelmed him. He remembered so well his own words, *' Joy 
on the one side, sorrow on the other, lift the soul to God ; " and as 
he felt how litue thatwas now his ownejqperienoe, and wemflDunry 



ECS SOLAND ASHTO:Br. ^9 

of that, delightfal hour flashed across him, his spirits completely 
gave way, and a deep burst of grief broke for an instant the silence 
of the night. 

Mr. St. Clair felt a painful compassion for this young and 
sorrowing heart; and spoke words oi kindest sympathy. After a 
few moments Henry became more composed. 

"I am very weak," he said; "but I Ixust I shall be able to 
look more to God than I have done lately, and then I shall be 
strengthened." 

Mr. St. Clair remained with him during the whole of his watch. 
They walked up and down the deck together ; and in the course of 
their conversation, Mr. St. Clair adverted to circumstances in his 
own life which had shown forth the power of Gbd to sustain under 
trial and afliiction ; and as Henry Asnton expressed a wish to know 
what they were, Mr. St. Clair gave him the outline of a life which 
did indeed show that God is "a very present help in time of 
trouble."* Henry as he listened felt grieved and shocked at the 
rebellion of his own heart; and fervently, though secretly, im- 
ploring the pardon and strength of his Heavenly Father, he 
found a peace of mind to which he had long been a stranger. 

From that time he took great delight in the society of his new 
£iend ; and though the source of his sorrow was one which he 
could not ever touch upon to others, yet he felt his faith so 
animated by Mr. St. Clair s example and conversation, that he was 
enabled with some success to combat its terrible power in his own 
heart. 

His ship was stationed for some time at Beyrout; and Henry 
obtained leave to go on shore and visit some of those places in 
Syria which must ever afford intense interest to the truly Christ-^ 
loving heart; for though 

— fast as eyening snnbeams from the sea. 
Thy footsteps all in Sion*s deep decay 
Were blotted fh>m the holy ground,-— yet dear 
Is every stone of here, for Thou wast sorely here.** 

When he saw the dreadful degradation of the ancient people of 
Qodf ground down as they were under a second Egyptian bondage^ 
and tyrannised over in every way— his heart burnt within him I 
Devoutly did he pray Ihat the Lord would soon arise, and appear 
in behalf of his afflicted people; and his ardent spirit recovering 
somewhat of its old enthusiasm, made him eamestlv desire, that 
if human means were in any way to be instrumental in the pro- 
mised restoration of Israel, his arm might be amongst those 
permitted to uplift itblf in the cause. Yainwish! Yet doubtless 
not forgotten by that Gt)d, whp has said, as regards this, His 
beloved nation : ** Blessed is he that blesseth thee ! 

* The flrst-lientenant's stoiy was found too long an episode to introduce U^ 
thiswork. (It is now pnblisbed alone. 1804.) 



fOR BOLAJTD ASHTOQf. 



CHAPTER XU. 



•IheabMtt liiiiitepoiftr to MArtriUeh is biMidiipiB oar i 
iKfng."— CArMtot Ladia^ Magmdm, 

•* GhetchoE uprte de Diea Is fime qpe vou as Uumefo en mil aBtre."-^ 

1gAi>A»ng SB GVTOK. 

(8eek from God the strength 70a ivill fiftd in none other.) 

HsNBT AsHTOir contiimed to write freqtienthr to his moilLer, 
tbougli it was eyer a task to Mm to do so. To Lady Constaace of 
course he wrote no more, nor could he master himself sufficient)^ 
to continue his correspondence with his brother ; but he sent many 
kind messae€fl to them both, in h is let ters to Lady Ashton, and 
endeavourea in every way, as&r as troth would allow, to prevent 
her from suspecting the real cause of his unusual silence. 

After remaining for a few months at Beyrout, his ship was to 
return to Malta ; and she was on her way back, when a mgfatfial 
accident occurred, q[>reading sudden death and angruish around. 
Henry, and Mr. Bt. Clair had been conversing together for some 
time on deck one day, while l^e men were practising at the ^uns, 
when a violent shock was felt from the explosion of a oartndge- 
1x>z near them, which tore sway and scattered in all dir^tions 
a considerable part of the bulk-head by which it stood, killing two 
.unfortunate men on the spot^ and severely wounding severaloSiers. 
Mr. St. Clair providentiany escaped with a siisht graze; but Henry 
Ashton, who had been standing quite close to the spolL was instantly 
struck backwards — fragments both of metal and of wood having 
entered his side tmd cnest, carrying portions of his clothes also 
with them into the fear^ wouiids. It was thought indeed, at 
first, that he was dead, for he lay MotJo nki B s on the deck, with a 
ghastly pallor on his ^heek ; and the surgeon under that impression 
passed him by, and naturally gave his attentaon where he thought 
it would be of more avail Mr. St. Glair also thought that all was 
over ; but restraining his feeliirgs with seamanhr self-command, he 
likewise went to render assistance to the usfertunate men who 
irere wounded. When eveiything had been done for them, how- 
ever, and ine bodies of those who were dead were about to be 
removed, a slight contraction on Henry's brow, as" they were bear- 
ing him away^ proved that Mfe in him was not quite eztinet. The 
surgeon then instantly attended to him, and entered into a minute 
examination of his wounds; and while he was doing sO; Mr St. 
C3lair watched his countenance with the moerintenso anxiety: and 
his heart sunk within him when, "after a time, the other show his 
head, saying, 

"There is life certainlv, but I see no hope; it is impossible he 
oan recover; feeling is almost gone, or he never would have en- 
dured what I have been doing, without bavins' betrayed evidences 
of extreme pain— lus side is full of splinters.'^ 

He was carried carefully to his berth, where every attention was 



Snt BOIiAlf]) ASHTOir* tti 

Mid lam, and tiaabi time to time the surgeon was able to extraet 
from some of Ids many woimds splinters of irood or metal, and 
portions of Ms drees; ont it was some days before anytfainfl: like 
oonscioitsBeBs retamed. Mr. St. Clair was unwearied in his lind- 
»BBB, nnrsiaff him with the utmost tenderness, and deyotin^ all the 
tisne he could spare ^m his duties towatohinff oyer him; and 

Seat was his delight, when, after davs of almost nopeless anziety^ 
at last opened his eyes and enaeaTOured to utter articulate 
Boimds. His weakness, howerer^ still continued almost like deatiii : 
and the utmost he could do was to whisper ocoaeicmally one word 
at a time. The surgeon stiU gave no hopes of his life, for he said 
it was impossible that his constitution could stand what he must 
kaye to undergo before all extraneous matter was extraeted from 
his wmrnds. 

By the time he reached Malta his consoiousaess had quite re* 
turned, but with it also the most ex9[uisite sense of pain ; and the 
noise and bustle of the ship became intolerable to him. ** Home, 
was ever on his lips, and he implored that he might be sent there. 
fie felt that he ooidd not Mve, and the trials thAt had formerly 
aeemed so great* faded away before the near view of eternity* 
JSe oottld now think of Gcnstanee and his brother with deep but 
flafan affection : and longed only to see them once again, and .then 
to lay his head on his mother's breast — ^his mother, towards whom 
his heart yearned so painfhlly !— and >die. 

The " Oriental " was net at Malta when his yessel arriyed ; and 
Iw there w;as a ship of war just sailing homewards, it was thought 
hdst for him to go by that, as he would then haye the advantage 
of the SBigioal attenaance on board. His mind was much relieved 
when he found he was to return home; and he often exj^ressed to 
Mr. St. Gair his de^ sense of God's goodness in arranging all so 
omdi in accordance with his wishes. 

"Ah!" he exdaimed, *'hcrw eternity ohaagos one's view of 
things! Sin now seems the only evil." 

" But sin is waahed away frdm your soul, is it not }'* asked the 
«thffir« 

" I trust so," he replied ; ** but I recretits existence all the more^ 
and my late rebellion has been terrible." 

"You seemed to hate much to bear/' said Mr. St* Clair. 

" I had," replied Henry, sighing^deeply ; '* at least I thought so 
ihftn, but now I am thankful for it. It has loosened my tie on 
life ; and I nave now no wish but to go to !&im whose love and 
mflfcy has pardoned, and wiU receive^ me." 

" But mere disappointment in the thjflftgs of life is not the best 
frame of mind in which to die, Mr. Ashton," said his friend ; who 
felt most anxious that his ground of hooe i^uld be clear, and 
ifaat loye to Him who had died ferhis saJie should he the acting 
principle of his mind. 

" I kndv- that," said Henry, "and it is not so with me; buthad 
aH bean bright on earth, tne pain of parting would have beoi 
gteater." 

"You are at peace with Gh>d, then^" 

Jl nailet the first Mr. St. Clair had etei Men pasa oyer 
TJ 2 



892 SIB 'BOTJJSTD ASHTOir. 

Henry's sad and rafB^ring oonntenanoe, lighted up his fioll Uue 
eyes, and was his only answer. 

" Trostdng only to the merits of Christ ?" oontiniied his Mend. 

" Only/' mnrmnred Henrv, raising his hand involuntaiily in 
the feryonr of his feelings ; thons^h the next moment anexpression 
of extreme pain oonTnlsed his features, for the slightest motion 
agonized him. 

His removal from his own ship to the frigate in which he was i» 
return home, was attended by the most excmciatinflr torture, and 
the surgeon scarcely thought he would live thronj^h it. Mr. St. 
Oair supported him the whole time, and not a single murmnr 
escaped his Ups; though the nnbending contraction of his brow, 
and the frequent, irrepressible sounds of anguish which burst frtmi 
him, show^ how much he had to endure. When lowered into 
the boat on his hammock, he put out his hand as if to search for 
something. 

"What is it?*' asked Mr. St. Clair. 

"My desk," he said. 

It was the one in which he had been used to keep Ladv Con- 
stance's picture, and his other treasurer— remembrances or her — 
and he had forgotten for the moment that all had been removed; 
but recollecting it Ihe next instant, he added, " It does not signify, 
I care not for it." 

•* Everything is in the boat with you,'* said Mr. St. Clacr. 

" I shall need nothing long," replied Henry. 

Mr. St. Clair turned away to hide the tear that filled his eye, at 
the thought that indeed, in all probability, the fine and noble- 
looking being before him would soon be beyond the reach of human 
comforts, or of human sorrows. 

He accompanied him on board the frigate, and made everything- 
as easy about him as he could ; and earnestly did he wish he were 
able to return home with him, but that could not be ; and as the 
vessel was getting under way, he was forced to go. He bent oyer 
thepoor suSerer, and in solemn, affecting words, commended him 
to Gfod; though Henry could only answer by a kindling glance of 
gratitude, and a slight pressure of the hand, for his strength was 
almost exhausted. 

The vessel had to touch at Gibraltar on its way home ; and, as 
it lay there. Captain Montaj^e, who had just obtained his desired 
leave of absence, and had mtended returning to England by the 
next steamer, hearing that Henry Ashton was on board and in a 
dying state, entreated the captain of the frigate to give him a 
passage home with him, in order that he might, if possible, be of 
comfort and service to one to whom he owed so much. His reouest 
having beengnuited, he went immediately on board, and took his 
station by Henry's side; and it was impossible for anything to 
exceed the devotion with which he watched and tended him. 

Henry soon felt the comfort of his kind cares ; but he greatly 
missed the sustaining power of Mr. St. Clair's fervent pie^, and 
was thus left wholly to the resources of his own mind . God, how- 
ever, did not desert him, but poured strength and light into his 
Bom J showing him hb sins in the strongest colours, but support* 



SIS BOLANB ASHTOK. 293 

mg Mm at the same time with His own graoious promises of 
{wrdon; so that, in fact, the time so apparently destitute of spi- 
xitital oomfort, was to him richer in heavenly jovs than any former 
period of his life had ever been. He learned to depend simply 
upon 6bd, and found stren&rth every moment in close communion 
-with Him; and happy as his former years had been, he expe* 
xienoed now, when tortured in bod]r> and separated in heart mm 
all the earthly objects of his affection, a peace and "rest which 
belon^th only to the people of Gk>d." He longed contLuually to 
be able to speak of these things to his attentive but thoughtless 
companion, who, though full at that time of all kindly feeling[s 
towards him, seemed whoUy indifferent to the love of God; but it 
was such pain to him to speak, or to make the slightest exertion* 
&at he was forced to remain silent ; and could only pray, therefore, 
for one who seemed so little to feel the value of prayer for himself, 
but whose unceasing kindness, night and day, filled him with a 
deep concern for his welfare. 

Life indeed seemed at times almost ebbing away £rom his enfeebled 
frame. Many splinters had, from time to time, been extracted 
from his wounds, but each succeeding operation seemed to leave 
him weaker than the last ; so that the surgeon dreaded any further 
attempts, lest the exhausted sufferer should die under his hands. 
Yet in this weak and almost lifeless state Henry Ashton was per- 
mitted greatly to glorify God ; for the few words he ever voluntanlj 
spoke were those of bright and heavenly joy, and of perfect aoqui- 
esoenoe in his Heavenly Father's will. 

Patience and resignation are indeed often shown by those who 
have no solid ground for hope as regards the next world, — ^natural 
gentleness and amiability often preserving the mind from mur- 
muring imder pain and sorrow. But it belongs to the true Chris- 
tian alone, to feel the brightness of assured hope at such times ; and 
to be enabled to justify by his clear, full testimony, the unfailing 
truth of the " Rock of his Salvation." 



CHAPTER XLIL 

**It b not that which is apparent, not that which may be known and told* 
^vbich makes up the bitterest portion of human suffering — which plants the 
deepest flinrow in the brow, and sprinkles the hair with the earliest grey, ft 
is the grief which lies fathom deep in the soul, and never passes the lip — ^that 
which devours the heart in secret, — * * * that which springs from crashed 
Sections and anniliilated hopes." — PJumUumagoria. 

" So be it. Lord 1 I know it best. 

Though not as yet this wayward breast 

, Beat quite in answer to thy voice ; 

Yet surely I have made my choice 1 
• • • • 

So * * rather let me die 
Than dose with aught beside to last eternally.'*— Kebub. 

Lady Goi7STAKCE had found her return to Uanaven extremelf 
trying, and for a time every wound in her heart seemed oponaa 



894 'Snt SAZiAin) UBKTOir. 

a^esh ; but she determined to guin the mastery orer her faftHngi, 
and not to giye way to vandering thoughts. She theiefore wa^ 
lutely set herself much active employment,— «tteiidinff hax sebMib 
-wit^ diUgenoe and perseyerance ; and she soon fonna that in this 
path the peaee of CFod, and His great consolations, were still ofgm. 
to her. Bne was glad to see that Lady Ashton and Mrs. MorcUimt 
apneared pleased with eaoh other ; and her hopelbl spirit mndfi her 
look forward to the dav when her kind cousin would he of one mind 
and one rairit witli tkem. In Philip Mozdannt she felt great in^ 
terest, and there really did seem in nim some awafeening of tk» 
heart ; so that she began to hope that the yisit which had ia sobm 
2«specta been so irksoone to her, might prove in the end of mmeh 

The captain of the ship in which Henry Aahton had gone out, 
knowing that l^e Oriental steamer, though later in ite oepnrtnce 
from Malta tiian the frigate, would yet reach England first, had 
written to Lady Ashton by that conyevance, informing her^ in the 
gentlest manner possible, of the dreadful eyent which had tniken 
place ; and saying that her son was returning home at hia onv 
earnest reauest, and would probably airiye within a few days of 
the time when she would reoeiye that letter ; beseec^inr her te be 
prepared for the worst, as the sui^en had expressea it ae hu 
opinion that his lif^ hung by the slenderesi threacL 

This terrible announcement reached Lady Aditon iuat as aU her 
guests had departed from Uanayen ; and it may well be ooftoeiyed 
with what feelings it was received. She was walking in liie ewden 
with Lady Constance when the letter was given her; ana alter 
reading a few lines^inthout cry er gsoan, she annk upm the 
earth. Lady Constance in great alasm hastened to xmied neiv and 
called for help, but they were too far from the house lor her 



bought 
or fears, faintly murmured, 

"IshestiUaHver 

Lady Constance, whose whole thoughts and attention had been 
solely devoted to her, asked in die utmost terror, " Alive ? Who ?" 

** Henry !" exclaimed the almost distracted mother. ** Oh, Con- 
stance! read— and tdl me at once 1 Oh, tell me at onee I" AodslK 
buried her face in her hands. 

' Lady Constance took the letter, but for a moment she eenld die* 
cem no distinct word ; though* feeling even through her dreadful 
agony the necessity of selx-commana, she exerted herself to be 
calm; and passingher eve rapidly over the prnge till she came to 
the assurance of Henry s not having been Killed, she threw her 
arm round Ladv Ashton as she lay by her side, exclaiming, 

" He may still bo alive !" and then mingled her burning tears 
with those of her afliicted fiaend, 

"Constance," said the latter after a time, raising herself up, 

what has happened ? for I scarcely know." 
- ^^''ywtanoe strugpling again for composure, aidcavonred to read 
•tHe lotto aloud, but every word came forth almost singly, and 
was 'Iteredaswithaspasm; till at last when she read of Henry's 



e&dbMiak» danger, iA» tiivMr hermAi iftto Lady Aabton's arms, and 
wept in uncontrolled, nneontroUable anipiish. Tet her aoft'eringa 
at that moment were almost entirely for Lady Aahton ; she knew- 
bow dotingly she loTod her 9(m»*-iBw every feeling ms bound 
lip in tiieir loved idea ; and ikda dreadful stroke aeemed abnoafe 
insup^rtable. At length Lady Aditon exolaimedrHmddenly dia- 
tibgfl«ing heaeaeU, 

**' We must be going, CoBstsnoe ; we must not leave him, if—' 
oh, my God !" — and fshe dasped her hands in angni^ — "if he b* 
still alive !-^we must not leave him alone, with no OAe to receive 
him or attend to him when he lands. Order the carriage in- 
stantly. Tou will 0OB6 witibi nie ? He may bo even now at Fal- 
mouth. Oh! how oould I lose a momccLt.^" 

These words instantly brought. Oonstanoe's thoughts baok unoit 
herself; and a torrent of oonfUoting emotions rushed over near, 
mind. Was she to go to meet Honir? Was she to go to him, 
firom whom, if living, she ought to fly to the ends of the w(»*ld^ 
What would he think? What would he feel ? 

Tet how oouid she bid Lady. Asfaton go akme to meet her dving 
^'-her pechaps dead som? How bid her sustain the anguish of the 
ribook, — the tovtare of suspense, alone, — with no one to speak to^ 
her. none to comfort her ? How could she say, " I will not 0» 
with you to tiie soene of trial?" What excuse could she frama 
for suoh apparentiy unnatural oonduet ? What d&e should do-* 
what she ouffht to do^-she knew not ; and she felt almost on the 
-rerge of madness, for in her eztremiiy she forgot to appl^ to tha 
Fountain of Wisdom. Her course was, however, soon decided Iqf 
Lady Ashton's returning to her, and .saying, 

*' Would you like vour maid to go as well as mine, Constance ? 
I thought perhaps me might be useful. Bhe is putting up your 
tMngs, but you bad better see that all is ri^t. The length of 
our star must be uncertain, so take aU you want. Tou have 
ord««d[tho carriage, my deer, have you not V* 

'* Oh V said Constance, pained to the heart at having in her dis^ 
tress foagotten to do so, and colouring deeply, " how could I be se 
cruel— so forgetful !" And fljring to the house, she hastened to 
repair bar neglect. 

The servants, however, knowiinr the state of the case, had pre« 
pared tke carriage, in case it should be wanted, and were only 
waiting for orders to come round ; so no time happily was lost. 
- WhMi Constasioe next met Lady Ashton, she threw her armi 
tound ber neck, and said, 

" Can you forgive me?" 

" F<»r what, my dear ddld ?'* 

** For forgetting what you wished me to do.' * 

^I an sure you would not have done so, had not your heart been 
too fill of us and our troubles," replied Lady Aanton, with that 
gentle kindness which never deserted her; **but you wiU come 
witii me, my cMLd, and help me at this cruel, cruel moment.'* 
' Laly Constance could not refuse; yet unable to consent, she 
droe^ her head on Lady Ashton's shoulder, almost in a state <£ 
iBsemibility. Her silence surprised and pained Lady Ac^ton, who 
aid in a d&turbed and somewnat reproacnful voice, 



7M snt soLAjrp 

*' Do Ton slmiik from the sad taak« Coiutaiiee >— All ! if itbeknd 
to yon to see him suffer, think* my dear, think idiat it most be to 
me 1" Her voice fSEuled, and she hurst into tean. 

"Oh! no/' said Lady Constanoe, almost distneted; "Ishiink 
from no pain. My God knows how willingij at this moment I 
would die to ffive yon happiness." 

** I know all your affection, dear Constance," said Lady Ashioa; 
** hut the young heart dreads witnessiiu; pain and soirow; and I 
will not ask yon to go with me, if yon leel ayerse to it." 

** There is nothing I would not do for yofo," replied Lady Con- 
stance. 

** Thank yon, mir dear," said Lady Ashton, kissing Ber with 
renewed love. ** And my iNxxr hoy, too— yoar brother I nufflit 
almost say— he has also a daim on your affectian; and yim will, I 
am sure, gladly be of use and comfcnt to him." 

She again kissed the miserable girl, who was incapable of qw* 
ing; and telling her to hasten her preparotianSy ahe left heri&s 
state of misery not to be described. 

Indecision was howerer at an end ; she had no choioe, and she 
must go. Mrs. Montague having heaid of the affliction wfaii^flsd 
occurred, had instantly offered to come and stay wilh lodv Fk)- 
tence ; and her kind proposal having been gladly accepted, ue un* 
hapjyy mother, and her still more unhappy companion, setoff <A 
their Journey to Falmouth, there to wait for news of Henry. 

They had not long to be in suspense; for after only one niriitw 
restless anxiety, the early dawn showed them a frigate whbn had 
arrived during the darkness, Iving in the Falmouth Beads. Lady 
Ashton instantly rung and sent her servant down to mquis ww 
vessel it was; and the man soon returned, saying that it vas the 
— which hadr just arrived from the Mediterranean, anc wbj^ 
was lying-to, in order to land an invalid officer. This newi fiU^ 
Lady Ashton with overpowering jov ; it was the frigate ii wlucli 
Henry was to return, and she could not doubt Dnt tl&t he fras toe 
officer mentioned. She went directiv to inform Lady Gonsaooe d 
the happy intelligence, and to beg ncnf to dress quickly aid C€Oi0 
down with her to the uiore. 

CSonstance would gladly have been spared the latter triad ;o^ 
she could not refuse, and was soon ready to join Lady Asoton. 
^When about to set out, however, a sickness came over hff wmcb 
made it seem impossible for her to proceed ; she paused* aid sskea 
if it would not be better for her to stay belund, uid make any I^re- 
parations which might be necessary ; hut Lady Ashton exyreMW 
a wish to have her support, she could say no more. 

When arrived on the shore, they saw a man-of-war's h)at ap- 
proaching ; and as it drew near they plainly distingnishid ti^ 
some person was in it lying down and supported by another,— <na 
their nearts felt convmoed it must be Henry. Lady Coistaao^ 
oould not bear to stay amongst the group of idlers whowerebegiA- 
ning to collect about the spot, and begged Lady Ashton to p> ^ 
«ome little distance; but the latter, whosawnocrowd— or any»iD? 
m existence excepting Henry-— could not move; till LadyO^ 
wanoe in an agony, suggestingr that the sight of her atthcfim 



Sm BOLAKD ASHTOK. 29f 

Ifdoment might oyerpower hini, and be too much for his strength 
during the ezhanstion and fatigue of landing, at length induced 
her to remoye a little way off, and leaye her servants to receive him 
at the first moment. 

Gilie boat neared the shore ; and at length Henri's form became 
plainly visible to those who watched his return with such intense 
anxiety ; but the gentleness with which the men rowed, and with 
which they finally let the boat just float to the shore, on the sur- 
face of the —happily calm--sea, told a tale of the sufferings they 
were so carefiil not to increase, which sent despondency and anguish 
again into their hearts. Lady Ashton could scarcely restrain her- 
sdf from rushin? to meet her son as she saw him lifted on his 
hammock from the boat, but Lady Constance longed rather to fly 
and hide herself from every eye. She felt as if all Ihe world were 
watching her, and reading the agony which struggled in her heart. 
When I^y Ashton had seen Henry safelv taken out of the boat, 
and being carried to the hotel— for he could not bear the motion of 
a carriage— she turned back, to go and receive him there herself^ 
and Lady Constance mechanically ^ve her the sup^rt of her arm. 
7hey walked on quickly, but in silence ; and having reached the 
hotel, they prepared a couch for Henry to be laid on as soon as 
he arrived. But when Constance heurd the sound of the men's 
steps who were carryinQ: him in, she could endure to remain no 
longer^ but telling Lady Ashton she would leave her alone for a 
time with him, she quitted the room, and had scarcely escaped by 
one door before he was brought in at the other. 

When he was laid on the sofa he remained perfeotl^gr without 
motion; and as his face was covered with the handkerchief which 
had been put over it to save him from the prying curiosity of the 
crowd, terror seized La^s^ Ashton lest he should atlast have died—* 
even at the very moment of their meeting. She stood breathless, 
and without power to move or speak; and. never would she have 
had courage nerself to have uncovered the features which might 
even now be rigid in death; hut Captain Montage, who had 
aceompanied Henry, gently removed the handkerchief; and Lady 
Ashton then relieved from her terrible feat by seeing life still in 
his countenance, though agonized at heart by witnessing the ravages 
which suffering had made on his appearanccj sank on her knees t>y 
his side, and pressed her lips to his death-like cbJeek, He openea 
his eyes, and seeing who it was, a deep sob rose from his breast, 
and every feature became convulsed with emotion. 

** My mother !" he exclaimed with difficulty. " Oh I how I have 
longed for you ! longed, — once more to see that dear, dear face !" 

Lady Ashton could scarcely answer— the mixture of joy and 
sorrow in her heart was so ffreat ; but she spoke broken words of 
tenderest love, and over ana over again kissed the pale and faded 
cheek which had so ktely bloomed with health and happiness. 
Henry held her hand, and seemed as if he could not bear for a 
moment to take his eyes from her loved oonntenance ; but weariness 
and pain soon forced him again to close them. He entreated if 
possible to be removed to Llanaven directly; and Lady Ashton» 
who had already ordered arrangements to be made to enable bini 



to ]ht dtini in iht oarriage, nwe to see if flU wmm ntdy. (hi 
opening the door the again observed CapUia Montagae, and le- 
toned for a nuNB«nt to aak Henry wko he wm. (M being in- 
formed, her kind heart rejoiced at the thought of the happinea^ 
hiaietom would afibrd hit poor Tnfe; aad heaiiw of all hia attea- 
Ham to Henry during the voyaM, ahe went inmiediately, and in her 
own ^pneions manner exnreflaed the gratitude ahe so truly felt for 
hia kindneas. Captain MontaffiM, knowing that in all iKrobaUtity 
Lad^ Aakton must havo beaia from Mr. ^anhope of hiaoondoet 
to his wi£s, was exeeaaiTeiy oonfoeed at seeing her, and would 
glsdly have eaoaped from her thaokas but huwiag said something 
about his oontrition for his past oonduct, Lady Ashtoo* who knew 
of the adfeotioKate letter he Md written* niiling kindly, said, "that 
all waa forgotten ; and that she was sure he would nev^ again a» 
aot, aa to bring baek the remsmbranoe of £onner troubles. She 
then gladly availed herself of hia offiar to go and see that eTerr- 
thing wua ready; and begging that the oarriage might be hroaf^ht 
Xtnm. as aooin aa nossihle, ue returned to Hfiiury. After having 
sat by him for a while, she aaid#^ 

'* 1 mnat go though* and tell Gonstanee to get ready to return/* 

" OoBstaneehere !" ezolaimed Henry ; with a start which brought 
ipaams of pain over him £rom head to loot, and forced £ram him 
wnnda of extremest anguish. 

*' Yea," repUed I^y Aahton, after she had done what ahe oould 
to relieve hmu '* she oame to be a oomfort to me, though I think 
ahe would gladly have been ^Mured tiie trial ; aho is always ao fed^ 
iag, as yoQ wdl know." 

Henrv remained silent, for his apintB were overoome; and he 
groaned within himself to find what power tiie things of earth 
atiil had to troable him. 

Lady Aahton left the room, and went to tell Constance that ih»y 
were to return immediately ; and begged her to oome down ana 
see Henry. Lady Constanoe instantly complied ; for she had for- 
tified her mind by pra^r, and was determined not to give way to 
her fedings. It reauired, however, her utmost self-coatrol not to 
mnk to the earth when, on entedng the room, she saw bow fear- 
folly he waa ohanged; but being meroifnlly enaUed to rotain 
somewhat of the exalted frame of mind whioh her late oommunion 
with GK>d had in^[iired, she proceeded, with soaroely a pause of 
JiMBtatioB, 1^ to the aofa whne he lav* He, however, oould not so 
eommand his fediogfr— the knowiedge that she waa aoquainted 
with them adding greatly to the difficulty of the task; hui having 
caught si^ of hor for a moment, he shut hia eyes, and avertea 
hia liead, while great dropaof weakness and agony poured from 
his closed lids. She spoke to him, however, calmly ; and he Just 
^Te her his hand* and withdrawing it again immediately, reosaaned 
silent and exhausted; and Lady Constance, soon ^^^'"g an exeuas 
in returning up stain, gladly left the room. 

'* Why," she thous^t, as in uneontroUabk miaeiy ahe aat down 
wher owu cham b er, " why is Ihis world such a scene of aoffiering) 
Why diooli not aU be hau^y}" But she aocm subdued this qoea- 
MUBgand&iihkas anio^ and with a heavy heart row to nukB 

^^parations for their departure. 



ant ]I09JJ»> ABKTON* tM 



CHAPTER XTiTTT. 

*SMh on hit cross by Thee we hain$ awliUe, 
Watohuig Thy patient snvUe ; 
Till w« hsYtt lettnied to say, * Tia JnsUy done. 
Only ia. glory. Lord, Thy slofbl senraiit own.' "— Kbbu. 

Whsv an was ready, the m^amcholy partjc sot off, and Gaptaia 
Mantagrae, haying proeoved a horae, n>de forward to Lknayen, to 
annouBoe their approach ; hemg naturally, of ooorse, most anzioua 
ako to Me hia wife and ehild* The journey to the others waa 
tiym&r in every way ; forthough the oarnage went at a foot's paoe» 
and Lady Ashton nad oauaed the board which supported Henry'a 
mattress to be slimff from the top, yet still every jerk or motion 
bNugkt on Buoh viofent pain that they were obliged continually ta 
stop. When at last the:^ had passed through the park-gate, and 
Henry again heard it swing to and fro after them, now distinctly 
did he remember the feelinga whifih he had experienced when last 
he had heard that sound; and, amid all t^at he was enduring at 
Uiat moment, he wvui enaUed to thank his God that the severity of 
tko blow UBder which he had then so nearly been crushed, was in 
some de^fe» mitigated ; and that he could now almost look on the 
kyyed bemg before him, and yet remember that Heaven had greater 
happiness, even than her amdkm, to bealow. 

It was now near the end of October, and the day was so calm 
Ukai seareelv a solitary leaf floated to the ground, though the touch 
e# an infunt s hand would have breught a loight profusion showering 
d»wn. A dull mist shrouded the half*despoiled trees, adding, by 
Ito grey shadowless hue, to the heavy oppression of the scene ; ana 
a moumfrQ sO^nee hunjg: over everything, to which the stillness of 
mekinoholy thouffht which reigned in the bosoms of those who were 
r«fc«niing so slowly and sadly to their once joyous home, responded 
but too well. 

"Wben they arrived, they found the servants waitin^r iii the hall« 
aad Florenee, vntk Captain and Mrs. Montague, there aliso. Through 
aQ her own ^efs. Lady Ashton felt a sensation of extreme 
lileasure at seeing the happiness painted on the countenance of tha 
latteis though that bright look soon gave place to tears of deep 
regret, as Henry's pale, weak form was borne into the house. 
Lady Ashton had given orders to h&ve the library prepared for him. 
aa it was on the cround -floor $ and thither aooordingly he was at 
Ottca conveyed. It was some days before he was sumciently re- 
aevered from the fatigue of his removal to be able to leave his 
^ed ; and ev^i when he coadd do so, he preferred remaining quietly 
im his own room, as that saved him from the pain of being ooli^^ 
t» see Lady Constance. He stiU believed that he should not hvc^ 
aad he was most anxious that the peace of mind he now enjoyed 
s]tioi4d not be disturbed by earthly thoughts. Even when, alter a 
time, othttrs began to indulge in famt hopes of his recovery, he stiU 
endeavoured to shut out the idea of such an event from his own. 
sdBdt-4t brought with it no comfort to him— for he fdlt the weak* 



dOO SIS BOLAITD ASDTOK. 

ness of his own resolutions, and dreaded a return to tlie ungradonB, 
rebelling frame of mind which had formeiiy given him so muon 
distress. 

Several trifling operations took place soon after his return home, 
which he bore better than could nave been expected, and as he 
then really seemed to rally a little. Lady Ashton urged him to allow 
himself to be carried into the adjoinm^ drawing-room, thinking 
that society would help to raise his spirits, which appeared to her 
so greatly depressed,— for calm and quiet in him looked like 
melancholy. But in that she was mistaken; his mind was not 
sad when he was left to his own thoughts, or when he listened to 
her voice reading his favourite books ; and often would he lie for 
hours at night, sleeplessly enjoying the comforts which his par- 
doning God. poured into his heart. But the slightest allusion to 
Constance agitated his excitable mind, and brought back for the 
time all the weight of his former intolerable anguish, and he fedboi 
would have kept for ever out of her presence ; for the more he 
recovered his strength, the more did the thoiurht of her regain 
power over him. it was natural that it should be so, for that 
which softened the pang of death to him, made life burdensome 
and dreary ; but his conscience, more alive than it had ever been 
before to the evil of sin and of ingratitude to 6k>d, made him fear 
that it had been disgust of life rather than desire of the presence 
of his Heavenly Father which had induced his former resignation 
imder the stroke which seemed likely to consign him to an early 
grave ; and had he had the smallest idea that he coidd have re- 
covered, he would rather a thousand times have borne aU hia 
illness and sulfering alone, and unsoothed by the voice of affection, 
than have again thrown himself into Constence's society. But he 
had thought that he had but to reach home, and die, — and his 
young warm heart yearned to see those aeain whom he loved, and 
to have his mother's hand to smooth his pillow and to close his eyes. 

Lady Ashton' s desire for him to join the others in the drawing- 
room, therefore, troubled him greatly, and long did he resist com- 
plying with it: but at last he feared exciting ner suspicion, and 
thinking it selfish also to keep her so much in his room — ^for aha 
could not bear to be away from him— he yielded to her request; 
though could she have known the trial to which she was exposing 
him, she would have been the last to have inflicted it. He, there- 
fore, one day desired his servant to wheel him in on his sofa while 
all the rest were at dinner, in order, by that means, to have time to 
recover the little fatigue of removal, and the excitement of going 
for the first time into a room so peculiarly fraught with remem- 
brances of former happiness, before the others came in; and when 
they entered, the pleasure which most of them expressed at seeing 
him again amona: them, and his little agitation at receiving their 
congratulations (for Captain and Mrs. Montague were still at 
Llanaven), served to hide the trouble which he felt at first again 
seeing Constance. 

The evening which ensued, passed heavily, for talking waa in 
every way painful to Henry ; and his being there in his present 
weak state, put a check upon the conversation of the others^ who 



Sm BOLANB ASHIOK.' 80i 

spoke in a subdued tone as if fearful of disturbing him. At last 
Ijady Ashton wishine to enliyen the scene, begged Constance to 
sing ; but that she comd not do. The remembrance of the many times 
she had sung with Henry, made the sound of musio oppressive to 
her at all times ; and now, — ^before him, and in the room too in which 
they had so often suna: together,— it would have been impossible for 
her to have commanoed her voice to steadiness, or perhaps even to 
have repressed the outward signs of a sorrow which was continually 
swelling in her heart. Besides she knew the effect which her singing 
would have on Henry's feelings, which were always so susceptible ; 
and she was most anidous to avoid anything which would increase 
the force of trials which she could estimate but too well ; she therefore 
excused herself, though not without difficulty, and after another 
half-hour, the party separated for the night. 

When Henry had been conveyed back to his own room and was 
left alone, his spirits whollv gave way ; his mind had been forced 
back to earth, andspito of the many eiaculatory appeals to Heaven 
wldch he had made during the time ne was in the drawing-room, 
he had been most miserable. He had indeed found relief at the 
moment of prayer; but the next instant the waves of trouble 
seemed to close in upon him again, and overwhelm his stren^rth. 
It had been one never-ceasing s&ife between duty and inclination; 
and never having been accustomed to exercise much self-control, 
the effort, so new, was almost more than he could sustain. During 
that niffht he scarcely closed his eyes; and instead of the cheerful 
heavenly frame which he had of late so often enjoyed in those quiet 
honrs-^so peculiarly delightful to the Christian— his piUow was 
wet with the ceaseless tears which in his state of weakness he could 
not repress, and his breast heaved with sobs, which tortured his 
wounded frame, yet which nothing could subdue. He felt inclined 
mnrmurin^ly to question the mercy of that Providenoe which had 
preserved in life one so torn both in heart and frame ; and im- 
patiently asked why suffering so terrible should be appointed for 
nim. Yet throughout all, his heart clung to God, and he con- 
tinuaUv implored His forgiveness ; and that He would not cast 
him off, but would again send peace and strengtli to his soul. 

He was not so well the next day ; but thinking that perhaps it 
was best after having gone through the first tnal to endeavour to 
inure himself to bein^ with Constance, he did not decline that 
evenincr ^oing again into the drawing-room ; and when there, he 
exerted himself more than he had been able to do before, to shake 
off the weight that oppressed him, and to join in the general con- 
versation. Again Lady Ashton asked Constance to sing, but again 
she excused herself, and engaged in chess with Captain Monti^e, 
taking her station out of Henry's sight ; and another heavy evening 



A few days afterwards the Montagues went to their own cottage, 
and then addilional trials commenced ; for Constance had no longer 
the resource of having others to attend to, and the little home 
party was drawn again more closely and intimately together. 
Captain Montague's sooiety was also missed, for he was very agree- 



^09 am BOLilffD ABBSCaS. 

able and eoiiT6nable, and his lirelmeflB had oftea pimred 4 gieat 
TesonTce, when no one seemed inclined to speak ; for even Florence's 
spirits had been sabdtted by the sight of Hemry's nale eheek and 
languid eye, aad she 8p<dce and mored as if afraid oi her own Toioe 
anastep. 

Lady Ashton, knowing how fond Henry had erer been of ue 
society of the two sisters, proposed that uiey should now all sit 
with him in the morning in her little boudoiri— whiah htang next 
to the. library, she had giten np to Henry's use ; and as no one 
dared to obf ect to this amoigement, they retomcd again aM^atcntly 
to their old intimate style of oompandonshzp. ^ 

Daily and hourly trials now arose, and seeing Honr/a aTident 
eonstralnt. Lady Oonstanoe was in continual fear kst kis feelings 
should at some unguarded sum^t bust forth before others ; ot 
he be tempted to speak of them when with her alone. And her 
fears were not unnatural, for she Judged of him only by what she 
had seen him in former times; aad cud not know how mueh the 
power of affliction had been sanctified to him^ nor how sineer^y, 
m all great points, he was regulated by high and Christian, prin- 
ciple. He would so(mer have (Med than have renewed ike ambjeet 
of his love to her, now that he kB«w she was engaged to another ; 
and that other being his brother, brought afieotM)n also in aid of 
ff odly feeling to subdne the strong taiaptation. He peroeiyed her 
fears, howeyer, and determined by one painfol o^nrt to set them at 
rest : and as he could not And an opportunity of spealring witii 
her alone, he had determined to write : when one day as abe was 
flitting in the boudoir with hm and Lady Aahton» thelattar nmagt 
aaid,— 

'' I am i^ing out, Ooostanoe, bat (disH not adc yon to go witii 
me this rainy day, for yon haye « little oongh, and are better at 

'* Oh ! no," retried Lady Condtaace; '< I should like to «o." 

** No, stay and finisli yo«r drawing; it will be mmsh better lor 
you." 

She had risen notwithstanding, to f oUifw Lady Ashtoii eat of Hm 
room, when Henry^ detersuning to speak to her, made her a sb^ 
to stay. Her heart sunk with terror ; but she could not refuse his 
mute appeal, so sat down again to her drawing. 

'* Constance," he said, when his mother had left the roo^ "I 
wish to speak to yon." 

He etopped and i«ttained aiknt to some minntesi at taigtib» 
with an eraort, he oontiniied, 

" I feel that you do not tmst me— that yon do net yet kaoiw bis» 
and I wish to rdieye your mhid of the Isar I see papetnally ep- 
tnressit; andfi>r timt reason it is that I haye asked you thaa enes 
to stay with me a momeat. Ton need not fear me, Conatanee> s* 
imagine that I would eyer again speak as I did when I thought I 
might do so. We are tegether indeed in prcsenoe, but Imay truly 
aay that neyer for an instantdo I forget the galf that lies botwem 
vvand I should not haye retomed home had I imagmeditpee* 
mble I oould haye liyed. But when dying, I fteoipit I th$M 
uke-^to see-^I eenld think of yra allttai mladr^^^ 



8Z& BOLAJXJk jlflHT«r« 908 

He was tmable to proceed, till haying eonqneied his a^tatioiii 
he added, 
" Ton will be glad I am ERire to know that Gkid has been mort 
I meroiful to me, and given mo more strengtii and oomJ^:lttr than 

I deserved; and I trust that in time . But I only now wished 

I to assure you that you need never fear my fozgettiBg what i» doe 
to jou — and to my dearest brother ; and indeed," and a gl«w of 
( pnde flushed his eneek, *' I should say— -to myself. Were I with 
I you for centuries, no word would ev«r pass my lips, hut what ivas 
( nttin&r for me to speak." 

A teeling of bitterness unconsciously tinged his mann«r« aa he 

( uttered the last words ; and Lady Constance felt in pait relieved 

) by it, as it helj^d to subdue the emotions of tesademess whieh 

. had arisen within her. With that stranfe inoenttstcney of the 

liuman heart, however, which makes us desire at the saae mMMot 

for things most contrary, though she would have oiven woflds that 

Henry had never-loved her, or sne him,— and thoqgh anxaooa beyond 

, measure to overcome her own feelings, and ceaselessly striviAfl: to 

f do so— yet when she heard him speak of beoeming reeenoilta to 

, losing her— a pang not to be described shot through her heart; 

. and bitterness also crossed her spirit as she thought, " Is it for one 

. who can so lightly forget, that I am suffering aH this ?*' Yet die 

felt she was imjust to him, and deeply sinful towards God in 

j harbouring such feelings ' for a moment ; and her soul, humbled to 

the dust, poured itself forth silently, in supplications for pardon 

, and strength, so earnest, so engrossing, that for a moment she 

forgot where she was, — and with whom she was. Henry's voice 

' soon, however, roused her again, aa he said in a tone from which 

all bitterness was ^ne, 

" I will not detain you now. Constance, or ever again allude to 
this subject. It is best it should be forgotten; and Gfod, who 
never tnes us beyond what He gives us strength to bear, will, I 
feel sure, when this trouble ha9 done its work, remove it £rom me. 
I have been very sinfbl, very murmuring, but I am not so much 
so as I was, and that makes me feel that God has not left me to 



jyouc 

Lady Ashton at that moment re-entered the room, ready for 
walking. ^ She stonped suddenly at the door, surprised at the ex- 
pression in Henry s countenance, for the effort of speaking as he 
was doing had imparted a sad sternness to his look, most unusual 
in him; and his contimsted and rather frowning brow, told of a 
displeasure which seld<mi rested on his features. She had, how- 
ever, too much wisdom and good feeling to make any ohservatieAy 
and recovering herself, she crossed the ioqhl to £etehwhat wka 
wanted, and merely makings some indifiesent remaik, again went 
out. 

Lady Constance rose as soon as she was ffone, aiKL weuM fhBjSkf 
have left the room without speaking, but sbe felt that by doing so, 
she would be betraying her own feelings too much; so she con* 
tinned for sometime busied in putting by all her Tazious drawing 



304 Sm BOLAinO ASHTOir. 

materialef, hoping: to be able to acquire tranquillity of voice and 
manner; but she knew not what to say, and the longer she put off 
speakinff, the more impossible did it seem for her to begin. She 
arranffecL and rearranged her paints and pencilsi as Henry lay 
with his hand covering his eyes ; and she was about at last to 
leave the room in silence, when he looked up, saying, 

** Yjpu are not angry with me, Constance >* 

"On, no !" she replied, hurriedly, with her hand on the door. 
But then, with sudden self-control, returning a few steps into the 
room, and resting her hands on the back of a chair, to prevent her 
tremblingfirom being perceived, she continued with calm dignity, 

"No, Henry, I am not angrjr; I am much obliged to you tor 
speaking as you have done; it wUl gniye me much more ease than 
1 have hitherto had. I feel that laid you injustice, and I sin> 
oerely trust tiiat you may soon be able quite to forget ever^ 
thing that is painful." 

Henry could not answer, but again covered his eyes with his 
hand; and Lady Constance, thinking it best not to prolong a need- 
less intercourse, turned away and left the room. 



CHAPTER XLIV, 

<*Tniy art thou thna? 
Have the AiU chords of kindly love, which once 
Sent forth sweet mosic through thy heart, been hushed ? 
Or has the world nnstmng the lyre? or stmck 
Bad discord fh>m its trembling strings ?"— MS. 

•* Nature on ns, her snlfering children, showers 
The gift of tears — ^the impassion'd ciy of grief 
When man can bear no more ; * * 

• • • • TomeaGod 

Hath given strong utterance for mine agony, 
When others, in their deep despair, are mate!** 

HB8.HEMAII8. 

" Tes, 'twill be oyer soon I This sickly dream 
<K life will vanish from my fevered brain;] 
And death my wearied spirit will redeem 
From this wHd region of unvaried pain.**— Eirke White. 

Lady Ashtoit, while pnrsning her solitary walk towards the 
village, whither she was bonnd on some charitable errand, pon- 
dered with feelings ofgreat disoomposure on the strange exnression 
she had observed on Henry's conntenance. It has been said before 
that she was of a singularly nnsuspicions temper, and was never 
in the habit of looking beyond the things which met tiie eye ; bnt 
she had for some little time past had vagoe ideas that all was not 
as it had fonnerly been between Henry and Constance. Henry*» 
brusqne maimer before his departore for the sea— Constance's 
coldness to him, and nnaccoimtable desire at that time to leave 
lianaven, where previously she had been so happy—het disinidi- 



SIB BOLAlfD ASHTON. 305 

nation to go to Falmouth— and her subsequent reserve of manner 
— ^all had at different times struck her with surprise; but the 
slight impression they had made at the time had quickly faded 
away, and she had nearly forgotten some of the circumstances, 
when the scene she had just witnessed— where not only Henry's 
countenance, but Constance's heightened colour as die bent over 
her drawing, had caught her attention— brought them all back to 
her recollection, and seemed to afford a ke^ to what had before 
been so mysterious. Not having the faintest idea that Henry was 
attached to Constance, and beheving that her heart was wholly 
given to Sir Boland, tiie only solution of the difficultv which oc« 
ourred to her mind was, that some serious disagreement had taken 
place between them, and cooled the affection of those who had 
formerly seemed to love each other with the fondness of brother 
and sister ; and knowing that the fault could Scarcely rest with 
Constance, she felt a dread lest she might have heard somethinfir to 
Henry's disadvantage, unknown to ner--8omething which had 
caused him to lose her esteem and affection. 

Harassed by this nainfal thought, she hurried back as soon as 
she had performed ner kind mission at the village, and, with the 
single-minded fervour of her character, determined immediatelv 
to sj^eak to Lady Constance on the subject. She could not brooK 
the idea of blame resting unjustiy on Henry's hitherto spotiess 
name, and she resolved if that were the case to clear him to Ladj 
Constance and all the world; while at {he same time knowing his 
rather ungovemed temper, ske thought he might really in some 
way have offended, and if so, she felt it would oe best to try and 
show him his fault at once, for " a word siK>ken in due season, how 
good is it !" At any rate, she wished, if possible, to restore peace 
and good feeling between the two beings whom she loVed so much, 
and whose mutual alienation was the nrst painful tone of discord 
which had ever sounded in her tranquil and happy home; and 
bent on this kind object, she went directiy on her return to the 
house, to Lady Constance's room, and finding her there, entered 
immediately on the subject. 

"Constance," she said, "has an3rthing unpleasant occurred 
between you and Henry ? for he looked so exceeoingly discomposed 
when I last went into the drawing-room, and you also seemed so 
little at your ease, that I could not help fearing you had had some 
little quarrel— though it seemed hardly posaible. Tell me, my 
deax, was it so ?" 

Constance, in the most inconceivable terror, scarcely heard a 
distinct word of what Lady Ashton said : but making out suffi- 
cient to prove that she had no suspicion of the real state of the cas^ 
she felt m some degree relieved, and was just able to command 
herself sufficientiy to answer, 

** Oh ! no, there has been no quarrel between us." 

** What is there, then, my dear ? for I see plainly that there is 
-something which is not pleasant. Now, dear Constance, toll me 
truly, I beg of you— have you ever heard anything against Henry ? 
anv report a^nst him }" 

^*1} Against Henry?" exclaimed Lady Constance, her cheek 

X 



90$ SIB boulkd ashtok. 

f^frmg ynth m^fra&ikm, ajad fozgettinr at tike momoit, all \m 
Imts; "never I TVho ever spoke but iniiis praise ^' 

Tears of ajSeotioa rose to Lady Ashto&'s eyes, as she aasweied, 

^' Then, why, ny dear ohild» if th^e has been no qoanel, and 
aoihktg has oeemred to change 3rour opinion of hiin>— wh^ ha^« 
yon, m soiae time jMist, been so cold in your manners to him, s» 
•*-4hougrh I do not inah to pain voit-'so ahnost, nnkind } Now— 
when he is snfieringr and lancroid — ^incapable of taking any exeis. 
iiM»^ or of moving from his so&^soareely able even to be«r tbe 
eanwtien of reading to himself— yon never o£fer to do anything foar 
him, or to amnse hun in any way, but leave him often either qnite 
alone, («^as at thia moment— with only Florence, — and wili not 
em pky <» sinp to him, thongli yon know how exceeddi^ly fond 
he is of your doing so." 

Con^tanoe, in a trcmnlons voioe, mormursd tiiat "^ noraoiee often 
ssng to him, and that he always liked hearing her." 

'*But still," oentiniied Lady Ashton, " there are many thingayon 
used to sin^ together ; and even sometimes if I have asked you, Om^ 
atanee, to sing some paxtiottlaihr favourite song of his, yon have re- 
l^d. I do not like to say a worn to yen, my dear child, or to repioaok 
youin any way,, fori know that the yenng cannot be expeeted to be 
as eonsiderace as those who are <dder, and who have seen more ol the 
tionblies and afflictions of l^e world,—bnt still I have, I confess^ 
sometimes fdt it hard, that yon should have seemed to enter so 
little into onr feelings^ — that yon shonld have been so wboUy nn- 
nunred* when my heart has been torn with anguish." And the 
Imjcs flowed fast as she spoke. 

Lady Gonstaace took her hand, and xMwssed it to her lipcy while 
her tear»— bitter, bnming teara— fell npon it. She oould not 
sneak, and hex heart conld <nily, in silent agony, app«al to Him, 
who knew its weakness, and who gave its strength, saying, " Then 
Bod. knowest." 

Lady Ashton embaaoed her afifeotionately, saying, with a smile— 

** After alt I believe I must carry my complaints to Roiand, 
though I much doubt whether I shall obtain redress even Aran 
him ; for I am afraid he will be but too much inclined to forgi\e 
your forgetfnlaess of those who are present, when it proeeods £pom 
the engrossing thought of one who is absent, and that one-<him- 
self." 

'* I am sore," said Lady Constance, in a voiee broken by 8obs» 
** I would not willingly neglect any one ; I have never naean^^ 
mover intended to be imkind." 

'* Well, my dear love," said Lady Ashton, agasiii kissing her, 
*' I have been myself, perhaps, unkind in speakine so strongly, bat 
JHenry's agitated countenance disturbed my mind so mneh, that I 
could not rest till I had asked you about it; for I really feared-^ 
knowing you axe not naturally oapricioua— that he might in 
.flome way have given you cause for displeasure ; portioulfirly as 
you never once wrote to him, or he to you, during hu last abaenea 
«* sea, though you used to do so frequently in former timee. How- 
ever, 1 trust that this little doud, whatever it may be, wili qniddy 



msL soxAifm ashtos. 307 

pcwB awaT» and fhai Roland will be booh here^ makiiig all bright 
flgaia with his dear, delightful countenanee/' 

Lady ConstaiKse felt really iU after this oonTersatioa, and her 
0|irita seemed compktely to fail under the many and oontiniial 
trials to whi<di she was subjected. At times she almost doubted 
whether it would ziot be best to teU. Lady Ashton at oaoe the state of 
her faelings, and seek her oomiael how to aet ; but the shame of 
the oonfession. oy^pcame her, and the thought of Roland and his 
deep love determined her to strive again to subdue her rebellious 
heairt. But it was a hard straggle, with Henry and his suffering 
oounteosanoe perpetually before ner; and she soon found that fresh 
forrowB were preparing to try her fortitude still further. 

It was known that 8evx}ral splinters still remained in Henry's 
side^ though for some time they had giTen him but slight uneasi- 
2UMS. Gradually* howeyer, they had changed their plaee ; and 
some of them, pressing upon the more sensitive and vital parts, 
■not ooly gate lum the most eiLoruoialing agony, hut plaeed his life 
2A extreme danger. He was emaciated to the utmost denree, and 
hfts onoe joyous oovuitenance now wore the traces of oeaseless pain. 
He bore up against it as long as it was possible, but at length he 
fouAd he could no longer endure the fatigna of sitting up ; and he 
hearly fainted one evening from exoess of siiflfering. While his 
mother was making some arrangements with the servants, by 
iKhifih he could be conveyed back to his room, in an easier manner 
tihan usual, he beckoned toOonafcanoe and her sister to come to him. 
He took thsir hands, and thanked them both for all their kindness 
vod aiSeotion to him. He felt, he said, that he might see them again 
xio more ; and imploored of them both to pray for him, and to thank 
their Heavenly Father that he was so early to be taken from a 
werld of sin aoad sorrow. 

*' Constance," he conlinued, in a lower voice, " tov knew what 
mBiiflcm I have to be glad that my life will not last long ; but pray 
for me that my x>atience fail not, and that my faith may be 
strengthened. I am a great sinner, but I thank God that He 
leaves me not hopeless, nw comfortless. I know in whom I hare 
tntnted; and unworthy as I am, He will, i caanot doubt, redeem 
iDy soul from death I—Oonstanoe, Florence, my dear, dear sisters,'* 
lia then exolaimed» with deep emotion, ^* may the G^ of all mercy 
and love be with you both." 

His head dreppad on the cnshien as he spoke ; wad his mother 
and the servants approaehing, he wns carried, nuNre dead than 
sdiTe, to bds diamber. ' I 

He continued aU night in a most alarming state ; and when the 
ssBorgeon who had beea summoned, and wuo sat up with him, vr\<i 
able to examine his wounds by the next morning s light, he tbund 
4hat unless one <»r two of the ragged ^rtiuns of ^netal which were 
pausing such agony were removed, death must speedily ensue: 
axxd tli^ug^ the operation of remioving th^'m woutd be attended 
frith very great ^ain and riak« yd it would, hededared, be the 
only ehance for ms Ixfs. 



*908 SOL BOLAITB ASHTOlT. 

Henry himself had no wish to live ; he seemed to have parted 
tranquilly with life, and all ita hopes and fears, and to be calmly 
waiting: tor the Lord's pleasure ; ont he offered no opposition to 
nn^hin^ which it was thouf^ht advisable should be done, and only 
desired mat his mother's wishes should be attended to on every 
point. He was told at length, that as every effort ought to be made 
to preserve life, it was thought right for the operation to be at- 
tempted ; but he was gently warned at the same time, that it was 
but too probable that Eis strength might sink under the trial, and 
that he might therefore not live to see another day. 

''I am ready to eo," he answered; "and ready, also I trust; 
patiently to stay, if God sees that further trial is necessary for me." 

He begged to speak to his mother alone before the operation took 
place, as he could not endure tiiat she should be with him at the 
time ; but she said that nothinor should induce her to leave hinu 
and that she would support and. attend him through all his suffer* 

^%eing she was resolved, he did not oppose her ; but taking^ her 
hand in his, and pressing it fondly to ms lips, he laid his 



. , ^ , - head 

upon her shoulder and told the surgeon that he was ready for him ; 
aading with a faint smile of inenressible affection, — 

'* You see I have the best of all supports ; a heavenly Fa&er^s, 
and an earthly mother's love !" 

Lady Ashton did not write to Sir Eoland when first she te* 
ceived the letter informing her of the dreadful accident which 
had befallen Henry, for she thought that if all were over, she 
ought not to derange the course of the important business he was 
transacting?, merely for the selfish gratification of having him 
with her m her sorrow; but as soon as she found that Heniy 
was alive, and, as it was then thought, in a hopeless state 
— she sent off an immediate express to Lord JS- , in- 
forming him of the dreadful event, and begging him to forward 
the news of it instantly to Sir Eoland wherever he might be. A 
messenger was accordingly despatched^ alter him witu all pos* 
sible haste, but did not reach him till he had arrived at St. 
Petersburg, where he had gone to obtain the Emperor's final agree* 
ment to the business he had in hand. The news of his bro&er's 
danger completely overwhelmed him ; and instantly entreating a 
private interview of Nicholas, he informed him of the event, saying 
that it was his earnest desire to return instantly to England; 
and beseeching him therefore graciously to waive all further cere- 
mony, and without delay to sign the document in the completion 
of wmch he was engaged. This request was instantly complied 
with by the Emperor, who at the same time expressed, in the 
kindest terms, his regret that Sir Boland's visit at his capital 
should be so soon brought to a close, and his concern at the melanimoly 
nature of the event which occasioned his departure ; and Sir fioknd 
having now finished all necessary business, immediately set out 

wr -; and delivering the documents about which he had been 

5?£*8e"» into his uncle's hands, he begged him now, as no further 
<iimculty remained, to conclude the affiur withput mm, and to let 



SIB EOLASn) ASHTOX, 300 

him instantly proceed to Eng>land ; and this being of course agreed 
to, he set off on his melancholy journey home. 

The anxiety of his mind would not allow of his stopping a 
single hour for rest, either on his journey from St. Petersburg 

to , or from thence to England ; and harassed and almost 

worn out as he had previously been by incessant travelling, and 
the anxiety of important business, nothing but the state of feverish 
excitement he was in on his brother's account, could have enabled 
hJm to undergo the excessiye f ati^e to which he now exposed him- 
self. He scarcely ever closed his eyes even in the carriage, so 
racking was his state of suspense ; and if he did so occasionally, 
it was only a restless and momentary sleep that he could obtain. 
The thought even of Constance could not turn his mind from tke 
one painfuUy absorbing subject which filled it ; and he could see 
nothing before him but the brother to whom he was so strongly 
attached, dying^erhaps dead! 

When at length he arrived in England, and after manv hours' 
iaravelling began to meet with the old f axmliar things which re- 
minded him that he was near his home, his agitation became 
almost insupportable; and that deadly sickness of heart came 
OTer him, which those but too well know, who have had expe- 
rience of such facing moments. He could almost have turned 
away from the entrance to his own park; and could scarcely pre- 
vent himself from stopping the carriage when he came within sight 
of the house, so much did he dread what he might have to hear. 
He felt as if he could not have survived hearing of his brother's 
death; and nothing but ceaseless, though almost imconscious, 
prayer, gave him power to remain in the least tranquil. He covered 
Lis eyes as he drove up to the door, lest he should see by dosed' 
shutters, or mourning ffarments about, thtf evidence that all was 
oyer ; and, sinking m/ok in the carriage, he had become nearly in- 
sensible from intense anxiety, when old James-— who well knew his 
strong attachment to his brouier, and who had for some days been 
continually looking out for him — catching the sound of his wheels, 
came to the carriage-door almost before it had stopped, and with a 
joyful voice exclaj;med— though his starting tears seemed to belie 
his statement, 

*• He's better now, Sir Roland ; better, sir, now." 



310 eXR BOLAND ASIITOK. 



CHAPTER XLV. 

"AndBMriotheeAeoomei; ■tlU, stUl lihe tame, 
As in the hours gone onrei^Bcded try. 
To thee,— ^lioir clumged,— conies as Ae ever euBe.** 

*«0h! hearmttlMlkiaptmmel hovrnfbsait, 
After Umg desolfttion, man iMfaliin 
Tlnto this new deUght. * • • 

* * * • Oh.giv«mcfi*y, 

* * * The eternal Ibnnt 
Leaps not more hri^idx forth fh»m cliff to diff 
Of high PamaaBos down the golden vale. 

Than the stroqg joy borstB giuihhig ftom my heart, 
Aad sweUs aroond me to s flood of bHas — 

* * * * Hyhrotherr 

Mag. ttBMAny 2> ww l al fe»</ €te«naE*g Ipklffmlt. 

Old James's aocomit of HJenry Aflhton ww perfeetiv tme. ffi> 
constitution bad sustained tke oainf ul operation wiiicn Y» had had 
to go through, better tban bad been expeioted ; and though stall ei- 
tremely weak, be had been able for sooieilayB jjast to rncan Lady 
Ashton and her wardsin the bevdoir, vhcn Ba Eolaiid retoiiw 
home. 

The latter, when he had heard his servant's joyfdl iirtelligcBoe, 
sdll remained in the carriage for servral minutes, being nenljrtf 
much OTerccoue by the reTuision of feeling whidi joy bad broagiit 
with it, as he bad been before by exeess of amdety. Jnaas, b^- 
ever, not equally infiliaed to aUenee, spoke to bim again, wed Sir 
Boland then rousijig hiiaself, got out, aad grasping the old att'> 
hand, entered the. hall, aad passed onwards towardB the dmmg- 
loomdoor. 

It was open, and Lady Omstanoe was etaading there aknWf >^ 
ranging some flowers at the taUe. The sound of the eaniafe had 
not reached her ear, and when she turned aad so unezpeetednr M 
Sir Roland^who at the sight of her bad for a momeik stooa tm 
checked by strong emotion — ^the flowers fell from her hand, sad 
uttering an excteaation of joy, she finuid heraelf pressed to 1^^ 
noblest neart that ever beat in the breast of man ! The sight of 
that well-known and long-loved countenance had banished at the 
flrst instant of surprise all the present from her mind ; and old- 
accustomed aflection, flooding her heart, swept before it the recol- 
lection of the many reasons me now had for dreading his presenoe 
—but only for a moment. The next breath she drew, brought witj 
it confused and horrible feelings of remorse, shame, dread, and 
anguish ; and no defined idea could she form, but the earnest wiso 
that she might die before full consciousness returned upon her. 

Sir Eoland, finding that she could not support herseli, placed her 
on the sofa, and sat down by her ; but the sound of his voice— that 
voice so unlike all others — ^murmuring rapid words of happinetf 
and deep aJftection, roused her, and in an instant all the horrors w 
her situation rushed over her. What had before seemed but as 



flat BOUOn) ASOSTOiT* 111 

mfearfid dream, was nowadread reali^; asd Imt sool shrunk 
from the precipioe on which ahe stood. She ooald not endure Sir 
Bolaad's expressions of confiding happiness ; and longed to throw 
hcfself at his feet and ooafess all her faithIes8Be8s--all her un- 
werthiness of his loTe— and beseech him to hate« and to forget hen 
But she GoukL not speak-^eoaid scarcely think ; and though her 
eyes were tearless, yet eoveringhez faoe with her handkerchief, she 
sat tramhiing in every limb, mile he endcayovred by the Idndest 
words to calm and cheer her. 

'* I know, dear Gonstanoe," heeaad, "how wooh y(Mi must haye 
had to go through; but it is all, I trust, ov«r now, and nothing but 
joy a{)pears beiore us. Henry will, I folly trust, now get weil s 
ffuL thmk what happiness it will be tiien. to be^aU united." 
. BtiJiehe ovoid not sjEieak ; 4nd Sir Bdand might perhaps ha^a 
felt suspicion rise in his mind, had it not been for hw first joyfuL 
aidmated greeting which had set hia heart oomi>letely at rest, and 
filed it with a lui^piness he had nevet known before ; for delightM 
as may be the communications which the pen can eonvey, there is 
sothinp: like the speaking countenance— the radiant eve— -the '* soul- 
mi tuioe"-*4ooairy the«oavietianof aifeotion framhBart to heart. 
Se had felt this, — and no doubt had- entered his mind; and ka 
4Rrald<Rdy therefore aittEsbnte Lady Oouteaoci'a prennt distress, to 
ikB excitement of •verwvaucrht feelings, fib m»th»'s cooitranae 
at that moment prevented any further conversation between then^ 
aiid his heart femaiaed tiled with the aiest bliflsfoi «notioBs. 

Lady Ashton was muoh afiedted at aeehsg him ; and it wasvona 
tiaie before she oouid SMWK. fiter distoss calkd forth those tears 



from Lady Constance's eyes which her own misery could not ( 
4» fl^ow, but which gave aome relief to her oppteased spirits ; and 
when she saw Lady Ashton wore oeayoaed, she giadiy escaped from 
tBexoonik 

Sir Roland was most anxious to see his brother, and afrer a frw 
minutes' convenatien with Laiy Ai^toa, be ifldoad her if he might 
not, do so. She said she wucddgo and aee if he was then able to 
receive him, as he atiil from time to time snflbred eKcesdve pain ; 
aaid tho«^ all imsaiediate doUger was over, ;^t his Ufr oould not 
ev«n Hien be considered aafe. After a diort tune die returned, and 
Sir Roland with a trembling heart followed her into Ids brotiier'a 
vaoin. 

*' I wiU leave you together," i^ said, amilittg; '*«aad shall h»p« 
to find Hemy all the better Isr this happunas." 
> Sir Roland ce«kLaoaroidv€eKtrol his emotiMiatthesightof his 
brother ; and he. advanced to the couch wheve he lay, with thi 
lightest posiahle tread, for it seemed, us if any emotion, or 
noise, must dieatroy the weak ^smaeiated being before lum. 

" Ck)uld that be Henry } " he asked himself. " That, the beiliff 
whom he had lelt, the very image of health, and strength^ and 
happiness?" 

IScarcely a trace indeed remained of what he onoe had be«n. fie 
mBB much grown siiiee Sir Bxdand had seen him ; and the ehange 
from boyhood to man's full proportions is always gteat ; but it Ww 
fivfiiering aaid sorrow which had altered him. the most, and de- 



312 BIB SOLAin) ASHTOIT. 

stroyed almost eyerv vestigre of his f onner self. With the eagerness 
of strong affeotion ne had looked towards the door as his brother 
entered, out the sight of him then seemed to blast his very soil; 
and suddenly messing his hand upon his eyes he turned his head 



away. He cud not speak or move, as Sir Koland with swelling 
heart stooped to kiss his pale forehead, for the conflict within km 
was terrible. Affection for his brother straggled in his bretst 
with wounded feeling, and with a sense of wrong, which— though 
he felt it was unreasonable and unjust— yet he could notovercon^; 
but above all, the sense of the injury he himself had inflicted on hii 
brother, and his remorse for it, overwhelmed him ; and he oouU 
not bear to raise his eyes to one from whom he felt he had stolex 
earth's best treasure. He longed to throw himself in his armi, 
and tell him how he loved— -how he had injured him ; and h 
strove repeatedly to speak, — 

• • "Imthefelt 

A goBhing ftom his heart, that took away 

The po?rer of speeoh." 

Sir Roland, pained by Ids silence, knelt down by him, and sail 
in a troubled voice, — 

" Speak to me, Henry, or at least— somehow— show me— that yoi 
are glad to see me onoe again. Oh I I have suffered so much for 
you?' 

Henry's heart could not resist the appeal; he turned, and 
throwing his arm round his brother, he pressed him convul- 
sively to him, while passionate, soaloing tears burst from his 
eyes. 

Both were silent for a time; but at length Sir Roland, en* 
deavouring to command his voice, said, 

" This is a sad meeting, my dearest brother ; but all will soon bd 
well again, I trust." 

Henry shook his head, and exclaimed vehemently, 

" No, never— never ! No — ^I can never " 

He checked himself, fearful lest by come unguarded word he 
might betray the secret of his feeHnes; but Sir Roland, who 
naturally attributed his expressions to doubts of his own recovery > 
replied in a cheerful tone, 

"Oh! yes. There may still be uncertainty^ but you are flO 
young, and have borne your sufferings so well mtherto, that there 
IS every ground for hope ; and at UmB moment I cannot bear te 
admit a doubt into my mind; I seem sure that God will grant yon 
to our ceaseless prayers." 

"Pray not for me— at least not for my life," said Henry^^^* 
8pairizi|sly. " It is a burthen— a burthen to me— and to aUi ' he 
added mdistinctly. 

" Do not say so, Henry," replied Sir Roland, much pained ; ** J« 
not sink under this trial ! It is not like you to do so— not like the 
lion-heart you used to have." 
^ **I am in nothing like what I used to be," murmured Henry; 

but I am wretched, — and there would be peace in the grave." . 

iie felt possessed byamad desire to pour out his sorrows to htf 



SIR BOLAKB ASHTOIT. 313 

brother, as if lie f orffot that of all persons in existence, he was the one 
^m whom he ought most sedulously to conceal them ; but he had 
in former times been so accustomed to go to him with every 
trouble of his heart, that now to see him by his sid&— to feel himseu 
supported on his breastr—and yet to hide his thoughts fix>m him, 
gave him a feeling of almost bewildering pain. 

"Happier thoughts will come when streng^th returns," said Sir 
Koland, who— though grieved at his brother's want of patience 
and submission, yet possessed too much of the spirit of Him who 
*breaketh not the bruised reed,' to sneak to him harshly or re* 
proachfully . * * Do you not remember the lines we used both to be so 
fond of? 

* Oh ! come that day, when in this restless heart 

Earth shall resign her part ; 
When in the grave with Thee my limhs shall rest. 

My sool with Thee be blest ! 
Bat stay, presomptnons— Christ with thee aUdes 

In the rock's dreary sides ; 
He from the stone will wring celestial dew, 
If but the prisoner's heart be fkithftil foond, and tnie.* 

And will not you, Henry-Hhe 'prisoner of the Lord,' *be faithful 
found, and true?' " 

" Oh ! yes," replied Henry, his heart soothed^ by his brother's 
voice, and by the words he had so often heard in former happier 
days, " oh ! yes, I am not always so faithless, but the sight oi you 
seems almost to— -to-^estroy me." 

'* You are so weak, that I dare say emotion is most painful," said 
Sir Eoland ; "but you will soon be yourself again. To find you 
here at all, is such excessive joy to me— such a relief after all the 
racking anxiety I have had.— that I can hardly, perhaps, feel enough 
for the sufferings you still have to endure. It is a comfort to know 
too, that you have been here so long ;— not left to the rou^h mercy 
of sailors, but tended by most gentle nurses. It were a pain almost 
-worthy to be called pleasure, to be sick, and nursed by my motiier, 
and Constance." 

Henry started fram his brother's arms, and threw himself im- 
patiently upon the pillow of the sofa, murmuring inaudibly, 

*' Such nursing was not for me." 

" Do your wounds pain you much now ?" said Sir Roland, aft^ 
a minute, risinfl" £rom his kneeUng posture, and sitting down by 
his brother's siae. 

"Some do," replied Henry, gloomily,— " but not all," he 
added, in a milder tone— for he saw that his brother was hurt at 
his manner, and he felt ashamed of yielding so much to the power 
of his wayward temper. — " At one time, I could not move without 
agony," ne continued ; " but, thank God, since the last terrible 
operation, I have been much relieved. — ^Forgive me," and he held 
out his hand to his brother, though he could not yet bear to look 
at him ; " forgive me, dear Roland, for my imi)atience. — ^You wiU, 
I fear, in that at least, recognise my old disposition ; and indeed I 
am afraid you wiU not thiuK me much improved in any way since 



31i SOL BMiAJKD ASHTQVw 

last we BMt ; but I luiTe had aaooh to trysie, andr-tai I Imt you. 
mil iMt a^ain see me «o childiali and petoknt. — ^I was not ao « 
little while ago ; and I cannot tcU 3Mm at times wliat kappineas I 
luiye had in thinking t)f Ood, and enjoying tiie oomforts He has 
poujed into my heart. I hvfe lain awake eone nights for hoars 
and hours, — sej)arated in heart &om a,U earthly ties, ent filled with 
peace and joy in tkinJdng of tire Lwd, in fediiBg Hun present 
with me, and in looking 4m» that time-^^rhidi I toon thought so 
near-when I shonld he with Him for ^efcraaore. B«t now^-to feel 
how earth again grapples my weak hea«t-4o see how impatL^it I 
am— how £or netful of Ood— how imkiBd to the best and dearest —' ' 
His voice failed, and Sir Koland, much affected, said, 

" He who has once stren^^ened, will strengthen again, Henry. 
He * who is touched with the sense of our infirmities, wiU restore 
you all your lost peaee. — ^My poor, poor brother, would I could 
take your place !" 

" God forbid you skonikd ever have to bear wi»t I have !" ex- 
claimed Henry with energy, fifing his largo eznressiye eyes for 
the first time on his hf(Aher n^xm^isiaBDa^ ; ^* Cbdaseop such suffisr- 
ings ever far from, yoo, Boluid." And at that tnoiiient he would 
have given worlds to have known that Lady Constance's affection 
was wholly given with her fiiflii. '* Bat bow pale yon look/' Jm 
continued, " have you been ill ?" 

"Oh ! no,^' replied Sir Rolaad, "tat yon hnve; and anxiety 
about that, >and the fktigiBe «f MCf^d, ceaseless travelling, ibbt 
perhaps have made me look pate inr Ike Bsoment. But one g«oa 
night s rest, with a heart happy as unne nmr is» will tnou set «U 
that to rights." 

*' Roland," eaid Lady Aslston, who then oaaie ttdo the xoom, "I 
think peihaps Heatj kad better be ^ukit now; he oaimot Mir 
much mtigoe, and you can eome to him again in a liMte while.*' 

*' Must he ^ ?" saad Henry, who, having <got over the first ema- 
tion of meedng, seemed afaaest to lose ail pain and aorrow, wh3e 
looking at his looter; "X wns jvtft beguming to ei^oy baviis 
him with me." 

*' He oan come ogam soon, hut yon wist reMfittber he too vrtats 
refreshment." 

"Ketum soon then," said Henry, veinotnistly parting with his 
Inrother. 

" I wiU," repUed Bk fioknd, looking kindly back when he got 
to the door. Henry's eyes followed hun, and all the old love of 
their boyhood beamed iigain an their toouoiteitaiioes. 

It was many days befove Hkejme^ agam^ and th6ii-^*inth what 
changed feelings 1 



Sm EOLAND ASQTOir. ZIS 



CHAPTER XLVI. 

** Oh ! there are giiefii for natefe too intense, 
Whose first rude shook but stopiflc^s the soul ; 
Nor hAth the fragile and o'erlaboured sense 
Strength e'en to feel, at once, their dread control. 
But when ^is past, that still and speechless hour 
Of the sealed bosom and the tearless eye. 
Then the roused mind awakes with tenfold power 
To grasp the fUlness of its agony!" — Mbs. Hsmaits. 

'« I hcve known feaitfU heart-fltivgg^es; bat tUs 
KakBs aU seem nvttiittg.*'— Tjxfoobd. 

WHE»r Lady ABhton zod Sir Eohnd httd left Henry, ^&y^rmt 
ud» the diiuiiff«ro0ai to limeh«on, whcae tliey foond Florence, ^lio 
ivas endiaiitea to see Sir Bokwd ngaia^ but Goastanoe was not 
there. Sir Eoland felt disappointed, bat said sothii^; and 
limeheQii beiag'&iidKd tihury left the room, and Sir Roiniid groing 
into the drawii^-ioom, icioA Gonstaxkee th«re busily painting; 
and went immediatelv and sat down by her. 

'* Have yon painted many tilings siKee I left yen, Conttanoe ?** 
be asked. 

"Yes/' ake vepiied; ^'I teok a great many sket^es in Soot* 
land." 

*'Toa seemed to Mke yovr tonr then T«ry mn»h," eaid Sir 
Eoland ; ** though I rather wondered," he added with a smile '* «t 
yonr oonmee in nndertakiaK it ; and never cottld <|aite make out 
what was the charm which drew you forth &om this place, to M 
among strangers ; but I was delighted to iind you enjoyed yourself 
6omiidi." 

"It was very delightful," said Lady CoDstanoe. " Would yon 
like to see some of the drawings I made there ?" And she gave him 
her portfolio, though in doing so her eye evidently avoided his» 

He perceived it— and a olond dimmed the happiness tiiat had 
been ao bright before. He tamed over the drawings; but his 
mind wandered from them to her whose hand had traeed them; 
and often did he look troubledly at her as she sat by him, with a 
eheek deadly paJsy and with a composure in her air wMeh was 
wholly unnatural. He felt a ehilling, ioy fear ereep over him ) 
but he tried to shake it off, telHn^ himself it might only be the 
£rst embarrassment of renewed intercourse which made her so 
reserved. Still it pained him, though he continued to endeavour 
to draw her on to conversation. 

. " Your cousin, Philip Mordaunt." he said, " seemed an agreeable 
person by your aeconnt. I hope he will oome and nay you a vi^t 
affaia soon, tiiat I may make his acqnaintanoe, — and Mn. Merdaunt 
also. You seem to nave been a ^eat favourite with her, Ocm* 
rtanoe ; though it must have required all your gentle, yet earnest 
piety, to overcome so settled an aversion to anything serious as she 
Kmnerly had." 



316 SIB nOLAKS ASHTON. 

"She was always very kind," replied Lady Constanee ; "but 

latterly, certainly, particularly so." 
" You did not much like her other sons I think, did yon?" 
" Not so much as PhUip. He was bj far the deyerest and most 

agreeable ; and so very kind-hearted.' 
" When does he expect to be married ?" 
" In about two years, I believe, when Miss Leslie comes of age." 
" Where you glad to return home, or did you regret leaving the 

*La&d of brown heath and shaggy wood ?* * 

" Oh ! I was both glad and sorry," answered Lady Constance, 
rather more cheerfully, and for a moment lifting her eyes &omher 
paper, though still unable to look towards Sir Bioland. 

" I do not think the keen air of the north has made tou more 
Uooming than you were, dear Constance," he said, as ne looked 
at her beautifiupale countenance, which he was now able to ob» 
serve more distinctly than he had before done ; " you look quite 
iU. — ^Have you not been well ?" 

"Yes—no— that is," she said, oolouring and smiling fiiintly, 
"I do not think I am so strong as I was ; but it is nothing." 

Sir Roland watched her countenance with a troubled mind; for 
every instant served more and more to convince him that there was 
some secret source of discomfort within her which she strove to 
hide— something which made her more embarrassed and reserved 
with him, even than she had been before his departure from En| 
land. Remaining by her was most painful to nim, yet he cou 
not bear to go ; so again he spoke : 

" Henry was gone, I think, before you went to Sootiand, was 
he not r 

"Yes." 

"He seemed to have but short notice given him, poor fellow! 
It must have been a great disappointment to him to have to go off 
in such a hurry." 

Lady Constance was silent. 

" What did you think of him when he first came home ^ It is 
impossible for me to judge of him now* he looks so dreadfully ill! 
But was he as handsome as he used to be } — ^His countenance was 
so fine and animated." 

He waited for an answer ; but for some time Lady Cimstanod 
oould give none. At length she said, 

" He was looking well I think." 

" Is he as tall as I am ?" 

" I should think he was." 

" Where was it that his terrible accident took place ^ I did not 
dearly understand about it froim. my mother's letter ; and have 
scarcely had time to speak to her about it since my arrival." 

" It was in the Mediterranean," replied Lady Constance, en* 
deavourinff to speak oalmlv, " but I do not know exactly where.' 
, " Dreadful it must have been !" exclaimed Sir Roland ; " though 
it is an infinite mercy he was not killed as those other poor fellows 
were. I had known very little of his movements for some tixna 



SI^ ILOLAKS ASKTOIK. 817 

TureTioady, for he was grown very idle, and had not once written 
to me since he left home ; hut I suppose some of you heard 
continually/' 

** Oh ! yes," repUed Lady Constance, though she scarcely knew 
what she was saying, and bent lower than ever over her drawing. 

Again the conversation flagged ; and Sir Roland at length 
wearied with his attempts at keeping it up, and pained to the 
heart by her coldness of manner, rose, saying, 

'* Well, Constance, I will not trouble you with questions any 
longer, for you seem tired of answering them. I must, I see, ffo 
and read one of your letters, if I would And her who was to be 
glad of my return." 

The blood rushed over Lady Constance's cheek and to her temples, 
as die heard these words, spoken in a voice of deepest sadness, and 
for a moment she could not speak ; but feeliug the necessity of 
overcoming herself, she said, though not without much hesitation, 

" Oh ! no, Roland— stay here." 

** Do you reaUy wish me to stay, Constance ?" 

"Oh! yes-Iwish— " 

" Then why Bxeypxi so cold }" he asked ; " why wound me so to 
the very heart ? Why— when your letters breathed, at least kind- 
ness and affection, — when your first look and word of welcome was 
such as to animate every hone, and fill me with joy— why should 
you now be colder a thousand times than you ever were before ? 
Kemember, I beseech you," he continued in a voice wMch trembled 
with strong emotion, "that mine are not feelings which can 
endure, or which deserve, to be lightly trifled with. 

Constance could not answer ; and Lady Ashton at that moment 
entering the room, and asking Sir RolaJid to come with her for a 
little while, as she wished to speak to him, happily relieved her 
from the terrible necessity of doing so. He rose to go with his 
mother, but stopped an instant to say, as his eyes were fixed on 
her with intense scrutiny, 

" I promised to go soon again to Henry. Shall I then return to 
you— or not ?" 

"Tes," murmured Lady Constance; as she a^raiUvbent down 
her head, — ^though not before the troubled expression of her coun- 
tenance had been but too visible. He stood for an instant 
rooted to the spot, in utter astonishment at her agitation, though 
still no suspicion of the real case entered his mind. His mother 
however again calling him, he wa^ forced to go. 

•* I am sorry," said Lady Ashton, when they were in another 
TOom« " to take you fix>m Constance ; it must be such a delight to 
yon to be together again after such a long absence ; but you shall 
soon go back to her, only I wanted so much to know what you 
thought of Henry. A iresh eye can often judge so much better 
than one accustomed constantly to see a sick person. Bid you find 
him worse than you expected ?" 

" I scarcely know,' ' replied Sir Roland. " I had feared so greatly 
to find that he was gone, tiiat his being alive at all was an un-> 
speakable relief to me. I cannot but hope that he may recover^ 



918 KES BOLAITD ASHTaif. 

foor at his age the oonsiittttion is ^nerally so strong. But ivhst 
troables me most is the excessive depression of ms ST»rit8»--M 
wholly unlike what he used to be. It makes me fear toat there 
mar be more internal mischief than we are aware of.'* 

*^I do not think that," replied Lady Ashton, ''for if so, he 
would not have improved as he has done ; toad he is oertainly 
better thaik he was. I oaniiei at times help fkncying that he mni 
have some grief which preys upon his mind, for I naye observed 
this dejixression as well as yoo. Often have I sat for hours with 
him, withottt his speakinjr one word ; and though he would lie 
wiih hi» eyes closed, yet I know he was not asleep, for heayv sighs 
would often break forth, and his eyes would be suddenly pernaps-' 
ardently lifted up to heaven for a mtoment-4hen cloaea again. It 
haa often made me very tuahappy to see him.'* 

*'Bnt ia it lik^T, my dear mother," said ^ Boland, "that he 
should have any deadly grief, and not tell you of it? He wodi 
surely find it a comfort to speak to you of anything that made him 
unhappy. Have you ever said aorthizfeg to mm about it ?*' 

" I have not liked to do so," replied Lady Ashton, **for he must 
know his own feeling best; and if he is not &ee, or willing to 
eonfide in me^ I might only pain him by speaking to him on the 
snhjeet. He cannot doubt my readiness to hear all he wishes te 
lay ; but he senns to have grown resMred with every one." 

" His manner to me when first we met was wholly inexpHeahlek" 
•aid Sir Roland ; "h» neitiher looked at me, nor spoke to me. I 
thought it might be that he was overcome for the minute ; but 
when he did speak it was with a gloom and despondency wMeh 
grieved my very heart. But perhaps after all it may only be 
weakness and ecmfinement to the house which afifeets him; for it 
has often been observed, I believe, that those whose S]»rit8 are in 
general the lughest, are apt to sink most in times of sickness. I 
wiQ try and ^et a yaeht for him ; it will enable him when it is find 
to get out a httle, for I am sure he could not now bear Ihe motkn 
of a earriaffe. I will see about <me directly.** 

" I am glad you have thought of it," said Lady Ashton; *'fd 
know he would like to go out, but the carriage torturee him. Bat 
you are looking very ill, too» Boland ! What makes you so pale? 
Are you not well ?" 

" I am as w^ as any oneoan be, who has not laid his head upon a 
pillow f(»r nights and nights," answered ^ Roland, smiling sadly; 
'* and who has had, moreover, su^ anxiety as I have had ; but r«t 
wiU soon restore me. Tou are not looking well either, my dear 
mother,-— nor any oi yon, I think." 

** Constance is not looking well, c^ftainly," observed Lady Asfl> 
ton ; ^* nor has she bef n the least like herself of late. I eannoM^ 
say the truth, help thinking that something has occurred between 
her and H^ury, which has caused disunion and unpleasant feeliBg» 
is» thev seem entirely estranged from each other, and both seem 
imcomfortable. Constance will never be even in the rocmiwiv 
hjm, if she can help it ; and I imagined at one time that she miut 
have heard somethings against him, and asked her if she had ; btt 
«he said *Ke,' and spoke very kindly (rf him. 8e thmi I stfd I 



so, BOMNP ASHIOir* 819 

supposed I muat blame you for taking up all ber beart aitd afibc- 
Hoxki, and leaving none for those who were about ber. But I do 
not Imow why I skould pour out all my little troubleB to you, only 
that it is a relief to b&Te some one to whom one oan speak openly ; 
and yoa may be able, better than I can, periiaps, to nnd out what 
causes this disoomfort, and to make aU smooth aad bampy agrain. 
X do not though, I am sure, mean to aeovse Constanoe oi unkind- 
Bess> — ^to ma she has ever been as the most attentiye and affile- 
tionote ol dangbters; it is only towards Henry that she seems so 
•old.'* 

^Jlhese words of Lady Asbton'e awakened feeliiif^s in Boland's 
mind, which she little dreamed of; and lit a fire within his breast 
which no earthly power cottjid have quendbied or controlled. He 
scarcely breathed as she spoke, and his very existence seemed to 
hang uj^on her woifds ; for he felt the sudden and deadly ccmvictiou 
enter lus soul, that it was not hatred, or dislike^ whioh bad arisen 
between Lady Constanee a»d bia brother, hurt faelings of a far 
different nature. It might be, indeed (and his mind eagerly caught 
at the idea), that peroeiving an unhappy attachment in Henry 
towards her. Lady C(mstanoe bad kindly and oonaeientiously done 
aU in her poww to repress it,-*«nd if so, her heart might still be 
bis ; but every thing tended to destroy even that faint hope, and 
despair began to lay her numbing hand on all his faculties. It 
vas well that it did so at that moment, as it enabled him to sit 
with aj>parent calmness while his mother spoke. 

He was, however, thoroughly det^mined at onoe to know the 
worst, even if it cost him his life ; and calmed by this desperate 
resolution, be prooeeded to ask Lady Ashton, in a quiet voice, 
when it was that she iirst perceived this alienatioa between Con- 
stance and his broker. 

'* I cannot exaoUyreoollect,"i^;ilisdIjid7 Ashton; '^butitwas 
before be went away.'* 

'* Do you think it influenced ber at all in ber wish to go to Soot* 
Jand?" asked Sir Roland. 

*' I cannot say. She eertaiBly urged me Tsry eagerly to let ber 
go, when it seemed likely that he would ba remaining here^ but 
when he was gone^ she said she should |)refer staying at home ; but 
X thought that was only fiom a kind wish not to leave me alone, 
so I insisted on ber going* as she had really seemed to wish it But 
it might certainly have been that she only desired to be away from 
bim- And yet why should she desire it ^ ' 

*' That is what we are trying to discover," said Sir Boland, with 
deadly calmness. " You said you asked her about it, I think ; but 
I have forgotten exactly what answer she made." 

^ She said that there bad been, no quarrel, and that she bad never 
beard anything^ against Henry; ana I remember that she spoke 
varmly, and said, ' fio one ever mentioned him but with praise.' " 

fiir Roland compressed his lips, wliieh were white as death; and 
lor a moment bis orow contracted. 

Lady Ashton continued, *' I am afraid I was harsh to ber, for she 
eried very much, poor oMLd! and said she never meant to be un- 
]dad to ai^ oaa*" 



320 SIX BOLAHD ASHTOir. 

''Oh no! oh no!" exclaimed Sir Roland, starting np and waUc* 
ing np and down the room ; " she oould never mean to be nnkind 
to any living soul !" 

" I know she wonld not willingly have been so/' said Lady Ash- 
toii« gently; '* bnt it seemed so strange* as I told her, that when 
Henrv was ill, and wholly dependent on others for amusement, she 
woula never sit with, or sing to him. or, indeed, speak to him, if 
she oouldpossibly help it. She seemed, too, to take so little part 
in onr afluction ! I pould not understand it— nor do I now,— for 
she was always so amiable and considerate; and was so even then 
to me— in aU but slighting Henry. But I dare say it will all come 
right in time." 

" Never !" thought Sir Roland, with a despair which cannot be 
described. 

'* Now you are come," continued Lady Ashton, " I feel as if 
everything must go well, it is such a joy to me to'see you here 
again. — But I will not now detain you any longer from Gonstuice, 
or from poor Henry, who was so anxious to see you ; and I am 
sure you will soon reconcile Ihem to each other, if there has really 
been any misunderstanding. Go now, dear Boland, back to the 
drawing-room, and I will go to Henry, and tell him you will be 
<with him soon ; and, if you can, get Constance to go in with you.'* 

*' Reconcile them!" thought Sir Roland, when his mother had 
left the room. " Yes— that will not be difficult. And yet it may 
be only that Henry likes her—not that she loves him. If so, she 
might have shunned him-r-an^ lightlv. But why then should she 
be so cold and distant with me ? If sne were inoifferent to himr-- 
why cruel to me ? And yet, how her countenance lit up when she 
first saw me. And her exclamation of joy — how true — how 
natural— it seemed ! Oh! this is a dreadftd— dreadfal hour ! But 
it must be borne— must be endured ; — and I must— will know my 
fate." 

He left the room determined to seek Lady Constance, and to 
implore her instantly to clear up every diffictdty. His mind was 
on the rack; and the strong control he had placed upon his feelings 
in his mother's presence beffan almost to give way. 

He passed through one arawiuR-room, and was approaching the 
door of the other, which was partly open, when he saw Lady Con- 
stance standing with her head resting on the chimney-piece. He 
paused, for her attitude was one of sorrow and suffering, and his 
heart melted within him. All his own miseries — ^his wrongs — her 
<$oldness— all vanished before the thought of her distress; and« 
aj^r a moment, he was about to enter hastily — ^to entreat her to 
confide in him — ^to let him have the joy of, any how, making her 
happy,— when she suddenly raised her head, and the expression of 
an^xiuh in her countenance, as it was reflected in the glass bv 
which she stood, a^ain arrested him. His very breathing stoppeo, 

LOS in 



as, looking upwards with tearless eyes, and clasping her hand 



>agon\% he neard her exclaim, 
"Would he had never returned!" 
He felt a sudden bewilderment, as in a dream. The very git>und 



SIE BOLAlin) A8HT0N. 32t 

appeared to tremble beneath his feet, and it seemed as if his senses 
had given way ! ^ 

" Constance to wish he had never returned ! She— for whom ho^ 
was ready to resign every happiness ! She, to wish hiTn exiled — 
dead ! She, whom he had imaged to himseK as the gentlest and 
sweetest of human beingrs— to wish him swept from the face of the 
earth, so that her will might have free course !" 

His first impulse was to rush in to her, and upbraid her for her 
treache^— her falsehood. But he had sufficient power over him- 
self, even at that fearful moment, to control so violent an outbreak 
of his passionate nature ; and hastily throwing up the window^ 
which opened to the ground, he rushed out upon the lawn, and 
with hurried steps pursued the pathway down towards the shore. 
Regardless of the chill and biting wind, and of the cold, sleety 
rain which fell on his imcovered head, he went on— on — as if only 
desirous of flying from home and its miseries ; till at length, reach- 
ing the grassy spot, where, twice in former times, he had sat with. 
Constance and spoken of their engaj^ement, — ^he suddenly stopped. 
The remembrance of that time — of the hopes and fears — ^now all 
turned to despair— which had then acitatea him— of his devoted 
love and desire for her happiness, who now requited his devotioa 
by ingratitude so deadly — quite overcame him, and he fell almost 
lifeless on the turf. No burst of anguish came to relieve him — ^nd 
tear flowed to ease his burning brain; but his* soul, completely un- 
hinged, became the unresisting prey to every terrible and tumul- 
tuous feeling. Usually so self-controlled, he lost all powder over 
his thoughts ; and, excited almost to madness, it seemed as if all 
the demons from the depths of hell had risen with fury to take 
possession of the soul irom which they had so long been exiled. 
Grief was too gentle a feeling to find a place there at that terrible 
moment ; and passions, of whose very existence he had till then 
been ignorant, fought within him for the mastery. Jealousy,, 
hatred, revenue— all in turn maddened him ; till, writhing under 
their deadly influence, in the frenzy of despair, he exclaimed^ 
" My God ! my God ! why hast Thou forsaken me ?" 
In an instant the storm within him ceased, 

" The soul that seemed forsaken, felt its present God again," 

and calmed, though not comforted, he rose from the earth. 

Slowly did he retrace his steps back to the house, and painfully, 
for his Hmbs had stiffened with the chill and damp of the cold 
earth, and drenching rain ; and his whole frame, previously ex- 
hausted by long fatigiie and anxiety, began to feel the shiverinaf 
lassitude of approaching fever. With difficulty he got home, ana 
when there, immediately went to his own room, and sent word to 
his mother that, not feeling well, he should not go down to dinner. 
She went to him, and was much alarmed at his altered appearance, 
and the quickness of his pulse, and wished to send for the phjrsi- 
cian ; but he refused to allow her to do so, and said that rest would 
do him good, if anything could, but that he must be alone, and try 
what perfect quiet would do. 

T 



** Bo notHiiiik me nnldiid, dearest mo&er/' be aaid ; " but I 
baye pains so terrible, tbat speaking, or even raising my eyes, is 
iatolerable to me." 

" Bat tben, I beaeeob yoo, let me send for adyiee^" sbe replied* as 
die burst into team. 

Gar Roland strained ber to bis breast, and beld. ber long there, 
for be felt sbe was now bis only eaitbly comfort ; but no word or 
tear escaped to give one moment's ease to tbe feelings wMfib safSo- 
oatedbim. 

At lengdi Lady Ashton said tbat sbe would leare bim for awbile 
tiiat be migbt rest, and then she would return to bim again. 
Befresbments were sent up to bim, but they went down again, nn- 
touched ; and bis fever increased so rapidly on bim, that be wrote 
Ins motber a message benjng her not to return to bim. tbat m^t^ 
as be felt be could not talL He added a few words of deep a&o- 
lion ; but they breathed so sad a tone, tbat Lady Asbton's beart 
sank within her, for they sounded to ber affiigbted fanjcy as the 
passing-bell of eveiy eaitiJy hope and happiness. 

Best, indeed. Sir Eoland required ; but rest he could not get, nor 
eren could he seek it ; and for long hours tbroiigh the night, Ladr 
Ashton, whose room was next to his, heard bis ceaseless, though 
unequal tread, as be paced up and down bis chamber ; while sounds 
from time to time reached, her ear, which seemed poured forth in 
the bitterness of angnish. She was wuck alarmed, and repeatedly 
went to his door, but did not like to go in, as he bad begged ber 
not do so. At length, anxious beyond endurance, sbe knocked. 
The sound of bis steps instantly ceased ; and all was still asdeath* 
Sbe feared to knock again, and waited in silent terror at tbe door. 
Li a few minutes, however, Ibe weary steps of restless moving were 
a^;ain beard, and summoning courage, she knocked a second time. 
&x Boland asked, *' Who was there ?" and she answering, be in- 
fltantiy unlocked and opeaed bis door. 

'* What do you want with me, dear mother ?" be said. '* Why 
are you up so early ?" 

'* My dearest Boland," she replied, " why are you rsp ? you who 
require rest so much }*' 

** Rest !" be exdaimed, *' rest ! Ay ! rest would be, indeed, 
delidhitful." 

"Then why"will you not lie down, and try to sleep ?" 

"I cannot — I cannot," be said, vehemently; resuming- bis 
agitated walk. 

" My dear son," exclaimed Lady Ashton, in extreme di iiU t aa , 
I6r the wild expression of Sir Boland's eye, and tbe boUowness of 
bis voice terrified ber, " what has happened ?— what is tbe matter 
with you ?" 

He made some incoherent answer, which instaally convinoedber 
tbat the fever whose sustaining ex^ntement could alone bave en* 
abled bim to endure tbe wearying fatigue of bis oontmual agitation* 
wasbeginninflr to affect bis b^ ; and perceiving the neee&sty 
of prompt and decisive measures, sbe lert the room, saying m 
wo^d return in a few minutes, SLud sent off instantly to D — — ♦ 
lor the physician, whilst she desired Sir Bolaiid's servant to 



SIB BOLAND ASHTON. 338 

ffo to him, and endeavour by all means to persnade him to go to 

Sir Roland, now the maddening train of thought, which had 
throughout the ni^ht been whirling throu§:h his brain, was inter- 
m^d, became calmer; and submitted quieUy to aU that was re- 
quired of him. But though he consented to lie down, and his 
wearied limbs seemed to rest with almost deathlike weight upon 
the bed, yet he found no repose of mind. He could not sleep ; 
and continued ceaselessly to talk to himself, though the words ho 
uttered were not often intelligible. When the physician arrived, 
he pronounced it to be brain-fever, and ordered that he should be 
kept as (|uiet as possible ; and having blooded him and prescribed 
everything which he thought necessary for the moment, he told 
Lady Ashton he would go home to make some needful arrange- 
ments, and would then come back and remain all the next night 
vdih Sir Eoland, about whom he was forced to confess that he felt 
extremely uneasy. 

In the evening he returned, and found, as he had feared, that 
the fever had increased rapidly, and that the danger was very 
g^at. He sat up all night with Sir Eoland» who never obtained 
an instant's repose, his mind continuing to ramble wildlv, from 
sabject to subject without an instant's intermission ; and ms vio- 
lence becoming so great that he was with dif&cully at times 
prevented irom throwing himself out of his bed. He continually 
started up and asked, " Where he was ? and why he was detained 
there?" saying, **He must get on, or he should arrive too late," 
that, "he must see him again;" with other such expressions, 
proving that his brother, who had been so long the object of his 
amdous thought, continued to be so slill. He continually tcdked 
of him, sometimes as ill — th^i as at sea— then as by his side ; and 
wmdd at other times go back to the days of their boyhood, and 
speak of games and pleasures they had had together. 

Sometimes his mind seemed to oatoh a glimpse of what had just 
ooonrred, and he would speak in heart-rending tones of misery, and 
oraelty, and hopes destroyed, and happiness gone. Then all would 
seem bright, and he spdce in light and joyml tones, as if talking 
dieerfully to those he loved. Towards ms brother he ever seemed 
to fdel.the kindest affection, unshaded by doubt or displeasure, but 
when he spoke of Lady Constance, whieh he often did, it was with 
everv variety of feeling ; and at times his mind seemed as if it 
touched on some point respecting her, whieh was insupportable to 
him ; and when that was the cajse he grew excited, and violent 
ahudderings came over him. 

'* I cannot believe it," he would sometimes exclaim ; **it was not 
her^— it is false, she never wished it," — ^with other words of horror, 
or disma3ring grief . Lady Ashton sat by him all Hiat- night, and 
many other mghts and days of hopeless wEdxshing, and throughout 
all that time no instant's rest, or sleen ever visited his- eyes. He 
knew his mother sometimes , and woulcL then press her hand to his 
lips, and speak in tones of love, which overcame the spirits which 
could bear up against all else. At other times he was wholly lost, 
and would gaze from face to face of those around him, with an air 

T 2 



324 812 -BOLAJfD ASHTOir. 

of tofadTaeaney ; but in general he contumed tnUdiig wildly, and 
at times TiolenUy, and almost ceaselessly rolling his head frma side 
to side upon his pfllow in the zesdessness of pain. As he grew 
ireaker, me ferer ahated, but still he nerer slept, whidi was most 
alarming ; as obtaining rest, the physician declazed, was the only 
chanee OT his leoorery. Bnt the wretchedness of his mind seemed 
to predode all poosibOitT of it; for if he remained more than 
nsaally tranquil for any little time, such pauses were invariably 
followed by starts of honor and wild exclamations, as if some tio- 
knt struggle were going on within. 

Lady Awton rarely left him, for she feared erery moment might 
be his last; but oocadonally she went down £ai a few instants ta 
Henry, to teU him how his brother was, and to see how he himself 
went on, for he had a^ain been suffering much pain, andhis anxietr' 
about his brother was intense. On one occasion, indeed, whenithad 
been thought that Sir Boland wason the point of death, he had in* 
aisted on being carried up to him ; but when in the room he was so 
overcome that he fainted away ; and the emotion, tc^ether with the 
pain of moving, did him so muBh injury, that he was never again 
permitted to try the dangerous experiment. His eager mind suf- 
fered dreadfdlly under the suspense he had to endure, and his fed- 
ings were excited to an almost unendurable degree. He accnsed 
himself of being the destrover of his brother's happiness, and per- 
haps of his life ; for heoooJd not divest himself of the idea, that 
Sir Boland's illness had been produced by some unhappy discoTery 
of his feelings for Constance, or of hers for him, working on a 
mind and body alr^idy exhausted by anxiety and fetti^rue on his 
account. He was miserable beyond expression, and he implored of 
God to take him, and not his brother. The thought of Constance 
became dreadfdl to him, and he was thankful that now, in his 
mother's absence, she never came into the room where he was. So 
completely had droumstances altered his estimate of things, that 
could he at that moment have been offered the free gift of her hand, 
he would have reiected it with horror, feeling it almost as the price 
of blood ; and earnestly, and with ail the vehemence of his troe 
heart, did he implore of the Almighty, not only to iroare his brother's 
life, but to grant that Lady Constance's foil affections might be 
allowed to flow back into their rightful channel, and to bless, with 
all life's hanniness, the heart that so truly loved her, and that so 
well deserved her love. He thought not of himself— or rather in the 
warm devotedness of his feelmgs, he imagined that to see his 
brother happy again, would be happiness enough for him ; and that 
he could then go forth a wanderer— but not desolate. 

Day after day passed, and to all Lady Ashton's anxious inquiries 
of the several phsrsioians who were then in attendance on Sir 
Boland, the only encouragement she could obtain, was the poor 
assurance that " where there was life there was hope ;" but to her 
Rod mind it seemed evident that both life and nope were fast 
departing. 

Exhausted to the last degree, Sir Eoland now scarcely spoke or 
moved, save that the restless motion of his head still continaed, 
anoompanied by low moaning soirnds. But even these faint sigu* 



SIB BOLAND ASHTOV. 325 

of life, and of suffering, gradually new fednter and fainter, till 
they wholly ceased ; and he lay at length with the cold calm of 
death stamped on his rigid features. 

Lady Ashton, and the physician from D— -, who had never left 
the house, were sitting by his bedside. The former had her arm 
under Sir Roland's head; and feeling the burden—- to her so pre- 
cious ! — ^gradually becoming heavier and heavier, and finding all 
motion cease, she looked in alarm at the deathlike countenance ; 
and overcome by her terrible apprehensions, was about to give way 
to the expression of her agony, when the physician, perceiving her 
fears, made her an earnest sign not to speak or move, whispering 
that it was sleep, not death, which had at last visited the wear^ 
eyes of the sufferer. 



CHAPTER XLVII. 

** Oh ! gentle sleep, whose lenient power thus soothes 
Disease and pain, how sweet thy visit to me 
Who wanted thy soft aid."— Orestes, TrmialaUon. 

** So near— and yet so distant ! Oh, 'tis worse 
Than leagues of exile o'er the stormy sea 1 
On me ^he fabled Titan's penal corse 
Hath lighted. From my lips insnlting flee 
The draughts of bliss, the firnits of extacy."— MS. 

" Pregar, pregar, pregar, 
Ch' altro ponno' i mortali al pianger nati ?'— Alfebri. 

" To pray, to pray, to pray. 
What else can mortals do, bom but for tears?" 

"Am I resigned to die? 
It is not so ; — ^that cannot be the word 
That speaks the Christian's feelings when he hean 
The distant sound of his Redeemer's foot 
Hasting to fetch him to his Father's throne ; 
When the first beam from Heaven's unclosing gate 
Falls on his path to light him to his home." 

Ladt Powerscoubt. 

. It was some time before Lady Ashton could believe that the 
marble-like repose that rested on the countenance of her son was 
other than the sleep of death. Not the slightest heaving of the 
breast could be perceived, nor could she discern the throbbing of a 
pulse. Nature was so utterly spent, that if indeed a spark of life 
were still left, it seemed to have retreated to the very depths of the 
heart, doubtful whether to flicker up anew, or totally to sink in 
darloiess. At length ike physician, who had sat all the time with 
his finger on tibe pale arm which lay so motionless on the coverlid, 
looked up with orightening eye, and nodded smilingly to Lady 
Ashton, intimating uiat all went on well ; and soon the bent brow 
xelaxed, the mouth assumed its natural beautiful expression, and 
the faint, but regular sound of childlike breathings were distinctly 
heard. Then first did Lady Ashton give herseK up to the blessed 



3Se BIS BOLAITD ASHTOX. 

power of hope ! then first did her heart melt within her, at the 
joyfhl thongnt that her son might still he spared to her. For 
lonff hours she sat there — scarcely daring to hreathe — sapport- 
ingnis head npon her arm, indifferent to the fatigae and mieasmess 
of ner constrained x)08ition, and dreading only lea^ anything should 
oeenr to disturh slmnhers bo life-giving. 

How did her heart lift itself to God ! " Bless the Lord, oh! my 
Bonl, and all that is within me hless His holy name," were words 
for oyer rising to her lips. As she paed on the features of him 
who now lay, aniet and weak as an infiint, in her arms, her mind 
rapidly recallea the Tsrions stages of his existence. She pictured 
him to herself as he was hronght— her first-horn— -to her longing 
arms, and felt— as it had heen yesterday^the 

** Mother's prime of bliss. 

When to her eager Upt is brooght 
Her infant's thrilling Idss." 

Then early childhood, when ererythinff is so new, so delightful! 
How well did she rcmemher it all, and ail the sweet unfolorngs of 
existence, which make " life's early dawn*' so very lovely. Boy- 
hood, youth, manhood, all in turn, passed in bright succession 
through her mind; and delightful it was to trace him throu|lL 
them all, and feel that there was no circumstance of his life she 
could have wished blotted from her remembrance. As she dwelt 
npon these things, and looked on the pale, still countenance before 
her, the tears, so long unwept, streamed from her eyes; and she 
felt that had he indeed died, she would have been able to exclaim, 
like the noble father of a noble son, " I had rather have my dead 
son than any living son in Christendom." 

But of all the fond recollections with which her memory was so 
happily, and sweetly stored, none were to be compared, in her mind, 
with the remembrance that through all the long days and nights 
of fever and delirium, through which she had then been watch- 
ing over him — ^when his mindf, freed from the restraints of reason, 
and caution, and habit, was likely to have opened all its stores of 
various f celings— not one syllable had ever passed his lips, that 
could have sullied an angel's, or wounded a mother's ear. In his 
iiflht^t moods he had spoken but in words of cheerfulness and 
fmeotion*, and his deei)er sentiments had ever been thq noble gush- 
ings of his heart, and the emanations of the true and ardent piety 
which was the habit of his soul. The wild and violent passions 
which, durinff the first burst of his distracted feelings, haa rushed 
in and overwhelmed his whole being, had been entuely oast forth 
by that mighty Power which in former times had 

'* Lashed the vexed fiends to the Ibandng deep f* 

and his mind had been, during all the hoim of irreqwnsible exist- 
ence which he had passed, as pure, as holy, and as n>iritaal, as hi* 
^"•^ devoutest aspirations could have desii^d. Ctod had, a» it 
gemed, " given his angels charge oonoeming him ;" and thov had 
«ept, from his mind every thought that could hav« sullied or 



SIR BOLAITD ASHTOIT. 327 

injicred Ms bright profession, and from his li^s, every breath that 
could have done ** despite unto that Holy Spirit, whereby he was 
sealed unto the day of redemption.'* 

Nor let this be considered as a mere fancy of the brain. Ima- 
^ation in its highest, happiest flights, wonld never have dared to 
image forth a thought so beautiful, so sublime — as that Heaven's 
hosts could minister to wretched, fallen man ! — could never have 
borne up the mind to such soaring heights, nor have brought 
Heaven thus down, in aid of our necessities. No ! the winded 
•words of truth alone could have suggested or sustained this high 
and bright idea ! — could have taught us that the redeemed soul is 
the peouHar object of the watchful care of &od ; of Him whose eyes 
neither slumber nor take rest, but who, when His blessing nas 
been sought for in waking hours, " giveth it His beloved sleep- 
ing;'** — making His angels ministering spirits to keep it from 
harm. 

It has been the happy lot of many who hsnre had to watch by 
the couch of pain, when those that were stretched on it have been 
the children of GK)d, to witness scenes like this— to see that the 
Heavenly Master does indeed thus acknowledge and sustsdn his 
servants, even when the mental powers are wholly suspended ; 
when outward consciousness, reflection, and memory — are utterly 
lost. His Spirit then testifies with the spirit of the suflPerer, " that 
he is one of the sons of God;" and speaks through him, to its own 
honour, and glory. Often, when the meanings of pain have come 
ceaselessly from the unconscious breast, the words of prayer and 
holy truth, and they alone, have had power to still them; and 
when the shrieks of Dodily agony have rung through the ears, and 
tortured the hearts of every being within hearing of the fearful 
sounds — ^these too have been hushed by the same blessed power ; 
and in speaking thus, we have no hesitation or fear in appealbig 
for the truth of what is said, to the testimony of those who have 
had blessed opportunities of judging from what has passed before 
their own eyes. 

In Sir Roland's case resort was of course had continually to the 
throne of grace, both for him and with him ; and not only did Lady 
Ashton perpetually drop " words of holy balm" into his wounded 
spirit, but the minister of the parish, an excellent and kind old 
man, who had been there for many years, and had known Sir 
B,oland from his biri;h, also continually came and prayed by his 
side, and spoke delightfully, and in more cheerful accents than the 
poor mother could always command, of heaven's brightness, — of 
** that flowery land, whose green turf hides no graves. 

Sir Koland's wandering glance at such times wotdd become 
arrested, and his eye would dwell upon the countenance of the good 
old man, though evidently gathering no intelligence thereby, of 
who he was; and he would drink in eagerly the words, that for a 
time stilled the unhappiness, which, though borne with deepest 
resigaation, yet evidently oppressed his spirit. When the voiee 
ceased— then the restless glance would roam again round the 

« Gemum Tezsion. 



328 Snt BOLAl^S ASHTOK. 

ohamber, and the signa of imeasmess would retnxn; but when the 
voice of prayer was neard affain— then all was peace once more. 

Lady Ashton had ever orawn comfort firom the ** fountain of 
living waters," even when her earthly happiness had seemed the 
fullest. Where, therefore, should she fly, when her trials were 
fio great, but to the same source of heavenly strength? Happily 
she had not now "her faith to seek;" but had for long years 
known Him who was now sustaining her soul, and saying to her, 
" Fear thou not, for I am with thee ; be not dismayed, for I am 
thy God ; I will strengthen thee ; yea. I will help thee ; yea, I 
will uphold thee with me right hand oi my righteousness." ■ 

This most delightful passage, and many others of equal comfort 
irom the Scriptures, were continually realized, and brought to 
her aid ; but God, who often blesses the smaUest things to the 
best and kindest purposes, caused also one little line of earthly 
poetry to present itself perpetually unbidden to her memory. A 
worl(fly spirit might have £scerned in this nothing perhaps, but 
•a happy accident, but Lady Ashton's Christian heart, which loved 
to trace every-^ven the slightest "good gift, to Ihe Father of 
lights," felt that it was He, who kept in her thoughts continually 
the word of comfort which so much strengthened her. 

She had lately been reading the " Sacred Melodies "of one, for 
whom it had been well had he never written in a strain less pure 
and noble ; nor polluted the world, as he has too often ^ne, 
through the mecUum of his silvery numbers. One line of those 
melodies it was, which presented itseK thousands of times in .a 
•day, to Lady Asnton's sleepless mind. The beautiful words, 

*' Earth has no soirow that Heayen cannot enre," 

sounded perpetually in her heart, and never failed to brin^ with 
them comfort and joy. She felt the truth of them; and expenenoed 
that Heaven was even at that trying moment sustaining her soul-^ 
in peace ; and thus was a little word, flowing from a pen too 
d&equently dipped in earth's worst colouring, made an instrument 
of blessing in the hands of Him, who " chooses one thin^ and 
rejects another." Thus also does He often give lessons, in his 
marvellous long-sufiering and patience, by which the worst may 
be encouraged to forsake the ways of his iniquity, and to turn, 
while yet there is time, to Him who " discemeth the evil from the 
good." 

Oh ! that men would but consider from whom they derive their 
powers ! Oh ! that they would but remember that He who gives 
talents, says, also, " Occupy till I come !"— that they could but know 
the blesseoness of working— speakings—writing for Him, who alone 
at the last day can say, " Well done, good and faithful servant, 
enter thou into the joy of thy Lord !" Could they know that joy, 
never again would tiiey be found ranked with the worst enemies 
of God! . 

There is a story somewhere recorded, of a sentence of equal 
ngour going forth against a man who had committed murder, and 
one who had written a work of evil tendency ;— both were con- 



SEBL BOLAND ASHTON. 329 

denmect'to be biimed to death ! The writer oi the work exclaimed 
against the injustice — ^the inequality of the sentence, but received 
this just reply : — " That the sentence indeed was unequal, for that 
the one delinquent had merely destroyed the temporal life of a 
single human being, and that with his existence would cease his 
power of doin^ like mischief again ; but that he — ^the writer — ^had 
done that, which might destroy the miserable souls of thousands ; 
and that, moreover, nis evil deeds, fiar from perishing with him, 
would continue to flourish and increase, when he was suent in the 
grave !'* " Shall I not visit for these things ! saith the Lord.*' 

With what just horror shotdd we not regard the man who could 
deliberately poison the springs and streams around a populous 
city, sending death into the heedless bosom of all who arank > 
** Of how much greater condemnation think you not he is worthy," 
who poisons the snrings of virtue in the heait, tainting the young 
mind with all that is hateful — degrading-^HJontemptible ! and 
nourishing the vice of age with that which is hurrying it to a 
iearful doom ! 

And do such writers think they are esteemed and honoured in