Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

emanated from the inherent modesty of her

nature.

I wander about at night like a disturbed spirit, and find myself continually in Grosvenor Square, gazing on the house that contains this suffering angel. The whole of the side where Lord Vernon's house stands is covered with straw; the knocker is tied up; and the entire mansion has an air of gloom and desolation which chills my heart. It was in that house, which now presents so dull and cheerless an aspect, that, a few weeks ago, I saw this lovely creature, in all the bloom of health and youth. How looks she now? Bowed down by shame and sorrow; for, well do I know, that even the consciousness of her innocence will not enable her to support the false, the insulting suspicions, * to which her honour is exposed ; and by me!- me, who should have shielded it from even the shadow of a doubt. I have been her bitterest, cruellest enemy; and she must loathe me, when she reflects on the irreparable injury I have inflicted on her.

I never go out during the day, or receive any visits. I could not bear, at such a crisis, to meet the eye of curiosity, or to have my looks or manner commented upon, and cited as presumptive proofs of the truth or falsehood of the vile charge against that honour I know to be so spotless. To affect a cheerfulness utterly repugnant to my feelings, would be impossible; and the gloomy despondency I cannot shake off, would be considered as evidence of guilt.

O world! world! how often are your conclusions erroneous! and how prone are you to attribute the vilest motives to actions, where guilt never was imagined !

I destroy all the newspapers that refer to this foul libel; and writhe in agony when I reflect how many thousands of them will circulate in the various parts of the globe, disseminating far and wide these infamous aspersions on the fame of this angel : and I — I am the cause of all this ! Better could I have borne that she had died while yet her reputation was as stainless as is her life, than have lived to see her name profaned, and made the subject of the ribald jests of the vile and vicious.

Bear with me, my dear Mordaunt; and

believe me

Ever yours,

NOTTINGHAM.

2

THE COUNTESS OF DELAWARD TO THE

EARL OF DELAWARD.

ere

We reached this place last evening, my beloved ; and most melancholy was our arrival. When we

came within view of the park, my poor dear friend begged me to assist her to rise from her recumbent position.

“ How thankful ought I to be, Mary,” said she, “ at being permitted to reach home

I die. How verdant, how serene, how lovely, every thing here appears ! See how the glorious sun has tinged the landscape, and now behold his last rays are shedding a golden light on the oriel window of the church that church, dear friend, where I shall soon repose. How often have I entertained this thought of late, and longed to take up my everlasting rest there, away from all the dis

honour and shame that have rendered life insupportable! How calm, how beautiful it looks ! Never did weary traveller hail the end of his toilsome voyage with a more thankful spirit than I do the approaching termination of mine. You will think it a puerile feeling, dear Mary, yet, nevertheless, it gives me comfort that my earthly remains will repose in a spot where no harsh

eye

will fall on my grave, and where those only who have known and loved me since my birth will dwell on it. They will not believe me guilty : no, a mother's purity and a father's honour will vouch to them for the innocence of her who so lately left her happy home, and who so soon returned to it, blighted in fame and health, to leave it no

Yes, the returning so accompanied, supported by parents, loved and honoured by all; and cheered by the presence of the dear and faithful friend of her infancy, whose whole

more.

« PoprzedniaDalej »