Obrazy na stronie

mental anguish. I have just been sitting by the bedside of the sufferer, and her ravings have shocked me.

“ Do not let Lørd Nottingham learn that I loved him, I implore you !” she repeatedly utters. " It would be dreadful were he to

know my affection; I never could see him again. Oh, why am I married ? Mary Delaward said, that married women must not have male friends. Do not, in mercy, tell her that I love him ! She never would look on me again, were she made acquainted with my guilt. Oh, Caroline, do not leave me alone with him, for I tremble lest he should look at me, and discover the passion that is consuming me! Do not tell me that he loves me; say, rather, that he hates me! Yet, no — repeat once, only once again, that he loves me, and then let me die ! Who

said that I was innocent? Oh, it was my father and mother : I remember it now. But

housewall, every

they did not know that I loved Lord Nottingham; if they did, they would think me guilty, and hate me. Do not, do not reveal the dark secret to them; but let it be buried with me when I am hid in the grave! Burn all those horrible newspapers — all — all ! suffer not one to escape. See! they are posted on every

on the trees


and on the clouds! and the whole world are reading them, and chattering, and jibbering, and screaming my name; ' and the trumpets are proclaiming it all through the earth, and every finger is pointing at me! Oh, 'tis dreadful! Hide me

- deep, deep in the earth; ay, even in the dark grave!”

It is thus, my beloved, that she has raved during the two hours I have been sitting by her bedside ; and so piteous are her accents, that they have pierced my very heart. My

hide me

fears are verified. She loves Lord Nottingham ; but this unhappy passion is the extent of her error, as all her ravings denote. The revolting statements in the papers, so cruelly sent to her, have overpowered her already excited mind. Poor dear Augusta, with all her youth, beauty, and innocence !— bitterly has she atoned for her indiscreet, her fatal

choice of a husband !

She has been more tranquil for the last three hours, and has now fallen into a calm sleep. God grant that she may be relieved ! To-morrow you shall hear again from your





My poor suffering friend had a quiet night, and awoke in her senses; though so languid as to create serious apprehensions for her life. She asked who was in the room.

I made signs to her maid to answer : she, however, had fallen asleep; so I was forced to address to her two or three words of reply, but in a low


" Do I still dream?” she demanded ;

surely I know that voice. Is that Mary Delaward ?"

Yes, dearest Augusta, it is your early, your

fond friend."

She tried to take my hand, but had not strength to effect her purpose. She then motioned to me to withdraw the curtain, and, when I had complied with her wish, she looked at me with an expression of such deep tenderness and anguish, that I felt nearly overpowered.

You, Mary, have not believed me the guilty, the lost creature, they would fain make me appear. No; the good and pure are slow to condemn."

Do not speak now, dearest Augusta," said I ; " and, if possible, do not think, until you have regained some portion of your strength.”

She shook her head, and answered,

“That will never be. Oh, Mary! you know not what I have suffered: to have brought shame to the brows of my dear father and mother ; to be returned to their honourable roof dishonoured; to have hundreds—nay, thousands, believing me all that my very soul abhors, and my name coupled with crime! Yes, I feel it has broken my heart;" and she sank

« PoprzedniaDalej »