Obrazy na stronie
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

circulated to the disadvantage of her reputation, by the splendour of her appearance, and the sumptuousness of her entertainments, Do not blame me, Euphemia, should such an event be followed by my forgetting even the respect due to her sex, and bitterly reproaching her with inhumanity and baseness. You know the warmth of my temper, and my frie Iship for your brother ; but you cannot judge of my feelings when I contemplate the wreck he is become, the shade of all that delighted and rendered him the admiration of whoever had the happiness of knowing him. 'Tis then, my love, that not even the precepts of religion, and forgiveness of our enemies, inculcated in my youth by my respected parents, can allay the tumults in my bosom, or overcome the ardent desire I feel to punish, as they merit, those who blasted every prospect of my friend's felicity, and levelled to the dust one of the noblest works of nature.”

This letter, which I only received on the eve of my journey, occasioned me considerable uneasiness. I was aware of Hamilton's impetuosity, and trembled for the consequences of a meeting with MʻLeod, whose temper

and rather haughty,


invinand I was confident his spirit such as could not brook an insult offered to himself, or the woman he had made his wife. In a word, the most terrifying apprehensions took possession of my mind; and in all its increasing gloomy horrors, I experienced the dreadful burthen of that foreboding of impending evil, which

had beer dicting

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

was also


[ocr errors]

They w


week in


rich and

[merged small][ocr errors]

n haunts us for a length of time, ere the fatal blow
truck at our repose. With as much expedition as
yet weak state of health permitted, I performed my
ney, attended by a faithful female servant, who had
d many years in our family, and accompanied me to
is my eyes first caught a distant view of the city, my
it seemed ready to burst with an indescribable feeling
pprehension and melancholy sadness; and tears I
d not repress were rolling down my cheeks, when

sight of my husband's servant, advancing upon Seback towards me, arrested my attention ; and, thless with impatience, I stopped the chaise, and anded tidings of his master. With looks which I er can lose the recollection of, the poor fellow, who been dispatched to meet me, and by imparting the cting intelligence of my husband's situation, prevent surprise and horror I must necessarily have expeced, had I alighted at my brother's without any wledge of the sad affair that had happened, essayed abdue the feelings of his own distracted mind, and s concise, and least alarming terins as possible, he ced the circumstances he was sent to communicate. ỹ were briefly these :—That on the preceding ting, Mr. and Mrs. M‘Leod, who had been about a k in Edinburgh, made their appearance at the itre, where the latter shone in all the splendour of and costly bridal paraphernalia. That Hamilton

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]



[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

rde bei



[ocr errors]

had been prevailed on by a friend to accompany him to the house, as it was the benefit night of a popular and deserving performer ; and most unfortunately they took possession of seats in the very box in which the bride and her doating husband had engaged their places. That some time after the callous-hearted Charlotte made her appearance, undaunted by the general gaze, and as she well knew also the many strictures passing on her conduct, which had been freely canvassed in every circle in the city, and with the most unparalleled effrontery, no sooner distinguished Hamilton amongst the persons near her, than extending her hand, in a friendly manner, accosted him by name, and inquired, with seeming interest and affection, after her dear Euphemia, as she styled the sister of her doating lover. Surprise, contempt, and indignation, by turns arose in the mind of her hearer, who gaining at last the power of utterance, unceremoniously replied to her inquiries, by asking, why mind in her anxiety to be informed of the welfare of her former friends, she omitted to name her old acquaintance Archibald, of whose unfortunate situation she bad doubtless heard, and, he presumed, regretted, as did all who knew the origin of his misfortunes, patience to reflect upon the barbarous author wretchedness. Conscience is a powerful monitor ; unfeeling as Mrs. M.Leod had shewn herself, she was unable to withstand its representations. At first, indeed, she assumed an air of contemptuous indifference to the

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

pired w

in surviv To the me and when

sine affe

itachmen a hisce

or had sufficient

his and

learly inc

from the

I ne be har


Iton, but perceiving there were several

had heard his words, and seemed to 1 the scorn she merited, her effrontery ushed, hesitated, attempted to smile, rst into an hysterical fit of crying, 5, and displaying a number of Thalian f which my husband was a pleased nly looked upon her distress, when he vho had not till then made his aphe box; when the cause of her disined, and Hamilton avowing it was reproaches on her conduct, words, as magined, arose betwixt the gentleren, ved by a challenge that was instantly ing was appointed at day-break the when such was the fury which actuated both were mortally wounded. MʻLeod veying to his apartments; and Hamila few days, in agonies indescribable. f his dissolution he retained his senses, to express his thoughts, evinced the solicitude for Archibald, and warm myself, as had ever been conspicuous

As for my poor brother, he was ole, and could scarcely be separated his friend, when death bereft him of considered as a brother, and to whom by " bands more firm than nature'm


impre husba

they bers

rende others.

[ocr errors]

brittle tie.” But I must draw a reil across the closing scene of my beloved husband's life, for even at this distant period of time, when a lapse of nearly thirty years has served to temper the acuteness of feeling, and reason and religion have contributed to foster that tranquillity of mind which is as desirable a state as mortals can enjoy, the recollection almost overpowers me, and I feel that “memory of past bliss” is unsubdued by time, and creates uneasy pangs which death only can assuage.

By slow degrees my brother regained the use of his intellectual faculties ; but a settled melancholy oppressed his mind : and though resigned to the decrees of fate, his vivacity was lost for ever ; and after five years past in wandering over different counties of England, during which time I was constantly his companion, he sunk into the grave, a victim to misfortune, perfidy, and base

As neither of my brothers left issue, I came into possession of the whole of the estates which had formerly

belonged to our father; and I humbly trust, have not 'been altogether undeserving of the means of benefitting my fellow-mortals, providence having thus placed it in my power.

I am now beginning to experience the pains and penalties of age ;” but I am thankful to the God of mercies my health is yet less impaired than that of many my juniors in life; for I am able to enjoy the society of those friends who occasionally visit my Highland retire. ment; and sometimes make excursions to Edinburgh,

I may aalin



[ocr errors]

stair, w

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]




be atte her dest

« PoprzedniaDalej »