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" I am perfectly, quite recovered, I do thank your lordship,” replied Julia, gravely.
“ Thank Heaven !” exclaimed his lordship, in a tone of deep-drawn interest, and taking her hand with tenderness.
Actuated by the recoiling quickness of disgust, our heroine instantaneously with drew her hand; and, with the frigid air of repulsive dignity, averted her lovely blushing face from the ardent and insolent gaze of licentious admiration.
Fitzroy was visibly disconcerted his eyes flashed fire, and his cheeks glowed with indignant resentment; and, rising from his seat, he said, in a voice of determination that enforced acquiescence" Let us instantly proceed upon our morning's excursion, my lord. We have much ground to go over before we return to dinner with lady Gaythorn, whom, of course, we cannot keep waiting for us.”
“In one moment I will attend you,” replied his lordship, not a little startled at Fitzroy's evident displeasure.-“ Mrs. Hargrave, I find you purpose setting out for Bath on Tuesday. To-morrow, you know, is dedicated to the successful candidates;
and when am I to have the happiness of being indulged with the high gratification you promised me, in permitting my friends and me to hear the seraphic strains of Miss Pen
“ This evening, if your lordship pleases,” replied Mrs. Hargrave. “I am going to accompany Miss De Clifford in paying her respects at the Priory, and shall then solicit the honour of lady Gaythorn's company, to hear the exquisite performance of my young friend.”
Lords Gaythorn and Francis Loraine, with Fitzroy, gládly and politely accepted Mrs. Hargrave's invitation. Miss Penrose was prettily fluttered upon the occasion, and depreciated her own musical abilities with all proper decorum ; whilst Fitzroy, in a low voice, to Julia said "I shall come here to-night, with the arde at hope of again hearing the strains of a seraph, which, though faintly they reached my attentive cars this morning, still vibrate on my fascinated heart."
“ For pity's sake!” Julia eagerly replied, too ingenuous to affect a misconception of his meaning, whilst the loveliest tint of sensitive bashfulness mantled her cheeks, “ do
not, do not betray for me, your having heard my attempt to'sing what duty did prompt. I am convinced, spirits I shall have for exertion no more at all for to-day; and and I have another motive, a so strong, and greatly powerful, for choosing to take of part none in the entertainment for this evening.”
“ Were all women like Julia De Clifford,” said Fitzroy, with the sweetest smile of approbation,“ libertinism would not dare to walk abroad, with the undaunted face of bold effrontery.”
Julia was inexpressibly sorry that Fitzroy had developed her motive: she blushed a deeper tint, and hastily, and in much confusion, said "Oblige me to-night, and when in town we do meet, I will sing to you-oh! till you are so weary for listening to me."
“ Weary of listening to you!" repeated Fitzroy, mournfully. “Oh, Miss De Clifford, how much has your heart to learn, before it loves!”
Lord Gaythorn, with a malicious air and sarcastic bow, informed Fitzroy, he was now waiting for him ; and hoped he would not keep lady Gaythorn waiting dinner.
Fitzroy, colouring highly, instantly made his farewell compliments to the remaining circle, and departed with lords Gaythorn and Francis Loraine.
Lady Gaythorn was too much indisposed to see any visitor; and Mrs. Hargrave returned from the Priory infinitely disappointed, in having no hope of her ladyship and party accepting her invitation for the evening, which, however, she left for them.
According to Mrs. Goodwin's avowed plan, Julia was left not one moment to her painful retrospections. She walked about the grounds, with this inestimable friend and doctor Sydenham; and on her expressing to the latter her pleasure at finding he was about to become an inmate of Mr. Goodwin's family, the venerable man replied
Mrs. Goodwin has conferred an incalculable obligation on me, by permitting me to be so. I have often business in London: sometimes pass many weeks at a time there. Iam now too old for the noise of an hotel private lodgings are dreary and uncomfortable to me, and I never liked a tavern-life. I am of a domestic turn-am extremely fond of children ; and being allowed an apartmeut in Mr. Goodwin's house, with permission to
draw my chair into his family circle, will be to me an actual blessing; and whilst you are there, it will be a peculiar gratification to me.
Mrs. Goodwin informs me, her better half regards you as his own child. I shall not attempt to interfere with his adoptions, but shall only contend for the claims of a grandfather.”
“Oh!” said Julia, affectionately taking his hand, “I fear me, then you will make adoption of the imputed fault for one, and spoil your granddaughter by great deal of much indulgence."
“ I know," he replied, “ to sustain my character, I must be partial to excess.-I mean to be so, yet shall have no fears of spoiling you."
A tear that sparkled in the eyes of Julia told the feelings of her grateful heart, as she pressed to her lips the hand of her venerable friend.