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deriving gratification from my conversation and assiduities?”
Julia felt too much hurt and provoked by the question to reply; she hastened to the pianoforte, and turned the pages of Handel's compositions to one of his most celebrated sacred airs. Doctor Sydenham and Mrs. Goodwin stood on each side of her; and Fitzroy, the moment she' touched the keys of the instrument, precipitately darted into the grounds. The symphony was short; and Julia's voice, in one bar of recitative, recalled him to listen, and gaze upon her; and one swell alone had reached the lawn, when lord Francis was drawn back, an entranced auditor.
Julia's voice astonished no one; but, thrilling to the heart, fascinated all. Her knowledge in music was profound. Instruction had taught her every thing the science comprised; but Nature herself had given her voice, taste, and feeling. From the moment she could articulate, Mrs. St. Clair had made her sing in every company she permitted her to appear in; her natural timidity prevented her singing with confidence; but, long habituated to it, she had acquired a pleasing and becoming ease,
equally devoid of disadvantageous bashfulness, and disgusting assurance. She seemed not to sing for applause, but to amuse herself; her heart, not her vanity, always appeared engaged in her performance; and so little did any idea of self engross our heroine, while exerting her musical abilities, that every look and gesture were left to sweet and unaffected nature; and she never appeared more gracefully unembarrassed, or more interestingly lovely, than when she played or sung.
When Julia ceased, no murmur of applause broke on her ear; for she had touched the hearts of her auditors, and speech was enchained by feeling; but when her symphony was ended, and that she instantly arose to quit the piano, an universal burst of entreaty to remain broke from all.
Lord Gaythorn had withdrawn with Miss Penrose from the pianoforte; and though now really charmed to enthusiasm, felt too much awed by the sublimity of the strain, given with such soul-touching effect, to presume to insult such excellence with the fulsome praise of common flattery; but his silence was the most eloquent plaudit. Tears were the incense offered by several of the ladies, and doctor Sydenham. Fitzroy, entranced, felt the magic of her power, and gazed and “looked unutterable things.”. Lord Francis felt too, but, covering his brow with his hand, hid his expressive countenance from observation; while lady Gaythorn, wlio had determined to yawn through Julia's song, found herself suddenly bound by an overpowering spell, that led her gently, sweetly, unresistingly, from the influence of envy and unkindness, to pure, unprejudiced, delighted admiration; and she suddenly, exclaimed, with energy unusual to her-" If you do not sing another song, thou fascinator! I shall expire with grief.”
Julia now, covered with the glowing blushes which such flattering applause called forth, and with a sweet acceding smile, in compliance with the general entreaty, immediately reseated herself. Her second song only created ardent solicitude to hear more; and as lord Gaythorn still was awed to a respectful distance, she had no longer any motive for not obliging those who wished to hear her; and at the request of doctor Sydenham, she sung_“I know that my Redeemer liveth,” with such sweet
and melting delicacy, such chastely-beautiful embellishments, and such subduing emphasis, that all felt it was magic—the magic of melody and feeling. At the conclusion of this last song, infinite was the concern of every one of Julia's charmed auditors, to hear supper announced.
With tremulous eagerness, Fitzroy grasped the hand of our heroine to lead her to the dining-room. She had been hurt and offended by Fitzroy's address to her when she quitted him for the pianoforte; as she felt it not evincing sufficient respect for the delicacy of her feelings, and too much eagerness for the gratification of his own; therefore, though she permitted him to take her hand, she still was grave and dignified.
“Oh!" said he, softly to her, as he walked beside her_“ Oh! Miss De Clifford, after all this after thus enchanting me by every fascinating spell—should I never, never touch your heart, what will then be my misery!"
The soft, seducing tenderness of Fitzroy's look, and the resistless pathos of his voice as he spoke, subdued Julia's little displeasure; and she gently replied—“Why for you ever thus woo the anticipation so of every evil, when, perhaps, there is not evil at all for you?"
Fitzroy now caught again the truant Hope; his spirits were exhilarated to their very altitude; he was animated and entere taining to a fascinating degree. The rest of the company, catching more or less of his enlivening agrémens, bore their part with proportionate spirit in the pleasing conversation of the evening, which glided off so cheerfully, that with regret the party separated..
In compliance with Mrs. Goodwin's request, Julia arose not the following morning to ramble with doctor Sydenham, upon account of the ball she was going to in the evening, which would keep her up to an unusually-late hour; however, she arose. sufficiently early to permit her taking a. short, but refreshing walk, alone, in the rectory grounds, before the family assem