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ment to my aunt's purpose, an unblemished reputation, is at once removed.”
Fitzroy, with a countenance glowing in resentment, cast a look of disdain upon her ladyship as he left the room, leading out Julia. A footman at the same moment met them. Fitzroy inquired if lady Delamore's coach was in waiting ?
“ No,” the man replied; “ lady Selina had ordered, the moment it came from Russel-street, that it should go into Westminster for another lady who had answered the last advertisement.”
“ The moment it returns,” said Fitzroy, “ let it draw up for the conveyance of this lady home; and immediately inform me of it, in Mrs. Beville's room.”
Fitzroy now conducted Julia into a long gallery, at a door in which he gently tapped, and instantly it was opened by a venerable-looking woman, long passed the meridian of life. Her dress was the fashion of years that were gone, and in it were cleanliness and simplicity most happily blended. Her silver hair, parting in the centre, was neatly combed to lie close beneath her snowwhite laced cap and hood. Her countenance spoke eloquently the language of be
nevolence; but she looked fatigued, and her eyes were suffused with tears, which were streaming down her cheeks,-“ Mrs. Beville, how-how is my dear aunt ?”. said: Fitzroy.
“Oh! thanks, thanks be to Heaven! my. dear sir,” Mrs. Beville replied, smiling joyfully through her tears," my sweet, blessed child is out of danger. The physicians are not above half an hour gone, and were unanimous in declaring there remains not now an unfavourable symptom about her.”
Fitzroy was so overcome by joy at this intelligence, that he let go our heroine's trembling hand, sunk into a chair, and hid his face with his hands, to conceal his emotion.
“Whilst I thought I should lose her, I had not a tear to shed,” said Mrs. Beville; “ and now they come in torrents from my eyes, as if my heart still was breaking."
For a moment only was Fitzroy forgetful of his fair charge: he rose precipitately and retook, her hand.-“ Forgive my inat tention,” he said, “but my aunt is inexpressibly dear to me.”
The tears of Mrs. Beville, and the stifled. emotion of Fitzroy, made their effect upon the sympathizing heart of Julia,
Fitzroy now demanded where lady. Theodosia was?
My dear beloved lady hạs. persuaded the sweet soul to go to bed, where she has not been for upwards of sixty hours, sir,” replied Mrs. Beville. “My dear lady thinks that I am gone to rest too, but I am now too happy to sleep.”
“ Dear, volatile Theodosia !” said Fitzroy, “how unlike her graver sister is shę ! How differently has lady Selina been em, ployed-not with filial tenderness watching by, the bed of her sick mother, but in wounding the afflicted heart, and insulting the unfortunate! As I went into Selina's. little book-room (where I concluded she was), to inquire particularly about my dear aunt, I overheard lady Selina and her amiable coterie amusing themselves by quizzing, ini the most insulting manner, this lady, The door into the boudoir was open: I stood in, the doorway, a silent observer, of the scene, unnoticed by any one, as the humane society, sat, with their backs to me, and the patient sufferer too much oppressed to look about her, I continued a, spectator until:
my indignation grew too powerful for concealment, when I rescued their interesting prey from further insult; and now claim your protection for her until lady Delamore's coach returns from Westminster with more food for their cruel sport.”
“ Miss De Clifford, is it not ?—the unfortunate young lady whom the good bookseller wrote such a melancholy letter about?” said Mrs. Beville, respectfully.
My name, madam, is De Clifford; and the amiable Mr. Goodwin did of me write to lady Delamore."
“Ah !" said Mrs. Beville, “that letter was never delivered to my lady, who knows nothing of these advertisements which lady Selina and her friends have got into the habit of inserting, to amuse their mornings by quizzing the unlucky people who answer them. But my lady's chambermaid was so particularly struck by the worthy Mr. Goodwin's letter relative to you, madam (which Mrs. Ward read for her yesterday, and the note, too, which was to beguile you hither), that she informed me of it to prevent your coming; and I fully determined to communicate it all to lady Theodosia, who I knew would protect you: but for
give me, my good young lady. The danger I thought my dear lady (whom I suckled myself, and have never since been separated from) was in through the night, put every thing out of my head but her. And now how grieved I am to think I forgot you, and left you to be só'cruelly insulted !"
“Oh! forgive I you most truly! Cold and affectionless your heart had been, could it have thought for me, in such a strong time of grief,” Julia replied, with sweet and resistless sympathy.
“Alas!” said Mrs. Beville, looking intently at her, with a tear of pity glistening
“ and had they the cruelty to insult so young, so'artless, so sweet a looking creature ?"
Poor Julia's little remaining firmness was now completely overthrown by the voice of pity. Mrs. Beville saw how she was affected, caught her in her arms, and in her anxiety to save her from fainting, hastily took off our heroine's bonnet, when the air playing freely round her, her respiration soon became more easy; and the fugitive blood was beginning to retint most beautifully the lips and cheeks of Julia, as Fitzroy
in her eyes,