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sciously: but a sudden recollection of her own predica-, ment, and a fear that he might suspect her of having made allusions to herself, covered her with a momentary confusion, which she endeavoured to conceal by an air of coldness and reserve, as she rose up and exclaimed, « But I forget that I am only an idle theorist in these matters; and you

who are, or imagine yourself to be, acquainted with the passions, will doubtless smile at my visionary speculations. You have, perhaps, chosen the wiser path. If you seek favour from public opinion—if you think it will reward you for the happiness you have thrown away at Haelbeck-if you hope that it will embellish the life which you owe solely to a contempt of its censure-go, fall down before your deity, worship it, lay your head and your heart at its feet, and enjoy the glory of offering yourself up as a martyr to a blind and capricious idol. For me, it is time to make atonement for my rebellion against its authority; the life, for whose preservation I spurned it, is now secured; and I return to my allegiance. I shall see you no more, but I will not leave you without providing a regular physician to complete your cure.» uIf I

may not owe that additional favour to the continued kindness of Constantia Beverning,” said Jocelyn, « let me at least be exempted from other visitation, which will be as unacceptable as I feel it to be unnecessary.”

« It is indispensable,» said Constantia ; «you must be reported convalescent before the interdict can be removed from the house. May you never hereafter need the ministering, either of an unlicensed practi

« until

to

tioner like myself, or of any more professional adviser. Fare you well, Sir! I have taken one more parting liberty, unauthorized by usage, in leaving a purse upon the table, whose contents may, perhaps, be required, until the world, your master, remunerates you

for

your services. Nay, Sir, no denials, no protestations; you have given proof of your disdain of obligation; I have no doubt you will return it when you think fit, as punctually as you did my scarf. As she made this remark, her face exhibited a slight expression of regret, almost of reproach; but it passed away, and her countenance quickly resumed its look of serious though benignant beauty. « Leave me not, I beseech you,» exclaimed Jocelyn, you have enabled

me,

if
you
have the

power, decide between myself and Julia, by clearing up the mystery in which the fate of her father is involved.»

« I have the power,» replied Constantia, with an expression of solemnity; « but I thought you had seen enough of our sex at Haelbeck to believe, that in spite of the sneers of fools and ribalds, a secret may be best entrusted to the inviolable custody of a woman. When I know that a single syllable might occasion the horrible doom, that hangs over his head, to fall and crush him, these lips will remain as sacredly closed as if they had been sealed up by the finger of death. It is enough for you that I pronounce Julia to be innocent-Innocent! my heart uphraids me for insulting her with a praise so cold and negative. She is every thing that is pure, noble, and exemplary! She is one whom a woman may indeed be proud to call her friend; one whom that man

will eternally regret, who has forfeited the opportunity of calling her his wife. Once more, Sir, farewell ! I ask you not to forget me; the name of Constantia will be spontaneously, and, I hope rapidly, obliterated from your memory: but I do implore you not to forget Him, by whose manifest interposition you have been saved; and though your deference to the world may induce you to throw away your happiness upon earth, never, oh never, let it lead you to surrender your hopes of heaven?»

Jocelyn was beginning to pour forth the most fervent vows of gratitude, when she waved her hand; and, pointing upwards to the sky, as if to indicate that his thanksgivings should be addressed to Heaven, she walked slowly and silently out of the apartment.

CHAPTER IV.

TO

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" When we in our viciousness grow hard,

(O misery on't!) the wise gods seal our eyes
In our own filth ; drop our clear judgments; make us
Adore our errors ; laugh at us, while we strut
To our confusion.»

SHAKSPEARE.

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From the deep interest she had taken in the fate of her friend at Haelbeck, and the reproaches she had cast upon Jocelyn, more, indeed, in sorrow than in anger, for not braving the world, and making Julia his wife, he began to think that he had been misled in imputing to Constantia any thing more tender than friendship in her feelings towards himself; although, by this supposition, he was quite at a loss to account for her conduct. Even upon her friendship he had little or no claim; upon a heroism so devoted as that which she had evinced, he had none whatever. He had noticed no self-betrayal, no indications of jealousy in her deportment; yet there was a certain indecorum in her disregard of female observances, which could only be explained by the supposition of her acting under the influence of love. Why should she expose herself to

censure, nay to death, for one, in whose fate her heart remained uninterested? He was utterly perplexed; he had no clue to her actions, because he compared her with other women, and could not comprehend the full sublimity of her character. Notwithstanding her declarations to the contrary, he even believed that she would repeat her visit on the following day: but he was mistaken : she came no more. In her stead appeared a physician, who had no sooner seen Jocelyn than he pronounced him to be perfectly cured, and congratulated him on his recovery from a disease so inexorable as hardly to have spared one in a thousand of those whom it had attacked. Upon the report of this visitant, who was one of the examiners, the fearful red cross was effaced from the door, the padlock was removed, the watchman was withdrawn, and Jocelyn, with no other remains of his complaint than a trifling languor and debility, stepped, as it were, out of the grave, into the free refreshing air of heaven, and bent his way towards the residence of the Lord Mayor, from whom it was necessary to have a certificate of health, to enable him to pass through any of the towns that surrounded London. This was easily obtained; nor did he now experience any difficulty in procuring an exclusive conveyance to Oxford; for the purse which Constantia had left with him was heavy with gold, and he moreover retained the money which he had borrowed from the deceased landlady. The latter he would have returned, could he have found her son, or any other claimant for the property; and the former he resolved to replace as soon as fortune enabled him, though he

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VOL. III.

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