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he turned anxiously round, attentive to the renounced to Dorriforth, he turned palem-something ply.
like a foreboding of disaster trembled at his heart, “Miss Milner,” answered she, “ has been my and consequently spread a gloom over all his benesactress, and the best I ever had.” As she face. Miss Woodley was even obliged to rouse spoke, she took out her handkerchief and wiped him from the dejection into which he was cast, or away the tears that ran down her face.
he would have sunk beneath it: she was obliged, “How so?” cried Dorriforth eagerly, with his also, to be the first to welcome his lovely chargeown eyes moistened with joy nearly as much as lovely beyond description. hers were with gratitude.
But the natural vivacity, the gaiety which report “My husband, at the commencement of his had given to Miss Milner, were softened by her distresses,” replied Mrs. Hillgrave, “owed a sum recent sorrow to a meek sadness, and that haughty of money to her father, and from repeated provo- display of charms, imputed to her manners, was cations, Mr. Milner was determined to seize upon changed to a pensive demeanour. The instant all our effects;—his daughter, however, by her Dorriforth was introduced to her by Miss Woodley intercessions, procured us time, in order to dis- as her “Guardian, and her deceased father's most charge the debt; and when she found that time beloved friend,” she burst into tears, knelt down was insufficient, and her father no longer to be to him for a moment, and promised ever to obey dissuaded from his intention, she secretly sold him as her father. He had his handkerchief to some of her most valuable ornaments to satisfy his face, at the time, or she would have beheld the his demand, and screen us from its consequen- agitation--the remotest sensations of his heart. ces."
This affecting introduction being over ; after Dorriforth, pleased at this recital, took Mrs. sorne minutes passed in general conversation, the Hillgrave by the hand, and told her," she should
carriages were again ordered ; and, bidding farenever want a friend."
well to the relations who had accompanied her, “Is Miss Milner tall, or short ?"' again asked Miss Milner, her guardian, and Miss Woodley Mrs. Horton, searing, from the sudden pause departed for town; the two ladies in Miss Milner's which had ensued, the subject should be dropped. carriage, and Dorriforth in that in which he came. “I don't know," answered Mrs. Hillgrave. Miss Woodley, as they rode along, made no atIs she handsome, or ugly?”
tempts to ingratiate herself with Miss Milner : “I really can't tell.”
though, perhaps, such an honour might constitute “ It is very strange you should not take no- one of her first wishes-she behaved to her but as tice!"
she constantly behaved to every other human “I did take notice, but I cannot depend upon creature-and that was sufficient to gain the my own judgment—to me she appeared beautiful
esteem of a person possessed of an understanding as an angel; but perhaps I was deceived by the equal to Miss Milner's ;---she had penetration to beauties of her disposition."
discover Miss Woodley's unaffected worth, and was soon induced to reward it with the warmest friendship.
This gentlewoman's visit inspired Mr. Dorriforth with some confidence in the principles and character of his ward. The day arrived on which
Arter a night's rest in London, less violently she was to leave her late father's seat, and fix her impressed with the loss of her father, reconciled, if abode at Mrs. Horton's; and her guardian, ac
not already attached to her new acquaintance, her companied by Miss Woodley, went in his car- thoughts pleasingly occupied with the reflection riage to meet her, and waited at an inn on the that she was in that gay metropolisma wild and road for her reception.
rapturous picture of which her active fancy had After many a sigh paid to the memory of her
often formed--Miss Milner waked from a peacefather, Miss Milner, upon the tenth of November, ful and refreshing sleep, with much of that vivacity, arrived at the place, half way on her journey to and with all those airy charms, which for a while town, where Dorriforth and Miss Woodley were had yielded their transcendent power to the weaker expecting her. Besides attendants, she had with influence of her filial sorrow. her a gentleman and lady, distant relations of her Beautiful as she had appeared to Miss Woodley mother's, who thought it but a proper testimony of
and to Dorriforth on the preceding day,-when their civility to attend her part of the way,---but
she joined them this morning at breakfast, reposwho so much envied her guardian the trust Mr. sessed of her lively elegance and dignified simpliMilner had reposed in him that, as soon as they city, they gazed at her, and at each other alterhad delivered her safe into his care, they returned. nately, with astonislıment!-and Mrs. Horton, as
When the carriage, which brought Miss Milner, she sat at the head of her tea-table, felt heiseit biis stopped at the inn gate, and her name was an. as a menial servant ; auch command has beeuiy
when united with sense and virtue.' In Miss Milner it was so united. Yet let not our overscrupulous readers be misled, and extend their idea of her virtue so as to magnify it beyond that which frail mortals cominonly possess ; nor must they cavil, if, on a nearer view, they find it lessbut let them consider, that if she had more faults than generally belong to others, she had likewise more temptations.
From her infancy she had been indulged in all hier wishes to the extreme of folly, and started habitually at the unpleasant voice of control. She was beautiful ; she had been too frequently told the high value of that beauty, and thouglit every monient passed in wasteful idleness during which she was not gaining some new conquest. She had a quick sensibility, which too frequently discovered itself in the imrnediate resentment of injuries or neglect. She had, besides, acquired the dangerous character of a wit : but to which she had no real pretensions, although the most discerning critic, hearing her converse, might fall into this mistake. Her replies had all the effects of repartee, not because she possessed those qualities which can properly be called wit, but that what she said was delivered with an energy, an instantaneous and powerful conception of the sentiment, joined with a real or a well counterfeited siinplicity, a quick turn of the eye, and an arch smile. Her words were but the words of others, and, like those of others, put into common sentonces : but the delivery made them pass for wit, as grace in an ill proportioned figure will often make it pass for symmetry.
And now~leaving description-the reader must form a judgment of the ward of Dorriforth by her actions; by all the round of great or trivial circumstances that shall be related.
At breakfast, which had just began at the commencement of this chapter, the conversation was lively on the part of Miss Milner, wise on the part of Dorriforth, good on the part of Miss Woodley, and an endeavour at all three of those qualities on the part of Mrs. Horton. The discourse at length drew from Mr. Dorriforth this observation :
“ You have a greater resemblance of your father, Miss Milner, than I imogined you had from report : I did not expect to find you so like him."
“ Nor did I, Mr. Dorriforth, cxpect to find you any thing like what you are!"
“ No ?-pray what did you expect to find
For in what she said, Miss Milner · had the quality peculiar to wits, of hazarding the thought that first occurs, which thought is generally truth. On this, he paid her a compliment in return.
“ You, Miss Milner, I should suppose, must be a very bad judge of what is plain and what is not."
6 How so?"
“ Because I am sure you will readily on you do not think yourself handsome ; and allowing that, you instantly want judgment.”
“And I would rather want judgment than beauty," she replied, “and so I give up the one for the other."
With a serious face, as if proposing a very se. rious question, Dorriforth continued, “ And you really believe you are not handsomc ?"
“I should, if I consulted my own opinion, believe that I was not ; but in some respects I am like Roman Catholics ; I don't believe upon my own understanding, but from what other people tell me."
“ And let this convince you,” replied Dorriforth, " that what we teach is truth; for you find you would be deceived, did you not trust to persons who know better than yourselt. But, my dear Miss Milner, we will talk upon some other topic, and never resume this again :-we differ in opinion, I dare say, on one subject only, and this difference I hope will never extend itself to any other. Therefore, let not religion be named between us; for as I have resolved never to persecute you, in pity be grateful, and do not persecute me."
Miss Milner looked with surprise that any thing so lightly said should be so seriously receive ed. The kind Miss Woodley ejaculated a short prayer tu herself, that heaver would forgive her young friend the involuntary sin of religious ignorance; while Mrs. Horton, unperceived, as she imagined, made the sign of the cross upon her forehead as a guard against the infectious taint of heretical opinions. This pious ceremony Miss Milner by chance observed, and now showed such an evident propensity to burst into a fit of laughter, that the good lady of the house could no longer contain her resentinent, but exclaimed, “God forgive you,” with a severity so different from the sentiment which the words conveyed, that the object of her anger was, on this, obliged freely to indulge that impulse which she had in vain been struggling to suppress; and no longer suffering under the agony of restraint, she gave way to her humour, and laughed with a liberty so uncontroled, that it soon left her in the rooin with none but the tender-hearted Miss Woodley, a witness of her fully.
“My dear Miss Woodley,” then cried Miss Milner, after recovering herself, “I am afraid you will not forgive me.”
“No, indeed I will not,” returned Miss Wood. ley.
But how unimportant, how weak, how ineffectu.
“I expected to find you an elderly man, and a plain man.”
This was spoken in an artless manner, but in a tone which obviously declared she thought her guardian both young and handsome. He replied, but not without some little embarrassinent, “A plain man you shall find me in all my actions."
“ Then your actions are to contradict your appearance."
al are words in conversation, looks and manners more lest her heart should be purloined without alone express;
for Miss Woodley, with her cha- even the authority of matrimonial views. ritable face and mild accents, saying she would With sentiments like these, Dorrriforth could not forgive, implied only forgiveness—while Mrs. never disguise his uneasiness at the sight of Lord Horton, with her enraged voice and aspect, beg- Frederick, nor could the latter want penetration ging heaven to pardon the offender, palpably said, to discern the suspicion of the guardian, and conshe thought her unworthy of all pardon.
sequently each was embarrassed in the presence of the other. Miss Milner observed, but observed with indifference, the sensations of both : there was but one passion which then held a place in her bosom, and that was vanity; vanity defined
into all the species of pride, vain-glory, self-approSix weeks have now elapsed since Miss Milner bation-an inordinate desire of admiration, and an has been in London, partaking with delight all its immoderate enjoyment of the art of pleasing, for pleasures ; while Dorriforth has been sighing with her own individual happiness, and not for the hapapprehension, attending to all her words and piness of others. Still had she a heart inclined, ways with precaution, and praying with zealous and oftentimes affected by tendencies less unworfervour for her safety. Her own and her guar- thy ; but those approaches to what was estimable dian's acquaintance, and, added to them, the new were in their first impulse too frequently met and friendships (to use the unmeaning language of intercepted by some darling folly. the world) which she was continually forming, Miss Woodley (who could easily discover a vircrowded so perpetually to the house, that seldom tue, although of the most diminutive kind, and had Dorriforth even a moment left him from her
scarcely through the magnifying glass of calumny visits or visitors, to warn her of her danger:-yet could ever perceive a fault) was Miss Milner's inwhen a moinent offered, he caught it eagerly-separable companion at home, and her zealous pressed the necessity of “ Time not always pass- advocate with Dorriforth, whenever, during her ed in society; of reflection; of reading; of absence, she became the subject of discourse. He thoughts for a future state; and of virtues ac- listened with hope to the praises of her friend, but quired to make old age supportable.” That forci- saw with despair how little they were merited. ble power of genuine feeling, which directs the
Sometimes le struggled to subdue his anger, but tongue to eloquence, had its effect while she lis
oftener strove to suppress tears of pity for his tened to him, and she sometimes put on the looks ward's hapless state. and gesture of assent;—sometimes even spoke By this time all her acquaintance had given Lord the language of conviction; but this the first call Frederick to her as a lover; the servants whispered of dissipation would change to ill-timed raillery, it, and some of the public prints had even fixed the or peevish remonstrance, at being limited in de- day of marriage;—but as no explanation had taken lights which her birth and fortune entitled her to place on his part, Dorriforth’s uneasiness was inenjoy.
creased, and he seriously told Miss Milner, he Among the many visitors who attended at her thought it would be indispensably prudent in her levees, and followed her wherever she went, to entreat Lord Frederick to discontinue his visits. there was one who seemed, even when absent She smiled with ridicule at the caution, but findfrom her, to share her thoughts. This was Lord ing it repeated, and in a manner that indicated Frederick Lawnley, the younger son of a duke, authority, she promised not only to make, but to and the avowed favourite of all the most discern- enforce the request. The next time he came she ing women of taste.
did so, assuring him it was by her guardian's deHe was not more than twenty-three; animated, sire; “who, from motives of delicacy, had perelegant, extremely handsome, and possessed of mitted her to solicit as a favour what he could every accomplishment that would capitivate a himself make a demand.” Lord Frederick red. heart less susceptible of love than Miss Milner's dened with anger-he loved Miss Milner ; but he was supposed to be. With these allurements, no doubted whether, from the frequent proofs he had wonder if she took pleasure in his company; no experienced of his own inconstancy, he should wonder if she took pride in having it knowirthad continue to love and this interference of her guarhe was among the number of her devoted admir- dian threatened an explanation or a dismission,
Dorriforth beheld this growing intimacy with before he came thoroughly acquainted with his alternate pain and pleasure; he wished to see own heart. Alarmed, confounded and provoked, Miss Milner married, to see his charge in the pro
he replied, tection of another, rather than of himself; yet “By heaven, I believe Mr. Dorriforth loves you under the care of a young nobleman, immersed himself; and it is jealousy alone that makes him in all the vices of the town, without one moral treat me in this manner." excellence, but such as might result eventually “ For shame, my lord !” cried Miss Woodley, fum the influence of the moment-under such who was present, and who trembled with horror care he trembled for her happiness ; yet trembled at the sacrilegious supposition.
solution of all my sins, for I confess they are many, and manifold.”
"Hold, my lord,” exclaimed Dorriforth, “ do not confess before the ladies, lest, in order to excite their compassion, you should be tempted to accuse yourself of sins you have never yet committed.”
At this Miss Milner laughed, seemingly so well pleased that Lord Frederick, with a sarcastic sneer, repeated,
“ From Abelard it came “ And Eloisa still must love the name,” Whether from an inattention to the quotation, or from a consciousness it was wholly inapplicable, Dorriforth heard it without one emotion of shame or of anger-while Miss Milner seemed shocked at the implication ; her pleasantry was immediately suppressed, and she threw open the sash and held her head out at the window, to conceal the embarrassment these lines had occasioned.
The Earl of Elmwood was at that juncture announced-a Catholic nobleman, just come of age, and on the eve of marriage. His visit was to his cousin, Mr. Dorriforth, but as all ceremonious visits were alike received by Dorriforth, Miss Milner, and Mrs. Horton's family, in one common apartment, Lord Elmwood was ushered into this, and of course directed the conversation to a different topic.
'“ Nay, shame to him if he is not in love”-answered his lordship, “for who but a savage could behold beauty like hers without owning its power?"
Habit,” replied Miss Milner, “is every thing -Mr. Dorriforth sees and converses with beauty, but, from habit, he does not fall in love ; my lord, from habit, often do."
“ Then you believe that love is not in my disposition?”
“ No more of it, my lord, than habit could very soon extinguish.”
“But I would not have it extinguished—I would rather it should mount to a flame; for I think it a crime to be insensible of the divine blessings love can bestow."
“ Then you indulge the passion to avoid a sin ? this very motive deters Mr. Dorriforth from that indulgence.”
“It ought to deter him, for the sake of his oaths -but monastic vows, like those of marriage, were made to be broken-and surely when your guardian cast his eyes on you, his wishes”
“ Are never less pure,” she replied eagerly, “ than those which dwell in the bosom of my celestial guardian.”
At that instant Dorriforth entered the room. The colour had mounted into Miss Milner's face from the warmth with which she had delivered her opinion, and his accidental entrance at the very moment this praise had been conferred upon him in his absence heightened the blush to a deep glow on every feature :-confusion and carnestness caused even her lips to tremble and her whole frame to shake.
“What's the matter ?” cried Dorriforth, looking with concern on her discomposure.
“ A compliment paid by herself to you, Sir,” replied Lord Frederick, "has affected your ward in the manner you have seen.”
“As if she blushed at the untruth,” said Dorriforth.
“Nay, that is unkind,” cried Miss Woodley; “for if you had been here”.
“_I would not have said what I did,” replied Miss Milner, “but had left him to vindicate himself.”
“Is it possible that I can want any vindication ? Who would think it worth their while to slander so unimportant a person as I am ?”
“The man who has the charge of Miss Milner,” replied Lord Frederick, “ derives a consequence from her.”
“No ill consequence, I hope, my lord ?” said Dorriforth, with a firmness in his voice, and with an eye so fixed that his antagonist hesitated for a moment in want of a reply—and Miss Milner softly whispered to him, as her guardian turned his head, to avoid an argument, he bowed acquiescence. Then, as if in compliment to her, he changed the subject ;-and, with an air of ridicule he cried,
“I wish, Mr. Dorriforth, you would give me ab
With an anxious desire that the affection, or acquaintance, between Lord Frederick and Miss Milner might be finally dissolved, her guardian received with infinite satisfaction, overtures of marriage from Sir Edward Ashton. Sir Edward was not young or handsome; old or ugly; but immensely rich, and possessed of qualities that made him worthy of the happiness to which he aspired. He was the man whom Dorriforth would have chosen before any other for the husband of his ward, and his wishes made him sometimes hope, against his cooler judgment, that Sir Edward would not be rejected. He was resolved, at all events, to try the force of his own power in the strongest recomınendation of him.
Notwithstanding the dissimilarity of opinion which, in almost every instance, subsisted between Miss Milner and her guardian, there was in general the most punctilious observance of good manners from each towards the other on the part of Dorriforth more especially; for his politeness would sometimes appear even like the result of a system which he had marked out for himself, as the only means to keep his ward restrained within the same limitations. Whenever he addressed her there was an unusual reserve upon his countenance, and more than usual gentleness in the tone of his voice; this appeared the effect sentiments which her birth and situation inspired,
“ But as your
loined to a studied mode of respect, best calcu. more than her words, had not preserved her from lated to enforce the same from her. The wished. that sentence. sor consequence was produced — for though there “No," she replied, “my heart is not stolen was an instinctive rectitude in the understanding away; and yet I can venture to declare, that Sir of Miss Milner that would have taught her, with- Edward will never possess it.” out other instruction, what manners to observe "I am sorry, for both your sakes, that these are towards her deputed father; yet, from some vo- your sentiments,” he replied. latile thought, or some quick sense of feeling, heart is still your own,” (and he seemed rejoiced which she had not been accustomed to correct, to find it was) “permit me to warn you how you she was perpetually on the verge of treating him part with a thing so precious ;—the dangers, the with levity; but he would on the instant recall sorrows you hazard in bestowing it are greater her recoliection by a reserve too awful, and a gen- than you may possibly be aware of. The heart tleness 100 sacred for her to violate. The distinc- once gone, our thoughts, our actions, are no more tion which both required was thus, by his skilful our own, than that is.”
He seemed forcmanagement alone, preserved.
ing himself to utter all this, and yet he broke off One morning he took an opportunity, before as if he could have said much more, if the exher and Miss Woodley, to introdnce and press treme delicacy of the subject had not restricted the subject of Sir Arthur Ashton's hopes. He him. first spoke warınly in his praise ; then plainly said When he left the room, and she heard the door that he believed she possessed the power of mak. close after him, she said, with an inquisitive iny so deserving a man happy to the summit of thoughtfulness, “What can make good people so his wishes. A laugh of ridicule was the only an- skilled in all the weaknesses of the bad ? Mr. swer;—but a sudden frown from Dorriforth hav- Dorriforth, with all those prudent admonitions, ing silenced her mirth, he resumed his usual
appears rather like a man who has passed his politeness, and said,
life in the gay world, experienced all its dangerous “I wish you would show a better taste, than allurements, all its repentant sorrows, than like thus pointedly to disapprove of Sir Edward.” one who has lived his whole time secluded in a
“How, Mr. Dorritorth, can you expect me to monastic college, or in his own study. Then be give proofs of a good taste, when Sir Edward, speaks with such exquisite sensibility on the subwhom you consider with such high esteem, has ject of love, that he commends the very thing given so bad an example of his in approving of which he attempts to depreciate. I do not think
my Lord Frederick would make the passion apDorriforth wished not to flatter her by a com- pear in more pleasing colours by painting its dc. pliment she seerned to have sought for, anů for a lights, than Mr. Dorriforth could in describing its moment hesitated what answer to make.
sorrows-and if he talks to me frequently in this Reply, Sir, to that question,” she said. manner I shall ceriainly take pity on Lord Fre“Why then, Madam,” returned he, “it is my
derick for the sake of his adversary's eloquence.” opinion, that supposing what your humility has ad. Miss Woodley, who heard the conclusion of vanced be just, yet Sir Edward will not suffer by this speech with the tenderest concern, cried, the suggestion ; for in cases where the heart is “Alas! you then think seriously of Lord Fredeso immediately concerned, as I believe Sir Ed. rick !" ward's to be, taste, or rather reason, has little pow- “Suppose I do, wherefore that alas! Miss er to act.”
Woodley ?" “You are in the right, Mr. Dorrisorth; this is a “ Because I fear you will never be happy with proper justification of Sir Edward—and when I him." fall in love, I beg that you will make the same ex- “ That is plainly saying he will not be happy cuse for me."
with me." “Then,” said he earnestly, “ before your heart "I do not know-I cannot speak of marriage is in that stale which I have described, exert your from experience,” answered Miss Woodley,“ but reason."
I think I can guess what it is." "I shall,” answered she, “and assuredly not “Nor can I speak of love from experience," consent to marry a man whom I could never replied Miss Milner, “but I think I can guess love."
what it is." “ Unless your heart be already disposed of, Miss “But do not fall in love, my dear,” (cried Miss Milner, what can make you speak with such a de- Woodley, with her accustomed simplicity of gree of certainty ?”
heart, as if she had been asking a favour that deHe thought on Lord Frederick when he uttered pended upon the will of the person entreated) this, and he riveted his eyes upon her as if to pe. pray do not fall in love without the aprobation of netrate her most secret inclinations, and yet trem
your guardian.” bling for what he inight find there. She blushed, Her young friend smiled at the inefficacious and her looks would have confirmed her guilty, if prayerbut promised to do all she could to oblige the unembarrassed and free tone of her voice, her.