this alspishus day be ever sacred!
I am thy father’s spirit.”
A Love Scene.
In such conversation the moments passed till they reached the habitation of Mr. Hartley. Miss Fletcher now took her leave. And after a supper as dull, and much more tedious to Delia, than the dinner, she retired to her chamber.
She retired indeed, but not to rest. Her brain was filled with a croud of uneasy thoughts. “Alas,” said she, “how short has been the illusion!—But yesterday, I was flushed with all the pride of conquest, and busily framed a thousand schemes of ideal happiness—Where are they now?—The lovely youth, the only man I ever saw in whose favour my heart was prepossessed, and with whom I should have felt no repugnance to have engaged in the tenderest ties, is nothing to me—He loves another. He too complains of slighted passion, and ill-fated love. Ah, had he made his happiness depend on me, what would not I have done to reward him! Carefully I would have soothed every anguish, and taught his heart to bound with joy. But what am I saying?—Where am I going?—Am I that Delia that bad defiance to the art of men,—that saw with indifference the havock that my charms had made! With every opening morn I smiled. Each hour was sped with joy, and my heart was light and frolic. And shall I dwindle into a pensive, melancholy maid, the sacrifice of one that heeds me not, whose sighs no answering sighs encounter!—let it not be said. I have hitherto asserted the independence of my sex, I will continue to do so. Too amiable unknown, I give thee to the winds! Propitious fate, I thank thee that thou hast so soon discovered how much my partiality was misplaced. I will abjure it before it be too late. I will tear the little intruder from my heart before the mischief is become irretrievable.”
The following evening Delia repaired again by a kind of irresistible impulse to the grove. She asked not the company of her friend. She dared alone hazard the encounter of that object, at which she had trembled so much the preceding day. Unknown to herself she still imaged a kind of uncertainty in her fate which would not permit her to lay aside all thought of Damon. She determined at all events, to have her doubts resolved. “When there is no longer,” said she to herself, “any room for mistake, I shall then know what to do.”
As she drew near the alcove, she perceived the same figure stretched along the bank, and with his eyes immoveably fixed upon a little fountain that rose in a corner of the scene. He seemed lost in thought. Delia approached doubtfully, but he heard her not. Advanced near to her object, she reclined forward in a posture of wonder and attention. At this moment a sigh burst from the heart of Damon, and he raised himself upon the seat.