The resolution of Damon was therefore speedily taken. Every motive that could have weight, served to counteract the bias of his inclination. He by no means wanted either firmness or spirit. He resolved to struggle, nor to cease his efforts till he had conquered. With this design he entreated, and, after some difficulties, obtained of his father leave to enter himself in the army, and to make a campaign in America.
The character of his heart seemed particularly formed for military pursuits. He was grave and thoughtful, he was generous and humane. To a mind contemplative and full of sensibility, he united a temper, frank, open, and undisguised. He was usually mild, gentle and pliant. But in a situation, that called for determination and spirit, it was impossible to appear more bold and manly, more cool and decided,—Affectionate was the farewel of his father, and still more affectionate that of his friend. Damon, though he endeavoured to summon all his resolution, could not restrain a sigh when he considered himself as about to sail for distant climates, and recollected, that probably, before his return, his beloved mistress, dearer than life and all its joys, would be united, irrevocably united to another. But here we must take leave of our hero, and return to his fair inamorata.
PART the SECOND.
In which the Story begins over again.
Sir William Twyford had taken care to inform Miss Fletcher, and by her means Delia herself, of every circumstance as it occurred. Delia was indeed flattered by the breach that had taken place with Miss Frampton, and the perfect elucidation, which the story of this lady afforded to the most enigmatical expressions of Damon, in the interesting scene that had passed between them in the alcove. She no longer doubted of the reality of his attachment. Her heart was soothed, and her pride secretly flattered, in recollecting that she had not suffered herself to be caught by one who was perfectly indifferent to her.
But the information that stifled all her hopes, and gave her the prospect of so long, and, too probably, an eternal absence, sat heavy upon her spirits, and preyed upon her delicate constitution. From the persecutions of lord Martin she had no respite. Her eye grew languid, the colour faded in her damask cheek, and her health visibly decayed.
At this time Miss Fletcher proposed a journey to Windsor and other places, and intreated to have her friend to accompany her. Mr. Hartley, with all his foibles, was much attached to his only child, and deeply afflicted with the alteration he perceived in her. He readily therefore gave his consent to the proposed jaunt. “When she returns, it will be time enough,” said he to lord Martin, “to bring things to the conclusion, so much desired by both of us. I will not put my darling into your hands, but with that health and gaiety, which have so long been the solace of my old age, and which cannot fail to make any man happy that deserves her.”