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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 472 pages of information about Marriage.

“God bless you, my dear Mary!” said she, as they were about to separate for the night.  “He only can repay you for the good you have done me this day!”

“Ah!” thought Mary, as she tenderly embraced her, “such a blessing is worth a dozen balls?”

At that moment the sound of a carriage was heard, and an unusual bustle took place below; but scarcely had they time to notice it ere the door flew open, and Mrs. Lennox found herself locked in the arms of her son.

For some minutes the tide of feeling was too strong for utterance, and “My mother!” “My son!” were the only words that either could articulate.  At length, raising his head, Colonel Lennox fixed his eyes on his mother’s face with a gaze of deep and fearful inquiry; but no returning glance spoke there.  With that mournful vacuity, peculiar to the blind, which is a thousand times more touching than all the varied expression of the living orb, she continued to regard the vacant space which imagination had filled with the image she sought in vain to behold.

At this confirmation of his worst fears a shade of the deepest anguish overspread the visage of her son.  He raised his eyes, as in agony, to heaven—­then threw himself on his mother’s bosom; and as Mary hurried from the apartment she heard the sob which burst from his manly heart, as he exclaimed, “My dear mother! do I indeed find you thus?”

CHAPTER Xl

“There is more complacency in the negligence of some men, than in what is called the good breeding of others; and the little absences of the heart are often more interesting and engaging than the punctilious attention of a thousand professed sacrificers to the graces.”—­MACKENZIE.

POWERFUL emotions are the certain levellers of ordinary feelings.  When Mary met Colonel Lennox in the breakfast-room the following morning, he accosted her not with the ceremony of a stranger but with the frankness of a heart careless of common forms, and spoke of his mother with indications of sensibility which he vainly strove to repress.  Mary knew that she had sought to conceal her real situation from him; but it seemed a vague suspicion of the truth had, crossed his mind, and having with difficulty obtained a short leave of absence he had hastened to have either his hopes or fears realised.

“And now that I know the worst,” said he, “I know it only to deplore it.  Far from alleviating, presence seems rather to aggravate my poor mother’s misfortune.  Oh! it is heartrending to see the strivings of these longing eyes to look upon the face of those she loves!”

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