But soon that gave way to the mortifying reflection that rushed over her mind, “He has tried to love me!” thought she; “but it is in obedience to his mother’s wish, and he thinks he has succeeded. No, no; I cannot be the dupe of his delusion—I will not give myself to one who has been solicited to love me!” And again wounded delicacy and woman’s pride resumed their empire over her, and she rejected the idea of ever receiving Colonel Lennox as a lover. He heard her determination with the deepest anguish, and used every argument and entreaty to soften her resolution; but Mary had wrought herself up to a pitch of heroism-she had rejected the man she loved—the only man she ever could love: that done, to persist in the sacrifice seemed easy; and they parted with increased attachment in their hearts, even though those hearts seemed severed for ever.
Soon after he set off to join his regiment; and it was only in saying farewell that Mary felt how deeply her happiness was involved in the fate of the man she had for ever renounced. To no one did she impart what had passed; and Lady Emily was too dull herself, for some days after the departure of her friend, to take any notice of Mary’s dejection.
“Who taught the parrot to cry, hail?
What taught the chattering pie his tale?
Hunger; that sharpener of the wits,
Which gives e’en fools some thinking fits”
MARY found herself bereft of both her lovers nearly at the same time. Lord Glenallan, after formally renewing his suit, at length took a final leave, and returned to Scotland. Lady Juliana’s indignation could only be equalled by Dr. Redgill’s upon the occasion. He had planned a snug retreat for himself during the game season at Glenallan Castle; where, from the good-nature and easy temper of both master and mistress, he had no doubt but that he should in time come to rule the roast, and be lord paramount over kitchen and larder. His disappointment was therefore great at finding all the solid joys of red deer and moor-game, kippered salmon and mutton hams, “vanish like the baseless fabric of a vision,” leaving not a wreck behind.
“Refused Lord Glenallan!” exclaimed he to Lady Emily, upon first hearing of it. “The thing’s incredible—absolutely impossible—I won’t believe it!”
“That’s right, Doctor; who is it that says ’And still believe the story false that ought not to be true? I admire your candour, and wish I could imitate it.”
“Then your Ladyship really believes it. ’Pon my soul, I—I—it’s really a very vexatious affair. I feel for Lady Juliana, poor woman! No wonder she’s hysterical-five and twenty thousand a year refused! What is it she would have? The finest deer park in Scotland! Every sort of game upon the estate! A salmon fishing at the very door!—I should just like to know what is the meaning of it?”