Barford Abbey eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 210 pages of information about Barford Abbey.

Instead of eight days mortification we might have suffer’d twenty, had not her Ladyship insisted on an absolute promise of returning at that time.—­Farewel till then.





From the Crown, at ——­.

Here am I, ever-honour’d lady, forty miles on the road to that beloved spot, where, for nineteen years, my tranquility was uninterrupted.—­Will a serene sky always hang over me?—­It will be presumption to suppose it,—­when thousands, perhaps, endowed with virtues the most god-like, have nothing on which they can look back but dark clouds,—­nothing to which they can look forward but gathering storms.—­Am I a bark only fit to sail in fair weather?—­Shall I not prepare to meet the waves of disappointment?

How does my heart bear,—­how throb,—­to give up follies which dare not hide themselves where a passage is made by generosity, by affection unbounded.—­Yes, my dear Lady, this is the only moment I do not regret being absent from you;—­for could my tongue relate what my pen trembles to discover?—­No!

Behold me at your Ladyship’s feet!—­behold me a supplicant suing for my returning peace!—­You only, can restore it.—­Command that I give up my preference for Lord Darcey, and the intruder is banished from my heart:—­then shall I no more labour to deceive myself:—­then shall I no more blindly exchange certain peace for doubtful happiness,—­a quiet for a restless mind.—­Humility has not fled me;—­my heart has not fallen a sacrifice to title, pomp, or splendor.—­Yet, has it not foolishly, unasked, given itself up?—­Ah! my Lady, not entirely unask’d neither; or, why, from the first moment, have I seen him shew such tender, such respectful assiduities?—­why so ardently solicit to attend me into Oxfordshire?—­why ask, if I refused my hand in the same peremptory manner, what would become of the man who without it was lost to the whole world?—­But am I not too vain?—­Why should this man be Lord Darcey?—­Rather one rising to his imagination, who he might possibly suppose was entrapped by my girlish years.—­A few, a very few weeks, and I am gone from him forever.—­If your Ladyship’s goodness can pardon the confession I have made, no errors will I again commit of the kind which now lies blushing before you.

Next to your Ladyship Mr. Jenkings is the best friend I have on earth.—­He never has suspected, or now quite forgets his suspicions.—­Not all my entreaties could prevent him from taking this long journey with me.—­His age, his connections, his business, every thing is made subservient to my convenience—­Whilst I write he is below, and has just sent up to know if I will permit a gentleman of his acquaintance, whom he has met accidentally at this inn, to dine with us.—­Why does he use this ceremony?—­I can have no objection to any friend of his.—­Dinner is served up.—­I shall write again at our last stage this evening.

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Barford Abbey from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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