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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 142 pages of information about Barford Abbey.

I go to my bed, but not to my repose.

Nine o’clock in the morning.

How sad, how gloomy, has been the approach of morning!—­About six, for I had not clos’d my eyes,—­somebody enter’d my chamber.  I suppos’d it Mr. Morgan, and drew aside my curtain.—­It was not Mr. Morgan;—­it was the poor disconsolate father of Miss Powis, more agitated, if possible, than the preceding night.—­He flung himself on my bed with agony not to be express’d:—­

Dear Risby, said he, do rise:—­do come to my apartment.—­Alas! my
Fanny—­

What new misfortune, my friend? ask’d I, starting up.—­My wife! return’d! he!—­she is in fits;—­she has been in fits the whole night.—­Oh Risby! if I should lose her, if I should lose my wife!—­My parents too, I shall lose them!—­

Words could not lessen his affliction.  I was silent, making what haste I could to huddle on my clothes;—­and at his repeated intreaties follow’d him to his wife,—­She was sitting near the fire drowned; in tears, supported by her woman.  I was pleas’d to see them drop so plentifully.—­She lifted up her head a little, as I enter’d.—­How alter’d!—­how torn to pieces with grief!—­Her complexion once so lovely,—­how changed in a few hours.

My husband! said she, in a faint voice, as he drew near her.—­Then looking at me,—­Comfort him, Mr. Risby;—­don’t let him sob so.—­Indeed he will be ill;—­indeed he will.—­Then addressing him, Consider, she who us’d to be your nurse is now incapable of the task.—­His agitation was so much increas’d by her words and manner, that I attempted to draw him into another apartment.—­Your intentions are kind, said she, Mr. Risby;—­but I must not lose my husband:—­you see how it is, Sir, shaking her head;—­try to sooth him;—­talk to him here but do not take him from me.—­

Then turning to Mr. Powis,—­I am better, my love,—­don’t frighten yourself:—­we must learn to be resign’d.—­Set the example, and I will be resign’d, said he,—­wiping away the tears as they trickled down her cheek;—­if my Fanny supports herself, I shall not be quite miserable.  In this situation I left them, to close my letter.

What is become of poor Lord Darcey?  For ever is he in my thoughts.—­His death will be an aggravation to the general sorrow.—­Write instantly:—­I wait your account with impatience; yet dread to receive it.

LETTER XXXI.

The Honourable GEORGE MOLESWORTH to RICHARD RISBY, Esq;

Dover.

Say not a word of it;—­no, not for the world;—­the body of Miss Powis is drove on shore.—­If the family choose to have her brought down, it may be done some time hence.—­I have order’d an undertaker to get a lead coffin, and will take care to have her remains properly deposited.—­It would be an act of cruelty at present to acquaint her friends with this circumstance.—­I have neither leisure or spirits to tell you in what manner the body was found, and how I knew it to be miss Powis’s.

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