Her ardour and impatience to hurry things forward seemed now likely to retard the accomplishment of her own wishes; and Lord Clonbrony, who understood rather more of the passion of love than his lady ever had felt or understood, saw the agony into which she threw her son, and felt for his darling Grace. With a degree of delicacy and address of which few would have supposed Lord Clonbrony capable, his lordship co-operated with his son in endeavours to keep Lady Clonbrony quiet, and to suppress the hourly thanksgivings of Grace’s turning out an heiress. On one point, however, she vowed she would not be overruled—she would have a splendid wedding at Clonbrony Castle, such as should become an heir and heiress; and the wedding, she hoped, would be immediately on their return to Ireland; she should announce the thing to her friends directly on her arrival at Clonbrony Castle.
‘My dear,’ said Lord Clonbrony, ’we must wait, in the first place, the pleasure of old Mr. Reynolds’s fit of the gout.’
‘Why, that’s true, because of his will,’ said her ladyship; ’but a will’s soon made, is not it? That can’t be much delay.’
‘And then there must be settlements,’ said Lord Clonbrony; ’they take time. Lovers, like all the rest of mankind, must submit to the law’s delay. In the meantime, my dear, as these Buxton baths agree with you so well, and as Grace does not seem to be over and above strong for travelling a long journey, and as there are many curious and beautiful scenes of nature here in Derbyshire—Matlock, and the wonders of the Peak, and so on—which the young people would be glad to see together, and may not have another opportunity soon—why not rest ourselves a little? For another reason, too,’ continued his lordship, bringing together as many arguments as he could—for he had often found, that though Lady Clonbrony was a match for any single argument, her understanding could be easily overpowered by a number, of whatever sort—’besides, my dear, here’s Sir Arthur and Lady Berryl come to Buxton on purpose to meet us; and we owe them some compliment, and something more than compliment, I think; so I don’t see why we should be in a hurry to leave them, or quit Buxton—a few weeks sooner or later can’t signify—and Clonbrony Castle will be getting all the while into better order for us. Burke is gone down there; and if we stay here quietly, there will be time for the velvet furniture to get there before us, and to be unpacked, and up in the drawing-room.’
‘That’s true, my lord,’ said Lady Clonbrony; ’and there is a great deal of reason in all you say—so I second that motion, as Colambre, I see, subscribes to it.’
They stayed some time in Derbyshire, and every day Lord Clonbrony proposed some pleasant excursion, and contrived that the young people should be left to themselves, as Mrs. Broadhurst used so strenuously to advise; the recollection of whose authoritative maxims fortunately still operated upon Lady Clonbrony, to the great ease and advantage of the lovers.