And having formed this resolution, Petito concluded her apparently interminable soliloquy, and went with my lord’s gentleman into the antechamber, to hear the concert, and give her judgment on everything; as she peeped in through the vista of heads into the Apollo saloon—for to-night the Alhambra was transformed into the Apollo saloon—she saw that whilst the company, rank behind rank, in close semicircles, had crowded round the performers to hear a favourite singer, Miss Broadhurst and Lord Colambre were standing in the outer semicircle, talking to one another earnestly. Now would Petito have given up her reversionary chance of the three nearly new gowns she expected from Lady Clonbrony, in case she stayed; or, in case she went, the reversionary chance of any dress of Lady Dashfort’s except her scarlet velvet, merely to hear what Miss Broadhurst and Lord Colambre were saying. Alas! she could only see their lips move; and of what they were talking, whether of music or love, and whether the match was to be on or off; she could only conjecture. But the diplomatic style having now descended to waiting-maids, Mrs. Petito talked to her friends in the antechamber with as mysterious and consequential an air and tone, as a charge D’AFFAIRES, or as the lady of a charge D’AFFAIRES, could have assumed. She spoke of her private belief; of the impression left upon her mind; and her CONFIDANTIAL reasons for thinking as she did; of her ’having had it from the fountain’s head;’ and of ’her fear of any committal of her authorities.’
Notwithstanding all these authorities, Lord Colambre left London next day, and pursued his way to Ireland, determined that he would see and judge of that country for himself, and decide whether his mother’s dislike to residing there was founded on caprice or reasonable causes.
In the meantime, it was reported in London that his lordship was gone to Ireland to make out the title to some estate, which would be necessary for his marriage settlement with the great heiress, Miss Broadhurst. Whether Mrs. Petito or Sir Terence O’Fay had the greater share in raising and spreading this report, it would be difficult to determine; but it is certain, however or by whomsoever raised, it was most useful to Lord Clonbrony, by keeping his creditors quiet.
The tide did not permit the packet to reach the Pigeon-house, and the impatient Lord Colambre stepped into a boat, and was rowed across the bay of Dublin. It was a fine summer morning. The sun shone bright on the Wicklow mountains. He admired, he exulted in the beauty of the prospect; and all the early associations of his childhood, and the patriotic hopes of his riper years, swelled his heart as he approached the shores of his native land. But scarcely had he touched his mother earth, when the whole course of his ideas