“Why should I conceal from you, noble Winthrop, from you, my valued friend, Sir Christopher, or from any of you, my other friends, with whom I would leave no unsatisfactory remembrance of myself, the little romance that brought me among you,” continued the Earl. “Know, that a second son of the deceased Earl of Cliffmere, I wooed, in the character of an humble painter, the sweet daughter of Edmund Dunning. He aspired higher than to unite the destinies of his only child with those of an unknown artist, and looked coldly on my suit. He left England with her, and I, unable to endure the pangs of separation, desired to follow. My mother knew of my attachment from the beginning, and to my entreaties yielded her acquiescence to my desires, for she loved me greatly, and had informed herself of the worth of her to whom I had given my heart, but required me to wait for the permission of my father (absent at the time on the continent) before I followed Eveline to this new world. That permission I received, and straightway departed. Still I continued to conceal my true name and station from even Eveline herself, for a reason, perhaps, more romantic than rational; for, with selfish jealousy, I chose to be loved for my own sake, nor did I mean my secret should be revealed until I had presented my wife to my parents,—but the curtain has been unexpectedly lifted, and ye know all.”
“I congratulate you, my lord,” said Winthrop, “and will venture to do so also in the name of all present, upon the auspicious termination of your fortunes among us, and only lament that so little time is left us to express our respect. When returned to our dear mother England, from whose bosom we are self-banished, yet whom, with filial reverence, we love, we trust that you will not forget your brethren in the wilderness. It is upon the far-seeing judgment of those in high places, as well as upon the zeal of the people, [all under God,] that we rely to assist us in extending the material and earthly power of our country, as well as in spreading the doctrines of true religion.”
“Be sure, sir,” answered the Earl, “that I will endeavor to do my duty toward you according to my honest convictions. And now, Eveline, bid farewell. The favoring breeze is bellying in the half unfurled sails, gallant Captain Sparhawk is impatient, and we must away.”
Lady Eveline fell upon the neck of the weeping Dame Spikeman, and after kissing her repeatedly, exchanged farewells with those around her, [as did all about to depart,] and then, accompanied by a numerous train, the passengers proceeded to the ship, whither the Lady Geraldine had preceded them, and where, also, they found Philip Joy. The sails were cast off from the yards and hoisted home; the fair wind gracefully curved the canvas, and the good ship, with silver waves breaking at her prow, and a stream of light following in her wake, gallantly stood down the bay.