Madame Marini wrote to ask whether Emilia might receive the visits of a Sir Purcell Barrett, whom they had met, and whom Emilia called her friend; adding: “The other gentleman has called at our old lodgings three times. The last time our landlady says, he wept. Is it an Englishman, really?”
Merthyr laughed at this, remarking: “Charlotte is not so vigilant, after all.”
“He wept.” Georgiana thought and remembered the cold self-command that his face had shown when Emilia claimed him, and his sole reply was, “I am engaged to this lady,” designating Lady Charlotte. Now, too, some of Emilia’s phrases took life in her memory. She studied them, thinking over them, as if a voice of nature had spoken. Less and less it seemed to her that a woman need feel shame to utter them. She interpreted this as her growth of charity for a girl so violently stricken with love. “In such a case, the more she says the more is she to be excused; for nothing but a frenzy of passion could move her to speak so,” thought Georgiana. Accepting the words, and sanctioning the passion, the person of him who had inspired it stood magnified in its light. She believed that if he had played with the girl, he repented, and the idea of a man shedding tears burnt to her heart.
Merthyr and Georgiana remained in Devonshire till a letter from Madame Marini one morning told them that Emilia had disappeared.
“You delayed too long to go to her, Merthyr,” said his sister, astonishing him. “I understand why; but you may trust to time and scorn chance too much. Let us go now and find her, if it is not too late.”
Marini met them at the station in London, and they heard that Wilfrid had discovered Marini’s new abode, and had called there that morning. “I had my eye on him. It was not a piece of love-play,” said Marini: “and today she should have seen my Chief, which would have cured her of sis pestilence of a love, to give her sublime thoughts. Do you love her, Miss Ford? Aha! it will be Christian names in Italy again.”