“Good bye, Adolphus; may we both be happier when next we meet,” said she.
“My happiness, I fear, is doubtful: but I will not speak of that now. If I can do anything for yours before I go, I will. Fanny, I will ask my father to invite Lord Ballindine here. He has been anxious that we should be married: when I tell him that that is impossible, he may perhaps be induced to do so.”
“Do that,” said Fanny, “and you will be a friend to me. Do that, and you will be more than a brother to me.”
“I will; and in doing so I shall crush every hope that I have had left in me.”
“Do not say so, Adolphus:—do not—”
“You’ll understand what I mean in a short time. I cannot explain everything to you now. But this will I do; I will make Lord Cashel understand that we never can be more to each other than we are now, and I will advise him to seek a reconciliation with Lord Ballindine. And now, good bye,” and he held out his hand.
“But I shall see you to-morrow.”
“Probably not; and if you do, it will be but for a moment, when I shall have other adieux to make.”
“Good bye, then, Adolphus; and may God bless you; and may we yet live to have many happy days together,” and she shook hands with him, and went to her room.
Lord Cashel’s plans were certainly not lucky. It was not that sufficient care was not used in laying them, nor sufficient caution displayed in maturing them. He passed his time in care and caution; he spared no pains in seeing that the whole machinery was right; he was indefatigable in deliberation, diligent in manoeuvring, constant in attention. But, somehow, he was unlucky; his schemes were never successful. In the present instance he was peculiarly unfortunate, for everything went wrong with him. He had got rid of an obnoxious lover, he had coaxed over his son, he had spent an immensity of money, he had undergone worlds of trouble and self-restraint;—and then, when he really began to think that his ward’s fortune would compensate him for this, his own family came to him, one after another, to assure him that he was completely mistaken—that it was utterly impossible that such a thing as a family marriage between the two cousins could never take place, and indeed, ought not to be thought of.
Lady Selina gave him the first check. On the morning on which Lord Kilcullen made his offer, she paid her father a solemn visit in his book-room, and told him exactly what she had before told her mother; assured him that Fanny could not be induced, at any rate at present, to receive her cousin as her lover; whispered to him, with unfeigned sorrow and shame, that Fanny was still madly in love with Lord Ballindine; and begged him to induce her brother to postpone his offer, at any rate for some months.
“I hate Lord Ballindine’s very name,” said the earl, petulant with irritation.