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my hand at the death of his uncle, I steadily refused to leave the protec tion of his aunt. I was now, I thought, possessed of a talisman, that would enable me to bear with patience her ill humour, and I could not think of a state of dependance upon Pembroke, dear as my heart whispered he was to megha
"In his answer Mr. Pembroke thanked me with transport for my acquiescence with the first part of his wish, but he remonstrated with warmth against my continuance with Lady Diana. I was, however, firm in my determination; most happy would it have been for me if I could have kept it; but this her ladyship's temper rendered impossible; and, spite of my reluctance to leave her house, I was compelled to seek another asylum.
"Percival now insisted so warmly upon the right he had, as my affianced husband, to provide for me, that I consented to remove to a small retired ha
power, whose sacred name he so dreadfully prophaned, forgive you as sincerely as I do.
"Accident discovered to Lord Robert that Pembroke visited me; he wrote to acquaint me with this circumstance, and to say, that for some few days he feared he could not see me; but he besought me to keep up my spirits, and to rely upon him; he also begged that I would write to him immediately.
"This intelligence terrified me. I dreaded that Lord Robert might insist upon his nephew's giving me up, and, in case of his refusal, might proceed to the greatest extremities. I determined to leave my house directly, and as I thought that I should be more likely to remain concealed in an obscure lodging in London, I took those in which you first saw me, and immediately apprised Pembroke of what I had done, and my reasons for it. When I came here, I found I had a new cause of uneasiness. Pembroke had sent me bank bills to a
considerable amount, and I thought that I had placed the pocket-book that contained them amongst my clothes; but when I unpacked them, I found I had not done so. I went immediately to the house I had just quitted, but my search was vain; the money was irrecoverably gone.
"A few guineas was all that I possessed; but the vexation that this circumstance gave me, soon gave place to a far deeper grief. Day after day passed, and I heard nothing of Mr. Pembroke. I wrote, but in vain; and I was nearly distracted from an idea, that illness might probably occasion his absence. Every rap at the door, every coach that I heard stop, caused my heart to throb with a painful violence known only to the victims of suspense; and when nearly a month had passed away, I thought I should have lost my reason. "One of the candidates for the borough
of was related to Lord Robert Douglas, and was I knew on terms of the strictest friendship with Pembroke. I thought it probable that, in compliment to his friend Percival, he might be on the hustings, and I dressed myself as plainly as I could the morning I first saw you, and ventured to Covent: Garden, in the hope of seeing him. To your lordship's humanity I probably owe my life; but bitterly did I regret your having preserved it, when I saw by the morning paper, on my return home, that Lord Robert and Pembroke had that day quitted England for Spain. Scarcely could I believe my senses, that Pembroke could thus abandon me; but I was soon convinced that it was the case. I caused enquiry to be made, and found that the paragraph was indeed true. Your lordship knows the rest."
Ellen ceased, and the count thanked her. Though her narrative had severely
mortified him, he did not suffer his chagrin to be visible to her; but the manner in which she had spoken of Pembroke convinced him, that her lover's hold on her heart was as strong as it had ever been, and but for the circumstance of her pregnancy, he would, in all probability, have broken off the connexion; but this incident gave her a consequence with him, that she would not otherwise haye had.
A play was amongst the few amusements of which Ellen was fond, and one morning she expressed a wish to see Hamlet, which was to be performed that evening. Montalva knew nothing of the piece, but he offered to accompany her, and they accordingly went. Ellen, whose whole attention was given to the performance, did not perceive the effect it had upon the count, whose conscience was sensibly touched. The remorse that had so long tormented him had slumbered for a little, but the impressive language of our divine bard,