Imatges de pÓgina

dare say:

you his kindest love: he was hurried, and regretted he could not come to take leave of you; but he was obliged to go off with the Annalys, to escort her ladyship to England, where he will remain this year, I

I am much concerned to say, that poor lady Annaly and miss Annaly” Sir Úlick cleared his throat, and gave a suspicious look at Ormond.

This glance at Harry, the moment sir Ulick pronounced the words miss Annaly, first directed aright the attention of Cornelius.

Lady Annaly and miss Annaly! are they ill? What's the matter, for Heaven's sake!” exclaimed Harry, with great anxiety; but pronouncing both the ladies' names precisely in the same tone, and with the same freedom of expression.

Sir Ulick took breath. “ Neither of the ladies are ill-absolutely ill ; but they have both been greatly shocked by accounts of young Annaly's sudden ill

It is feared an inflammation upon his lungs, brought on by violent cold—his mother and sister left us this morning-set off for England to him immediately. Lady Annaly thought of you, Harry, my boy—you must be a prodigious favourite-in the midst of all her affliction, and the hurry of this sudden departure, this morning: she gave me a letter for you,

which I determined to deliver with my own hands."

While he spoke, sir Ulick, affecting to search for the letter among many in his pocket, studied with careless intermitting glances our young hero's countenance, and Cornelius O’Shane studied sir Ulick's: Harry tore open the letter eagerly, and coloured a good deal when he saw the inside.

“ I have no business here reading that boy's secrets


[ocr errors]

in his face," cried Cornelius O’Shane, raising himself on his crutches —" I'll step out and look at my roof. Will you come, sir Ulick, and see how the job goes on?" His crutch slipped as he stepped across the hearth-Harry ran to him: “ Oh, sir, what are you doing? You are not able to walk yet without me why are you going? Secrets, did you say?" (The words recurred to his ear.) « I have no secretsthere's no secrets in this letter-it's only-the reason I looked foolish was that here's a list of my own faults, which I made like a fool, and dropped like a fool—but they could not have fallen into better or kinder hands than lady Annaly's."

He offered the letter and its enclosure to Cornelius and sir Ulick. Cornelius drew back. “ I don't want to see the list of your faults, man,” said he: “ do you think I haven't them all by heart already? and as to the lady's letter, while you live never show a lady's letter.”

Sir Ulick, without ceremony, took the letter, and in a moment satisfying his curiosity that it was merely a friendly note, returned it and the list of his faults to Harry, saying, “ If it had been a young

, lady's letter, I am sure you would not have shown it to me, Harry, nor, of course, would I have looked at it. But I presumed that a letter from old lady Annaly could only be, what I see it is, very edifying."

“ Old lady Annaly, is it?” cried Cornelius : “ oh! then, there's no indiscretion, young man, in the case. You might as well scruple about your mother's letter, if

you had one; or your mother-in-law, which, to be sure, you'll have, I hope, in due course of nature.”

At the sound of the words mother-in-law a cloud passed over sir Ulick's brow, not unnoticed by the


shrewd Cornelius; but the cloud passed away quickly, after sir Ulick had darted another reconnoitring glance on Harry's open unconscious countenance.

“ All's safe,” said sir Ulick to himself, as he took leave.

« Woodcocked ! that he has-as I foresaw he would,” cried king Corny, the moment his guest had departed. Woodcocked! if ever man did, by all that's cunning!"



« AnteriorContinua »