Imatges de pàgina

hasty commencement. This gave them leisure for reflection ; and Janet now, for the first time, ventured to ask her lady, which way she proposed to direct her flight. Receiving no immediate answer, --for perhaps, in the confusion of her mind, this very obvious subject of deliberation had not occurred to the Countess --Janet ventured to add, « Probably to your father's house, where you are sure of safety and protection ?” fronte asagidoeb SUG No, Janet,” said the lady, mournfully, I left Lidcote-Hall while my heart was light and my name was honourable, and I will not return thither till my lord's permission and public acknowledgment of our marriage restore me to my native home, with all the rank and honour which he has bestowed on me.”goa evad argint y tone 986 And whither will you then, madam ?" said Janet. 4:46 To Kenilworth, girl," said the Countess, boldly and freely. “ I will see these revels these princely revels—the preparation for which makes the land ring from side to side. Methinks, when the Queen of England feasts within my husband's

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balls, the Countess of Leicester should be no’unbeseeming guest."

“ I pray God you may be a welcome one," said Janet hastily..

“ You abuse my situation, Janet," said the Countess angrily, “ and you forget your own.". .'" I do neither, dearest madam,” said the sorrowful maiden; “ but have you forgotten that the noble Earl has given such strict charges to keep your marriage secret, that he may preserve his court-favour? and can you think that your sudden appearance at his castle, át such a juncture, and in such a presence, will be acceptable to him ?" .“ Thou thinkest I would disgrace him," said the Countess ;—“ nay, let go my arm, I can walk without aid, and work without counsel.” .

“ Be not angry with me, lady,” said Janet meekly," and let me still support you ; the road is rough, and you are little accustomed to walk in darkness.”

“ If you deem me not so mean as may disgrace my husband," said the Countess in the same resentful tone, “ you suppose my Lord of Leices

ter capable of abetting, perhaps of giving aim and authority to the base proceedings of your father and Varney, whose errand I will do to the good Earl.”

" For God's sake, madam, spare my father in your report,” said Janet; “ let my services, however poor, be some atonement for his errors.”

I were most unjust, dearest Janet, were it otherwise," said the Countess, resuming at once the fondness and confidence of her manner towards her faithful attendant. “ Yes, Janet, not a word of mine shall do your father prejudice. But thou seest, my love, I have no desire but to throw myself on my husband's protection. I have left the abode he assigned for me, because of the willainy of the persons by whom I was surrounded—but I will disobey his commands in no other particular. I will appeal to him alone I will be protected by him alone-To no other, than at his pleasure, have I or will I communicate the secret union which combines our hearts and our destinies. I will see him, and receive from his own lips the directions for my future conduct. Do not argue against my resolution, Janet; you will only


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confirm me in it. And to own the truth, I am rea jit solved to know my fate at once, and from my hus st band's own mouth, and to seek him at Kenilworth : ; is the surest way to attain my purpose." t

While Janet hastily revolved in her mind their difficulties and uncertainties attendant on the unis; fortunate lady's situation, she was inclined to al ter her first opinion, and to think, upon the whole, »? that since the Countess had withdrawn herself! from the retreat in which she had been placed by, her husband, it was her first duty to repair to his to presence, and possess him with the reasons of such ir conduct. She knew what importance the Earl ata i W tached to the concealment of their marriage, and 1 could not but own, that by taking any step to : make it public without his permission, the Coun )) tess would incur, in a high degree, the indignas m tion of her husband. If she retired to her father's house without an explicit avowal of her rank, her situation was likely greatly to prejudice her cha racter, and if she made such an avowal, it might : occasion an irreconcileable breach with her hus. band, At Kenilworth, again, she might plead her cause with her husband himself, whom Ja ,

net, though distrusting him more than the Councos tess did, believed incapable of being accessary to the base and desperate means which his dependa'. ants, from whose power the lady was now esca- ? ping, might resort to, in order to stiffe her complaints of the treatment she had received at their 1. hands. But at the worst, and were the Earl him self to deny her justice and protection, still at Ke-> nilworth, if she chose to make her wrongs pub=!!! lic, the Countess' might have Tressilian for her advocate, and the Queen for her judge, for so'm much Janet had learned in her short conference "J with Wayland. She was, therefore, on the whole,"")) reconciled to her lady's proposal of going to-'981 wards Kenilworth, and so expressed herself; re-1105 commending, however, to the Countess the ut- Bila most caution in making her arrival known to her 293 husband.: 1, nisi

«Hast thou thyself been cautious, Janet?” said 4 the Countess ; " this guide, in whom I must put ' my confidence, hast thou not entrusted to him the secret of my condition ?”

“ From me he has learned nothing," said Ja-11 net, "nor do I believe that he knows more than 1914

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