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The Children of the Abbey

CHAPTER XI.

From the loud camp retir’d, and noisy court,

In honourable ease and rural sport

The remnant of his days he safely pass’d,

Nor found they lagg’d too slow nor flew too fast.

He made his wish with his estate comply,

Joyful to live, yet not afraid to die;

One child he had, a daughter chaste and fair,

His age’s comfort and his fortune’s heir.

Prior.

Oscar’s regiment, on his first joining it in Ireland, was quartered in Enniskellen: the corps was agreeable, and the inhabitants of the town hospitable and polite. He felt all the delight of a young and enterprising mind, entering to what appeared to him, the road to glory and pleasure. Many of his idle mornings were spent in rambling about the country, sometimes accompanied by a party of officers, and sometimes alone.

In one of his solitary excursions along the beautiful banks of Lough Erne, with a light fusee on his shoulder, as the woods, that almost descended to the edge of the water, abounded in game, after proceeding a few miles, he felt quite exhausted by the heat, which, as it was now the middle of summer, was intense; at a little distance he perceived an orchard, whose glowing apples promised a delightful repast; knowing that the fruit in many of the neighbouring places 96 was kept for sale, he resolved on trying if any was to be purchased here, and accordingly opened a small gate, and ascended through a grass-grown path in the orchard to a very plain, white cottage, which stood on a gently sloping lawn, surrounded by a rude paling. He knocked against the door with his fusee, and immediately a little rosy girl appeared. “Tell me, my pretty lass,” cried he, “whether I can purchase any of the fine apples I see here.” “Anan!” exclaimed the girl, with a foolish stare. Oscar glancing at the moment into the passage, saw from a half-closed door nearly opposite the one at which he stood, a beautiful fair face peeping out. He involuntarily started and pushing aside the girl, made a step into the passage. The room directly opened, and an elderly woman, of a genteel figure, and pleasing countenance, appeared. “Good heavens!” cried Oscar, taking off his hat, and retreating, “I fear I have been guilty of the highest impertinence; the only apology I can offer is by saying it was not intentional. I am quite a stranger here, and having been informed most of the orchards hereabouts contained fruit for sale, I intruded under that idea.” “Your mistake, sir,” she replied, with a benevolent smile, “is too trifling to require an apology, nor shall it be attended with any disap­pointment to you.”

She then politely showed him into the parlour, where, with equal pleasure and admiration, he contemplated the fair being, of whom before he had but a transient glance. She appeared to be scarcely seventeen, and was, both as to face and figure, what a painter would have chosen to copy for the portrait of a little playful Hebe; though below even the middle size, she was formed with the nicest symmetry; her skin was of dazzling fairness, and so transparent that the veins were clearly discernible; the softest blush of nature shaded her beautifully rounded cheeks; her mouth was small and pouting, and whenever she smiled, a thousand graces sported round it: her eyes were full and of a heavenly blue, soft, yet animated, giving, like the expression of her whole countenance, an idea of innocence, spirit and sensi­bility; her hair, of the palest and most glossy brown, hung carelessly about her, and, though dressed in a loose morning gown of muslin, she possessed an air of fashion, and even consequence: the easy manner in which she bore the looks of Oscar, proclaimed her at once unaccustomed to admiration, nor displeased with that she now received: for that Oscar admired her could not but be visible, and he 97 sometimes fancied he saw an arch smile playing over her features at the involuntary glances he directed towards her.

A fine basket of apples and some delicious cider were brought to Oscar, and he found his entertainer as hospitable in disposition as she was pleasing in conversation.

The beautiful interior of the cottage by no means corresponded with the plainness of the exterior; the furniture was elegantly neat, and the room ornamented with a variety of fine prints and landscapes; a large folding glass door opened from it into a pleasure garden.

Adela, so was the charming young stranger called, chatted in the most lively and familiar terms, and at last running over to the basket, tost the apples all about the table, and picking out the finest, presented them to Oscar. ’Tis scarcely necessary to say he received them with emotion; but how transient is all sublunary bliss! A cuckoo clock, over Oscar’s head, by striking three, reminded him that he had passed near two hours in the cottage. “Oh, heavens,” cried he, starting, “I have made a most uncon­scionable intrusion: you see my dear ladies,” bowing respectfully to both, “the consequence of being too polite and too fascinating.” He repeated his thanks in the most animated manner, and snatching up his hat departed, yet not without casting

“One longing, lingering, look behind.”

The sound of footsteps after him in the lawn made him turn, and he perceived the ladies had followed him thither. He stopped again to speak to them, and extolled the lovely prospect they had from that eminence, of the lake and its scattered islands. “I presume,” said Adela, handling the fusee on which he leant, “you were trying your success to-day in fowling?” “Yes, but as you perceive, I have been unsuccessful.” “Then, I assure you,” said she, with an arch smile, “there is choice game to be found in our woods.”—“Delicious game indeed!” cried he inter­rupting the archness of her look, and animated by it to touch her hand, “but only tantalizing to a keen sportsman, who sees it elevated above his reach.” “Come, come,” exclaimed the old lady, with a sudden gravity, “we are detaining the gentleman.” She took her fair companion by the arm, and hastily turned to the cottage. Oscar gazed after them a moment, then with a half-smothered 98 sigh descended to the road. He could not help thinking this incident of the morning very like the novel adventures he had sometimes read to his sister Amanda as she sat at work, and to complete the resemblance, thought he, I must fall in love with the little heroine. Ah! Oscar, beware of such imprudence; guard your heart with all your care against tender impressions, till fortune has been more propitious to you; thus would my father speak, mused Oscar, and set his own misfortune in terrible array before me, were he now present. Well, I must endeavour to act as if he were here to exhort me. Heigh ho! proceeded he, shouldering his fusee, glory for some time to come must be my mistress.

The next morning the fusee was again taken down and he sallied out, carefully avoiding the officers, lest any of them should offer to accompany him, for he felt a strange reluctance to their participating either the smiles of Adela, or the apples of the old lady. Upon his arrival at the orchard, finding the gate open, he advanced a few steps up the path, and had a glimpse of the cottage, but no object was visible. Oscar was too modest to attempt entering it uninvited, he therefore turned back, yet often cast a look behind him; no one however was to be seen. He now began to feel the heat oppressive, and himself fatigued with the walk, and sat down upon a moss-covered stone, on the margin of the lake, at a little distance from the cottage, beneath the spreading branches of a hawthorn; his hat and fusee were laid at his feet, and a cold breeze from the water refreshed him; upon its smooth surface a number of boats and small sail vessels were now gliding about in various directions, and enlivening the enchanting prospect which was spread upon the bosom of the lake: from contemplating it he was suddenly aroused by the warble of a female voice; he started, turned, and beheld Adela just by him. “Bless me!” cried she, “who would have thought of seeing you here? why, you looked quite fatigued, and, I believe, want apples to-day as much as you did yesterday.”—Then sitting down on the seat he had resigned, she tossed off her bonnet, declaring it was insupportably warm, and began rummaging a small work-bag she held on her arm. Oscar snatching the bonnet from the ground, Adela flung apples into it, observing it would make an excellent basket. He sat down at her feet, and never perhaps felt such a variety of emotions as at the present moment: his cheeks glowed with a brighter colour, and his eyes 99 were raised to hers with the most ardent admiration; yet not to them alone could he confine the expression of his feelings; they broke in half-formed sentences from his lips, which Adela heard with the most perfect composure, desiring him either to eat or pocket his apples quickly, as she wanted her bonnet, being in a great hurry to return to the cottage, from which she had made a kind of stolen march. The apples were instantly committed to his pocket, and he was permitted to tie on the bonnet. A depraved man might have misinterpreted the gaiety of Adela, or at least endea­voured to take advantage of it; but the sacred impression of virtue, which nature and education had stamped upon the heart of Oscar, was indelibly fixed, and he neither suspected, nor for worlds would have attempted injuring the innocence of Adela; he beheld her (in what indeed was a true light) as a little playful nymph, whose actions were the offspring of innocence.

“I assure you,” exclaimed she, rising, “I am very loth to quit this pleasant seat, but if I make a much longer delay, I shall find the lady of the cottage in anxious expectation.” “May I advance?” said Oscar, as he pushed open the gate for her. “If you do,” replied she, “the least that will be said from seeing us together, is that we were in search of each other the whole of the morning.” “Well,” cried Oscar, laughing at this careless speech, “and if they do say so, it would not be doing me injustice.” “Adieu, adieu,” said she, waving her hand, “not another word for a kingdom.”

What a compound of beauty and giddiness it is, thought Oscar, watching her till she entered the cottage. As he returned from the sweet spot, he met some labourers, from whom he inquired concerning its owner, and learned she was a respectable widow lady of the name of Marlowe.

On Oscar’s return from Enniskellen, he heard from the officers that General Honeywood, an old veteran who had a fine estate about fourteen miles from the town, was that morning to pay his compli­ments to them, and that cards had been left for a grand fete and ball, which he annually gave on the first of July, to commemorate one of the glorious victories of King William. Every person of any fashion in and about the neighbourhood was, on such occasions, sure of an invitation, and the officers were pleased with theirs, as they had for some time wished for an opportunity of seeing the general’s daughter, who was very much admired.

100

The general, like a true veteran, retained an enthusiastic attachment for the profession of arms, to which, not only the morning, but the meridian of his life had been devoted, and which he had not quitted till compelled by a debilitated constitution. Seated in his paternal mansion, he began to experience the want of a faithful companion, who would heighten the enjoy­ments of the tranquil hour, and soothe the infirmities of age; this want was soon supplied by his union with a young lady in the neighbourhood, whose only dowry was innocence and beauty. From the great disparity of their ages, it was concluded she had married for convenience; but the tenor of her conduct changed this opinion, by proving the general possessed her tenderest affections. A happier couple were not known; but this happiness was terminated as suddenly as fatally by her death, which happened two years after the birth of her daughter; all the general’s love was then centered in her child. Many of the ladies in the neighbourhood, induced by the well-known felicity his lady had enjoyed, or by the largeness of his fortune, made attempts to engage him in matrimonial toils, but he fought shy of them all, solemnly declaring, “he would never bring a step-mother over his dear girl.” In her infancy she was his plaything, and as she grew up, his comfort; caressed, flattered, adored from her childhood, she scarcely knew the meaning of harshness and contradiction; a naturally sweet disposition, and the super­intending care of an excellent woman, prevented any pernicious effect from such excessive indulgence as she received; to disguise or duplicity she was a perfect stranger; her own feelings were never concealed, and others she supposed equally sincere in revealing theirs; true, the open avowal of her regard or contempt often incurred the imputation of imprudence, but had she even heard of it, she would only have laughed at it, for the general declared whatever she said was right, and her own heart assured her of the innocence of her intentions. As she grew up, the house again became the seat of gaiety; the general, though very infirm, felt his convivial spirit revive; he delighted in the society of his friends, and could still

Shoulder the crutch, and show how fields were won.

Oscar, actuated by an impulse, which, if he could, he, at least, did not strive to account for, continued daily to parade before the orchard, but without again seeing Adela.

101

At length the day for General Honeywood’s entertainment arrived, and the officers, accompanied by a large party, set off early for Woodlawn, the name of the general’s seat; it was situated on the borders of the lake, where they found barges waiting to convey them to a small island, which was the scene of the morning’s amusement. The breakfast was laid out amidst the ruins of an ancient building, which, from the venerable remains of its Gothic elegance, was, most probably, in the days of religious enthusiasm, the seat of sacred piety; the old trees in groups formed a thick canopy overhead, and the ivy that crept along the walls filled up many of the niches where the windows had formerly been; those that still remained open, by descending to the ground, afforded a most enchanting prospect of the lake; the long succession of arches which composed the body of the chapel were in many places covered with creeping moss, and scattered over with wall-flowers, blue hare-bells, and other spontaneous productions of nature, while between them were placed seats and breakfast-tables, ornamented in a fanciful manner.

The officers experienced a most agreeable surprise on entering, but how inferior were their feelings to the sensations which Oscar felt, when, introduced with the party by the general to his daughter, he beheld in Miss Honeywood the lovely Adela. She seemed to enjoy his surprise, and Mrs. Marlowe, from the opposite side of the table, beckoned him to her with an arch look; he flew round, and she made room for him by herself. “Well, my friend,” cried she, “do you think you shall find the general’s fruit as tempting as mine?” “Ah!” exclaimed Oscar, half-sighing, half-smiling, “Hesperian fruit, I fear, which I can never hope to obtain.” Adela’s attention, during breakfast, was too much engrossed by the company to allow her to notice Oscar more than by a few hasty words and smiles. There being no dancing till the evening, the company, after breakfast, dispersed according to their various inclinations.

The island was diversified with little acclivities, and scattered over with wild shrubs, which embalmed the air; temporary arbours of laurel, inter­mingled with lilies, were erected and laid out with fruits, ices and other refresh­ments; upon the edge of the water a marquee was pitched for the regimental band, which colonel Belgrave had politely complimented the general with; a flag was hoisted on it, and upon a low eminence a few small field-pieces were mounted; attendants 102 were every where dispersed, dressed in white streamers, ornamented with a profusion of orange-coloured ribbons; the boatmen were dressed in the same livery, and the barges, in which several of the party were to visit the other islands, made a picturesque appearance with their gay streamers fluttering in the breeze; the music now softly dying away upon the water, now gradually swelling on the breeze, and echoed back by the neighbouring hill, added to the pleasure of the scene.

Oscar followed the steps of Adela, but at the very moment on which he saw her disengaged from a large party, the general hallooed after him from a shady bank on which he sat. Oscar could not refuse the summons, and as he approached, the general, extending his hand, gave him a cordial squeeze, and welcomed him as the son of a brave man he had once intimately known. “I recollected the name of Fitzalan,” said he, “the moment I heard it mentioned, and had the happiness of learning from Colonel Belgrave I was not mistaken in believing you to be the son of my old friend.” He now made several inquiries concerning Fitzalan, and the affec­tionate manner in which he mentioned him was truly pleasing to Oscar. “He had once,” he said, saved his life at the imminent danger of his own, and it was an obligation, while that life remained, he never could forget.

Like Don Guzman, in Gil Blas, the general delighted in fighting over his battles, and now proceeded to enumerate many incidents which happened during the American war, when he and Fitzalan served in the same regiment. Oscar could well have dispensed with such an enumeration; but the general, who had no idea that he was not as much delighted in hearing as he was in speaking, still went on. Adela had been watching them some time; her patience at length, like Oscar’s, being exhausted, she ran forward, and told her father “he must not detain him another minute, for they were going upon the lake; and you know papa,” cried she, “against we come back, you can have all your battles arranged in proper form, though by the bye, I don’t think it is the business of an old soldier to intimidate a young one with such dreadful tales of iron wars.” The general called her a saucy baggage, kissed her with rapture, and saw her trip off with his young friend, who seized the favourable opportunity to engage her for the first set in the evening. About four, the company assembled in the abbey to dinner, the band played during the repast, the toasts 103 were proclaimed by sound of trumpet, and answered by an immediate discharge from the mount. At six, the ladies returned to Woodlawn to change their dresses for the ball, and now

“Awful beauty put on all its charms.”

Tea and coffee were served in the respective rooms, and by eleven the ball-room was completely crowded with company, at once brilliant and lively, parti­cularly the gentlemen, who were not a little elevated by the general’s potent libations to the glorious memory of him whose victory they were celebrating.

Adela, adorned in a style superior to what Oscar had yet seen, appeared more lovely than he had even first thought her; her dress, which was of thin muslin spangled, was so contrived as to give a kind of aerial lightness to her figure. Oscar reminded her of the promise of the morning at the very moment the colonel approached for the purpose of engaging her: she instantly informed him of her engagement to Mr. Fitzalan. “Mr. Fitzalan!” repeated the colonel, with the haughty air of a man who thought he had reason to be offended: “he has been rather precipitate indeed, but though we may envy, who shall wonder at his anxiety to engage Miss Honeywood.”

Dancing now commenced, and the elegant figure of Adela never appeared to greater advantage: the transported general watched every movement, and “incomparable by Jove!—what a sweet angel she is!” were expressions of admiration which involuntarily broke from him in the pride and fondness of his heart. Oscar too, whose figure was remarkably fine, shared his admiration, and he declared to Colonel Belgrave, he did not think the world could produce such another couple: this assertion was by no means pleasing to the colonel; he possessed as much vanity, perhaps as ever fell to the share of a young belle, conscious of perfection, and detested the idea of having any competitor (at least such a powerful one as Oscar) in the good graces of the ladies. Adela having concluded the dance, complained of fatigue, and retired to an alcove, whither Oscar followed her; the window commanded a view of the lake, the little island and the ruined abbey; the moon in full splendor, cast her silvery light over all those objects, giving a softness to the landscape even more pleasing than the glowing charms it had derived from the radiancy of day. 104 Adela in dancing had dropped the bandeau from her hair, Oscar took it up and still retained it; Adela now stretched forth her hand to take it; “Allow me,” cried he, gently taking her hand, “to keep it; to-morrow you would cast it away as a trifle, but I would treasure it as a relique of inestimable value; let me have some memento of the charming hours I have passed to-day.” “Oh! a truce,” said Adela, “with such expressions, (who did not, however, oppose his putting her bandeau in his bosom) they are quite commonplace, and have already been repeated to hundreds, and will again, I make no doubt.”—“This is your opinion?”—“Yes, really.”—“Oh! would to heaven,” exclaimed Oscar, “I durst convince you how mistaken a one it is.” Adela, laughing, assured him that would be a difficult matter. Oscar grew pensive; “I think,” cried he, “if oppressed by misfortune, I should of all places on earth, like a seclusion in the old Abbey.” “Why, really,” said Adela, “it is tolerably calculated for an hermitage, and if you take a solitary whim, I beg I may be apprised of it in time, as I should receive peculiar pleasure in preparing your mossy couch and frugal fare.” “The reason for my liking it,” replied he, “would be the prospect I should have from it of Woodlawn.” “And does Woodlawn,” asked Adela, “contain such parti­cular charms, as to render the view of it so very delightful?”

At this moment they were summoned to call a new dance; a summons, perhaps not agreeable to either, as it inter­rupted an inter­esting tête-à-tête. The colonel engaged Adela for the next set; and though Oscar had no inclination to dance, to avoid parti­cularity, he stood up with a young lady who was esteemed extremely handsome. Adela, as if fatigued, no longer moved with animation, and suddenly inter­rupted the colonel in a gallant speech he was making her, to inquire “if he thought Miss O’Neal (Oscar’s partner) pretty—so very pretty as she was generally thought?” The colonel was too keen not to discover at once the motive which suggested this inquiry. “Why, faith,” cried he, after examining Miss O’Neal some minutes through an opera glass, “the girl has charms, but so totally eclipsed at present, (looking languishingly at Adela) in my eyes, that I cannot do them the justice they may perhaps merit; Fitzalan, however, by the homage he pays her, seems as if he would make up for the deficiency of every other person.” Adela turned pale, and took the first opportunity of demanding her bandeau from Oscar: he, smiling, refused it, 105 declaring it was a trophy of the happiness he had enjoyed that day, and that the general should have informed her a soldier never relinquished such a glorious memento. “Resign mine,” replied Adela, “and procure one from Miss O’Neal.”—“No,” cried he, “I would not pay her charms and my own sincerity so bad a compliment as to ask what I should not in the least degree value.” Adela’s spirits revived, and she repeated her request no more.

The dancing continued after supper, with little intermission, till seven, when the company repaired to the saloon to breakfast, after which they dispersed.—The general parti­cularly and affec­tionately bid Oscar farewell, and charged him to consider Woodlawn as his head-quarters. “Be assured,” said the good-natured old man, “the son of my brave, worthy, and long-respected friend will ever be valuable to my heart and welcome to my home; and would to heaven in the calm evening of life, your father and I had pitched our tents nearer each other.”

From this period Oscar became almost an inmate of his house, and the general shortly grew so attached to him, that he felt unhappy if deprived of his society. The attentions he received from Oscar were such as an affec­tionate son would pay a tender father; he supported his venerable friend whenever he attempted to walk, attended him in all the excursions he made about his domain, read to him when he wanted to be lulled to sleep, and listened, without betraying any symptoms of fatigue, to his long, and often truly tiresome stories of former battles and campaigns: in paying these attentions Oscar obeyed the dictates of gratitude and esteem, and also gratified a benevolent disposition, happy in being able

“To rock the cradle of declining age.”

But his time was not so entirely engrossed by the general, as to prevent his having many hours to devote to Adela; with her he alternately conversed, read, and sung, rambled with her through romantic paths, or rode along the beautiful borders of Lough Erne, was almost her constant escort to all the parties she went to in the neighbourhood, and frequently accompanied her to the hovels of wretchedness, where the woes which extorted the soft tear of commiseration he saw amply relieved by her generous hand; admiring her as he did before, how impossible was it for Oscar, in those dangerous 106 tête-à-têtes, to resist the progress of a tender passion—a passion, however, confined (as far at least as silence could confine it) to his own heart.— The confidence which he thought the general reposed in him, by allowing such an inter­course with his daughter, was too sacred in his estimation to be abused, but though honour resisted, his health yielded to his feelings.

Adela, from delighting in company, suddenly took a pensive turn: she declined the constant society she had hitherto kept up, and seemed in a solitary ramble with Oscar, to enjoy more pleasure than the gayest party appeared to afford her; the favourite spot they visited almost every evening, was a path on the margin of the lake, at the foot of a woody mountain; here often seated, they viewed the sun sinking behind the opposite hills, and while they enjoyed the benignancy of his departing beams beheld him tinge the trembling waves with gold and purple; the low whistle of the ploughman returning to his humble cottage, the plaintive carol of birds from the adjacent grove, and the low bleating of the cattle from pastures which swelled above the water, all these, by giving the softness and most pleasing charms of nature to the hour, contrived to touch yet more sensibly, hearts already prepossessed in favour of each other. Adela would sometimes sing a little simple air, and carelessly leaning on the arm of Oscar, appear to enjoy perfect felicity; not so poor Oscar; the feelings of his soul at these moments trembled on his lips, and to repress them was great agony.

An incident soon occurred which endeared him yet more to the general; driving one day in a low phæton along a road cut over a mountain, the horses, frightened by a sudden firing from the lake, began rearing in the most frightful manner; the carriage stood near a tremendous precipice, and the servants appalled by terror, had not power to move. Oscar saw that nothing but an effort of desperate resolution could keep them from destruction; he leaped out, and rushing before the horses, seized their heads at the imminent hazard of being tumbled down the precipice, on whose very verge he stood: the servants, a little relieved from their terror, hastened to his assistance, the traces were cut, and the poor general, whose infirmities had weakened his spirits, conveyed home in almost a state of insensi­bility. Adela, perceiving him from her dressing-room window, flew down, and, learning his danger, fell upon his neck in an agony of mingled 107 joy and terror; her caresses soon revived him, and as he returned them, his eyes eagerly sought his deliverer. Oscar stood near, with mingled tenderness and anxiety in his looks, the general took his hand, and whilst he pressed it along with Adela’s to his bosom, tears fell on them.—“You are both my children!” he exclaimed; “the children of my love, and from your felicity I must derive mine.” This expression Oscar conceived to be a mere effusion of gratitude, little thinking what a project relative to him had entered the general’s head, who had first, however, consulted and learned from his daughter it would be agreeable to her. This generous, some will say romantic old man, felt for Oscar the most unbounded love and gratitude, and as the best proof of this, he resolved to bestow on this young soldier his rich and lovely heiress, who had acknow­ledged to her father her predilection for him. He knew both his birth to be noble, his disposition amiable, and his spirit brave; besides, by this union he should secure the society of Adela; he wished her married, yet dreaded, whenever that event took place, he should be deprived of her; but Oscar, he supposed, bound to him by gratitude, would, unlike others, accede to his wishes of residing at Woodlawn during his lifetime: his project he resolved on communicating to Colonel Belgrave whom, on Oscar’s account he regarded, as Oscar had said (what indeed he believed) that he was partly indebted to him for his commission.

What a thunder stroke was this to Belgrave, who arrived at Woodlawn the morning after the resolution was finally settled, and was asked to accompany the general about a little business, to the summer-house in the garden; poor Oscar trembled; he felt a presentiment he should be the subject of discourse, and had no doubt but the general meant to complain to Colonel Belgrave, as a person who had some authority over him, about his great parti­cularity to Miss Honeywood.

Rage, envy, and surprise, kept the colonel silent some minutes after the general had ended speaking; dissimu­lation then came to his aid, and he attempted, though in faltering accents, to express his admiration of such generosity; yet to bestow such a treasure, so inestimable, on such a man, when so many of equal rank and fortune sighed for its possession; upon a man too, or rather a boy, from whose age it might be expected, his affections would be variable. “Let me tell 108 you, colonel,” said the general, hastily inter­rupting him, and striking his stick upon the ground, as he arose to return to the house, “there can be but little danger of his affections changing, when such a girl as Adela is his wife; so touch no more upon that subject, I entreat you; but you must break the affair to the young fellow, for I should be in such a confounded flurry, I should set all in confusion, and beat an alarm at the first onset.”

The gloom and embarrassment which appeared in the countenance of the colonel, filled Oscar with alarms, he imagined them excited by friendship for him; after what the general had said, he sighed to hear parti­culars, and longed for the first time to quit Woodlawn.—The colonel was indeed in a state of torture; he had long meditated the conquest of Adela, whose fortune and beauty rendered her a truly desirable object; to resign her without one effort of circum­venting Oscar, was not to be thought of: to blast his promised joys, even if it did not lead to the accom­plishment of his own wishes, he felt would give him some comfort, and he resolved to leave no means untried for so doing.

They set off early in the morning for Enniskellen, and Belgrave sent his servant on before them, that there might be no restraint on the conversation he found Oscar inclined to begin.

Errata: Chapter XI

tost the apples all about the table, and picking out the finest,
text has picking ou

he started, turned, and beheld Adela just by him.
text has him,

On Oscar’s return from Enniskellen,
text has Enniskellin,

Oscar followed the steps of Adela
text unchanged: 1816 edition has “footsteps”

an obligation, while that life remained, he never could forget.
text has forget.”

like a seclusion in the old Abbey.”
text has Abbey,”

a soldier never relinquished such a glorious memento.
text has memento.”

rushing before the horses, seized their heads
text has siezed

the servants, a little relieved from their terror,
text has terrror,

Adela, perceiving him from her dressing-room window
text has Adela.


The raptures of this meeting surpassed description


“Well, colonel,” said Oscar, “I fancy I was not mistaken . . .

Introduction and Contents

 

The original of this text is in the public domain—at least in the U.S.
My notes are copyright, as are all under-the-hood elements.
If in doubt, ask.