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LOUISA'S STORY CONTINUED.
-Thou know'st not half the love he bears thee:
“THE Countess returned soon after ;-she had brought home the miniatures : 'Wear those, my dear girls,' said she, “ till you meet again, which I hope will be shortly. We fixed them round each other's necks, not without a sigh at the idea of our approaching separation.
“Mr. Danvers came in soon after : he carefully sought an opportunity to speak to me, which I avoided as much as possible.
“I gave Julia an item 1 had something to say to her; and at the time I took my leave, ‘I wish, Madam,' said she to the Countess, you would permit me to sleep to night in the convent; I have not half taken leave of some I respect much.'. 'Go,' said the indulgent mother, and return with Louisa soon in the morning,'
“No sooner were we alone, than I opened my whole heart to Julia, and informed her of my fixed resolution of telling Lady Melville what had passed. "Well,' said she, laughing, 'what can my mother say to it? She, I believe, would be as happy to see you Lady Gray, as Augustus could be to make you so; but my father is a strange mortal : so let the year of probation pass ; he cannot steal you out of the convent. My mother, if she knew, out of mistaken duty, might tell my father; and the poor fellow would lead an ill life, for daring to have a choice that was not made through his spectacles.'
“We chatted best part of the night; and in the morning, after compliments to the Abbess, hasted to Lady Melville. "Well, Louisa,' said she, “I have given Mr. Danvers as genteel a denial as I possibly could, but I fear you will not get quit of him so easily; he regards my saying I am not acquainted with your friends, as an evasive method of excusing myself from favoring his pretensions.
“ When I am entirely in the convent, as at your Ladyship’s departure I shall be, absence will cure so ill-placed a passion.' Lord Gray entering put an end to our discourse. I have had letters from England this morning,' said Lady Melville ;
your father, Augustus, thinks you almost at Paris; and indeed it is time you were set out.'-'My
father, my dear Madam, forgets how difficult it is to part from those we love:' kissing the Countess's hand. 'Yet more,' said she, he expects us home in a week at farthest; and he would be exceedingly displeased, did you not depart first ; so what think you of to- morrow? we must go the day following.'-'What time you please; I shall submit,' said Augustus, sighing; 'but I must send Lord Castlebrook word to prepare, as we go to Paris together.'
“Lord Gray left Abbeville at the time appointed. The evening before, when he attended me as เusu to the convent gate, he saluted me respectfully: ‘Farewell, Miss Villars; sometimes favor with a place in your remembrance, a man from whom your
idea will never be absent.'-'Adieu, my Lord !-- every felicity attend you,' said I, ringing at the convent gate, which the portress immediately opening, he threw himself into the coach, which the governess had not quitted on account of a violent shower of rain, and returned home.
“I took care to be rather late in my attendance at Lady Melville's the next morning. Lord Gray was set out more than an hour; Julia was alone, and her eyes still bright with tears. 'I have felt severely to-day,' said she : 'but what shall I suffer to-morrow, to part from the sister of my heart? Poor Augustus, too, has by no means
a mind at ease; the uncertainty of your situation
- fear of finding your affections engaged at his return-all conspire to torment him; for heaven's sake, my dear girl, think of him with kindness; do not love the sister and hate the brother; divide your partiality between us.'-'Good heaven!' said I, interrupting her, do I hear you an advocate for disobedience and ingratitude ? You own the uncertainty of my situation, yet urge me to encourage Lord Gray to act in a manner that must for ever estrange him from his parents. For shame, Julia ! shake off this girlish folly; nor let the entreaties of your brother, hurried on by a youthful passion, make you forget what is due to his family and honor.'
Unkind Louisa? what, if prevailed on by Augustus's sighs to step a little aside from duty, and plead his passion, were you his sister, and I Louisa,
not do as much ? I have seen his uneasiness some time, and teazed the cause from him, by promising to be his advocate, and to keep his secret involate; both which I will strictly perform."
“ We passed the day together; every little absence of Lady Melville's, Julia employed in interceding for her brother; and though I would by no means promise her to think of him with tenderness, to you, my dear Madam, let every secret of my heart be discovered. I own," continued Louisa, deeply blushing, “ did my fortune permit, I could esteem Lord Gray beyond all mankind; nay more, I should have told Julia so, bad it been an indifferent
but she loved her brother too well to keep any thing from him she imagined concerned his peace.
“The next morning separated me from Lady Melville and my friend Julia : painful to this hour is our parting; our voices, interrupted with sighs, could only sob - farewell, Julia ! adieu, Louisa ! The Countess, ever gentle mediatrix, reminded us Mrs. Masters's time of coming would soon arrive; that she had no doubt of her offer being accepted, and then we might remain together the rest of our lives. At last they got into the carriage - I hid my face that I might not see them departMadame du Saint's rhetoric being vain, till tears exhausted my source of sorrow.
“My sweet friend arrived safe in England: often did she favor me with letters; if Augustus was mentioned, it was without particularity, as she well knew the Abbess saw all letters that were received by the boarders in the convent.
“Near ten months had passed since their departure; when one day I was desired to go down to the parlour; I obeyed, and to my great surprise, found Mrs. Masters, whom I did not expect for two months at least. • Merciful goodness,' exclaimed she, as I entered, how she is grown!