« ForrigeFortsett »
wherein of the word "NOT" in the Command
ment most important to the neighbourhood of Grosvenor Square, Archbishop Laud inflicted a heavy fine on the King's printer, appeared to have found its way that season into the bosom of a vast number of families !--Nevertheless, I could not forbear inquiring in what my friend Frank was so much more favoured than the
rest of his sex.
“ Had you been in the crush room last night, there would have been no need to ask the question,” said he.
And he spoke so mysteriously, that I almost regretted Lady Crutchley's majestic habit of sailing out of the Opera ten minutes before the conclusion of the ballet, lest peradventure her feathers (including the bird of Paradise) should be ruffed by contact with those of inferior birds.
“ As I was not,-perhaps you will explain to me Frank's bonne fortune?”—said I.
“ It was scarcely what you comprehend in
the word bonne fortune,” resumed Chippenham; “though a fortune which I would resign all I
ever likely to possess in the world to accomplish!"
Somewhat anxious to ascertain who was to be the successor of my pretty niece in his affections, I persisted in my inquiries ; till, by earnest cross-examination, I discovered that this violent fit of jealousy was simply occasioned by Jane having taken the arm of Frank Walsingham to follow Herries and his wife to the carriage !
“ You were not aware, I see, that Rotherhithe went down with his father yesterday to the Installation," said I. “No doubt he coinmissioned Frank to be his proxy in his absence."
“ He commission ?” ejaculated Chippenham. “What upon earth signifies what Lord Rotherhithe says, does, or thinks-either in that, or any other quarter?—You cannot really mean, that you ever for a moment supposed him an object of interest to Miss Danby, otherwise than the brother of the man on whom she has so rashly bestowed her affections ?”
“ What do you really mean, my dear Chippenham ?”—cried I, startled almost out of breath, in my turn. “ Jane attached to Frank Walsingham ? Frank Walsingham paying attention to Jane?-You are out of your
“ I am !” replied he, with much emotion,“but it is the result, not the cause, of my making the discovery!
I swear to yon, Danby, that had she attached herself to a man worthy of her or whom I believe capable of securing her happiness, I should have resigned myself to my disappointment. But to see her throw herself away,—to see her profane her young affections, by devoting them to one so utterly incapable of appreciating the value of such a treasure,-one who—but why talk upon it!"-cried he, in broken gasps, almost amounting to sobs,—"unless you wish to see me go mad in right earnest!"
“ Frank Walsingham!” — was all I could ejaculate ;—nor did I refrain from the ejaculation,-for much as I commiserated the state of poor Chippenham, the idea of what my brother would suffer from such a discovery was infinitely more distressing. I remembered, however, the unreasonableness of all jealous minds. Even I, so sure of my influence under similar circuinstances, had on more than one occasion, taken the most preposterous suspicions into
my head !
“ You must be mistaken, my dear Chippenham!” said I; “Frank is paying attention to Lady Mitchelston!”
“A blind,-a mere blind !" “ But to deceive whom?'
** Every body,-you, — who have been the first to be deceived !”
“ But why deceive me?-even if he were in love with my piece, what signifies ?-So is his brother,—so is old Sir Gerald Moseley,—so is Lord de Greyvin,—so are twenty others, to whom she gives not a moment's thought.”
having made me his inmate, the longest day he had to live!
But might not Chippenham be mistaken.Might not my advice be still efficacious with Jane ?-.No one could yet have represented to her the madness of her preference ; for those entitled to lecture her on the subject, entertained no suspicion of her folly.--I resolved to take an early opportunity of deciding for myself whether Chippenham's suspicions were well-founded. The countenance of my niece was so sure an indication of her feelings, that now my attention was directed to the subject, I could not long remain in doubt. But for my pre-engrossment in Bruton Street, I should probably have been beforehand with Chippenham in his discoveries.
Had I been her father instead of her uncle Cecil, I should probably, according to the rule of contraries I have laid down as peculiar to the parental estate, have rushed into her presence, roughly interrogated her concerning