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charger : the right arm is all unwilling to strike. Now that I look more closely into the lovely countenance, there is a smile of pity, nay more, a thrill of anguish there which explains all, and well corresponds with the whole attitude. Still, perhaps it would be more merciful, Miss Basinstoke, to give a finishing thrust where so fearful a wound has already been dealt.”
“The heroine may not be the accomplished warrior that you think. You can perceive that her antagonist's wound proceeds, not from a spear, but from a winged shaft, which must have been cast by some strange and distant hand. Lord St. Edmunds,” added she, more earnestly, “pray return me my drawing: really it is not yet finished.”
“Though you have betrayed your secret,” replied he, “I cannot relinquish my investigation so soon. Indeed, I have hardly looked at the adversary yet. Strange that there should be a smile of triumph upon his lips in all the agony of that hour :—and yet, not so strange either.”
“What, you a soldier !” said Cécile, “and feel neither shame nor pity for the warrior who is dying by a woman's hand ?”.
“I feel what he looks, Miss Basinstoke, and you can best tell whether shame and sorrow are uppermost in his heart as he bids this hasty farewell to life.”
These reflections were here interrupted by the sudden entrance of Constance, most opportunely, as we deem, for it is perfectly surprising, as Sir Charles Basinstoke would often say, what nonsense girls and boys will talk when they are left alone together. Indeed, we should scarcely have felt ourselves justified in introducing the foregoing little dialogue, did it not tend to show that our Cinderella is no less proficient in the accomplishment of drawing than in that of music. That she is likewise an adept in the other sister-art, we shall, in due time, have also occasion to illustrate.
THE WELCOME VISITOR.
We should here mention among the attractions presented by the séjour at Redburn Hall, the expected arrival of Lady Templedale, a most intimate friend of the whole family, as she is to all those who have the pleasure of her acquaintance. Who is so agreeable, who is so pleasant, who is so sensible, who is so well-informed as Lady Templedale ? Very few indeed whom we know! When she appears in a country-house, it always has seemed to us as if an indefinite amount of convivial entertainment and pleasure were unpacked with her imperial and bonnetcase, and was diffused at once throughout the precincts.
Who is going to be married to who? who is in love with who? who has quarrelled with who ? who is behaving lamentably ill with who? Lady Templedale knows it all, writes it all, tells it all-never ill-naturedly, mind, but in such a manner as to excite the acutest interest, and to impart the intensest amusement. She is a politician, too, and reckoned very sagacious in that line also, we are told; but our province lying by no means in that direction, the less we refer to her eminence on this head the better, or we might betray our own incompetency. As much, or rather as little, must we say respecting her qualifications as a controversialist, merely stating that we have always observed the extraordinary equanimity of her discussion, as well as the great candour and sincerity with which she will ever labour distinctly to ascertain the true opinions and sentiments of others.
It is not very surprising that the appearance of such a personage should at once have dispelled the clouds which had been overshadowing of late the serener atmosphere of Redburn Hall. At the very first glance, Lady Templedale saw and knew all about it, and proceeded to business accordingly. Sir Charles Basinstoke was in
formed that his son's position, and his own, had never been better in the county ; Lady Helen, that Edward had been heard of in London, looking in very good spirits, and by no means as if he had lost the most important organ of the human frame ; Cécile, that the outery against the Catholics, while fatal of course to the body at large, could only render each individual member more interesting. Cheerfulness having thus been restored where it had somewhat failed, the whole party was accused of looking shockingly moped ; neighbours were inquired for in such terms as to render their immediate invitation imperative; and a considerable accession of spirits being thus procured, music, singing, riding, driving, and even dancing became the successive orders of the day, and almost of the night likewise.
This new régime, while perfectly successful in general, was not very favourable to Lady Helen alone. It debarred her from meditating, to her heart's content, upon the full rigour of the forthcoming Parliamentary enactment, and also from bestowing upon Cécile's imperfections that amount of hourly admonition which really could not be withheld in justice to her future