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bitterly they oppressed him, that he rose to his knees and prayed earnestly for madness. He strove to weep, but not a tear would fall. Tender-hearted as he was, the severe shock he had sustained denied to nature the relief which might have mitigated a lesser evil. Alas! for him, he had not learned where to lay his burden. Sorrow had yet to lead him to that One with whom alone is peace for all that seek Him.
When the morning broke upon this harassing night, the noise his servant made at the door reminded him that a severe struggle was necessary to conceal the wretched state of his mind by placing a rigid guard over his looks and actions. Painful indeed was the prospect of what he had to undergo. He almost sank beneath the contemplation of it. If he had dared, he would have lain where he was for another four-and-twenty hours, so vividly did he picture to himself the torment of encountering Lady Eda, of being near
her, of being compelled to talk to her, to look at her, and hear her speak; and withal to reflect on what her presence, look, and voice had been to him once, and what they were to be to him henceforth.
The entrance of his servant brought to his recollection that he had intended to order a chaise the day before, and had forgotten to do so. This oversight was the more to be lamented because it would oblige him to stay the whole of that day and part of the next at Mona Castle.
There was no place nearer than Conway whence a chaise could be procured, and Lord Longvale's horses had plenty to do without taking him so great a distance. His stay, therefore, was inevitable; and he foresaw, at least during the hours of dinner and breakfast, that it would be impossible to avoid coming in contact with Lady Eda.
Broken in spirit, and unequal to the task of quelling his agitation, he had need of all his firmness to carry him unflinching through the meeting in the breakfast-room. Lord Longvale was the first to inquire the cause of his absence from dinner. He replied he had been rather unwell, and that he found starving an infallible cure for a head-ache. Sir Andrew observed that he had probably eaten something which had disagreed with him. To which he answered, probably this might have been the cause of his illness, but it was hard to resist the good things to be met with at his lordship's table. Then he laughed; but it was a forced and nervous laugh, and he felt convinced that Lady Eda, at whom he dared not look, was observing him. Miss Fitzbun was certain he must be ill—he was so pale; and it was a very bad sign when people could not eat. She wished he would tell her what was the matter with him; she was an excellent homeopathic doctor, and delighted in giving advice. Sir Andrew then remarked that his hand shook ; and was inclined to think small doses would be of no avail in this particular case: he suggested change of air as a very excellent remedy sometimes. Arthur Longvale considered this to be an inhospitable insinuation; and declared that Pierce should not leave Mona till he was recovered.
Here More for the first time looked at Lady Eda. There was an expression of sadness in her face which he had never seen before. This look almost upset him. Had she appeared indifferent, it would have added strength to his purpose ; but this look of sympathy—a sympathy never to be expressed, never to be extended — almost crushed him. The light breakfast he made a pretence of eating stuck in his throat; he felt as if he should faint; but he mustered up resolution, and even recovered himself so far as to ask her whether she had been out walking before breakfast. She replied she had, and made
further insignificant remark, the meaning of which was completely lost upon him.
But Miss Fitzbun took the opportunity of saying Lady Eda looked nearly as unwell as Mr. More ; and it was quite evident they must have eaten of the same dish, or else that they had been quarrelling. At this everybody laughed; for the idea of More and Lady Eda quarrelling was so extremely improbable, that it at once struck them as ludicrous. Pierce joined in the merriment occasioned by the supposition, and added, that for all the quarrels he was ever likely to have with Lady Eda he should not be much the worse.
Whereupon Sir Andrew good-naturedly advised him, with a facetious look of appeal to his audience, not to be too sure of that. Miss Fitzbun chimed in with a severe chuckle.
Lord Longvale hummed a tune, and got up to look out of the window; and Arthur seemed puzzled, as if impressed with the notion that the remark