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• Make your
“ . This is extraordinary,' said Mrs. Patterson, in a low voice, but she must not be agitated now; she must be indulged.' Then turning to me, self easy, Clara,' she added; your aunt shall not be sent for; she shall not be alarmed.'.
“I now lay quiet again for some time, this second fit of sickness having left me, and Mrs. Patterson and Madame de Roseau went out of the room, leaving Amelia and Miss Beaumont with me. Miss Beaumont placed herself at a little distance, and, as I remember, was quite silent; but Amelia sat by me in order to fan me, for the morning was excessively hot. In this situation, being comparatively easy and much fatigued, I fell asleep; but in my sleep the horrible realities of the past night again presented themselves, in indistinct visions, and I suddenly awoke saving soinething about the Ariadne, of which I should not, however, have been aware, if Amelia had not repeated what I said, at the same time asking me, 'What, my dear, are you thinking of? what reminds
of the Ariadne just now?' “I then recollected myself, and answered, 'I was only dreaming.'
“A short silence again followed, which was interrupt. ed by little Flora, on tip-toe, bringing the breakfasts of the young ladies on a waiter. • Flora,'I said, forgetting myself again, is it breakfast-time, and Miss Atkins and Miss Chatterton not come in, nor Gabrielle?'
“ On my asking this question, I saw that Amelia gave a sudden and very expressive look at Miss Beaumont; whereupon the other said, I don't know what you mean, Amelia.'
“ Amelia made no answer, but offered me a dish of tea, as I had complained of extreme thirst. I swallowed the tea eagerly, though it had a flat and almost nauseous taste, and the consequence was a third fit of sickness, more violent than either of the former. I had scarcely recovered from this last paroxysm, and was lying in a state of great exhaustion, being hardly kept from fainting by hartshorn, when a noise in the neighbouring room caught my attention, and I heard Miss Chatterton saying, · For Heaven's sake, get me to bed! get me to bed! let me at least die in bed !
“ Madame de Roseau's broken English at the same
time reached my ears, which were thus filled with repeated expressions of amazement and horror. I heard also Miss Atkins's voice in accents of complaint, though these were considerably more chastised and under control than the lamentations of Miss Chatterton. I then heard my own name mentioned by Mrs. Patterson, and this remark added, “I cannot understand it, Gabrielle. There is more in this than I now see. Where have you really been?'
“With Miss Jackson,' returned the voice of Gabrielle.
Really and truly?' said Mrs. Patterson. « « Yes, indeed, Madam,' said Gabrielle.
Amelia,' said Miss Beaumont, who could not but hear all that was passing in the next room, ( what is all this? Miss Chatterton ill too?'
“ I saw Amelia put her hand upon Miss Beaumont's arm, as a sign for her to be silent.
Surely,' said Miss Beaumont, 'they cannot possibly have been together?'
" • Julia, dear, be silent,' said Amelia: do not let us forget what we suffered before the holidays.'
• Miss Beaumont said no more: and a moment afterwards, word was brought that Dr. II—
was below. “ While we were waiting for the doctor, Madame de Roseau came and threw open the door so often spoken of during the course of the narrative, saying, “Amelia, Dr. H. says we must give them all the air we possi
“ The door being opened to its utmost extent, I then plainly saw all that was passing in the next room. I had a full view of Miss Chatterton's bed, and beheld, with inconceivable horror, the dreadful change which had taken place in that miserable young woman since I had seen her the night before. She was stretched upon the bed, having her head supported by pillows, and lying apparently without the power of voluntary motion, at the same time gasping as if under the influence of dreadful spasms; her face changing every moment from deep red to excessive paleness, while drops of perspiration stood on her brow. On the opposite bed sat Miss Atkins, supporting her head against the bed-post, and vainly endeavouring to appear in a state of tolerable ease.
VOL. IV. E E
" At the foot of Miss Chatterton's bed, and leaning against it, stood Gabrielle. Never shall I forget the impression which ber appearance at that moment made upon me.
The hair and complexion of this girl were exceedingly dark, and her eyes large and bright, but possessing a most singular expression, which I could more easily define by saying what were not than what were its qualities. It was not ferocity, it was not cunning, nor was it fear; but there appeared an indescribable mixture of all these, united with an habitual air of impudence and defiance. At the sight of me, her features assumed a bitter and scornful smile, which was instantly succeeded by a fixed and determined gravity; for I was neither able nor willing to return her smile, and thus to acknowledge that I was still of her party, or that I still had one feeling in unison with hers.
" To complete the picture that I have just given you of this girl, I must say, that her dark hair, which had not been touched since the preceding evening, was in extreme disorder, her dress discomposed, and that she still wore the ornaments with which she had decked herself for the miserable adventures of the night. The moment that my eyes met those of Gabrielle, I covered my face with both my hands, exclaiming, 'Oh, wretched girl! would to God I had never, never seen her face !'
“ The entrance of Dr. H, who entered Miss Chatterton's room by an opposite door, now attracted our notice.
He was accompanied by Mrs. Patterson, and was first led to Miss Chatterton's bed. After having observed her with much attention, he looked at Miss Atkins and then at me. He ordered Miss Atkins immediately to go to bed; and, turning to Mrs. Patterson, said, 'How do you account for this, Madam? You say that they were all perfectly well yesterday, and that they all went out, and did not return till this morning? Where were they last night? Have you any reason to think that they partook of any unwholesome aliment, or underwent any excessive fatigue?'
They were not together,' said Mrs. Patterson. “Not together?' said the doctor: it is surprising: the symptoms in all are the same, though more violent in one instance, You are sure they were not together?
However this may be,' he added, no time must be Jost.'
“So saying, he removed into another room, leaving Mrs. Patterson, who, after committing Miss Chatterton to the care of a young lady who was in the room, and directing Miss Atkins immediately to get into bed, called Gabrielle follow her, and walked away.
"Oh, Amelia, Amelia !' I exclaimed, as soon as I this, “it will now be found out; I am sure it will.'
"..What?' said Amelia, 'what will be found out? But, Clara, my dear, if you have any thing to confess, lose no time; tell me all. Think me your friend, as I have ever been; and be assured that all I can do for you I assuredly will, hoping that your future holy life will pay me tenfold for all my care.'
“ Encouraged thus fully by Amelia, I summoned all my strength, and made a free confession of every thing that had happened during the preceding night.
“ Amelia was visibly shocked; but, exerting strong self-command, she congratulated me on my confession, and, leaving me in Miss Beaumont's care, said, 'I am going, Clara, to plead your cause with Mrs. Patterson; and, if it be possible, this miserable story shall never be divulged either to your aunt or your father.'
“Dear, blessed Amelia! lovely, lovely angel !' I said, may the Almighty bless you!' and I clasped my hands, and found instant relief in a violent flood of tears.
“Notwithstanding the sweet example of Amelia, and the dangerous state of my health at that moment, Miss Beaumont had not sufficient self-command to restrain her virtuous indignation at the tale that she had heard ; but she broke out, with violence, against me and my unfortunate companions, exclaiming, that she could not have conceived it possible that art and want of decency could have carried any young women so far: and she was proceeding in this strain, when I said, 'O, Miss Beaumont! Miss Beaumont! much as I am to blame, you ought to remember, that you laid the foundation of this dreadful sin of which I have been guilty, by taking Gabrielle's part as you did, when first I came to school. It was this that encouraged Gabrielle to come about me, and that led me to think of her and seek her acquaintauce, thus enabling her to acquire that influence over me
which has brought me to this state. I know, I feel, that I have been very very wicked; but you also did very wrong in supporting that girl, and rendering her of so much consequence in
my eyes.' “I was astonished at the effect which this remark produced on Miss Beaumont. She was instantly silenced by it, and, turning from me, sobbed and wept bitterly; when, as I was endeavouring to say something which might, in some degree, tend to soften my harsh yet welldeserved censure, another attack of the spasms and vomiting coming on, I was so totally overcome, that I lost all recollection, and was quite insensible when Dr. HAmelia, and Mrs. Patterson returned, neither did I recover myself till I had been copiously bled.
“I know not what niedicines were given me when I was brought to myself, but probably they were exceedingly powerful opiates; for, after taking them, I soon fell into a state of stupefaction. I did not wake from this state till about noon, when, on opening my eyes, I saw Miss Beaumont sitting by me.
She had evidently been weeping bitterly, and I thought that I never before had seen her look more humble and kind. I asked for something to drink. She gave me some medicine, and then some toast-and-water: after which, being refreshed, I turned towards the other room, and saw several persons standing by Miss Chatterton's bed. I heard her call for Amelia, and I heard also Amelia's soft voice, in answer, saying, Here, my dear, here I am; what can
“ I endeavoured to raise myself a little to look at what was passing. I saw that Miss Atkins was lying quietly on her bed, but Miss Chatterton looked the very picture of death. Her eyes were sunk, and her colour was livid; and she was seized, every minute, with violent retchings, spasms, or fainting-fits. I saw several persons lift her out of bed, and put her into a hot bath, and I beheld her again laid upon her bed.
“In the mean time, I was again overpowered by sleep, and remained in that state till about six o'clock. This was the time when the family usually met for tea, and it was precisely the hour at which, on the evening before, I had received the spurious letter from my aunt, and had begun to prepare for my ill-advised expedition. O,' thought I, what an awful twenty-four hours have I
do for you?'