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cealed; but I had an opportunity of feeing her as I passed by the door of her chamber, and beheld a melancholy 'example of extreme old age;
56 Of second childishness and mere oblivion;"
And I believe she was entirely ignorant of the whole transaction, in which, however, it is probable Mrs. Darnell had a share even from the first.
“ Three days had passed, the greatest part of which I had passed in the room where I slept; for at no other time would Mrs. Darnell suffer me to be absent from her sight. They had no reason to flatter themselves that they had made any progress in their design, for my coldness and aversion would have appeared to increase, if to increase were possible; I spoke in the plainest terms of my resolution never to change my mind in regard to Mr. Darnell; and I believe they were very much at a loss how to proceed, yet saw that their retreat was not unattended with danger. In reconnoitring the garden, even at9
tended as I was, I had observed an old green house, which had long since been dedicated to no other purpofe than keeping plants hung up for their feeds to dry, pots, mats, garden tools, and lumber, but there was a door opened in the back of it into a lane, as I saw by pushing against it at a moment when Mrs. Darnell was giving some directions to her gardener. I was almost sure that even if it was locked it was so much decayed that I could force it open. The difficulty; was how to get into the garden unperceived, and at an hour when I should not be missed, and to accomplish this I bent my whole thoughts, making light of the hazards I might afterwards have to encounter in a country to which I was a stranger, and which appeared to be remarkably wild and defolate.
“ The closet within my room, which had on the first night of my arrival been the subject of my dread, now I hoped offered the means of my escape, for I had discovered that the iron bars of the windows were a part of the casement, and not fala tened to the stone work, and I believed I could force myself through it, and defcend by the help of the vine, which co. vered also this side of the house, and was fo old that the enwreathed branches seemed capable of supporting a greater weight than mine."
Delmont shuddered—“And had you," said he,“ my Medora, courage to undertake this perilous experiment ?"
“ It was not so great an effort of courage, Delmont,” replied she. “ How often have I heard of greater hazards incurred by girls to fly from their parents ; I thought, I hoped, that I was hastening to mine, and hastening too,” added fhe, “ froin a man I detested to one who had all my love, áll my confidence, and with whom I was sure of finding happiness.”
To put an end to the acknowledg.. ments Delmont began to make for fo sweet and voluntary a declaration of her affection, Medora haftened to proceed with her narrative.
“I knew this way was the only one by which my getting out of the house was possible, for I had tried the maid, and had been repulsed; I had learned too that all the doors were locked every night, and the keys carried to Mrs. Darnell; and there was an house dog in the yard, which she assured me would tear to pieces any stranger who should venture about the buildings of a night. This dog was my principal dread; but of my confinement I saw no end, and it was absolutely necessary for me to hazard something ; I perceived that the hope of this woman and son was, that, in proportion as iny absence from my mother and abode with them was procrastinated, I should consider my marriage inevitable, and be induced to consent to it. While I, alas! thought that my mother's not hearing from me might occasion to her illness or death.On the third day of my most unwilling refidence, however, an opportunity offered, which I seized, to write to you. A travelling Scotchman came to the house: VOL. IV.
Mrs. Darnell, always eager after dress and fashions, ordered him in, and her son infisted on presenting us with muslins and ribbons. I positively refused to accept any thing, but left the room, and snatched up a pen,
with which I wrote the few words you have told me you received at Upwood. I did not till then know the house I was in was in Yorkshire, and the name, whether Dartnell or Darnell, I was yet less perfect in, because I always suspected it was not really the name borne by the man, or at least not by his mother, who had had several husbands; but I wrote in fuch hafte and dread that I knew not what were the words I put on the paper, which having with trembling hands sealed and directed, I ran down again to the pedlar, and for almost the first time in my
life uttered a fentence meditated to deceive. I told Mrs. Darnell that I should be extremely glad to purchase some linen and a gown, as nothing could be fo distreffing as my present want of clothes. The foolish woman, with whom