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him with her sweetest smiles. But Frederick, instead of evincing an increased animation, or shewing any unusual elation of spirits, seemed agitated and embarrassed, and there was a something in his whole appearance which alarmed Augusta, though she scarcely knew wherefore. His cheek was considerably flushed, his bair disordered, and care and solicitude sat on his brow. He took no notice of the compliments paid him by the countess, but requested the favour of a few moments' private conversation with Lady Augusta, which request was instantly complied with by her mother, who walked out of the room, and, closing the door after her, left the young people together.
Augusta, when left with Frederick, seated herself on a sofa in a recess of the window, waiting patiently till her companion should speak : but he kept her for some moments in suspense, while he paced the room, evidently in violent agitation. At length, turning suddenly towards her, and looking upon her with no small expression of disturbance within, “O, Augusta!” he said, “you whom I have loved from my infancy, you who alone, of all women, have ever possessed my heart, tell me, now,-must I forfeit you, together with the great possessions which I am about to deliver up to their rightful owner? or will
upon me an eternal weight of obligations, by sharing with me my sacrifice to justice, and partaking with me the humble lot to which I was destined at my birth?”
Augusta trembled, blushed, and hesitated. At length, she said, “ Frederick, I do not understand you: what is it you propose ?"
Frederick approached her. He seated himself by her on the sofa; he alsu took her hand and pressed it to his lips. He looked earnestly upon her. Her beautiful face was covered with blushes, and a tear stole down her cheeks. Augusta,” he said, “I have written to Robert, and I have declared my determination of delivering up to him the whole of what his father left me.”
Augusta started. She drew her hand from his.. Anger inflamed every feature; and recoiling, as it were, from him, as he sat near her, “You have done this, Frederick?” she said. “You are actually resolved to reject the good fortune which was offered you; and you
expect me to encourage you in this folly, and to prove my regard, by upholding you in an act of the grossest absurdity?
“ I did not expect all this from you, Augusta,” replied Frederick: “I anticipated no difficulty on your part, and I believed that you would have assisted me in reconciling your noble parents to that step which I am determined to take.”
“ You had formed a very high opinion, then, of your own perfections, and of my regard,” returned Augusta, with a smile of contempt, “ if you supposed that I should think a marriage with you such an object, that I should be ready to take you in one hand, and beggary in the other.”
“ Beggary!" returned Frederick, rising from the couch;
beggary, Augusta! Have I not a thousand a year, a comfortable house, independent of any fortune you might have had? Oh, Augusta! Augusta!" he said, “ you have awakened me from a dream, a dream of delight, in which, had it lasted much longer, I might have ceased to look forward to the happiness of another world. But all is right,” he added, striking his hand on his forehead, and then clasping both hands together, and looking upwards, “ all thou ordainest is ,
" right, o
God. Henceforward may I love thee, and thee only!” Then turning again to the young lady, and holding out his hand to her, “Shall we part, my beloved ?" he said. “ Must I renounce either my integrity or the woman I have loved from childhood ? Will you give your hand to the humble Frederick Falconer, and attach him to yourself for ever by this condescension? or will you renounce him, as he has done the fortune which he could not accept without injustice and ingratitude? Speak my beloved; speak but one word, and make me the happiest, as I shall be the most highly favoured of men.”
The young lady wept violently. Frederick thought she was deliberating in his favour. He drew nearer to her, and was about to take her hand, when, rejecting him with scorn, “ No, Frederick," she said, “I repeat
, to you, that I will not uphold you in the folly you meditate. No, if you can resolve thus to throw away my future comfort, I cannot suppose your regard to be such
as it ought to be. That I love you, Frederick, that I · have always loved you, I do not deny: but I caunot, I never will, consent to the foolish sacrifice you are about to make. Let us now part, and it will depend on what you resolve, whether we ever meet again in any other character than that of common acquaintance.” So saying, she arose, and, while still weeping, left the room.
The eyes of Frederick followed her, as she passed along the splendid apartment; and, as soon as she had shut the door behind her, he left the room by another outlet, quitted the Castle, and, making the best of his way to the parsonage, shut himself up in his own chamber, where he was confined a few days with a slight fever, occasioned by the excessive agitation which he had endured for some hours past.
Five days had passed during which Frederick had been obliged to keep his chamber, in which time he enjoyed much peace of mind, the consequence of the divine blessing upon his honourable intentions. When able to leave his room, he had several visits from Lord and Lady V-, which ended only in increased displeasure on the part of these noble individuals, who represented his determination of giving up the estate to Robert as an act of the grossest folly, and assured him that they never would consent to his marriage with their daughter, if he persisted in this absurdity. But, through the divine blessing, he was enabled to adhere to his first determination, and was almost brought to feel, that Augusta was not the woman who would have made him happy, though her peculiar loveliness had hitherto blinded him to this truth.
It was on the occasion of the last visit of this noble pair to Mr. Falconer, and at the moment when they were about to take their leave, that a travelling-carriage drove up to the door of the parsonage, from which sprang
Sir Robert Lambert. Frederick hastened into the hall to receive him, and was about to take Robert in his arms, when the young man fell at his feet, embraced his knees, burst into tears, and exclaimed, my friend! my Frederick! you have,
Frederick ! you have, at length, more than conquered me. I see your merits, and my own injustice. Oh, pardon, pardon your Robert. Give me your friendship: give me my father's legacy, and retain your estate; you are more worthy of it than I am. Yours it
is, and yours it shall be: my father judged wisely: you alone deserve it.”
Lord and Lady V-, who, from the inner apartment, heard all that was passing, looked at each other, and were astonished. They saw Frederick lift up Robert and embrace him, and heard him declare that he never would deprive him of his natural rights. “ I do not want these possessions, my dear cousin," he said, “they would not make me happier; I am content with what I have.-A man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” (Luke xii. 15.)
In this manner, and to this purpose, they young men had for some time persevered in their contest of generosity, when Lord and Lady V- interrupted them, by passing through the hall to their carriage. Robert started at the sight of them, bowed, and drew back, but Frederick stepped forward to hand Lady V- to carriage.
The noble pair took a formal leave of Frederick, who stood at the door of the house looking at the carriage till it was out of sight. Then, fetching a deep sigh, he returned to Robert, who began immediately to renew his entreaties that his cousin would at least share his father's fortune with him.
• My dear Robert,” said Frederick, we have, in the excellent Mr. Day, a common friend and father, whom we may hope to see in a few days. I insist on giving up the estate to you; and what you shall do for me shall be left to the. arbitration of this friend. I repeat to you, that I want nothing. I have already all I require for myself
, and even much more. At one time I thought of marrying, but at present my views on that subject are altered. But we will leave this matter now. Make
your friend, my cousin; grant me but your confidence; and henceforward may we be as dear brothers who have but one interest, and who may hope to spend a happy eternity together when these perishable scenes shall have passed away.”
I shall not repeat all that Sir Robert said in reply to this. Suffice it to add, that the removal of his suspicions of Frederick seemed to have, with the divine blessing, a sudden and happy influence upon his whole mind and character. He now was enabled to see and
to honour the beautiful and glorious effects of religion on the human heart; he was also made to perceive the violence, impetuosity, and injustice of his own conduct through life; and he was, in consequence, humbled, being rendered dubious of his own judgment, and willing to submit it to that of his friend, whose character, as I before said, was now discovered to him in its true colours. But to proceed with our narrative.
Robert, for several days after his arrival, still remained with Frederick, resolving to await the return of Mr. Day before he proceeded to the arrangement of his affairs, or the further inspection of papers. It appears, that Lady Frances had by her conduct so entirely forfeited the respect of her husband, that it could no longer be required of him to pay her the attention due to every reputable wife: and it therefore can be no matter of astonishment that he received the account of her death, which was forwarded by Mr. Day, and arrived a few days after Sir Robert reached the parsonage, with sentiments, if not altogether of thankfulness, at least of a mixed feeling. Mr. Day informed him, in the letter which brought an account of his lady's death, that it was his intention to follow this letter as soon as possible after the funeral: and he accordingly appeared within twenty-four hours of the time intimated.
The meeting between Mr. Day and his two pupils, after so many eventful
occurrences had taken place in the family, was very affecting; and when he was made acquainted with the noble conduct of Frederick, and the present generous and penitent feelings of Robert, the good gentleman melted into tears, and exclaimed, while lifting up
and hands to heaven, “O my God, I thank thee that thou hast heard my prayers: I am, indeed, blessed in my children!”
When Mr. Day had somewhat recovered the fatigue of his journey, he entered into the business of arbitration between his pupils, having first insisted that they should abide by his determination.
“ I have by me,” said Mr. Day, " the outline of a will made by your poor father while you, Robert, were at the University; and I think that we cannot do better than abide by this will, supposing the last not to be in existence with respect to yourself and Frederick. By