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ness and unkindness, had not been able to eradicate from her heart those deep-rooted sentiments of affection, which seem to have been entwined with our existence, and which, with some generous natures, end but with their being. Yes! there are ties that bind together those of one family, stronger than those of taste, or choice, or friendship, or reason; for they enable us to love, even in opposition to them all. It was understood the fugitives had gone to Germany; and after wonder and scandal were exhausted, and a divorce obtained, the Duchess of Altamont, except to her own family, was although she had never been. Such is the transition from grandeur to guilt—from guilt to insignificance Amongst the numerous visitors who flocked to Beech Park, whether from sympathy, or curiosity, or exultation, was Mrs. Downe Wright. None of these motives, singly, had brought that Lady there, for her purpose was, that of giving what she genteelly termed some good hits to the Douglas’ pride: a delicate mode of warfare, in which, it must be owned, the female sex greatly excel. Mrs. Downe Wright had not forgiven the indignity of her son having been refused by Mary, which she imputed entirely to Lady Emily’s influence, and had, from that moment, predicted the dowmfal of the whole pack, as she styled the family; at the same time always expressing her wish that she might be mistaken, as she wished them well—God knows she bore them no ill will, &c. She entered the drawing-room at Beech Park, with a countenance cast to a totally different expression from that with which she had greeted Lady Matilda Sufton’s widowhood. Melancholy would there have been appropriate, here it was insulting; and accordingly, with downcast eyes, and silent pressures of the hand, she saluted every member of the family, and inquired after their healths with that air of anxious solicitude, which implied, that if they were all well, it was what they ought not to be. Lady Emily’s quiek tact was presently aware of her design, and she prepared to take the field against her. “I had some difficulty in getting admittance to you,” said Mrs. Downe Wright. “The servant would fain have denied you; but, at such a time, I knew the visit of a friend could not fail of being acceptable, so I made good my way in spite of him.” * “I had given orders to be at home to friends only,” returned Lady Emily, “as there is no end to the inroads of acquaintances.” - “And poor Lady Juliana,” said Mrs. Downe Wright, in a tone of affected sympathy, “I hope she is able to see her friends P’’ “Did you not meet her?” asked Lady Emily carelessly : “She is just gone to Bath, for the purpose of securing a box during the term of Kean's engagement; she
would not trust to l'eloquence du billet upon such an occasion.” “I’m vastly happy to hear she is able for any thing of the kind,” in a tone of vehement and overstrained joy, rather unsuitable to the occasion. A well-feigned look of surprise from Lady Emily made her fear she had overshot her mark; she, therefore, as if from delicacy, changed the conversation to her own affairs. She soon contrived to let it be known, that her son was going to be married to a Scotch Earl’s daughter; that she was to reside with them ; and that she had merely come to Bath, for the purpose of letting her house— breaking up her establishment—packing up her plate—and, in short, making all those magnificent arrangements which wealthy -dowagers usually have to perform on a change of residence. At the end of this triumphant declaration, she added— “I fain would have the young people tive by themselves, and let me just go on
in my own way; but neither my son, nor Lady Grace, would hear of that, although her family are my son's nearest neighbours, and most sensible, agreeable people they are. Indeed, as I said to Lord Glenallan, a man’s happiness depends fully as much upon his wife’s family as upon herself.” Mary was too noble minded, to suspect that Mrs. Downe Wright could intend to level inuendos; but the allusion struck her: she felt herself blush ; and, fearful Mrs. Downe Wright would attribute it to a wrong motive, she hastened to join in the eulogium on the Benmavis family in general, and Lady Grace in particular. “Lady Benmavis is, indeed, a sensible well principled woman, and her daughters have been all well brought up.” Again Mary coloured at the emphasis which marked the sensible, well principled mother, and the well brought up daughters; and, in some confusion, she said something about Lady Grace's beauty.