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ject, by telling him she had a letter for him from dear mamma-meaning his mother, under whose surveillance she had been forcibly immured at Brighton.
About this period Fanny retired, and proceeded to the drawing-room, cautioning us, as she departed, “not to be long." Charles flew to the door, and opened it for his departing fair--he accompanied her beyond its threshold, and I thought I heard a sound of something very like a kiss, as they parted.
“ How strange it is,” said he, resuming his seat and pushing the wine towards me," that you should have thus accidentally fallen in with Fanny!-she is very pretty; don't you think so?”
“More than pretty, surely,” said I; "there is an intelligence, an expression, a manner about her, to me quite captivating."
“ If you were present when she is animated,” said her husband, "you would see that playfulness of countenance, or rather, the variety of expression to advantage; her mind lights ир her features wonderfully; there is no want of spirit about her, I can assure you.”
“I was quite surprised when I heard of your elopement,” said 1.
"Her mother,” said Charles, "an old woman as proud as Lucifer, was mad after a title for her, and some old brokendown lord had been wheedled, or coaxed, or cajoled, or flattered into making her an offer, which she would not accept; and then the old lady led her such a life, that she made up her mind to the step which made her mine."
“ And ensured your happiness,” said I.
“Why yes,” said Franklin, “ upon my word, taking all things into the scale, I see no cause to repent the step. Between ourselves--of course I speak as an old friend-Fanny has not the very best temper in the world, and of late has taken it into her head to be jealous. An old acquaintance of mine, whom I knew long before I was married, has been
over here from France, and I have been a good deal about with her, during her stay; and as I did not think her quite a person to introduce to Fanny, she took huff at my frequent absence from home, and began to play off a sort of retaliation, as she fancied it, with a young lieutenant of lancers of our acquaintance. I cut that matter very short; I proposed an excursion to Brighton to visit my mother, to which she acceded, and when I had settled her out of reach of her young hero, and under the eye of my mamma, I returned to fulfil my engagements in London. And now that this fair obstacle to her happiness has returned to the Continent, I have recalled my better half.”
“You seem, however, to understand each other pretty well," said I.
“ To be sure," replied Charles; "the only point is to keep her in a good humour, for, entre nous, her temper is the very devil-once know how to manage that, and all goes well," and I flatter myself I have ascertained the mode of doing that to a nicety.”
Whether it was, that Fanny was apprehensive, that under the genial influence of her husband's wine, or upon the score of old friendship, I might let slip some part of the day's adventure, I know not, but we were very early summoned to coffee, and, I confess, I was by no means displeased at the termination of a conversation which every moment I expected would take some turn that would inevitably produce a recurrence to the journey, and, perhaps, eventually tend to betray the confidence which the oppressed wife had reposed in me.
We repaired to the drawing-room.-.Fanny was reclining on the sofa, looking as fascinating as ever I saw a lady look.
• Charles, dearest,” said she, “I thought you would never come up; you and your friend must have had something very interesting to talk about to detain you so long."
“We didn't think it long, Fan,” said Charles, “because we
really were talking on a very interesting subject--we were discussing you."
“Oh, my dear Charles !” exclaimed the lady, “ you flatter me; and what did he say of me?” said she, addressing
“ That,” said I, "I cannot tell you : I never betray anything that is told me in confidence."
Her looks explained that she was particularly glad to hear me say so, and the smile which followed was gracious in the extreme.
“Now," said Charles, “ that you have thus strangely found your way here, I hope we shall see you often."
“ And I hope so, too,” said Mrs. Franklin ; " I really believe sometimes that things which we blind mortals call chance are pre-ordained. I was not coming by the coach in which I met you, nor should I have been in it, if the other coach had not been full, and then-_"
“I should have lost the pleasure,” said I, “ of seeing an old friend enjoying the delights of domestic happiness.”
Here Fanny gave me a look expressive of the perfect misery of her condition; and Charles, whose back was turned towards us at the instant, in coming up the room again, while her back was turned to him, made a sort of face, something between the sorrowful and the grotesque, which I shall never forget, but which indicated, most unequivocally, what his feelings on the subject were.
Shortly after this, the happy pair began to be so excessively kind and tender to each other, that I thought it was quite time to beat a retreat, and accordingly took my leave, earnestly pressed by both parties to repeat my visit as often as I could, and to let them see as much of me as possible. I returned them my warmest thanks for their kindness, but named no day for my return, and wished them good night.
I have not been there since. I called, indeed, once, and Charles called on me, but I have been little in London during
the last season, and they have been much in the country. I could not have equitably maintained an intimacy with them, for I felt neutrality would be quite out of the question; thus, although the recurrence of my old friendship with Charles Franklin has been productive of no very satisfactory results as relate to ourselves personally, it has given me an additional light in my path through the world ; and now, whenever I see a picture of perfect happiness presented to my eyes, affection on one side and devotion on the other, siduity met by kindness, and solicitude repaid with smiles, instead of feeling my heart glow with rapture at the beautiful scene before me, I instantly recollect that I once travelled to London in the BRIGHTON COACH.
BY MISS L.
Water--the mighty, the pure, the beautiful, the unfathomable—where is thy element so glorious as it is in thy own domain, the deep seas ? What an infinity of power is in the far Atlantic, the boundary of two separate worlds, apart like those of memory and of hope! or in the bright Pacific, whose tides are turned to gold by a southern sun, and in whose bosom sleep a thousand isles, each covered with the verdure, the flowers, and the fruit of Eden! But, amid all thy hereditary kingdoms, to which hast thou given beauty, as a birthright, lavishly as thou hast to thy favourite Mediterranean ? The silence of a summer night is now sleeping on its bosom, where the bright stars are mirrored, as if in its depths they had another home and another heaven. A spirit, cleaving air midway between the two, might have paused to ask which was sea, and which was sky. The shadows of earth and earthly things, resting omen-like upon the waters, alone showed which was the home and which the mirror of the celestial host.
But the distant planets were not the only lights reflected from the sea; an illuminated villa, upon the extreme point of a small rising on the coast, flung down a flood of radiance from a thousand lamps. From the terrace came the breath of the orange-plants, whose white flowers were turned to silver in the light which fell on them from the windows. Within the hall were assembled, the fairest and noblest of Sicily