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DA R L I S T O N.

CHAP. XLI.

| directly he put the right sort of letter into my

hand. Here it is, A LITTLE COMPORT. SONGS, AND A SCOLDING.

| “MY DEAR MRS. GAINSBOROUGH,-Whe

ther mischance or desigo has ruled that my letter I went early to Cedar Lawn ; and, as I of the 30th July should not have arrived, it is a hoped, found Mr. Ainslie at home. He admitted circumstance to me of very serious concern. I that in order to balance the difficulties accruing i would not for anything have given Helen cause from Mr. Wainwright's precarious state of to think we so negligent, even if all had been at health, it was necessary we should do as much its best with her. Mr. Wainwright's illness, as possible to strengthen Helen's position. The your absence, the disclosure of the imposture of ladies were preparing for a party at Mrs. Well- the man who calls himself Witbam, and the wood's which was to take place the Thursday return of Grant Wainwright, are all so many following, and although Alice appeared very occurrences inclining me the more to deprecate ready to give up the pleasure, her mamma was the circumstance. Helen does not appear to much averse to her so doing. Mr. Ainslie, how impute the affair on the marsh to any more ever, arranged matters in a satisfactory way by serious design than might have endangered deciding that Alice could be sent for in time to her watch ; but I am far from convinced it is dress for the party, and might return to Dar. wise to think lightly about it, and havo written liston Hall the next morning.

on the subject to Mr. Ainslie. Some trustI was invited upstairs to a room which still worthy attendant must be provided to accompany bore the name of the nursery, to give my her rides. opinion on millinery matters ; and could not

la not! “ In regard to Mr. Wainwrigbt's nephew ;

a but sympathize in Mr. Ainslie's anxiety that Alice's pretty little figure should be set off to

1 I am glad to learn his conduct is so much

amended, and cannot think I have much to fear fair advantage, especially as this was to be her

from his mere assiduities. Helen is, I think, of first appearance at a “grand” party : 80, considering much had yet to be done, I did not

too earnest a nature to engage in a flirtation, or urge ber leaving home before Saturday evening.

encourage attentions she knows must be proThe pretty tarlatane dresses, the flowers and

ductive of no good purpose to the bestower. I ribbons, and the pleasurable anticipations so

complained, I remember, in a former letter, that evident among the ladies, incited me to regret

she would hardly condescend enough towards that dear Helen and myself had not been free

myself ; I cannot fear my right-minded English to accept the invitation sent to us. I wondered

girl will suffer any presumptuous suit from Alice could be so apparently insensible to the

another. Before this reaches you I shall be in attractions of the occasion.

Vienna and, I trust, may find letters calculated Returning home to my early dinner I after

to reassure me. wards spent the remainder of the day with “ Perhaps I am needlessly anxious; but if Helen. We sat in the drawing-room except at you knew how more and more precious to me tea-time. Grant Wainwright had been in are the hopes I have built on my dear Helen, during the morning, but did not intrude upon you would not wonder that in the present try

ing state of things some foolish dread should ..! promised to walk over with the letters cross my mind concerning her. I may not now directly they arrived and took care to be attired speak of my Italian travels ; I bore with me ready for the occasion before the postman came such responsibilities as have not hitherto been

How indifferent he looked! he was posi- my portion, and my thoughts have necessarily tively sauntering. I suppose it might be ex. been much devoted to them ; but in such cusable as he had come up hill on a warm moments as were free I have had strange enjoy. morning. I thought of that excuse for himment, and ever in such enjoyment has been

us.

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