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without me. It was in a great measure ofte ing to your generosity, beloved uncle, that I was enabled to acquire those languages, and shall I not employ in your service some part of the good you have conferred? Do you think me heartless, base, ungrateful? Oh, do not so wrong me!...... I will not rise till you say that you consent.”
“Ah, Ellen! my matchless child, you know not what you ask. Can you bear the pilgrimage of Poverty? Can you put up with a temper soured by reverses? Can you forego, in the very dawn of your beauty, all opportunity of conquest, all hopes of admiration, to follow me and my poor friends, in a wretched journey to a remote region?”
“I can, I will! I shall be with you, uncle, happier, far happier by your side in : dungeon, than without you on the throne of the world. Father, mother, plead for me !"
The Reverend Gregory came forward. “Bro
ther,” he said, “take her, and with her my blessing, and let her true heart and earnest love redeem this family in your opinion from the odious charge of black ingratitude you must prefer against it. I will accompany you to town. I little thought ever to see London again; but even I may be of some service. Be quick, then, my Ellen.”
Mr. Lindsay raised Ellen, and clasped her to his heart; he wrung his brother's hand. “ Fear not for her,” he said; “I can yet collect enough from the wreck of my fortune to save her and all of us from want.”
“But, brother, my purse is yours. Let me, in this the hour of your distress, repay some part of the great debt of obligation you have heaped on me and mine.”
Mrs. Lindsay gave her husband a warning look, and, perceiving he heeded it not, under pretence of seeking for her handkerchief, contrived to tread on his foot, and press his arm, but in vain. He looked angrily up, and then
reurged the offer, which, however, Mr. Lindsay declined.
“God will bless her, angel as she is, I'm sure,” said Augusta. “I would have offered to go with you, uncle, but that, in travelling, every additional person is an additional expense, and nothing one could do could atone for that.”
“ No," said Mrs. Lindsay, who did not at all like to lose Ellen; “I am sure even Ellen will be much in your way."
“Silence, woman!” said the Reverend Gregory. “Ellen goes with her uncle.”
“And you, dear friends,” asked Mr. Lindsay, turning to Miss Tibby, Annie, and Grunter—"are you disposed to follow me in this sad exile?”
“I shared your prosperity,” said Miss Tibby, heroically coming forward, “and I wunna desert you in your adversity."
Poor old thing ! she seemed to think that she was doing him a great service by clinging
to him, forgetful that dependents make the poor poorer!
“I shall help Ellen to work, to toil, to beg for you,” sobbed Annie.
“Will help Ellen to work, to toil, to beg ......” growled Grunter.
“ Will......” sobbed Annie.
“ And,” said Grunter, rising, and putting his best leg foremost, “I will follow you all over the world. Yes, sir, I will follow you .....as the accusative follows the verb.”
“Farewell, then, Mrs. Lindsay,” said the Ruined Man, extending his hand, as he saw that she was moved to tears—“ Farewell! as you are Ellen's mother, I will say, sister. Yet I blame you not that, since our downfall, you have discovered we are valueless and full of defects. It requires a keener eye than yours to detect the fine painting, when no golden frame encases it; yet, one day, you will own we were, spite of our present state, originals indeed.”
Mrs. Lindsay had nothing to say; so she only wept, as did Augusta.
In two hours, the large travelling-carriage was at the door: the spaniels barked, the cockatoo screeched. Augusta and her mother wept (for Ellen was very dear even to their worldly hearts). Ellen's tears fell silently; she would not for worlds her uncle should have seen them. The Reverend Gregory donned his clerical great-coat and broad-brimmed bat. He had not been to London for twenty years ! Away rolled the heavily-laden carriage.
Mrs. Lindsay and Augusta waved their hands and handkerchiefs, till the carriage was out of sight; and then old Lindsay put his arm round Ellen, and, straining her to him, said, “May God bless and reward you, Ellen !"
“Suppose we invite Sir Peter to tea ?" said Mrs. Lindsay, to Augusta, when they were alone. “Come, there's no use in fretting! all is for the best. You must fix the day, you know safe bind, safe find. Poor Ellen!