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tion, that most insidious of all complaints. She never dared venture out of doors during the whole of February and March, and she suffered at times dreadfully from a harassing cough. Yet I never heard her complain, nor did she ever show the least symptom of impatience.
To me she was invariably most gentle and considerate, and I can truly say, though almost my whole time was occupied in attending on her, and in reading or playing to her, I never felt fatigue ; on the contrary, I experienced real pleasure in serving and contributing to the amusement of one who was so very kind to me.
Colonel D'Arcy was a fine military-looking man, about forty, most warmly attached to his gentle wife, and devoted every moment of the time that he could spare from his parliamentary and other duties, to her society.
Towards April, as the weather became milder, she ventured to take a drive in the carriage into the Park, and when not accompanied by the colonel, she took me with her.
· In one of these drives, as we returned through Bond Street, she begged me to get out and pay a bill for her. I did so, and just as I was leaving the shop to step into the carriage, a person who was crossing my path stopped to let me pass. I raised my eyes, when they fell on the face of Lord St. George's page. The very man who had been present, and who had, in fact, given me away on the occasion of my unhappy false marriage.
I stopped for a moment, quite unable to proceed, while he also paused, and looked confused and distressed.
Observing, however, the footman letting down the steps of the carriage for me, he hastily passed on, first bowing to me in the most humble and respectful manner.
This little incident made me very unhappy the whole day, for it brought a crowd of tender and painful recollections to my mind, but I contrived to conceal from my gentle mistress the uneasiness I felt.
Just opposite to our house resided, for the
season, Sir Owen and Lady Price, relations of Mrs. D'Arcy. They were, as their names denoted, natives of Wales, and though of small fortune, were of an ancient family and highly connected.
I was much struck by the extreme beauty of a young lady about eighteen years of age, who resided with them. She was, as I understood from Mrs. D'Arcy, the orphan daughter of a cousin of Lady Price; and as she was left with nothing but her beauty, good sense, and accomplishments, her kind relative, taking pity on her friendless state, took her under the shelter of her roof.
Such beauty as Miss Wogan's could not long pass unnoticed; and as it excited the admiration of the men, so it raised envy in the bosoms of the women, and she was called by the latter, in derision, “ The Welsh Heiress.”
It so happened, after I had been a few months in the family of Mrs. D'Arcy, that the Duchess of the leader of the haut ton, sent out cards for a select and brilliant ball.
Colonel and Mrs. D'Arcy being very intimate
with her grace, were amongst the chosen three hundred invited.
The delicate state of Mrs. D'Arcy's health precluded her accepting the invitation, and she once or twice expressed her wish in my presence to the colonel, that it were possible the tickets could be transferred, as she should be so much pleased to bestow hers upon the portionless Cambrian beauty. This, however, was out of the question, and she was therefore pleased and surprised, when two days before the ball, Lady Price came over to call upon and tell her, that to her astonishment, Sir Owen, herself, and her young relative had received cards of invitation for the much-envied ball.
“ Our acquaintance with the duchess is so slight,” said Lady Price, “that I can hardly account for the invitation."
Mrs. D'Arcy was also much surprised at the lateness of the invitation, and a thought struck her which, weak as she was, made all the Welsh blood in her veins rush to her faded cheeks. She remembered reading an account