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fast asleep. The images of the few preceding days crowded upon my heated imagination, and I saw them pass again before me, and again 1 heard the same delightful strains, with this difference, however, that I imagined myself at Beaulieu. I forgot in my dream all that had happened since. I saw in it the image of him I had striven in vain to drive from my thoughts. I heard that voice I so dearly loved breathing his soft whispers in my ear. I heard him distinctly speak my name, and felt him take my hand. The agitation this occasioned caused me to awake. For a few minutes after I was so bewildered that I continued to think I was at Beaulieu, that my dream was a reality, and that I was waiting in the picture gallery at that place for the passing of Lord St. George.
In a short time, however, I was thoroughly roused to the reality of my situation, and as I started up in agony at my disappointment, I could not suppress a groan, while tears of anguish forced themselves down ny cheeks. I was soon compelled to exert myself and endeavour to conceal my feelings, as I saw several servants at the other end of the gallery passing and re-passing to the rooms of their respective ladies. Looking at my watch, I found I had been an hour; I therefore hurried, with perturbed feelings and a heavy heart, to the apartment of the marchioness. She awoke as I entered, and drawing back the bed-curtains after I had unclosed the shutters, she caught a glimpse of my disturbed countenance.
“What in the world is the matter with you?” she said.
“I feel very unwell madam," I replied.
“Nonsense, child, if you are going to be a delicate fine lady you will not suit me.”
I thought this a favourable opportunity to inform her ladyship again that I feared I could not remain with her, as I did not feel myself sufficiently strong to attend upon her. She seemed rather angry at first, and then said, “You shall try a little longer; a few long walks and rides will soon set you up. I have had five attendants within the last thirteen months, and I get tired changing them so often.”
Her ladyship did not give me the opportunity of saying more, but dressing herself very rapidly, and talking all the time of the way in which she proposed to amuse herself the following day, (Sunday,) she soon dismissed me.
I passed the whole day in the retirement of my own room, and looked forward to the morrow, when I might have the comfort and advantage of attending divine service in the village church, which I could see from my windows, embosomed in trees, within the beautiful park.
I rather dreaded that the marchioness would take me with her in one of her long rides or walks, and was greatly relieved when I found she meant to start early with a party who proposed to ride to a cathedral town eight or nine miles off. I was now free to attend church, which I reached after an agreeable and peaceful walk by myself.
I had given the sincerest attention to the service; and the last verse of a hymn was being sung before the sermon began, when, happening for the first time to raise my eyes from the book, what where my sensations when they met the sad, but steadfast gaze of the Duke of Beaulieu.
It was with the greatest difficulty I could keep myself from fainting, and for a moment, but only a moment, I conld not take my eyes from his. I had presence of mind sufficient to sit quietly down, for I must have fallen had I tried to stand an instant longer. All my good intentions in listening to the exhortations of the minister were at once frustrated. My head was bewildered, the church seemed to turn round, and nothing but the greatest exertions prevented my sinking upon the ground.
Perhaps it may be thought extraordinary that I felt so keenly after so many years had elapsed since I had last seen the object of my early love; but it must be remembered, that the duke had not been to me merely a lover, he had been for more than a year, as I thought,
my wedded husband. I had borne him a child. Therefore, in spite of all that had passed since, and of all my good resolutions, I could not see him without feelings of the strongest affection and regret.
I waited some time in the church after the company and family from the great house had left it, and as the autumn leaves fell thickly around me, while I crept more dead than alive back to the hall, I cannot describe how utterly desolate and wretched were my feelings.
Fortunately I encountered no one on my way, and by the time I reached my own room could hold up no longer. I sunk exhausted and wretched into a chair, but no tears came to my relief. Here I remained several hours, till summoned to attend the marchioness. I shall never forget how much it cost me to rouse myself to exertion, nor how terrified I felt lest I should encounter him I most feared, yet wished to see. I stole cautiously through the halls and ante-rooms, and fortunately reached the apartment of the marchioness uninterrupted. I had hardly strength to assist,