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Within a few days of the departure of Pendennyss---Chatterton was surprised
with the entrance of his mother and Catherine. His reception of them, was that
of a respectful child, and his wife exerted herself to be kind to connexions
she could not love, in order to give pleasure to a husband she adored---their
tale was soon told---Lord and Lady Herriefield were separated; and the Dowager
alive to the dangers of a young woman in Catherine s situation, and without a
single principle, on which to rest the assurance of her blameless conduct in
future--- had brought her to England, in order to keep off disgrace, by
residing with her child herself.
There was nothing in his wife to answer the expectations with which Lord
Herriefield married--she had beauty, but with that, he was already sated---her
simplicity and unsuspicious behaviour, which had, by having her attention
drawn elsewhere, at first charmed him, was succeeded by the knowing conduct,
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of a determined follower of the fashions, and a decided woman of the world.
It had never struck the Viscount, as impossible, that an artless and innocent
girl would fall in love with his faded and bilious face --but the moment
Catherine betrayed the arts of a manager, he saw at once the artifice that had
been practised upon himself--- of course, he ceased to love her.
Men are flattered, for a season, with the notice of a woman, that has been
unsought, but it never fails to injure her in the opinion of the other sex, in
time---without a single feeling in common, without a regard to any thing but
self, in either husband or wife, it could not but happen that a separation
must follow, or their days be spent in wrangling and misery.
Catherine willingly left her husband--her husband more willingly got rid of
her.
During all these movements, the Dowager had a difficult game to play--it was
unbecoming her to encourage the strife, and it was against her wishes to
suppress it--she therefore moralized with the peer, and frowned upon her
daughter.
The viscount listened to her truisms, with the attention of a boy, who is
told by a drunken father, how wicked it is to love liquor, and heeded them
about as much; while Kate, mistress, at all events, of two thousand a
year--minded her mother s frowns as little as she regarded her smiles--both
were indifferent to her.
A few days after the ladies left Lisbon, the Viscount proceeded to Italy, in
company with the repudiated wife of a British naval officer; and if Kate was
not guilty, of an offence of equal magnitude, it was more owing to her
mother s present vigilance, than to her previous care.
The presence of Mrs. Wilson was a great source of consolation to Emily in the
absence of her husband; and as their abode in town any longer was useless, the
Countess declining to be presented without the Earl, the whole family decided
upon a return into Northamptonshire.
The deanery had been furnished by order of Pendennyss immediately on his
marriage; and its mistress hastened to take possession of her new dwelling.
The amusement and occupation of this movement ---the planning of little
improvements-- her various duties under her increased responsibilities, kept
Emily from dwelling in her thoughts, unduly upon the danger of her husband.
She sought out amongst the first objects of her bounty, the venerable peasant,
whose loss had been formerly supplied by Pendennyss on his first visit to B--,
after the death of his father; there might not have been the usual
discrimination and temporal usefulness in her charities in this instance which
generally accompanied her benevolent acts; but it was associated with the
image of her husband, and it could excite no surprise in Mrs. Wilson, although
it did in Marian, to see her sister, driving two or three times a week, to
relieve the necessities of a man, who appeared actually to be in want of
nothing.
Sir Edward was again amongst those he loved, and his hospitable board was
once more surrounded with the faces of his friends and neighbours. The
good-natured Mr. Haughton was always a welcome guest at the hall, and met,
soon after their return, the collected family of the baronet, at a dinner
given by the latter to his children, and one or two of his most intimate
neighbours--
 My Lady Pendennyss, cried Mr. Haughton, in the course of the afternoon,  I
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have news from the Earl, which I know it will do your heart good to hear.
Emily smiled her pleasure at the prospect of hearing, in any manner,
favourably of her husband, although she internally questioned the probability
of Mr. Haughton s knowing any thing of his movements, which her daily letters
did not apprise her of.
 Will you favour me with the particulars of your intelligence, sir? said the
Countess.
 He has arrived safe with his regiment near Brussels; I heard it from a
neighbour s son who saw him in that city, enter the house occupied by
Wellington, while he was standing in the crowd without, waiting to get a peep
at the duke.
 Oh! said Mrs. Wilson with a laugh,  Emily knew that ten days ago; could
your friend tell us any thing of Bonaparte, we are much interested in his
movements just now.
Mr. Haughton, a good deal mortified to find his news stale, mused a moment as
if in doubt to proceed or not; but liking of all things to act the part of a
newspaper, he continued--
 Nothing more than you see in the prints; but I suppose your ladyship has
heard about Captain Jarvis too?
 Why, no, said Emily laughing,  the movements of Captain Jarvis are not
quite as interesting to me, as those of Lord Pendennyss--has the duke made him
an aid-decamp?
 Oh! no, cried the other exculting in his success in having something new,
 as soon as he heard of the return of Boney,--he threw up his commission and
got married.
 Married! cried John,  not to Miss Harris, surely.
 No, to a silly girl he met in Cornwall, who was fool enough to be caught
with his gold lace. He married one day, and the next, told his disconsolate
wife, and panicstruck mother, the honour of the Jarvis s must sleep, until the
supporters of the name became sufficiently numerous to risk losing them, in
the field of battle.
 And how did Mrs. Jarvis and Sir Timo s lady relish the news? inquired John,
expecting something ridiculous.
 Not at all, rejoined Mr. Haughton;  the former sobbed, and said, she had
only married him for his bravery and red coat, and thelady exclaimed against
the destruction of his budding honours.
 How did it terminate? asked Mrs. Wilson.
 Why, it seems while they were quarrelling about it, the war office cut the
matter short by accepting his resignation. I suppose the commander in chief
had learnt his character; but the matter was warmly contested--they even drove
the captain to declare his principles.
 And what kind of ones might they have been, Haughton? said Sir Edward
dryly.
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 Republican.
 Republican! exclaimed two or three in surprise.
 Yes, liberty and equality, he contended, were his idols, and he could not
find it in his heart to fight against Bonaparte. [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]