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the walls of which some trees were seen just budding into life. The courteous and kind nun who acted as portress, replied to Captain Ambrose's question (for this is the name by which we shall call the gentleman), that this was not the Convent of the Good Shepherd, but the Benedictine Convent. “ You will not,” said she, " have much difficulty in finding the other Convent. If you will go round the corner to the left, and walk on till you come opposite the old church. This is King-street: you must turn your back, as it were, to London, and leave the Richmond-road to your right. You will turn again to your left when you get to the old church, and soon arrive at a public-house, and there you must take the right hand turning, which will bring you to the Convent of the Good Shepherd. It is situated in Fulham-lane, and any one will show you the house. If you should be at a loss ask for Beauchamp Lodge, as sometimes it is better known by the name it had before the present order was founded there.” The Captain thanked the obliging nun, and bowing with much respect, as well on account of her holy habit as for the trouble she had taken in directing him, followed her instrụctions, and soon arrived at a
large new looking building with an iron cross over the gate, and another on the house. He rang the Convent bell, and as he waited to be let in, he half muttered, half thought, “Oh my God! it is a heavy cross laid on a father's heart. Had it been Thy holy will, I would gladly have laid my Rachel in the grave ere she had lived to bring this blight upon her family, this disgrace on her sainted mother's memory! But for whatever reason Thy wisdom has permitted this degradation, it shall be borne. Perhaps I took pride in my poor Rachel's appearance, and—” his cogitations were interrupted by the little sliding-panel being drawn back, and the portress looked out.
"Can I speak with the Superioress on business ?” “Have you a letter of introduction ?" asked the cautious inmate of the Convent, “ or will you give your name ?” Whilst Captain Ambrose drew out his card-case, the portress replaced the sliding-panel, and opened the Convent door. Ushered into the neat little parlour, our friend gave his card, and was politely told by the portress that the Superioress was engaged at that moment, but she would tell her that a gentleman wished to speak to her on
business. Sister Mary Joseph, the portress, saw that the gentleman was in trouble, and with the simple delicacy of a pious uncultivated mind, placed what she thought the most entertaining book in the house before the visitor, saying, she thought Reverend Mother would very soon be able to come to him. Captain Ambrose looked over the list of subscribers in the book given him to read, and mechanically repeated some noble names who had given to a noble work, sums which did honour to their rank, and other names of less weight, though perhaps, before God, of greater merit, for having given their “mite,” but his heart was far away, with the guilty and suffering—his daughter Rachel, the only child of his beloved Theresa, who in giving birth to this infant had rendered her pure soul to God. Captain Ambrose had married again, and was the father of four other children, a son and three daughters, but Rachel was the child of his affections, the sweet deposit a most virtuous mother had left to his tender care, and for some twelve years the companion and playmate of her doating father. At his second marriage, she had been sent to a convent to finish her education, which, owing to the want of a mother's care, had
been sadly neglected ; and for five years she returned home only during the holidays. At seventeen years of age she was introduced into the gay world, thrown into the military society incidental to her father's moving with his regiment, and what wonder, so much separated from her mother-in-law, there should be little cordiality or affection between them? They lived on polite terms, but without confidence. Beautiful and light-hearted, the pride of her father, sought for by all who wished to give éclat to their entertainments, with a remarkable talent for music, and a rich cultivated voice, it is not to be supposed that Rachel was long without contracting some feelings of vanity and self-esteem. Let us draw a veil over the sad and tragic scene which followed with Rachel, in this important era of woman's life. Flattered by the notice of one of much higher rank than her father's position and fortune could reasonably claim as an alliance for his daughter, the splendid match Miss Ambrose was going to make was first the talk of the military station where her unfortunate acquaintance with Lord Henry Greenwood was made ; the removal of Lord Henry's regiment, herflight, and the disgrace attending it, next occupied the gossips of C- , and after a few pitying remarks on her bereaved father, the belle of the town, the admired of the admired, was scarcely ever thought of by the giddy numbers who live only for the present. Such is the world; and Captain Ambrose having obtained a change of station, none but his affectionate wife saw how deep the furrows on his high forehead were grown, nor how in a few months his iron grey hair had become snow white. At the age of forty-five, he felt an old man, and it was the thought only of his four young children, the eldest his dear boy, only seven, which supported him under this withering blow.
But we have left the poor gentleman long enough in the parlour of the Convent. The Superioress and Assistante entered. Having pronounced the words enjoined by their rule, “Dieu soit béni!” the Reverend Mother, with much grace and kindness, begged Captain Ambrose to be seated. As he did not speak, she in very clear and good English, but with a slight foreign accent, raised her eyes, and said : “You inquired for the Superioress on business, and I am sorry I could not come before, but I was making arrangements for the reception of a pos