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had pursued a different direction from that which he had intended to take. He stopped and waited until some servant should be passing, and put him right. While he stood listening for approaching footsteps, he perceived a door half open, which he supposed might conduct to some outlet such as he wanted; going close to it, he pushed it a little inwards, and saw a kind of small withdrawing room, into which he stepped. He was coming out again, vexed, at having thus perplexed himself, when he heard the voices of Lady Cleveland, and the Governor's lady, employed in low and earnest conversation in a room adjoining one side of the withdrawing room; the partition was thin, and now and then a word reached Clinton's ear distinctly. For one passing moment there was a struggle between inclination and honour, but inclination prevailed, and he moved noiselessly to that thin wall through which the sounds passed.
The ladies were sitting on a sofa, as it seemed to him, close to the inner side of the wall. They were evidently aloné, for the tenour of their conversation was strictly confidential.
“ I will not ask you to stay longer, then, dear Lady Cleveland,” said the Governor's lady; and these words Clinton distinctly heard. Lady Cleveland spoke more softly, and it was with some difficulty the strained ear of the listener could distinguish the purport of her exclamations. Something like a thrill of gratification, however, darted through his breast, when he plainly made out the principal part of the following speech.
“I dissemble in public, my dear madam. I appear openly in all the glitter of rank, and wealth, and fashion, but in secret, my heart is breaking. Had the
Colonel been the man my father asserted him to be, my peace of mind, I am convinced, would have been fully restored by this time. But I have been compelled, by private persecution, into an union with a man who has no more regard for me than for his horse, or his dog—nay, I seriously question whether there is any thing belonging to him which he sets at a lower rate than his wife.”
“ Hah! is it thus with her !” exclaimed Clinton, with a strange smile of mingled misery and pleasure. “ I am not the only sufferer by her marriage then. She-she herself is miserable! Oh, what strange pranks doth fate and fortune play in this world !”
“ But my dear Lady Cleveland,” the Governor's lady was heard remonstrating, “time and patience may work wonders with the Colonel yet. Bless you, my dear, I have seen many instances where husbands who began ill, ended well; and so on the contrary, I have seen many begin well, and yet turn out very good-for-nothing creatures before long. Have patience, dear, and don't let your spirits droop.”
“ An opera dancer in London,” were the next words which he made shift to hear; they had been spoken by Lady Hester Cleveland with much else that seemed to be important, if he might judge by the senior lady's exclamations of “Indeed !--Really!- I am sorry to hear you say so !-I should not have thought the Colonel so depraved!”
“I will not remain with him much longer,” said Lady Cleveland passionately, and a shower of tears accompanied the speech. “The earl, my father, may argue and plead for the Colonel,” she resumed, “ and for the dignity of his house, and for the reputation of
his eldest daughter, as long as he will—I cannot bear what I now bear much longer, and I will not. Oh, my more than mother, kind madam, let me let me unburden my mind fully to you! There is a positive relief in opening the heart to a friend, such as you are to me, after it has been long shut up with unutterable sorrows." Her speech was more and more vehement, and her sobs mingled with every sentence in the most afflicting
“ Lay your head on my breast-there, love,” said Mrs. Markham, the Governor's lady. “Now tell me all that burdens your heart, tell me every thing. I wish I could relieve you with any more substantial comfort than my poor advice and sympathy, but since I cannot, they, at least, are your own.”
Clinton was quite unable to make out the long and melancholy recital which the young peeress was now some minutes, rapidly, and with many tears, unfolding to the matronly ear which was painfully bent to her. He conjectured, however, and conjectured rightly, that it concerned himself. He leaned against the wall overcome with the tumult of his feelings. He longed to burst through into her presence—to kneel before her—to express the homage of his soul—and to pour into her wounded heart the balm of exquisite affection. All that was evil in him he fancied he could renounce for
ever, if he were but with her. But the figure of the Colonel came between him and those heated visions, and he cursed his own existence, and wished that he had never been born. He returned into the passage, and as nearly as he could, retraced bis steps. Going along he met Colonel Cleveland himself, who was returning from a public square of
the town, in which he had been reviewing some troops of the Canadian militia. He was in full military dress, of a tall, tolerable figure, but appeared nearly as old as Lady Cleveland's father.
“ He must be forty, at least,” said Clinton to himself, as he passed him. The Colonel was thirty-five, and he had grown to this age in vice, and excess of every possible kind. His manners, his uniform, and his gallantries, had made him fashionable in English high life, and his high-born and high-bred relations, had prejudiced the Earl of Wilton in his favour. But it was no wonder that the delicate and lofty female mind, united to his, shrank from him as it did, and loathed the ties which bound it to a companion so grovelling and gross.
. After the Colonel had passed, several servants appeared carrying luncheon to the Governor's table.
Clinton waited until they returned, and then followed them down to the kitchen. Here he learnt that the Colonel had been twice before in Toronto, and that during his two former visits, as well as during his present one, he had acquired the character among the Canadians, of a man of loose morals, although a thorough soldier, and a liberal cominander. Clinton next went out into the principal thoroughfare of the small capital town, with the hope of diverting his thoughts, but presently he grew wearied of observing things that had no evident relation to what concerned him most, and he walked as fast as possible in that direction which seemed to him least frequented. When he stopped he had reached the extremity of a sandy peninsula, which partially enclosed Toronto harbour. The scene was fine and singular. In front was Toronto, bordered with farms and gardens ; on one
hand the peninsula seemed shrank to a span in breadth, and exhibited a tall lighthouse; on the other hand was an extensive marsh, and the River Don. Here, where Clinton was, the peninsula stretched a mile wide ; the spot was known as Gibraltar Point; it formed the entrance beach of the harbour, and was protected by a good fort. The numerous flocks of wild fowl which gathered about the large ponds here, took the attention of Clinton for a brief space, and he went nearer to one of the stagrant pools to observe their motions. His eyes were pursuing a crowd of water-hens and ducks which were splashing among the weeds near the brink, and a smile was involuntarily relaxing his mouth, when a noise close to his ear startled him.
He turned—and saw the Pirate. His first impulse was to throw himself upon the mariner, and to exclaim, “ In the name of the Lieutenant-Governor, I arrest you! Yield, you are iny prisoner!"
The Pirate shook him off, and laughed satirically. “ Think you,” said he, “ I ventured into the very jaws of that shark, some call justice, without being fully provided for any case of emergency that might happen. See, I am well armed.” He raised a boat-cloak which enveloped his figure in not ungraceful folds, and exhibited a sash stuck full in front with hand weapons.
“ You perceive,” said he, with laughing scorn, “ you have little chance in a personal contest with me ; besides, you are the lesser man. You have no such brawny limbs as these to show;" he bared his arms, which, indeed, were of exceeding strength, and again laughed, but as he did so, his eye settled upon Clinton with an abrupt expression of wonder and eagerness; and to the no small surprise of the young man, he snatched off the covering from Clinton's