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VOLUME III




CHAPTER XLI


From the time of this arrangement, the ascendance which Mr Naird
obtained over the mind of Elinor, by alternate assurances and alarms,
relative to her chances of living to see Harleigh again, produced a
quiet that gave time to the drafts, which were administered by the
physician, to take effect, and she fell into a profound sleep. This, Mr
Naird said, might last till late the next day; Ellis, therefore,
promising to be ready upon any summons, returned to her lodging.

Miss Matson, now, endeavoured to make some enquiries relative to the
public suicide projected, if not accomplished, by Miss Joddrel, which
was the universal subject of conversation at Brighthelmstone; but when
she found it vain to hope for any details, she said, 'Such accidents,
Ma'am, make one really afraid of one's life with persons one knows
nothing of. Pray, Ma'am, if it is not impertinent, do you still hold to
your intention of giving up your pretty apartment?'

Ellis answered in the affirmative, desiring, with some surprise, to
know, whether the question were in consequence of any apprehension of a
similar event.

'By no means, Ma'am, from you,' she replied; 'you, Miss Ellis, who have
been so strongly recommended; and protected by so many of our capital
gentry; but what I mean is this. If you really intend to take a small
lodging, why should not you have my little room again up stairs?'

'Is it not engaged to the lady I saw here this morning?'

'Why that, Ma'am, is precisely the person I have upon my mind to speak
about. Why should I let her stay, when she's known to nobody, and is
very bad pay, if I can have so genteel a young lady as you, Ma'am, that
ladies in their own coaches come visiting?'

Ellis, recoiling from this preference, uttered words the most benevolent
that she could suggest, of the unknown person who had excited her
compassion: but Miss Matson gave them no attention. 'When one has
nothing better to do with one's rooms, Ma'am,' she said, 'it's sometimes
as well, perhaps, to let them to almost one does not know who, as to
keep them uninhabited; because living in them airs them; but that's no
reason for letting them to one's own disadvantage, if can do better. Now
this person here, Ma'am, besides being poor, which, poor thing, may be
she can't help; and being a foreigner, which, you know, Ma'am, is no
great recommendation; - besides all this, Miss Ellis, she has some very
suspicious ways with her, which I can't make out at all; she goes abroad
in a morning, Ma'am, by five of the clock, without giving the least
account of her haunts. And that, Ma'am, has but an odd look with it!'

'Why so, Miss Matson? If she takes time from her own sleep to enjoy a
little air and exercise, where can be the blame?'

'Air and exercise, Ma'am? People that have their living to get, and that
a'n't worth a farthing, have other things to think of than air and
exercise! She does not, I hope, give herself quite such airs as those!'

Ellis, disgusted, bid her good night; and, filled with pity for a person
who seemed still more helpless and destitute than herself, resolved to
see her the next day, and endeavour to offer her some consolation, if
not assistance.

Before, however, this pleasing project could be put into execution, she
was again, nearly at day break, awakened by a summons from Selina to
attend her sister, who, after quietly reposing many hours, had started,
and demanded Harleigh and Ellis.

Ellis obeyed the call with the utmost expedition, but met the messenger
returning to her a second time, as she was mounting the street which led
to the lodging of Mrs Maple, with intelligence that Elinor had almost
immediately fallen into a new and sound sleep; and that Mr Naird had
ordered that no one should enter the room, till she again awoke.

Glad of this reprieve, Ellis was turning back, when she perceived, at
some distance, Miss Matson's new lodger. The opportunity was inviting
for her purposed offer of aid, and she determined to make some opening
to an acquaintance.

This was not easy; for though the light feet of Ellis might soon have
overtaken the quick, but staggering steps of the apparently distressed
person whom she pursued, she observed her to be in a state of
perturbation that intimidated approach, as much as it awakened concern.
Her handkerchief was held to her face; though whether to conceal it, or
because she was weeping, could not readily be discovered: but her form
and air penetrated Ellis with a feeling and an interest far beyond
common curiosity; and she anxiously studied how she might better behold,
and how address her.

The foreigner went on her way, looking neither to the right nor to the
left, till she had ascended to the church-yard upon the hill. There
stopping, she extended her arms, seeming to hail the full view of the
wide spreading ocean; or rather, Ellis imagined, the idea of her native
land, which she knew, from that spot, to be its boundary. The beauty of
the early morning from that height, the expansive view, impressive,
though calm, of the sea, and the awful solitude of the place, would have
sufficed to occupy the mind of Ellis, had it not been completely caught
by the person whom she followed; and who now, in the persuasion of being
wholly alone, gently murmured, 'Oh ma chère patrie! - malheureuse,
coupable, - mais toujours chère patrie! - ne te reverrai-je jamais!'[1]
Her voice thrilled to the very soul of Ellis, who, trembling, suspended,
and almost breathless, stood watching her motions; fearing to startle
her by an unexpected approach, and waiting to catch her eye.

[Footnote 1: 'Oh my loved country! - unhappy, guilty - but for ever loved
country! - shall I never see thee more!']

But the mourner was evidently without suspicion that any one was in
sight. Grief is an absorber: it neither seeks nor makes observation;
except where it is joined with vanity, that always desires remark; or
with guilt, by which remark is always feared.

Ellis, neither advancing nor receding, saw her next move solemnly
forward, to bend over a small elevation of earth, encircled by short
sticks, intersected with rushes. Some of these, which were displaced,
she carefully arranged, while uttering, in a gentle murmur, which the
profound stillness of all around alone enabled Ellis to catch, 'Repose
toi bien, mon ange! mon enfant! le repos qui me fuit, le bonheur que
j'ai perdu, la tranquilité precieuse de l'ame qui m'abandonne - que tout
cela soit à toi, mon ange! mon enfant! Je ne te rappellerai plus ici! Je
ne te rappellerais plus, même si je le pouvais. Loin de toi ma
malheureuse destinée! je priai Dieu pour ta conservation quand je te
possedois encore; quelques cruelles que fussent tes souffrances, et
toute impuissante que J'etois pour les soulager, je priai Dieu, dans
l'angoisse de mon ame, pour ta conservation! Tu n'est plus pour moi - et
je cesse de te reclamer. Je te vois une ange! Je te vois exempt à
jamais de douleur, de crainte, de pauvreté et de regrets; te
reclamerai-je, donc, pour partager encore mes malheurs? Non! ne reviens
plus à moi! Que je te retrouve là - où ta félicité sera la mienne! Mais
toi, prie pour ta malheureuse mère! que tes innocentes prières
s'unissent à ses humbles supplications, pour que ta mère, ta pauvre
mère, puisse se rendre digne de te rejoindre!'[2]

[Footnote 2: 'Sleep on, sleep on, my angel child! May the repose that
flies me, the happiness that I have lost, the precious tranquillity of
soul that has forsaken me - be thine! for ever thine! my child! my angel!
I cease to call thee back. Even were it in my power, I would not call
thee back. I prayed for thy preservation, while yet I had the bliss of
possessing thee; cruel as were thy sufferings, and impotent as I found
myself to relieve them, I prayed, - in the anguish of my soul, - I prayed
for thy preservation! Thou art lost to me now! - yet I call thee back no
more! I behold thee an angel! I see thee rescued for ever from sorrow,
from alarm, from poverty, and from bitter recollections; - and shall I
call thee back, to partake again my sufferings? - No! return to me no
more! There, only, let me find thee, where thy felicity will be
mine! - but thou! O pray for thy unhappy mother! Let thy innocent prayers
be united to her humble supplications, that thy mother, thy hapless
mother, may become worthy to join thee!']

How long these soft addresses, which seemed to soothe the pious
petitioner, might have lasted, had she not been disturbed, is uncertain:
but she was startled by sounds of more tumultuous sorrow; by sobs,
rather than sighs, that seemed bursting forth from more violent, at
least, more sudden affliction. She looked round, astonished; and saw
Ellis leaning over a monument, and bathed in tears.

She arose, and, advancing towards her, said, in an accent of pity,
'Helas, Madame, vous, aussi, pleurez vous votre enfant?'[3]

[Footnote 3: 'Alas, Madam! are you, also, deploring the loss of a
child?']

'Ah, mon amie! ma bien! ameè amie!' cried Ellis, wiping her eyes, but
vainly attempting to repress fresh tears; 't'aì-jè chercheè, t'aì-jè
attendue, t'aì-jè si ardemment desireè, pour te retrouver ainsi?
pleurant sur un tombeau? Et toi! - ne me rappelle tu pas? M'a tu
oubliee? - Gabrielle! ma chère Gabrielle!'[4]

[Footnote 4: 'Ah, my friend! my much loved friend! have I sought thee,
have I awaited thee, have I so fervently desired thy restoration - to
find thee thus? Weeping over a grave? And thou - dost thou not recollect
me? Hast thou forgotten me? - Gabriella! my loved Gabriella!']

'Juste ciel!' exclaimed the other, 'que vois-je? Ma Julie! ma chère, ma
tendre amie? Est il bien vrai? - O! peut il être vrai, qu'il y ait encore
du bonheur ici bas pour moi?'[5]

[Footnote 5: 'Gracious heaven! what do I behold? My Juliet! my tender
friend? Can it be real? - O! can it, indeed, be true, that still any
happiness is left on earth for me!']

Locked in each other's arms, pressed to each other's bosoms, they now
remained many minutes in speechless agony of emotion, from nearly
overpowering surprise, from gusts of ungovernable, irrepressible sorrow,
and heart-piercing recollections; though blended with the tenderest
sympathy of joy.

This touching silent eloquence, these unutterable conflicts between
transport and pain, were succeeded by a reciprocation of enquiry, so
earnest, so eager, so ardent, that neither of them seemed to have any
sensation left of self, from excess of solicitude for the other, till
Ellis, looking towards the little grave, said, 'Ah! que ce ne soit plus
question de moi?'[6]

[Footnote 6: 'Ah! - upon me can you, yet, bestow a thought?']

'Ah, oui, mon amie,' answered Gabriella, 'ton histoire, tes malheurs, ne
peuvent jamais être aussi terribles, aussi dechirants que les miens! tu
n'as pas encore eprouvé le bonheur d'être mère - comment aurois-tu, donc,
eprouvé, le plus accablant des malheurs? Oh! ce sont des souffrances qui
n'ont point de nom; des douleurs qui rendent nulles toutes autres, que
la perte d'un Etre pûr comme un ange, et tout à soi!'[7]

[Footnote 7: 'True, my dear friend, true! thy history, thy misfortunes,
can never be terrible, never be lacerating like mine! Thou hast not yet
known the bliss of being a mother; - how, then, canst thou have
experienced the most overwhelming of calamities! a suffering that admits
of no description! a woe that makes all others seem null - the loss of a
being pure, spotless as a cherub - and wholly our own!']

The fond embraces, and fast flowing tears of Ellis, evinced the keen
sensibility with which she participated in the sorrows of this afflicted
mother, whom she strove to draw away from the fatal spot; reiterating
the most urgent enquiries upon every other subject, to attract her, if
possible, to yet remaining, to living interests. But these efforts were
utterly useless. 'Restons, restons où nous sommes!' she cried: 'c'est
ici que je te parlerai; c'est ici que je t'écôuterai; ici, où je passe
les seuls momens que j'arrache à la misere, et au travail. Ne crois pas
que de pleurer est ce qu'il y a le plus à craindre! Oh! qu'il ne
t'arrive jamais de savoir que de pleurer, même sur le tombeau de tout ce
qui vous est le plus cher, est un soulagement, un dèlice, auprès du dur
besoin de travailler, la mort dans le coeur, pour vivre, pour exister,
lorsque la vie a perdu toutes ses charmes!'[8]

[Footnote 8: 'Here, here let us stay! 'tis here I can best speak to
thee! 'tis here, I can best listen; - here, where I pass every moment
that I can snatch from penury and labour! Think not that to weep is what
is most to be dreaded; oh never mayst thou learn, that to weep - though
upon the tomb of all that has been most dear to thee upon earth, is a
solace, is a feeling of softness, nay of pleasure, compared with the
hard necessity of toiling, when death has seized upon the very heart,
merely to breathe, to exist, after life has lost all its charms!']

Seated then upon the monument which was nearest to the little grave,
Gabriella related the principal events of her life, since the period of
their separation. These, though frequently extraordinary, sometimes
perilous, and always touchingly disastrous, she recounted with a
rapidity almost inconceivable; distinctly, nevertheless, marking the
several incidents, and the courage with which she had supported them:
but when, these finished, she entered upon the history of the illness
that had preceded the death of her little son, her voice tremblingly
slackened its velocity, and unconsciously lowered its tones; and, far
from continuing with the same quickness or precision, every circumstance
was dwelt upon as momentous; every recollection brought forth long and
endearing details; every misfortune seemed light, put in the scale with
his loss; every regret seemed concentrated in his tomb!

Six o'clock, and seven, had tolled unheeded, during this afflicting, yet
soothing recital; but the eighth hour striking, when the tumult of
sorrow was subsiding into the sadness of grief, the sound caught the ear
of Gabriella, who, hastily rising, exclaimed, 'Ah, voilà que je suis
encore susceptible de plaisir, puisque ta société m'a fait oublier les
tristes et penibles devoirs, qui m'appellent à des tâches qui - à
peine - m'empêchent de mourir de faim!'[9]

[Footnote 9: 'See, if I am not still susceptible of pleasure! Thy
society has made me forget the sad and painful duties that call me
hence, to tasks that snatch me, - with difficulty, - from perishing by
famine!']

At these words, all the fortitude hitherto sustained by Juliet, - for the
borrowed name of Ellis will now be dropt, - utterly forsook her. Torrents
of tears gushed from her eyes, and lamentations, the bitterest, broke
from her lips. She could bear, she cried, all but this; all but
beholding the friend of her heart, the daughter of her benefactress,
torn from the heights of happiness and splendour; of merited happiness,
of hereditary splendour; to be plunged into such depths of distress, and
overpowered with anguish.

'Ah! que je te reconnois bien à ce trait!' cried Gabriella, while a
tender smile tried to force its way through her tears: 'cette ame si
noble! si inebralable pour elle-même, si douce, si compatissante pour
tout autre! que de souvenirs chers et touchans ne se presentent, à cet
instant, à mon coeur! Ma chère Julie! il est bien vrai, donc, que je
te vois, que je te retrouve encore! et, en toi, tout ce qú'il y a de
plus aimable, de plus pûr, et de plus digne! Comment ai-je pû te revoir,
sans retrouver la felicité? Je me sens presque coupable de pouvoir
t'embrasser, - et de pleurer encore!'[10]

[Footnote 10: 'Ah, how I know thee by that trait! thy soul so noble! so
firm in itself; so soft, so commiserating for every other! what tender,
what touching recollections present themselves at this instant to my
heart! Dearest Juliet! is it, then, indeed no dream, that I have
found - that I behold thee again? and, in thee, all that is most
exemplary, most amiable, and most worthy upon earth! How is it I can
recover thee, and not recover happiness? I almost feel as if I were
criminal, that I can embrace thee, - yet weep on!']

Forcing herself, then, from the fatal but cherished spot, she must
hasten, she said, to her daily labour, lest night should surprise her,
without a roof to shelter her head. But Juliet now detained her; clung
and wept round her neck, and could not even endeavour to resign herself
to the keen woes, and deplorable situation of her friend. She had come
over, she said, buoyed up with the exquisite hope of joining the darling
companion of her earliest youth; of sharing her fate, and of mitigating
her hardships: but this softening expectation was changed into
despondence, in discovering her, thus, a prey to unmixt calamity; not
alone bowed down by the general evils of revolutionary events; punished
for plans in which she had borne no part, and for crimes of which she
had not even any knowledge; - not only driven, without offence, or even
accusation, from prosperity and honours, to exile, to want, to misery,
and to labour; but suffering, at the same time, the heaviest of personal
afflictions, in the immediate loss of a darling child; the victim, in
all probability, to a melancholy change of life, and to sudden privation
of customary care and indulgence!

The task of consolation seemed now to devolve upon Gabriella: the
feelings of Juliet, long checked by prudence, by fortitude, by imperious
necessity; and kept in dignified but hard command; having once found a
vent, bounded back to nature and to truth, with a vivacity of keen
emotion that made them nearly uncontrollable. Nature and truth, - which
invariably retain an elastic power, that no struggles can wholly subdue;
and that always, however curbed, however oppressed, - lie in wait for
opportunity to spring back to their rights. Her tears, permitted,
therefore, at length, to flow, nearly deluged the sad bosom of her
friend.

'Helas, ma Julie! soeur de mon ame!' cried Gabriella, 'ne t'abandonne pas
à la douleur pour moi! mais parles moi, ma tendre amie, paries moi de
ma mère! Où l'a tu quitte? Et comment? Et à quelle epoque? - La plus
digne, la plus cherie des mères! Helas! eloignée de nous deux, comment
saura-t-elle se resigner á tant de malheurs?'[11]

[Footnote 11: 'Alas, my Juliet! sister of my soul! abandon not myself to
sorrow for me! but speak to me, my tender friend, speak to me of my
mother! where didst thou leave her? And how? And at what time? The most
precious of mothers! Alas! separated from us both, - how will she be able
to support such accumulation of misfortunes!']

Juliet uttered the tenderest assurances, that she had left the
Marchioness well; and had left her by her own injunctions, to join her
darling daughter; to whom, by a conveyance that had been deemed secure,
she had previously written the plan of the intended journey; with a
desire that a few lines of direction, relative to their meeting, under
cover to L.S., to be left till called for, might be sent to the
post-offices both of Dover and Brighthelmstone; as it was not possible
to fix at which spot Juliet might land. The initials L.S. had been fixed
upon by accident.

Filial anxiety, now, took place of maternal sufferings, and Gabriella
could only talk of her mother; demanding how she looked, and how she
supported the long separation, the ruinous sacrifices, and the perpetual
alarms, to which she must have been condemned since they had parted;
expressing her own surprise, that she had borne to dwell upon any other
subject than this, which now was the first interest of her heart; yet
ceasing to wonder, when she contemplated the fatal spot where her
meeting with Juliet had taken place.

Each, now, deeply lamented the time and consolation that had been lost,
from their mutual ignorance of each other's abode. Juliet related her
fruitless search upon arriving in London; and Gabriella explained, that,
during three lingering, yet ever regretted months, she had watched over
her dying boy, without writing a single line; to spare her absent
friends the knowledge of her suspensive wretchedness. Since the
irreparable certainty which had followed, she had sent two letters to
her beloved mother, with her address at Brighthelmstone; but both must
have miscarried, as she had received no answer. That Juliet had not
traced her in London was little wonderful, as, to elude the curiosity
excited by a great name, she had passed, in setting out for
Brighthelmstone, by a common one. And to that change, joined to one so
similar on the part of Juliet, it must have been owing that they had
never heard of each other, though residents of the same place. Juliet,
nevertheless, was astonished, in defiance of all alteration of attire
and appearance, that she had not instantly recognized the air and form
of her elegant and high bred Gabriella. But, equally unacquainted with
her indigence, which was the effect of sundry cruel accidents, and with
the loss of her child; no expectation was awakened of finding her either
in so distressed or so solitary a condition. Now, however, Juliet
continued, that fortunately, though, alas! not happily, they had met,
they would part no more. Juliet was fully at liberty to go whithersoever
her friend would lead, the hope of obtaining tidings of that beloved
friend, having alone kept her stationary thus long at Brighthelmstone;
where she could now leave the address of Gabriella, at the post-office,
for their mutual letters: and, as insuperable obstacles impeded her
writing herself, at present, to the Marchioness, Gabriella might make
known, in a covert manner, that they were together, and were both safe.

And why, Gabriella demanded, could not Juliet write herself?

'Alas!' Juliet replied, 'I must not even be named!'

'Eh, pour quoi? - n'a-t-tu pas vu tes parens? - Peut on te voir sans
t'aimer? te connoître sans te cherir? Non, ma Julie, non! tu n'a qu'à te
montrer.'[12]

[Footnote 12: 'And why? Hast thou not seen thy relations? - Canst thou be
seen, and not loved? - known, and not cherished? No, my Juliet, no! thou
hast only to appear!']

Juliet, changing colour, dejectedly, and not without confusion, besought
her friend, though for reasons that could neither be assigned nor
surmounted, to dispense, at present, with all personal narration. Yet,
upon perceiving the anxious surprise occasioned by a request so little
expected, she dissolved into tears, and offered every communication, in
preference to causing even transitory pain to her best friend.

'O loin de moi cette exigence!' cried Gabriella, with energy, 'Ne
sais-je pas bien que ton bon esprit, juste émule de ton excellent
coeur, te fera parler lorsqu'il le faudra? Ne me confierai-je pas à
toi, dont la seule étude est le bonheur des autres?'[13]

[Footnote 13: 'Oh far from me by any such insistence! Know I not well
that thy admirable judgment, just counterpart of thy excellent heart,
will guide thee to speak when it is right? Shall I not entirely confide
in thee? - In thee, whose sole study has been always the good and
happiness of others?']

Juliet, not more penetrated by this kindness, than affected by a facile
resignation, that shewed the taming effect of misfortune upon the
natural vivacity of her friend, could answer only by caresses and
tears.

'Eh mon oncle?' continued Gabriella; 'mon tout-aimable et si pieux
oncle? où est il?'[14]

[Footnote 14: 'And my uncle! My so amiable, so pious uncle? Where is
he?']

'Monseigneur l'Eveque?' cried Juliet, again changing colour; 'Oh oui!
tout-aimable! sans tâche et sans reproche! - Il sera bientôt, je crois,
ici; - ou j'aurois de ses nouvelles; et alors - ma destinée me sera
connue!'[15]

[Footnote 15: 'My lord the Bishop? - Oh yes! yes! - amiable
indeed! - pure! - without blemish! - He will soon, I believe, be here; or I
shall have some intelligence from him; and then - my fate will be known
to me!']

A deep sigh tried to swallow these last words. Gabriella looked at her,
for a moment, with re-awakened earnestness, as if repentant of her own
acquiescence; but the sight of encreasing disturbance in the countenance
of Juliet, checked her rising impatience; and she quietly said, 'Ah!
s'il arrive ici! - si je le revois, - j'éprouverai encore, au milieu de
tant de désolation, un mouvement de joie! - tel que toi, seule, jusqu'à
ce moment, a su m'en inspirer!'[16]

[Footnote 16: 'Ah, should he come hither! - should I be blest again by


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