P. G. (Peter George) Patmore.

Chatsworth; or, The romance of a week (Volume 3) online

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VOL. lU.



London :
Harrison and Co., Printers,
St. Martin's Lane.

^c5 3




Chapter V.

While Don Carlos proceeds on his errand to
the Corregidor's, and Flora hastens (which she
instantly did) on hers to the house of Octavio,
we must return to Antonio de Mendoza,

As soon as he had assisted in safely housing
Octavio and his mistress, it occurred to hinx
that, as the presence of a third party was not
likely to be very welcome under the circum-
stances in which the lovers were now placed,
, and as he did not see any immediate danger of
their retreat being discovered, or their happi-
ness interrupted, he might as well attend to




his own affairs^ and proceed at once to get
through the ordeal of his first interview with
his affianced bride and her brother. He there-
fore immediately went to the post-house^ in
search of Ernesto^ wha was acquainted with
tha way to Henriquez' residence, and who
had also received the key of the suite of
apartments assigned to Don Antonio, in case
of his arriving at an hour when he might
choose at once to retire to rest.

Antonio having found Ernesto, they pro-
ceeded at once to the house of Henriquez ; and
just as Carlos had left Henriquez in the
garden, to go in search of the Corregidor (as
above related), a servant entered, and informed
his master that a cavalier, named Don Antonio
de Mendoza, was in the inner hall, waiting to
see him.

This blow seemed to crown at once the rage

and disappointment of Henriquez. To think

' that the noble Antonio should arrive, to wed his

-sister, at the verymoment when he had received


the news of her disgraceful flight with another,
and while he was still uncertain as to the results
of that flight, and even ignorant of the person
"with whom she had fled, so completely ex-
hausted the small stock of patience which the
prudent counsels of Carlos had infused into
him, that he felt it impossible to see Antonio
with any chance of being able to conceal the
emotions which agitated him. As, moreover,
it was indispensable to conceal from Antonio,
what had happened, at least while there was
any hope of the mischief being repaired by the
interference of the Corregidor, Henriquez deter-
mined at all events not to see Antonio for the
present. He, therefore, desired the servant to
inform him that his master, not expecting his
arrival that night, was not at home; but that
all things were prepared for his reception, in
the suite of apartments the key of which ha^
been given to the servant who had announced
his possible arrival.

Antonio^ on the other hand, was not a little

B 2


surprised at being so long left alone in the
hall, and at the air of mingled confusion and
desolation which seemed to reign throughout
the house of his intended brother-in-law,, espe-
cially as Ernesto informed him that when he
had visited it scarcely two hours before, it was
thronged with domestics, and a model of order
and propriety.

By the time the servant returned who had
been sent to announce his arrival, Antonio
and Ernesto had wandered into an ante-room
which led out of the hall, and which was lighted
as if company had lately quitted it ; and there
the servant found them on his return, and
obeyed the directions he had received,

« Why, sure,^' said Antonio to Ernesto, after
lie had waited here for a short time, somewhat
impatiently, and not very well knowing whe-
ther to retire to his own apartments, or wait the
coming of Henriquez, or return at once to
Octavio,: — whom he determined £tt all events to
^ee again that night, in case his assistance


might be needed — "why, sure, Ernesto, you
have led me to the wrong house! This can-
never be the mansion of my intended brother-
in-law Don Henriquez, and his lovely sister, for
such you have described her. At any rate, if the
lady no more resembles the picture you have
drawn of her than the house does that which
you say you visited two hours ago, my bridal is
like to be as cold as my reception/^

" For the surpassing beauty of the lady, Sir,
I'll be sworn," said Ernesto; ^* and by the
same token I am not like to have mistaken the
house; for this Pll swear is the very chamber
— adjoining to that of the lady herself — in
which I lately saw her, attended by a pretty
waiting-maid, whom she called Flora, and by a
stately lady in a veil. Nay, Sir," continued
Ernesto, stepping towards the half-open door or
an inner apartment, '' if I am not marvellously
deceived, yonder is the lady herself, lying on a
couch. Her back is turned this way ; but that
air and shape are not to be mistaken. It is


she I and see. Sir, she rises, and is coming this

The reader has been apprised of the acci-
dental circumstance by which Antonio's
servant, Ernesto, had been led to mistake
Camilla for Portia, at his first interview with
her; and also of Camilla having retired alone
to the chamber of Portia, as soon as Flora had
left the house to inform Octavio and her
mistress of what had passed in the garden,
relative to the discovery of their retreat, and
the measures of Ilenriquez and Carlos in con-
sequence. Here Camilla was, then, waiting, in
a state of the most painful anxiety, for the
return of Flora ; and here Ernesto beheld her,
and immediately recognised the lady whom he
had lately addressed as his future mistress.

He had scarcely done so, when Camilla rose
from the couch on which she was reclining,
and laying down a book that she held in her
hand, came forward towards the chamber
'vrhere Antonio and Ernesto were waiting.


Antonio, finding from the last words of
Ernesto, that he was on the pohit, as it
appeared, of standing so unexpectedly in the
presence of his affianced bride, was collecting
his somewhat fluttered thoughts for the occa-
sion, and did not look at Camilla till she had
fairly entered the outer apartment: — when, ,
what were the feelings of both — the rush of
mingled surprise and ecstasy that seemed to
hurry through Jus hearty and the throng of
anxious sensations, — whether of fear or of
hope she could scarcely tell, — which took
instant possession of hers — on their mutually
beholding, — she, the saviour of her honour, and
the subject of her secret thoughts and dreams
from the first moment that she saw him; he^
the only being who had ever moved his soul to
other thoughts than those of honour and
renown, but to whom even honour and renown
themselves had become as nothing, in the
presence of her all-absorbing image, which
haunted him like a bright vision, day and night*


For several moments both remained silent,
and as if spell-bound by the variety of emotions
that seemed to crowd upon and impede each
other ; and Antonio, for his part, entirely lost
all memory of place, circumstance, and name :
iind only felt that he was once more in the
presence of her who had seemed to fix his
destiny the first moment he beheld her, but
"whom he had involuntarily taught himself to
believe he should never behold again — nay,
almost that he had never beheld her at all, in
sober reality, but only as a vision of the brain !

At length Antonio spoke, but still without
addressing himself to Camilla.

"Do I see aright?^' exclaimed he, " or is this
but a mocking vision of the mind, sent at
this moment, to tax me with my broken alle-
giance to that bright being whose form it imi-
tates, and for whom (though I must never
behold her again) I ought still to have kept
holy those secret vows which I then plighted,
on the altar of my own ravished heart ?^^


At this (to him) altogether uninteUigible
rhapsody, Ernesto became almost as much
perplexed as the rest of the party.

"Vision! Sir!" exclaimed he; "why this
is the Lady Portia, as I told you before — the
beautiful sister of Don Henriquez, your intended
bride, and my future mistress/^

Finding that his master still remained silent,
(though a total change of expression, from a
wondering curiosity, to a dawning of intense
delight, took place in his countenance, as he
kept gazing on the lady,) Ernesto turned to

" Madam,^^ said he, with a somewhat exage-
rated show of deference and respect, " this is
my master, Don Antonio de Mendoza, whom
your ladyship^s brother, Don Henriquez, ex-
pected to-night, and for whom I was honoured
with your ladyship^s commands some two hours
ago. Had not your ladyship better speak to
him? for he seems so rapt away from himself
(by the sudden sight of your ladyship^s beauty.


no doubt), that he does not seem to be a'ware
in whose presence he stands/^

" Heaven and earth V' exclaimed Antonio,
passionately — his tongue once more regaining
its office — " is it possible that my fate, which I
have long been impiously bewailing, can have
worked this miracle of happiness in my favour,
and that the only being I ever have loved or
could have loved, is the one destined to be mine ?
If this be a truth. Lady, oh ! confirm it to me
with your own lips — else I could not trust to
it, though it were told me by a messenger from
heaven V'

The generous and gentle Camilla, who had
by this time somewhat recovered from the
first surprise of seeing Antonio, perceived that
she had a most difficult part to act, if she
would at once assist the views of her cousin
Portia, and yet not destroy her own hopes,
which were so delightfully revived within her
by the words of Antonio. At all events she
determined not to undeceive him as to her


name ; and for the rest, she thought it, upon the
whole, best to escape as soon as possible from
his presence, lest the happy mistake into which
he had fallen, should not have time to work its
own effects, before it was discovered by the
return of Henriquez, or by any other untoward

While Camilla was pausing on these consi-
derations, Antonio grew impatient of her
silence, and again exclaimed —

^^ Oh, speak to me. Lady ! Be pleased to
confirm my bliss, or to dispel it — for these
doubts, that throng upon me at your silence,,
are worse than the worst certainties that can
displace them. May I believe that you will be
mine — and that your heart is not wholly with-
out those feelings towards your servant, with
which his has burnt, almost to consuming,
towards you, since the moment that he was so
blest in serving you ?''

Camilla had by this time gathered up her
scattered thoughts, and she replied, —


^^ I should be unworthy of the vast service
you once rendered me. Sir, if I did not still
feel — as I ever have, and ever shall — the
deepest gratitude towards him who rendered
it — a gratitude which is enhanced, to a degree
that it perhaps becomes me not, under my
present circumstances, to express, by the sen-
timents which you have just been pleased to
express towards me. My own sense of justice
does not permit me to say less than this ; and
the generosity of Don Antonio de Mendoza
will not require me to say more, at an acci-
dental meeting of this kind, which should not
in strictness have taken place, and which,
therefore, must not be prolonged in the ab-
sence of my brother. Permit me to retire;
which, however, I will not do without adding,
that this meeting, strange and unexpected as it
is, has given me the sincerest joy, if it were
only from the occasion it has afforded me
of saying, that the happiness of the person
to whose valour and generosity I owe so


much^ will always be dearer to me than my

Saying this, Camilla retired into the inner
apartment from whence she had come, not
without congratulating herself upon having
preserved her own truth and delicacy, and pos-
sibly secured her future happiness, without in
the smallest degree compromising the interests
of her cousin Portia.


Chapter VI.

Camilla's Avords had left Antonio in au
ecstasy of delij^ht ; which, however was
speedily and somewhat inopportunely inter-
rupted^ by the abrupt entry of Henriquez,
who, not expecting to find any one in this
apartment, was passing hastily through it,
and did not perceive Antonio till it was too
Jate to retire and avoid him.

The confusion into which Henriquez was
thrown by this unexpected encounter, was too
evident to pass without observation by An-
tonio — who, however, attributed it to the
same cause (whatever that might be) which


bad produced the strange alteration described
by Ernesto as having taken place in the
appearance of the house and family, since his
visit to them in the early part of the evening.
But Antonio was too fully possessed by his
own thoughts and feelings to pay much atten-
tion to mere outward appearances, with which,
moreover, it did not seem that he himself was
at all personally concerned. He therefore
received the embarrassed greetings of Henri-
c|uez, without particular notice; and as the
latter was still collected enough in his
thoughts to know that he must at all events
conceal, for the present, what he deemed the
disgraceful flight of his sister Portia, he
began to make numerous apologies for the
state in which Antonio found his house and
family — with a view to induce his immediately
taking up his abode for the night in the
distant suite of apartments which had been
assigned to him: thus gaining time, till the


morninq: at least, to repair, if possible, the
fatal miscliicfs that the last two hours had
brought about.

** Don Antonio will readily conceive," said
he, *' the embarrassment T feel, at seein*^ him
at a moment like this — wlien extraordinary
circumstances (which I will fully explain
hereafter) have thrown my house and family
into a state of disorder ill fitted for the due
reception of so noble a guest. You must
have been surprised," he continued, growing
more embarrassed as he spoke — '•you could
have little expected '^

"Little indeed!" exclaimed Antonio, inter-
rupting him eagerly, and attributing his
hesitation to the circumstance of his having
been acquainted Avith the previous meeting
between Antonio and his supposed sister—
** Little did I expect to find that the Lady
Portia, sister to Don Henriquez "

**Hell and fury! he knows all then !'^ ex-
claimed Henriquez inwardly, at the same



time starting, and putting on a look of
mingled rage and embarrassment, which effec-
tually stopped Antonio, for the moment, from
proceeding in what he was about to say,
relative to the adventure on the Limbourg

Meanwhile Ilenriquez, thinking that the
words of Antonio could refer to nothing but
the late flight of his sister Portia, and that
consequently all was lost, was about to say
that the peculiar circumstances in which he
was placed, must compel him to defer an ex-
planation of the extraordinary affair till the
morning, when Antonio eagerly interrupted
him, by exclaiming —

'^ Oh, my dear Don Ilenriquez, all expla-
nation is unnecessary. I have just been made
so more than happy by the sight of your
beautiful and noble sister, and by her gra-
cious reception of my suit, that I would have
begged your permission (late as it is) once
,more to throw myself at her feet, and sane-


tipned by your presence, offer the homage of
those vows which her delicacy would not
permit her to listen to for the first time during
your absence. But the truth is, an affair of
the utmost urgency, in which the honour and
happiness of a dear friend is nearly con-
cerned, compels me to quit your house for a
short period. In the mean time, my servant
here, Ernesto, has the key of the apartments
you have been good enough to assign me, —
and he will attend me, in case I should be
detained beyond the usual hour of your family
retiring to rest. Farewell till the morning,
then. Commend me to your virtuous and
accomplished sister, and bid her believe that
nothing can exceed the bliss which the un-
expected sight of her has caused within me, but
that which must attend the hour which makes
her wholly mine. Once more farewell I"

And he immediately departed; leaving
Henriquez in a state of utter astonishment at
his words, and unable to collect from them




any distinct impression whatever, as to Anto-
nio's knowledge or i<jnorance of what had
lately happened.

" The sight of her !" he exclaimed, — *' what
can he mean? why he never has seen her!
Her delicacy — virtue — the hour which makes
her his ? — What can he mean ?"

Then, after a few moments' pause, h «
added, with an expression of unutterable rage
on his countenance —

"Is he mocking me? If I thought "

and he put his hand to his sword as he uttered
the words. *' And his going out again at this
late hour ''

At this moment Henriquez was interrupted,
and his whole thoughts turned into a new
channel, by the sudden entrance of his friend
Don Carlos, who, with marks of the utmost
haste on his countenance, bade Henriquez
instantly follow him, as the Corregidor was
ready with his men, and not a moment was to
be lost in endeavouring to secure the fugitives.


Henriquez was at first following his friend
without a word : but just as they were leaving
the apartment, a sudden thought seemed to
strike him, and he turned back, saying —

" Stay ! I must return for a moment to my
sister's chamber."

" Return 1" exclaimed Carlos, eagerly,
*' what madness! Why a moment's delay
may be fatal to our hopes — the villains may
escape, and laugh at us for everl Come
away, I beseech you !"

And he almost forced Henriquez to follow
him; thus leaving the Lady Camilla safe in
the apartment of her friend Portia.


Chapter VII.

We must now return to the party at Octavio's
house. Cowardly and blundering as Diego
was in performing his services, he was still
faithful to the interests of his master; and
therefore, when he found out the fatal error
he had fallen into, in mistaking one of Don
Henriquez'' party for his master's friend,
Don Antonio, and thus permitting their re-
treat to be traced, he, after some delay,
apprised his master of what had happened.

This information threw the whole party
once more into the utmost difficulty and
consternation ; for, knowing the hasty and
Tindictive character of Henriquez, and, more-


over, his connexion and relationship with the
Corregidor, he could not for a moment doubt
that, ere long, measures would be taken, against
which Octavio could not hope to offer any
successful resistance, and that, in fact, nothing
was left but a second flight. But whither
could he fly at that hour of the night, without
the certainty of meeting with impediments
which the unfortunate necessity of concealing
his name and station would prevent the possi-
bility of his overcoming?

And even if they could hope to escape
observation, where could he place the Lady
Portia, so as to keep her innocence free from
those scandals it would have escaped if he
could have married her forthwith ; as, but for
this unhappy discovery of iheir retreat, he had
intended to do? At any rate, whatever be-
came of him, something must be thought of as
to the disposal of Portia. lie therefore
ordered Diego to fetch a sedan chair instantly.

The lovers had scarcely had time to bewail


their perverse fiite — thus in sight of happi-
ness, and yet compelled to suffer an imme-
diate and perhaps final separation, as the best
that they could hope for — when Diego re-
turned, saying that it was past the appointed
hour for the chairmen to be in attendance,
and that though he had found some of them
over their wine and cards, they swore they
would not stir for all the Dons in Seville.

There was now evidently nothing left hut
for Octavio himself to go in search of them,
and either force or bribe them to accompany
him. lie therefore commanded Diego on no
j)retence to open the door during his absence,
to any but his friend Antonio; and then lie
immediately hurried forth towards the ren-
dezvous of the chairmen.

Octavio had scarcely turned the corner of
the street, before Antonio, coming in an oppo-
site direction, reached the door, attended by
a servant, and was instantly admitted by
Diego. Portia immediately explained to


Antonio, as her lover''s friend, the perilous
situation in which they were now placed, by
the blunder of Diego in permitting- their
retreat to be traced; and also the unlucky
cause of Octavio's momentary absence; and
while Antonio was warmly offering his ser-
vices, and considering how he could best
assist in disposing of the Lady Portia on
Octavio's return, a hurried sound was heard
at the outer door, and immediately after. Flora
entered the apartment, almost speechless with
haste and anxiety, and scarcely able to ex-
plain, except in substance, what she and
Camilla had overheard in the garden, as to the
discovery of their retreat, and to assure them
that in fact the Corregidor and his people
must at that very moment be on their way,
to force an entrance into the house, on the
plea of the parties concealed within it having
attacked Don Henriquez in his own garden,
with an intent to murder him.

This news raised the misery of Portia to


its height ; since it "was evident to her, as well
to Antonio, that she must not even wait for
the return of Octavio, if she would hope to
escape being again placed in the hands of her
cruel brother. Still, however, she felt that,
to act for herself under these circumstances,
desperate as thej were, was impossible ; and
she could only look with an appealing sadness
to Antonio — as if her fate, as well as that of
her lover, now depended solely upon him.

After seeming to consider within himself
for a few moments, Antonio at length said: —

" It is evident, Madam, that if you stay till
my friend Octavio^s return, all will be lost.
Yet to urge your instant flight, and leave
him to the peril of the circumstances that
surround him, is what the love with which
I see you honour my noble friend would
forbid me to do, — but that I think I see a hope
of your both still escaping from the dangers
that (I must say) so justly alarm you. Will
you then trust your person and safety to the


honour and conduct of your husband's friend?
for so I still hope you will speedily call Don
Octavio. Hard by I have a suite of apart-
ments, provided for my reception, in the house
of my intended brother-in-law, a noble gentle-
man of this city. There, if it please you, I will
instantly conduct you. Beneath the protec-
tion of his roof you will not only be safe
from immediate danger of discovery, but
when discovery does (as I fear it must) take
place, his name and influence may greatly
aid your views, and those of my friend Octavio.
Besides which,'" added he, seeing a momentary
fear and hesitation pass across the anxious
countenance of Portia, — *'the noble and
virtuous lady whom I hope to-morrow to call
my wife, will, I am confident, be haj)py to
offer you that sympathy and care which none
but a female heart can duly feel and render to
your distressed condition.***

This last consideration at once determined
Portia to accept the offer of Antonio, and sur-


render herself entirely to his guidance and
direction. After dispatching^ Diego, there-
fore, in search of his master, to inform him
of what had been determined on, and bid-
ding Ernesto and Flora wait on the spot,
the former to conduct Octavio, if circum-
stances should permit, to the apartments
of Antonio, and Flora to watch his
motions, and bring word of his retreat, in
case he should be obliged again to conceal
himself, — Antonio and Portia proceeded toge-
ther towards the house of Henriquez ; not,
however, without making so many turnings
and windings, to avoid encountering any one
whom they saw approaching at a distance,
that Portia presently lost all knowledge of
the direction in which Antonio was leading


Chvpter VIII

Leaving ibe above-named 2)arty to pursue

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