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gladly sacrifice any thing on consideration of the pleasure of your unexpected return; and of course will willingly break through a trifling regulation.”
As she spoke, she rang the bell, and ample refreshment was soon at his disposal, to which he did due honour; and while so engaged, he listened with attention, not unmingled with uneasiness, to Mr. Camden's account of his sister.
“ Emily," pursued that gentleman, “has been unwell some months, as I told you; but from what cause, it is out of my power to
for she has become so silent and gloomy, that the sound of her voice is rarely heard, and all my endeavours, and those of her friends at the Grove, have been unable to draw any thing from her but tears. My own impression is, Conrad, that the heart is affected; but Yorke, to whom I mentioned my suspicion, ridiculed the idea, as he had not the slightest reason to suppose such to be the case. That she is ill and unhappy, there can be no doubt.”
“ This is, indeed, a sad account," said the affectionate brother thoughtfully; ' but I hope I shall be able to see her better by the end of my
visit. I think
I think you said, sir, you did not intend to apprise her of my arrival to-night; but unless you have any imperative reason against it, I should wish her to know of it as possible.”
« Well, Conrad, your impatience is pardonable; and as you are not able to take pen in hand, I will be your amanuensis, and give her an invitation to breakfast. Will that not satisfy
“ Undoubtedly, my dear sir, I am and ought to be entirely so; and I have only to request you will give her to understand, that I have been wounded, that she may not be alarmed at my appearance,”
Certainly, your precaution is very judicious. You know, I used not to give you much credit for prudence; but three years' acquaintance with the world has, no doubt, made you quite steady," (laughing as he spoke).
“ I wish you may find me so, sir, - though I fancy the army is not the school to learn it in; but you must wait till I am quite well, to judge, for a long and painful illness is a complete drawback to a man's gaiety. Really, Agnes,” he continued, as Mr. Camden prepared to write his
note, “ if you are so solicitous about making me comfortable, with all these cushions, stools, and what not, I shall soon be spoiled for a soldier. I have not enjoyed so much ease for a long time. I never thought home half so delightful until I left it; and I really think it was almost worth while to go away, for the pleasure of coming back again; every thing looks so nice, and happy, and natural.”
“ How glad I am you think so, Conrad ! I feared you would not like this quiet place, after seeing other countries; but perhaps you will be content to remain here after so severe a wound.”
“ For the present only, Agnes: as soon as I am able, I shall be more anxious than ever to set out for the seat of war; I hope still to strike some good blows for old England, and triumph over the French eagles.”
The evening passed in cheerful conversation; and when the limbs of the youthful warrior pressed the couch, where he had rested in infancy, he did not forget to bless his Maker, for restoring him to his valuable home and inestimable friends.
Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,
When Conrad descended to the parlour on the following morning, he was pale and languid; the excitement of the previous day was over, and his friends saw him in his true character of a wounded soldier. They then became fully aware of the change illness and suffering had wrought in him, and mutually determined every care and attention should be lavishly bestowed on the object of their conjoined affection. He had not made his appearance many minutes, when Emily was seen hastening through the garden, and Conrad rushed from the room to meet her. “Dearest Conrad !”—“My beloved sister !” were the ejaculations of each, as an affectionate embrace succeeded; for a moment after, neither spoke, for they were equally affected at the alteration visible in each other. Emily no longer wore the bright glow of health ; and Conrad could trace, in the dull eye and hollow cheek, the working of secret sorrow.
“ Emily, my dearest sister !” he continued, as, after looking earnestly in his face, she threw her arms round his neck and burst into tears, shocked by his appearance, “what can make you grieve? not the sight of me, I trust; for I am quite well, or at least shall soon be so. Dry your tears, dear girl, and remember that no bitter is devoid of its counteracting sweet: to this unlucky bullet, I owe the indescribable delight of spending some time with you, to which I flatter myself you will not object.”
6 I must, indeed, be grateful even to your accident, dearest brother, since it has restored you to me: I will try and dispel the gloom I have so long been a prey to, and give myself up to the joy of your return. Forgive my weakness, Conrad; I did not expect to see you look so sadly; but our good nursing will shortly build you up again, and I, too, will forget
She hesitated; and her brother replied gaily, “ I heard, dear Emily, but a gloomy tale of you; but as good spirits are positively enjoined in my doctor's prescription, I beg you will only