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himself; but happy and contented with all around him, took but little notice of it: once or twice he felt vexed, when Edward obviously sought to monopolise the attention of Agnes entirely; but he remembered he had often for his amusement tormented his brother officers by exciting their jealousy, and he resolved he would not lay himself open to ridicule; particularly as Agnes, though she treated Edward courteously, neither sought nor seemed particularly pleased with his attentions. On the morning Edward left home on his perilous enterprise, Blessington proceeded towards the Grove, to communicate to Mr. Yorke the fact of his having received a letter from Ernest, from whom no accounts had arrived for many months; he promised to return by three o'clock, to accompany Agnes and her sister in a walk to the neighbouring village. He strolled slowly along the road, thinking of his journey and the friends he must so soon leave, and of his sister's illness, but more particularly of Agnes, who, he now perceived, when they must separate, was dearer, infinitely dearer, to him than any thing else in the world. Yet he could not stay at home; duty and inclination equally demanded his presence abroad: he had not yet spoken to her of love; and though he felt confident her heart was his, he could not expect either Agnes or her father to consent to an immediate union. It was true, he might obtain farther leave of absence, and thus gain time for the ceremony to take place; but then he must either leave her behind him, or take her to a strange country, where at any moment she might be deprived of his protection; besides, he was but a lieutenant, and his pay was insufficient to support a wife in comfort.
“ No, no," he said mentally, “ I cannot ask such sacrifices : but I will express my sentiments before I go, and when the war is at an end, I will claim the reward of my toil.” Communing thus, he advanced within sight of the Grove, and saw Edward coming towards him in great haste. “ Well, Edward,” he demanded, with a smile, 6 where are you going so early? Why, man, you look as if you had all the business of the state upon your shoulders.”
6 Is Mr. Camden at home?” enquired young Yorke, without noticing this sally.
6. That is more than I can tell, unless I possessed the power of divination; I left him at the Parsonage a quarter of an hour since.”
“ Then most likely I shall find him there still, and, for fear he should escape me, will not detain you: the Grove is your destination, I presume ?” He passed on with a slight bow, and Conrad walked forward a few yards; but he then turned round, and followed Edward with his eyes as he proceeded to the village. He now, for the first time, indulged in a feeling of distrust in Edward's visits: he half resolved to overtake him, and prevent his seeing Agnes, whom the jealousy of love led him to think Edward was in so much haste to find at home; but he thought that by so doing he should betray a want of confidence in her affection, and make himself appear ridiculous; therefore, as the figure of Edward was hidden from his view by a turn in the road, he pursued his way to the Grove, with a dissatisfied look, unconsciously whistling the air of “ The girl I left behind me.”
He entered Mr. Yorke's grounds by a little gate at the road-side, and was making the best of his way to the house, when he met Emily, who seemed so buried in reflection that she did not raise her eyes until her brother was close to her. “ Dear Emily,” he said, tenderly, “why
do you still persist in indulging yourself in these solitary rambles? Have I not entreated you, for my sake, to relinquish a habit which can only tend to make you uncomfortable ?” “You say true, Conrad; but did
know the sad consolation I derive from my selfcommunion, I am convinced you would refrain from wishing me to relinquish them.”
“Impossible, Emily: I can never countenance a proceeding which risks, nay, which will injure,
You know we are, or at least I hope are, very dear to each other. The only relation we have reciprocally known has been that of brother and sister; and we ought mutually to fulfil as many duties of the parents we have lost, as we can consistently with our very opposite situations in life. As your protector, Emily, I cannot but deprecate your reserve and want of confidence; and as a brother, I cannot but feel, deeply feel, the constant grief and consequent illness of a sister, whose love, had it equalled mine, would have made requisitions on the advice, or at least sympathy, of one, who fondly hoped to inspire that affection known only to bosom friends."
Surprised at the solemn tone in which these words were delivered, Emily raised her eyes to those of Conrad, and in his glance of mingled pity, affection, and vexation, read their confirmation. “ Conrad," she replied, in a tremulous voice, " you are unkind to doubt my love for you; perhaps I have deserved your censure; but there are subjects too sacred even for a brother's ear, and though you might pity, you could not assist me; yet I do not hesitate in saying, were I to make a confidant, I would choose no other than
A silence of some minutes succeeded. Conrad felt that farther importunity was vain; and Emily was more influenced than she was willing to allow, by his kind yet firm manner. At length he said, “I am the bearer of good news, so we had better repair to the house; I had a letter from Bonner this morning, who gives good Emily, are you ill ?” he exclaimed, as she changed colour rapidly, and clung to his arm for support.
66 What is the matter ? Did I do— did I say any thing to pain you ? Here, sit down in the arbour, and recover yourself; you have walked too far."
6 Oh! no, no," replied she, in a low tone; “ I am only weak and foolish, but I shall be