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this affair. One evening, towards the end of October, when we had both dined at M -'s, something or other called us all out of the room except Ellen and Longford. By some singular luck they were left together nearly half an hour. When I returned, I found her in tears; and she instantly quitted us, and ran up stairs. I endeavoured to rally Longford a little; but found him gloomy and irritable.
Cards were called for in the evening; and Ellen, who was now at the tea table, seemed to have recovered her composure. She excused herself however from cards, and placed herself at a little table in the corner of the room. After some time I observed her deeply engaged in a book, over which she hung as if anxious to conceal its title. My curiosity was awakened; and making some pretence to speak to her, I discovered it to be Walpole's Historic Doubts. I believe she did not know that I had seen it; but it was a book I was so well acquainted with, that the fragment of a page betrayed it to me. I frequently saw her afterwards with this book, and could not have a doubt that her curiosity regarding it rose out of her conversation with Longford.
Ellen now for the first time began to open to me the stores of her rich mind. I found her astonishingly well read in the English history, as well as in books of taste and fancy; but more particularly inquisitive about that period, to which the Historic Doubts relate. The quarrels of the Houses of York and Lancaster, with their various pretensions and connections, she was accurately skilled in; and talked with an indignation totally unlike her gentle
temper against Henry the Seventh :-she loaded him with the names of Usurper, and even murderer; but would not go as far as Walpole in exculpation of Richard the Third.
Longford meanwhile seemed to sink almost uniformly into a tender melancholy; and his spirits to be softened into a sort of languor very inconsistent with the natural energy of his mind. His pride was not lessened; but it took a new turn; it made him rather waste his time in unavailing regrets at his fallen fortune, than in indignant resolutions to counteract it, and restore himself to his due place in society. He sometimes even wept, and seemed melted into feminine tenderness.
He never owned his attachment to me, but it was now so obvious that he could no longer flatter himself that I was ignorant of it. I endeavoured to discover the nature of his fortune, and expectations; but on this subject, to me at least, he preserved impenetrable secrecy. I found that at one time he had fought in the Austrian army; and was well acquainted with the military tactics of that nation; and that he seemed to have a familiar local knowledge both of North and South America, particularly the forIndeed I still suspect that the former was the place of his nativity. I think, if he had himself been born in England, as there is every reason to believe his ancestors were of high birth in this country, I should by some means have discovered it. I once saw in his hands the outside of a MS. history of his family, which I give him full credit for being genuine; and which he assured me, if the time ever arrived for its being laid open, would astonish both
me, and the world.-Some particulars, of which he gave hints, I shall have occasion to tell, before I close this story.
No. XXXIX. The same Story continued.
TO THE RUMINATOR.
WHEN. We see a man whose talents are fitted to adorn and enlighten society, pining in solitude, obscurity and grief, we cannot, if we are capable of feeling or reflection, but be touched with poignant regret.
I saw during the following winter the brilliant faculties of Longford clouded with a hopeless affection, which, if it sometimes gave a grace to his melancholy, rendered him altogether languid, indolent, and almost useless. Day after day he hung immoveably over my fire immersed in thought which was only interrupted by his sighs.
When a girl is in love, and especially if she have fancy and sentiment, any thing romantic in the history of her lover, adds food to her flame. The mysteries regarding Longford seemed to heighten Ellen's attachment: and when these were added to qualities in themselves very striking and attractive, the excess of her passion can be more easily conceived than described. Mr. M at length took the alarm;
but the affair had now gone too far to be violently broken off. It became the painful task of a parent to inquire more minutely into the circumstances of a man who aspired to his daughter. That man was his friend; his delight as a companion; his admiration as a genius. But these were qualities which did not necessa ssarily secure his consent to him as the husband of his child.
Longford could not bear to be questioned, or even suspected as to his story. On this subject he was so proud and indignant that it did not seem to bend even to his attachment. It often drew tears from Ellen; and he was infected with her grief, and shed tears in return. But his spirit soon rose again, and he scorned to have his tale extorted from him. "If," said he, " you can suspect me of imposition, or that I am unworthy of you, painful as it is to withdraw myself from your house, let me go! Scruples and hesitations insult me, and are unmanly in you! You may guess that the fortune of myself, and my immediate ancestors, has been under some cloud; but there is no one whom our alliance would disgrace." At this his eyes flashed fire; and he muttered in half-suppressed sentences allusions to the blood in his veins, and the cruel fate which had obscured his rights,
"My ancestors," said he, "disdaining to use their real name without being admitted to the distinctions attached to it, have long concealed their lustre under that of Longford, by which you at present know me. But I am not without hope that the time may yet arrive, when I may win my way nearer to the station that belongs to me!" Here he burst into
tears; and there was something so ingenuous and so much beyond the power of disguise in his manner, as rendered it impossible for M- to doubt him, however strange his reserve might appear.
Of the following hasty lines I received the copy from one of Ellen's sisters. They of course speak for themselves as the production of Longord.
"When cross the Atlantic's roaring wave
The memory of a softer day,
My sterner heart could once delight
In scenes of danger and of storm;
Could all my proudest wishes warm;
What magic spell can e'er restore
Hours that with dove-wing'd motion flew?
Breezes, that into music die,
Can ne'er with Ellen's whispers vie.