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to call himself her friend. There were now no insidious remarks to alarm her, no affected compassion to soften her, no pretended zeal to interest her; she saw him but as an amusing companion, and a good-natured wellwisher; and Sir Charles congratulated himself on having laid not only her prudence asleep, but the much more formidable suspicions of her friends, and was content, like the crafty beast, of a less savage nature, to remain quiet in his lair until he could rush out and seize his defenceless prey.
All these different aims and chicaneries appeared to be matters of no concern to Mr. Willoughby, feeling himself secure in the innocence and integrity of Isabella, and seeing nothing in her conduct but what must be the result of the purest modesty, that she should amuse herself in these hours of restraint in the best manner she could, appeared to him but as a thing of course, "what all the world did," and " what it would be very foolish not to do." He sometimes made a part of her society; but he felt no call upon himself to sacrifice the more vivid pleasures that awaited him elsewhere, and contented himself with believing that she was so surrounded by friends that she could not want him.
“ The ice has not yet begun to melt!” said Isabella, with a sigh.
“ It must be broken up by storms," replied Lady Rachel.
The tenderness of the wife, however, still clung to gentler methods; and the moment now arrived when Isabella believed herself in the possession of all that she most wished for.
“Magdalen, hitherto, has only known
The evening meetings were given up; the parties were dissolved; Isabella presented a son to her husband !
It may be doubted whether Isabella could have been persuaded to believe that there was a bliss beyond what she experienced, when, after having been supported by Mr. Willoughby through hours of agony, she beheld the tears flow in currents down his cheeks, when he embraced first herself, and then her child, when she heard him thank her, again and again, for the courage that she had shown, and for the treasure that she had given him, - and when she heard him exclaim that he had never known a real pleasure until that moment.
But the enthusiasm of the hour passed away, and with it much of that glowing hope and vivid joy which had made Isabella assure herself, and assure Lady Rachel, that “henceforth she should have nothing to wish."
Yet Mr. Willoughby passed many hours with Isabella whenever he could be admitted into her apartment, and felt no attraction powerful enough to withdraw him from his boy ; by the side of whose little resting-place he would remain silent and contemplative until the nurses grew weary of his
presence. Nothing could exceed his anxious cares for the one, or the lively pleasure he took in the other; and Mr. Willoughby in these virtuous and happy hours recognised the feel. ings and the principles that had once made him equally beloved by others, and contented with himself.
From this hour, thought he, I will be what once I was! The time lost shall be redeemed! I will live for
my boy!—too happy, if my most assiduous cares can guard him from the follies of his father!
How natural to the heart of man the wish to be virtuous! - how difficult to accomplish that wish! To retread the faulty steps of twelve years was not to be done by a wish!
“ As soon as you are sufficiently recovered, my love," said Mr. Willoughby to Isabella, “ we will go to Brigh. ton. Bathing will strengthen you,