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and the sea air will blow roses into my boy's cheeks."
“I understood," said Isabella, “that we were to go into Westmorland. You have not been there for a long time, and I should like to see the place where you passed the first years of your life.”
"If I could recover the tastes that I then had, I should like to go too,” returned Mr. Willoughby; " but you would find it a most triste sejour. I could fear almost, that the old house had tumbled down by this time. I have not lately been plagued about repairs; so that I begin to suspect that the mansion has filled up the lake, and thus I have got rid of two plagues together."
Mr. Willoughby said this with an air of chagrin and bitterness that
gave Isabella pain.
“I think you would be sorry to lose
either your lake or your house," re. plied she; ' "and Lady Rachel has described Eagle's Crag so majestic, so sublime, yet with a mixture of so many milder beauties, that I should think the novelty of the scene to me, who have seen only the artificial features of the metropolitan counties, would be a security from all weariness; and our boy may get the “thews and sinews" of his ancestors, by scrambling upon his hereditary mountains. Would not that renew to you the pleasure that you once took in doing so yourself ?”
“ I should like to look upon the old place once more,” said Mr. Willoughby; “ and I should not be sorry if my boy should like it better than any other spot under heaven, but I fear you
would soon be weary of solitary mountains and silent streams ; and the distance is so enormous, that,
except one could remove with a wish, it would be very inconvenient to have such long journies to make perpetually.”
“But why should we not determine to pass several months there?” said Isabella, timidly.
“ Because," said Mr. Willoughby, laughing, “I verily believe, if I were to make such a determination, I should break it in a week. I have still a hor. ror of the ennui that seized me when I was last there, and I was so teazed with applications that I could not grant, and told of so many wants that I could not supply, that I almost made a vow never to go there again.”
“But you would go in society now," said Isabella. “Our boy will soon be a playfellow for you; and I suppose that there are human creatures even in Westmorland ?”
“ I doubt whether you would think
them so," returned Mr. Willoughby, “when compared with the standard of humanity to which you have been accustomed. But if you really have taken a fancy to see the old place, I would have you go by all means. I will follow you when I can, and stay with you as long as I can, or we will return together; for I question whether a very short taste of Eagle's Crag will not suffice. Three weeks' sojourn may perhaps bring you over to my mind, that my pretty box in Hertford. shire is worth all
Isabella's heart sunk at the proposal of going alone.
“ Beechwood," said she, with a sigh, “is very dear to me. But I am in no haste to leave London ; I will stay your leisure to accompany me wherever we go."
“Oh! by no means," replied Mr.
Willoughby. “I am impatient to have the boy out of the suffocation of this place; and, if you really don't like Brighton, this may be as good a year as any, for you to gratify your curiosity as to Eagle's Crag. And as you will of course travel slower than I could bear to do, although you may set out before me, yet perhaps I may beat you in. I should not dislike a fortnight's exercise in some of
“Do you think it possible that I could prevail upon Lady Rachel to accompany me?" said Isabella.
A sudden flush deepened the colour of Mr. Willoughby's face.
“I should think not,” said he, as he struggled to repress a sigh, which yet smote on
Isabella's ear: 6 times long gone by. - Besides, the journey would be too much for her: I fear it would never do: yet if you could per