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My boy shall sleep no where but where his father slept,” said Isabella, fervently. “Nurse, give me the child. Oh! how pretty he looks in that pretty bed!"
The nurse was not so complimentary. She was afraid master would not sleep any where but in his own crib; the mattress was too hard-was too soft. Master would be suffocated. . The quilt was not like quilts now-adays,
not like his own. Isabella silenced all objections, by declaring her approbation of every thing, both general and particular, and thereby seated herself still more firmly in the heart of Mrs. Evans.
Isabella, having seen that her child was well provided for, passed from his room into a beautiful little cabinet, by which alone the nursery was separated from her own apartment.
It was furnished with hangings of
black satin in pannels, embroidered with large bunches of natural flowers; and festoons of similar workmanship over the intermediate space united the pannels. Specimens of the most delicate carving in wood by Gibbons or. namented the chimney. The tables, the cabinets, and the book-shelves were inlaid with ivory and ebony; and the curtains and the coverings of the sofa and chairs were of figured silk of a light blue colour.
“ Dear Mrs. Evans," said Isabella, “ you have made every thing look so exactly as it must have done so many years ago, that I almost expect to find the Lady of the House in the next room. How is it possible that all these beauti. ful things can have been so well kept?”
“ It is the business of my life, madam, to preserve every thing that belonged to my lady,” returned Mrs. Evans. I am charged to do so; but
these works of hers have never seen the light since we lost her till now. No one but my master's wife was worthy to look upon them, when she who worked them was no more.'
Isabella felt the connecting link between herself and the last possessor. May I be so beloved in my life, and lamented after my death! thought she.
She then examined the remainder of the apartment, which seemed to be studiously constructed for the accommodation of two individuals, who even in their separation were desirous to be as little apart as possible. The inspection made Isabella melancholy. “There is much more space than I shall want, said she; “ if it were not for that beau tiful little room, and its nearness to Godfrey, I should prefer some smaller apartment."
“But when my master comes," said Mrs. Evans, there will not be more
room than you will want, and you being here, madam, will make him love these rooms again ; else, when he has been here alone, he could not bear to look into them. He said, he thought he saw my lady and his good father in every corner of them.”
“ Would they were here now !” said Isabella. Mrs. Evans looked earnestly on her; “had you not better
down to the library, madam?" said she; “there are a great many fine prints and entertaining books; I thought you would prefer it, either to the saloon or draw. ing room, especially as it looks on the flower garden, and I dare say that
you are like my lady, and are fond of flowers."
Isabella willingly acceded to the proposal, but on entering the library she beheld what was dearer to her than prints, or books, or flowers; she saw there letters and letters in the handwriting of Mr. Willoughby. So unexpected a pleasure transported her out of herself. " And has he written indeed !” said she. “ Oh how good! how unexpected!” The words did not escape the ears of Mrs. Evans, but having stirred the fire, and brushed the hearth, she withdrew in silence.
Isabella was in the mean while devouring the feast that lay before her. The first letter which she opened contained these words :
“ If you have thought of me as incessantly as I have thought of you through this tedious day, you must at this moment be employed in writing to me.
I have travelled with you through every stage ; and I now picture you, after having seen our dear Godfrey asleep, over your solitary repast; but (I trust) cheating the sense of loneliness by communicating with
I never repented any thing more