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these letters resembled the gradations of her bridal bliss, till the kindness of the one, and the happiness of the other, seemed alike to have escaped her
grasp “ It was well that I did not write," were the first words that her full heart would suffer her to utter. “Oh! too truly does Lady Rachel say that he is the creature of the instant; that he is the sport of every varying feeling. By what power shall I fix him to such as can alone save him from misery, from degradation !"
The sadness of her reflections was interrupted by a notice from Edwards, that in order to obey Mr. Willoughby's orders of returning by the first coach, he should be obliged to leave Eagle's Crag early the next morning; and he therefore requested that what dispatches she might have for him might be made up that night.
Isabella could never have been less fitted than at this moment to write to her husband. She had never addressed him by letter in any part of their intercourse. The fondness that would have flowed unconstrained from her
pen, had she only received his first epistle, was completely checked by the perusal of his last. Every fear that she had ever felt lest she should be thought importuning or obtrusive was strong upon her; but something also of displeasure mingled with her fears. She was incapable of writing what she did not feel; and she did not dare to express what she did feel. Her letter was short and constrained, but all that it did express was true. Thus she wrote:
“ I am very sorry that I did not write to you from off the road. I was afraid I might be troublesome. We had a very good journey, and I was
not very much alarmed even by the last hill down to this place. I was very glad, however, to find myself at the bottom on manv accounts. ver beheld so magnificent, so interesting a spot! I find every thing within the house in the most exact order; and by what I see from my windows I expect the same in my walks to-morrow, but Edwards sends me word that he must be gone so early in the morning that I shall not be able to give you any account of what I see. I will give your message to Roberts. Godfrey bore the journey very well; and is now fast asleep in your former crib. I fell in with Sir Charles Seymour at We passed part of the evening together; and I saw him for a moment the next morning. He will tell you, I dare say, what quantities of grouse
he has killed; he seems to pride himself much on his prowess in that way. Pray be so kind as to let me know how the sale of Beechwood goes on, and how Brighton agrees with you. I wish the clear air of these mountains was esteemed as bracing as the sea breezes. I am your affectionate wife,
- ISABELLA WILLOUGHBY." Isabella felt relieved when her task was over, but she was dissatisfied with the manner in which she had performed it. As she had proceeded in her writing she had attained more freedom of mind, and more courage to express what was passing there; she thought that if she had the letter then to write, that she could have done all much better ;- she resolved that it should be done much better next time, and, having sealed the letter, she applied herself to the regulation of her own thoughts, discomposed, and put out of all order by the variety of emotions to which she had been exposed during the last few hours, and by the newness and strangeness of her present situation. She saw with pleasure a letter from Lady Rachel, and she was sure that she could not have a better assistant in the task that she had appointed herself than what that letter would be. Lady Rachel wrote as follows:
My dear child, never did I think that I should have addressed another letter to the mistress of Eagle's Crag! At my age I ought to be able to do it with a steadier hand than I can at this moment command. But if Icannot control my feelings, neither shall they master me. I will write, cost me what it will: the next attempt will be easier. I shall become accustomed to think of you in the place of her who is hidden from my eyes for ever. I shall be able to think of you in her seats, in her walks. But I charge you