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Still she lost neither her presence of mind nor her dignified composure, but listened with a look of solemn patience to all they said, while Beatrice tightly grasped her arm as if for protection. The more her agitation increased the less outward show did it make, for Beatrice had become still and pale as a corpse, while Father Eustace proceeded in a calm resolute voice to intimate, that as the mother of Beatrice had obtained but a short leave of absence from her convent at present, it was necessary, as a matter of course, that for so brief a period her daughter should remain with her at Eaglescairn Castle, to receive through him those communications which, owing to her rigid vow of silence, she could not give herself. Lady Edith listened in dignified attention, but with a penetrating look that made Father Eustace cast down his eyes and become as silent as if he had been a stone statue of himself, and as if his mind had been marble. The presence of Sir Allan became now of importance, because the priests felt it necessary, before an intended proselyte like himself, with much in his power, to moderate the harshness of their measures. While Beatrice drew her hand across her forehead, evidently bewildered oy the scene, Sir Allan stood near her, with his peculiarly long, dark eye-lashes so entirely concealing his eyes, that whether he had any eyes or not might have seemed doubtful; but when the voice of Lady Edith, in attempting to speak, utterly failed, he suddenly looked up with a flashing glance of indignant remonstrance to Father Eustace, which reminded Beatrice of old times, when Allan's heart and mind were allowed to act for themselves, and he exclaimed, “Surely a separation so sudden and so final never can be dreamed of Lady Edith can remain here also.” “Allan M*Alpine, leave all to me,” said Mr. Ambrose, laying a hand on the arm of his nephew, and fixing on him that intense and peculiar look which seemed always to command implicit obedience. “Much is due to the life-long attachment of Lady Edith for Miss Farinelli, therefore let an arrangement now be made that they meet occasionally. I cannot doubt that Lady Edith, seeing the claim of filial duty now made on her young favourite, will consent to a short separation, on condition that frequently Miss Farinelli shall be conveyed for an hour to Heatherbrae. There can be no hesitation about a mother's prior claim.” The hard and cruel voice of Mr. Ambrose was studiously softened as he uttered this wily proposition, while Lady Edith listened with dignified astonishment, scarcely believing that her ears were listening to such a suggestion as that of leaving Beatrice behind. If the assembled party had proposed to eat her up alive, she could scarcely have looked more surprised and shocked than at the idea of her adopted child becoming exposed alone to the machinations of such very skilful intriguers; yet, before many minutes Lady Edith found that these were the best terms likely to be offered. The three conspirators, as she considered Mr. Ambrose, Father Eustace, and Lord Eaglescairn,

whose countenance had become uncommonly red, looked all contemptuously certain of carrying their point, while the whole soul of Beatrice seemed in her eyes and ears, as she still convulsively riveted her hold of the only friend in that room she could trust. Lady Edith, seeing an increasing pallor on the countenance of Beatrice, became deeply anxious to end a scene so agitating, and affectionately taking her hand said, with deep emotion, “My Beatrice knows I have always loved her, but she shall now see how I esteem and can trust her. For one week, Beatrice, you have my consent to remain here, and I know without that you would not stay an hour. There can, I trust, be no risk. Your welfare is necessary to make my own life endurable; but you are well aware, that no one is worse than I am at refusing a request, therefore come to me sometimes for one hour; and I shall endeavour to do without you during the rest.” At these words an expression of fierce delight glittered in the eyes of Father Eustace, while Lady Edith, on whom nothing was lost, slowly continued: “I must honestly own—for cost what it may, I will speak the truth—that this lady habited now as an abbess, is evidently the person saved from shipwreck with Beatrice; no legal proof is necessary of that ; but tell me, Lord Eaglescairn,-on your word of honour as a British peer-is this the mother of Beatrice?” Lady Edith's brilliant eyes had always seemed to have the power of divining at a glance the ininmost recesses of any one's most secret thoughts, and her look became fastened on Lord Eaglescairn, as if life or death were in his reply, but he stammered, his eyes fell, and his answer broke down entirely; until Father Eustace, with resolute composure, put in his word, saying, “We are ready to pledge ourselves”— Lady Edith's eye, calm, resolute, and clearsighted, still remained steadily fastened on Lord Eaglescairn, while, as if no interruption had taken place from the priest, she added, “Let my reliance be on your honour, Lord Eaglescairn. Your confessor and I have always preferred being strangers. In my Church there is no difference between a wicked falsehood, and a religious lie told under a dispensation for the advantage of a certain church. To you, Lord Eaglescairn, I appeal as a British peer, to whom truth and honour are one. If you can pledge your sacred word that Beatrice is now in the presence of her own mother, she shall have my consent to remain under your roof for a week.” Lord Eaglescairn, industriously twisting his spectacles between his fingers, gave a furtive glance towards Father Eustace. He looked much confused, and considerably alarmed besides, but his very soul seemed in a state of helpless prostration before the priest, whose features retained their usual imperturbable stillness; yet some signal passed between them, such as the initiated only could understand. Lord Eaglescairn carefully avoided the eye of Lady Edith, and after a few moments' pause, assumed towards her an expression WOL. III. C

of towering pride not to be questioned, and said, vainly attempting a tone of resolute assurance, “I have no reason to doubt the assertion of Father Eustace, or the evidence of my own senses, that the mother of Miss Farinelli still lives.” Lady Edith's eyes remained fixed on the averted face of Lord Eaglescairn, with a look of almost pitying forbearance, though of evident misgiving, while trying to trace whether any Jesuitical evasion were concealed under his reply, and her silence was eloquent with emotion, while a pause of several minutes ensued, during which the fine but very stern eyes of Father Eustace shot a glance at the hesitating peer, of angry and very solemn admonition. Beatrice meanwhile could not but perceive the telegraphic looks of the priest, and with what an angry shrug he turned away while she leaned on the chimney-piece, looking white as the marble beside her, yet there appeared an increasing air of lofty decision and of gentle firmness in her expression now, very different indeed from the careless girlish vivacity of former days. Sir Allan, while in his restless agitation he impatiently tattooed on the table beside him, secretly thought that among all the beautiful statues he had ever admired abroad, he had never yet beheld the representation of so much grace, of so much beauty, of so much simple dignity, as in the lovely companion of his own boyhood, now lost to him for ever. “Beatrice,” said Lady Edith, her lip quivering with emotion, but now impatient to close an interview which had caused to both the most death

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