« VorigeDoorgaan »
misery, and throwing herself into her sister's arms, wept aloud. Still Clare's words and manner soothed her, and she hoped against hope. Mr. Lloyd had been inquiring for her, and Clare entreated her, to be composed, and to accompany her to the breakfast table.
.“ The effort must be made,” she said, “ and you had better make it at once. Go to your room for five minutes, and compose yourself, then join us, dearest Gwenthlean. All will be well, I feel, I am sure it will. Only take courage. You cannot marry him. I will appeal to his generosity.”
Again Gwenthlean shook her head mournfully ; for she knew such an appeal would be vain. The sisters left the grotto together, and, after a short interval, appeared at the breakfast-table, where Mr. Lloyd and Herbert were seated. The former kissed Gwenthlean tenderly, and in an absent, but pleased manner, told her that “ they should be all gay and happy again, now Herbert was come ; even his
melancholy little Gwenthlean ;" then, ap. pearing to recollect himself, he added “but” looked grave, and paused. Herbert glanced at her, in spite of his better resolution, and saw the shade that passed over her countenance. He was shocked, when, on a nearer view, he perceived the changes that had been wrought in her. She averted her glance from his, and did not speak a word ; but she listened greedily to all he said. The recital of his adventures, the miseries of his long captivity, and all he had seen and suffered, drew the involuntary tear from her eyes, and once he met those eyes, when they were fixed in liquid earnestness upon him, and believed her unchanged. Every thing he saw astonished or pained him. The mourning dresses, not yet laid by, told him of one who had passed away, and he missed the merry voice of the joyful child who used to climb upon his knee ; and call him “ brother." Still more did he miss the vigour of mind and body that formerly characterized his grandfather; and the cheerful but serene smile of Gwenthlean. His Italian friend, once the Signorina, 110W Clare Llewellen, was the only one unchanged in her manner towards him, and she evidently understood what he suffered. She too, was altered, but in every way for the better. He longed to talk to her confidingly of all that had happened and was about to happen. As it was, he was bewildered, and could not arrive at the truth, or understand how matters really stood.
He was in the midst of his adventures, and the tea and coffee were cold and forgotten by every one, when the sounds of music were heard from amongst the rocks. As it gradually came nearer and nearer, a perfect tumult of instruments was audible at the bottom of the garden. Harp, violoncello, violin, horn, flute, fife, and everything but an organ and piano, clashed together in most harmonious discord. The little breakfast party rose to look out of the window, and saw a large body of peo
ple issue from the rocks, ornamented with flags and ribbons of all sorts and colours. The sands at the bottom of the garden were crowded, and there appeared nothing but a moving mass of people. “God save the Queen,” resounded from the joint instruments, and the national anthem was played with so much enthusiasm, and touched in so masterly a manner, that our good and gracious Victoria would have rejoiced to hear herself so loyally treated.
In sober and proper state, and with due regularity, a procession marched up the garden walk. First came the miller, supported by Walter and Morgan, bearing a very ancient and somewhat tattered banner, borrowed from Plas Craigyvellyn. His two aids de camps, carried a species of may-pole, ornamented with bunches of flowers and ribbons. Then followed something very much resembling a red pockethandkerchief or two, and a number of May-poles. In due succession came David with his harp, accompanied by the violon
cello, two violins, two horns, three flutes, and an uncertain unmber of fifes and clarionets. After them came several sailors, strangers at Cragyvellyn, apparently the rescued of the previous evening, and others of their craft, natives of the place. Bringing up the rear were more May-poles, and women decked with coloured bows, plucked from their Sunday caps, and finally the joint inhabitants of Craigyvellyn and Glanheathyn, men, women, and children, as motley a group as could be seen.
Up they came to the no small detriment of Gwenthlean's flowers, until the principal actors stationed themselves round the house.
“Long live, Mr. Herbert! Welcome home to Mr. Herbert Llewellen!” shouted forth the assembled crowd, with huzzahs so deafening, that the rocks and hills, and the very sea seemed to echo with them.
Herbert went out upon the steps before the door, and with glistening eyes, was about to mingle with the crowd, and to