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much the most agreeable of the two, and in which he had an excellent auxiliary in Clare Llewellen. The prudent Miriam was in an ecstasy of joy and astonishment. Her sorrows on Gwenthlean's account were forgotten in the satisfaction that she felt at her sister's being about to become a Countess. The Earl and Countess of Hastings ! there never was such a name ! She could not and would not understand why he was not called “your Earlship," instead of "your Lordship," and persisted in uniting, instead of splitting, the difference, by saying “ His Lordship the Earl.” By her instrumentality, the news soon spread far and wide ; and so great was her forgetfulness of her usual discretion, that, in the height of her exultation, she even began to make it be understood, that her own mistress was, also, properly, a lady of title.
When Lord Hastings, or, as Miriam would have said, “ his Lordship the Earl,” had settled matters to his heart's content, he left Craigyvellyn to return home, and inform his mother and sisters of his in. tended marriage, as well as to prepare for the reception of his bride. He was to call on the Countess Sforza on his way into Dorsetshire, to make her acquainted with her niece’s intentions, and to bear a note from Clare, who, in the harmony and peace attendant upon her state of perfect happiness, wished to be friends, if possible, with all the world. It was not without difficulty that she could prevail upon Lord Hastings to make this concession in her name, for he entertained a sovereign contempt for her aunt. When he did consent, it was more from motives of triumph than kind feeling ; for he was anxious to prove to the proud and unfeeling woman of the world, that her niece was even more attractive under the care of the mother she had been taught to forget, than under that of the aunt, who would have misled her young mind from natural affection to pride and artifice.
When he was gone, Lady Llewellen and her daughters had time to think over the many mercies that had been vouchsafed to them, and to trace throughout their varied trials, the guidance of the Divine Hand. The delicate state of Gwenthlean's health was a source of anxiety ; but the relief her mind had experienced, was not without salutary effect upon her body. Still her fragile form and pale face were eagerly watched by the tender mother and sister; and every possible attention paid to restore her to her former state. Margarita, who gradually became almost happy again, was wholly devoted to her, whilst Miriam's chief care was -Miss Clare's trousseau.
This worthy's extravagant wishes, were gratified in a somewhat singular manner, and she was enabled to furnish the future Countess with a wardrobe befitting her station. When once misfortune has turned his back and fortune begins to look upon you with a smiling face, there is
no end to your good luck. The old adage
—“ It never rains but it pours," is a good one, whether it pour sorrows or joys— and so Lady Llewellen proved.
She was summoned away from Miriam's eternal questioning concerning the best way of making a very snall sum of money do as well as a large one, by a stranger, who requested to see her privately. He was an old man, of worn and almost wretched appearance ; shabbily dressed, but with an air of respectability about him, that spoke of better days. He was shown into the dining-room, and before he sat down, by Lady Llewellen's request ; carefully closed the door. He appeared agitated, and remained for some time, looking attentively at Lady Llewellen, without speaking. There was a tear in his eye, and when he did speak, his voice trembled.
“ You do not know me, madam ;" he said. “ Years change us all. Even you are altered.”
The voice seemed familiar to Lady Llewellen, though old age had rendered it querulous, and agitation made his words scarcely audible. She said that she did not, certainly recollect him, and begged him to tell her who he was.
“I am afraid to mention my name," he said, “ lest you should spurn me from your presence. But did you know all I have suffered both in mind and body, since I saw you twelve years ago, you would, at least, pity me. I must recal painful hours to your mind, my lady, but my sins have been punished enough. Do you not remember George Lewis, your husband's— my dear but injured master's—ungrateful steward ?”
Lady Llewellen gave a start and scream of surprise, not unmixed with horror.
“ Lewis !” she exclaimed; “impossible! What can you be doing here? How can you present yourself before"
Say it not, my lady;" said the old man, his eyes filled with tears. “Say not