Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

,

her ill-advised request. The unhappy old woman seemed ready to sink to the earth; her eyes wandered, her countenance became haggard, and, for a few moments, she was deprived of utterance; at length, in a low, inward voice, she said—“Who calls me? Did I not do my master's bidding ? God knows I am a poor simple woman, not fit to be trusted with them dark deeds!"

"Dear Katherine," said Geraldine, with a voice in which compassion strugg with alarm," no one would distress youlook up I will drop the subject.”

Katherine Lawless gazed around, as if awaking from a trance; then wildly said

" What subject, dearest? Ah, no! I knew you'd nat be the one to vex me;, but I had a horrid dream, and methought them Spanish priests (inquisitioners, I be

you call them) was come, with their Madonna della pena, to clasp me in her arms of iron, and tear me to pieces. But, question or 'no question, they could get

nothing

lieve

66

nothing out of me. God knows, I done for the best, and yet the fiery worm has never let me know a quiet hour !”

Compose yourself,” cried Geraldine, inexpressibly shocked; " and tell me, is there any thing I can do to relieve you?”

“ I would wish to speak to father Gargan,” answered Katherine Lawless, in a faint voice.

Father Gargan was the parish priest: he was accordingly sent for, and, for about an hour after this extraordinary conference, remained closeted with his aged penitent.

[blocks in formation]

gant quadrille-dress, trimmed at the bottom with roses, in the French manner,

with a corresponding wreath of full-blown • roses for her head. Matilda was now im

pressing upon her willing pupil the necessity of taking a few lessons to qualify her for a “ first appearance," as quadrilles were but recently introduced by some people of distinction at Limerick, and had never made a part of Olivia's education.

“ We can practise in the great hall every day,” observed Miss Southwell. “ There will be Geraldine-you, Miss Diana Pendennis, and Olivia, Mr. Cobham Pendennis, Mr.-How provoking Mr. Montfort should have set off for Dublin this very morning! Then there is Miss O'Reilly,” she continued, resuming her enumeration, “ Miss Pendennis

“ Not me,” said Bridget Pendennis, drawing back with a gentle shake of the head. “ There was a time that I thought it indeed no sin to dance, or sing, or join in any plan of social merriment; but now,”

she

she added, devoutly casting up her eyes, " thanks to the instructions of the excel lent Zachary Mudge, and the precious Zephaniah Toplofty! I am put in a far better way, and would not for the world

[ocr errors]

“ Contribute to the life and joy of the company," interrupted Olivia. “ Truly, , my good sister saint Bridget, you do honour to your reverend guides!”

Bridget shewed that at least she had learned a lesson of meekness, for she made her lively sister no reply. Geraldine looked at her, and thought that, though her words were those of fanaticism, she had seldom seen a more benevolent and even cheerful countenance. In forming this conclusion, our heroine was certainly not bribed by the power of beauty, as poor Bridget was gifted with so little of that bewitching quality, thạt her features might be styled the softened image of those of her uncle Pendennis.. “Those are right to stay away from balls

who

who are not ball-room figures,” resumed the beautiful Olivia; and, as with pert, pointless malice, she made this ungracious remark, Geraldine thought she looked plainer than her sister.

And are you too, Mr. Cobham Pendennis,” asked Matilda Southwell, “ a follower after Mr. Zachary Mudge and Eleazer-I forget the name.”

I was, madam,” Pendennis replied, bowing his head, obsequiously, “ until converted by a new light.As he spoke, he directed his large hollow eyes, with as much tenderness as they could assume, towards the bewitching dark gray ones of Miss Southwell, which, more brilliant than those that are called either blue or brown, literally threw out bright sparkles from beneath the black brows and lashes that shaded them.

6. Since then I am to succeed those worthy gentlemen as your spiritual director,” she resumed, with one of her most coquettish smiles, “ I suppose I must be

reckoned

« ZurückWeiter »