And Edward thought he had never seen anything so lovely as the deep blue eyes that now looked up full of tears.
"Ah, too convincing, dangerously dear,
In woman’s eye, th’ unanswerable tear."
Whither Edward might have floated on the tears of the "dove-eyed Julia" must remain a question; for at that moment—a most unusual occurrence in a morning—Mr. Alford came into his own drawing-room.
"So, Madam," he exclaimed in a voice almost inarticulate from anger, "I know it all. You were married to Captain Dacre yesterday; and you, Sir," turning to Edward, "made yourself a party to the shameful deception."
"No," interrupted Julia; "Mr. Rainsforth believed me to be in Swan and Edgar's shop the whole time. The fact was, I only passed through it."
Edward stood aghast. So the lady, instead of silks and ribands, was buying, perhaps, the dearest bargain of her life. A few moments convinced him that he was de trop; and he left the father storming, and the daughter in hysterics.
On his arrival at his lodgings, he found a letter from his guardians, in which he found the following entered among other items:—"Miss Emily Worthington has been ill, but is now recovering." Edward cared, at this moment, very little about the health or sickness of any woman in the world. Indeed, he rather thought Emily’s illness was a judgment upon her. If she had answered his letter, he would have been saved all his recent mortification. He decided on abjuring the flattering and fickle sex for ever, and turned to his desk to look over some accounts to which he was referred by his guardians. While tossing the papers about, half-listless, half-fretful, what should catch his eye but a letter with the seal not broken! He started from his seat in consternation. Why, it was his own epistle to Miss Worthington! No wonder that she had not written; she did not even know his address. All the horrors of his conduct now stared him full in the face. Poor, dear, deserted Emily, what must her feelings have been!—He could not bear to think of them. He snatched up a pen, wrote to his guardians, declaring that the illness of his beloved Emily would, if they did not yield, induce him to take any measure, however desperate; and that he insisted on being allowed permission to visit her. Nothing but his own eyes could satisfy him of her actual recovery. He also wrote to Emily, enclosed the truant letter, and the following day set off for Allerton.
In the meantime what had become of the fair disconsolate? Emily had certainly quite fulfilled her duty of being miserable enough in the first instance. Nothing could be duller than the little village to which was consigned the Ariadne of Allerton. Day after day she roamed—not along the beach, but along the fields towards the post-office, for the letter which, like the breeze in Lord Byron’s calm, "came not." A fort-night elapsed, when one morning, as she was crossing the grounds of a fine but deserted place in the neighbourhood, she was so much struck by the beauty of some pink May, that she stopped to gather it;—alas! like most other pleasures, it was out of her reach. Suddenly, a very elegant looking young man emerged from one of the winding paths, and insisted on gathering it for her. The flowers were so beautiful, when gathered, that it was impossible not to say something in their praise, and flowers lead to many other subjects. Emily discovered that she was talking to