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from its attachment, he was precipitated to the bottom at the exterior foot of the gate-way.
Edward instantly, and in great agitation, ran to his assistance, and found him stretched on the ground in a state of complete insensibility, pale as death, and apparently lifeless. He had the presence of mind, however, immediately to hurry with him in his arms towards the river, where, placing him gently on the bank, and opening his vest for the more effective aspersion of the water, he started back in astonishment on beholding the beautiful bosom of a female. The discovery, for a moment, from its total unexpectedness, suspended his efforts; but it was but for a moment, for a new interest was now awakened in his breast, and he had soon the gratification of perceiving that the shock arising from the water was about to restore animation. A slight quivering on the lips, succeeded by a deep sigh, and accompanied by a tremulous motion of the eye-lids, were the precursors of this happy event. But what was the tumult of emotion which sprang in the bosom of the gentle sufferer, when recognition told her that her secret was no longer within her own keeping! The imploring expression of the deep blue eye, the tear that trembled on its verge, the suffusion which encrimsoned a cheek, but a moment before pale as the mountain snow, were indications which could not be mistaken, and were felt, indeed, deep within the heart of him who now hung over her with every attention which sensibility and delicacy could suggest.
Fortunately no material injury had been received; but such, notwithstanding, had been the violence of the shock, that some time elapsed before Edward had the gratification of seeing his now very interesting companion sufficiently revived to be able to walk, even with all the assistance which he was desirous of bestowing. As soon, however, as this could be done without pain, he strongly recommended that, as much faintness and sense of weakness still remained, they should call at the mansion-house for some slight refreshment, a proposal which, as the Duke was absent, and Helmsley, though not far off, somewhat more distant, was not objected to, and they accordingly moved slowly forward to the principal porch.
They were received in the great hall with
much civility by Sir Ralph Blenford, the steward of the house, who, on learning the accident which had happened, very politely ordered refreshments to be brought them, offering, at the same time, any conveyance to Rivaulx which the Duke's stables in his absence could afford. As Hoel, however, now professed to be, and really felt, almost perfectly recovered, and they were likewise apprehensive that such a mode of return might occasion great and unnecessary alarm, the offer was declined with many acknowledgements, and they left Helmsley with as much rapidity as the bruises which poor Hoel had received would allow.
The evening, though fine, was now so far advanced as to render almost every object indistinct and obscure, a circumstance peculiarly welcome to one of the parties, as it, in a great measure, concealed the blushes and confusion which the late accident had not yet ceased to occasion.
The feelings, in short, of both, with respect to each other, had undergone, within the compass of one short hour, a strange alteration; and they journeyed on for some time absorbed in thought, and with scarcely the exchange of a word, though the kind assiduity of Edward in relieving, as much as possible, the exertions and fatigue of his companion, was such as very clearly to indicate what was passing within his breast. He had, indeed, been more or less than man, if the discovery which he had just made, preceded as it was by all the circumstances and events we have recorded, had not made an impression on his heart. But when we recollect how that heart was constituted, how susceptible of the best, and noblest, and tenderest affections, how singular and romantic had been the incident, and how good and beautiful the being who had formed its object, we shall not wonder to find that the friendship he had so recently entertained was fast maturing into love.
“ May I venture to enquire,” he at length said, as he had just assisted his trembling companion over the stepping-stones of a shallow brook, 66
may I venture to enquire by what name I am in future to address her whom chance has so lately and so kindly introduced to me?" “ My name, my real name," replied the lovely girl, smiling, yet with trepidation, is Adeline, the name of my beloved mother; and believe me, Edward, when I say, that though Hoel is no more, Adeline will, with never-dying gratitude, remember the kindness you have ever shown him.”
As she said this, and with an accent and manner which
added sweetness to the sentiment, Mr. Walsingham, with Llwellyn leaning on his arm appeared in sight; and Edward and Adeline, fearful that apprehensions for their safety had brought them thus far, and at so late an hour from home, hastened, though with some anxiety, to meet them.
(To be continued.)