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fury of a whole people; for, in the present state of general agitation, whoever disbelieves the least tittle of the enormous improbabilities which have been accumulated by these wretched informers, is instantly hunted down, as one who would smother the discovery of the plot. It is indeed an awful tempest; and remote as we lie from its sphere, we must expect soon to feel its effects."

"Lord Derby already told me something of this," said Julian; and that there were agents in this island whose object was to excite insurrection."

"Yes," answered the Countess, and her eye flashed fire as she spoke;" and had my advice been listened to, they had been apprehended in the very fact; and so dealt with, as to be a warning to all others how they sought this independent principality on such an errand. But my son, who is generally so culpably negligent of his own affairs, was pleased to assume the management of them upon this crisis."

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"I am happy to learn, madam," answered Peveril, that the measures of precaution which my kinsman has adopted, have had the complete effect of disconcerting the conspiracy."

"For the present, Julian; but they should have been such as would have made the boldest tremble, to think of such infringement on our rights in future. But Derby's present plan is fraught with greater danger; and yet there is something in it of gallantry, which has my sympathy."

"What is it, madam?" inquired Julian, anxiously; "and in what can I aid it, or avert its dangers?"

"He purposes," said the Countess, "instantly to set forth for London. He is, he says, not merely the feudal chief of a small island, but one of the noble Peers of England, who must not remain in the security of an obscure and distant castle, when

his name, or that of his mother, is slandered before his Prince and people. He will take his place, he says, in the House of Lords, and publicly demand justice for the insult thrown on his house, by perjured and interested witnesses."


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"It is a generous resolution, and worthy of my friend," said Julian Peveril. "I will go with him, and share his fate, be it what it may."

"Alas, foolish boy!" answered the Countess, 66 as well may you ask a hungry lion to feel compassion, as a prejudiced and furious people to do justice. They are like the madman at the height of frenzy, who murders without compunction his best and dearest friend; and only wonders and wails over his own cruelty, when he is recovered from his delirium."

"Pardon me, dearest lady," said Julian, "this can not be. The noble and generous people of England can not be thus strangely misled. Whatever prepossessions may be current among the more vulgar, the Houses of Legislature can not be deeply infected by them-they will remember their own dignity."

"Alas, cousin," answered the Countess, "when did Englismen, even of the highest degree, remember any thing, when hurried away by the violence of party feeling? Even those who have too much sense to believe in the incredible fictions which gull the multitude, will beware how they expose them, if their own political party can gain a momentary advantage by their being accredited. It is amongst such, too, that your kinsman has found friends and associates. Neglecting the old friends of his house, as too grave and formal companions for the humour of the times, his intercourse has been with the versatile Shaftesbury-the mercurial Buckingham— men who would not hesitate to sacrifice to the popular Moloch of the day, whatsoever, or whomso

ever-whose ruin could propitiate the deity.-Forgive a mother's tears, kinsman; but I see the scaffold at Bolton again erected. If Derby goes to London while these blood-hounds are in full cry, obnoxious as he is, and as I have made him by my religious faith, and my conduct in this island, he dies his father's death. And yet upon what other course to resolve!".

"Let me go to London, madam," said Peveril, much moved by the distress of his patroness; "your ladyship was wont to rely something on my judgment. I will act for the best-will communicate with those whom you point out to me, and only with them; and I trust soon to send you information that this delusion, however strong it may now be, is in the course of passing away; at worst, I can apprise you of the danger, should it menace the Earl or yourself; and may be able also to point out the means by which it may be eluded."

The Countess listened with a countenance in which the anxiety of maternal affection, which prompted her to embrace Peveril's generous offer, struggled with her native disinterested and generous disposition. "Think what you ask of me, Julian," she replied, with a sigh. "Would you have me expose the life of my friend's son to those perils to which I refuse my own?-No, never."

"Nay, but, madam," replied Julian, "I do not run the same risk-my person is not known in London-my situation, though not obscure in my own country, is too little known to be noticed in that huge assemblage of all that is noble and wealthy. No whisper, I presume, however indirect, has connected my name with the alleged conspiracy. I am a Protestant, above all, and can be accused of no intercourse, direct or indirect, with the Church of Rome. My connexions also lie amongst those who, if they do not, or can not, be

friend me, can not at least be dangerous to me. In a word, I run no danger, where the Earl might incur great peril."

"Alas!" said the Countess of Derby, "all this generous reasoning may be true; but it could only be listened to by a widowed mother. Selfish as I am, I can not but reflect that my kinswoman has, in all events, the support of an affectionate husbandsuch is the interested reasoning to which we are not ashamed to subject our better feelings."

"Do not call it so, madam," answered Peveril; "think of me but as the younger brother of my kinsman. You have ever done by me the duties of a mother; and have a right to my filial services, were it at a risk ten times greater than a journey to London, to inquire into the temper of the times. I will instantly go, and announce my departure to the Earl."

"Stay, Julian," said the Countess; "if you must make this journey in our behalf,-and, alas, I have not generosity enough to refuse your noble proffer, -you must go alone, and without communication with Derby. I know him well; his lightness of mind is free from selfish baseness, and for the world, would he not suffer you to leave Man without his company. And if he went with you, your noble and disinterested kindness would be of no avail-you would but share his ruin, as the swimmer who attempts to save a drowning man is involved in his fate, if he permit the sufferer to grapple with him."

"It shall be as you please, madam," said Peveril. "I am ready to depart upon half an hour's notice."

"This night, then," said the Countess, after a moment's pause" this night I will arrange the most secret means of carrying your generous project into effect; for I would not excite that preju

dice against you, which will instantly arise, were it known you had so lately left this island, and its Popish lady. You will do well, perhaps, to use a feigned name in London."

"Pardon me, madam," said Julian; "I will do nothing that can draw on me unnecessary attention; but to bear a feigned name, or affect any disguise beyond living with extreme privacy, would, I think, be unwise as well as unworthy; and what, if challenged, I might find some difficulty in assigning a reason for, consistent with perfect fairness of intentions."

"I believe you are right,” answered the Countess, after a moment's consideration; and then added, "You propose, doubtless, to pass through Derbyshire, and visit Martindale Castle?"

"I should wish it, madam, certainly," replied Peveril, did time permit, and circumstances render it advisable."

"Of that," said the Countess, "you must yourself judge. Dispatch is, doubtless, desirable; on the other hand, arriving from your own family-seat, you will be less an object of doubt and suspicion, than if you posted up from hence, without even visiting your parents. You must be guided in this; -in all,-by your own prudence. Go, my dearest son; for to me you should be dear as a son-go, and prepare for your journey. I will get ready some dispatches, and a supply of money-Nay, do not object. Am I not your mother; and are you not discharging a son's duty? Dispute not my right of defraying your expenses. Nor is this all; for as I must trust your zeal and prudence to act in our behalf when occasion shall demand, I will furnish you with effectual recommendations to our friends and kindred, entreating and enjoining them to render whatever aid you may require, either for your

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