The Mysterious Wanderer - novelonlinefull.com
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Harland and his Louise returned to Harland Hill, where, a few months after, she made him the exulting father of a lovely boy. This circ.u.mstance endeared her not only more to him, but to his parents; at whose request he relinquished the service, and consented to reside with them. The amiable manners of Louise had imperceptibly softened the impatience and harshness of his temper, and his increasing tenderness as a husband and father, fully justified her in the choice she had made.
Captain Howard purchased an estate near Sir Henry and Mr. Talton's; and in the society and affection of his Ellenor found an ample recompence for the years of unhappiness he had experienced on her account. Edward and Theodosia, at his desire, consented to reside beneath his paternal roof: whilst Sir Arthur, who since the death of his son had shown an unusual urbanity of disposition, again regarded him with fraternal kindness, which was returned with the sincerest friendship by the Captain.
Time softened the sorrow of the worthy Booyers for the loss of Hannah; and, though he ever dwelt on her memory with tenderness, he no longer felt those poignant emotions, the remembrance or mention of her would at one time have occasioned. Frederick, with a delicacy equal to his regard, presented him with an estate adjoining Howard Hall, which produced him an easy competence: from the happiness of Ellen he derived his own, and in her children found a source of amus.e.m.e.nt for his declining age.
Mr. Talton was justified in his choice of Mrs. Blond; nor had either of them cause to regret the day on which they were united. So far from deeming her remembrance of Corbet or Blond a slight to himself, he would join her in the praise he thought justly due to their merits. This behaviour increased the regard of his wife; and if a sigh sometimes obtruded for their unhappy fate, the recollection of Talton never failed to restore her cheerfulness.
For Mrs. St. Ledger (the once unfortunate Sister Francoise), Louise retained the sincerest regard; whilst the friendship of that amiable woman fully recompensed her for the loss of her mother.--Three years after her marriage, the Marquis de Valois and his family returned to France, whither Harland attended his Louise, and they pa.s.sed some months at the seat of that n.o.bleman. On their return to England, in which they were accompanied by the Marchioness and her daughters, they were surprised, on entering Abbeville, by the appearance of Mallet; his dress immediately informed them he was in the service of the French Monarch, though in the lowest rank. He as instantly recognized Louise, who, with mingled sensations of pleasure and grief, received his embrace. He had, on quitting England, proceeded to Paris, where the gaming-table soon despoiled him of the wealth he had obtained from Lady Corbet. He then for some time gained a precarious livelihood, by practising those wiles by which himself had been defrauded; but being detected, was obliged to fly, and as a last resource for the preservation of existence, had taken up a musket. These adventures, glossed over with the t.i.tle of misfortunes, fully awakened the pity of Harland, who readily complied with the wish of Louise, to settle an annuity on him for life; he would have urged his return to England, but Mallet declared his resolution never to revisit his native country. He had, he said, since the death of Lady Corbet, entered into other engagements, which he by no means wished to break, though he declared himself extremely willing to quit the army. They accordingly procured his discharge, and presenting him with a sum of money for immediate use, he set out for the south of France, where he proposed to fix his residence, whilst Harland and Louise continued their way toward England, where the society of her friends soon obliterated the painful remembrance of an unworthy parent.
Old Thomas, at his earnest solicitation, still continued with Sir Henry; who, feeling himself indebted to that faithful servant for the restoration of his fortune, would have made him independent: but no consideration could induce him to accept of any reward which should separate him from his master; with whom he begged he might pa.s.s the remainder of his days. Sir Henry yielded to his wish; and by every indulgence strove to requite the services he had rendered him.
Sir Henry, satisfied with his own conduct, could look back on every action without regret, and to each succeeding day with confidence and pleasure. Revered by his dependants, and esteemed by all who knew him, he experienced the true delight of a benevolent heart; whilst in the affection of Eliza and his children, and the warm attachment of his friends, he found a recompence for the sorrows he had formerly known.