« AnteriorContinuar »
permit me to leave you in doubt upon my sentiments.”
“Do not speak them speedily, unless they are such as I fear, from your manner, I nust not dare to anticipate. Let timelet my future conduct- let your brother's influence”
“Forgive me, Mr Waverley. I should incur my own heavy censure did I delay expressing my sincere conviction that I can never regard you otherwise than as a valued friend. I should do you the highest injustice did I conceal my sentiments for a moment I see I distress you, and I grieve for it, but better now than later; and O better a thousand times, Mr Wa. verley, that you should feel a present momentary disappointment, than the long and heart-sickening griefs which attend a rash and ill-assorted marriage !"
“Good God! But why should you anticipate such consequences from an union where birth is equal, where fortune is fa. vourable, where, if I may venture to say so, the taste is similar, where you allege no preference, where you even express a favourable opinion of him whom you reject.?” .." Mr Waverley, I have that favourable opinion, and so strongly, that though I would rather have been silent upon the grounds of my resolution, you shall command them, if you exact such a mark of my esteem and confidence."
She sat down upon the fragment of a rock, and Waverley, placing himself near her, anxiously pressed for the explanation she offered.
.“ I dare hardly," she said, “ tell you the situation of my feelings, they are so different from those usually ascribed to young women at my period of life, and I dare hardly touch upon what I think the nature of yours, lest I should give offence where I would willingly administer consolation. For myself, from my infancy till this day, I have had but one wishthe restoration of my royal benefactors to their rightful throne. It is impossible to express to you the devotion of my feelings on this single subject, and I will frankly confess, that it has so occupied my mind as to exclude every thought respecting what is called my own settlement in life. Let me but live to see the day of that happy restoration, and a Highland cottage, a French convent, or an English palace, will be alike indifferent to me."
“But, dearest Flora, how is your enthusiastic zeal for the exiled family inconsistent with my happiness ?”
“Because you seek, or ought to seek, in the object of your attachment, a heart whose principal delight should be in augmenting your domestic felicity, and returning your affection, even to the height of romance. To a man of less keen sensibility, and less romantic tenderness of disposition, Flora Mac-Ivor might give content, if not happiness ; for, were the irrevocable words spoken, never would she be deficient in the duties which she vowed."
“ And why, — why, Miss Mac-Ivor, should you think yourself a more valuable treasure to one who is less capable of loving, of admiring you, than to me?"
“ Simply because the tone of our affections would be more in unison, and because his more blunted sensibility would not require the return of enthusiasm which I have not to bestow. But you, Mr Waverley, would for ever refer to the idea of domestic happiness which your imagination is capable of painting, and whatever fell short of that ideal representation would be construed into coldness and indifference, while you might consider the enthusiasm with which I regarded the success of the royal family, as defrauding your affection of its due return."
“ In other words, Miss Mac-Ivor, you cannot love me."
“ I could esteem you, Mr Waverley, as much, perhaps more, than any man I have ever seen; but I cannot love you as you ought to be loved. O! do not, for your
own sake, desire so hazardous an experiment. The woman whom you marry ought to have affections and opinions moulded upon yours. Her studies ought to be your studies ;-her wishes, her feelings, her hopes, her fears, should all mingle with yours. She should enhance your pleasures, share your sorrows, and cheer your melancholy."
“ And why will not you, Miss Mac-Ivor, who can so well describe a happy union, why will not you be yourself the person · you describe ?”
6 Is it possible you do not yet comprehend me? Have I not told you, that every keener sensation of my mind is bent exclusively towards an event, upon which indeed I have no power but those of my earnest prayers ?"
." And might not the granting the suit I solicit, even advance the interest to which you have devoted yourself? My family is wealthy and powerful, inclined in principles to the Stuart race, and should a favourable opportunity"