"God forbid that I should destroy her."

"He said that,--that you were afraid of her father."

"I am."

"And of me."

"No;--not of you, Mrs. O'Hara."

"Listen to me. He said that such a one as you cannot endure the presence of an uneducated and ill-mannered mother-in-law. Do not interrupt me, Lord Scroope. If you will marry her, my girl shall never see my face again; and I will cling to that man and will not leave him for a moment, so that he shall never put his foot near your door. Our name shall never be spoken in your hearing. She shall never even write to me if you think it better that we shall be so separated."

"It is not that," he said.

"What is it, then?"

"Oh, Mrs. O'Hara, you do not understand. You,--you I could love dearly."

"I would have you keep all your love for her."


"I do love her. She is good enough for me. She is too good; and so are you. It is for the family, and not for myself."

"How will she harm the family?"

"I swore to my uncle that I would not make her Countess of Scroope."

"And have you not sworn to her again and again that she should be your wife? Do you think that she would have done for you what she has done, had you not so sworn? Lord Scroope, I cannot think that you really mean it." She put both her hands softly upon his arm and looked up to him imploring his mercy.

He got up from his seat and roamed along the cliff, and she followed him, still imploring. Her tones were soft, and her words were the words of a suppliant. Would he not relent and save her child from wretchedness, from ruin and from death. "I will keep her with me till I die," he said.

"But not as your wife?"

"She shall have all attention from me,--everything that a woman's heart can desire. You two shall be never separated."

"But not as your wife?"

"I will live where she and you may please. She shall want nothing that my wife would possess."

"But not as your wife?"

"Not as Countess of Scroope."

"You would have her as your mistress, then?" As she asked this question the tone of her voice was altogether altered, and the threatening lion-look had returned to her eyes. They were now near the seat, confronted to each other; and the fury of her bosom, which for a while had been dominated by the tenderness of the love for her daughter, was again raging within her. Was it possible that he should be able to treat them thus,--that he should break his word and go from them scathless, happy, joyous, with all the delights of the world before him, leaving them crushed into dust beneath his feet. She had been called upon from her youth upwards to bear injustice,--but of all injustice surely this would be the worst. "As your mistress," she repeated,--"and I her mother, am to stand by and see it, and know that my girl is dishonoured! Would your mother have borne that for your sister? How would it be if your sister were as that girl is now?"

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