where the Secretary of the Treasury ‘called Lord George

time:2023-12-05 08:01:33 source:Tears down the net author:television

‘Very serious to us all.’ Mr. Lennox had never had the opportunity of having any private conversation with her father after her refusal, or else that would indeed be a very serious affair. In the first place, Margaret felt guilty and ashamed of having grown so much into a woman as to be thought of in marriage; and secondly, she did not know if her father might not be displeased that she had taken upon herself to decline Mr. Lennox’s proposal. But she soon felt it was not about anything, which having only lately and suddenly occurred, could have given rise to any complicated thoughts, that her father wished to speak to her. He made her take a chair by him; he stirred the fire, snuffed the candles, and sighed once or twice before he could make up his mind to say — and it came out with a jerk after all —‘Margaret! I am going to leave Helstone.’

where the Secretary of the Treasury ‘called Lord George

‘Leave Helstone, papa! But why?’

where the Secretary of the Treasury ‘called Lord George

Mr. Hale did not answer for a minute or two. He played with some papers on the table in a nervous and confused manner, opening his lips to speak several times, but closing them again without having the courage to utter a word. Margaret could not bear the sight of the suspense, which was even more distressing to her father than to herself.

where the Secretary of the Treasury ‘called Lord George

‘But why, dear papa? Do tell me!’

He looked up at her suddenly, and then said with a slow and enforced calmness:

‘Because I must no longer be a minister in the Church of England.’

Margaret had imagined nothing less than that some of the preferments which her mother so much desired had befallen her father at last — something that would force him to leave beautiful, beloved Helstone, and perhaps compel him to go and live in some of the stately and silent Closes which Margaret had seen from time to time in cathedral towns. They were grand and imposing places, but if, to go there, it was necessary to leave Helstone as a home for ever, that would have been a sad, long, lingering pain. But nothing to the shock she received from Mr. Hale’s last speech. What could he mean? It was all the worse for being so mysterious. The aspect of piteous distress on his face, almost as imploring a merciful and kind judgment from his child, gave her a sudden sickening. Could he have become implicated in anything Frederick had done? Frederick was an outlaw. Had her father, out of a natural love for his son, connived at any —

‘Oh! what is it? do speak, papa! tell me all! Why can you no longer be a clergyman? Surely, if the bishop were told all we know about Frederick, and the hard, unjust —’


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