Part 10 out of 10
'Ah, Venetia!' said George, 'I wish I were clever; I wish I were a
genius; I wish I were a great man.'
'Because, Venetia, perhaps,' and Lord Cadurcis hesitated, 'perhaps you
would think differently of me? I mean perhaps your feelings towards me
might; ah, Venetia! perhaps you might think me worthy of you; perhaps
you might love me.'
'I am sure, dear George, if I did not love you, I should be the most
ungrateful of beings: you are our only friend.'
'And can I never be more than a friend to you, Venetia?' said Lord
Cadurcis, blushing very deeply.
'I am sure, dear George, I should be very sorry for your sake, if you
wished to be more,' said Venetia.
'Why?' said Lord Cadurcis.
'Because I should not like to see you unite your destiny with that of
a very unfortunate, if not a very unhappy, person.'
'The sweetest, the loveliest of women!' said Lord Cadurcis. 'O
Venetia! I dare not express what I feel, still less what I could hope.
I think so little of myself, so highly of you, that I am convinced my
aspirations are too arrogant for me to breathe them.'
'Ah! dear George, you deserve to be happy,' said Venetia. 'Would that
it were in my power to make you!'
'Dearest Venetia! it is, it is,' exclaimed Lord Cadurcis; then
checking himself, as if frightened by his boldness, he added in a more
subdued tone, 'I feel I am not worthy of you.'
They stood upon the breezy down that divided the demesnes of Cherbury
and the abbey. Beneath them rose, 'embosomed in a valley of green
bowers,' the ancient pile lately renovated under the studious care of
'Ah!' said Lord Cadurcis, 'be not less kind to the master of these
towers, than to the roof that you have fostered. You have renovated
our halls, restore our happiness! There is an union that will bring
consolation to more than one hearth, and baffle all the crosses of
adverse fate. Venetia, beautiful and noble-minded Venetia, condescend
to fulfil it!'
Perhaps the reader will not be surprised that, within a few months of
this morning walk, the hands of George, Lord Cadurcis, and Venetia
Herbert were joined in the chapel at Cherbury by the good Masham.
Peace be with them.