The Two Guardians
"So too may soothing Hope thy leave enjoy,
Sweet visions of long severed hearts to frame;
Though absence may impair or cares annoy,
Some constant mind may draw us still the same."
"Here are two letters for you, Marian," said Mrs. Lyddell, meeting the girls as they came
in from a walk; "Lady Marchmont's servant left this note."
"An invitation to dinner for this evening," said Marian opening it; "ah! I knew they were
to have a party; 'just recollected that Lady Julia Faulkner used to know Fern Torr, and I
must have you to meet her, if it is not a great bore.'"
"Then, my dear, had you not better send an answer? James can take it directly."
"No, no, thank you; the carriage will call at seven. Who can this Lady Julia be? But--" by
this time Marian had arrived at her other letter, and, with a sudden start and scream of
joy, she exclaimed, "They are coming!"
"Coming? Who?" asked Caroline.
"Agnes--and Mr. and Mrs. Wortley! O! All coming to stay with their friends in Cadogan
Place. I shall see them at any time I please."
"I am very glad of it," said Caroline.
"Tell them that their earliest engagement must be to us," said Mrs. Lyddell. "When do
you expect them?"
"Next week, next week itself," cried Marian, "to stay a whole fortnight, or perhaps three
weeks. Mr. Wortley has business which will occupy him--"
Few faces ever expressed more joy than Marian's in the prospect of a meeting with these
dearest of friends; Mrs. Lyddell and Caroline smiled at her joy as she flew out of the
room to make Saunders a partaker in her pleasure.
"Strange girl," said Caroline; "so cold to some, so warm to others; I shall be glad to see
these incomparable Wortleys."
"So shall I," said Mrs. Lyddell; "but I expect that Marian's opinion of them will soon
alter, she has now become used to such different society. However we must be very civil
to them, be they what they may."