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Chapter 7
This is he
Who rides on the court-gale; controls its tides;
Knows all their secret shoals and fatal eddies;
Whose frown abases, and whose smile exalts.
He shines like any rainbow--and, perchance,
His colours are as transient."
There was some little displeasure and confusion on the Countess's brow, owing to her
struggle with Varney's pertinacity; but it was exchanged for an expression of the purest
joy and affection, as she threw herself into the arms of the noble stranger who entered,
and clasping him to her bosom, exclaimed, "At length--at length thou art come!"
Varney discreetly withdrew as his lord entered, and Janet was about to do the same,
when her mistress signed to her to remain. She took her place at the farther end of the
apartment, and continued standing, as if ready for attendance.
Meanwhile the Earl, for he was of no inferior rank, returned his lady's caress with the
most affectionate ardour, but affected to resist when she strove to take his cloak from
"Nay," she said, "but I will unmantle you. I must see if you have kept your word to me,
and come as the great Earl men call thee, and not as heretofore like a private cavalier."
"Thou art like the rest of the world, Amy," said the Earl, suffering her to prevail in the
playful contest; "the jewels, and feathers, and silk are more to them than the man whom
they adorn --many a poor blade looks gay in a velvet scabbard."
"But so cannot men say of thee, thou noble Earl," said his lady, as the cloak dropped on
the floor, and showed him dressed as princes when they ride abroad; "thou art the good
and well-tried steel, whose inly worth deserves, yet disdains, its outward ornaments. Do
not think Amy can love thee better in this glorious garb than she did when she gave her
heart to him who wore the russet-brown cloak in the woods of Devon."
"And thou too," said the Earl, as gracefully and majestically he led his beautiful
Countess towards the chair of state which was prepared for them both--"thou too, my
love, hast donned a dress which becomes thy rank, though it cannot improve thy
beauty. What think'st thou of our court taste?"
The lady cast a sidelong glance upon the great mirror as they passed it by, and then
said, "I know not how it is, but I think not of my own person while I look at the reflection