'I grieve to say that she and her friend have been in one of their fits of enthusiasm. He seemed to accord with their idea of a penitent--only longing for stricter rules than are to be found with us. From what I have heard, I should have been much less surprised if he had become a monk of La Trappe; in fact, I was almost afraid of it.'
'And does not this undeceive them?'
'No; poor Emma's only doubt is because she cannot bear to be unstable, and to desert the work to which she was almost pledged; but she says she is ashamed to perceive how much the sacrifice would cost her. She adds, that decide as she may, he concurs with her in devoting everything to the restoration of the Priory.'
'Poor Emma! He has debts enough to swallow two-thirds! And Miss Marstone, what does she say?'
'His becoming a suitor seems to have been a surprise and disappointment to her; but if she thinks him a pupil of her own, or expects to govern the Priory in poor Emma's stead, she will be in his favour. No; I have no hope from Theresa Marstone's discretion.'
'Theresa despises the others too much to attend to them. Mr. Randall seems to be startled at the present aspect of affairs, and asks me to come; and I should have set off this morning, but that I thought I might learn something from you and Arthur.'
'Every one would tell you the same. He was expelled from the University, and has gone on shockingly ever since, breaking his mother's heart! Poor Emma! after dreading every gentleman!'
'I fear she has much to suffer. He made her think him not a marrying man, and put her off her guard. Did you say he was agreeable?'