Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/363

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THE Dowager Countess of Warbeck was confined to her bed for some days after the unhappy disagreement with her grandson. Sir Claretie Mull did not, however, find in her symptoms any grave cause for alarm, and he told the young Earl as much, adding, that if he thought of leaving England, there was no earthly reason why he should not do so. His lordship, therefore, wrote the Dowager an affectionate adieu, expressing his regret that she would not see him, and assuring her of his unalterable love. With kindest regards to his cousin, Lady Jane, he remained ever her devoted grandson, Warbeck.

"Never mention his name in my presence," said the Countess to Jane, after she had read this; "when he repents of his impious conduct, I will forgive him. But until then my only course is to forget."

On the following Monday, she was still weak, but able to lie on the sofa. Jane was reading aloud to her when a visitor was announced in the person of "Mr. Mauden." He had asked to see Lady Jane Shannon.

"You cannot see him to-day," said the Countess, sharply; "it would be most improper. Tell him to come when I am strong enough to receive visitors."