Page:The Romance of Isabel, Lady Burton.djvu/262

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The Romance of Isabel Lady Burton

thirty-four, who was just being discharged after fifteen years in prison. "Why, Mr. Lentaigne, what did she do?" asked Isabel. "Poor girl!" he answered—"the sweetest creature!—she murdered her baby when she was sixteen." "Well," answered Isabel, "I would do anything to oblige you; but if I took her, I dare say I should often be left alone with her, and at thirty-four she might like larger game."

It was about this time that the Burtons again represented to Lord Russell how miserable their lives were, in consequence of being continually separated by the deadly climate of Fernando Po. Isabel's repeated petitions so moved the Foreign Secretary that he transferred Burton to the Consulate of Santos in the Brazils. It was not much of a post, it is true, and with a treacherous climate; but still his wife could accompany him there, and they hailed the change with gratitude. Before their departure a complimentary dinner was given by the Anthropological Society to Burton, with Lord Stanley (afterwards Lord Derby) in the chair. Lord Stanley made a very complimentary speech about the guest of the evening, and the President of the Society proposed Mrs. Burton's health, and spoke of the "respect and admiration" with which they all regarded her. The dinner was a capital send-off, and the Burtons may be said to have entered upon the second stage of their married life with the omens set fair.

Husband and wife arranged that they should go out to Portugal together for a little tour; that he should go on from there to Brazil; and she should return to London to wind up affairs, and as soon as