As they drew near the end of their journey, her impa-
tience for a sight of the abbey — for some time suspended
by his conversation on subjects very different — returned in
full force, and every bend in the road was expected with sol-
emn awe to afford a glimpse of its massy walls of grey stone,
rising amidst a grove of ancient oaks, with the last beams
of the sun playing in beautiful splendour on its high Gothic windows.
She knew not that she had any right to be surprised, but
there was a something in this mode of approach which she
certainly had not expected. To pass between lodges of a
modern appearance, to find herself with such ease in the
very precincts of the abbey, and driven so rapidly along a
smooth, level road of fine gravel, without obstacle, alarm, or
solemnity of any kind, struck her as odd and inconsistent.
She was actually under the abbey walls, was springing,
with Henry’s assistance, from the carriage, was beneath the
shelter of the old porch, and had even passed on to the hall,
where her friend and the general were waiting to welcome
her, without feeling one awful foreboding of future misery
to herself, or one moment’s suspicion of any past scenes of
horror being acted within the solemn edifice.
To be continued
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