By Sir Walter Scott
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He was about to leave the apartment, when the Lady called upon him to return. " "Forgive me, Lady," said the boy, "and let me go hence with the consciousness that I have not been degraded to the point of accepting alms. " "May God evermore bless you for the kind tone and the kind word! but the gold I cannot take. " He threw himself on his knees, kissed the hand which she did not withdraw, and then, hastily left the apartment. Lilias, for a moment or two, kept her eye fixed on her mistress, who looked so unusually pale, that she seemed about to faint; but the Lady instantly recovered herself, and declining the assistance which her attendant offered her, walked to her own apartment.
It was necessary, madam, for my vindication," said the page, "or I had not even hinted at a word that might give you pain. But believe, honoured Lady, I am of no churl's blood. " "And upon an assurance so vague as this," said the Lady, "do you propose to expect all the regard, all the privileges, befitting high rank and distinguished birth, and become a contender for concessions which are only due to the noble? Go to, sir, know yourself, or the master of the household shall make you know you are liable to the scourge as a malapert boy.
Lilias, "who have broken her bread, and drunk her drink, for so many years? " "Truly, Mistress Lilias," replied the steward, "I do partly see the mark at which you shoot, but I doubt your bolt will fall short. Matters being with our Lady as it likes you to suppose, it will neither be your crimped pinners, Mrs. Lilias, (speaking of them with due respect,) nor my silver hair, or golden chain, that will fill up the void which Roland Graeme must needs leave in our Lady's leisure. " "Well," replied Lilias, "you have experience, Master Wingate, and truly I would my master would leave off his picking hither and thither, and look better after the affairs of his household.