when the soul begins to be pervaded by ‘that restless principle, which impels poor humans to seek perfection in union.’
At a hotel near the store for which she worked an English traveller, called Lord Henry Stuart
, had taken lodgings.
He was a strikingly handsome man, and of princely carriage.
As this distinguished stranger passed to and from his hotel, he encountered the umbrella girl, and was attracted by her uncommon beauty.
He easily traced her to the store, where he soon after went to purchase an umbrella.
This was followed up by presents of flowers, chats by the wayside, and invitations to walk or ride; all of which were gratefully accepted by the unsuspecting rustic; for she was as ignorant of the dangers of a city as were the squirrels of her native fields.
He was merely playing a game for temporary excitement.
She, with a head full of romance, and a heart melting under the influence of love, was unconsciously endangering the happiness of her whole life.
Lord Henry invited her to visit the public gardens on the Fourth of July.
In the simplicity of her heart, she believed all his flattering professions, and considered herself his bride elect; she therefore accepted the invitation with innocent frankness.
But she had no dress fit to appear in on such a public occasion, with a gentleman of high rank, whom she verily supposed to be her destined husband.