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and the choice of your youth, was a man who might have been your grandfather, and who, three weeks before you married him, was an utter stranger to you? would she be content to reside in the country, apart from all society but mine ? would slie find healthful employment for mind and body in simple pursuits, and the cultivation of her intellect and her heart? No, none of these things were for her: every day I felt more deeply the mistake I had made; and as I became the more convinced how unfitted she was to secure my happiness, I saw, by contrast, how in you were united all the qualities I most loved and admired in woman.
“At length, the second period fixed for our marriage approached, and words cannot express the agonising struggle that then took place in my mind.
“ It was at that time that I paid you my last visit; I could not resist the longing desire that possessed me to behold you once more, ere the fatal barrier that must for ever separate my destiny from yours was raised; then, Hortense, I guessed not that you shared my feelings; I thought that whatever that last meeting, that last parting, would cost me, you would feel no more than a passing regret, that you were not to see for some time the friend for whom I know you entertained a real regard. When, however, my own emotion woke yours — when your changing colour, your silence, your whole demeanour, so different, during those two days, to what it had ever been before, showed me what I might have won, what I had lost, no words can paint my feelings.
“But I was resolved to carry out the sacrifice, not by a fresh indulgence of my emotion to excite yours, and I left you without a word of what was passing in my heart. .
“From here I proceeded at once to Tours. In a fortnight the bridal day was to arrive. Eugénie, to whom I had not
announced my intended visit, received me with a degree of embarrassment and even alarm, which surprised much more than it afflicted me.
“ Did you not receive my letter ?' she inquired. I had had no letter from her for some time.
“I wrote to you nearly a week ago,' she said. It was evident the epistle had arrived in Paris after I had quitted it for Roubillac. My visit was so obviously unwelcome, that I abridged it as much as possible, and returned to the hôtel where I had engaged rooms, my views very materially altered by what I had seen, and resolved to proceed with great caution before I completed a union which I began to perceive might not be any more in accordance with Eugénie's feelings than with
my The next day, determined to come to an explanation, I was proceeding to her aunt's house, when I met, coming out of it, a man whom I had frequently seen in society in Paris, the Comte de Tournon, who enjoyed the reputation of having one of the largest fortunes, the emptiest head, and the most extensive stock of vanity, of any man of the Faubourg St. Germain. That such an individual should be on visiting terms with Madame de Villette, Eugénie's aunt, who, though perfectly respectable, was not in a position to render it likely her society should have much attraction for the Comte de Tournon, struck me as strange: as I advanced, I looked up at the window, and saw Eugénie standing there, evidently following his figure with her eyes, and wholly unconscious of the vicinity of mine; he turned and looked up too-saw her gazing – took off his hat -- and, with a smile of gratified vanity, pursued his way.
“In a few moments more I was at the door, and was told — the ladies were not at home! I had nothing for it but to retrace my steps; and on arriving at the inn, I found a letter from Eugénie, which had been left while I was out, the same in substance as the one she had written to Paris, and which, on my return there, I found. This epistle, as a master-piece of dissimulation, was really worthy of preservation. She told me, when she had so unguardedly betrayed the secret of her heart, she had guessed not the feelings of mine; that she was so overpowered with happiness at my declaration of affection, that she had, too credulously, too fondly, accepted, as a real attachment, a sentiment which she now believed was only drawn forth by an impulse of generosity and pity; that my changed manner had revealed to her that the union she once believed I desired as much as herself, was not one to secure my happiness, and that, therefore, she released me from an engagement she now knew was a chain that galled me, entreated me to see her no more, and bid me an eternal adieu. Enchanted as I was to be free, I would not accept my liberty on such terms; I proceeded at once to Madame de Villette's house, and, unannounced, entered the salon: there I beheld a party assembled, a notaire was reading the contrat de mariage of M. le Comte de Tournon and Mademoiselle Eugénie Latour! I apologised for my abrupt entry, retreated, et me voilà, chère et bonne Hortense, come to entreat that you will take pity on the
THE MAIDEN AT THE SPRING.
BY WILLIAM C. BENNETT.
PLEASANTLY the morning sun
Through the elm-tops streams;
The summer sunshine gleams;
The bubbling waters flow,
In tones forlorn and low,“O did he ever love me! how could he leave me so ! He came but with the violet - the rose it saw him go.”
Merrily the linnet sings
In the leaves o'erhead;
From beneath her tread;
Is soft, and sad, and low,“O did he ever love me ! how could he leave me so ! He came but with the violet — the rose it saw him go.” Hark! her ear has caught a sound,
Footsteps quick and light,
Ha! who springs to sight?
Upon the fountain's Gow;
That burden sad and low;