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too delicate a subject to touch upon, so they had looked on in silence. Now they watched Herbert's averted eye, and Gwenthlean's trembling frame, with increased interest, and perceived that Mr. Grant watched them also. Lord Hastings knew his friend Grant to be selfish, and knew that he would insist upon the fulfilment of the engagement, even though Gwenthlean should declare to him her love for another; for he had heard him say that no power either of Heaven or hell should induce him to relinquish her.
Herbert managed to retain a composure that he did not feel, but his attention was attracted towards Gwenthlean, though his face was averted from her, and his conversation directed to the many kind friends who surrounded him. He thanked Colonel Llewellen with grateful fervour, for affording him the means of escape, and as his eye kindled into enthusiasm, the old officer looked at him with an intense interest which he did not attempt to conceal ; and grasping his hand with affectionate eagerness, expressed himself happy in having been of so trilling a service to him, and hoped they should be friends for life.
“Everybody loves him," thought Gwenthlean, with an involuntary sigh, which Mr. Grant perceived.
He bit his lips, and walked towards the window, to conceal the frown that was gathering on his brow.
The door opened, and Clare entered, leading in the trembling Margarita, who, as soon as she saw Gwenthlean, without appearing conscious of the presence of others, went straight towards her, and bending her head low over the hand extended to her, poured forth a strain of eloquent thanks, which, uttered in a subdued voice, and the soft Italian language, sounded like music. She said that she had learned to love and revere her before she left her own country; but that when she first trod the shores of England, she had incurred a
debt of gratitude that would never be forgotton until death
"No fino alla morte,” she added, twice, energetically, as she raised her full, dark lustrous eyon towards Gwenthlean.
(lwenthloan had arisen, in confusion, and Mr. Grant was again by her side. Those nyoal what was there in those eyes ? Why aid Mr. Grant shrink back-then stand and gaso as if fascinated by the rattlesnake ? They were turned full upon him.
* Iddio. Mordante!" shrieked Margarita, as she clasped her hands, and rushed towards Herbert for protection.
“ The devil! Margarita !" involuntarily exclaimed Mr. Grant, forgetting his selfcommand, and becoming suddenly as pale as the poor Neapolitan, who sunk fainting into the arms of Herbert.
“ Is it possible ?” said Herbert, whilst he supported her. “Great God! how mysterious are thy ways.”
All present stood aghast, for none but Herbert knew Margarita's history. They
looked at Mr. Grant, who appeared the very personification of the spirit of evil that he had invoked. Every bad passion struggled in his face, whilst he combated with himself to gain composure-and the hypocrite at last prevailed.
He advanced towards Margarita, and began with
“ Poor girl! I knew her in Italy.”
But his voice recalled her to herself ; and she arose and waved him from her with an air of dignity that had better be. come a queen thau a peasant.
The fire of revenge flashed in her eye, and, perhaps, had she beeu in Italy, and a stiletto in her hand, the softening change effected by Herbert had not spared her destroyer.
Mr. Grant looked at her with a glance half threatening, half supplicatory-but it did not avail. She gave him back a look so proudly determined, that he quailed before his former victim. There, before. his friends before Gwenthlean-she told
the story of her wrongs. Herbert would have stopped her, and spared the feelings and public shame even of a Mr. Grant; but her words came like a torrent. If Mr. Grant interrupted her, she silenced him with that irresistible Italian eye, which he had praised in the time of its yet greater brilliancy. She told all, but the discovery she had since made of the validity of their marriage.
Indignation was in every breast-no one. dared to look at Mr. Grant : but he was not easily foiled. Before she had concluded, he had recovered himself, and, with a forced smile, that blended ill with the lingering shadows of the storm, which had preceded it, he said, with effrontery
“Merely a youthful folly. There is no one present who has not seen enough of life, to know that these things occur constantly, before reason has sobered our passions, and genuine love obtained the mastery of the heart. Gwenthlean, this will, I fear, prejudice you against one to whom.