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with his regiment, under Turenne, against the Spanish troops commanded by Condé : you were then in Italy, my dear sister, and I inhabited my country house of Piepus.'
«« « One night, it was the 16th of July, I was returning from the house of Penautier, receiver general for the clergy, who resided near the tower of Nesle, to my own house, when on passing the new bridge constructed in front of the Dauphin Gate, my coachman and servants were assailed with showers of stones and other missiles, and my carriage nearly destroyed; an hour previous, at the same spot, the carriage of M. de Tillandet, having ran against that of the Duke d'Epernon, was totally demolished by the latter's servants, and M. de Tillandet with difficulty saved his life from the infuriated mob. I was probably about to experience a similar fate, when a young officer, whom I met on the road with an escort of soldiers, appeared, sword in hand; he cut his way towards me through the most violent of the rioters, and succeeded with his soldiers in dispersing them, though not without considerable bloodshed. I descended from my carriage, more dead than alive, intending to offer this gallant officer my personal thanks, for having thus opportunely saved my life, but he had disappeared.'
". And you never again saw him no doubt.'
“ Without paying attention to her sister's remark, the marchioness continued :
At my feet lay a portfolio, in which I found, extraordidinary to say! my own portrait in miniature, apparently painted from memory, by some young artist. I was about to dispatch my servants in search of the owner of this pocketbook, when the same young man, who had so bravely rescued me from destruction, presented himself. His arm was in a sling, and he evidently suffered intense pain ; wben about to speak his eyes closed, and he sank fainting on the carriage steps. An hour afterwards, he was restored to his senses under my roof at Piepus.'
• The astonishment of sister Mary was at its height, she seemed anxious to put some questions to her sister, but was incapable of pronouncing a word. The marchioness, entirely pre-occupied with her narrative, did not observe the impression it had made on her sister. She continued, with a deep sigh :
Eight days after this adventure, a new sentiment was awakened in my heart,-1 was loved !--and I returned the love
of the Chevalier de St. Croix, a young officer of the regiment of Tracey, who had saved my life !!
* * You returned his love, Margaret !'exclaimed the nun, 'gracious heaven!'
".. Oh blame me not, my sister, for you know not, you can. not feel, wbat it is to have wedded a man without love, to pass days and nights with a being whom we hate and despise, -and to meet with one, who, in the midst of eminent peril has saved your life,-one whose own life bad nearly fallen a sacrifice to his courage,-one over whom you have watched with the intense anxiety of an unknown sentiment of affection, -one whom love had instantly bound up with your existence,-one to whom your soul became linked as if by magic. You must have loved him, Mary, for this alone, and it only needed a knowledge of bis concealed love for me, with the interest excited by the recital of his mysterious life. He had seen
me repeatedly in the neighbourhood while in quarters, and the sketch I found in his pocket-book was from his pencil.'
Margaret, (for he neither knew the name of my father or that of my husband,) Margaret, I have no family, no country. I never knew a mother's tenderness, I am ignorant what spot claims my birth ; I am noble, I am told, yes, noble ! but without a name, noble by seduction, or adultery ! a fine boast truly is my nobility !-How often have I cursed my parents, when after being complimented for some trifling act of courage in the service, I was asked my father's name ! bumiliated by my feelings, I have sought death at the can. non's mouth, and bared my bosom to swords and balls, yet death has spared me, to experience fresh mortifications, and forced honours for actions, the result of despair. Yes, Mar. garet, shall I confess it, I have cowardly thought of committing suicide, I have slept with a pistol on my heart, thinking to wake in another world. But a hope saved me, an angel arrested my guilty hand, I saw you, dear Margaret, -young, -lovely,- I drew your image, and loved you, as the first and only creature on earth, in whom every thought of young love's dream was centered. I secretly followed you,-I was fortunate enough to prove of some service to you, in the hour of peril. I am here under the same roof with you,—and need I repeat it,-fondly,-madly love you l'
“But Margaret,' interrupted Mary, 'what became of him?'
"A fortnight after, his regiment quitted Paris for Valenciennes, where my husband also was. He departed, promising to write to me frequently.'
“ He must then have learned your name?' observed her sister.
"No, his letters were to have been addressed to my country house, under cover to a trusty servant. I have waited two years without hearing from him, and still wait in the same anxious misery, at not knowing if still he lives. Three months since, my husband wrote to me, stating that the siege of Montmédy, had been very fatal to the regiment of Tracey, several officers having fallen, and alas! I fear St. Croix, was of the number.'
* Courage, my darling Margaret,' exclaimed her sister, af. fectionately kissing her, rouse yourself-call upon heaven to sound your good intentions, banish this guilty love from your breast, and for the future only study reparation of this one
" • This one fault ! bitterly exclaimed the marchioness, * this one fault !-Oh Mary! there is another there is
-oh God! I dare not name it,' and she buried her face between her hands, in an agony of grief.'
"Margaret, you terrify me! but speak, and ease my fears !'
** • Oh Mary! I am a wretch, beyond all consolation here or hereafter, yet it is to you I look for advice, for I dare not confess my crime, even to the sacred ear of my spiritual director.'
" • Your crime! oh wretched, guilty Margaret. I now begin to fathom the truth, the journey you undertook, more than a twelvemonth since, with so much secrecy, was to conceal --'
"To conceal my shame from the eyes of my father and my friends, to save the honour of my husband's name, and from guilt to crime I madly rushed onward in my career.-0 God! the very thought fires my brain, and drives reason from her seat. Mary, dear, beloved sister, do not kill me as I,
-Immurdered --my child-my innocent smiling cherub !!!'
" At these words the horror-struck Mary uttered a scream, and falling on her knees, devoutly crossed herself, in fervent prayer. The marchioness with streaming eyes, cast a supplicating look upon her sister, and sunk kneeling by her side, with clasped hands and palpitating heart.
""Oh Margaret! this is most horrible, your crime turns the warm current of my heart's blood into an icy stream; whatla mother voluntarily to deprive a being of the life she gave, to murder a helpless creature, whose outstretched arms, would have protected it from a tiger? It is a crime, added she, raising her voice in deep emotion, a crime unknown to the most barbarous nation, and yet practised with impunity, in a civilized country, to conceal the shame, or redeem, the reputation of a wife or daughter! May the God of mercy look down upon you, wretched Margaret! I cannot offer you any consolation, ob, it is too horrible, could you not have sent the innocent offspring of your guilty love to have been brought up far from you! you had not poverty to plead as an excuse for your crime, and yet you destroyed the poorpoor infant!'
"No, no Mary,–I could not confide it to strange bands, I should some day have been forced to tell my child of its disgraceful birth, and like its father, it would have lived only to curse its guilty parents. Madness prompted my thoughts, and guided my hand,--and--I killed my lovely, smiling, -innocent babe!!!'
“ The marchioness had scarcely pronounced these words, when the clatter of horses entering the court-yard, indicated the arrival of company.
“ A page entered, and announced hastily, ' The Marquis de Brinvilliers, madame."
“ Had a thunderbolt fallen between the two sisters, they could not have felt more alarm or surprise. The marquis returned ? he who for three months had given no intelligence respecting his movements, and was supposed to be actively engaged in military operations ? could it be possible ? what could have caused it? And at such a moment! it seemed as if he came to listen to his wife's confession of guilt, and to hear from her lips the confirmation of his own disgrace.
“The marchioness, skilful in concealing her inmost thoughts, and long used to dissimulate her feelings, assumed with some effort, an appearance of tranquillity, foreign to her feelings, but sufficient to conceal them from the eyes of her husband, whose cold indifference, rarely prompted him to make any enquiries beyond the customary civility of high breeding.
“The marquis shortly appeared, accompanied by his fatherin-law, M. Dreux d'Aubray, and a young man upon whom the eyes of the latter were intently fixed, from the moment the party entered the apartment.
«• Good day, my dear marchioness, you look lovely,' said he, coldly kissing her extended hand, without dwelling for an instant on her face ; 'Ah, my fair nun! and how is it with you, always pretty and pious, is it not so, Mary ? by-thebye, permit me ladies to introduce to your notice, and good graces, an amiable young prisoner, whom we all thought dead to this world's enjoyments. He sighs to become your humble servant. Then turning to the group next the door, he beckoned the unknown to advance, and taking him by the hand, whispered in his ear, “ Not a word to my wife about my adventures with little Euphemia of the theatre, you understand me, eh ?'
“ Then stepping towards the marchioness, who was in deep conversation with her sister, he exclaimed :
" My dear marchioness, allow me to introduce to you my friend, and companion in arms, the Chevalier de St. Croix, captain of the regiment of Tracey, a gentleman as brave as be is handsome, but most unfashionably modest and shy with pretty women like yourself.”
“Madame de Brinvilliers, uttered a piercing scream, and fell fainting on the floor, her father rushed to her assistance, and casting an enquiring eye on St. Croix, who remained motionless as a statue, merely uttered with extreme steroness, • This must be seen to.”
(To be continued in our nest.)
TO A BRIDE.
FAREWELL! that seal is set,
In life anbroken;
And blessing spoken
Farewell! for thou art now
Enshrined for ever ;
That breaks not ever,
For thee my lonely heart
With passiou's sorrow
When on the morrow