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he wrote, “and may command a rich marriage, which should be the end and aim of every portionless beauty. When you have accomplished this desideratum, I shall be one of the most bumble of your slaves; but, until then, let me, as a friend, recommend you to be prudent in your conduct. The interests of women and men are wholly opposed : that of the one is to get married ; and that of the other, to avoid it by every possible means, unless driven to the altar of Hymen by the goading scourge of grim poverty, that gaunt spectre, who has compelled more victims to the fatal step than love ever enticed to it. Be circumspect, then, ma chère petite ; count on my discretion ; and let us hope to meet in Paris at some future day, when you shall have imposed the galling chains of marriage on one of your rich and dull compatriots, and emancipated yourself from the thraldom of demoiselleship. Wealth gives every thing except youth, beauty, and health — these you possess; and, if you play your part skilfully, the riches you may attain. Keep this object always in view ; and learn to smile at the fade sentimentality and romance, that never fail to subjugate your sex to ours. Adieu, ma chère Caroline ; aimez toujours votre
“ Caroline Montressor neither wept nor
pined at this confirmation of the unworthiness of him for whom she had sacrificed her honour.
The last French novel she had read, had displayed a heroine abandoned under similar circumstances, who rose (as the writer stated) superior to the blow aimed at her peace, and, ascending the pedestal appropriated to talent and wit, hurled around her the weapons of both; captivating, while wounding and mocking, the victims she made.'
"Such will I be,' said Caroline to herself;
and, from this day, she devoted all her time, all her energies, to acquiring a proficiency in those accomplishments most likely to aid her views. She was permitted by her foolish mother to accompany the Villerois, to Vienna, while she established herself as a resident in the Hotel de Meronville at Paris, with her duchesse, who offered her a home during the absence of the young people. At Vienna, the beauty and talents of Miss Montressor attracted general attention; and more than one of her admirers would have become suitors for her hand, had they not been alarmed from a step so irrevocable by an imprudent intimacy which she formed with the Comtesse Hohenlinden, whose conduct furnished the common topic of scandalous animadversion in every circle.
“ The young Duc de R., at that period the cynosure of neighbouring eyes at Vienna, soon became fascinated with the English beauty ; and the comtesse, whose sympathy for the flames of others was in proportion to the indulgence of her own, lost no opportunity of affording him interviews with her friend. But Caroline, who, in adoption of de Carency's counsel, never lost sight of the prospect of a rich marriage, conscious that a liaison with the royal Duc would lead to no such termination, maintained her prudence; and established for herself, in his eyes and those of the Comtesse, a reputation for virtue such as they, at least, had rarely encountered. The good Emperor lavished presents on the meritorious young woman who could resist his captivating grandson ; and Caroline Montressor became the fashionable belle of the court circle. Her intimacy with the Comtesse of Hohenlinden opened to her a new page in the history of human life. She saw in her a woman of high rank and great fortune,
almost wholly regardless, not only of virtue, but of its appearance, living only for the gratification of her passions; and so volatile and capricious, that the engouement of yesterday gave place to the one of to-day : and this woman, braving public opinion and outraging delicacy, was fétée by all. No one doubted her culpability, and some censured, but all received her. Such an example fixed Caroline Montressor for ever in her false and pernicious principles; and the hommage she saw offered to her guilty friend, finally overthrew in her mind all the barriers that separate the good from the vicious.
“ The works of Rousseau, Voltaire, and Diderot, were eagerly perused by this young female philosopher ; who found herself, at seventeen, a willing believer in their sophistries, and ready to do aught that could facilitate her course in the ambitious path she