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the part of the salon in which he had found his wife ; and so near to her, that it seemed impossible that she could not have seen him. Consequently, believing that she was now deliberately uttering a falsehood, the wrath of the jealous creature became unbounded. Partially, however, repressing its indulgence, he withdrew from the ball-room: and conducted her back to the home, the late happy home, that, only two hours before, they had left with unruffled minds and loving hearts.
They scarcely spoke during their drive, for both were a prey to the most painful emotions. Alicia wept with bitterness, as the past returned to her memory in mournful contrast with the altered present; and her tears and sobs only served to increase the anger of her excited husband. This violence prevented her from repeating to him the conversation she had overheard; for his changed manner and
unprecedented severity seemed to confirm the fearful calumny; and she shrank from the idea of exposing her wounded feelings to one who appeared only to regard her agony with vindictive malice.
Both retired to sleepless pillows, tortured by the fiend, jealousy, which now awoke in their hearts for the first time, inflicting pangs known only to those who have fondly loved and trusted - and been betrayed.
But, I really believe, I am attempting the sentimental! And my fingers ache, and my eyes are blinded, and my head is dizzy, and I have already disfigured enough paper to fill the ambassador's bag, even if it were a sack: I must, therefore, reserve for another letter the continuation of my tale. Adieu then, chère Caroline, and believe me,
Votre amie dévouée,
DELPHINE, MARQUISE DE VILLEROI.
FROM THE MARQUISE DE VILLEROI TO
MA CÈRE CAROLINE, -As I have not much time or space to spare, I will resume my conte moral without any prelude; venturing to believe that you are under the influence of my literary spell, and are dying to learn the dénoúment of the narrative which, I flatter myself, I have hitherto conducted and developed with so much ability.
On the following morning, Alicia left her couch pale and suffering; her eyes swollen with tears and want of sleep, and her languid limbs scarcely able to support her exhausted frame. She hoped to find her husband more kindly disposed towards her than the night before; and determined to communicate to him the She repaired to him in the library; but his looks revealed even an increase of sullenness,
cause of the emotion which seemed to have
excited his anger.
and the words of conciliation with which she
had proposed to greet him, instantly died on
At this moment, a servant entered with
letters for them both; when, for the first time
since their marriage, each was anxious to watch the effect which the perusal would produce upon the other. Alicia, having looked at the superscription of hers, and recognised the hand of one of her female acquaintance, laid it upon the table unopened; and fixed her scrutinising gaze on the countenance of her husband, who seemed, however, totally regardless of her observation, so intense was the evidently painful interest which his letter had instantly excited in him. He changed colour, his eyes flashed with rage, and his livid lips trembled convulsively, as he refolded the
mysterious source of this strange and sudden paroxysm, and carefully deposited it in his pocket. Then, turning to his perplexed and agitated wife, he exclaimed, in a most angry and imperious tone,
Why have you not read your letter ? Is it that you wish to reserve its contents for the privacy of your own chamber?”
“ You, it appears,” replied Alicia, maddened by jealousy, “ could not restrain your impatience until an equally fitting opportunity; and the words of your correspondent, whoever she may be, seem to have affected you to a degree which I should once have deemed impossible.”
Jules looked at her with indignation flashing from every feature; and, snatching up her letter, sneeringly demanded whether she had any objection to his perusal of it. Alicia