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interest can he now have in where I go, or what becomes of me? Ah! I guess the motive for his advice. He knows that the Duchesse
de Harfleur is on habits of intimacy with the
Comtesse de Hauteforte; and dreads that, beneath her roof, 'I should become acquainted with his perfidy. I will instantly go to her, for she is now my sole refuge. She, at least, will pity, if she cannot console me.
I am distracted, Caroline! My brain burns, and
my heart throbs nearly to bursting. Never was there such deception, such baseness, as that to which I have been made the victim ! But let me relate the particulars to you
while I have yet strength to do so, for the combined effects of conflicting passions have rendered me so ill, that I am almost incapable of the I left off writing to you, to proceed to Madame de Hauteforte's - it maddens me to
write her odious name. On arriving at her porte cocher, I saw the cabriolet of that false and heartless man, the duc, and instantly concluded that he had sought an interview with her thus early, to urge her to go and advise me to conciliate ma tante. Her porter told my servant that madame la comtesse was not at home; on hearing which, I assured him that his mistress would certainly receive my visit, although she excluded all others. He shook his head, looked incredulous, and I again repeated that the comtesse would be sure to receive me.
“I am very sorry to refuse madame la marquise the entrée,” replied he, “ mais quoi faire? Madame la comtesse has given strict orders that no one is to be admitted when
monsieur le duc is with her, and there is no
day in which I am not compelled to send away visitors, but the fault is not mine."
Such was my rage and indignation, that I felt capable, at that moment, of committing any folly — nay, more, any crime. I longed to force my way to the presence of this perfidious pair, and to overwhelm them with my just reproaches ; but, as I caught the glances of the porter, and my own servant, I was recalled to a sense of prudence, and determined on not exposing myself to their animadversions by any display of the jealousy and anger that was torturing me. I drove to St. Pelagie to see poor Florestan, and make him acquainted with the perfidy of both these wretches.
Had you seen him, Caroline, your heart, like mine, would have ached at the terrible change that has taken place in his appearance ; and the still more terrible one in his habits and manners. When I had informed him of what I came to relate, he burst into a frantic laugh, and then, for the first time, I discovered that he was intoxicated. Yes, Caroline, even at two o'clock in the afternoon he was in a state that at once alarmed and disgusted me.
“ And so, my poor Delphine, you have been duped as well as I !” exclaimed he, his utterance impeded by a hiccough ; " mais soyez trunquille, chère amie, tu seras vengé, je t'en repond.”
He lavished every possible term of reproach on the duc and comtesse ; and revealed to me, that more than half his pecuniary embarrassments had been occasioned by the sums he had raised, at usurious interest, to extricate tbem from theirs. Yes, Caroline, I, who foolishly believed that the duc had, on more than one occasion, come forward to assist my poor Florestan, and felt grateful to him for it, have now ascertained
that he, like the vile object of his present preference, has plunged him in ruin.
Yet, in the midst of intoxication, and its debasing effects, the good heart and kind disposition of my poor husband shone conspicuous. I could have wept over his degradation, forgetful of my own, in the interest and pity he excited.
“ Oui, ma pauvre Delphine,” said he,“ cette méchante coquine étoit toujours jalouse de toi toi, qui étoit si gentille, si bon enfant, qui ne m'a jamais cherché querelle. Elle étoit fachée, quand je te donnois le plus petit cadeau, et avide d'en reçevoir elle même ; mais je l'arrangerai, soyez en sure; et lui aussi, le coquin!”
I have taken a lodging close to St. Pelagie, that I may be near my poor Florestan, the only friend I now have. I shall pass all my days with him during his incarceration, and endeavour to wean him from this dreadful