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au revoir! votre amie." What think you of notre frau gräfinn's prudery? Is it not amusing ? I have detailed all this to you, to postpone relating the painful scene to which I referred at the commencement of my letter, as children put off their tasks until the last moment. Eh bien, donc, ma chère, in defiance of Lord Annandale's and the comtesse's counsel, not to communicate with Augusta, I went to her dressing-room. I had not seen her last evening, as she sent to
she was too unwell to receive a visit from
any one; so I passed the evening listening to the vows of her caro sposo,
expresses the utmost impatience to be freed from his present matrimonial fetters, that he may be enabled to put on others, as he says, more to his taste. I found poor Augusta as pale, and nearly as lifeless, as a statue, with an expression of anguish and despair in her countenance, that
might have melted a more stubborn heart than mine. How truly did I wish at that moment that I could accomplish my own schemes without occasioning her a moment's pain! Mais, hélas ! that is impossible. I am
I am a strange creature: ready to plot, but not capable of beholding the sufferings I inflict without a regret: I have not firmness to resist evil, nor hardness enough not to repent yielding to its dictates. I tried to comfort her; but she shook her head, and said,
“ You surely do not know the crime with which I am charged, Caroline, or you could not attempt to console me.”
I told her, as gently as I could, that I was fully aware of it; and I saw her shudder as I made the avowal.
“ You do not, then, believe me guilty ?” asked she. No, you do not, you cannot I could not resist expressing my conviction of her perfect innocence (who so well knows it as I do?); and, as she passionately pressed my hand, she burst into a paroxysm of tears, which seemed to relieve her. This little act of confidence and endearment produced such a revulsion in my feelings as to make me wish to throw myself at her feet, and confess the deep injury I had inflicted on her. Tears came to my eyes, and this emotion increased her confidence towards me.
think so ill of me!”
“ Lord Annandale," she continued, “has written to say that he can establish my guilt by proofs that admit of no doubt. What they are I know not; I only know - and the God who hears me can be witness of my solemn averment !- that a thought of guilt has never entered my mind.” (And well do I believe it.)
“ But, dear Augusta, if, by producing
proofs which, however innocent you are, can establish grounds for a divorce and restore you to liberty, enabling you to marry the person you love
“ Then you are acquainted with my weakness," interrupted she, blushing a deep red ; “ that whole, sole, and involuntary crime, of which I am guilty? Oh, Caroline ! how little do you know me, if you imagine that, branded with guilt, though conscious of my innocence, I could bring shame and disgrace to the man
I loved. Were I free to-morrow, no power
could compel me to become the wife of the person to whom you allude: and if, indeed, you have any respect left for me, never again refer to the possibility of such a measure.”
“ But he, knowing your innocence, and being aware that it was his too conspicuous attentions which have involved you in this dilemma - he, surely, loving you, as I am fully
persuaded he does, would vanquish your unreasonable scruples, and reason you into accepting the happiness that, as his wife, may, and will, I trust, still be yours.”
“ Never, never! Think you, Caroline, that I would so far justify the odious, the abominable charges of which I am accused, as to wed the object of them?”
I would have replied, but she entreated me with such earnestness never to touch on the painful, the humiliating subject again, that I ceased to urge her ;..convinced, from her whole tone and manner,' that one of the hopes which had hitherto actuated me, and palliated, in my own estimation, the scheme I had pursued (namely, the hope of her marrying the Marquess of Nottingham), would now be frustrated : and this conviction brought a pang of remorse and regret to my heart, of which I had not thought it capable.