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6. It was
he gazed upon the distant city, so lately the scene of strife, and now so silent; thoughts of the past and the future were flitting by him; and strange to say, that with his future, even then he linked the fortunes of him, the mysteries of whose life form the principal feature of this narrative. Stranger still, that unknown as was Francis Armine to him, the very thought of him should be accompanied with a dread and a warning. Are we not the ministers of our own fate? Is it then strange, that although the vista of the future is untrod, its shadows should rest upon the present? No, it is not. That same power which permits us not to throw back the veil, sends to us dreams and omens to warn us of the mysteries which it conceals. We are prophets, yet of what avail is our knowledge. We upproach the precipice, yet shun it not.
“ It was a well-timed blow,” said Andeli, as with an effort he again adverted to the events of that evening. a well-timed blow, and it must be quickly followed-for ere the conspiracy is known, my revenge must be consummated. The hurricane has yet to come; a few drops have fallen from the overcharged cloud, heralds alone of the coming stormand when it comes in its wrath, wo—wo to them on whom it falls !"
Forgetful of all but the feelings which had for years mastered every hope and aspiration of his younger days, he was recommencing his walk, without observing that to his incoherent exclamations he had a listener. On looking up, he beheld a dark form towering above him. The intruder is known to our readers, and a few of the neighbouring peasantry, as the hermit of the cave, and had been standing near his retreat when he heard the words of Andeli. He had scarcely caught his attention, before he leaped from the rock on which he stood, and stood before the artist. His dark featured face, his long and matted beard, his gray and uncombed hair, and his dirty and ragged dress, together with his bold swaggering manner, rendered him an object of disgust.
6. Who dares intrude thus upon my walk ?" inquired Andeli, in a menacing tone, as he drew back at the approach of the hermit, who, leaning over the artist, whispered in his ear
" Andeli, hast thou forgotten Montanvers ?”
The young man started. The blood left his cheek, and the cold perspiration stood on his forehead. It could not be. He looked again, and almost shuddered beneath the ardent gaze that met his own. Those few words had rolled back the veil
of past years, and brought to his memory one whom he had met but once since his boyhood. Again stood before him the once gifted and brilliant Montanvers-now, as his appearance indicated, the shunned and pitied, if not abhorred outcast.
“ lla! I see you remember me," exclaimed he, not withdrawing his fixed gaze. “I do, although you have altered much,” replied Andeli.
Yes, time has passed over me rather roughly since we met last. The world and myself, Andeli, have wrangled much. But I am wearied now, and would ask a favour at your hands,” said he, as he scanned, with an inquiring look, the features of his companion. He could read nothing there, for they were cold and stern, though not pitiless. With a firm composure, Andeli motioned to him to proceed.
“ Lucien Andeli, I wish to go and shake hands with the world again. Nay, start not, nor deem it strange. They who have stepped between me and happiness—who have changed the current of my being—who would have trampled upon me, when I fell to their own level-must again receive me. I have shrunk from their intercourse for years, and now I wish again to mingle with them. The name of Montanvers must not be forgotten-it must again be on the lips of men, who feel and dread its influence. It must again be sighed by the soft voices of your women. I have a fit resting place in yon cave-the earth my bed— the rock my pillow ; yet neither so pleasant as the downy couch. My clothes are worn and ragged, and food I have not tasted for two days. I see you understand my wishes, and will meet them ?''
“ Montanvers, do you remember how and why we last parted?” asked Andeli, after listening with a feeling of contempt to his remarks.
“ Let that be forgotten with the past. You have money and friends, and must reinstate me in the world.”
" Must!" echoed Andeli.
“Ay, must!" returned he. “ Jf our former friendship will not influence you, know that I have that which will. You are in my power. Your schemes are open to me. Have I in vain attended your secret meetings, and heard your pleading and your advice ? Have I in vain listened but now to your words, spoken, as you thought, to the winds ? No! not in vain. One word, if I but speak, it consigns you and your friends to a disgraced and miserable grave. Andeli, are we or are we not friends ?" Sternly did he rivet his eye upon che face of the young artist, to inquire, before words could speak it, the
reception of his inquiry. They were calm and open, and now his gaze was returned as boldly and sternly as it was given.
“ We are not,” replied he, in a clear and fearless voice. “ Beware of my enmity.”
“ Beware rather of mine," returned Andeli, " and know that for the cause in which I am pledged, I fear not the interruption of one so foul as the murderer of Maria Serle.".
Andeli thought rightly, that the memory of that deed would move bis enemy from his purpose. It touched a chord long dormant, and thrilled upon every fibre of his frame. He attempted to smother the feeling, which only rendered it more intense. Conscience could not be stilled. It was like a stream whose waters have been stopped in their course, and which, on finding an outlet, rush impetuously forth, with a loud voice and a mighty leap. The cheek was paled-the hands were clenched, until the blood almost started from the thin, bony fingers-large, heavy drops of sweat hung about his forehead ; and his eyes, now brightened and now darkened, as with partial insanity. The earth seemed to move from beneath him ; he was one moment kneeling, as if at confession, and in the next he seemed to tread on air.
“ Spirit of the lost ! you yet hover around me,” raved he. “From the early grave you rise to crush me. - Your curse is yet with me. You wander for ever on the wings of the air. Your flight is in the calm and in the whirlwind, and the trees bend swiftly to your footsteps, and the winds echo to the music of your voice. Beautiful one ! you are with me, through the gloomy night, and amid the sunshine of mid-day. You are there-there-there. Hush ! lest I fright you. I see you as once I saw you—but even now you change, and your own blood streams over that beautiful face, and around those exquisite limbs. Hal who did that deed? You smile. these hands. Ha! ha! ha!” and with that strange and unearthly laugh he stretched forth his hands, as if grasping at something in the air, and fell to the earth.
Andeli saw him fall into that deathlike swoon, and turning, swiftly moved along. He had not walked far, ere he approached a small and neat white cottage, around whose door and windows clustered the vine and the honeysuckle, Alinging at once a shade and a fragrance about the spot. A fit haunt was this for love and beauty! An angel, as it wheeled its course above the earth, might well start at meeting a place so beautiful in this dark world, and watch and protect its gentle inmates ere it again departs to the far off heavens. Before the cottage lay
wide and boundless plains, that stretched to the shores of the Seine, and in its rear was the dark and still forest, and the tall mountains, whose peaks were lost in the blue of the sky, whilst closely around it, swept a bright and sparkling stream, now prattling with the pebbles, now playing with the reeds, and now dancing over its green margin, like a wild school-girl, singing gaily, as she romps along with a light heart and bright sm
The young artist stooped, and gazed at the window; but it was not the beautuous flowers that clustered there, that caught his eye-it was not the slender twig or the green vine, bathed as they were in the moon's mystic light, that arrested and rivetted that eye to the spot. It was something fairer and brighter. It was a face lovely in charms—a form rounded into beauty by the goddess of love. Another moment, and his form no longer threw its shadow upon the grass—it was at her feet.
“Meta! my love, my life, I am with thee !” he whispered, as he arose, and twining his arm around her small waist, pressed her beating heart, that swelled beneath its snowy bosom, to his own.
She gazed upon her lover—for such was he to her ; but her heart was too full for words. She gazed in silent and speechless eloquence. Not the eloquence of the lip, for that can coin itself to honied words in times of darkest doubt-but the eloquence of the soul, when every look and action imbodies truth.
(To be continued.)
A TRUE KISS.
THINK'st thon a kiss like that deserves a song ?
Lady, I cail that touching lips-not kissing :
It is no kiss, when soul and sense are missing.
Pausing a moment on some floweret's bell,
Finding no honey in its painted cell.
The heart, awakening new sensations in it;
And calls up all its spirits in a minute.
Unto her far-off husband did repair,
To rear a family of kisses there !
The disease of our hostess became more critical every day, and at length the fatal moment approached, We beheld her sinking gradually, but she never lost for an instant her presence of mind. Her conversation flowed as lively and as agreeable
“ How sorry I am,” she would say, " that Juliet is your sister ; I know of no woman so likely to make you happy, and I grieve to think that when I am gone, you may throw yourself away on some undeserving object; you are admirably suited to each other." The effect of these equivoques was to me irresistible, that the nearer she drew to her death, the more strongly did I become attached to her ; she was so calm, so self-possessed, I could not believe she was on the point of being separated from us for ever. I could not think of seeing her large gilt arm-chair, standing empty between Leoni and myself without feeling my eyes fill with tears. One evening
was engaged in reading to her while Leoni was applying warm napkins to her feet, when a letter was handed to her by a footman. She read it through, uttered a scream and fainted; while I applied restoratives, Leoni picked up the letter and ran it through. Although the handwriting was disguised, he recognised it at once as that of the Marquis de Chalon. It was an information against me, containing circumstantial details relative to my family, my elopement and my marriage with Leoni, with a tissue of most odious calumnies against my manners and character.
At the sound of the cry uttered by the Princess, Lorenzo, who was ever hovering around us like a bird of ill omen, entered the room, and Leoni drawing him aside to a window showed him Chalon's letter; they approached us, the Marquis as usual perfectly calm, and wearing on his lips the ironical smile which seldom left them, Leoni in great agitation glancing interrogatively at the Marquis as if he sought his advice. The Princess lay insensible in my arms. The Marquis shrugged his shoulders. “ Send your wife for assistance,” said he, loud enough for me to hear ; “ leave the rest to me."
" What would you do ?” said Leoni, in the greatest agitation. “ Be quiet. I have an expedient at hand which I always carry about me.
But send away your wife.” Leoni told me to go and call the women : I obeyed, and laid the Princess' head gently upon a pillow. I was in the act of