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beauty; and it recalled her mind from the calm enjoyment of the present moment, and enforced the recollection, of how much of their late re-union they had owed to sickness and to suffering, how, in his sunken eye and faded cheek, the traces of the melancholy origin of their transitory pleasure were left to survive the advantages they had derived from so unwelcome a cause,

Touched with these reflections, as she leant on the marble balustrade, and shook, as she struggled for composure, her putposely-averted head, a few drops which had gathered in her full dark eye fell unbidden, mingling, in their sullen fall, with the playful patter of the merry fountain over which she was bending.

Those tears were the ominous precursors of her fate. Ormsby lost all sense of restraint, and revealed the passion that preyed upon him. Matilda confessed that the love she once plighted to him never was another's, that her home had become cheerless to her, that her peace of mind was broken, and she resolved to part with him on the spot, never to see him more. It was in this situation, and thus earnestly engaged, that they were seen by Sir James and his friends. A remark or two, slightly thrown out by one of his party, suddenly kindled his jealousy, and being confirmed in his suspicions by a discovery of the unfortunate meeting between the two lovers at Geneva, he resolved on hurrying away Matilda from Rome immediately. On the journey to Florence she had to submit to every species of ill treatment, short of actual violence, which a vulgar mind and an unfeeling nature, under the irritation of supposed injury, could inflict.' Ormsby madly followed them to Florence, obtained a stolen interview with Matilda, who, unable any longer to bear the barbarity of her husband, or to resist the ardor of her lover, faltered out her faint consent to an immediate elopement;' and in a few days they were at Naples..

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During the whole of their prosperous flight, light and buoyant as the bark that bore them were the hearts of the fugitives, and boundless as the bright expanse of sunshiny waters around seemed their happiness. At the conclusion of the voyage, they exchanged the comparative confinement and restraint of their vessel, for evervaried rambles through the lonely environs of Sorrento; where, in that most beautiful corner of the most beautiful bay in the world, they had taken a villa for the summer. Here, whilst days untold swelled into weeks, and weeks that passed unheeded made up months, eternal as the smiling skies above, and fruitful as the teeming earth on which they trod, still seemed their love. But not more certain was the revolution of the seasons, than this. delicious dream to have an end.'


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Matilda, perhaps, under her circumstances, would never have formed a wish to quit this solitude. But Ormsby soon began to find that he had other interests than those of the heart to attend to. He received letters from his mother, his lawyer, his steward, his political friends, consulting him upon points which recalled him to the business of every-day life, from the romance in which his feelings had been hitherto bewildered. What a volume of instruction is contained in the following passage! What a picture of that happiness which flows from illegitimate affection! How charming the contrast between the two guilty lovers and the light-hearted peasants,' whose daily industry secured their innocence!!


As they pursued their usual evening stroll through the vine. yards, whose ripe burthens overbung the sloping banks, and almost touched the waters, Matilda could not but remark how much absorbed he was in his own reflections; and she at length thus broke the unusually protracted silence.

"How I do hate letters! Truc, I hardly ever had a pleasant one. Strange as it may seem, I do not think that I ever in my life received one from you, Ormsby."

Do you wish me to give you a speedy opportunity of experiencing that pleasure?" said Ormsby, smiling.

"Oh! do not talk so, even in jest. I cannot bear to contem plate such a thing as possible,'


Ormsby tore the letters, and threw the scraps into the sen


The spot on which this little incident occurred was the loveliest of all the lovely scene around, and, for this reason, had often been the limit of their evening ramble. The beautiful banks of the little inlet, on one side of which they were scated, were crowned with a profusion of myrtles, acacias, and other sweet plants, which irresistibly tempted to linger within the precincts of the double enjoyment of their fragrant shade. The vineyardpath on the other side of the bay, traversed only by the lighthearted peasants, as they returned from their work, carolling some. of the wild and gay melodies of their native dialect, gave occasional animation to the scene, without at all interfering with its secluded charm. On the broad extent of waters beyond, the setting sun had marked his track of liquid fire, such as no pen, and the pencil only of Claude, can describe.

I know not whether it was from the peculiar stillness of the atmosphere, and the more than usually glass-like surface of the sea, (which will sometimes convey sound to an almost incredible distance,) but it was the first time Ormsby had remarked, that from hence they could catch the "busy hum of men," and the rumbling of the carriages on the evening-promenade at Naples. There was something in his tone and manner in making this observation, which struck Matilda's sensitive mind as implying a

wish to be there; and in a moment her part was taken. "Ormsby," she said, " wish to change the scene. you - For myself, Heaven knows with you I could remain for ever in this earthly paradise; that is, with you wholly and entirely, in mind as well as person. But never through mistaken kindness attempt to disguise from me any desire you may have; for if you are but happy, all places are the same to me. I can have no wish, no hope, but to please you; and my worst fear is to be felt as a constraint on your inclinations."


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Ormsby warmly protested, in reply, that he had no wish for change that no one could be happier than he. And so at the moment he felt. But in a week they had removed to Naples !'

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Matilda soon found at Naples that she must shut herself. out completely from the world, or appear in it in a character equally novel and painful to her feelings. Every attempt made by Ormsby to restore her to her rank in society, which he hoped was not altogether impracticable under the peculiar circumstances' of her case, was followed only by fresh mortifications. Among these, the most painful arose from the assumption of a notoriously infamous woman, in visiting the fallen Matilda upon terms of perfect equality!

At length Ormsby was informed that Sir James had taken legal steps for the purpose of obtaining a divorce; and he proceeded to England, in order to facilitate a measure which would enable him to legitimatize his union with Matilda, a consummation now rendered doubly desirable. Her residence, in the mean time, was fixed in a small and retired villa in the neighbourhood of Nice, where she found some consolation in the friendship of a Mrs. Sydney. The divorce was completed, and a day was fixed for the return of Ormsby, by a felucca, from Genoa, where he was to embark, as the speediest mode of reaching her. That was a day of anxious expectation to Matilda. The morning was calm. She walked out to a remote promontory, in order to catch the earliest view of the friendly sail. Suddenly a tempest arose. A vessel appeared in sight, rocked by the wild winds which raised the waves mountain-high. In a moment it was a wreck at her feet, and every soul on board perished. She was found senseless, and conveyed home. The following day she unconsciously and prematurely became a mother. The concluding scene is agonizing.

When Mrs. Sydney entered Lady Matilda's room, she found her supported by pillows in her bed the windows opened wide - her beautiful hands clasped as in prayer- and the big tears chasing each other down her colourless cheek.


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"Dearest friend," she said, "I have been very

-but soon I shall meet my love again. I feel it here," pressing

very faint


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her breast" and most grateful to my heart is the sensation of death. Nay, look not so- for I shall see him- God is merciful -a broken and a contrite spirit will he not reject."

"Dearest Lady Matilda," interrupted her friend," do not give way to these agitating anticipations of death. I know there is no cause for alarm. But Lord Ormsby you will see, and that spon."

"He's here-he's alive-he is not lost -I read it in your eyes. — Ormsby, my love-Oh, my God, let me live to see him: again!" cried Matilda, as, exhausted by the effort, she sunk fainting on the pillow.

It was in Ormsby's arms that she was restored to consciousness; it was from his trembling hands she received the restoratives her weakened frame required; and even the stern, relentless hand, of death was for a moment stayed by the renewed energies that strongest of human passions inspired; and for a time nothing wası felt save the all-engrossing happiness of their re-union,

"My child- our child-Ormsby, have you seen it?" said Matilda, as Mrs. Sydney placed the infant by its mother's side. "Dearest child!" said Ormsby, kissing it, Oh my Matilda,; what a treasure it will be to us! how will our happiness grow with its growth." I am very

"Our happiness! - Oh, Ormsby give me air faint but do not leave me."


"Leave you! Oh, that I had never left for one moment ! how could any thing persuade me to tear myself one instant away from my only treasure?"

"Say not so Do not now, repine, my love-I trust that good has come out of this evil Ormsby, I feel that I am more fit to die - nay, start not, Had I basked ever in the sunshine of thy presence, many sad and salutary reflections had been withered and lost. Then think of the dear Emily-her wellmerited happiness is cheaply purchased even by death."


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"Is there no advice ?" said Ormsby: " pray compose your. self you wear your gentle frame these emotions are too much for you." Ormsby said true. She was now utterly exhausted; but it was not with the pleasurable emotions she had experienced only too late. If any thing could have prolonged her fleeting existence, it would have been the happiness she now enjoyed. But her spirit was fluttering on the verge of eternity, and a few hours. must see it wing its inevitable flight.

"And is there, then, no perfect love in this world?" sighed Mrs. Sydney; " must these dear ones part, just when they might in innocence have together lived to repent their past transgressions? But thy will be done! - Oh, that instead — a being so sad and lonely as myself had been fated to leave them behind me!"


There were moments during the remainder of the evening when Matilda's eye shone so brilliantly, and her voice sounded so sweetly, that Orinsby and Mrs. Sydney almost indulged a hope that she might be spared to them; but the medical man conceived it his duty at once to check such vain and fruitless expectation.


He solemnly assured them that she could hardly live through the night, and that he much feared the child, too, could not survive.

Matilda overheard, in part, this opinion; and pressing the unconscious infant to her breast, she exlaimed, "Oh! 'tis too much to hope, even from Infinite Mercy, that my sins may so far be pardoned that I may be rendered even as this innocent.”

"Nay," said Mrs. Sydney, "remember with confidence, that the same Divine authority from which we learn, that of such is the kingdom of Heaven, tells us that there is even more joy over one sinner that repenteth.”

Through all that wretched night, Matilda's life was only prolonged by the constant circulation of air through the apartment, and as the darkness and damp gradually dispersed, the shades of death seemed to gather and thicken around her devoted head. The refreshing fragrance of earliest morning played in vain about her livid lips, just struggling to emit the last mortal breath that would ever mingle with the rival sweetness of the air. The first rays of the rising sun shone unseen upon her glassy eye, about to close for ever against the reviving light of day it closed — and the sufferer and her sufferings were no more.

When Ormsby awoke from the stupor of despair to the full sense of his utter desolation, he found that his helpless infant had also closed its emphemeral existence, and that he was thus utterly bereaved at once of every outward trace, of every living record, of his late guilty connexion.

After a time, he sought some relief to his feelings in active service in the cause of the Greeks; but even in the most eventful moments of his after-life, that would sometimes obtrude itself, which was never absent from his solitary pillow, the image of his poor Matilda, as, heart-broken and repentant, he had seen her on the evening preceding the fatal catastrophe which had left him alone in the world.'



The author tells us, in the commencement of the volume, that, in early life, Matilda's religious education had been neglected.' His tale is a sad, yet beautiful, commentary on

this text.

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