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ally acquainted with her; and those who knew her were anxious to see her again: but a considerable time elapsed before her father would consent to gratify these desires. At length young S— made his appearance. He was a rich count, who had seen the great Pitt-I mean the diamond known by that name—had dined with Vergennes, and been blown up with one of the floating batteries at Gibraltar; and in other respects a tolerably good sort of a man, who was fond of his poodle, and settled an annuity on his superannuated tutor. Le occasionally read books, and always took the tone from the last he had perused. This young man had presented himself as a suitor to Emily, or rather to Emily's father, who could not resist his charms, and appointed a rendezvous in the country. The fair Emily was just feeding her pigeons when a fine carriage drove up to the door; a fine gentleman stepped out of it, and said many fine things to her. Her father, at the same time, gave her to understand, that this was the knight who was come to deliver the captive princess from the enchanted castle. Now let a young lady be ever so fond of her pigeons, it is ten to one that she is much fonder of liberty. It is therefore no wonder, especially as the count was agreeable enough, and as Emily was anxious to be delivered from her dungeon, that in a few weeks she signified her compliance with her father's wishes. After the honey moon, the young count found a residence in the country rather dull; the countess agreed with him; the steeds were harnassed, and away they drove to town.
Laura was sincerely rejoiced to see her friend again, and captain B-the very reverse; for no sooner had he succeeded in banishing Emily's image from his heart, than her sudden re-appearance threatened to replace it there in glowing colours. He met Emily in company, bowed respectfully, and turned pale: Emily courtesied low, and blushed. The captain stammered forth a congratulation which nobody understood, and Emily an answer which nobody heard. What is to be done?' thought the captain, on his return home at night; shall I torment myself to no purpose or shall I strive to seduce the count's
young wife? Neither the one nor the other. I will look out for some other female, who shall make the world, if not a paradise, at least tolerable to me. The sweet fruits of Hymen are not brought to maturity only in the hot-house of love, they grow also in the shade of reason. Nor have I far to look; happiness is generally nearer to us than we imagine. Laura is an amiable creature, domestic and unaffected. I will marry Laura.' With this resolution he closed his eyes, and with this resolution he awoke. • I love you dearly,' said he, the pekt evening to Laura, can you love me?' Laura had long loved him, though she had concealed her passion; she had now no longer any cause to dissemble, and in less than a month they were man and wife. They were happy too, though no maidens dressed in white strewed flowers at their wedding; and as the dispositions of both were naturally amiable, happy they continued to be till the demon of jealousy interfered to disturb their happiness.
It was perfectly natural that the captain should not be able to view Emily with total indifference; and it was equally natural that Emily should still feel some interest for the captain. He saw in her a charming woman, who, but for her father's prohibition, would have been his wife: she beheld in him an amiable man, whose first love she had been, and—as her vanity whispered-perhaps still was. Neither ever indulged in the most distant hint at their former situation, but he spoke with more shiness to her than to any other woman; and she answered him with greater embarrassment than any other man. Their behaviour did not escape the notice of the young count, in whom it excited considerable uneasiness. As he had just been reading a novel, in which a sensible husband had by a generous confidence prevented his wife from dishonouring herself, he determined to conceal his disquietude, and even pretended to be pleased when Emily paid frequent visits to Laura. Why don't
you go to see Laura?" he would sometimes say. ''Tis a long time since you visited her. It is my wish that you should not neglect your friend.' This was the first white lie (as it is commonly called) that paved the way to the subsequent catastrophe. The strange behaviour of her husband and her friend had equally forced itself upon Laura's notice, and had given her no less uneasiness. She was ashamed, however, to confess it to either. The captain, indeed, once asked, in a moment of confidence, Are you inclined to be jealous?' and she replied with a laugh, 0, no!—This was the second untruth on which the demon of mischief built his plan.
The winter passed pretty quietly. The fire glowed under the ashes. One day in the following spring, the young count was invited to a party of pleasure in the country. The person who gave the invitation was a bachelor, an inveterate enemy to the sex even in spring, and whose convivial parties therefore consisted entirely of men. The count was not to return till the next morning. Emily was left at home a prey to ennui. In this situation she received a message from Laura, who sent her word that her husband would be on duty that night, that he would not return home till towards morning, and therefore she would be glad if Emily would spend the evening with her. Emily rejoiced in the prospect of passing a few hours agreeably, and complied. Her bookseller had just sent her the first two volumes of one of the most interesting novels that had appeared for many years. These she took with her to her friend's, and on her arrival there sent home her carriage. The ladies diverted themselves in the most innocent manner, and after supper Emily proposed to read for half an hour longer. Half an hour was prolonged to an hour, and one hour to two. The book became more fascinating the farther she proceeded; Emily forgot to send for her carriage; and it was three o'clock in the morning when the captain returned, and found her still engaged in reading. The ladies were frightened when they heard how late it was. Emily snatched up her gloves and shawl, requested her friend to send for a hackney coach, and hurried away. The captain, of course, handed her to it; and what was perfectly natural, requested permission to attend her home, as he could not think of suffering her to go alone. She declined his offer, but he persisted. Emily became embarrassed. If,' thought she, “I accept his company, I shall be, for the length of four or five streets, in the most painful situation, alone with a man who (loath as I am to confess it) is not wholly indifferent to me. Should I refuse, he may perhaps fancy that I am afraid of him.' This last consideration revolted her pride, her pride overcame her fears, and she consented. Laura was thrilled by a most unpleasant sensation. Her husband alone with Emily! the way not short! the morning fine! She turned away, and strove to conceal the pangs of jealousy under the disguise of affected carelessness. Make haste and begone!' cried she, yawning, ' I can scarcely keep my eyes open: and as for you, my dear, added she, addressing the captain, · don't disturb me when you come home, for I shall certainly be asleep.' This was the third white lie, for she had never felt less disposed to sleep than at this moment. She was ashamed of her jealousy, and false shame is ever accompanied by her sister untruth.
Emily and the captain were presently seated in the coach. It had long been broad day-light: the sun rose in cloudless splendour, and gilded the tops of the church steeples; the cocks crew, the hair-dressers began to run about the streets, and here and there a shop-door opened. Emily was desirous of bringing forward some indifferent subject for conversation; she therefore said the first thing that came into her head, and this was the fourth white lie. "What a charming morning!' exclaimed she;
I should prefer a ride in the park to going home.'- You have only to command,' replied the captain, unconscious of any improper feeling: coachman, drive to the park!' Emily was frightened. She had no serious wish to gad about the park.
Again, should any one see her, at that early hour, alone with the captain, what would people think of her? She fortunately devised a method of extricating herself from this new embarrassment. · Hard by,' said she, lives my cousin, who is fond of morning rides: we will call for her, and take her with us.'— • By all means,' replied the captain. The coachman was ordered to drive to the cousin's, and in two minutes they were at the door. After long knocking and ringing, a servant at length made his appearance, and informed them, yawning, that his mistress was not yet stirring. “She must be roused then,' said Emily. · Allow me, captain, to leave you for a moment. I'll go up to her myself.' Alighting from the coach, away she tripped up stairs, burst into her cousin's chamber, and hastily drew her curtains. Dear cousin,' said she, “you must come and take a ride immediately. I have left captain B-below in the coach; I can't get rid of him; he insists on accompanying me, and I should not like to be seen alone with him. Make haste! dress yourself, and come along with us! Her poor cousin, however, having taken a violent cold, peremptorily refused. Rather stay with me to breakfast,' said she, and let the captain return home.'— Any thing in the world,' rejoined Emily, to escape his troublesome politeness.' She accordingly sent down a message, excusing herself from going any farther, on account of her cousin's cold, and requested the captain to let the coach take him home.
The captain preferred walking. He alighted. “If I go home,' thought he, I shall only disturb my wife; the idea of a ramble in the park this delicious morning is too good to be lost, and I will execute it alone.' He accordingly strolled to the park, where he sauntered up one alley and down another. Emily staid scarcely half an hour at her cousin's. By this time, thought she, throwing herself into the carriage of the latter,
the captain is snug in his bed. The morning is truly charming; the sun has dried up the dew; I feel no inclination to sleep, and will take a walk in earnest. In ten minutes she actually alighted in the park, and in the eleventh she met the captain. She was alarmed and perplexed beyond measure upon discovering him. She could not with decency avoid him, as he had already perceived her. What would he think in that case? Why, either that she despised or feared him! The first her heart forbade, the second her pride. Like a female familiar with the tone of the great world, she mustered all her selfcommand, and went up to him laughing. Women are capricious creatures, captain, an't they? One moment they will, and the next they won't. Ask not, therefore, how I happen to be here just now? I can assign no other reason but my whim. Fate seems to have decreed that we should spend this morning together, so lend me your arm. With affected nonchalance, and conversing with feigned cheerfulness on the most ordinary topies, she walked up and down with him for about half an hour. The sky then began to be overcast, and Emily gladly seized this pretext for relieving herself from the oppressive constraint of her situation. Remember me to your wife,' said she, sprung into the carriage, and hastened home.
Fate decreed that the old bachelor with whom Count Swent to dine, should be seized, after eating a hearty dinner with a violent colic. The pleasure of the day was spoiled; the host was carried to bed, and the guest separated. In consequence of this unexpected attack, the young count returned home about eleven o'clock, and was informed that Emily was gone to spend the evening at captain B's. This intelligence gave him no uneasiness; he walked coolly to and fro, confident that the presence of the captain's wife was a sure pledge, that the bounds of decorum would not be transgressed there. The clock, however, struck one, and no Emily came. Another hour passed, and still she did not return. The count now began to be uneasy. • What can this mean?' thought he: she never stays so late as this. He counted every minute, and numbered every hour that struck. When he heard a carriage rattling at a distance, he instantly thought, That is she;' but still he was disappointed. When he heard footsteps in the street, he cried, “ There she comes;' but still she came not. As long as it was dark he was all ear; not the smallest sound escaped him, and he fancied every one had relation to Emily. Some one knocked at the door of a neighbouring physician. • Possibly she may have been taken ill, thought he. It was to him the most terrible, the most tedious of nights, such as the bewildered wanderer alone passes in a dreary forest. He needed only to have sent to inquire the reason of his wife's stay; but that he did not chuse to do. I will see,' thought he, how far she will carry it: if she knows that I am at home, she will have leisure to devise some excuse or other for her absence, but if she is surprised by the sight of me, she will not have time to prepare herself, and I shall perhaps read upon her glowing cheek the confession of her shame.'
At length it grew light, and now his ears were relieved in their duty by his eyes. As often as he measured the room with hasty step, so often did he stop at the window and look out, not only the way which she was to come, but also that by which she could not possibly be expected. His anxiety increased every minute. He sat down to read, took up a magazine, but though his eyes were stedfastly fixed on the pages, he knew not a word