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tenance he instantly remembered.--"Good God !” exclaimed he, “ that is the man who attacked my cousin at Ilfracombe;" and was starting forward to seize him, when Mr. Wilmot staggered, caught his arm for support, and pressing his hand before his eyes__"Oh Heaven!" he cried, “ what is it that I see?” But the figure was gone in a moment; and Mr. Wilmot, looking round, appeared to recover himself, attributing his faintness to some ordinary cause.
Charles's curiosity was considerably roused, but he did not choose to ask any questions that might give pain to one to whom he was so much indebted. Mr. Wilmot, however, immediately proposed to return home, and on arriving at their hotel, betook himself to his own apartment, where he remained till dinner.
In the mean time, as Charles was sitting by himself, the count de L-was announced: he shook hands frankly with the young Englishman, and again apolo
gized for his conduct of the evening before" But the truth is," added he, “I was irritated against you before I went to the hotel of the baroness.”
Charles laughed, and replied, that he could not tell on what account, as he had scarcely been long enough in Paris to give offence to any one.
“ You have certainly been long enough here to make some one your enemy,” replied the count; " for yesterday, when on duty at 'the Tuileries, a note was put into my hand, informing me of your engagement with the baroness (to whom I am known to have paid my court), adding at the same time, that your rivalry with me did not proceed from any sentiment towards the lady, but merely for the vanity of supplanting me.
It described you as the cousin of lord Burton, and told me the very day of your arrival in Paris.”
Charles's face must have expressed his astonishment.
“ It is very true,” continued the count,
6 I can
“I can assure you; and farther, it informed me that the baroness was not insensible to your suit, which, when I came in the evening, I plainly perceived to be true.”
“ Indeed!" interrupted Mr. Melville. “ On that point you are very much mistaken: the precise extent of the insinuation I do not understand ; but let me assure you, that the baroness has merely received me as a common acquaintance.”
“ C'est possible," replied the count, with the utmost indifference: “but that is what the note said.”
“ Is it in French or English ?" demanded Charles.
“ Oh, French, to be sure,” he answered, " and very good French too: I can shew it to you;” and he took out his pocketbook to search for it. He soon found it, after turning over half a dozen notes of different descriptions, and handed it to. Charles, who found it exactly as he had described it. But one thing he remarked, which was, that the hand in which it was
written was not a French one: it was one of which he had no remembrance whatever, but certainly English. The count agreed in this observation, and endeavoured to suggest some clue by which Charles might guess who it was that had written it, but in vain. He had communicated his invitation to dine with the baroness to none, and the only supposition he could form was, that the engagement which had been made as he got out of the carriage, had been heard by some one passing. He then remembered, that in turning to enter the hotel, somebody had pushed roughly against him. But how they could be acquainted with his name and circumstances, or for what purpose they could wish to injure him, he could not divine.
“ C'est bien drole," said the count.
“ But after all,” continued the Frenchman, “ it is these things that give a zest to life: they amuse and interest us while
they last, and we forget them when they are over.”
“ Such are exactly my feelings,” replied Charles. “ I would not for a world vegetate through my being like a cabbagethe only two epochs of whose existence are its planting and its cutting down.”
Well then, you are a Frenchman,” said the count; and thinking he had paid him the highest compliment that language could afford, he rose to take his leave; but ere he went, inquired after Mr. Wil. mot's hand, in which he had received the point of his sword.
Charles informed him, that though very painful, and a good deal inflamed, the surgeon had told him that it was not likely to be attended with any serious consequences; and the count cordially expressing his happiness that nothing more unpleasant had been the effect of their quarrel, left the young Englishman with a much more favourable impression of his