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character than he had been at first willing to receive.
alone I sing this mournful verse;
whose softened hearts it may empierse
CHARLES Melville passed the next morning in the same manner as he had done the day before, in every thing that could drive away reflection. The baroness had required time to think; but he was resolved not to think, and he succeeded tolerably well.
There are perhaps few of us, even of the VOL. I.
wisest or coldest of mankind, of those whose passions are the best regulated, or their feelings the least strong, who have not, at some period of existence, found moments when the consideration of the future, or the examination of the past, has been too painful for endurance ; and who, labouring under that mental cowardice, common in some degree to all the human race, have turned with apprehension from the pictures that thought importunately offers, and been glad to interpose the pleasures and distractions of the world between their judgment and themselves. There are few who have not done so, and those who have, must know, that fly from her how we will, reflection must at times overtake us, and though she holds us but for a moment, the stings she inflicts are doubly painful, and only aggravated by our efforts to escape.
Though in the riot of very strong passions, untamed by any disappointment, and unaccustomed to the government of
reason, Charles Melville seldom thought, and now less than ever was inclined to indulge it, when it only gave him pain. His heart was too feeling, perhaps too susceptible, to allow him uninterrupted peace, even in the midst of gaiety and amusement, when he knew that the path in which he was treading was in direct opposition to the wishes of all those most dear to him. Nor was he clear in regard to his feelings towards the baroness: he admired : her-he was infatuated with her; but his
mind sometimes for a moment would turn to England, and to one he had left behind, with sensations of regret that he would not allow himself to indulge.
At length, however, the hour approached when he was to see the fair German again ; .and perhaps he never before took such pains with his dress, or was so little satisfied with his appearance. Nature had contributed much; but Charles had never been a puppy before that night, and in consequence, he was rather later than he
intended when he descended to the saloon.
“You are going to the baroness, Charles, I see, by your appearance," said Mr. Wilmot, with a smile, as he entered the room : " that is a subject,” he continued, more gravely, “ on which I wish much to speak to you; but I will not detain you now, for you are rather late.”
The colour was somewhat heightened in Charles's cheek; but saying something of course, and wishing Wilmot good evening, he descended to the carriage, and was soon borne, with a beating heart, to the hotel of the baroness de S
She had something like tears in her eyes as he entered the room where she sat, and seemed to have been thinking over the events of other days. -“ Melville," said she, holding out her hand to him, “ I am going to tell you my history to-night. But sit down, and let us talk of other subjects till we have taken coffee, and then I will try to get through it as well as I can.”
Before she had ended the sentence, the infatuation had begun again, and Charles had forgotten that there was any other being on earth but herself; and though he tried, as she desired, to make the conversation general, it always returned by some channel towards the one subject on which his thoughts were bent.
Coffee was served and taken away.“ And now," said the baroness, looking at him, with a melancholy smile" and now for a history and a painful one too.
" I was born,” she continued," at Frankfort, and was an only child. Wealth, rank, and affection, with all the pleasures in their gift, smiled upon me in early youth, and promised to continue my happiness to the last hours of life. But those, Melville, that count upon any worldly ad. vantages for content, are deceived; for the fairest prospects may be darkened in a moment, by wintry clouds, and all the harvest of hope scattered by an unexpected storm. Nothing could promise fairer M 3