Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

sincerity, i expressing how much more happy he was in her -undivided society, than if the most splendid circle in Paris had been collected to meet him. Gallantry, as it would be considered in England, is little better than politeness in most parts of the Continent; and though perhaps the baroness in her own heart might remember that Charles was an Englishman, and give his words their full meaning, in her manner she seemed to receive it as a mere matter of common civility. In ut

> On looking round, Charles perceived a piano, and several musical instruments, and leading the conversation in that direction, he, without much difficulty, prevailed on the baroness to play. Singing soon followed, as a matter of course, and after executing most sweetly some beautiful Italiana airs, she turned to Charles, saying, she was" sure he sung. He did not affect to deny it." Duets were immediately sought, and for an hour they continued in such delightful employment,

that that they almost forgot there was- any body in the world but themselves. They were however soon recalled to that very unpleasant reality, by the entrance of the count de L : he was a handsome, finelooking young man, and having just come from the palace, was dressed in the regimentals of the gardes du corps. He looked keenly at the baroness, and bowed stiffly to Mr. Melville, as she introduced them to each other. Charles was vexed at his interruption, and returned his salutation still more coldly; and thus their first acquaintance did not commence under the most favourable auspices, and every moment of their stay seemed to increase their mutual dislike.

etores After apologizing for the absence of his sister, on the score of ill health, the count proceeded to address the baroness in a style of unconcealed admiration, and barefaced compliment, with which Charles was by no means inclined to be pleased ; and on his part, the count did not seem very well contented with the politeness, not to say kindness, which she manifested towards the young Englishman. . • At length, after about half an hour of this sort of entertainment, not:very agreeable to any of the three, the baroness proposed to continue the duets they had been singing, saying to the count, she knew how fond he was of music, though he was not a performer himself.. .

contented

The count bit his lip, and said nothing; and as Charles placed the book before the baroness, she said, in an under voice“ Ce jeune homme est malhonnêtte," and glanced her eye towards the young French, man, as he continued lolling on the ottoman, and playing with his sword, in the enjoyment of which amusement he remained during the whole time they sung, only interrupting it to pay some highflown compliment to their fair hostess upon her musical talents.

Charles wished to outstay him; and the baroness seemed to coincide in this desire.

But

But the count appeared resolved that he should not, and therefore at length having remained as long as he decently could, he rose to take his leave. : Charles was somewhat surprised to find that the count did so at the same time: to whom, however, the baroness merely courtesied, somewhat offended at his conduct during the evening, while to Mr. Melville she held out her hand, saying," I shall see you to-morrow, I suppose; I wish to speak to you about our protegé, you know."

Charles slightly pressed her hand in his, bowed, and left her; and on entering the court, he found two equipages in waiting -one a cabriolet, belonging to the count de L- , the other his own carriage, with his French valet. He was going to get in, and had his foot upon the step, when the count, who had come down behind him, laid his hand upon his arm, say: ing at the same time“I will trouble you to speak a few words with me, sir.”

“ As many as you please,” replied Charles ;'“ I am quite at your service."

8.Well then," replied the count, “ you had better send home your voiture, as I shall do, mine; for what I have to say may take more time than we should like them to wait.”

Charles began to think the conduct of his companion somewhat extraordinary, but he replied calmly-" You must shew me my way home then, for I am not acquainted with the streets.”

“ Oh, you shall get home,” answered the count; '“ don't be afraid of that.”

“ I am afraid of nothing, sir,” replied Charles; and turning round, he told the servant he did not want the carriage, but would be home shortly; after which he followed the count into the street, who led the way for a few minutes in silence; but turning at length to Mr. Melville“. Now, sir,” said he, “ what I wish to ask of you is this what was it that the baro

ness

« AnteriorContinuar »