« AnteriorContinuar »
shall part so soon, or I might see you too miserable, through some fault or misfortune of mine."
" The only misery I fear,” replied Charles hastily, “ is to part from your" and he raised the hand she had given him to the lips from which the confession he had just made had proceeded almost unconsciously.
She looked down for a moment in deep thought, without answering; then raising her eyes to his face, she seemed to inquire whether what he said was truth, or a mere empty compliment. She found nothing there to make her doubt him. Charles was infatuated : he forgot every thing else in the world but her, and his countenance plainly shewed all the warmth of his feelings. " It cannot be !" she replied, in an agitated manner" it cannot be! Melville, I am sure you would not wish to lead me wrong: you would not make me most unhappy.” Charles's arm, while she spoke, had al
most insensibly found its way tound her waist. She did not repel it; but he felt the hand he still held in his tremble violently." Unhappy!” he repeated ; " can you imagine I would wish you so ? But why should you be unhappy because I love you ?”
She paused for a moment; then suddenly starting from the sofa, she exclaimed " Leave me, Melville-leave me to think. Come to me to-morrow evening. I would fáin do what is right, but I have no one to guide me. Leave me, in pity leave me:" and she turned away her head, while her eyes still remained fixed upon the ground. . .
* Have I offended you.?” asked Charles, as he rose to obey her.
“Oh no, indeed,” she answered, holding out her hand to him, and raising her blushing face with a smile, that seemed to struggle through a variety of emotions ; for though it was playful, it was but faint " oh no, indeed; no woman was ever
offended at being told that she was loved. But leave me now, Melville-leave me now.”
There was something in the way that she said it, that made Charles see clearly that she really did wish him to leave her; and accordingly, obeying' her command, he returned to his own hotel, in a state of mind very different from that in which he had left it. His feelings were not altogether of the most pleasant character: he had entirely committed himself with the baroness : while he was with her, he was in a state of infatuation; but when he had left her, there were some remembrances he wished to banish; nor did he exactly like to scrutinize his feelings towards her. With these feelings, his mind was so far agitated that he did not like to meet Mr, Wilmot, and went to his own apartment without seeing him: but there, resolved as he was to go blindly on, thought pressed on him more than he liked, and composing himself as well as he could, he de-
scended to the saloon, resolving to fill up the space of time, ere he again saw the baroness, with different amusements, which would not permit the intrusion of other reflections.
Whether Mr. Wilmot did or did not observe that Charles was at all agitated, he took no notice of it at their meeting, but merely proposed, as an occupation for the morning, that they should visit the cemetery of Pere la Chaise—“ Much,” said he, “ has been said in its depreciation, but it has always highly interested me."
Charles was glad of any object that would turn his thoughts into another channel, and acceding gladly to the idea, the carriage soon brought them to the gates of the burial-ground.
Pere la Chaise is a large piece of enclosed ground, sloping considerably in different parts, and from some of the highest points commanding the finest view of Paris that Mr. Melville had yet seen; and standing, surrounded by a past-by multitude, silent
and cold in their confined and earthly dwellings, while he looked upon the gay and vicious capital, raising its proud domes and spires in the clear, unclouded atmosphere, the contrast of the city of the living, and the city of the dead, struck him most forcibly. In each of the burial-grounds, numerous denizens had his little garden railed in, and decked with flowers and evergreens, and these were to be seen in all states, from that whose newly-laid turf was thickly ornamented with blossoms and garlands, to that which had gradually become desert and neglected, as the friends who once decked it had gradually sought the same asylum, or as the memory of affection had faded with the flowers which a first short sorrow strewed.
But this was not always the case; passing through one of the walks, Charles observed a little grove, whose simple, but fresh, decorations led him to imagine that it had been lately formed. The violets were blooming thick about it, and at small