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lem, take shipping, and arrived happily at the count's castle.
What was the recompence of so many sacrifices, of such courage, and such exalted virtues Ingratitude and infidelity.
Hardships and a burning sun had tarnished the delicate beauties of the countess, anxiety had effaced the roses from her cheeks, and tears had dimmed the fire of her eyes. She was still lovely; but her beauty was no more than the shadow of that which was fled. Her sister, young and beautiful, lived with her. The count every day saw Erdmutha, and a guilty passion was kindled in his heart. In vain did he abhor his treachery, and represent to himself, that to the countess he owed life and liberty: every day his love acquired new.. force.
When it happened that Elizabeth related what she had suffered among the savages, and the dangers she had encountered to save her husband, his eyes were fixed only on the tears which fell during the tale from Erdmutha, and her beautiful bosom agitated with . sighs.
He reproached himself with his injustice to his wife; he even shed tears; but his remorse was transient; had he known himself, he would have fled from the com, bat, instead of combating his passion."
Erdmutha observed the melancholy into which the count had fallen, and her heart was moved with compassion. Perceiving the efforts he had made with himself to conceal his sorrow from his wife, she con-' jured him to reveal the cause to her, in the hope of diminishing his anguish. He cast down his eyes and
was silent. She took his hand and redoubled her treaties, but he abruptly fled from her, and shut himself up in his own room.
The kind Erdmutha still did not lose all hope. She made new attempts to learn the secret of his sorrows, and, at length, too fatally succeeded.
“I love you, Erdmutha,” he said, with a voice 'in which there was something terrible: “there is no peace for me but in death.”. He rushed from her presence in a paroxysm of despair, and left Erdmutha overwhelmed with affright; for, in attempting to express her horror of the count's passion, she had, alas ! discovered that she partook his crime that she loved him.
The castle, once the abode of peace and joy, now became the dreary habitation of perpetual sighs and tears. Nor was it long ere the countess perceived that her husband was the victim of some devouring grief; she blamed her own want of vivacity, and made continual efforts to appear more gay; she conjured her sister to aid her, in endeavouring to chase the dejection of the count; and frequently led her husband to the apartment of Erdmutha, where, engaging them in conversation, she would find some pretence to leave them together.
In these trying situations, Erdmutha, however, had sufficient empire over herself to conceal from the count that she returned his love. He also, after the avowal that her solicitations had torn from him, maintained an inviolate silence: but his passion consumed him; he fell sick, and the countess, transported with grief, supplicated her sister to assist in her cares for his re.
storation. Erdmutha, from that time, scarcely quitted the side of his couch. . One day, when they were alone, the count opened his almost-extinguished eyes, and said, in a feeble voice, “Oh, Erdmutha! let me be permitted to press my lips to thine, and I die satisfied.” She did not immediately reply, but seeing the tears fall from his eyes, which were eagerly fixed on her, she bent over his pillow and touched his cheek with her pale and cold lips, saying, “Ah! why cannot I die with you?” The count pressed her to his heart, and turning from her, he almost fainted with the excess of his feelings.
“Oh, my friend!” cried Erdmutha, with an emotion bordering on despair; obe more calm, I give myself up to thee! Elizabeth, by her heroic virtues, saved thee from slavery, I would save thee from thee death !"..
The countess had heard their discourse from an adjoining apartment: she had scarcely strength to return to her own chamber. She took up the chains from which, with so much peril, she had delivered her husband, and bathed them with tears.
She was informed the next day that the count was better, and within three days he was restored to health. She knew that love had been the cause of this sudden change; but the grief she observed in his looks, and those of her sister, together with their tenderness for her, convinced her that the crime was not consum
She gave a grand entertainment to celebrate the count's health. At night she led the count to the most retired apartment of the house, took the chains she had brought with her from the east, and taking
his hand, she said, “ dearest husband, can these chains : attach thy heart to mine?"
The count, pressing the chains to his bosom, replied, “No one but you could give such proofs of a pure and constant affection. Elizabeth! for you I would brave death, as you have done for me.” Then em bra. cing his wife, as if for the last time, he vowed eternal fidelity to her; in saying which, he meditated a journey to the Holy Land. Elizabeth comprehended him, and did not hesitate to take her resolution.
She besought him to defer his journey some days; s because,” added she tenderly, “my strength fails me hourly. I am more feeble than you imagine; my days are numbered. Do not abandon my sister when I shall be no more: become her friend, as you have been mine; and, if Heaven grants my ardent prayer, you will become more than the friend of Erdmutha.”
She folded him in her arms, to conceal her pallid countenance and her tears; afterwards she entreated him to conduct her to the convent in which she had been educated, “for there," she said, “I will pass some days with my friend, the abbess.”
He accompanied her to the convent; but instead of returning to the castle, where he knew he must remain alone with Erdmutha, he remained in the neighbourhood of the countess. Eight days afterwards, the abbess announced to him the death of his wife, and communicated her last wish. The countess had besought him, in her last moments, not to abandon her sister, but to remember her late prayer to Heaven in their behalf.
This intelligence was not true. The countess caused
a chapel and a tomb to be erected, and beneath its roof she remained till sorrow had terminated her life. The abbess ordered a monument to be erected over her ashes, with this inscription to be engraved on it:
« Love is more powerful than gratitude: *
These chains could not secure his loye*;"
ON SEEING. A VESSEL SAIL,
Yon ship prepard the port to leave,
She courts the fav’ring gale;
To spread their vent'rous sail.
Oh! - wond'rous proof of bold design,
Say, whither art thou bound?
What unplough'd ocean sound?
* The chapel and the monument were situated at a little distance from a town of northern Germany, surrounded by spreading oaks. According to an ancient record, the chapel's bells were rung on a certain day. The tomb was of marble, as well as the statue of the countess, who, on her knees, with her hands laden with chains, had her eyes turned towards heaven. It is reported, that shortly after the countess's death, the count enjoying the chase, accompanied by Erdmutha, whom he had married, for the first time discovered this chapel, and killed himself,