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peculiar obligations. We have witnessed his duplicity.

Leonard had been introduced to M. Gramont; but, of course, they did not "coalesce”-to borrow the youth's expression. They were, however, very civil to each other, just as two tigers of equal strength, approaching a common prey in a jungle, where one is an intruder.

M. Gramont's accusation respecting a “correspondence” was correct: how he discovered the fact will appear in the sequel.

The state of affairs at the present period of the narrative is a striking illustration of results unexpectedly flowing from any given step in life. In Leonard's case, it also indicates that want of religious principle which is the only true element of selfrestraint and virtuous conduct.

It chanced, on the following day, that Leonard was not disappointed of seeing Mlle. Duplessis. She was alone ; he was thus doubly fortunate. Mlle. Duplessis was in a fine flow of spirits. On entering, Leonard approached Adele: he presented her with two beautiful flowers.

“Let this,” said he, smiling, “be an emblem of your beautiful eyes, and this the image of your bosom-I could not find one to represent your heart, dear Adele.”

“I should think not,” she replied, with vivacity; “how could you? Will not all flowers fade, change, and perish?”

Adele opened the piano, and dashed off a brilliant

100

THE SONG OF HOPE.

symphony, preluding a gay thrilling air, which she sang with exquisite taste.

“Now, Mr. Devigne, you promised to sing me a song of your own composition: oblige me with it now, if you please."

Leonard gladly assented. He snatched the lady's guitar, which lay on the piano. In the romantic ideas which had lately possessed his mind, he had taken lessons on that instrument; and, by dint of hard practice, he could already accompany himself with ease, if not with elegance. Then, snatching the guitar, he sang

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THE SONG OF HOPE.

I would speak—but the words

Will not come at my call,
Yet the bosom that heaves
And the eyelids that fall

Will tell how I love !

Will tell how I love!
Then sweetly she'll smile,

And a sigh she will sigh,
From the lips that I love,

And that eloquent eye.

I would speak-but what words

To her heart can convey
The wish and the hope
If my sighs cannot say,

And tell how I love,

And tell how I love?
Ah! sweetly she'll smile,

And a sigh she will sigh,
From the lips that I love,

And that eloquent eye.

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“Excessively sweet, Mr. Devigne. I like it exceedingly. You must teach it me.”

And you'll sing it?”
“Oh, yes."
“ And feel it?"
“Can you doubt it?"

“Oh! how is it that I am happy only when I am with you? Why should our hearts not be united for ever? May I not believe that I am beloved ?

She answered not, but her unreluctant hand was kissed by the lover : tender words were uttered, and then — they plighted hearts. Mlle. Duplessis resigned M. Gramont.

On the same evening Leonard wrote a letter to his absent friend, Count Valremy. It is given in the following chapter. What work this misguided youth is giving the Jesuits ! His perversity abuses all the “ holy means” they adopt for the pious end -his conversion, &c.

102

THE GHASTLINESS OF VICE.

CHAPTER VII.

ELUCIDATIONS, AND A REPLY.

If marriage be the crisis of a man's life, it behoves him to “think well on't" ere he makes the experiment. Leonard has just been “accepted.” Whether he has thought well on't" is, perhaps, not very evident: it is this uncertainty, or improbability, which compels us to venture a few elucidations. Mrs. Balfour's letter to his aunt, and his own to Count Valremy, have doubtless excited the reader's curiosity. To expatiate on revolting scenes of profligacy, even when veiled in the garb of factitious refinement, is totally beside the purpose and aim of this narrative. Even the sight of a dissected body --the sight of a skeleton-will make a sensitive mind shudder: the heart revolts from the contemplation of all that is ghastly. How much more from the ghastliness of vice! the horrors of profligacy! If a few strong hearts grow wiser at the contemplation, how naturally will the weak mistake temptation for an irresistible impulse of their nature!

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It is better to believe all men innocent, than to trace them, step by step, from innocence to confirmed guiltiness. We speak to the young, the innocent

“ Where ignorance is bliss, 't were folly to be wise."

Emancipated from the restraints of his home, this apparently timid, bashful youth was suddenly thrown into the vortex of gay society. As will presently be shown, strong temptations were prepared for him by his evil genius–the fearful Valremy. Surprised, undefended, he fell without a struggle. The Jesuit who had him in charge was compelled to relinquish his prey by the fear of consequences, which might not only compromise himself, but the society to which he belonged.

The visitations of remorse—that guardian angel of conscience-were not denied him; but he abused the gift of Heaven; he mocked the whispers of celestial warning; he sought, in fresh excitement, the oblivion of those serious thoughts which assail the guilty, like armed battalions. Fresh temptations were not wanting ; fresh crimes were committed.

In his profligate pursuits he seemed to concentrate all the powers of his mind; for it was a triumph that he had in view in every instance. The ingenuity of his contrivances astonished even his reprobate master, Valremy. The secrecy of his manoeuvres would have done credit to the Jesuits.

Notwithstanding, what was there in his features that indicated his desperate change? His respected

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