Page images



understood the hint, as was evident from the flashing eye. She has been looking over the Discussion Amicale,” that gentlest of polemics, by way of preparation for the combat.

There can be little doubt that the scheme will succeed; the youth was struck with her at the first interview; and the web is more and more entangled at each successive visit.

The main difficulty will be the management of the girl, when she has effected our purpose. Sed dabit Dominus! the Lord will open us a path through the Red Sea of worldly love into the Canaan of love divine,-though we may have to battle beforehand with the sensual daughter of Midian.

Prospectively to the contemplated result, I may state that Mr. Brenton, her father, is a weak-minded man, entirely at the disposal of his wife; whilst his wife,

“ clever" woman, is directed entirely by me in all things. She is how often have I observed the fact !) jealous of her daughter. The cause of this anomaly is her prodigious vanity-hunger for admiration. Vanity is a selfish feeling; hence she would eclipse even her own daughter if she could. But she is directed by me, and we shall manage the young lady by the passions of the mother, should she profanely prefer her selfish love--herselfto the cause of religion, and religious perfection in her lover,—which last is the end to which we consecrate her charms. Did not Jephtha sacrifice his daughter in obedience to his vow ?




I am happy to inform you that Father Lovel * has been rewarded for his great services in this important enterprise. He has been sent on the foreign missions, to supply the place of the martyred Verbiest, lately devoured by the cannibals. Thus did a pious want coincide with the dictates of prudence, as soon as Father Lovel's former connection with the infamous Valremy was made known by you to our Holy Father General. It seems, however, that the necessity of his absence was only the hint from Heaven, as it were, that called Father Lovel to the field of merit; since the necessity ceased almost as soon as he departed. I allude to the death of the clever fiend, Valremy, which you have heard. A fit retribution for the mortal devil.

I conclude with assuring you of my unbounded esteem and affection, remembering you in my constant prayers, very Rev. Father, and earnestly requesting the same from you, in behalf of, Your very humble and very obedient,


* Poor Mr. Bainbridge.





LEONARD DEVIGNE is announced: he comes to pay his daily visit to Miss Brenton.

He has hurried to the meeting: who does not, when Love, the great mesmerist, has imparted to us another existence, a new self, new eyes, new ears, and an ardent will that seems to annihilate all

space, all time, in the presence of the object beloved ? So much is effected in the twinkling of an eye; and yet makes an hour eternity in that absence whose moments the sluggish heart chronicles with unavailing sighs.

Day has dawned at last. At last the detestable clocks have told the hour. Why must they always wait till every wheel has turned the very exact number of times? Cannot they feel, iron-hearted as they are, how much transcendent bliss is promised to that hour which they will not strike?

It has struck, at last.

The ardent lover is admitted into the presence of the beautiful Helen Brenton.

She sat on an ottoman.

[blocks in formation]

Whoever has contemplated—for that's the only word to suit the thing—whoever has contemplated a beautiful woman reclining on an ottoman, must admit that there was something in it-a something which no one can describe, even if it be felt by all " the hapless sons of clay.”

Helen was a brunette. Her hair, brilliant raven, fell in natural curls, tickling her neck and the surrounding undulations, as if to remind the fair owner of one charm, at least. Her eyes were light, but of no decided colour; for they varied with the light they reflected, and the feelings they expressed, through their long and regular lashes. Her head was well proportioned; but if intellect beamed from her brow, there was that in the form of the nose, mouth, and chin, which suggested a combination most dangerous to woman.

Her dress, what was it? It is forgotten. Her taste was so exquisite, that you felt its effect, and the cause was unheeded; or at least you could not ascribe it to muslin, silk, or satin. Whoever remembers a woman's dress was either disgusted by it, or saw little else to admire; so important is that characteristic of woman.

“ So you have been presented to bis Holiness," observed Miss Brenton smilingly, after the first salutations.

“ Yes; and have been delighted with the reception. He quite charmed me with his mild and affable manners. I was sorry that I could not reply to his questions myself; for I could have wished to




enjoy a few minutes more of his pleasant conversation. Mr. Fraser was interpreter. His Holiness spoke of England and Englishmen in the kindest spirit; and expressed the great pleasure he felt in receiving their visits. “The difference of religion," he said, “produced in him only affectionate solicitude, not repulsive displeasure.” And then he added, • Frederick the Second of Prussia, finding himself dangerously ill in a Catholic country, was asked how, in the event of his death, he chose to be buried ?

Dig a grave," said the philosophical monarch,

some few feet lower than the spot where the Catholics are interred."* For my part,' said his Holiness, 'I shall exult to meet those after death, whom I cannot meet during life.' I was much pleased with him; he is so liberal-minded.”

“Well, and you kissed his hand,+ did you not?”

“Oh, of course; and I bring the impress of sanctity on my lips, to print it on your hand, if you do not reject the proffered grace.”

Leonard suited the action to the word. Then the smile passed from his countenance: he was about to talk of his love to urge that consent which, oft demanded, had been deferred, indefinitely deferred; for the lady was undecided: how could she be otherwise? The difference of religion was a paramount obstacle. True, her lover was a most patient hearer;

* Lemaistre.

+ A celebrated opera-dancer has lately enjoyed that bliss. His present Holiness is determined to storm the world with his extraCatholic liberalism.

« PreviousContinue »