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The astrologer rose, and, extending his hand to Leonard, trembling with agitation, he added, with abenignant smile :

“And may the God of D'ALTREMOND Tul be with thee, and bless thee for ever.

Then placing both his hands on the youth's head, he modulated his voice almost to a whisper, and, in the tone of the softest dulciana, his words seemed to glide from his lips as he spoke, saying:

“He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season: his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."

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Leonard staggered out of the house, confounded and bewildered. To reflect was impossible: he could only feel. His step was hurried — his eyes bent to the ground-onwards he darted as one that rushes from an awful dream.

His steps were arrested.

Two gentlemen walked up to him; he woke from his dream to a stern reality.

As soon as he appeared in the street, one of the parties had said to the other :

“Yes, there he is—'t is he—that's your man."

The party addressed was—M. Gramont. It was Gramont; he who killed Valremy. “ Sir," said he to Leonard, “we have waited

I need not explain my object. Be so

for you.






kind as to send a friend to this gentleman, in order to make the necessary arrangements. To-morrow at eight. Our friends will fix the place.”

Gramont's friend presented his card to Leonard, who bowed to both, and passed on.






As chance would have it, Gramont and his friend were at the astrologer's when Leonard entered. Gramont panted for revenge.

Few will be able fully to conceive the state of Leonard's mind at this moment. From such a dream to such a reality!

He shook off the dream, and grasped the reality. Fierce resentment routed his emotions. The suddenness of the encounter roused his indignation.

Other considerations

His skill in fencing has been adverted to. He was brave.

Shall it be added that the desire to avenge the death of his friend Valremy, made him exult at the meeting? ..

Again, men generally hate-feel a jealous hatred of those whom they have injured as Leonard injured M. Gramont.

Did he not think of Helen?



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Yes; the thought passed through his mind. The mystifications of the Jesuit had taken effect; the astrologer had expanded them; ambition had silenced love, as in the case of Napoleon with regard to his devoted Josephine: the astrologer's "predictions fortified the “great idea" of his soul.

But was that passing emotion of a disordered mind likely to withstand the temptations of a young, vigorous, pleasure-seeking heart, only just introduced to the deceptive world's paradise ? Would not the reflection be forced upon him that his ambition, to be gratified as promised, must pass through an ordeal, to submit to which his countertemptations would be too strong? Why should he leave a world which offered him all his heart des sired ?

Such is the picture of his mind : at the moment in question-at this moment, the duel fills his thoughts.

He has entered his apartment.
A letter has arrived.
It is from his aunt.


“Why have you not returned sooner, dear Leonard ? Why have you not spared me the bitter sorrow to sadden your heart? Which misfortune shall I tell you first? My heart is desolate, I know not where to begin.

“ Your father changed his religion. God pity and forgive him ! He was wretched from that

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He was

never himself again. God warned him. He became more and more confirmed in the evil. And now, my poor dear nephew, love me as your mother. Yes, I am your mother. I will console

I will console you, and preserve you for God, and the memory of our father. Your poor father is no more.

“ Come to me, my child, my dear child. Supply the place of him who deserted his mother. I will be your mother. You have now nothing on earth. Your father has left you nothing. His estates are mortgaged for more than their worth. Come to me, my son, and you shall share God's blessings.

“I can write no more. My heart is sad and torn. Come, my son, and let us together lament our afflictions, and pray together that God may console us.

. “ Your loving Aunt,


The signs of the approaching tempest, though few and short, ere it bursts, still give warning: but unforeshadowed, utterly unexpected calamity, bitter misfortune, suddenly inflicted, suddenly announced, how hard to bear. And the brain is maddened ; the heart recoils, shudders; the chillness of death strikes its life-nerve: we become desperate in the hour when we feel that all is lost; hope is wrecked ; ruin yawns to devour us.

Leonard determined to meet his challenger. His hopelessness, he thought, might end for ever, And then rage filled his soul with rancour; he

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