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condition of man; alternate change, joy and sorrow, in such quick succession, that what the heart accepts with gladness one hour, it may be denied the next; not always perhaps from the agency of external circumstances, but in the hidden monitor of the breast, more destructive to happiness than all the misfortunes which can possibly be inflicted on us in this mortal state; for where is to be found that being, who can suffer the actions of his life to pass in review before him, and can so justify himself, as to say with truth, "My conscience is at rest?" The most depraved characters, indeed, hardened in the course of vice, have moments that so condemn and terrify their souls, that life is rendered insupportable to them; and often do they, to escape from this sad variety of evil, these tormenting agonies of a wounded conscience, commit self-destruction; thus accumulating their enormities by rushing unbidden into the presence of their

offended

offended Judge, without a hope, or an expectation to elude their well-merited. punishment.

The very active life led by count Anselmo before his marriage with Almeria, in a great measure precluded that salutary habit of reflection, which is so necessary to enable us to withstand temptation, and to surmount with honour the difficulties which may, at one time, or other, encompass us in our earthly career. Now, however, it was far different; the deep solitude of his present imprisonment was well calculated for such employment; and many, he found, were the acts of pride, vanity, and neglect of moral duties, into which he had unhappily fallen; yet what more than all cruelly afflicted him, was the loss of the supposed friendship of signior Rodolphus. Almeria held the first place in his affections, who indeed was loved with such ardour, that he had been continually jealous with the idea that it was not reciprocal;

procal: by that means endangering her

repose and his own.

Next to Almeria the count revered Rodolphus; their early life had been the same, they both studied at one university; if either engaged in argument, the other was sure to rise in his friend's defence; and no pleasure could be conferred on the one, without the participation of the other. This latter reflection, from the melancholy change which had succeeded to such a strict alliance, was madness-Anselmo instantly rang the bell for his servant, and desired to know if Rodolphus had departed? On. hearing in the affirmative, he said, "Did he leave no message?"-" None, my lord."" Where are the officers?" and being informed they were in waiting, the count then ordered captain Luzzara to be admitted into his presence, as he had business of consequence to impart, which must not be delayed.

Luzzara immediately obeyed this summons; the pale and haggard countenance

of

66

of his noble prisoner, who was seated at a writing-desk, looking over some papers, so distressed him, that he could scarcely articulate the following sentence of" I wait your commands, my lord." The count answered, Young man, I thank you; respect and attention are so seldom found to be displayed in adverse circumstances, that I hope I shall have it in my power to reward you for such singular benevolence:" and continued"my mind is so ill at ease, that my own thoughts are painful to me; solitude is therefore truly irksome-I cannot exist alone. The provocation I received last night from signior Rodolphus was beyond all endurance; did he offer any apology?'

❝ our

'My lord," replied Luzzara, religious doctrine says, Blessed are the peace-makers;' I do think so, when it can be done without a sacrifice of truth.Your visitant appeared too much under the influence of passion to listen to the

cool

cool dictates of reason; his anger was like unto a ship stranded on a desert coast, seeking with its brave supporters an untimely grave. Pardon the similitude, my lord," said the officer, "as it expresses my meaning better than in plain forms; signior Rodolphus spoke but little the storm raged within too violently to permit the use of speech: he inquired if the day was fixed for the trial? I answered, on that subject I could not tender any information; he then ordered his carriage, and with the customary mode of salutation, departed."

"I expected no otherwise; his proud soul disdains to acknowledge a fault. Oh, sir," continued Anselmo, "there is not a man on this habitable globe that suffers such distress as mine." He then took from his writing-desk the fatal gift of Luzzara, and with and with extreme extreme anguish, whilst looking steadfastly at the officer, repeated his question of the preceding morning" Do you pledge your Ko

nour

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