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out the more for this questioning. And why am I not to believe myself preferred? A friend, supposed to be tied up by engagement, is preferred to the free and offered lover !"

The thought pleased.

The night brought a strange, though generous resolution. It was strange; because if Monson was coming to address her, one would suppose nothing short of madness could induce Tremaine voluntarily to place himself on such unequal terms with his rival, as would be the effect of his persisting in the representation he had made of his engagement. It was generous, because he thought it but right that Eugenia should have full play for her heart, and see this lover again, unshackled by pledge or engagement. For his pride was most essentially concerned, that the professions which had blessed him should not be the effect of a momentary enthusiasm, but the result of free choice, and with the objects of choice fairly before her. In short, he did not choose to owe his success to the absence of his rival.

His resolution, however, fell into the opposite extreme; for he decided upon his own absence, which certainly was not demanded, even by his own principles. He resolved to quit the field for a time, and leave all free to the exertionš of Captain Monson; in which, we are compelled to own, that there was

neither common sense, nor, to himself, common justice.

He resolved then to depart, without releasing himself, even with Mrs. Belson, from the self-imposed disadvantage, that he was to be considered still as a man not free: nor did the altered manner of that lady tend to shake his resolution ; though the tears of Eugenia-amounting to a passion of grief-put his firmness to a much severer trial.

CHAP. VII.

THE SUBJECT CONTINUED.

“ Was this the idol that you worship so ?”

SHAKSPEARE.

TREMAINE took the road to Limoges, and had scarcely proceeded a mile, before he met a young man, attended by a servant, riding à franc étrier, who by his air and costume was English, and whom he rightly judged to be Monson. He surveyed him with interest, as Monson himself stopped to inquire the road to Valence; which Tremaine politely

shewed him: pointing out the very smoke of Mrs. Belson's chimnies on the other side of the valley.

There was an intelligent soldier-like air about this young man, but nothing which in Tremaine's thoughts ought to excite his fear, with even all the aid which he had so strangely afforded him against himself. “ It will be curious, however," said he, “ if I have shewn my rival the very road which he may be taking to ruin me.”

From Limoges, where he joined his suite, after above two months' absence, he wrote to Mrs. Belson and Eugenia, announcing his safe arrival, and in express terms asking leave to correspond with his youthful friend.

He received answers from both. Eugenia's was sufficiently characteristic, and partly satisfied him; for it made no mention whatever of Monson, and spoke tenderly of himself. It was remarkable, however, that she made no mention of his request to correspond with her.

Mrs. Belson's letter was more collected, and certainly more cool. She said she had allowed Eugenia to answer him, but earnestly hoped it would be the last letter he might receive from her.

“The more I think,” said she, “ of your want of freedom, and your duty to your relative, the more I regret our late intimacy. Had you been free, you know how agreeable you were to us; but because we

It must be owned, he had gone very far indeed when he reached this topic. Not that it was very distinct even to his own mind. It however floated .there, with a thousand other vague thoughts; the only thing certain to his consciousness being, that he had met with a person, who, to the most lovely beauty he had ever seen, appeared to join all that simplicity and truth of nature which his heart had so-long and so fondly coveted.

Eugenia, on her part, was scarcely less restless. She loitered long with her mother, to talk of their extraordinary adventure. “Was there ever any thing so elegant, so noble, as their guest! such propriety, yet such softness ! so perfect a gentleman ! so fraught with good taste, and every virtue!"

“That last is going very far," said her mother ;

we must see much more of him before we can judge of that.” “ Oh! I'm sure of it,” said Eugenia.

66 What happiness to be his friend! and to be called his friend! How kind to a mere cottage girl! Oh, mother, if he stays here, I shall love him too wellI already prefer him to all the world ?”

The next morning brought Tremaine to their gate. His young friend was there already. “I have been looking for you all the morning,” said she," and am so glad.”

Tremaine again felt a little amazed; but perceiv

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ing, as she said this, a glowing cheek, a sparkling eye, and a form evidently agitated with pleasure, he, could only give credence to this flattering appearance, and bless his good fortune for having thrown in his way such a study for his heart, in its present pursuit.

It is needless to pursue the detail of this part of the narrative. It is sufficient that the day afforded the same delight to all the party, as the preceding evening, had done; and that Tremaine passed it, and the day after that, and the next, and the next, with his new friends, in a manner to confirm all his notions of Eugenia's sensibility, as well as his conviction that he alone was the absorbing object of that sensibility... He gathered, however con: trary, to the course of romance), that there was nothing very remarkable, either in Eugenia's situation or history. Mrs. Belson was in fact the widow of a gentleman of merit, but in middle life. She had made herself what she was by the force of her own talent and observation, and had retired to this province, in order the better to conduct the education of her children.

To do Mr. Tremaine justice, this weighed either nothing, or very little with him. He had all his life long sought for a virgin heart, and an unsophisticated mind, which he might be able to attach to his own, for his own sake, without any view to his

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