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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 Valencé ; 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

I have every

no

have sinned, do not let us sin on. reason to think Mr. Monson's regard for my daughter is not merely undiminished, but increased: his attentions are most close, and though I am worldly mother, you must not be surprised, that I endeavour to bring my daughter's mind to a state different from that in which you left it. As it is, she thinks she is sure she still doats upon her friend.”

Thinks she is sure! still doats !exclaimed Tremaine, as he smiled in bitterness at this letter. “ No worldly mother ! Excuse me, good madam, if I distrust your account of that point !"

Upon this he again wrote to Eugenia, and, in evident agitation, requested to take his answer only from herself.

To his mortification, it was a fortnight before he received a reply, and then, such a one as filled him with the most cruel suspicions. The younger, as well as the elder lady, had now begun to see all the impropriety of their former conduct.

“ Still are you too dear to me,” said Eugenia ; 6 but as to the correspondence, your engagement would present too many impediments to the free course of my heart, to allow of my acceding to it.”

Tremaine nearly cursed the whole sex when he read this letter; but recollecting the angelic ingenuousness of the countenance that had charmed him, and all those professions so sweet to his soul, “ No!"

said he, striking his forehead, “ I'll not believe it. She is not herself. It is her mother has done this.”

With this consoling thought, hesallied into the town, to examine a present he had ordered for Eugenia, as rich as fancy and money could make it; and finding it finished, despatched it with a letter to her, which was purposely calculated to bring things to a decision.

In this letter he scrupled not to tell her his fears, that his predictions had been already accomplished, and that Monson had succeeded in his object. His whole style depicted a bosom torn with the most affecting anxieties.

An answer was received as soon as time would permit, but not from Eugenia. She was too much affected, her mother said, to write to him ; but Mrs. Belson transmitted to him a note she had written to herself, as the best account she could give of her mind. In this note, after referring to his beautiful present,—which she should ever keep, she said, in remembrance of a man whom she never would deny she had fondly loved,—she owned that Captain Monson's attentions were not disagreeable to her. 66 Who,” said she, can see his merit, and feel his constancy, and not be alive to them ?”

The letter dropped from Tremaine's hand when he read this declaration. He trembled from head to foot; his lips quivered, and a pang seized his heart, which agitated it almost to death.

66

“ Dupe, and fool !” exclaimed he, on recovering a little, “ever to trust the simplicity of nature ! It makes me sick! My Eugenia ! Monson's Eugenia! any body's Eugenia !”

The impression sunk deep, and lasted long; for he found he had dearly and honourably loved this child of romance. To have been so played with, so duped by baby sweetness, even though she might have amused and duped herself at the same time, was a blow which he could not easily forget. But that, with the apparent openness of heaven, with such a charming ingenuousness of temper, she should be so deliberately false in her love, cut him to the heart. Too proud to reproach her, however, and indeed too much ashamed of himself to enter on the subject at all, he in the end contented himself with simply enclosing her own letter, in a blank cover, and immediately left the Limousin.

The sequel of this adventure is no longer connected with Tremaine's history; but the reader may still like to know what became of the speculation to which our hero felt he had been sacrificed: I will therefore relate it as he learned it from Monson himself.

Returning over the Pyrenees from the tour of Spain, and stopping at Pau to view the birth-place of Henri Quatre, he observed within the precincts of the castle an English gentleman, seemingly on the

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