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O You! whom Vanity's light bark conveys
Here the Marquis concluded his adventures. Lorenzo, before He could determine on his reply, past some moments in reflection. At length He broke silence.
'Raymond,' said He taking his hand, 'strict honour would oblige me to wash off in your blood the stain thrown upon my family; But the circumstances of your case forbid me to consider you as an Enemy. The temptation was too great to be resisted. 'Tis the superstition of my Relations which has occasioned these misfortunes, and they are more the Offenders than yourself and Agnes. What has past between you cannot be recalled, but may yet be repaired by uniting you to my Sister. You have ever been, you still continue to be, my dearest and indeed my only Friend. I feel for Agnes the truest affection, and there is no one on whom I would bestow her more willingly than on yourself. Pursue then your design. I will accompany you tomorrow night, and conduct her myself to the House of the Cardinal. My presence will be a sanction for her conduct, and prevent her incurring blame by her flight from the Convent.'
The Marquis thanked him in terms by no means deficient in gratitude. Lorenzo then informed him that He had nothing more to apprehend from Donna Rodolpha's enmity. Five Months had already elapsed since, in an excess of passion, She broke a blood-vessel and expired in the course of a few hours. He then proceeded to mention the interests of Antonia. The Marquis was much surprized at hearing of this new Relation: His Father had carried his hatred of Elvira to the Grave, and had never given the least hint that He knew what was become of his eldest Son's Widow. Don Raymond assured his friend that He was not mistaken in supposing him ready to acknowledge his Sister-in-law and her amiable Daughter. The preparations for the elopement would not permit his visiting them the next day; But in the meanwhile He desired Lorenzo to assure them of his friendship, and to supply Elvira upon his account with any sums which She might want. This the Youth promised to do, as soon as her abode should be known to him: He then took leave of his future Brother, and returned to the Palace de Medina.
The day was already on the point of breaking when the Marquis retired to his chamber. Conscious that his narrative would take up some hours, and wishing to secure himself from interruption on returning to the Hotel, He ordered his Attendants not to sit upfor him. Consequently, He was somewhat surprised on entering his Antiroom, to find Theodore established there. The Page sat near a Table with a pen in his hand, and was so totally occupied by his employment that He perceived not his Lord's approach. The Marquis stopped to observe him. Theodore wrote a few lines, then paused, and scratched out a part of the writing: Then wrote again, smiled, and seemed highly pleased with what He had been about. At last He threw down his pen, sprang from his chair, and clapped his hands together joyfully.
'There it is!' cried He aloud: 'Now they are charming!'
His transports were interrupted by a laugh from the Marquis, who suspected the nature of his employment.
'What is so charming, Theodore?'
The Youth started, and looked round. He blushed, ran to the Table, seized the paper on which He had been writing, and concealed it in confusion.
'Oh! my Lord, I knew not that you were so near me. Can I be of use to you? Lucas is already gone to bed.'
'I shall follow his example when I have given my opinion of your verses.'
'My verses, my Lord?'
'Nay, I am sure that you have been writing some, for nothing else could have kept you awake till this time of the morning. Where are they, Theodore? I shall like to see your composition.'
Theodore's cheeks glowed with still deeper crimson: He longed to show his poetry, but first chose to be pressed for it.
'Indeed, my Lord, they are not worthy your attention.'
'Not these verses, which you just now declared to be so charming?
Come, come, let me see whether our opinions are the same. I promise that you shall find in me an indulgent Critic.'
The Boy produced his paper with seeming reluctance; but the satisfaction which sparkled in his dark expressive eyes betrayed the vanity of his little bosom. The Marquis smiled while He observed the emotions of an heart as yet but little skilled in veiling its sentiments. He seated himself upon a Sopha: Theodore, while Hope and fear contended on his anxious countenance, waited with inquietude for his Master's decision, while the Marquis read the following lines.
LOVE AND AGE
The night was dark; The wind blew cold;
'What is it Thou?' the startled Sire
'What seek You in this desart drear?
'Begone, and seek the blooming bower,
'Be such thy haunts; These regions cold
'I have not yet forgot the pains
'Then fly, and curse mine eyes no more!
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The Monk -by- Matthew Lewis