Chapter 19





The weeping blood in woman's breast
Was never known to thee;
Nor the balm that drops on wounds of woe
From woman's pitying e'e.

Burns.


A large portion of the curious followed the disconcerted mummers from the
square, while others hastened to break their fasts at the several places
selected for this important feature in the business of the day. Most of
those who had been on the estrade now left it, and, in a few minutes, the
living carpet of heads around the little area in front of the bailiff was
reduced to a few hundreds of those whose better feelings were stronger
than their self indulgence. Perhaps this distribution of the multitude is
about in the proportion that is usually found in those cases in which
selfishness draws in one direction, while feeling or sympathy with the
wronged pulls in another, among all masses of human beings that are
congregated as spectators of some general and indifferent exhibition of
interests in which they have no near personal concern.

The bailiff and his immediate friends, the prisoners, and the family of
the headsman, with a sufficient number of the guards, were among those who
remained. The bustling Peterchen had lost some of his desire to take his
place at the banquet, in the difficulties of the question which had
arisen, and in the certainty that nothing material, in the way of
gastronomy, would be attempted until he appeared. We should do injustice
to his heart, did we not add, also, that he had troublesome qualms of
conscience, which intuitively admonished him that the world had dealt
hardly with the family of Balthazar. There remained the party of Maso,
too, to dispose of, and his character of an upright as well as of a firm
magistrate to maintain. As the crowd diminished, however, he and those
near him descended from their high places, and mixed with the few who
occupied the still guarded area in front of the stage.

Balthazar had not stirred from his riveted posture near the table of the
notary, for he shrunk from encountering, in the company of his wife and
daughter, the insults to which he should be exposed now his character was
known, by mingling with the crowd, and he waited for a favorable moment to
withdraw unseen. Marguerite still stood folding Christine to her bosom, as
if jealous of farther injury to her beloved. The recreant bridegroom had
taken the earliest opportunity to disappear, and was seen no more in Vevev
during the remainder of the revels.

Peterchen cast a hurried glance at this group, as his foot reached the
ground, and then turning towards the thief-takers he made a sign for them
to advance with their prisoners.

"Thy evil tongue has balked one of the most engaging rites of this day's
festival, knave;" observed the bailiff, addressing Pippo with a certain
magisterial reproof in his voice. "I should do well to send thee to Berne,
to serve a month among those who sweep the city streets, as a punishment
for thy raven throat. What, in the name of all thy Roman saints and idols,
hadst thou against the happiness of these honest people, that thou must
come, in this unseemly manner, to destroy it?"

"Naught but the love of truth, eccellenza, and a just horror of the man of
blood."

"That thou and all like thee should have a horror of the ministers of the
law, I can understand; and it is more than probable that thy dislike will
extend to me, for I am about to pronounce a just judgment on thee and thy
fellows for disturbing the harmony of the day, and especially for having
been guilty of the enormous crime of an outrage on our agents."

"Couldst thou grant me a moment's leave?" asked the Genoese in his ear.

"An hour, noble Gaetano, if thou wilt."

The two then conversed apart, for a minute or more. During the brief
dialogue, the Signor Grimaldi occasionally looked at the quiet and
apparently contrite Maso, and stretched his arm towards the Leman, in a
way to give the observers an inkling of his subject. The countenance of
the Herr Hofmeister changed from official sternness to an expression of
decent concern as he listened, and ere long it took a decidedly forgiving
laxity of muscle. When the other had done speaking, he bowed a ready
assent to what he had just heard, and returned to the prisoners.

"As I have just observed," he resumed, "it is my duty now to pronounce
finally on these men and their conduct. Firstly they are strangers, and as
such are not only ignorant of our laws, but entitled to our hospitality;
next, they have been punished sufficiently for the original offence, by
being abridged of the day's sports; and as to the crime committed against
ourselves, in the person of our agents, it is freely forgiven, for
forgiveness is a generous quality, and becomes a paternal form of rule.
Depart therefore, of God's name! all of ye to a man, and remember
henceforth to be discreet. Signore, and you, Herr Baron, shall we to the
banquet?"

The two old friends had already moved onward, in close and earnest
discourse, and the bailiff was obliged to seek out another companion. None
offered, at the moment, but Sigismund, who had stood, since quitting the
stage, in an attitude of complete indecision and helplessness,
notwithstanding his great physical energy and his usual moral readiness to
act. Taking the arm of the young soldier, with the disregard of ceremony
that denotes a sense of condescension, the bailiff drew him away from the
spot, heedless himself of the other's reluctance, and without observing
that, in consequence of the general desertion, for few were disposed to
indulge their compassion unless it were in company with the honored and
noble, Adelheid was left absolutely alone with the family of Balthazar.

"This office of a headsman, Herr Sigismund," commenced the unobservant
Peterchen, too full of his own opinions, and much too sensible of his
right to be delivered of them in the presence of his junior and inferior,
to note the youth's trouble, "is at the best but a disgusting affair;
though we, of station and authority, are obliged prudently to appear to
deem it otherwise before the people, in our own interest. Thou hast had
occasion to remark often, in the discipline of thy military followers,
that a false coloring must be put upon things, lest they who are very
necessary to the state should not think the state quite so necessary to
them. What is thy opinion, Captain Sigismund, as a man who has yet his
hopes and his views on the softer sex, of this act of Jacques Colis?--Is
it conduct to be approved of, or to be condemned?"

"I deem him a heartless, mercenary, miscreant!"

The suppressed energy with which these unexpected words were uttered
caused the bailiff to stop and to look up in his companion's face, as if
to ask its reason. But there all was already calm, for the young man had
too long been accustomed to drill its expression, when the sensitive sore
of his origin was probed, as so frequently happened, to permit the
momentary weakness long to maintain its ascendency.

"Ay, this is the opinion of thy years;" resumed Peterchen. "Thou art at a
time of life when we esteem a pretty face and a mellow eye of more account
even than gold. But we put on our interested spectacles after thirty, and
seldom see any thing very admirable, that is not at the same time very
lucrative. Here is Melchior de Willading's daughter, now, a woman to set a
city in a blaze, for she hath wit, and lands, and beauty, besides good
blood;--what, for instance, is thy opinion of her merit?"

"That she is deserving of all the happiness that every human excellence
ought to confer!"

"Hum--thou art nearer to thirty than I had thought thee, Herr Sigismund!
But touching this Balthazar, thou art not to believe, on account of the
few words of grace which fell from me, that my aversion for the wretch is
less than thine, or than that of any other honest man; but it would be
unseemly and unwise in a bailiff to desert the last minister of the law's
decrees in the face of the public. There are feelings and sentiments that
are natural to us all, and among them are to be classed respect and honor
for the well and nobly born," (the discourse was in German,) "and hatred
and contempt for those who are condemned of men. These are feelings which
belong to human nature itself, and God forbid that I, a man already past
the age of romance, should really entertain any sentiments that are not
strictly human."

"Do they not rather belong to abuses--to our prejudices?"

"The difference is not material, in a practical view, young man. That
which is fairly bred into the mind, by discipline and habit, gets to be
stronger than instinct, or even than one of the senses. Let there be an
unseemly sight, or a foul smell near thee, and thou hast only to turn thy
eyes, or hold thy nose, to be rid of it; but I could never find the means
to lessen a prejudice that was once fairly seated in the mind. Thou mayest
look whither thou wilt, and shut out the unsavory odors of the imagination
by all the means thou canst invent, but if a man is, in truth, condemned
of opinion, he might as well make his appeal to God at once for justice,
as to any mercy he is likely to receive from men. This much have I learned
in my experience as a public functionary."

"I should hope that these are not the legal dogmas of our ancient canton,"
returned the youth, conquering his feelings, though it cost him a severe
effort.

"As far from it as Basle is from Coire. We hold no such discreditable
doctrines. I challenge the world to show a state that possesses a fairer
set of maxims than ourselves, and we even endeavor to make our practice
chime in with our opinions, whenever it can be done in safety. No in these
particulars, Berne is a paragon of a community, and as rarely says one
thing and does another, as any government you shall see. What I now tell
thee, young man, is said to thee in the familiarity of a fête, as thou
know'st, in which there have been some fooleries, to open confidence and
to loosen the tongue. We openly and loudly profess great truth and
equality before the law saving the city's rights, and take holy, heavenly,
upright justice for our guide in all matters of theory. Himmel! If thou
would'st have thy affair decided on principle, go before the councils, or
the magistracy of the canton, and thou shalt hear such wisdom, and witness
such keen-sightedness into chicanery, as would have honored Solomon
himself!"

"And notwithstanding this, prejudice is a general master."

"How canst thou have it otherwise? Is not a man a man? Will he not lean as
he has been weighed upon?--does not the tree grow in the way the twig is
bent? No, while I adore justice, Herr Sigismund, as becomes a bailiff, I
confess to both prejudice and partiality, mentally considered. Now, yonder
maiden, the pretty Christine, lost some of her grace in my eyes, as no
doubt she did in thine, when the truth came to be known that she was
Balthazar's child. The girl is fair and modest and winning in her way; but
there is something--I cannot tell thee what--but a certain damnable
something--a taint--a color--a hue--a--a--a--that showed her origin the
instant I heard who was her parent--was it not so with thee?"

"When her origin was proved, but not previously."

"Ay, of a certainty; I mean not otherwise. But a thing is not seen any the
worse because it is seen thoroughly, although it may be seen falsely when
there are false covers to conceal its ugliness. Particularity is necessary
to philosophy. Ignorance is a mask to conceal the little details that are
necessary to knowledge. Your Moor might pass for a Christian in a mask,
but strip him of his covering and the true shade of the skin is seen.
Didst thou not observe, for instance, in all that touches feminine grace
and perfection, the manifest difference between the daughter of Melchior
de Willading and the daughter of this Balthazar?"

"There was the difference between a maiden of most honored and happy
extraction and a maiden most miserably condemned!"

"Nay, the Demoiselle de Willading is the fairer."

"Nature has certainly been most bountiful to the heiress of Willading,
Herr Bailiff, who is scarcely less attractive for her female grace and
goodness, than she is fortunate in the accidents of birth and condition."

"I knew thou couldst not, in secret, be of a different mind from the rest
of men!" exclaimed Peterchen in triumph, for he, took the warmth of his
companion's manner to be a reluctant and half-concealed assent to his own
proposition. Here the discourse ended: for, the earnest conference between
Melchior and the Signor Grimaldi having terminated, the bailiff hastened
to join his more important guests, and Sigismund was released from an
examination that had harrowed every feeling of his soul, while he even
despised the besotted loquacity of the man who had been the instrument of
his torture.

The separation of Adelheid from her father was anticipated and previously
provided for; since the men were expected to resort to the banquet at this
hour. She had continued near Christine and her mother, therefore, without
attracting any unusual attention to her movements, even in those who were
the objects of her sympathy, a feeling that was so natural in one of her
years and sex. A male attendant, in the livery of her father's house
remained near her person, a protector who certain to insure not only her
safety in the thronged streets of the town, but to exact from those whose
faculties were beginning to yield to the excesses of the occasion the
testimonials of respect that were due to her station. It was under these
circumstances, then, that the more honored, and, to the eyes of the
uninstructed, the happier of these maidens, approached the other, when
curiosity was so far appeased as to have left the family of Balthazar
nearly alone in the centre of the square.

"Is there no friendly roof near, to which thou canst withdraw?" asked the
heiress of Willading of the mother of the pallid and scarcely conscious
Christine; "thou wouldst do better to seek some shelter and privacy for
thy unoffending and much injured child. If any that belong to me can be of
service, I pray that thou wilt command as freely as if they were followers
of thine own."

Marguerite had never before spoken with a female of a rank superior to the
ordinary classes. The ample means of both her father's and her husband's
family had furnished all that was necessary to the improvement of the mind
of one in her station, and perhaps she had been the gainer, in mere
deportment, by having been greatly excluded, by their prejudices, from
association with females of her own condition. As is often seen among
those who have the thoughts without the conventional usages of a better
caste in life, she was slightly tinctured with an exhibition of what might
be termed an exaggerated manner, while at the same time it was perfectly
free from vulgarity or coarseness. The gentle accents of Adelheid fell on
her ear soothingly, and she gazed long and earnestly at the beautiful
speaker without a reply.

"Who and what art thou that canst think a headman's child may receive an
insult that is unmerited, and who offerest the service of thy menials, as
if the very vassal would not refuse his master's bidding in our behalf!"

"I am Adelheid de Willading, the daughter of the baron of that name, and
one much disposed to temper this cruel blow to the feelings of poor
Christine. Suffer that my people seek the means to convey thy child to
some other place!"

Marguerite folded her daughter still closer to her bosom, passing a hand
across her brow, as if to recall some half-obscured idea.

"I have heard of thee, lady.--'Tis said that thou art kind to the wronged,
and of excellent dispositions towards the unhappy--that thy father's
castle is an honored and hospitable abode, which those who enter rarely
love to quit. But hast thou well weighed the consequences of this
liberality towards a race, that is and has been proscribed of men, from
generation to generation--from him who first lent himself to his bloody
office, with a cruel heart and a greedy desire for gold, to him whose
courage is scarcely equal to the disgusting duty? Hast thou bethought thee
of this, or hast thou yielded, heedlessly, to a sudden and youthful
impulse?"

"Of all this have I thought," said Adelheid, eagerly; "whatever may be the
injustice of others, thou hast none to fear from me."

Marguerite yielded the form of her child to the support of her father's
arm, and drew nearer, with a gaze of earnest and pleased interest, to the
blushing but still composed Adelheid. She took the hand of the latter,
and, with a look of recognition and intelligence, said slowly, as if
communing with herself, rather than speaking to another----

"This is getting to be intelligible!" she murmured; "there is still
gratitude and creditable feeling in the world. I can understand why we
are not revolting to this fair being: she has a sense of justice that is
stronger than her prejudices. We have done her service, and she is not
ashamed of the source whence it has come!"

The heart of Adelheid throbbed quick and violently; and, for a moment, she
doubted her ability to command her feelings. But the pleasing conviction
that Sigismund had been honorable and delicate, even in his most sacred
and confidential communications with his own mother, came to relieve her,
and to make her momentarily happy; since nothing is so painful to the pure
mind, as to think those they love have acted unworthily; or nothing so
grateful, as the assurance that they merit the esteem we have been induced
liberally and confidingly to bestow.

"You do me no more than justice," returned the pleased listener of this
flattering and seemingly involuntary opinion--"we are indeed--indeed we
are truly grateful; but had we not reason for the sacred obligations of
gratitude, I think we could still be just. Will you not now consent that
my people should aid you?"

"This is not necessary, lady. Send away thy followers, for their presence
will draw unpleasant observations on our movements. The town is now
occupied with feasts, and, as we have not blindly overlooked the necessity
of a retreat for the hunted and persecuted, we will take the opportunity
to withdraw unseen. As for thyself--"

"I would be near this innocent at a moment so trying,"--added Adelheid
earnestly, and with that visible sympathy which rarely fails to meet an
echo.

"Heaven bless thee! Heaven bless thee, sweet girl! And Heaven will bless
thee, for few wrongs go unrequited in this life, and little good without
its reward. Send thy followers away, or if thy habits require their
watchfulness, let them be near unseen, whilst thou wateriest our
movements; and when the eyes of all are turned on their own pleasures,
thou canst follow. Heaven bless thee--ay, and Heaven will!"

Marguerite then led her daughter towards one of the least frequented
streets. She was accompanied by the silent Balthazar, and closely watched
by one of the menials of Adelheid. When fairly housed, the domestic
returned to show the spot to his mistress, who had appeared to occupy
herself with the hundred silly devices that were invented to amuse the
multitude. Dismissing her attendants, with an order to remain at hand,
however, the heiress of Willading soon found means to enter the humble
abode in which the proscribed family had taken refuge, and, as she was
expected, she was soon introduced into the chamber where Christine and her
mother had taken refuge.

The sympathy of the young and tender Adelheid was precious to one of the
character of Christine. They wept together, for the weakness of her sex
prevailed over the pride of the former, when she found herself
unrestrained by the observation of the world, and she gave way to the
torrent of feeling that broke through its bounds, in spite of her
endeavors to control it. Marguerite was the only spectator of this silent
but intelligible communion between these two young and pure spirits, and
her soul was shaken by the unlooked-for commiseration of one so honored,
and who was usually esteemed so happy.

"Thou hast the consciousness of our wrongs," she said, when the first
burst of emotion had a little subsided. "Thou canst then believe that a
headsman's child is like the offspring of another and is not to be hunted
of men like the young of a wolf."

"Mother, this is the Baron de Willading's heiress," said Christine: "would
she come here, did she not pity us?"

"Yes, she can pity us--and yet I find it hard even to be pitied! Sigismund
has told us of her goodness, and she may, in truth, feel for the
wretched!"

The allusion to her son caused the temples of Adelheid to burn like fire,
while there was a chill, resembling that of death, at her heart. The first
arose from the quick and uncontrollable alarm of female sensitiveness; the
last was owing to the shock inseparable from being presented with this
vivid, palpable picture of Sigismund's close affinity with the family of
an executioner. She could have better borne it, had Marguerite spoken of
her son less familiarly, or with more of that feigned ignorance of each
other, which, without stopping to scan its fitness, she had been led to
think existed between the young man and his family.

"Mother!" exclaimed Christine reproachfully, and in surprise, as if a
great indiscretion had been thoughtlessly committed.

"It matters not, child; it matters not. I saw by the kindling eye of
Sigismund to-day, that our secret will not much longer be kept. The noble
boy must show more energy than those who have gone before him; he must
quit for ever a country in which he was condemned, even before he was
born."

"I shall not deny that your connexion with Monsieur Sigismund is known to
me," said Adelheid, summoning all her resolution to make an avowal which
put her at once into the confidence of Balthazar's family. "You are
acquainted with the heavy debt of gratitude we owe your son, and it will
explain the nature of the interest I now feel in your wrongs."

The keen eye of Marguerite studied the crimsoned features of Adelheid till
forgetfulness got the better of discretion. The search was anxious, rather
than triumphant, the feeling most dreaded by its subject; and, when her
eyes were withdrawn, the mother of the youth became thoughtful and
pensive. This expressive communion produced a deep and embarrassing
silence, which each would gladly have broken, had they not both been
irresistibly tongue-tied by the rapidity and intensity of their thoughts.

"We know that Sigismund hath been of service to thee," observed
Marguerite, who always addressed her gay companion with the familiarity
that belonged to her greater age, rather than with the respect which
Adelheid had been accustomed to receive from those who were of a rank
inferior to her own. "The brave boy hath spoken of it, though he hath
spoken of it modestly."

"He had every right to do himself justice in his communications with those
of his own family. Without his aid, my father would have been childless;
and without his brave support, the child fatherless. Twice has he stood
between us and death."

"I have heard of this," returned Marguerite, again fastening her
penetrating eye on the tell-tale features of Adelheid, which never failed
to brighten and glow, whenever there was allusion to the courage and
self-devotion of him she secretly loved, "As to what thou say'st of the
intimacy of our poor boy with those of his blood, cruel circumstances
stand between us and our wishes. If Sigismund has told thee of whom he
comes he has also most probably told thee of the manner in which he
passes, in the world, for that which he is not."

"I believe he has not withheld any thing that he knew, and which it was
proper to communicate to me;" answered Adelheid, dropping her eyes before
the attentive, expectant look of Marguerite. "He has spoken freely, and--"

"Thou wouldst have said--"

"Honorably, and as became a soldier;" continued Adelheid, firmly.

"He has done well! This lightens my heart of one burthen at least. No; God
has destined us to this fate, and it would have grieved me that a son of
mine should have failed of principle in an affair, of all others, in which
it is most wanted. You look amazed, lady!"

"These sentiments, in one so situated, surprise as much as they delight
me! If any thing could excuse some looseness in the manner of regarding
the usual ties of life, it would surely be to find oneself so placed, by
no misconduct of our own, as to be a but to the world's dislike and
injustice; and yet here, where there was reason to expect some resentment
against fortune, I meet with sentiments that would honor a throne!"

"Thou thinkest as one more accustomed to consider thy fellow-creatures
through the means of what men fancy, than through things as they are. This
is the picture of youth, and inexperience, and innocence; but it is not
the picture of life. 'Tis misfortune, and not prosperity that chasteneth,
by proving our insufficiency for true happiness, and by leading the soul
to depend on a power greater than any that is to be found on earth. We
fall before the temptation of happiness, when we rise in adversity. If
thou thinkest, innocent one, that noble and just sentiments belong to the
fortunate, thou trustest to a false guide. There are evils which flesh
cannot endure, it is true; but, removed from these overwhelming wants, we
are strongest in the right, when least tempted by vanity and ambition.
More starving beggars abstain from stealing the crust they crave, than
pampered gluttons deny themselves the luxury that kills them. They that
live under the rod, see and dread the hand that holds it; they who riot in
earth's glories, come at last to think they deserve the short-lived
distinctions they enjoy. When thou goest down into the depths of misery,
thou hast naught to fear except the anger of God! It is when raised above
others, that thou shouldst tremble most for thine own safety."

"This is not the manner in which the world is used to reason."

"Because the world is governed by those whose interest it is to pervert
truth to their own objects, and not by those whose duties run hand-in-hand
with the right. But we will say no more of this, lady; here is one that
feels too acutely just now to admit truth to be too freely spoken."

"Dost, feel thyself better, and more able to listen to thy friends, dear
Christine?" asked Adelheid, taking the hand of the repudiated and deserted
girl with the tenderness of an affectionate sister.

Until now the sufferer had only spoken the few words related, in mild
reproof of her mother's indiscretion. That little had been uttered with
parched lips and a choked voice, while the hue of her features was deadly
pale, and her whole countenance betrayed intense mental anguish. But this
display of interest in one of her own years and sex, of whose excellencies
she had been accustomed to hear such fervid descriptions from the
warm-hearted Sigismund, and of whose sincerity she was assured by the
subtle and quick instinct that unites the innocent and young, caused a
quick and extreme change in her sensibilities. The grief which had been
struggling and condensed, now flowed more freely from her eyes, and she
threw herself, sobbing and weeping, in a paroxysm of gentle, but
overwhelming, feeling, on the bosom of this new found friend. The
experienced Marguerite smiled at this manifestation of kindness on the
part of Adelheid, though even this expression of satisfaction was austere
and regulated in one who had so long stood at bay with the world. And,
after a short pause, she left the room, under the belief that such a
communion with a spirit, pure and inexperienced as her own, a communion so
unusual to her daughter, would be more likely to produce a happy effect,
if left to themselves, than when restrained by her presence.

The two girls wept in common, for a long time after Marguerite had
disappeared. This intercourse, chastened as it was by sorrow, and rendered
endearing on the one side by a confiding ingenuousness, and on the other
by generous pity, caused both to live in that short period, as it were,
months together in a near and dear intimacy. Confidence is not always the
growth of time. There are minds that meet each other with a species of
affinity that resembles the cohesive property of matter, and with a
promptitude and faith that only belongs to the purer essence of which they
are composed. But when this attraction of the ethereal part of the being
is aided by the feelings that have been warmed by an interest so tender as
that which the hearts of both the maidens felt in a common object, its
power is not only stronger, but quicker, in making itself felt. So much
was already known by each of the other's character, fortunes, and hopes
(always with the exception of Adelheid's most sacred secret, which
Sigismund cherished as a deposit by far too sacred to be shared even with
his sister) that the meeting under no circumstances could have been that
of strangers, and their mutual knowledge came as an assistant to break
down the barriers of those forms which were so irksome to their longings
for a freer interchange of feeling and thought. Adelheid possessed too
much intellectual tact to have recourse to the every-day language of
consolation. When she did speak, which, as became her superior rank and
less embarrassed situation, she was the first to do, it in general but
friendly allusions.

"Thou wilt go with us to Italy, in the morning," she said, drying her
eyes; "my father quits Blonay, in company with the Signor Grimaldi, with
to-morrow's sun, and thou wilt be of our company?"

"Where thou wilt--anywhere with thee--anywhere to hide my shame!"

The blood mounted to the temples of Adelheid; her air even appeared
imposing to the eyes of the artless and unpractised Christine, as she
answered--

"Shame is a word that applies to the mean and mercenary, to the vile and
unfaithful," she said, with womanly and virtuous indignation; "but not to
thee, love."

"O! do not, do not condemn him;" whispered Christine, covering her face
with her hands. "He has found himself unequal to bearing the burthen of
our degradation, and he should be spoken of in pity rather than with
hatred."

Adelheid was silent; but she regarded the poor trembling girl, whose head
now nestled in her bosom, with melancholy concern.

"Didst thou know him well?" she asked in a low tone, following rather the
chain of her own thoughts, than reflecting on the nature of the question
she put. "I had hoped that this refusal would bring no other pain than the
unavoidable mortification which I fear belongs to the weakness of our sex
and our habits."

"Thou knowest not how dear preference is to the despised!--how cherished
the thought of being loved becomes to those, who, out of their own narrow
limits of natural friends, have been accustomed to meet only with contempt
and aversion! Thou hast always been known, and courted, and happy! Thou
canst not know how dear it is to the despised to seem even to be
preferred!"

"Nay, say not this, I pray thee!" answered Adelheid, hurriedly, and with a
throb of anguish at her heart; "there is little in this life that speaks
fairly for itself. We are not always what we seem; and if we were, and far
more miserable than anything but vice can make us, there is another state
of being, in which justice--pure, unalloyed justice--will be done."

"I will go with thee to Italy," answered Christine, looking calm and
resolved, while a glow of holy hope bloomed on each cheek; "when all is
over, we will go together to a happier world!"

Adelheid folded the stricken and sensitive plant to her bosom. Again they
wept together, but it was with a milder and sweeter sorrow than before.



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