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siness must be disregarded. When this is done let me see you again.”
Lord Avondel now submitted his wound to examination, and in the looks of the surgeon read a confirmation of his own opinion. “I am a soldier, sir,” said he, you may be explicit to me, but as some tender hearts are deeply interested in my safety, I could wish they may be gradually prepared for the stroke, by being informed that the case is not quite d'esperate. Your application has given me ease, I thank you, sir, I have much business to perform.”
The return of Villars set the generous nobleman at rest with respect to Monthermer's safety, who, under the care of his chaplain, was on the road to Dover, and would be out of the kingdom in a few hours. Villars spoke of the state of his mind as bordering on insanity. “ He accuses himself,"
said he, “ of such conduct as we can not credit, but I trust my Lord you will be just.” “I shall be more than just,' returned Lord Avondel, “ I shall be silent. Mr. Villars, are you in the confidence of Lady Paulina Monther
“ No further, my lord, than as she is the wife of that friend and benenefactor to whose fortunes I am inviolably bound.”
“ 'Tis well,” answered the earl ; preserve that resolution. She knows the events of this morning ?"
My lord,” answered Villars, reddening, “ I request you will not question me about Lady Paulina."
My intention," said his lordship, " is only to desire that you will faithfully describe to her my last moments, and to tell her I forgive her.”
“ Mutual forgiveness," returned Villars, deeply affected, " is the duty of us frail beings.” “True," replied the earl; he paused a moment, and then added, “I do not ask forgiveness of Paulina. Continue faithful to the unhappy general, we will mention her name no more.”
To describe the distress of Lady Avondel would be impossible. The vehemence of her fears soon overpowered the weak barrier of hope which the sur. geon pretended to interpose, and the threatened loss of the idol of her soul so overwhelmed her, that intense affliction subdued herweak frame, and she became incapable of rendering those services which her dying lord required. But a ministering angel sat by his pillow to give him every comfort his agonized frame and contrite spirit demanded from commiserating benevolence. Pale as an alabaster-figure who bends over
some hero's ashes, with looks of unut. terable woe, Selina hung over her adered Avondel, whispering the consolations which only heavenly truth can supply in those moments, when the enjoyments of this world vanish from our grasp, fanning that heavenly flame of piety which the tempest of temporal pursuits had nearly extinguished, and tranquillizing his earth-born cares by solemn promises of observing all his injunctions. Her sorrow for this separation, which again blasted all her revived hopes of happiness in this world, seemed to be suspended, by her anxiety to secure a re-union with him in a happrer region, and in her solicitude to remove from his death-bed those thorns which corrode the feelings of a husband and a father.
Yet, not even to his beloved Selina, in whose inviolable honour and wise circumspection he so justly confided,
did Avondel detail the circumstances of his interview with the General, or dis. cover the full enormity of Paulina's guilt. He justly considered the wound he had received as a punishment for his past offences, in suffering his insatiable vanity and fastidious pride to seduce his affections and withdraw his society from his unoffending wife, and to devote his heart and his company to a woman whom his judgement told him was destitute of every estimable quality. That woman, too, the wife of another, of a man for whom he professed a friendship, and who entrusted her to his honour, Ought he not to have persevered in his first virtuous purpose, and repelled her advances with disgust, instead of meeting them with encouragement ? Should he, who had planned an elopement, who had consented to a criminal amour, who had abandoned a guiltless woman