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humanity soon rendered him both respected and beloved. His cousin, Montalva, served in the same regiment with him. In the heat of action, the sig nor received a severe wound, and at the moment that he was sinking under his adversary's sword, D'Rosonio rushed forward to his assistance, and bore him from the field. This was the act which Montalva so solemnly vowed to remember, and most truly did he keep his word.
Peace was proclaimed soon after, and the friends, who were now truly at tached to each other, were unwilling to separate; they resolved to visit Madrid together, and Montalva indulged a hope that the ladies of that celebrated city would possess sufficient attractions to banish the unhappy passion which the count was still unable to conquer : but his hopes were vain, D'Rosonio was indeed polite, and attentive to the Spanish beauties, but his heart was still Clementina's, and he acknowledged to
Montalva, that it would never own another flame.
"Well, Heaven be praised D'Rosonio, that my temper does not resemble thine (said the signor one day to his cousin), for if it did, I should be more miserable than I am: know, my friend, that I am in love, and that I have at this moment reason to fear that I shall never possess the object of my passion."
"You jest, surely, Montalva (cried the count), or you have hitherto been very secret in your amour, for I never had the least idea of it."
"To all my secrets thou art welcome, D'Rosonio (replied his friend), but this was not my own, it was in truth intrusted to me by a fond and unsuspecting girl, and I had pledged myself to her, that not even the man nearest to my heart, should know it till she gave me permission to reveal it. I had hoped, I own, that you would have had to congratulate me upon my suc
cess-not to condole with me on my disappointment,"
The melancholy air with which Montalva uttered these words, proved that his heart was more interested than he was willing to acknowledge.
"Let me know (cried the count), what has occasioned your disappointment; I do not make professions, Stephano, but if my friendship can in any way be serviceable to thee, tax it to the utmost."
"I would accept your offer willingly (replied Montalva), for I know the sincerity with which it is made; but in this affair, thou canst not serve me. The mistress of my heart is about to be sacrificed to age and deformity, and so strictly is she guarded, that there is not a possibility of her making an escape; but I may now relate to thee the partìculars of my adventure."
"Some time ago, I was rambling one night without any fixed plan, I heard as I passed the back of a magnificent
house, the voices of women in conver sation, and the particular secretness of one of them, induced me for a moment to listen, without reflecting on what I was doing.
"I think thou art mad, Rosana, (cried she), or at least I should be, if I followed thy advice; how can I tell that the signor's heart is disengaged; or that, if it is, he would bestow it upon me?'
"You know that of all the perfections which we admire in a woman, there is not one to me so attractive as an harmonious voice, and never did I hear tones so full of sweetness.
"That the Signor Montalva (at the mention of my own name, I became still more attentive)-That the Signor Montalva is a disengaged man (replied the other lady), I will not venture to say, though we have no reason to imagine the contrary; but admitting that he is, I do not think that you can for a moment doubt that he would receive
an intimation of your regard with transport. Cold and insensible must indeed be the heart of that man who could reject the love of such a woman as my Clara.'
"I prithee, dear tempter (said Clara), no more; I will not sin against maidén modesty. Heavens! should he reject me. Oh, Rosana, I cannot bear the thought."
"Were you in any other circumstances (cried Rosana), it would be the last step that I should urge you to take, but when there is a chance of escaping a forced marriage, and of being happy with the man you love, it is at least worth the trial; your duenna would soon learn for you whether Montalva has any attachment, and if his heart is indeed free, doubt not, dear cousin, your power to captivate him.'
"I have not courage to run the risk of being rejected, and perhaps scorned (said Clara). Don Juan will not surely attempt to carry his threats into effect;