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considerable amount, and I thought that I had placed the pocket-book that contained them amongst my clothes; but when I unpacked them, I found I had not done so. I went immediately to the house I had just quitted, but my search was vain; the money was irrecoverably gone.
"A few guineas was all that I possessed; but the vexation that this circumstance gave me, soon gave place to a far deeper grief. Day after day passed, and I heard nothing of Mr. Pembroke. I wrote, but in vain; and I was nearly distracted from an idea, that illness might probably occasion his absence. Every rap at the door, every coach that I heard stop, caused my heart to throb with a painful violence known only to the victims of suspense; and when nearly a month had passed away, I thought I should have lost my reason. “One of the candidates for the borough
of was related to Lord Robert Douglas, and was I knew on terms of the strictest friendship with Pembroke. I thought it probable that, in compliment to his friend Percival, he might be on the hustings, and I dressed myself as plainly as I could the morning I first saw you, and ventured to Covent: Garden, in the hope of seeing him. To your lordship's humanity I probably owe my life; but bitterly did I regret your having preserved it, when I saw by the morning paper, on my return home, that Lord Robert and Pembroke had that day quitted England for Spain. Scarcely could I believe my senses, that Pembroke could thus abandon me; but I was soon convinced that it was the case. I caused enquiry to be made, and found that the paragraph was indeed true. Your lordship knows the rest."
Ellen ceased, and the count thanked her. Though her narrative had severely
mortified him, he did not suffer his chagrin to be visible to her; but the manner in which she had spoken of Pembroke convinced him, that her lover's hold on her heart was as strong as it had ever been, and but for the circumstance of her pregnancy, he would, in all probability, have broken off the connexion; but this incident gave her a consequence with him, that she would not otherwise have had.
A play was amongst the few amusements of which Ellen was fond, and one morning she expressed a wish to see Hamlet, which was to be performed that evening. Montalva knew nothing of the piece, but he offered to accompany her, and they accordingly went. Ellen, whose whole attention was given to the performance, did not perceive the effect it had upon the count, whose conscience was sensibly touched. The remorse that had so long tormented him had slumbered for a little, but the impressive language of our divine bard,
aided by the magic of Kemble's acting, brought his crime fresh to his memory, and he could almost have faneied he beheld the dying D'Rosonio; he sat with his eyes rivetted to the stage; but when Hamlet repeated the speech in
which are these lines:
-I have heard,
That guilty creatures, sitting at a play,
He could bear it no longer, but starting up, complained of illness, and Ellen, who was alarmed at the alteration visible in his countenance, hurried home with him immediately.
During their drive, Montalva was silent; but he frequently sighed deeply, and when Ellen, in the gentlest accents, inquired whether he felt himself better, be replied in the negative. Though he was in general temperate, he drank
freely of Madeira as soon as they reached home, in the hope that the potency of the wine would banish reflection, and enable him to obtain some rest; but he was disappointed; for he never closed his eyes, and the morning found him unrefreshed, and a prey to fever.
For some days his behaviour was so gloomy and strange, that Ellen wondered what had affected him, and as she knew that he spent some of his time at a gaming-house, she feared that he had probably injured his fortune by play; but in truth, though he often lounged there, he had never, till after the night on which his conscience was so dreadfully awakened, played but for small sums; from that time his mind was in so perturbed a state, that he hoped to alleviate the torments he suf fered by plunging into the vortex of deep play.
This plan, in some degree, succeeded. The Neapolitans are fond of gam