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be a father to her child; these circumstances convinced him that her tale was indeed true, and that the child he had so fondly cherished as his own, was Pembroke's.

"The justice of Heaven pursues me, (thought he), and all efforts to evade it are vain I will return to Naples, and shut myself for ever in the Castle de Rosonio, I will no longer seek, by mixing with society, to regain that peace, which it is my lot never more to taste."

This resolution he determined to put immediately in practice; but a chance meeting with the Marquis de Santenos, delayed his doing so for a few days.

The marquis expressed the liveliest joy at seeing him, and made him many friendly reproaches for not delivering his letter of introduction to Lord Clerimont. "You have suffered much, my poor friend (said de Santenos, in a tone of commisseration), you are so altered as scarcely to be known, but

the society and attentions of your friends, will, I trust, restore you to your former self."

The kind intentions of the amiable marquis were however of no avail: the count obstinately persisted in return. ing to Naples within a few days. De Santenos was now easier in his mind, and his spirits were better: he had visited England, accompanied by the marchioness on the occasion of the nuptials of Lord Clerimont, with the lady to whom he had been so long attached; Montalva could not refuse the request of the marquis, to suffer himself to be introduced to Lord Clerimont, but the sight of the pure happiness which that nobleman appeared to enjoy, as well as the recovered peace of his friend De Santenos, and the delight which the marchioness apparently felt, from the felicity of her husband and her friends, was an aggravation of the horrors that preyed upon the mind of the count; he bade the marquis and his lady an eter,

nal farewel, and quitted the hospitable shores of England for those of his na tive Naples, where he arrived in safety. He hastened forward to his estate, where he found every thing in order; his return was a cause of regret, rather than joy, to his dependants, who soon found that time had neither meliorated his temper, nor enlarged his benevolence.

While the consciousness of guilt was withering the form, and rending the heart of Montalva, the innocent Isabel, in the solitude of St. Teresa, was daily increasing in goodness and beauty; she was indeed beloved by the whole convent, and though Montalva had not expressed a wish that she should acquire any of the feminine accomplishments usually taught to the children of people of rank, yet the abbess had her carefully instructed in them, and well did her capacity and diligence repay the pains bestowed upon her. Soon after Isabel became an inmate of

St. Teresa, the Signora Sforza placed her youngest daughter in the convent. Laura was about the age of Isabel, and the childish partiality which they soon discovered for each other, ripened in time into the tenderest friendship. The Signora Sforza, who was passionately fond of her daughter, soon became attached to Isabel; and the lady abbess could not refuse her repeated requests, that the young orphan should sometimes accompany Laura in her visits to her mother's castle.

The signora was a widow, and of large fortune; to inherit which, she had two daughters and a son, whom she loved with more than maternal fondness. Julia, the eldest, was lovely in her person, but her haughty and ungentle temper, was a source of uneasiness to her mother, who had tried every lenient method to reclaim her, but in vain. Laura, both in person and disposition, strongly resembled her mother graceful, feminine, and interest

ing, she was formed rather to be loved than admired; her features were not regularly beautiful, but the sweetness of her countenance, the mild lustre of her full, blue, expressive eyes, was sufficient to disarm the severity of even the coldest critic and no one ever gazed upon Laura de Sforza without allowing her the meed of beauty.

Alberto, the pride and hope of his mother, gave promise even in the dawn of his youth, of every great and noble quality; he was not indeed free from faults, his temper was haughty and impetuous; keenly alive to the smallest insult, he resented it with the greatest asperity: yet, open to conviction, and attentive to the voice of deserved reproof, sullenness, or malignity, had no place in his disposition. His mo

ther was not blind to the faults of his temper, but she was aware that they were faults which time would correct, and greatly indeed were they over-balanced by his virtues.

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