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Her voice faltered, and she could not proceed.
"We embraced, and endeavoured to comfort her; she staid with us for some time, and would have remained longer, but from a fear of meeting my son. In the evening Tomaso returned; he seemed more cheerful than he had been for some time, and I felt very loth to wound him with the cruel news, but yet it was necessary that he should know it; his countenance changed several times while I was speaking, and when I had finished he remained silent. I would rather he had appeared more agitated, for I dreaded the effects of the deep despair, which was visible in I tried to rouse him. "Tomaso (said I), for my sake and your mother's, do not thus despond, be more a man.''
"Not for myself, father (cried he), but for her do I grieve. Oh! may heaven give her strength to bear this trial.'
"I a few days afterwards, the news of Ursula's marriage reached us, and from that time to the present, which is now some weeks, we have never seen her. My son strove all that he could to prevent our seeing the impression which the loss of her made upon his mind; but, alas! it was too plain. Today we went a few miles from hence, with some grapes that we wanted to sell, and in returning, in returning, Vincentio passed us; he was much intoxicated, so much so indeed, that he could hardly walk. He gave my son a look of scorn as he passed, and poor Tomaso sighed deeply.
"Ah! father (said he), how hard is poor Ursula's lot; how different would it have been if --he checked himself, and I did not pursue the subject. We loitered, for I did not wish to overtake Vincentio, who walked, or rather staggered forward till he came to a stream, where there was a plank laid across. The plank was a broad one,
and perfectly secure, if he had been sober, but in his present state, it was very dangerous for him to attempt to cross it.
"We now hurried forward, but before we came up to him, he was more than half way over. He will get across with safety' (said I); but I had scarcely uttered the words, when his foot slipped, and he fell into the
"Tomaso is but and indifferent swimmer, but he darted forward with the rapidity of lightening, and plunged in after Vincentio: for some moments I trembled for the life of my son, for the stream was very broad and deep; but my fears were soon dispelled, by his bringing the insensible Vincentio in his arms to the opposite side. some time we thought that Vincentio was actually dead, at last he shewed signs of life, but the fright had affected him so much, that when he recovered, he was unable to walk, and we were
obliged to support him to the nearest cottage; he recovered himself sufficiently to express his gratitude to Tomaso, and we did not leave him for some time."
Jacques ceased, but Montalva remained silent; the peasant's simple tale had indeed created the bitterest reflections in his breast, he could not but approve of the magnanimity which led the young rustic to risk his own life to preserve his rival's, but the involuntary comparison which he drew between Tomaso's conduct and his own, at once mortified his pride and stung his conscience. He started up abruptly, and haughtily desired to know, whether Jacques could shew him the road to Madrid. Jacques, with great readiness, said he would attend him, and the count with hasty steps quitted the cottage, where he had received a lesson that he was not destined soon to forget. In a short time they approached the city, and Montalva liberally re