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ter-in-law, and his grand-children, would not leave him for a few days, till he was less an invalid.
The heart of the count, though naturally bad, was not wholly inaccessible to the feelings of humanity; and he felt grateful for the disinterested kindness of the rough, but honest seaman; as soon as Montalva was able to go. abroad, the captain hastened to embrace his family, who lived in retirement a few miles from the metropolis.
"If I thought that your lordship could put up with very humble accommodation (cried he to the count), I am sure that change of air would be of service to you, and would find my daughter an excellent nurse."
This invitation Montalva did not hesitate to decline; a calm scene of domestic happiness, was not one in which he was likely to taste of peace; he expressed a wish to see Captain Sterling upon his return to London, and he forced upon the tar, a much larger sum
than that he had agreed to pay for his.
passage. count endeavoured to amuse himself with a survey of every thing curious in the splendid and busy metropolis of the first commercial city in the world, and had not his mind been diseased beyond the power of cure, he would have been pleased with the novelty of all that he saw; but the barbed arrow was doomed to wrankle for ever at his heart, and he found peace as unattainable in the midst of the gaieties of London, as in the solitude of D'Rosonio's castle.
As soon as he was able, the
The count had arrived in England a short time previous to the commencement of a general election, and as he was one day walking towards Covent Garden, he saw a crowd assembled ; and struggling to get out of it, was a young woman, who was nearly fainting. "Pray, for Heaven's sake! let me pass" (said she), but the mob intent
on pressing forward to the hustings, paid no attention to her, and Montalva saw that in a few moments she would most probably fall, and be trampled to death; he made his way through the mob with some difficulty, and getting near the female, he desired her to hold one arm, at the same time he put his other round her waist, and conducted her in safety through the crowd.
When she could, speak, which was not for some moments, she thanked him, with a grace and propriety, which, from the plainness of her appearance, he had not expected. The colour, which terror had robbed her of, began to return, while she was speaking, and the ro seate glow that overspread her counte nance, when on looking up, she beheld the eyes of the count fixed upon, her,. gave to her soft features the charm of animation; the only one they wanted. She was in truth a perfect English beauty, delicate, regular features, soft.
blue eyes; and a profusion of the loveliest flaxen hair, rendered her an interesting object, even to Montalva.
"You are not yet perfectly recovered from your fright (said he), have you much farther to go?"
She replied in the negative, and he continued to walk by her side, till they reached a small neat house, at the door of which she knocked, and on its being opened, she bade him good morning.
Though a libertine, the mind of the count had long been too much harrassed by remorse to feel sensible of the charms of beauty: but he was pleased with the person of this girl, and as her circumstances were apparently humble, he thought that he should find no difficulty in obtaining her for a mistress, as he could not, from her extreme youth, suppose that she was married. Near the house which she entered was a fruiterer's shop, and he resolved to make enquiries there ́after
her, but all that he could learn, was, that she was unknown in the neighbourhood; that she seldom went out, and that she had no visitors.
From this information, the count was satisfied that she was at least poor, and unprotected; two circumstances, that would, he supposed, induce her to receive his proposals with pleasure; he waited however for some days, and he attentively observed her conduct, but she did not go out; she never appeared at her windows, and he was, from the perfect solitude, and the apparently blameless tenor of her life, inclined to believe her innocent.
No sentiment of compassion or remorse however, interfered to prevent his trying to render her otherwise; the money which he had in his power to bestow would, he thought, be a sufficient compensation for the loss of chastity. For years back, had this wretched man experienced the insufficiency of money to procure happiness; yet,