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ment they had stopped at the inn, Montalva had never quitted him.
“ The secret (cries Montalva, exultingly), is vow my own; every bar to my happiness is removed, and I will quaff the cup of pleasure, and enjoy the riches of which I am possessed.”
Such were the resolutions of Montalva, but he had yet to learn that neither the possession of riches, nor sensual enjoyments, can stop the voice of conscience. He had flattered himself that Isabel once removed, the uneasiness of his mind would subside; but his unhappiness every day increased, and while seated at the festive board, surrounded by the most beautiful courtezans in Naples, the spirit of his murdered friend seemed to . menace. him with that punishment which his crimes had deserved.
On the supposed death of Isabel, he had taken the title of count, and many were the overtures of marriage made him by the noblest families in Naples ;
but the soul of Montalva was unfitted for the enjoyment of domestic happiness, and those motives which formerly would have urged him to a mercenary marriage, had ceased to exist; he reflected with bitterness, that it was not himself, but his rank and riches that made the Neapolitan dames desirous of an alliance with him.
“ While I was the untitled and the poor Montalva, I sought in vain for a rich wife (thought he), but now, when rank and wealth are mine, I am courted by those who turned from me formerly with disdain. Oh! gold, thou all powerful demon, at what a price have I purchased the possession of thee!"
His thoughts now reverted to Bianca, the original cause of his sufferings and his guilt; from the time she had refused him, and quitted Naples, he had never heard of her, and the love of revenge, which was a predominant trait in his character, had at times excited him to endeavour to discover the place of her
retreat, but every enquiry that he had hitherto inade was fruitless.
Some years passed away, and the torments of his mind daily increased, till his existence became burthensome to himself. His company was no longer courted by the sons of riot and dissipation, and meretricious beauty turned from his harsh and ungentle manners with disgust; he resolved to hide from the world that wretchedness which he could not conceal from himself, and he quitted the gaieties of Naples for the solitude of the castle D'Rosonio. He had regularly remitted in advance the pension of the little Isabel, but he determined never to behold her again. Soon after he had placed her in the convent of St. Teresa, he had discharged the domestics who, for years,
bad served the family of D'Rosonio, and replaced them with others, to whom all former transactions at the castle were unknown; different indeed was the scene which its pompous hall now pre
sented, to what they had formerly exhibited; the cheerful hospitality, the unbounded munificence of the late Count D'Rosonio, died with him; haughty, gloomy, and tyrannical, the conduct of hiş successor, rendered him feared by his domestics, and abhored. by his vassals.
Solitude, so delightful to the good,
Madrid was the first place that he