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they reached the castle, Isabel shuddered at its gloomy and ruinous appearance; and in the welcome which Montalva gave her, there was something that chilled her blood; she strove to appear calm, but her agitation was evident to the count: nor was his, though from a different cause, much inferior. Determined as he was to sacrifice her, he almost forgot his purpose, when he gazed upon her as she sat at supper; she may yet be saved, thought he; I will make one effort to induce her to take the veil."
"I regret, signora (said he, endeavouring to assume an insinuating accent), the destiny which you are preparing for yourself."
"Know you what my fate will be, signor?" (cried Isabel).
"Yes (answered he), perpetual imprisonment."
Isabel turned pale.
"I wonder not, (cried Montalva), you should be shocked at such a
ot; 'tis indeed a dreary one, but it is your father's positive determination.
Tell her (cried he, to me), that no chance shall ever publish to the world, a secret on which the peace and hō- ́ nour, nay, more, the life of her mother depends; if she selfishly prefers the indulgence of her own wishes to the duty that she owes her parents, they have at least, the power to punishi her obstinacy; in a convent she may, if it be not her own fault, be happy; but should she reject a life, to which she was destined, even before her birth, should she presumptuously insist in mixing with that world, which she is doomed never to enter, perpetual and solitary imprisonment will be her portion. Tell her this, Valdorno, and should she then refuse, what, as a father, I have a right to demand, her fate be upon her own head'."
"'Tis well, signor (cried Isabel, whose spirit, though the meekest under Heaven, was roused by this injurious
treatment), I have at least to thank my parents for tranquillizing my mind. In one respect, they are indeed the arbiters of my destiny, and that fate to which they destine me, I must bear; but their conduct absolves me from all duty to them, from all regret at disappointing their views."
"Ha! (thought Montalva), thou dost indeed inherit the haughty spirit of D'Rosonio; should I ever be in thy power-my fate is sure. In thy power! Heavens! can I bear the thought! no,, thy obstinacy is the cause of all, I do. not seek thy life, thou forcest me to, take it."
While these reflections were pas sing in his mind, his countenance. assumed an appearance of desperate resolution that startled Isabel; and her. terror increased, when, on catching her eye, he tried to smile. "Good Heavens! (said she, mentally) into what hands am I fallen; but surely I can, have no cause for fear-is he not my
father's friend?" yet, her heart sunk as she surveyed the stern countenance of the count, and she expressed a wish to retire; Montalva did not attempt to detain her, but as he bade her "good night;" the expression of his voice and countenance, froze her innocent heart with horror.
THE old domestic attended to light her to her chamber, and as soon as they reached it, she dismissed him, and gave vent to her feelings in a burst of tears; when she had a little relieved her full heart, she strove to tranquillize her mind, but in vain. Her apartment was large, and its gloomy magnificence, added to the depression of her spirits. She approached the bed which seemed not to have been slept in for years; at this moment Isabel regretted the choice. that she had made..