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gence; my mind is daily recovering its peace, but I would, if possible, be free from every unpleasant reflection when I bestow upon you my hand.
merit a whole and undivided heart, no cankering cares, no painful recollections, should poison the happiness of your bride."
"Nor shall they, my beloved (cried Alberto). To share your regrets, and to endeavour to chase them from your mind, will be at once my pleasure and my care; that good and pure mind has, in fact, no cause for painful recollections, but such as arises from its own susceptibility, and every day will diminish those."
Valeria proposed, and Alberto agreed to request the good Francisco to take upon himself the superintendance of their monastic plan; to which he readily consented. The spacious and noble castle of D'Rosonio, which had so long witnessed the pangs of unrepented villainy was now appropriated to the
purposes of religion and charity. Money rendered the workmen employed in the necessary alterations expeditious; and it was soon fit for the reception of the monks. Father Francisco was their abbot, and well were the mild virtues of his character adapted to that sacred office. The monastery of St. Francis, as it was called, might indeed be termed of the order of mercy; for most truly did Father Francisco second the pious views of its founders; and while, with the mild benignity of a true christian, he comforted the dismayed and guilty penitent, the treasures of the convent were ever open to the distressed; and never did the poor or destitute turn from its gates unrelieved.
A short time justified the signora's suspicions, that the heart of Laura had played its misstress truant. Count D'Albertini, a young and amiable Neapolitan, solicited from her the hand of her daughter, and the blushing Laura owned, that if her mother consented,
she had no objection to the signor, who
Laura could say no more, but her eyes spoke a language sufficiently intelligible to her fond mother, whose wishes coincided with her daughter's. The temper and disposition of Albertini was such as to give her every rational prospect of happiness, and most gratefully did the signora thank Heaven, for bestowing upon her children that felicity which would constitute hers also.
The abbot of St. Francis bestowed the nuptial benediction upon the two brides, who were both agitated, though from different causes. The natural timidity of Laura, and the reflection
that she was about to quit a beloved
mother, made the change peculiarly awful to her: Valeria, on the contrary, was to reside with the signora, whom she loved as a mother; and was it not for the single idea of her father's miserable fate, joy, the most pure and
unmixed would have been .her por
The benevolent abbess of St. Teresa felt all the satisfaction of a parent at the happy lot of her beloved child, who ever treated her with filial affection; and, perhaps, a happier family than that of Sforza could rarely be found. One single cloud disturbed the serenity of the signora's days: it arose from the fate of Julia. Too soon did she find that her mother was indeed a prophetess; and galling was the chain which she was destined for life to drag; it was rendered doubly so by the reflection, that she had rushed upon her fate, and that her sufferings were solely occasioned by her own fault.
Very indifferent was the fate of Laura and Valeria; the many virtues of Laura, and her angelic temper, while they rendered her adored by her husband, made her a blessing also to her mother, her children, and her friends.
Nor was the union of Sforza and Valeria less happy; some times, indeed, the circumstances of her birth would throw a transient damp on the spirits of Valeria, but these slight sorrows, which were soon chased away by the tenderness of an adoring husband, were the only ones she ever knew after she became his. Blest with a lovely family, happy in each other, and gifted with the means which they liberally used of doing good to their fellow creatures; it was not possible for frail humanity to enjoy a felicity more complete than that of Sforza and his Valeria.
R.Juigné, Printer, 17, Margaret-street, Cavendish-square."