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true, the scene, the dress, the lights, and the excitement had lent their magic, and raised her to a public rank in loveliness to which she could scarcely in private be allowed a claim; but, yet, had Fate but granted her peace, repose, and a satisfied heart, she would have been of a rare and intellectual order of beauty.... As it was, she was a wreck—there was no tinge of colour on her hollow cheek, or her beautiful lips; dark circles surrounded her eyes; and her form, so queen-like a few weeks before, seemed shrunk and drooping.
Few people can think at once intently and happily—alas ! to how many is deep thought, deep anguish :-and, therefore, there is generally much melancholy in the face of earnest thought ; there was something more than melancholy in poor Zelie's there was a fierce mental struggle. She suddenly clasped her hands, half raised herself with an air of pride and firm resolve.
A tinge of colour dawned on her cheekshe murmured, “I will leave him; he shall be happy; I can die! Ah, but then he would mourn me so ! for ever!-yes, for ever.” At that thought her anguish found vent in a passionate burst of tears.
She sat rocking herself to and fro, as though the movement of the body could lull the tor. tured mind. When looking up, she recognised the small bonnet, the large parasol, and nankeen pelisse of Mrs. Chester, who came out in search of her. She rose, and, appearing not to have perceived her, hastened away in an opposite direction.
Mrs. Chester was one of a very numerous class of people, who always appear to be in a great bustle about others, but never in reality put themselves the least out of the way.
When she saw Zelie hastening away, she called and made several signs, but never attempted to quicken her pace. “She's not quite right in her head, that girl,” she said, to herself; “ there's some deficiency, certainly. However, there's none in the purse, so it don't matter to me; and I'm more comfortable, better boarded, lodged, and treated, than I ever was in any other situation. Besides, the girl's equivocal position prevents her giving herself airs. Though she pays, I'm the patroness; that's pleasant when one has been so long the toady. I'm not expected to spend all my tiny salary in dress, and in these three months I've had more presents than in three
elsewhere. True, I have my suspicions; but, as long as no one else has them, they matter not. Here I can save all my silks and satins.”
And Mrs. Chester looked complacently at a whole suit of nankeen, in which she was attired—bonnet, pelisse, boots, bag, and parasol—a piece Zelie had bought out of charity of a failing linendraper, and which Mrs. Chester had obliged her by accepting.
A pretty little red velvet reticule, worked in gold, caught the watchful blue eye of Mrs. Chester. It lay on the sands in the spot where Zelie had been sitting. Mrs. Chester picked it up, and glided behind a rock to examine its contents. A letter !—she read it ....Money!—she counted it....A portrait ! -she examined it : and then she honestly put up the bags and went, quite at her ease, in search of Zelie, to restore it.
There was something of joy in Zelie's wild eyes, when, listlessly entering the drawingroom on her return from her ramble, she recognised Julian Lindsay. He had ever been kind to her-he had risked his life for her-he always treated her with a respect which she valued the more, because she felt an inward, ever-haunting doubt of her claim to it.
She was in that state of depression, selfabandonment, and almost self-contempt, when the gentle hand of kindness unlocks those springs of grief no tyranny or harshness could have forced open. Julian and De Villeneuve were together in earnest conversation when she entered. On recognising Julian, she uttered a faint cry of joy, and rushed forward to welcome him; but, when gazing at her altered face and form with sorrowful surprise, he said, grasping her burning hand, “Oh! how very ill you must have been !" the contrast of his tearful glance, and the cold gaze of one she loved too well, struck her. She murmured, “ Bless you! thank you! VOL. III.
how kind you are !” and, bursting into tears, she rushed out of the room....
“ You see, ulian, my dear fellow,” said Alphonse, affectionately pressing his hand, "you see all the evil you have so unintentionally done..... Is it not so, my dearest friend ?......and, should you fail to win your lovely cousin, who — I speak with the privileged sincerity of friendship—would hesitate between you and a wealthier suitor (even Riskwell), will you not, should she jilt you, return to our little home, and see what your presence can do towards binding the broken heart of one who, with all her rare and immortal gifts, has the heart of the meekest and most loving of women, and that heart, I fear, all yours?"
“Oh! but being all she is, she cannot, does not, love one who has not tried to win her.” And Julian's colour rose; for the triumph, though useless, was too great not to find its way to man's vain heart.
“Nay, Julian, you know woman's nature too well to build an argument on such a false