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by the proofs of her guilt. I felt flattered by the general good opinion, yet the silent marks of encouragement I received from Clementine delighted me more than all the proofs of public favour. Madame Bertollon was related to the house of De Sonnes. When I was declared counsel for Bertollon, Clementine stood at the window, and expressed by her action fear and doubt. When my name was more known and estimated, her countenance assumed a more satisfied and affectionate expression. In my success she appeared to forget her relationship with Madame Bertollon. I now saw myself beloved by her whom I had worshipped for years, and in this conviction I felt myself the most blessed of mortals.
“But to return to the trial. Things now took a still more unfavourable turn, for the accused, Madame Bertollon, could do no more than positively deny any intention of poisoning her husband, although appearances were against her. I insisted that she should be interrogated for what purpose she had purchased the poison eight days before the act. She answered evasively, and during the examination frequently contradicted herself: it was evident she avoided discovering the motive. Neither the entreaties of her relations, nor warnings of her counsel had the slightest influence over her. This of course increased suspicion, and Mernard gave up his cause at last, although he unceasingly persisted in his belief of her innocence. The tribunal decreed severe imprisonment, and threatened torture to extort confession.
“As Mernard had been so unsuccessful Madame Bertollon determined to attempt defending her cause herself. I considered this only as an artifice of her counsel, who called in the touching aid of female beauty as a support to his eloquence.
“As she entered the court a death-like stillness prevailed. She never looked more beautiful than at this moment: her simple attire, and the paleness which expressed deep affliction, called forth compassion in every leart and tears from every eye; no one spoke. Each look turned with anxiety from her to me, but I was incapable of uttering a word, for my thoughts were in a state of inexpressible confusion. She looked the image of suffering innocence. Her appearance recalled the many delightful hours I had spent in her society. I felt as if some guardian spirit pleaded for her, and whispered 'she is innocent.'
- At last recollecting myself, I affirmed that no one could feel greater pleasure at being convinced of her innocence than her husband and myself; but to acquit herself of the strong suspicion attached to her, it would be necessary to declare for what purpose she had purchased the poison. Madame Bertollon appeared extremely weak, and leaned for support upon the arm of her defender; casting a mournful glance at me, expressive of affection and sorrow, she said in a faint voice
“Oh! Alamontade, and must it be you who persist in knowing
het of ines Her colociety she is her to one
e had to her, it but
emely weak, sed the poisonssary to declare strong sus
the motive for which I procured the poison? You ?-and here?"
“She was silent for a few moments, then suddenly turning her pallid face towards the judge, said in a tone which expressed the despair of her soul
“My lord, you have threatened me with the torture to extort my secret; it is no longer necessary, I will end the trial by confessing my guilt. When I sent for the poison it was with the intention of committing murder : more I will not confess.
“She turned and left the court, while all around seemed petrified with horror.
“Two days after the tribunal pronounced her 'guilty.' Bertollon's health had been for some time re-established. The evening before the sentence was passed upon Madame Bertollon I spent with him. Wine inspired us with gaiety, and we swore eternal friendship.
“Do you know Clementine de Sonnes ? ' he asked.
“I felt confused at the question, but the effects of wine drew the long-cherished secret from my breast. Bertollon, laughing extravagantly, said
••You fool, notwithstanding your saint-like virtue you are sometimes wrong. Why did you not confide in me before ? by this time you might have been engaged to her ; but I give you my word she shall yet be yours. With prudence and wisdom more difficult things are to be conquered than the pride of a family ; from Clementine I am certain you will not meet with a refusal.'
". Oh, if this be possible; if you can really accomplish this, you will make me the happiest as well as the most grateful of mortals.'
“So much the better, for I have then a claim upon your aid to assist me in my plan. In Agde there resides a young lady so strikingly like your Clementine that they might be taken for sisters. As soon as I am separated from my wife I mean to pay my addresses to her, for I never before could speak experimentally of love.'
“What, Bertollon,' said I, in the greatest astonishment, ' you love? you will marry again ?'
“Why not? I thought at first you were really attached to my wife; had that been the case I would have endeavoured to arrange things differently, which would have been much more agreeable than having this abominable trial; and besides, the poison might have proved almost fatal to me.'
6. How so? I must confess I do not understand you, Bertollon.'
“ I will tell you, you idiot. One evening in the absence of my wife, the whim seized me to overlook all her secrets; for notwithstanding your virtuous professions, Colas, I did not exactly confide in you, and expected to find a most pathetic and moving
correspondence; and just as I had played my wife a most delightful trick, lame Jacques came down the stairs, and saw me steal out of her room, but the stupid fellow only bowed and passed on.'
“«What trick ? You talk in a most unintelligible manner. Drink, here's success to you !
“. And you likewise, Colas ; you have performed your part manfully-you're a clever fellow. But I wager you could not have made such a fine speech before the court against my wife if you had known that I had mixed the poison with the essence.''
“No, on my honour, Bertollon.'
“"Well, for that reason it was prudent of me not to tell you before ; now it cannot do any harm.'
"s. Were you such a fool as to wish to poison yourself??
“'You may be sure I was fully aware it would not be dangerous, but I cannot tell you my surprise at finding poison in the possession of my wife; she had written it on the bottle: what do you imagine she intended doing with the stuff? But attend to me, Colas, and give me credit for my subtlety. The next morning I feigned a giddiness, and requested her, according to custom, to fetch the essence herself. The physician was sent for that it might be immediately analyzed, but I had taken the precaution only to put in a small portion.'
“ But do I understand you, Bertollon ; is it possible that your wife was innocent ?'
“ That is the best joke of all, that you have spoken yourself hoarse for nothing; but drink, that will cure all. But tell me, was it not a bold stroke of mine? My wife must think herself bewitched, as she is not aware I have a master-key to all her closets.'
But,' I began, while horror suddenly sobered me. “Not a word to be discovered, Colas; you are my only confidant. I had some fears of suspicion being excited; for in my haste I threw down a bottle of red liquid, and forgot to put it again in its place. In short, Colas, I am now happy, and you shall be so likewise; for I swear to you on the day I marry Julia of Agde, you also shall celebrate your nuptials with Clementine. But what is the matter with you-are you faint ? Here, take some water; champagne never agrees with you.'
“He put one hand upon my shoulder, while with the other he reached me the glass. Shuddering I pushed him from me.
“Go to bed,' said he as I left him, while he, laughing immoderately, staggered to his room. It was past midnight; yet I had not attempted to undress myself, but continued to pace up and down the room in the most violent agitation. I could not give credit to a crime so horrible, against which every feeling of nature revolted. To condemn an innocent and virtuous female, who had never injured her husband, to imprisonment and dishonour! to
to plead worse than dea that perhaps.beI in vain myself and his
abuse the friend by inducing him to aid the demon-like plan, and to plead a cause which must have overwhelmed the sufferer with tortures worse than death! I breathed with more freedom as the thought occurred to me that perhaps Bertollon only intended putting my friendship to the test. But I in vain endeavoured to deceive myself; his declarations with regard to myself and his unfortunate wife were too plain for me not to discern a deep-laid and diabolical plot. When he told me of the violence and reserve of her character, he had no doubt formed the design of charging her with some crime to rid himself of her for ever.
“ The morning dawned and found me still in a state of indecision. The innocent must be rescued, but then I should witness the disgrace of my benefactor--my first and only friend : excess of affection for me had prompted him to intrust me with the horrible confession; should I then betray him ? should the hand which had received so many benefits precipitate him into the abyss of ruin ?
“Unfortunate combination of circumstances,' I exclaimed ; 'why must I be the means either of punishing the innocent, or of destroying my benefactor ?' But reason dictated, ‘Be just before you are generous.'
“I wrote to the judge of the district, and desired him to repair to me immediately on account of business of great importance. He came, and while I went into Bertollon's room, he waited on the outside. Bertollon still slept. I trembled, overpowered with affection and pity.
" Bertollon,' I said, taking his hand. He awoke. After conversing for some time upon indifferent subjects, I at last said
" • Tell me, Bertollon, is your wife really innocent, and was it you who mixed the poison with the essence?'
“He looked at me with a wild piercing gaze, and only answered, Be silent.
" But this is only a confirmation of your last night's declaration. I entreat you to assuage my fears. Have you been guilty of it ? or would you only-..
“ Bertollon, raising himself up in the bed, said "Colas, I hope you can be discreet.'
"' But remember, Bertollon, I beseech you, to-day sentence will be passed upon your wife. Do not let the innocent suffer unjustly
". Are you mad, Colas ? or have you perhaps inclination to be the betrayer of your friend ?'
THE VESSEL OF HOPE AND THE VESSEL OF
BY MRS. EDWARD THOMAS.
When the gay vessel puts to sea
In all its colours drest,
Inspire each ardent breast.
And then a fav’ring wind
From friends they leave behind-
Bidding “God speed them well!"
The bosom's anguish tell.
So easily they're stemm'd,
Which sparkles as if gemm’d.
Their “ignorance is bliss ;".
Nor fear the dire abyss.
Bound for the isles of joy?
Impending to destroy !
Pregnant with wreck, distress,
The good, the glad, the brave,
To find a sudden grave !
That, sailing, wails above;
The young- so many love!
Is trimm'd for thee the same,
And fear is put to shame;