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build in vain on my friendship. Go down stairs, within ten minutes I will come to you.'
“ I saw every thing that was encouraging in her looks, and, returning her embrace, went down as she had bade me, and walked under the verandah in front of the house until she joined me. She had changed her dressing-robe for a black satin mantelet, with hood and gloves; and as she walked up to me with that majestic mien which pas so incomparably her own, and put her hand in
my arm, the small carriage, in which she was accustomed to take her solitary airings, turned a corner of the house, and drew up close to us. She dismissed the servant who held the reins, and, having taken them into her own hands, turned to me, and said, with one of her kindest smiles
“Now Louis-get in. We will fetch this fair nun hither; I must have some talk with her-and then it is most probable I shall do what you wish, that is, take care of her until those who have a sacred right in her claim her from me.'
“ Marie Verche thus became an inmate of Rougemont. I left her with my mother-the two dearest beings on earth to me—and had not intended to return for two or three months; but the injuries I had received in my head from the Indian's tomahawk, began to produce very ill effects, and in a single week, before I had been able to reach Quebec, I was compelled to shape my course back to my home.
“My illness increased, and my mother was seriously alarmed. I had not seen Marie since I returned ; I had purposely avoided even speaking of her ; but now I could refrain no longer. The grave, of which I had
hitherto thought so little, was yawning to receive me, and I called for Marie Verche to brighten the gloomy prospect by the assurance that she would always cherish my memory. She came, and my mother left us alone together. At the first sight of my fevered and emaciated countenance, Marie burst into a fit of egonising grief, which I did not attempt to check. It was a luxury to my aching and shadow-oppressed spirit to see her weep so. I felt confident that I should be remembered by her when I was no more; but I wished to hear her assure me that it would be so ; when she wept more quietly, I called her to my side, and, looking fixedly in her eyes, said
** Marie, tell me truly, do you think your heart can always remain constant to my memory?'
“ This provoked a fresh passion of grief, with the indistinct exclamation of .0, Louis ! why do you speak
6 It was the first time she had named me by my Christian name, and her unconscious use of it greatly affected me. She sat down by me, and her dear head drooped on my shoulder, while I spoke to her something in this strain :
6 «Why should I desire life? In a short time you will have returned to the convent, and I should see you no more. What I should endure then would be even more than the horrors of death. I should die continually, totally deprived of your society. What I have suffered on your account already has greatly aggravated my
dis. order. No, Marie, let me—let me-perish now, while you are with me!' and then, in a melancholy frenzy, I repeated some verses I had strung together during my
solitary hours of sickness, some of which I believe, as well as I can recollect, ran thus :
· Now wood, and mount, and leafy grove,
Are sweetly slumbering;
And fountains murmuring.
Now, gliding through the midnight lone,
Along the peaceful dell,
The tinkling convent bell:
It sounds for prayers, the while I go
To join archangels' praise;
My lingering soul delays.
Celestial hope! divinely fair!
On my dark mind shall beam,
Flows yonder purple stream.
Yet ah! one image floats between
The opening skies and me;
Thou winn'st me back, Marie !
But while I take my silent flight,
Joy, too, I draw from thee ;
Starlight on waves, Marie!'
« After this, my mother not anticipating my recovery and hoping to calm my fevered mind, allowed Marie to remain with me the most of her time. She sat up with my mother by me, nearly every successive night for a fortnight, and in the daytime administered my medicines, or sat by me patiently and unweariedly with one of her hands locked in mine.
“ At length, contrary to expectation, I was out of danger, and still my mother had not the courage to deny me the presence of her who had become necessary to my existence. Months rolled by, and still we were inseparable. No mandate from the superior had yet arrived, although we had learnt that the nuns had returned to their convent in Quebec, which had been repaired for them, and although my mother had addressed a letter to the superior. Marie now told me that she dreaded to return to the convent worse than death. Social life now charmed her, and the sweet ties which bind society together had assumed a new value in her eyes. I remember with what intensity of look and expression she wished that the siege of Quebec had taken place six months before it did: Then, oh, then, she exclaimed, “ I should have been only a novice, and I might have acted as I chose! It was only six little months before we met, Louis, that I took the veil.' “ But at length the terrible summons arrived.
A letter came from the superior in reply to that which my mother had sent, and on the third day after a priest was to be at Rougemont to take charge of Marie.
“ I sought her instantly, and in despairing silence we gazed on each other. We spent the whole of that day together in all the luxury of woe. Toward evening my mother came, full of sympathy for us. My children,' said she, trying to soothe us,
6 this sorrow must not be indulged. You should each try how well you could support the other, under this inevitable separation. There is a heroism to be manifested in the afflictions of private life as well as on the field of battle, Louis, think of that. You admired the conqueror
Canada, who, in dying, showed a spirit triumphant over nature. Be greater than him, conquer yourself now, master your feelings, and bravely exert yourself to comfort Marie.'
“ Hardly had she spoken when we observed her gasp, and put her hand suddenly to her head. I asked if she felt ill; she did not answer until she had walked to the door, there, to our great consternation, throwing herself down on the floor, she exclaimed · Yes! and immediately after O God!' which were her last words. Thus I lost the best mother, and the wisest friend, that ever man possessed. May she rest in peace until the day of everlasting rejoicing!
“ How the next week passed I scarcely know. The priest who came from the convent of St. Clare was persuaded to stay until the funeral of the Marchioness, on the promise of a gift to the convent for masses for her soul. Marie and I took our last view of the beloved corpse together. How majestically serene was the air of that fine countenance ! even in death it was expressive of every lofty virtue. The broad forehead was stamped with the grandeur of an intellect of the first order; the middle feature strikingly displayed fortitude and resolution; and magnanimity and inflexible purity revealed themselves on the lips. It was a sight that inspired me with almost idolatrous adoration, but over the agonies that succeeded I must draw a veil.
“ After having seen my mother entombed I returned to Marie, whom I found prepared for her journey with the priest. While she had been here her nun's habit had been laid aside, but now she had put it on again. I looked distractedly on the fatal habiliments, exclaim