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effectual means to secure; what that means was the reader will learn if he has patience to go a little farther.

Coming out of his reverie, the Marquis embraced his daughter with more than usual tenderness; examined, for the first time in his life, the progress she was making in her studies, praised her diligence, and excited her to continue it.

We will take a peep before we go any further at the domestic arrangements of the Marquis at this period. He had lost his wife several years before, and at her dying request had retained her companion, Mademoiselle d'Anvers, as governess to his daughter. A worse choice could not have been made in a moral point of view. Mademoiselle d'Anvers was a hypocritical prude, who, under a devout exterior, concealed a cold and selfish heart. Destitute of true piety, her religion consisted in the observance of outward forms. Scrupulous in pupilling these, she arrogated to herself a character of sanctity which all her actions belied, for she was censorious, hard-hearted, and intolerant; in fact, she was calculated to render religion odious to a young and ardent mind; but she was, in reality, highly accomplished, and the Marchioness, a good but weak woman, gave her credit for the virtues she professed, and thought herself fortunate in finding such a guide and instructress for her daughter.

The Marquis' family, at the period of which we speak, consisted of his daughter, her governess, his sister-in-law, and his chaplain; the latter, L'Abbé de la Vilette, was a contrast to Mademoiselle d'Anvers; truly and unaffectedly pious, severe to himself, but indulgent almost to a fault to others; his life was a honour to the faith he professed, but his intellectual powers were never of the highest order, and, at the time of which we are speaking, they were already weakened by advancing years.

The sister-in-law of the Marquis was the daughter of a Dutch merchant; the immense riches of the father, and perhaps also the pretty face of the daughter, had tempted the Comte de Touranges, younger brother of the Marquis, to propose for her; it never occurred to him that his proposal would not be readily, and even thankfully accepted, for he never thought that a man who could not count his ancestors beyond his grand-father would reject the alliance of a De Touranges. What was his surprise and indignation, then, when the old merchant told him bluntly that no ruined spendthrift of a nobleman should ever have it in his power to dissipate the gold he had worked so hard to acquire. His daughter was free to choose, provided that her choice fell upon a man of her own rank in life; but the day that saw her in possession of a title would see her an alien to his heart and fortune.


The Comte burst into violent professions of love and despair. Mr. Von Bombruck interrupted him with a declaration that he had no time to listen to such nonsense, as he was obliged to go upon 'Change; and, not choosing to leave the

Comte behind him in his house, he civilly told him to get out of it,-a command de Touranges was forced to obey. Determining to. revenge himself by stealing the old man's daughter, in the hope, or rather the certainty, that when the thing was irrevocable, her father would reconcile himself to the sound of Madame la Comtesse, and pay her portion as a matter of course, he found no difficulty in succeeding with the lady, whose prejudices ran in the opposite direction to her papa's. She was enchanted with the prospects of becoming a comtesse, and still more so with having for a husband a handsome young officer, who was a notorious rake, and an incomparable dancer. All was speedily arranged; De Touranges obtained leave of absence, and carried off the pretty little Dutchwoman from her native city, Amsterdam, to Paris, from whence she wrote letter after letter in vain to her father, who died in less than a year, and bequeathed all his fortune to an hospital; De Touranges did not long survive him; he died deeply involved, and pride, rather than love, induced his brother to pay his debts and provide for his widow.

The pension which he settled upon her was sufficient to support her in a genteel retirement; for it was impossible to introduce her in Paris as his sister inlaw. Her manners and appearance were completely Dutch, and her language was a jargon that could neither be called Dutch nor French; but when the Marquis proposed retiring into the country, he thought she might be useful to keep his house in order, and he made her the offer, which was gladly accepted, of accompanying him. The Château de Touranges united in itself all that could render a country life delightful; but a country life was so little to the taste of the Marquis that, malgré his resentment for the want of consideration which his talents had met with, he would most probably have returned to Paris, had not his ennui been softened by the society of a fair neighbour, one of that despicable and heartless class who were then, as now, unfortunately but too common in France. The lady, the Baroness St. Clair, resided with her husband in the neighbourhood of the Marquis; she had married a fool for the purpose of being her own mistress, and no woman ever made a more licentious use of her liberty. The moment she heard of the arrival of the Marquis she determined to make him her captive, and, unfortunately for the peace of his future life, she succeeded but too well. He became blindly devoted to her, and their connexion was managed with so little circumspection, that it was soon talked of all over the country. But even his attachment to this syren could not put his long cherished plan out of the Marquis' head; nay, strange to say, this very plan was one of the means. which the Baroness employed to subjugate him; for she not only listened to his endless details of the injustice with which he was treated with an appearance of the greatest interest, but she even proferred her aid to copy those political papers with which he was in the habit of still employing his leisure hours; and it was

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perhaps to her artful condescension in this respect, more than to the influence of charms, though she was really pretty, that the Marquis's heart fell a victim. Her point once gained, however, she would most probably soon have been tired of the drudgery to which she had subjected herself to compass it, had not a circumstance occurred which released her from it, by obliging the Marquis to provide himself with an avowed secretary.

The Dauphin, that virtuous and enlightened prince to whom the hopes of France were so fondly turned, died; the Marquis, truly attached to his sovereign, forgot at that moment all his fancied wrongs, and wrote on the instant a letter of condolence to his royal master, to whom at bottom he was sincerely attached. This letter, the first perhaps that he had ever written from his heart, bore the stamp of affection and sincerity; the king was pleased with it, answered it promptly and kindly, and by this means a correspondence was established which the Marquis was not long in thinking of turning to the furtherance of his grand object; but as he mistrusted, and with justice, his own epistolary talents, he looked out for some one who could remodel his epistles, under the notion of correcting them, and at the same time assist in completing the education of Adrienne, whom he was determined to render one of the most accomplished women of the age.

A reverse of fortune had blasted at that time all the hopes and expectations of Monsieur de Villars. After having, during several years, enjoyed a property which had descended to him from his father, he was deprived of it by a claim unexpectedly set up by another branch of his family. This event caused the death of his wife. She left him childless, for the only fruit of their loves had died in infancy some years before. Villars was a man of elegant and cultivated mind, of moral habits, and amiable disposition; the Marquis, who, though a proud, was not an ignorant man, made him an offer such as a gentleman could accept without wounding his feelings or his pride, and Villars was speedily installed at the Château in the double capacity of preceptor to Adrienne, and secretary to her father.

This event at first gave great pleasure to Mademoiselle d'Anvers, who was by no means disinclined to enlist under the banners of Hymen, and who thought she saw in De Villars a very suitable partner. They were, indeed, matched in years, both being about forty, but in every other respect they were the antipodes to each other. He was a philosopher, or rather, to speak more correctly, an infidel; but, unlike the generality of infidels, he did not go the length of denying Christianity-he contented himself with thinking it unnecessary. Human nature was, in his opinion, if left to its own unsophisticated impulses, sufficiently perfect to love virtue, and to hate vice, without any reference to a future state of reward and punishment.

Fatal and horrible delusion! What other, alas, has ever caused such dreadful evil? In delivering us from the mild and sweet yoke of religion to the guidance of passions, which philosophy is powerless to calm, what sorrows does it not entail upon us? We will put eternity out of the question-it is not in the light pages of a novel that we should discuss that awful subject; but who has ever felt his earthly happiness increased by being liberated from what the infidel calls religious prejudices? Oh! that the after experience of those who owe their temporal misery to the want of religious impressions could speak conviction to the minds of the unfortunates, who, fluctuating in their belief, are about to cast away the sacred shield that can alone enable them to support the ills of life.

At the time that Monsieur de Villars entered upon his office, Adrienne was just turned of eleven years, with a spirit and capacity very far above her age. Her progress, in all the ornamental branches of education, was such as to do credit to her instructress; but, from her father's blind confidence in this woman, she was left unfortunately too much in her power; and her outrageous bigotry, the importance which she attached to all the ceremonies of religion, while her conduct was in direct opposition to its Divine spirit, had already disgusted her pupil.

It will easily be believed that Adrienne soon gave a decided preference to her preceptor, who, on his part, loved her with parental tenderness. Under his care she acquired a knowledge not only of all the literature befitting her sex, but even of those severer sciences which the pride of man would reserve exclusively to himself.

A retired Captain of cavalry resided at a short distance from the Château de Touranges, and was a frequent guest there. He was one of those supple characters who know how to make themselves acceptable to every body; and the Marquis's favour was a great object to him, as he hoped to make it a means of procuring the promotion of his son, a boy about three years older than Adrienne, whom he was educating for the army. This boy was the only creature whom this selfish and insensible man, De Chyny, had the smallest regard for. He was indulgent to him to a fault, while he totally neglected his daughter, an amiable girl about two years older than Mademoiselle de Touranges. Both the children were received at the Château as playmates for her; but the rude and sullen manners of Jacques made her soon regard him with a mixture of dread and dislike, which she could never conquer, though she strove to conceal it out of love to his sister, for whom she felt the warmest affection, an affection which was truly and sincerely returned.

But though thus united in sentiment, the characters of the friends were very different. Adrienne was, even from her childhood, proud and obstinate; these qualities were in her dignified with the epithets of firmness and proper spirit. She was said to be generous and compassionate, and so, to a certain degree, she


was; for she would make any sacrifice to those she loved, except that of her own will, and there she was inflexible. Education, which ought to eradicate our faults, on the contrary gave strength to hers. She was taught by her father that her birth had rendered superior to the ordinary class of mankind, and her narrow-minded governess, acting upon the instruction of the Marquis, had no other rule for her conduct than whether it was or was not proper for a De Touranges. While her weak and foolish aunt, with whom personal beauty was every thing, took care that as soon as she was capable of comprehending what was said to her, she should know that she was the most beautiful of her sex. De Villars indeed undertook to correct this overweening haughtiness, but he only taught her to conceal, not to eradicate it; for how could she, who daily became, as she imagined, wiser than the rest of her fellow mortals, learn to think herself on a par with them? Her philosophy taught not humility; no, it is only by the study of the Gospel that can be acquired; and from that sacred study, alas ! every day alienated her more and more. Had she followed her own inclinations, she would, when old enough to have asserted her free will, have openly declared her disbelief; but from this step De Villars dissuaded her. He pointed out to her the example of the ancient philosophers, all of whom had considered it their duty to conform to the established religion of their country, and she condescended to follow their example in observing the ordinances of her's, while her heart took no share in the sacred duties which she outwardly fulfilled.

Louise de Chyny, who was scarcely pretty, had been, from her childhood, neglected by her father, and illtreated by her brother. She possessed no brilliant qualities; but her excellent sense, unaffected sweetness of temper, and goodness of heart, made ample amends for the want of them. She was one of those rarelyto-be-found beings who seem to have been sent into the world only to love and serve others; for so extreme was her disinterestedness, that she seemed to have no idea of pleasure but what was connected in some way with the happiness of her fellow creatures, and, above all, with Adrienne, to whom she looked up with equal pride and delight. Adrienne was her model of perfection; she exulted in her charms and accomplishments; and the only thing that could have ruffled even momentarily her gentle spirit, was the appearance of insensibility to her friend's merits.

Louise was, from her childhood, a peculiar favourite of the Abbé de la Viletti; she loved him next to Adrienne, and she took every opportunity of being with him. These hours were spent in religious and moral instruction; he laid a foundation of both, which, in after life, she diligently cultivated. She partook also in the instructions which Adrienne received from Mademoiselle d'Anvers ; but as she grew older the care of her father's house occupied much of her time, and thus she escaped, happily for herself, the lessons of De Villars.

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