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the truth,” continued Annette, “and I have no more to say."
The soubrette was then subjected to a severe cross-examination, but she never faltered or changed.
The evidence in support of the charge was necessarily imperfect, through the absence of the secretary, whose retreat baffled all the researches of the police.
The law officers of the crown having commented upon the evidence adduced against the prisoner, Lord Cunnington was called upon for his defence, and, rising with much dignity from the seat he had been permitted by courtesy to occupy, he exclaimed with a solemn energy of manner, and in so deep, so sincere a voice, that it thrilled through the bosoms of the hearers, “My lords, I am not guilty, and although my friends have thought it advisable to call
in the assistance of a counsel to plead my cause, I will enter upon my own defence.
“My lords, I find myself most unexpectedly before you, accused of a crime so heinous that my heart turns cold, and my voice trembles at the bare accusation ; but deeper still would be my gloom were it not that I can look at your lordships, and exclaim, * Not guilty. Hear me, brother peers! hear me, all; I am not guilty! And as, from the tendency of the evidence brought against me, it is incumbent on me to minutely explain the relation which existed between the unfortunate Baron de Scala and myself, I must beg my advocate's pardon when I say that finding myself not only accused of his murder, but also by inference of a breach of morality, I feel that I am the best person to plead my own innocence.”
"My Lords, consult your own hearts ; remember if its pulses have not beaten with more than one feeling of admiration towards womankind; to the fever of hopeless love has there not succeeded a gentler pulsation ?-is there not such a tie as friendship? Such has been the love which I have felt for the Baroness de Scala ; such is the love which, if my life be spared, I shall continue to feel towards her ; that friendship was allowed by the deceased baron ; it was formed under peculiar circumstances, and has led at length to the critical moment which, like a ravine concealed by flowered meads, has at length opened upon me, and may, perhaps, bury me in its bosom.
“ My Lords, it was in the island of Jamaica I first became acquainted with the Baroness de Scala ; she was then single, her name was Anna di Lucia, and she is the sister of a deceased friend whose friendship
I prized, and whose death left me a prey to my own wild desires, over which his tempered reason oftentimes placed a curb. I had loved in England, and been rejected; and, like the son of our noble English bard's favorite conception, I wandered from the ‘shores of England, and strove to forget love.' But no sooner did I see Anna di Lucia than the fair daughters of England were effaced from my thoughts; and, regardless of the difference in our faith, the probable opposition of my now deceased father, the want of heart in so soon forgetting the lady whose name I need not here mention, I had now only one wish—to marry the beautiful Anna di Lucia. But fate had otherwise disposed of her hand, if not of her heart. The Baron de Scala was her guardian, and the grateful ward at first gave him all he desired, her hand and her duty ; but she gradually grew fonder, and became the most pure-minded
faithful wife, the most tender of mothers. I returned to England—the baroness was not married when I bid her farewell, but she announced to me her future prospects, and I returned home. The next time I saw her was in this very house; she was then the Baroness de Scala, and I was nothing to her. But gradually I became reconciled to see her the wife of another ; and although it were, perhaps, as well to bury my regrets, I care not to own that it cost me a severe pang to contemplate with cool thoughts the treasure I had lost. It was the baroness who reasoned with me until admiration for the woman was succeeded by respect for the wife and mother. I looked up to her as if she were possessed of the veneration of years, and the baroness never concealed a thought from her husband. The last time I spoke to him he contemplated his journey to Spain, which was under