'Now, my dear Miss, you are exactly the lady that will suit my sister; it is not proper, at your age that you should be buried here, otherwise it would be the greatest felicity in the world for me to enjoy your conversation.' 'I certainly, madam,' answered Matilda, 'should think myself most fortunate in attending the Marchioness but indeed my finances are so slender, and the necessaries I have are so trifling that I am unable to take a journey of consequence. When I left my uncle's house I was so entirely ignorant of travelling expences, that I conceived I had plenty of money to last a considerable time, but I find myself much mistaken; my little stock is considerably diminished, and I must try, by my industry, soon to support poor Albert as well as myself.' 'I am happy,' returned the lady, 'that I can obviate some of your objections. I have a large store of linen I never can wear in this place; I have a good deal of money by me, for I do not spend half the income allowed me; you must - you shall do me the favour to accept my little assistance, as from a mother to her child, I will not be denied.' 'Your goodness, madam,' said Matilda, 'overpowers me, but, alas! poor Albert, I cannot forsake him.' 'Nor shall you, my dear young lady; a faithful servant like him is an acquisition to any family: my sister, I am persuaded, will rejoice to receive him; tell me, therefore, you accept of my proposal, and I will write instantly: we shall then know when it will be absolutely necessary you should join her, that I may not be too soon deprived of the pleasure I now enjoy. I shall leave it to yourself to acquaint her, or not, as you please, with your story, 'tis sufficient I recommend you as a friend of mine.' Matilda could form no objection to this kind offer in her desperate circumstances and whilst she amused herself with a book, the lady wrote her letter, and having read it previous to its delivery to Joseph, her young friend expressed her warmest acknowledgements for the favourable manner in which she was mentioned in it. This business settled, the lady took her into the next apartment, the windows of which were also closed. 'This room,' said she, 'opens into the garden, where I walk occasionally of an evening, when not liable to observation. In these drawers, my dear Miss, there are plenty of necessaries all at your service; to-morrow we will examine them.' 'I cannot find language, madam, to express my gratitude.' 'Do not attempt it, be assured your acceptance of my little assistance is a sufficient return for what you consider as an obligation. But pray tell me how you came to venture visiting these apartments, which are generally believed to be haunted?' 'As I never had my mind occupied by any ideas of ghosts,' answered Matilda, 'and could not conceive any actions of my life had subjected me to the terror of supernatural visitations, I believed there must be some other cause for the appearance of lights which I traced in the windows above, and for the noise I heard in the night, though I confess the latter did terrify me; I resolved therefore to visit these rooms, although I was told in one of them there was blood on the floor and horrid inscriptions on the windows.' 'Your information was true,' answered the lady, with a sigh she could not suppress, 'it is the room above which answers the description you have heard; another day, when I have related my melancholy story, you shall see it. I am much pleased with your courage, which proceeded from a right principle: when the mind is conscious of no evil actions, nor any deviations from rectitude, there is no cause for fear or apprehensions in a thinking sensible person, and I hope, my dear Miss Weimar, you will never want resolution on similar occasions; judge always for yourself, and never be guided by the opinions of weak minds.' 'You are very good, madam,' replied Matilda, 'in favouring me with your approbation; I shall think myself particularly fortunate if you will condescend to instruct me, for it is with shame I confess, more attention has been paid to external accomplishments than to the cultivation of my mind, or any information respecting those principles of virtue a young woman ought early to be acquainted with.' 'You are truly good and amiable,' said the lady; 'born with sentiments of virtue, and natural understanding pointed out the right path to happiness, pursue it through life, ever remember it is better to suffer from the follies or vices of others than to feel self-condemnation from a sense of your own: the one, time and patience may subdue, or at least blunt the sharp edge that wounds you; but, for the other there is no consolation, self reproach admits no healing balm, that can enable us to stem the torrent of oppression, or the evils which arise from our own misconduct. You will pardon the freedom you have invited, my good young lady; when you know my story, you will find I am qualified to speak on the subject from very painful lessons, which I pray heaven you may ever be a stranger to.' She now took her hand and led her to the other room, where refreshments and pleasing conversation made the two hours Matilda passed there the most pleasing she had ever known. When she took leave they parted with regret, and proposed meeting at an early hour the following day; when the lady promised to relate the events that had compelled her to a seclusion from the world, and the motives which induced her to alarm every stranger that came to the castle.
Matilda stept into the library, and selecting two or three books, returned to her friendly hostess, whose surprise and pleasure seemed equally gratified by seeing her in safety. Joseph came in soon after; he looked with increased respect and kindness, but was entirely silent as to their meeting in the lady's apartment. When the hour of retiring came, Matilda repaired to her room with great cheerfulness, and when Albert, with tears, entreated her to sleep below, she replied, 'You may, my good Albert, if you chuse; but I shall sleep perfectly quiet above stairs; be under no apprehensions for me,' added she, smiling, 'I am no longer a stranger, and have not the smallest apprehensions of being molested this night.' She took up her candle and left them. 'Well,' cried Bertha, 'the Lord be good unto her, for sure she is the best and most courageous lady I ever saw in my life; I believe it would kill me if any harm was to happen to such a sweet creature.'
All now retired to rest, and Albert thought himself quite safe on the ground floor from the quality ghosts. In the morning they met with great satisfaction; every one eagerly demanded of Matilda if she had slept undisturbed she assured them she had, and was greatly refreshed. This account pleased them all. Albert went out to assist Joseph in the garden; and his mistress was preparing to visit her friend, when Jaqueline made her appearance from the kitchen with Bertha. Matilda was extremely glad to see the good woman, enquired after Pierre, and thanked her for the good accommodations she had procured for her in the castle. 'Dear me,' said Jaqueline, 'you cannot think how glad I am to see you, my lady; I was a-coming yesterday, but I was busy washing, and, Lord help me, this morning before day I was afrightened out of my wits, for I heard some horses galloping by the door, and I thought I heard this lady screaming most piteously; so, says I, dear heart, Pierre, I am afraid some mischief has happened to young madam, so I'll be sure to go to the castle when I have hung out my clothes; so Pierre he went to fell wood, and I made all haste here, and glad to my heart I am to see you all safe.' Matilda thanked the friendly woman for her attention, and after a little chat left the two gossips together, and hastened to the lady, telling them she was going to sit in the library. She crossed the apartment and descended the stairs, saw the lady's room open, and walked in; no one was there, but a great appearance of disorder in the room, one of the stools thrown down, a candle on the floor, another burning on the table, and several things scattered about: she was surprised - she knocked, she called, she had no answer. Terrified beyond expression, she ventured into the other room, where the bed was; it was empty, but had the appearance of being laid on; a little cabinet, which stood on the drawers, was open and emptied of its contents. She returned; she went through the several rooms that were open, all were desolate; she once more went back to the ground floor. The candle was nearly extinguished, she took up and lighted the other, and, on looking round, she saw the door that opened from the bed-room into the garden was ajar, and on trial it opened; she then readily conceived the lady must have been carried away through the garden, but by whom it was impossible to guess; robbers would never have incommoded themselves with females. She came in and was about to shut the garden door, when she thought the sound of footsteps reached her ears- - she trembled and stopt, presently a door, the opposite side of the bed, opened, and Joseph appeared: she was overjoyed - he looked surprised; 'O, Joseph,' cried she, 'what is become of your lady?' Astonished at the question, the poor fellow repeated her words, and added, 'Good Lord, madam, has not your ladyship seen her?' 'No,' replied she; 'I have searched every room in vain, and found this garden door open.' 'O, she is carried off then,' cried he, 'and we are all undone - O, my dear, dear lady, you are betrayed at last.' Tears burst from his aged eyes; Matilda sunk into a chair, overcome with sorrow, 'But,' said she, when able to speak, 'how could any one enter, there is no door forced?' 'Yes, madam, there is,' answered Joseph, 'I found the kitchen door burst off its hinges, and came in trembling for fear of what had happened.' 'From whence could any one come into the kitchen?' 'Why, madam, there is a private passage underground, from the garden to the under apartments, which is unknown to every body, as I thought, but to the lady and myself; but it must be discovered by somebody, and we are all undone. Hasten, madam, out of this place, I will fasten up the doors and follow you.' 'Joseph.' said Matilda, 'can you meet me in the garden by and bye, I wish to speak with you.' 'Directly after dinner, madam, I will wait upon your ladyship; I will look about a little, I think no one will come here in the open day.' Matilda retired, with trembling limbs and a beating heart, to her own apartment; here she ruminated on what had happened to her friend so recently gained, and so irrecoverably lost - 'Alas! poor lady,' said she, 'who knows what evils she may have to encounter with; a stranger as I am to her story, I have no clue to guide me who may have carried her off, or by whom the cruel action was committed; doubtless it must have been her cries that alarmed Jaqueline - What will become of me? How are all my flattering prospects vanished?' With these bitter reflections she passed the hours 'till dinner time came; she then went down, but with a countenance so altered, that Bertha started back and cried out, 'O, for a certain young madam has seen something and been frightened!' Albert looked with anxious curiosity, 'Be not uneasy, my good friends,' said she: I assure you neither ghosts nor noises have terrified me, but I am not very well; after dinner perhaps I may be better,' 'Heaven send it,' cried Bertha. Albert joined in the wish and Matilda, affected by their kindness, went into the parlour, where her dinner was served up, not in state or profusion indeed, but good wild fowls, eggs, salads, and fruit. She waited impatiently until she thought Joseph had nearly dined, and then walked towards the garden; in a little time Joseph joined her, and walking before, conducted her to a distant part of it, where a small arbour in a shrubbery appeared almost choaked with weeds; he led her into it, she sat down - 'Now, Joseph, for heaven's sake, tell me every thing about the dear lady.' 'That I cannot do,' replied Joseph shaking his head: 'my oath will not permit me; but underneath this stone,' said he, stamping his foot, 'is an underground passage, one end of which goes to that part of the castle, and opens into a private place behind the kitchen; the other end goes through to the end of the wood, I believe, for I never had courage to go so far on, but this morning, when I went down the passage, and came round, I found both doors forced off their hinges below, and was much afraid to come up, where I found you, madam: who it is that has been so wicked, I can only guess, and Lord have mercy on the poor lady, I fear no good will come to her.' 'But how come the garden door open; could they convey her through that into the road?' 'Yes,' replied Joseph, 'that was the way, for after you went up stairs I went into the garden, and the great gate, at the end, was unbolted just at the end of the wood, and I do suppose they had horses waiting there, or a carriage. The few jewels my poor lady had is taken from her little chest, but there are no locks broke on the drawers, and her pockets are left behind, on a stool, with every thing in them; 'twas no robbers, my lady, I fear.' 'I fear so too,' answered Matilda, with a deep sigh; 'I dread that she is fallen into worse hands - ' 'Into worse than I fear has got her,' said Joseph, 'she cannot be fallen - Lord how I rejoiced she had got your ladyship with her.' 'Aye, Joseph,' resumed Matilda, 'I grieve for her and feel my own loss; - Do you know her sister the Marchioness?' 'I saw her once after my lady was married; they say she is very happy - God help us, 'twasn't so here.' 'Your lady has wrote to the Marchioness relative to me; did not you take a letter yesterday?' 'Yes, my lady, and if there be any answer to it I shall be sure to have it, and you may open it, you know, because the good lady never wrote to any one else.' Poor Matilda knew not what to do; she was desirous of staying 'till this answer arrived. She was anxious to explore those apartments that were locked, and after some hesitation asked Joseph if he would meet her there, to morrow morning. 'Aye, sure, that I will,' returned he, 'and as I left the lamps burning in the passage, if you like, I will go down this way with you now.' 'No,' said she, 'not now; I will meet you to-morrow in the library, and we may return this way, for I own I should like to see it, though 'tis plain the passage must be known.'
They now separated, and Matilda found no possibility of gratifying her curiosity, Joseph's oath being against her, and she too much respected her friend to urge a violation of it on any grounds.
She returned to her apartment and amused herself for a short time with a book; but the agitation of her mind would not admit of entertainment; she threw it aside and called for Albert; he instantly attended her. 'My good friend,' said she, 'I propose remaining here a week or ten days, perhaps not so long, to refresh myself; how far are we from Zurich?' 'About a day and a half's journey, not much more.' 'Well then, Albert, we will wait a few days until I am more in health unless you are very anxious to get there.' 'Me, my dear young lady, Lord bless you, I want to go only on your account, it's all one to me where I am, if you are safe.' Matilda was pleased at his answer and exprest her gratitude for his kindness in such terms as brought tears into his eyes. 'God bless you, madam, I'll go with you all the world over.' He bowed and retired. 'Good creature!' exclaimed Matilda, 'heaven has blest you with an honest feeling heart; how much superior are thy sentiments to those of better understanding and cultivated talents, when their minds are depraved by the indulgence of irregular passions!'
She sought to compose her spirits, and wait with patience for the expected letter, which she thought must determine her future destiny. She had recommended to Albert not to stir from the house, lest he might be seen by any one that knew him in passing the road, which caution she observed herself.
The following morning after breakfast she repaired to the library; ah! thought she, what transport, if I should find the dear lady returned! but no such happiness awaited her; she entered the apartments with a beating heart, and remained near ten minutes in the library before Joseph made his appearance. 'Well, Joseph,' said she, hastily, on his entering the room, 'how are things below stairs?' 'All the same as they were yesterday, madam; the doors were fast, and every thing as I left them.' 'I have a very great desire,' said she, 'to see that room where the inscriptions are, and which I find is locked up, can you open it?' 'Yes, I can; the key is below, but if I may speak my mind, I think you had better not go.' 'Why so,' demanded she. 'Why, because, to my thinking, it's a dismal place, and will put me in mind of sad doings.' 'You make me more curious - pray indulge me, Joseph?' 'Well, madam, I'll go with you, but 'tis sore against my mind.' He went down, and soon returned with two keys, but with evident reluctance in his countenance; 'I believe one of these is the key,' said he; 'there used to hang three upon the peg the other is gone, or left in the closet door perhaps yet: I don't think my lady ever came up to open these rooms.' Whilst he was talking he was trying the keys; neither of them would open the first door, the second he unlocked presently; they entered, it was a dressing-room, handsomely furnished; they tried the door which opened into the other room, it was fastened on the inside. 'This is very strange,' said Joseph; 'I will go down again and see if I can find the other key, if you are not afraid to stay alone.' 'Not in the least,' said Matilda, who was examining the room very carefully. The windows were very high and grated with bars of iron, the hangings were dark green damask, every thing was handsome, yet the grated windows made it appear gloomy.
Joseph now returned with a countenance of horror and dismay'O, my lady, I can find no key, but looking about the kitchen, behind the door I found a large knife, all over blood.' 'Gracious heaven!' cried Matilda, 'what is it you tell me; I tremble with apprehension; let us force that door, at all events.' 'I intend it,' answered Joseph, 'and have brought a bar with me for the purpose.' The door in the dressing-room being the slightest, after a good deal of labour, the old man burst it open. What a scene presented itself! a woman on the bed weltring in blood! Both uttered a cry of horror, and ran to the bed; it was the elderly attendant of the lady dead, by a wound in her throat.
The sight was too much for poor Matilda, she sunk fainting into a chair; Joseph was frightened out of his wits; he flew down as fast as possible, and returned with water, he bathed her face and hands and she revived.
'O, Joseph!' cried she, 'the lady - the dear lady! what is become of her in such bloody hands?' 'The Lord only knows,' answered he, looking with terror towards the closet. Directed by his eye Matilda. arose and walked to the door; the key was in it; she unlocked it, and was about to enter, when casting her eyes on the floor, she saw it was all over stained with blood, dried into the floor - she started, and involuntarily retreated, but Joseph, who had looked round said, 'You may enter, madam, nothing is here.' With trembling steps, she entered the closet, her heart beating with terror; it was a large light closet, with a very high window, grated like the other, hung with dark green stuff; two stools covered with the same, and a large wardrobe in it. On the floor was plainly mark'd the shape of a hand and fingers traced in blood, which seemed to have flowed in great quantities. 'Good heavens!' cried she, 'some person was doubtless murdered here too.' 'Intended to have been murdered,' answered Joseph, wiping his eyes, 'but thank God she escaped then.' He said no more. Matilda, extremely terrified, hastened out of the closet, when the poor creature on the bed met her eyes. 'O, Joseph!' exclaimed she, turning with horror from the scene, 'what is to be done with this unfortunate woman?' 'Dear, my lady, I can't tell; I have neither strength to dig a grave, nor can I carry her down.' 'It is plain,' said Matilda, 'the wretches who have carried of the lady, murdered the servant to prevent discovery.' 'I fear,' cried Joseph, 'my turn will be next - my mouth will be stopt from the same fear.' 'God forbid,' said Matilda; 'but as I have now no hopes of finding the lady, and it will be dangerous to entrust another person with the secret, I think, Joseph, if we can find a small trunk or chest, to fill it with the linen and necessaries your lady offered me, and convey it to one of the rooms in the other wing; I will write a line and leave it on the table: yet, on second thought, it will be useless, should she escape, she can never think of coming here again: we will therefore lock and bolt up every door; you can take the keys of the places below to your own kitchen, and now and then come through the passage to see if all is safe.' Poor Joseph, with a heavy heart, agreed to this.
They had now stayed some time, and thought it best to separate and meet again after dinner: they gladly left these horrid rooms, and returned by different ways to their own habitation.
When Matilda came to her apartment, the terror of her mind was unspeakable; all she had seen, all she had heard crowded upon her remembrance, and gave her the most horrible ideas. She could not think Joseph's fears unreasonable if he was supposed to be in the secret, his life was not safe, and in his fate the whole family might be involved: 'What can I - what ought I to do?' cried she, shedding a torrent of tears, 'no friend to advise me, no certainty of a place to receive me, if I go from hence, and a probability, that, if I stay, I may be murdered; - what a dreadful alternative is mine!' After giving free vent to her tears, she endeavoured to compose her mind, by addressing the Almighty Power to protect her.
Sweet are the consolations which religion affords! In all our difficulties and distresses, when supplicating the Supreme Being with fervor and a perfect reliance on his goodness, we feel a resignation and confidence, that enable us to support present evils, and look forward with hope to happier days. Such were the feelings of Matilda: she rose from her knees with serenity; she recovered resolution and firmness; 'I will not despair,' said she, 'the Almighty will preserve a friendless orphan, unconscious of guilt, that relies on his protection.' She dried up her tears, and met the family as usual.
When dinner was over, she returned to the library; Joseph soon joined her, they went down to the deserted parlour, Matilda could not help shuddering: Joseph found a trunk, the drawers were opened, and she took out such necessaries of every kind as she thought she must want, yet left plenty behind. In one drawer she found a purse, with a good deal of money in it; here she hesitated; the lady had told her she would supply her, yet she knew not to what amount: Joseph persuaded her to take the whole, 'Be assured, madam, my dear lady will never return,' cried he. After much hesitation and reluctance, she at length divided it, and then taking a pen and ink, she took an inventory of the clothes and money, with an acknowledgement to repay it when able, and locked it in the drawer with the purse.
Having packed up those few things she had selected, and requested Joseph would take it, by and bye, to a room near hers, she said, 'I cannot be easy under the idea, that the poor woman above should lie there to decay; is there no way to place her in a decent manner?' After some pause Joseph said, 'there is a large chest in the back-kitchen, with old trumpery in it, if I take them out, perhaps we might get the body there, but I fear I have not strength to bring it down.' 'Let us see the chest first,' replied Matilda, 'and then we will consider of the other.' She followed him into the back-kitchen, saw the chest, and its contents were soon tumbled into one corner. 'Now, Joseph,' said she, 'I will assist you to bring the body down.' 'You, my lady!' cried he, staring at her. 'Yes,' rejoined she; 'let us go up.' She led the way and he followed; having unlocked and entered the room she could not help shuddering; yet took more observation of the gloomy apartment than she had been enabled to do in the morning; and recollecting what she had heard about inscriptions; she got upon a chair, and from thence to a kind of window seat very high from the ground: standing on this she examined the window; it looked out towards a sort of battlement, which surrounded the back part of the castle, the north wind blew full upon it, the only prospects were the walls and distant mountains. On the window she saw several lines apparently cut with a diamond; in one place she read,
I am dumb, as solemn sorrow ought to be;
Could my griefs speak, my tale I 'd tell to thee.
In another place these lines were written;
A wife, a mother - sweet endearing ties!
Torn from my arms, and heedless of my cries;
Here I am doomed to waste my wretched life,
No more a mother - a discarded wife.
And again, in another place,
Would you be happy, fly this hated room,
For here the lost Victoria meets her doom
O sweet oblivion calm my tortur'd mind
To grief, to sorrow, to despair consigned.
Let gentle sleep my heavy eye-lids close,
Or friendly death, the cure for all our woes,
By one kind stroke, give lasting sure repose.
Several other lines, expressive of misery though not of poetical talents, were written in different places, that proved the unhappy writer sought to amuse her painful ideas by her melancholy employment.
Poor Matilda, concluded the wretched victim to some merciless man was sacrificed in that closet where the hand was deeply imprinted in blood on the floor; she viewed it with horror, and getting down from the window; as Joseph had wrapt the body in the counterpane which lay on one side; he tried to lift it, and found the weight less than he expected, 'I can carry it myself, my lady,' and crept out of the room with it. Matilda, shutting the door hastily, followed him. They deposited the unfortunate woman in the chest, which was fastened down, and without speaking a single word returned to the parlour: here Matilda burst into tears, her resolution and spirits began to fail; the scenes she had witnessed, added to her own distresses, were indeed sufficient to wound and terrify a stouter heart than this young creature's; little acquainted with the calamities of life, she had flown from approaching danger, without the least idea of the miseries she might encounter in her journey! Joseph sympathized in her sorrow, and waited without speaking 'till she grew more composed: 'Come, dear lady, let us leave this sorrowful place; I will take some oil and trim the lamps, for I shall come here every day, though, God knows, with very little hope of ever seeing my dear mistress again.' Matilda, opprest and languid, rose from her chair; he followed her with the box to the apartment next hers, and having deposited it, returned to lock up the doors and trim the lamps in the passage, assuring her he would call daily at the post to seek for letters, as all came directed to him.
She threw herself on the bed after his departure, and gave her mind up to the most melancholy reflections; 'Good heavens!' cried she, 'what scenes of murder and atrocious crimes must have been perpetrated in this castle; how great is my curiosity to know more of the unhappy Victoria so recently the cause of joy and sorrow, and her unfortunate attendant, but their fate is enveloped in mystery and horror, what mine may be, heaven only knows.'
When it grew near dark she went upstairs, but so altered by the agitations of her mind, that Bertha started and exclaimed, 'Dear, my lady, are you ill.' 'I am not very well,' replied Matilda; 'I shall take an early supper, and retire to bed.' The poor women, with great nimbleness prepared her supper, of which her guest ate but sparingly, and after sending for Albert, who appeared very sorrowful for her indisposition; she comforted him by an assurance of its being very trifling, and that she should be better after a night's rest; which was indeed verified; for having commended herself to the protection of the Father to the fatherless, she dropped into a soft slumber, and arose the following morning quite refreshed and composed.
For several days nothing particular occurred; her friends at the cottage called often to see her; Joseph visited the deserted apartments every day, all remained quiet; the uncertainty of the lady's fate gave them great disquietude, but there was no hope of obtaining any information of an event which seemed buried in obscurity. One day when Joseph returned from town, he whispered the lady to go into the garden; she walked thither it directly, he soon followed, and delivered to her the expected letter from the Marchioness; she made no scruple of opening it. After lamenting the unhappy situation of her sister, and expressing her wishes that she would quit her gloomy abode, she thanks her most cordially for her recommendation of the young lady, whose company will be highly acceptable to her, and assures her sister she will endeavour, by every kindness and attention in her power, to make the young lady's situation agreeable, and shall esteem her acceptance of their protection as a very particular favor. She admires her resolution in visiting the apartments in the castle, and is only sorry her sister cannot participate in the pleasures of society. She concludes with requesting the young lady may join them at Paris, soon as possible, within a fortnight; and assure herself that her old and faithful servant will be received and retained in the family with kindness and ease to himself. This letter, so gratifying to the wishes of Matilda, was read with transport; she determined to set forwards on her journey within two or three days. Joseph undertook to procure her a carriage from the next town, and she intended leaving the horse for his use, and take Albert in the chaise with her. The next consideration was in what manner to account to the latter for her sudden intention of going to Paris, and his reception in the family of the Marquis: after some deliberation, she returned to the kitchen, and calling Albert aside, told him, by the most fortunate and unexpected intelligence she had heard of an asylum for herself and him, at Paris, in the house of a worthy family, where she hoped they should both meet rest and happiness; and that it was her design to proceed on her journey the third day from that. Albert stared with wonder, but never interrupted her 'till she stopt speaking, then, in a hesitating manner, 'Paris is a long journey - I have no friends there; are you sure, madam?' 'Yes, Albert,' said she, 'I am very sure we shall find friends there to receive us; I cannot explain every thing to you now, some time hence perhaps you shall be informed of every thing.' 'God bless you, my dear young lady!' cried he, 'if you are satisfied I am sure I ought to be so, and will go with you when and wherever you please.' She was affected by his love and confidence; she assured him, she never should forget the obligations she owed to him, and that his ease and tranquillity would ever be her first care. The old man hurried from her with tears in his eyes. Bertha was next informed of her intended departure, and was truly sorry, because, as she said, 'twas comfortable to have some kind body in that lonely place, and because the lady having plenty of money, they had very good living now, which, to say truth, she was sorry to lose. The day previous to her departure she sent for Pierre and Jaqueline: the honest couple were vexed to hear she was about to leave them. She gave them some money, and assured both families, whenever she had it in her power, she would remember their kindness and reward it in a more ample manner than she now could do They bestowed a thousand blessings on her, and declared she had made them rich for life.