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I bless God, who calls me to him by this painful road! Amidst the terrible calamities which have befallen our family, I am not the most to be pitied! My unhappy sister! It is for her we must pray! Cut off so fearfully, without confession! Dying without a moment for repentance ! Wretched soul ; how must she appear before her Maker ? And Jaques Loubet; so good, so just, so honorable, has killed a man; and now there is no more peace for his conscience; night and day a voice cries to him, “Murderer! But I, my father, have no fear, no remorse. Ah! what matters the prison, the torture, the disgrace? Above, in Heaven, there is my refuge. I shall die innocent before God, before you, who will receive my last confession. I bear no hatred in my soul ; dying, I will freely pardon my enemies, my judges, my executioners !

On finishing these words, Catherine raised her eyes to Heaven with calm resignation; there was no display of false courage, no mixture of pride in her firmness; a secret, deep-rooted sorrow rendered this complete detachment from life easy to her.

My child,' said the monk, filled with deep compassion at the sight of such misery; do you then find nothing here below worthy your regrets ?'

Nothing, my father.'

“And yet, before this dreadful misfortune, you seemed a happy young girl.'

She shook her head, and replied, after a short silence: 'All my happiness, father, has been over for a long time past; I have experienced many sorrows, of which none have been aware.' Father Athanasius looked at her with surprise.

Yes,' continued she, 'while they thought me so tranquil, so happy, I suffered much; I wept often in secret. I had already resolved to renounce the world, and had determined to enter a convent before the close

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of the year.'

'Enter a convent before the close of the year! But you were affianced to Jaques Loubet ?'

Our marriage would never have taken place: Jaques would have espoused me contrary to his inclination, to obey the wishes of his mother. By entering a convent I should have left him free.'

And you would not then have shrunk from the sacrifice of all you hold dear in this world; and now you refuse the means of saving your life for fear of hazarding that of Jaques Loubet? My daughter, do you then love him better than all other things, and more than yourself ?'

“Yes, father,' replied she, with earnest simplicity; I would sacrifice myself a thousand times for his safety ; my last prayer shall be for him.'

The monk arose.

• My daughter,' said he, with the authority which his age and character gave him, God forbids such devotedness; He wills not that you should abandon the care of your life and your honor. The testimony of Jaques Loubet must be procured to preserve both ; a declaration written and signed by him might arrive in time.

Do
you

know where he is ?

Catherine made no reply.

• At least tell me to what place I must address a letter, to acquaint him with your situation.'

She hesitated and cast down her eyes, not daring to express a refusal.

•No false scruples, my daughter,' continued the monk; 'speak, I enjoin you!

*Well then! my father, I obey; I confide the care of all that concerns Jaques Loubet to your mercy, to your prudence. It is to Genoa, to the care of a merchant named Pietro Filomarini, that you must ad. dress your letter, if you

think proper to write to him. But will it reach the hands of Jaques ? Who can tell whether he has been able to pass the frontier ?

• After this unfortunate duel, did he return hither ? Have you seen him ?

She made a gesture in the affirmative.
• Can you tell me on what day ?'
• The evening before my arrest.'

* That is but five days since; the police are not yet in pursuit; I am assured that no process to bring him back has been issued. Perhaps he is not as far off as you suppose. He may have hid himself in the environs of Aix, and not being disturbed, may now be waiting until the affair shall blow over.'

• Wherever he may be, my father, I entreat you to command him not to return: his liberty, his life, above every thing !!

• My daughter, I will answer for both : we will make interest in his behalf with the counsellors of parliament. Although but a poor monk, and the least among the servants of God, I have some influence with persons in power. I will supplicate a noble lady of great virtue and piety to intercede in your behalf. She will obtain a delay of the trial. Can we but gain time, the truth will emerge from the darkness which covers it! Keep up your courage; I will come daily to see you.'

The jailer came to reopen the doors : he stood waiting at the threshold.

"I now leave you with God, my daughter,' continued father Athanasius, extending his hand toward Catherine to give her his blessing ;

pray to Him to restore tranquillity to your soul. I will perform a mass every day on your behalf.'

May God reward you, father, for all your kindness to me!

When the monk had departed, the broken-hearted captive sank down upon her bed and wept bitterly. The hope of living no longer animated her soul, crushed by the loss of all it held dear. She turned with a feeling of disgust and terror from that world where she now found her. self separated forever from the only object of her affections.

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V.

As he crossed the public square, on his way to the house of the First President, father Athanasius met Marius Magis, the cadet Beauregard, and a few others, who were walking to and fro, awaiting the opening of the court. They were all speaking of Catherine Loubet ; for three days nothing else had been talked of in the city. The Basochian was giving his opinion, probably for the hundredth time, upon the affair, in which his testimony would play so conspicuous a part. He felt a certain

degree of satisfaction at finding himself a party to such an important procedure, of which reports and pamphlets would be published. Still, he could not be said to nourish malice or hatred in his heart; but was merely a noisy, conceited, mischief-loving fellow, whose chief delight was in strife and litigation. Nothing ever occurred in the city in which he did not manage to have a finger. Did a quarrel arise in the street, as if dropped from the clouds, he was sure to be seen in the midst of it; was a piece of scandal afloat, he was the first to know all the minute details and particulars: in short, his chief occupation seemed to be that of bearing tales, making censorious remarks, and spreading news, good or bad, true or false, which he lighted upon, by dint of ferreting incessantly through the good city of Aix.

Gentlemen,' said he, halting in the midst of the group that followed him ; "all that you have just heard is recorded in my deposition, committed to writing on the very spot where the crime was perpetrated, and signed by my own hand. God knows what it has cost me to accuse this unhappy girl! But my conscience could not rest under such a load. Not one of my words has been spoken lightly; in a criminal process nothing must be affirmed except de visu.'

“And yet who can assure us that your feeble and limited vision may not be deceived ?' interrupted father Athanasius, touching the shoulder of Marius Magis. I have just visited Catherine Loubet in prison ; she persists in saying that in the matter of your deposition, there is some strange and dreadful mistake.'

The only reply that Marius Magis made, was to shrug his shoulders and shake his head with a gesture of sad conviction. A murmur arose among the by-standers ; public indignation required a victim ; it cried for vengeance upon the assassin of the fair Loubet; and Catherine, against whom so many fearful proofs were arrayed, stood already convicted in the opinion of all.

Filled with dismay at this manifestation of public feeling, the monk withdrew sadly. Dreading to find a similar sentiment prevailing with the judges, instead of going directly to the First President, he resolved first to secure the aid of the Marchioness d’Argevilliers.

As he entered the gateway of the hotel, Genevieve, the chief waiting woman of the Marchioness, arrived from the pavilion.

* Reverend father,' said she, approaching the monk with respect, • Providence surely has sent you here to advise and assist me. I am in great trouble and know not how to act.'

If it is any thing to be said in confession,' replied he, 'go wait for me at the church, I will be there in half an hour.'

No, reverend father, it does not concern myself, but a person in whose service I have been a long time, a noble lady for whom I have the highest esteem and affection, and whose spiritual adviser you are.'

• In that case I am ready to hear you now ; proceed.'

• If your reverence would enter the garden for a moment, I could speak more freely than in this hall, where some of the servants may be listening at the door. The things I have to say are for your private ear alone.'

Father Athanasius, astonished at the solemn and mysterious air of VOL. XXIII

19

• At least tell me to what place I must address a letter, to acquain. with your situation.'

She hesitated and cast down her eyes, not daring to express a re

• No false scruples, my daughter,' continued the monk ; 'sp enjoin you !

Well then! my father, I obey; I confide the care of all that cerns Jaques Loubet to your mercy, to your prudence. It is to C to the care of a merchant named Pietro Filomarini, that you mu dress your letter, if you think

proper to write to him. But will it the hands of Jaques ? Who can tell whether he has been able to pa frontier ?

• After this unfortunate duel, did he return hither ? Have yo him ??

She made a gesture in the affirmative.
“Can you tell me on what day ?'
• The evening before my arrest.'

• That is but five days since; the police are not yet in pursuit assured that no process to bring him back has been issued. P he is not as far off as you suppose. He may have hid himself environs of Aix, and not being disturbed, may now be waiting u affair shall blow over.'

• Wherever he may be, my father, I entreat you to command ) to return: his liberty, his life, above every thing !

My daughter, I will answer for both : we will make interest behalf with the counsellors of parliament. Although but a poo and the least among the servants of God, I have some influen persons in power. I will supplicate a noble lady of great vii piety to intercede in your behalf. She will obtain a delay of t Can we but gain time, the truth will emerge from the darknes covers it! Keep up your courage; I will come daily to see yo

The jailer came to reopen the doors: he stood waiting at the ti

'I now leave you with God, my daughter,' continued father sius, extending his hand toward Catherine to give her his b ‘pray to Him to restore tranquillity to your soul. I will perform every day on your behalf.'

May God reward you, father, for all your kindness to me! When the monk had departed, the broken-hearted captive sa upon her bed and wept bitterly. The hope of living no longer her soul, crushed by the loss of all it held dear. She turne feeling of disgust and terror from that world where she now fr self separated forever from the only object of her affections.

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