Page:Marietta, or the Two Students.djvu/21

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hand, throws back her hair, and looks at a small mirror that is suspended upon the wall opposite. She is pleased with her appearance, and yet, not altogether satisfied, for she seems to think her dress too high at the bosom, and takes out a pin, which exposes that part of her person more fully to view; and she is conscious—apparently—that the operation has added to her charms. She is expecting a visitor, and shows her anxiety and impatience by starting at every foot-fall she hears upon the pavement. Now she lays aside the book, with which she has been trying to beguile the time, and arising from her recumbent position, walks several times across her not capacious room, then resumes it and becomes thoughtful. "A strange life is this,"—she said with much sadness in her manner,—"its moments of pleasure sink into mere insignificance when contrasted with its bitterness. The same voice that tells me I am beautiful, will also remind me of my fall—the same lips that caress will also insult. How soon is the charm that brings a lover dispelled—the moment succeeding, possession sees his exaggerated adulation converted into disgust—his flattery into reproach. Then perchance he will say, that a favor that is purchased with money is worthless, and a wanton's love is an article of merchandise, and exists but in name. I feel that there is too much truth in the cruel remark, but why should they who partake of my guilt, taunt me with lewdness, are they not equally reprehensible? The other sex are willing to share the guilty pleasures held out to them by the abandoned of mine, but are very careful that we bear the infamy." Then the fair soliloquizer gave every indication of being excessively provoked that such a state of things—so very much opposed to her idea of justice—should exist.

But she was a woman, and must therefore submit with as much grace as she might. She is now silent, and apparently is trying to reconcile herself to the "forms of society" so palpably at variance with her feelings.

Here she breaks it with—"Why don't he come?" (petuently ) Nine was the hour, and now it is past ten.

What can keep him away? Oh! these men how fickle they are. Probably he has gone to see some one else—handsome and young no doubt.

Oh! if I had her here wouldn't I tear her eyes out? Wouldn't I throw nitric acid in her ugly face? False Eugene, how could you deceive me thus? how I hate you, yes I do hate you, I know I do.

Wonder how old she is?—for there is not the least doubt but there is somebody he loves better—cruel Eugene, how could you do so mean a thing. I suppose she is handsome, (looking in the glass,) and I shall like her the less for that.

During this outbreak of passion and jealousy, the door had softly opened, and a young man, whom the reader will recognize as the student of Dr. Frene, entered unobserved, and hears that interesting part which relates to himself, and now before she has the least warning of his proximity, she finds herself in the arms of a young man, and almost sitfled with kisses; she struggles—though but faintly—to free herself. "What young lady is it, Cecil, to whom you have taken such a marked antipathy?" he cries with a laugh, looking into her flushed face,

"You must answer that question, yourself, sir, for I am sure you can do so better than I," replied Cecil with considerable asperity. "Been playing the truant, have you?"

"Don't be angry, Cecil, I was detained on urgent business."

"Very, I expect," retorted the vexed little lady, mockingly.