not saying very much, you have yet much to learn in the world.’
‘And now, my dear Marquis,’ said the Countess, ‘since you will not divulge the secret of your good fortune, let us have some interesting story to rouse us from the lethargy in which we have been lost for some hours.’
‘I shall not refuse,’ replied the Marquis, and seating himself in an arm-chair by the Countess’s side, he at once commenced as follows:—
I had made very many appointments to visit my friend the Count Globoda in his castle in the country. We had met in our travels; we had been cordial friends; and now, when years began to steal over us, we both wished to meet once more to talk over past adventures. I was, too, a great admirer of scenery, and my friend described his estate to me as one of the most romantic in the world. The castle was wonderfully ancient, but had been so well built and preserved that it was still habitable, and was kept up in much magnificence. The Count used to live there with his family almost the whole year, spending only a short winter in the capital. I knew this; and being certain of finding him at home, I visited him unexpectedly one night, just about this season, and was delighted to behold, by moonlight, the fine varied country and flourishing woods by which the castle was environed.
The kindness with which I was received did not prevent me from remarking an expression of grief and anxiety on the countenances of the Count and his lady. In a lesser degree the same expression was also discoverable in the features of Laura, their beautiful daughter. After some time I discovered