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his manner was femininely soft, as he whispered his thanks, and sense of their kindness.
Immediately after the horrible scene he had witnessed, Sir Henry's mind had been made up, as to the line of conduct he ought to pursue. The affectionate solicitude of the young Greek, during George's illness, gave him no reason to regret his determination.
“Now,” said Mr. Graham, one day as George was rapidly recovering, “now, Sir Henry, I would recommend you to break all you have to say to George. For God's sake, let them be married ; and although, mark me! I by no means assert that it will quite re-establish George's health, yet I think such a measure may effectually do so, and at all events will calm him for the present; which, after all, is the great object we have in view.”
The same day, Delmé went to his brother's bed-side. “George,” said he, “let me take the present opportunity of Acmé's absence, to tell you what I had only deferred till you were somewhat stronger. She is a good girl, George, a very good girl. I wish she had been English-it would have
been better !—but this we cannot help. You must marry her, George! I will be a kind brotherin-law, and Emily shall love her for your sake.”
The invalid sat up in his bed—his eyes swam in tears. He twice essayed to speak, ere he could express his gratitude.
“ Thank you! a thousand times thank you! my kind brother! Even you cannot tell the weight of suffering, you have this day taken from my mind. My conduct towards Acme has been bowing me to the earth ; and yet I feared your consent would never be obtained. I feared that coldness from you and Emily would have met her; and that I should have had but her smile to comfort me for the loss of what I so value. God bless you for this !”
Delmé was much affected.
To complete his good work, he waited till Acmé had returned from a visit she had just made to her relations; and taking her aside, told her his wishes, and detailed his late conversation with George.
“Never! never !” said the young Greek, “I am too happy as I am. I have heard you all make better lovers than husbands. I cannot be happier ! No! no ! I will never consent to it."
All remonstrances were fruitless—no arguments could affect her—no entreaties persuade.
Delmé, quite perplexed at finding such a difficulty, where he had so little expected to find one, -pitying her simplicity, but admiring her disinterestedness, -went to George, and told him Acmé's objections.
“ I feared it,” said his brother, “but perhaps I may induce her to think differently. Were I to take advantage of her unsophisticated feelings, and want of knowledge of the world, I should indeed be a villain.”
Acmé was sent for, and came weeping in—took George's hand—and gazed earnestly in his face as he addressed her.
“ You must change your mind, dearest,” said he. And he told her of the world's opinion—the contumely she might have to endure—the slights to which she would be subjected. Still she heeded not. “ Why mention these things ?” said she. Who would insult me, were you near? or if they did, should I regard them while you were kind ?”
And her lover's words took a loftier tone; and he spoke of religion, and of the duties it imposes ; of the feelings of his countrywomen ; and the allseeing eye of their God. Still the fond girl wept bitterly, but spoke not.
“My own Acmé! consider my health too, dearest! Were you now to consent, I might never again be ill. It would be cruelty to me to refuse. Say you consent for my sake, sweet!”
“ For your sake, then !” said Acmé, as she twined her snowy arms round his neck, “for your sake, Giorgio, I do so! But oh! when I am yours for ever by that tie; when—if this be possible our present raptures are less fervent-our mutual affections less devoted—do not, dearest Georgedo not, I implore you-treat me with coldness. It would break my heart, indeed it would.”
They were married according to the rites of both the Protestant and Catholic Church. Few were present. George had been lifted to the sofa, and sat up during the ceremony; and although his
features were pale and emaciated, they brightened with internal satisfaction, as he heard those words pronounced, which made his love a legitimate one. Acmé was silent and thoughtful; and tears quenched the fire of her usually sparkling eye. George Delmé's recovery from this date became more rapid.
He was able to resume his wonted exercisehis step faltered less—his eye became clearer. His convalescence was so decided, that the surgeon recommended his at once travelling, and for the present relinquishing the army.
“ Perhaps the excessive heat may not be beneficial. I would, if possible, get him to Switzerland for the summer months. I will enquire what outward-bound vessels there are. If there is one for Leghorn, so much the better. But the sooner he tries change of scene, the more advantageous it is likely to be; and after all, the climate is but a secondary consideration."
An American vessel bound to Palermo, happened to be the only one in the harbour, whose destination would serve their purpose ; and deter