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speak Italian, at which I am very glad; for his efforts to teach me English have quite failed. Do you know you quite alarmed me last night, and I really think it was too bad of George introducing you when he did ;” and she placed her hand on her lover's shoulder, and looked in his face confidingly. In spite of the substance of her speech, and the circumstances under which Delmé saw her, he could not avoid feeling an involuntary prepossession in her favour. Her manner had little of the polish of art, but much of nature's witching simplicity; and Sir Henry felt surprised at the ease and animation of the whole party. Acmé presided at the breakfast table, with a grace which many a modern lady of fashion might envy ; and during the meal, her conversation, far from being dull or listless, showed that she had much talent, and that to a quick perception of nature's charms, she united great enthusiasm in their pursuit. The meal was over, when the surgeon of the regiment was announced, and introduced by George to Sir Henry. After making a few inquiries as to the invalid's state of health, he proposed to Delmé, taking a turn in the botanical garden, which was immediately in front of their windows.
Sir Henry eagerly grasped at the proposition ; anxious, as he felt himself, to ascertain the real circumstances connected with his brother's indisposition. They strolled through the garden, which was almost deserted—for none but dogs and Englishmen, to use the expression of the natives, court the Maltese noon-day sun,—and the surgeon at once entered into George's history. He was a man of most refined manners, and a cultivated intellect, and his professional familiarity with horrors, had not diminished his natural delicacy of feeling. His narrative was briefly thus :
George Delmé’s bosom companion had been an officer of his own age and standing in the service, with whom he had embarked when leaving England. Their intercourse had ripened into the closest friendship. George had met Acmé, although the surgeon knew not the particulars of the rencontre,
- had confided to his friend the acquaintance he had made—and had himself introduced Delancey at the house where Acmé resided. Whether her charms really tempted the friend to endeavour to supplant George, or whether he considered the latter's attentions to the young Greek to be without definite object, and undertaken in a spirit of indifference, the narrator could not explain ; but it was not long before Delancey considered himself as a principal in the transaction. Acmé, whose knowledge of the world was slight, and whose previous seclusion from society, had rendered her timidity excessive, considered that her best mode of avoiding importunities she disliked, and attentions that were painful to her, would be to speak to George himself on the subject.
By this time, the latter, quite fascinated by her beauty and simplicity, and deeming, as was indeed the fact, that his love was returned, needed not other inquietudes than those his attachment gavė him. The pride of ancestry and station on the one hand-on the other, a deep affection, and a wish to act nobly by Acmé-caused an internal struggle which made him open to any excitement, nervously alive to any wrong. He sought his friend, and used reproaches, which rendered it imperative
that they should meet as foes. Delancey was wounded; and as he thought-and it was long doubtful whether it were so—mortally. He beckoned George Delmé to his bedside—begged him to forgive him_told him that his friendship had been the greatest source of delight to him—a friendship which in his dying moments he begged to renew—that far from feeling pain at his approaching dissolution, he conceived that he had merited all, and only waited his full and entire forgiveness to die happy. George Delmé wrung his hands in the bitterness of despair-prayed him to live for his sake-told him, that did he not, his own life hereafter would be one of the deepest misery,—that the horrors of remorse would weigh him down to his grave. The surgeon was the first to terminate a scene, which he assured Delmé was one of the most painful it had ever been his lot to witness. This meeting, though of so agitating a nature, seemed to have a beneficial effect on the wounded man. He sunk into a sweet sleep; and on awaking, his pulse was lower, and his symptoms less critical. He improved gradually, and was now convalescent. But it was otherwise with George Delmé. He sought the solitude of his chamber, a prey to the agonies of a self-reproaching spirit. He considered himself instrumental in taking the life of his best friend-of one, richly endowed with the loftiest feelings humanity can boast. His nerves previously had been unstrung; body and mind sank under the picture his imagination had conjured up. His servant was alarmed by startling screams, entered his room, and found his master in fearful convulsions. A fever ensued, during which George's life hung by a thread. To. this succeeded a long state of unconsciousness, occasionally broken by wild delirium.
During his illness, there was one who never left him—who smoothed his pillow—who supported his head on her breast--who watched him as a mother watches her first-born. It was the youthful Greek, Acmé Frascati. The instant she heard of his danger, she left her home to tend him. No entreaties could influence her, no arguments persuade. She would sit by his bedside for hours, his feverish hand locked in hers, and implore him