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and then added, in a voice at once folemn, and dejected,-“ No-I am not the same ! -I am lost-I am no longer worthy of
He again concealed his face. Emily was too much affected by this honest confession to reply immediately, and, while she struggled to overcome the pleadings of her heart, and to act with the decisive firmness, which was necessary for her future peace, she perceived all the danger of trusting long to her resolution, in the presence of Valancourt, and was anxious to conclude an interview, that tortured them both; yet when she considered, that this was probably their last meeting, her fortitude sunk at once, and she experienced only emotions of tenderness and of despondency.
Valancourt, meanwhile, lost in those of remorse and grief, which he had neither the power, or the will to express, sat insenfible almost of the presence of Emily, his features still concealed, and his breast agi. tated by convulsive sighs.
“ Spare me the necessity,” said Emily, recollecting her fortitude, “ spare me the neceflity of mentioning those circumstances of your conduct, which oblige me to break our connection forever.-We must
I now see you for the last time.”
Impossible !” cried Valancourt, roused from his deep silence, “ You cannot mean what you say !--you cannot mean to throw me from you forever?"
* “ We must part,” repeated Emily, with emphafis," and that forever! Your own conduct has made this necessary.”
This is the Count's determination, faid he haughtily, “not yours, and I shall enquire by what authority he interferes between us." He now rose, and walked about the room in great emotion,
"* Let me fave you from this error,” said Emily, not less agitated—“ it is my
determination, and, if you reflect a moment on your late conduct, you will perceive, that my future
peace requires it.” “ Your future peace requires that we
should part-part forever !” said Valan- . court, “ How little did I ever expect to hear you say fo!"
“ And how little did I expect, that it would be necessary for me to say so !” rejoined Emily, while her voice softened into. tenderness, and her tears flowed again.“ That you-you, Valancourt, would ever
. fall from my esteem !"
He was silent a moment, as if overwhelmed by the consciousness of no longer deserving this esteem, as well as the certain, ty of having lost it, and then, with impalfioned grief, lamented the criminality of his late conduct and the misery to which it had reduced him, till, overcome by a recollection of the past and a conviction of the. future, he burst into tears, and uttered only deep and broken sighs.
The remorse he had expressed, and the distress he suffered could not be witnefled by Emily with indifference, and, had she not called to her recollection all the circumstances, of which Count de Villefort had
informed her, and all he had said of the danger of confiding in repentance, formed under the influence of paflion, she might perhaps have trusted to the assurances of her heart, and have forgotten his misconduct in the tenderness, which that repentance excited.
Valancourt, returning to the chair beside.. her, at length, faid, in a subdued voice, “ 'Tis true, I am fallen--fallen from my own esteem! but could you, Emily, so foon, so suddenly resign, if you had not before ceased to love me, or,
if was not governed by the designs, I will say, the selfish designs of another person? Would you not otherwise be willing to hope for my reforination--and could you bear, by estranging me froin you, to abandon me to mifery-to mytelf!"_Emily wept aloud.
“ No, Emily-no-you would not do this, if you still loved me. You would find your own happiness in saving mine." 66 There
too many probabilities against that hope,” said Emily, “ to juf
tify me in trusting the comfort of my whole life to it. May I not also ask, whether you could with me to do this, if you really loved me?”
“Really loved you !” exclaimed Valancourt—" is it possible you can doubt my love? Yet it is reasonable, that you
should do so, since you see, that I am less ready to fuffer the horror of parting with you,
than that of involving you in my ruin. Yes, Emily-1 am ruined-irreparably ruined I am involved in debts, which I can never discharge !” Valancourt's look, which was wild, as he spoke this, soon settled into an expression of gloomy despair ; and Emily, while she was compelled to admire his fincerity, faw, with unutterable anguish, new reasons for fear in the suddenness of his feelings and the extent of the misery, in which they might involve him. After some minutes, she seemed to contend against her grief, and to struggle for fortitude to conclude the interview. I will not prolong these moments," said she, “ by a conversation,