The crickets sing, and Man's o'er-laboured sense
Repairs itself by rest: Our Tarquin thus
Did softly press the rushes, ere He wakened
The chastity He wounded—Cytherea,
How bravely thou becom'st thy bed! Fresh Lily!
And whiter than the sheets!
ALL the researches of the Marquis de las Cisternas proved vain: Agnes was lost to him for ever. Despair produced so violent an effect upon his constitution, that the consequence was a long and severe illness. This prevented him from visiting Elvira, as He had intended; and She being ignorant of the cause of his neglect, it gave her no trifling uneasiness. His Sister's death had prevented Lorenzo from communicating to his Uncle his designs respecting Antonia: The injunctions of her Mother forbad his presenting himself to her without the Duke's consent; and as She heard no more of him or his proposals, Elvira conjectured that He had either met with a better match, or had been commanded to give up all thoughts of her Daughter. Every day made her more uneasy respecting Antonia's fate: While She retained the Abbot's protection, She bore with fortitude the disappointment of her hopes with regard to Lorenzo and the Marquis. That resource now failed her. She was convinced that Ambrosio had meditated her Daughter's ruin: And when She reflected that her death would leave Antonia friendless, and unprotected in a world so base, so perfidious and depraved, her heart swelled with the bitterness of apprehension. At such times She would sit for hours gazing upon the lovely Girl; and seeming to listen to her innocent prattle, while in reality her thoughts dwelt upon the sorrows, into which a moment would suffice to plunge her. Then She would clasp her in her arms suddenly, lean her head upon her Daughter's bosom, and bedew it with her tears.
An event was in preparation, which had She known it, would have relieved her from her inquietude. Lorenzo now waited only for a favourable opportunity to inform the Duke of his intended marriage: However, a