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ly tricked out as the royal shepherd. A crook, fantastically wreathed with flowers, completed his costume. He wore a straw hat, lined with pink satin, and surmounted by a chaplet of roses, which bloomed in full contrast with his sallow cheeks, hollow eyes, and long Quixotic physiognomy. His sister 'Olivia, who had been presented with a ticket by sir Charles Southwell, accompanied him as Perdita; and as she judiciously preferred the pastoral to the royal habit worn' by that princess, looked as nature intended she should
pretty and pleasing. Emboldened by some recent successes, she entered into very sprightly chat with Geraldine, describing her conquests, and particularly regretting that "elegant captain Vane” was not of the party.
“ You speak in such constant raptures of captain Vane," said Géraldine, rather pettishly, " that I shall at'length regret I never happened to see him.” sé Regret i To be sure you 'regret it.
Oh, he is such an unaccountably-elegant creature! and dying for me, poor fellow! But are not you surprised at Cobham's making such an unaccountable fright of himself in Florizel ? That was Diana's doing-I was always against it, but obliged to give way. How Vane would laugh!"
« Olivia! sister !" interrupted Cobham, in his newly-acquired drawling tone, “ don't you know my friend Vane-captain Vane, I tell you ? He is watching to speak to you."
“What, that clumsy Basque ?” whispered Geraldine to Olivia, with an involuntary start. 6 I think, Olivia, he is no bad match for your sallow Florizel.”
“ Dear, so it is !” cried the fair Perdita, with a look of impatience; for she discovered that her admirer, whose elegance existed only in her own imagination, had chosen a dress the least calculated for his figure, that of a Basque. For a further description of the graceful form and picturesque dress of those human Mercuries, I E 2
refer the reader to lady Morgan's delightful travels in France. Suffice it to say, that Olivia experienced, as young ladies sometimes do, a degree of shame and regret at having spoken in high-flown terms of a person on the strength of his being unknown.—“He certainly does not look in high beauty to-night,” she murmured, in a mortified tone. “How could he think of stuffing himself into that dress? I never saw the dear, delightful, elegant creature look so unaccountably ill!” She was however the next moment in high flirtation with him, while Geraldine beheld once more, advancing towards her, the graceful bandit chief. This time he was masked; but they fell into conversation as before. It seemed as if they had scarcely parted, so naturally did he resume the tone of tenderness and interest he had before employed—so unaffectedly did she reply
Meanwhile, Miss Southwell, leaning against a pillar, and arrayed in the gorgeous robes of Zara, exhibited, in her fatigued and disappointed countenance, the most complete contrast with her magnifi. cent habit, and shewed how vain are the expectations of pleasure built upon eclipsing a rival.
Geraldine felt almost vexed, when her second short but delightful colloquy with the bandit was interrupted by a shrill female voice, rather screaming than singing
“ Mourir gaiement pour la gloire et l'amour,
She soon recognised in this female minstrel her friend Diana Pendennis, who had adopted for her costume, on this occasion, the same disguise in which she had performed so notable a part at lady Louisa Southwell's. But if she was annoyed at Diana's interruption, vexation soon gave place to surprise, on seeing the supposed O'Melvyl relinquish his envied post by her side, and, seizing the hand of the fair
ballad-singer, claim her promise in the dance; at the same moment he half-re. moved his mask, and discovered, instead of the features of O’Melvyl, those of the count di San Carlos." I believe
did not know me,” he said; and those few words, so natural in such a scene, filled the mind of Geraldine with anguish and confusion. She tried to recollect the terms of the conversation held with him, under the belief that he was lord O'Melvyl. There was nothing she could positively wish retracted, yet was Geraldine but too conscious that her whole manmer would have been different, had she known it was another. This conviction was pressed upon her mind by the look and countenance of San Carlos, which shewed that he was master of her secret. There was a degree of laughing malice in it, as he half-withdrew his mask, that at the same time made her smile and shud. der; while a confused idea of future ills came over her mind, with painful forebod.