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Chapter III.1
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 circumstance which occurred at this period, obliged
him to delay his explanation for a few days longer.
Don Raymond's malady seemed to gain ground. Lorenzo was constantly at his bedside,
and treated him with a tenderness truly fraternal. Both the cause and effects of the
disorder were highly afflicting to the Brother of Agnes: yet Theodore's grief was scarcely
less sincere. That amiable Boy quitted not his Master for a moment, and put every means
in practice to console and alleviate his sufferings. The Marquis had conceived so rooted
an affection for his deceased Mistress, that it was evident to all that He never could
survive her loss: Nothing could have prevented him from sinking under his grief but the
persuasion of her being still alive, and in need of his assistance. Though convinced of its