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A Romantic Story

A Romantic Story image
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TIio name of the Empreas Eugonie's clder sister, the Duo'icss of Alba, who diod laiely in Paris, was Dona Alaria Francisca do S&lles Porto Carreroy Kirkpatrick. She was born in Gratada' Spain, in 1825, was the eldest daughter of the Earl of Teba, since Earl of Montijoz de Miranda. At the doath of her father, she inherited, moreover, the titles of Duehess of Penarama, Marohioaess of the Algade, of tlie Boneza, of Barcarolta. of Mirallo, of V"aldan.quillo, of Valderrabano, of Villaracera dei Fremo, Countess of Casarubioi del Ionte, of Fuentidaona, of San Esteban de Gormoz, and Viscountesa dol Palaeious de la Baldeeerna. She raarried, in 1843, I). Santiago Fitz James, Duke of Berwick, of Alba, of Tormos, of Lirin, of Montero, of Olivares, &c , and thus were united tlie two most illustrious, powerful and woaltby families of Spain. The London Court Journal says: The Duc d'Alba was at the timo tlie most elegant and brilliant of all the cavaliea of the Court of Spain, and sought for his higii name and goodly estatea as muoh as for his own personal qualitics by every family in Madrid. It vas soon boheld, howevor, wherü his afibotions had been fixed, aa he was seldom a day with out paying a visit tothe mansión of M'ins;. Montijo, and was soon established, iu gossip talk, as the suitor of one or otlisr of theyouug ladies belonging to the family. For a long time not even gosaip could point out the favored one, so equaily were the Duke's ationtions in public divided aaiong tbem all. Meanwhüe, oiie heart was sinking with hope deferred, and the uncertaiuty whijb. in love ia mortal; and each hour inereasing this indecisión bucame one of the moat sickening agony to the fair girl whose vigilanoa oould deteet üo preference either for herself or tor any oue m particular ainong Lor compauious in the Duke's assiduities, so equally were tbey distributod among all. She waa of too bold and decisiva a charactcr to submit for any length of time to this unprotitable torturing of the soul. A grand bal masque was given by the Queen. She resolved that this occasion - which is alvvays oonsidered ono whoroin the greatest freedom of speech is permitted - should put an end to the uneertainty which was eating lier very heart away. Alone of all the family she excused hersdli from nttendauoe at the bali. Aided iu the romantic scheine by au atínt to whu;n ,sii3 was mooh attaebed, tbe feigned mdisposition, and ictired to bod before her co.upuuions had dopartad for the Pulace; uo suspicion waa therefore ar )USed. W'hoii tho family oarriage had driveu from the door sha rose, and, diaguising hereelf in a ioug black domino, instead oí' the brilliaut inylhological costiium vhich had been prè'pared for her, silo procejdcd to the Palaoa under the escort of her auut In tho raidst oí' the sploudid scène which barst upon her visión as sho enterod the great ballrooin but one thought occupiüd her mind - she behold but one one object among the highly decorated crowd which swayed to and fro in the danoe. It was the Duc d'Albn, whose aostume she knew at once, it having boen choson for him at a general conclave in the Montijo salon little whilo before. She soon inanagod to thread her way toward where he stood, talking eagcrly, as waa his wont, to one of the ladies of the Montijo family But she feared not recognition, and puiling him by thesleeve, asked him in the shrill lal masque toue, adopted on the like occasions, whether he would fear to dance with one who had come to the ball with no otlior purpose than that of treading one single measure with the hero of the night, the gallant "Don John of Austria," which waa the character the Duke had asaumed, and in which he was the observed of all observers. Both his real and assumed character urgad him to coiuplianoe with a lady's wish, and immediately turning from the group of friends with whom he was conversiag he galhintly offered his hand to the domino, and led her, ith a compliment, to the quadrille just then forming buneath the rmddle chaudelier of tho great gallery. Can you not faucy how the heart of that youug girl must have beat as, determuied to attain tho object for which she had run this risk, sho whisperod in her partner's ear words of duop meaning, upon which her whole future life was huug? Can you not faucy how that strickeu heart must have faltered when the worda of truth, bright with his unstraiued honor, feil from the lips of the Duke? For the firat time, perhaps, the name of the roal object of his love was breathod by him lt was the eldest daughter of the Couutess do Montijo, to whom he was devoted, and to her was he resolved to disclose the secret on this very night. No hope could therefore remain to the unhappy victim who had sought the secret which was to be hor own coudemnation. She withdrew from the ball. What had sho to geek further amid that gay throng? She hurricd home and flung hergelf in despair upon the coucli she had loft but to seek the despair with which the years of her future lifo were to be embittered. At dawn tho ladies returnod from the ball. All wero glad and joyous - but one above the rest; aud sho could not rosist the temptation to seek her best friond in order to make her particípate in the joy which the Duke's propotsition had inspired. She entered softly for she 'thought her Iriend was sloeping. Sho approached the bed, and shrieked aloud with disniay at beholding the invalid, to whom she had bidden adieu a i'eT houra before, and who had retired for slumber in nightcap and bed-gown, lying now outsidu the coverlet, wrapped iu a black domino, with the maak sho had worn torn riolen tly from her face and clutehed with convulsivo pressure iu her hand. She called loud, but no answer was returned In auother moment she perueived, even by the üght of th'è tnöon, which streamüd ia at the ehamber window, that the fofns was infénsibla which lay beforo hor, as if iu tuu throes ot the duath agoy. - Tne iiousd was arousod, and thu family carne ia baste to the bodside to boh ld with horror the coufirmuttou of tho guspiuiun wincn had Btruek tiiuin from tiio very iirst, AsSistaüou outy just cuan in tuno - liiü andence wlucii 1-iy before ttieoj, in thu s.iapa of tho vial and ïts 'warning label, indvoatedtbe nature of the antidote to be admiuistered. Every help was givcn, and alter aWhile all etfeet of this niomelita aberration hadpassed away, even to the moral regret of boholding the Duke the husbaud of anothesr Tho genercuii uapuUo of tha bride elect contributcd most of all, tbey aay, to tliis dcsired communication, for not till olie was assured that tlie deapair of unrequited love was entirely overeóme would she conaent to leave her friend and to accept the highest naino and fortune ia all Spain. Sueh ia the story to]d in the elironioles of Madrid, and many peoplo in Paris who are intímate with all the parties havo oonfirmed it oft and oft. - The relaxed nerves of the countsnanoe, the quivering eyolids of the heroína of the tale - horself a happy wife and mother now - are often quoted to bear witness to its truth; and we give t in testirnony of the generous nature of the Duehess, as well as of the atrength of mind which enabled her fricad to forego the selfish indulgenoe in hopeless sorrow, whioh would have blighted both existences forever.


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