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me to it."
tance : Well, your request shall be granted, I will un. mask, but not here. If you know any safe and retired apartment in the palace, and still persist in your curiosity, conduct
He instantly rose. “ But, I fear, Count,” continued she, or rather, I am certain that
repent your obstinacy.” Instead of replying, he offered her his arm.
They departed. One out of the suite of apartments that ran the length of the hall, was opened without hesitation for the favourite of the Prince. They entered; the mask' first looked round to see whether they were alone. Having satisfied herself on this point, she once more asked her conductor, if he wished to see her real countenance. “ Yes, yes; I implore it as the greatest of favours.” “ Be it so !” She removed the mask, and Count T sunk, as if thunder-struck, upon the floor, for he beheld a death's head.
How long he remained in this condition cannot be stated with accuracy. To the care of the Prince he was, probably, indebted for his recovery, before it was too late. He had kept an attentive eye upon his favourite. His long tete-a-tete with a mask that nobody knew; the warmth of their conversation, or rather the warmth with which the Count engrossed almost the whole of it to himself; the lively interest he took in this person, which caused him to forget all that was passing around him, excited no small degree of astonishment in the Duke. His surprise was increased to the highest pitch, when he, at length, saw them both walk strait away from the hall. Gladly would his serene highness have ascribed it to a cause which is said not unfrequently to occur at masquerades; for then he would have heartily rejoiced at the cure of grief so profound. Such a change he, however, thought too sudden; the air of the conversation appeared too grave, and so open a departure from the company too incautious. That the Count had retired for the night without paying his respects to the Prince, was not to be supposed.
As Count T had now been absent for some time, and did not return, the Prince began to be seriously alar.ed: he made more particular inquiries, and was informed that they into a certain apartment and shut the door.
He went thither; and after calling to no purpose, opened the door, and beheld the Count extended in the middle of the apartment, with all the appearances of death. Surgeons and attendants were instantly summoned to his aid. All their efforts to restore animation were long ineffectual. At length, when the Count came to himself, and seemed somewhat recovered, the Prince urgently intreated him to disclose the cause of the accident. The Count gave a faithful narrative of the whole affair.
The Duke was in the utmost astonishment, and would have suspected that the Count was delirious, had not his pulse, and the testimony of the medical attendants, refuted such an idea. Nay, the Prince himself had, with his own eyes, beheld at least some part of this extraordinary occurrence. The strictest inquiry was now made for the mask. Nobody had seen her go away, or even come out of the room; and yet she was no where to be found. All the hackney-coachmen that were drawn up before the palace, all the gentlemen's servants, were interrogated, none of them had driven or attended her. At last, when they were all tired of inquiring, two chairmen came forward. They had, they said, been called about an hour before to take up a female domino, who came out of a back door of the palace. Being asked where they had set her down, they at first hesitated to tell; but when farther urged, they replied : 66 At the church-yard.” They added, that the mask had directed them to stop there; that when she was set down, she put an old ducat, covered all over with mould, into one of their hands; that she then went to the church-yard gate, which she opened with a single touch, and quickly shut it again after her. What afterwards became of her, they knew not. As far as their terror and astonishment would permit them to observe, she bad sunk into the tomb on the right hand, as she there vanished from their sight.
In the very spot described by the chairmen, was the family vault of the Count. There his deceased consort was interred. The door of the vault'was next morning found open. No farther traces could be discovered ; and in spite of repeated inquiries, nothing more was ever heard or seen of this mask.
It is easy to conceive that this event, when it became known -and it could not but be known the next morning to every child in B-, produced an uncommon sensation: and it is in the nature of things, that very different opinions should be formed concerning it. The multitude took it for an actual apparition ; another, and not an inconsiderable portion, assuming an air of profound wisdom, came to no decision at all; and a few imagined that something of human artifice must be at the bottom.
They justly observed, that a spirit would not have wanted a couple of chairmen to carry it away. “If,” said they farther, « the spirits of the departed were actually permitted to appear to the living; if they could, on such occasions, assume the former body, with all its clothing and appurtenances, still this apparition was highly censurable. What was it intended for? A visit of punishment. How had the Count deserved it? Or, was it a friendly visit ?- In this case, neither time, place, or manner, could have been worse chosen; and it would prove
that, on the other side of the grave, people behave still more inconsistently than they, alas! so frequently act on this side of
The sentiments of this last class were certainly the most rational; but unfortunately, the virtuous Count had too much warmth of feeling, and too little strength of mind, to adopt them. He was thoroughly convinced that his wife's spirit had 'actually appeared to him, for the purpose of admonishing him never to forget her.--He now withdrew, still more rigidly than before, from all diversions, and indulged still more freely in his sorrow and his love of solitude. No persuasions, no remonstrances had any effect. His health, already impaired, received a severe shock from the fright, and still greater injury from this mode of life. It continued on the decline. Before a year elapsed, symptoms of a confirmed consumption appeared ; and towards the conclusion of the second, he expired. On this event, the apparition was again, for a time, the subject of conversation; after which, it was again forgotten, at least for a considerable interval.
About twenty-five years afterwards, an elderly lady of honour, the Baroness U
was gathered to her right noble and illustrious ancestors. She made, as it is called, a very edifying exit: and, by her will, bequeathed a legacy of fifty dollars to the church and schools. Soon after her interment, a story, to which she had herself given occasion, by a confession made on her death-bed, began to be whispered in the higher circles. The substance of it was as follows:
6 Count T- had been in her youth the first, and, it might be said also, the only object of her affection. Encouraged by herself, he had, for some time, professed himself her admirer, and possessed her favour in the fullest measure. On her side she was perfectly serious, but probably he was not the same on his; for, in a few months, he suspended his assiduities, and soon afterwards publicly courted the hand of the lady who became his wife. This conduct was thought extremely natural by the rest of the fashionable world, and Baroness Ualone deemed it an heinous offence. With a heart deeply wounded at his inconstancy, she at first made some attempts to recal heč unfaithful lover; but, as they all proved ineffectual, she had secretly vowed to take the most signal revenge. Το effect her purpose with the greater security, she displayed in her exterior so much serenity and composure, that her acquaintance, and even the Count himself, were deceived by it. À new lover was received by her with the utmost cordiality, merely for the purpose of strengthening the delusion, and at
length, she even succeeded in gaining the confidence of the newly-married Countess T
“ Thus she continued to be intimately acquainted with all his domestic circumstances; she bad always watched for an opportunity for revenge, but had never been able to find one that satisfied her. On the death of the young Countess, which certainly was unexpected, but not unwished, her hopes of regaining his heart revived for a few days. But, as his affliction would scarcely deign to bestow on her a single look, as he had entirely broken off all intercourse with her, as well as with many others, this fresh injustice, his grief, and the masquerade, gave birth to the idea of practising a little deception, in order to increase the acuteness of his pain. Having rather more enbonpoint than the late Countess, she had compressed herself with a pair of tight-laced stays; and in every other particular, had imitated that original as closely as possible. His imagination, the mask itself, and the tone of their conversation, made amends for many deficiences. As she had appeared at an early hour at the masquerade, in a totally different dress, had purposely spoken to several persons, and even taken off her mask for a few moments close by the Prince and his favourite, it was impossible that the Count, on her appearance in her second dress, should have any suspicion of her. The death's head was a mask under the exterior mask. She had previously taken for granted, that terror would prevent the Count from examining it very closely; but in the worst case every one of her expressions was susceptible of a two-fold explanation. She had long been acquainted with the apartment, a tapestry-door, and a back stair-case close by it. Imperceptibly to himself, she had easily led the count impatient for the discovery. Her woman, her only confidant, and who had taken care of her from her youth, offended by the Count for refusing to procure her son a place about the court, had been her assistant in the business. This woman, with a pick-lock, opened the church-yard gate, where she ordered the chairmen to set her down; and notwithstanding the darkness of the night, and the horrors of the place, waited for her there with her first dress. She had returned to the masquerade before the Count was found. From that moment it was next to an impossibility that she should be suspected : and so little apprehension did she feel on that subject, that she stood close by one of the chairmen when he was obliged to repeat his wonderful story to the Duke. Her plan of revenge had succeeded to the utmost of her wishes, nay, almost still farther. Her woman, the only depositary of her secret, had long been dead; but for her own part
she found it impossible to leave the world without first unburdening her heart by an upright confession."
Such was the account that was given of the occurrence. It is not impossible that rumour, which seldom fails to make addition to such a story, may have altered many little circumstances. It affords, however, a sufficient explanation of every thing that, at first, appeared almost inexplicable; and whoever thinks that the revenge of the Baroness U- was carried too sar, let him recollect this important truth, that in woman, slighted love thinks no danger too formidable, no revenge too cruel.
INSTANCE OF A
SINGULAR DREAM AND CORRESPONDING
Amongst the various histories of singular dreams and corresponding events, we have lately heard of one, which seems to merit being rescued from oblivion. Its authenticity will appear from the relation : and we may surely pronounce, that a more extraordinary concurrence of fortuitous and accidental circumstances, can scarcely be produced, or paralleled
One Adam Rogers, a creditable and decent person, a man of good sense and repute, who kept a public house at Portlaw, a small hamlet, nine or ten miles from Waterford, in the kingdom of Ireland, dreamed one night that he saw two men at a particular green spot on the adjoining mountain, one of them a small sickly looking man, the other remarkably strong and large. He then saw the little man murder the other, and he awoke in great agitation. The circumstances of the dream were so distinct and forcible, that he continued much affected by them. He related them to his wife, and also to several neighbours, next morning. After some time, he went out coursing with grey-hounds, accompanied, amongst others, by one Mr. Browne, the Roman Catholic priest of the parish. He soon stopped at the above mentioned particular green spot on the mountain, and, calling to Mr.Browne, pointed it out to him and told him what had appeared in his dream. During the remainder of the day, he thought little more about it. Next morning he was extremely startled at seeing two strangers enter his house, about eleven o'clock in the forenoon. He immediately ran into an inner room, and desired his wife to take particular notice, for they were precisely the two men that he had seen in his dream. When they had consulted with one another, their apprehensions were alarmed for the Jittle weakly man, though contrary to the appearance in the dream. After the strangers had taken some refreshment, and