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pressibly happy in beholding the harmony of the young party, and the mutual satisfaction which subsisted between them in all their undertakings.
“ At times, the two friends would amuse themselves with the chace.
“ And often Lavinia would join them in a fishing party, where, on the beautiful stream that ran in various meanders through the grounds, they beguiled the passing hours.
“ Generally, on evenings, they formed a little concert, in which Lavinia lent her part, and sometimes would charm them with a solo on the pianoforte; and, not unfrequently, they added grace to a neighbouring ball.
“ So gaily passed the hours, when, one evening, as the elder Palemon and Lavinia were returning from a walk to
the extent of their gardens, they overheard Rinaldo in conversation with their daughter, and, from some expressions which fell from the latter, they had too great reason to believe she had lost her heart, and that their son's friend was the object of her affection.
They saw in Rinaldo every agreeable qualification to make their daughter happy ; but, how great was their chagrin, when, upon a closer attention to the dialogue, they clearly understood, that she possessed not an equal return of his affection.
“ It was, indeed, a discovery that threatened a fatal blow to the exquisite happiness they had enjoyed, and they returned home oppressed with the most disconsolate and heart-rending ideas.
“ In process of time, there was
a visible and melancholy alteration in
“ Instead of that blooming complexion which she formerly possessed, her cheeks became pale and wan;
her strength failed her; she grew pensive and solitary, and rejected, with disgust, all the amusements she used so fondly to delight in.
" Her parents saw, with inexpressible anguish, this change, the cause of which Lavinia frankly acknowledged arose from the unguarded impulses of a too credulous heart.
“ The young Palemon, soon as he found that his sister was become the victim of his friend's duplicity, broke out into curses and vowed the bitterest revenge.
“ The unhappy father and mother
were now under the most dreadful dilemma, in a two-fold respect.
“ In one instance, they could see no hopes of Lavinia's recovery; and in the other, they dreaded the consequence of their son's resentment.
"Stung with anguish, they intreated him to curb his impetuosity, and not rashly run into a danger, that might render their calamity double.
« The distracted mother, even on her knees, implored him to pity their sufferings, and not increase their affliction by an additional disaster.
« Palemon embraced her with the utmost tenderness and assured her, he should ever have a watchful
both to the happiness as well as to the honour of the family.
" This equivocal answer by no means pacified the agitated parent. She continued to intreat him to revoke all ideas of revenge.
“ Palemon knew not how to act in such a case of perplexity.
“ He loved his parents with the most impassioned tenderness; at the same time, his fondness for his sister made him ardently desire to act in opposition to their will.
“ Thus situated, he said every thing to calm their apprehensions, and at length obtained his point so far, as to gain their confidence and restore to them their usual composure of mind.
" He then left them, and paid an anxious visit to his unfortunate sister, whom he found in the
attitude of melancholy, and with an air and ap