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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 193 pages of information about Natalie.

“Well.”

“Madam, for some cause, has an under current of thought, which does not appear to be in keeping with the more open sentiments of this family; for that amount of gold she connived with me to express such sentiments toward Miss Grosvenor, as should fire you with a belief of her inconstancy, and an attachment for myself.  It was some time before I could be bought with gold, but she, doubling the amount, I at last yielded to what, thank God, I have not had strength to perform.  Had it been other than Miss Grosvenor whom I was to injure, I tremble for my weakness in resisting so great a temptation; but she reminds me too strongly of the tear which I have seen in my mother’s eye, when she prayed for her baby boy.  No, sir, thrice that paltry amount should not tempt me now to such degradation!”

“You have done well, sir,” said Delwood, calmly, as he placed double the amount of Mrs. Santon’s bribe in the Signor’s hand; “you have done well, sir; and mark my words,—­gold can never relieve a guilty conscience!  Go, sir, and see that you lisp not a syllable of this to any one.”

Mr. Delwood was about to take his leave, when he was met by Winnie, who tripped lightly in, fresh from a morning walk.  He grasped her hand and pressed it to his lips, saying,—­“You have helped to do away with the sinful impressions which did their best to fasten themselves upon me.  You will never be forgotten by me, and I know you will do your best to protect her from the wiles of this hard-hearted woman, of whose deeds the world shall through me be none the wiser.”

“I should be iron-hearted, did I not strive to make her happy; for it is in pity for my father and his motherless child, that she consents to be separated from her own loved family.”

Mrs. Santon had never the impudence to inquire in what way this matter terminated, but she could see that her machinations had been foiled, as day after day brought Mr. Delwood a welcome visitor to the house; yet this defeat did not subdue her bitter feelings towards the Sea-flower; they only slumbered, to break out afresh on the first occasion that might present.  Natalie had observed the Signor’s abrupt departure; she knew that something must be amiss, and questioning Winnie in the matter, she disclosed to her what never came to the ear of Mr. Santon: 

“I forgive her,” said the Sea-flower, “and I can pity her; for perhaps she has never had dear friends who might teach her how to love.”

CHAPTER X.

THE MADONNA AND CHILD.

  “Pure and undimmed, thy angel smile
     Is mirrored on my dreams,
   Like evening’s sunset girded isle,
     Upon her shadowed streams;
   And o’er my thoughts thy vision floats,
   Like melody of spring-bird notes,
   When the blue halcyon gently laves
   His plumage in the flashing waves.”

        PARK BENJAMIN.

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