So, after three years, they had met. Such meetings are critical. In the lapse of time, what changes may occur! There is so much in life to mar the loveliest and noblest! In regard to character, of course no one can stand still. There is either a process of deterioration going on, or a work of intellectual and spiritual advancement. Memory and imagination glorify the absent and the dead. The lovers had been constantly exercising, respecting each other, their faculty of idealization. When they parted, they were young, with limited experiences of life, with slight knowledge of their own hearts. It was a dangerous moment when they thus met.
But there was no disappointment. Mr. Lansdowne gazed upon Adele, with emotions of surprise and astonishment at the change a few years had wrought in her and marvelled at the perfection of her beauty and manner.
Adele, albeit she was not used to the reverential mood, experienced an emotion almost verging into awe, mingled with her admiration of the noble form, the dignity and stately grace of him who had so charmed her girlish days.
Thus the acquaintance, broken off, in that cold, restrained morning adieu, on the banks of the Miramichi, was renewed under the sunny, joyous sky of Italy. Their communion with one another was now no longer marred by youthful waywardness and caprice. During those long years of separation, they had learned so thoroughly the miseries attending the alienation of truly loving hearts, that there was no inclination on the part of either, to trifle now. Day by day, the hours they spent together became sweeter, dearer, more full of love’s enchantment.
“Mademoiselle Dubois”, said Mr. Lansdowne, a few weeks after their recognition at Pompeii, “I think I did not quite do justice to that famous excavated city, when I visited it. I was so occupied with the pleasure of meeting old friends that I really did not examine objects with the attention they deserve. To-morrow I intend to revisit the spot and make amends for my neglect. Will you give me the pleasure of your company?”
“Thank you, Mr. Lansdowne, I shall be happy to go with you. A week spent there, could not exhaust the interest of the place”.
The two families were still at Naples and from that city Mr. Lansdowne and Adele started again to visit Pompeii.
No evidence, as to the amount of antiquarian lore acquired on that day by our two lovers has yet transpired, but it is certain that, while wandering among the ruins, they came before the threshold of the door, where Adele was standing, when first recognized, by Mr. Lansdowne. There, he gently detained her, and explained, how that ancient salute of welcome to the guest and the stranger, when uttered by her lips, had thrilled his heart; how it had been treasured there as an omen of good for the future, and how the memory of it now emboldened him to speak the words he was about to utter. There, within sight of Vesuvius and with the fiery memories of Miramichi hanging upon the hour, he renewed the avowal of his love, first made in the haste and effervescence of youthful passion.