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virtue and happiness around her dwelling at Cachoeira, that she knew not where the world could shew a station more productive of either.
Dreading the excess of her grief, yet arming himself to encounter it, Sebastian quitted his solitude, and went forth to seek her.
He found her with Blanche, just returning from their village church, where they had been witnessing the marriage of an Indian girl with one of the most enlightened and amiable of her tribe. The happy scene from which they were come, had lighted up the countenances of each: Blanche was yet too young for complete sympathy with the blushing Izamba, but her heart sympathized with happiness of any sort; and the tear of benevolent pleasure which stood on the cheek of her mother, called a shower over hers.
Gently walking under a long line of cedars shading the Cachoeira, Sebastian descried them afar off. The full and
perfectly-formed figure of Kara Aziek, her slow soft step, the gentle dignity which distinguished her, were contrasted by the slight and budding graces of Blanche's more airy form. Her step was quick, bounding, and uncertain as the young Gazelle's; her looks were timid, not majestic; and like spring preceding summer, she sportively advanced, admiring every object she had seen and admired a thousand times before.
Sebastian scarcely descried her ere she was at his side: by an irresistible impulse he took her in his arms, and holding her to his heart, suffered the tears he could no longer restrain, to fall over her face.
It was the first time that Blanche had ever felt her father's tears; she looked up, and the bright roses of health and delight faded from her cheek.
“. Be not alarmed, my child! he whispered in a faltering voice, as he let her go again, “ I will rejoin your mother soon -speak not to her of this weakness-I must explain it myself.
Having spoken, he turned away, and hurrying towards a sugar-mill, which he entered, as if intent on business, left Blanche to wait for her mother, who seeing nothing extraordinary in this conduct of her husband, entered her own habitation.
It was long ere Sebastian sufficiently recovered himself to join Kara Aziek; the smile with which he dressed his pale countenance could not conceal from her the unusual agitation of his heart: she fearfully inquired its cause, and was answered by a cautious explanation of De Castro's situation and engagements.
Kara Aziek listened to him in profound silence, which she did not break till some moments after he had concluded; she then turned on him her expressive eyes; no tears were there, but they were full of that maternal anguish she felt called upon to control.
She looked tenderly at him, as if she believed him unable to avert the calamity with which she was threatened, and as if she considered him equally with herself, an object of compassion. “I submit:" she said at length, turning her eyes from her husband and fixing them on Heaven; “ There are periods in which I dare not yield to my feelings. That God who has blessed us with our Blanche, calls her now to become an instrument for her father's restoration: I may not detain her.”.
At the last words, Kara Aziek closed her eyes as if she would have shut from her husband's sight the anguish of her soul: a general trembling seized her, and unable to relieve herself by tears, she made an effort to smile, and pressing his hand, leaned her face upon his shoulder.
Sebastian gently supported her. “ This unresisting acquiescence, this uncomplaining grief, affected him far more than the most violent despair: in proportion as his Aziek appeared more worthy of happiness, her different destiny seemed more cruel.
« Dearest and best of women !" he exclaimed, “ is it to day that I am to receive the strongest proof of that love which has been the angel of my life ?-You know my heart, and you spare me the misery of contending with tenderness for you, and duty to Portugal : you weep not, you complain not !-O my Aziek, am I then indeed, dearer to thee than the child to whom thou gavest birth ?-I expected lamentation, remonstrance, shall I confess it?-sorrowful reproaches-I find gentleness and heroism; I find that I am still the first in that precious heart.”—
Transported out of himself by such a conviction, Sebastian folded his arms around his wife, whose countenance suddenly glowing with vivid emotion, was now bathed in tears.
Instantaneously melted by this burst of affection, she wept profusely, but her tears had no bitterness