Vienna, Austria


An Austrian nobleman, one of the handsomest and most accomplished young men in Vienna, was passionately in love with a young girl of almost peerless beauty. She was the daughter of a man of great rank and influence at court, and on these considerations, as well as in regard to her charms, she was followed by a multitude of suitors. She was lovely and amiable, and treated them with an affability which still kept them in her train, although it was generally known that she had avowed a predilection for the Count, and that preparations were making for their nuptials. The Count was of a refined mind and delicate sensibility: he loved her for herself alone - for the virtues which he believed dwelt in a beautiful form. Like a lover of such perfection he approached her with timidity, and when he touched her a fire shot through his veins, that warned him not to invade that sanctuary of her lips. Such were his feelings, when one night at the house of his intended father-in-law, a party of young people were met to celebrate a certain festival. Several of the young ladies rejected suitors were present. Forfeits were one of the pastimes, and all went on with the greatest merriment, till the Count was commanded by some witty young lady to redeem his glove, by sainting the cheek of his intended bride.

The Count blushed - trembled - advanced to his mistress - retreated - advanced again and at last, with a tremor that shook every fibre of his frame, with a modest grace he put his lips to the soft ringlet that played upon her cheek, and in evident confusion retired to demand his redeemed pledge. his mistress gaily smiled, and the game went on. One of her rejected, who was of a merry, unthinking disposition, was adjudged by the same indiscreet crier of the forfeits "as his last retreat before he hanged himself," to snatch a kiss from the lips of the object of his recent vows. A lively contest ensued between the lady and the gentleman, - it lasted for a minute, when the lady yielded, though in the midst of a convulsive laugh, and the Count had the mortification, the agony, to see the lips, which his delicate love would not allow him to touch, kissed with roughness and repetition by another man, and one whom he despised. Without a word, he rose from his chair - left the room and the house, - and by that good-natured kiss the fair boast of Venice lost her husband and her lover. The Count never saw her more.

DECEMBER 15, 1866

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