"What a kiss!" exclaimed P---- C----. "Come, come, a good lover's kiss!"
I did not move; the impudent fellow annoyed me; but his sister, turning her head aside sadly, said,
"Do not press him; I am not so happy as to please him."
That remark gave the alarm to my love; I could no longer master my feelings.
"What!" I exclaimed warmly, "what! beautiful C----, you do not condescend to ascribe my reserve to the feeling which you have inspired me with? You suppose that you do not please me? If a kiss is all that is needed to prove the contrary to you, oh! receive it now with all the sentiment that is burning in my heart!"
Then folding her in my arms, and pressing her lovingly against my breast, I imprinted on her mouth the long and ardent kiss which I had so much wished to give her; but the nature of that kiss made the timid dove feel that she had fallen into the vulture's claws. She escaped from my arms, amazed at having discovered my love in such a manner. Her brother expressed his approval, while she replaced her mask over her face, in order to conceal her confusion. I asked her whether she had any longer any doubts as to my love.
"You have convinced me," she answered, "but, because you have undeceived me, you must not punish me."
I thought that this was a very delicate answer, dictated by true sentiment; but her brother was not pleased with it, and said it was foolish.
We put on our masks, left the inn, and after I had escorted them to their house I went home deeply in love, happy in my inmost soul, yet very sad.
The reader will learn in the following chapters the progress of my love and the adventures in which I found myself engaged.