DURING my residence of two years at the convent of St. Omer I had paid a few visits to my father, which latterly were less frequent than ever; sometimes too I saw my mother, who had arrived as early as possible after the intimation she had given, and resided with her children in a beautifully romantic cottage in the village of Staub. From the short visits I had paid there it was impossible I could form much idea of the family; my mother appeared amiable and unhappy, and consequently interested a heart softened beyond the intentions of Nature from books which had refined sensibility to a pitch of agony; for my sister and my brother I felt affection and kindness.