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straggled downwards to the caverns and coming next; and Kenneth and Lady coves of the beach, inviting the feet to ex- Charlotte a little in advance. Lady Charplore them. Groups of fishermen, with wo- lotte was in high spirits, replying to men and children, loitered and basked here Kenneth's constant persiflage with more and there, clothed in those bright vestments aplomb than usual; pricking her mule from in which all southern people delight. Now time to time with the coral points of her and then echoes of laughter, or the frag- white silk parasol, and laughing foolishly ment of a simple song, came floating up like a school-girl at any little difficulties on the air with that wonderful distinctness in the route. Presently the mule suddenly with which sounds are heard along a rocky stopped. “Oh, you obstinacy, won't you shore, - airs which Gordigiani's exquisite. take me on 'cause I'm such a giddy thing? setting have since made famous, and which, giggled the rider, giving a final prod at the perhaps, it required that composer's fine mule's ear with the ornamented parasol. and sensitive taste to strip from their rug- The steel of the light parasol snapped; gedness as we strip off the shell of the al- the sharp end entered the ear of the mond, denuding the veiled melodies from animal, which swerved, put its head down, nasal and husky tones, and sending them and set off at a pace anything but safe forth to the world full only of such gentle or pleasant in poor Lady Charlotte's opinpassion as breathes in the “ Bianco visin," ion. All the other mules, accustomed to and the “ Tempo Passato;" familiar to us act in concert with parties of sight-seers, now from many a sweet and tutored voice set off at a like pace. Lady Charlotte even in our own land.
screamed, the guides shouted, and a perfect Lorimer Boyd had known Gordigiani's Babel of voices sent up prayers to heaven daughter. He described that sweet ethe- for protection, mingled with curses of the real creature to Gertrude: her large spiritual poor beast on earth. Kenneth at first eyes, like the eyes we imagine those of leaned back in his saddle in a fit of ina guardian angel; her smile, faint and ten- extinguishable laughter at the ridicule der as the serenest twilight; her pretty of the whole scene. Fat Count Rufo, pullbashful pride in being able to compose ing in vain at the hard mouth of his monwords to her father's music. But she was ture, and bounding in his saddle · like an gone — passed away like the echo of her India-rubber ball; his pretty countess laughown songs — taken in the early prime of ing also, as she careered along, flying past her sweetness, scarcely living even to Kenneth with her ancles much more exthe time indicated by the poetic French posed than at the decent commencement epitaph written on one almost as lovely :- of her ride; the German couple, also at full
speed, looking helplessly at each other as “Rose, elle a vecu ce que vivent les Roses, they fled together like the bapless pair L'espace d'un jour !”
in Bürger's Leonora ; and Lady Charlotte,
the primary cause of all this erratic disturbThey were still talking of this young ance, making involuntary soubresauts on Italian and her genius; and Sir Douglas and off her frightened mule, such as are was murmuring to himself the Scriptural performed by light and nimble professionals words, “ When the ear heard her, it blessed for the entertainment of the audience at her,” — less with any thought of Gordigi- Astley's. ani's angel-daughter, or a yet fitter refer- But all laughter was merged in fear, when ence to works of necessity, piety, and the mule made a false step on a path close charity,” than in remembrance of the trem- to the precipice, that crumbled beneath its ulous contralto of the English girl at his tread; then scrambled to recover its footside, — when a wild shriek, followed by ing, unseating Lady Charlotte in the operathat wonderful amount of exclamatory ap- tion, and dragging her a few yards, pinned peals to Madonnas and Saints of different by many folds of careful shawling, and so altars, common among the Itahans, startled utterly unable to extricate herself. Before them into attention.
the sharp, bitter shriek from Gertrude had The carriages were to meet them at a died thrillingly on the air, the gentlemen of given point, and they had been traversing the party had reached the poor frightened part of their road upon mules; Gertrude woman, and rescued her from further danriding by her mother, till they had paușed ger. Sir Douglas had been first; leaping gaze
at the town and beach, and then from his mule, which he suffered to roam at falling a little into the rear with Lorimer large, and not attempting the dangerous exand Sir Douglas while speaking of Gordigi- periment of riding after her. They were ani's music; the Rufos with their friends close to Sorrento, close to the Hotel di
Tasso, where already rooms and refresh- I believe, for Sir Douglas's sake, that the ments had been ordered in anticipation of white hand was withdrawn, and that the their arrival. Lady Charlotte was easily trembling downcast look with which Gercarried there, and laid, half-fainting from trude listened to his further re-assurances fright and shock — but not otherwise the (made in rather a different voice from worse of her Mazeppa-like career on a usual), as to Lady Charlotte's condition, chaise longue in one of the bedrooms. resulted rather from tender embarrassment
Kenneth helped to carry her in, and with than from any lingering misgiving as to her a returning smile, congratulated Gertrude mother's danger. on her mother's safety. Gertrude smiled Lady Charlotte had indeed sustained no too, vaguely, with a confused, tearful look hurt. Her extreme fragility and slenderat Kenneth, in acknowledgment of being ness had caused her to fall so lightly, that spoken to, rather than as hearing the exact not a bruise was discoverable beyond a litwords ; and then Kenneth Ross retreated to tle abrasion on one of her wrists; and the compliment and re-assure pretty Countess quantity of soft shawls of very rich texture, Rufo, and Gertrude knelt down by her mo- slipping with her as she fell, made a sort of ther. Sir Douglas was still arranging, pil- cradle for her head and shonlders during lows and shawls. If he had been waiting the brief interval of risk, when she was upon the venerable and unfortunate Queen dragged along the path by the rocks. Amelie of France, he could not have at- " But it might have been very
serious;I tended to her with more tender respect. might even have been killed, mightn't I?" He paused, and looked down on her as she she repeated over and over again, not withlay. Gertrude's mother! That useless out a little feelingof pleasure at having been inestimable life!. As he paused, the kneel- the heroine of so dangerous an adventure. ing girl looked up at him; she voluntarily And as often as Gertrude assented, and extended her hand to clasp his. • Oh! 1 pressed her lips on the faded face, with thank you so !” was all she said.
" It might, indeed, my poor little mother!” The warmth of the sun, when it glitters so often did Lady Charlotte, with a sort of through rain in those warm southern climes, cooing murmur of pity for herself, assiduously when the rapid storms are over, and the red smoothe and twine round her finger the ringeranium and pale violet take glory from glet, which had been made terribly dusty its rays
s — what was it to the warmth of and unsightly during the culbute of its posGertrude's eyes, shining through their haze sessor, and had required more than ordinary of agitated tears! Her gaze thrilled the care to restore it to form and brightness. heart of him she addressed ; his hand trem- The Hotel di Tasso overhangs the sea, and bled as it pressed hers. Hers, that white on that side at least there is comparative band with its modelled fingers –
silence. Lady Charlotte, therefore, wearied
by her inauspicious ride, and lulled by the “Lovelily tapering less and less," - sound of gently-lapping waves far beneath
the windows, and by the heat of the afterwhose graceful and nimble passage over noon sun, carefully as it was shut and shathe notes of the piano he had so often ded from her, soon fell fast asleep. For a watched in the accompaniments to her short interval Sir Douglas and Gertrude rewelcome songs. He blessed her mentally mained motionless, listening to her measfor the eager movement which had so ured, slumberous breathings. given it, warm and gloveless, into his cor- posed to her daughter to come out, to join dial grasp; and whether after that sudden the rest of the party, who had alreadly clasping it was dropped by him, or with- braved both heat and fatigue, and clamdrawn by her, he was made too giddy by bered to the Capo di Sorrento: and they salsuch contact to remember.
lied forth, not unwilling to enjoy their walk It must have been withdrawn; for one according to the implication conveyed in spectator whom both had forgotten - Lori- that sweet Irishism, “alone together," the mer Boyd — passed his hand over his brow“ presque seule ” of the pretty French wido with a sense of pain, and muttered -“She ow, who was asked if she was going alone is in love with Douglas !”.
into the country. In love ? No girl“ in love” would leave And now all again was gladness, and all her hand to be clasped as friendship only, again was bloom and beauty; wild flowers with its firm light satisfied hold, should clasp sparkled along the shore, even the to very it, if that electric thrill which flashes loves' verge of Neptune's domain. On the lovely messages from heart to heart told her she headland grew tufted patches of myrtle, either loved or was beloved. Let us then and the tall pointed white heather which
Then he pro
gleams like the ghost of some unknown har-| ed, and the moon fell on the unruffled sea; vest of another world. Down in the dream- where the fisherman's tiny barks flashed, land, under the far away sea, lay shifting gleaming for a moment, and turned their shadows of broken white fragments, which sails again to shadow. The mountains rose are held to be (and why should they chur- beyond, dark and majestic, and the huge lishly doubt it ?) remnants of palaces and form of Vesuvius slept, unlit by its fiery temples, over which the waters have closed, torch, in the white light of the moon. The as over O'Donoghue and his white horse oars ceased to sound; the voices from the and valiant retainers in our own island of shore became less frequent; the very waves fairy traditions. Fatigue was unfelt; that seemed to come more and more softly to the air of which the elder Tasso spoke
sands, till at length there seemed but one
sound left on earth - her voice! “Si vitale, che gl’uomini che senza provar, The broken fragment of a song is in
Altro cielo ci vivono, sono quasi immortali,” many an old collection:fanned their faces, and made the very act of
“A lightsome heart, a soldier's mien,
And a feather of the blue; breathing a pleasure.
Were all of me you knew, dear love,
Were all of me you knew! “Up the heather mountain and down the crack
“Now all is done that man can do,
And all is done in vain ; undesiring of further rest than frequent My love, my native land, adieu, pauses to take their fill of gazing, or to listen
For we ne'er can meet again. laughingly to some pretty peasant, some distaff spinning matron, some bouquet-giv
“He turned him round and right about ing child, all vainly endeavouring to explain
All on the Irish shore;
He gave his bridle reins a shake, in their curious patois, requests to the sight- With Adieu for evermore, my love, seers which resolved themselves most dis
Adieu for evermore !” tinctly into an unromantic act of mendicancy, - the gay party reunited on their home- The tender tremulousness of the last line, ward course; and arrived at the hotel to and the beauty of her face looking dreamily find Lady Charlotte alert, and recovered; out over the sea as she sang, melted the only too willing to hear from Sir Douglas heart of more than one of her listeners. the mournful romance of the poet Tasso's But no one spoke to her of her song except mad love for the high-born princess, whose Sir Douglas, and he said to her, in a choked, ducal brother had him imprisoned in dark- passionate voice, “ If I thought it were ness and solitude for years to expiate his pre- adieu for evermore' between us — in lieu sumption; and his miserable return, after of a sweet, sorrowful dream - I should go insane and wretched years, to his sister and mad !” the old half-forgotten home.
It was a declaration of love, like And when that romance in prose was er; or unlike any other, for no two declaended, Countess Rufo’s German friend re- rations of love are alike, any more than peated Schiller's wonderful ballad of “ The
two leaves on a tree, or human faces, Diver,” and his wife sang one of the sweet or voices, or even the handwriting of differwild songs, whose harmonies are indeed
ent persons, can be alike. “ songs without words.” And after that, on
And though Kenneth and Lorimer Boyd low pleading from Sir Douglas, and urging and Count Rufo and the ladies of that hapfrom all the rest, Gertrude sang,
py party all spoke to Gertrude afterwards, Some irresistible fancy of the moment she could not have told what any of them urged Sir Douglas to inquire if she had ever had said, except that at last she heard her heard the ballad of which he recollected mother say, in her softest canary-bird voice, the one verse of farewell
, as sung by his “ Well, and what shall we do tó-morrow?” mother. Yes, she knew it; but even she And Sir Douglas said, " I have business in could not recollect all the words. She did the morning, but late in the day we might not think it was a complete ballad, but an old fragment of a song of exile ; 'not, she go to Amalfi, and stay a day or two there." said, from a “foreign " shore, as Sir Douglas had it, but the “ Irish shore," and without further preface she began it, in the clear, rich voice he loved so to hear.
BUSINESS in the morning. That special And while they listened, the day depart- morning had long been dedicated to the
A LIFE OF PLEASURE.
final examination and arrangement of Ken-| resented any overt disrespect to her mother, neth's difficulties, at least so far as his con- yet he could not for the life of him abstain. tinental tour was concerned. And now He thought Lady Charlotte ridiculous, and there was yet something else which his uncle he showed that he thought her so. He desired to talk over with him, beyond and thought Gertrude neglectful of him, and alabove the unpalatable fact that he must most, in her calm way, repellant to him the confine his expenses to his own means, and evening before. He was accustomed to be expect no more of this system of what he flattered and caressed. He had bid them carelessly termed “ clearing ” him, hence- all good night very curtly, getting out of forth and for ever.
the carriage in the Chiaja, instead of seeing Sir Douglas arrived at Kenneth's apart- them to the Villa Mandorlo, and had walkment on the Chiaja very early, very anx. ed away with a cigar in his mouth, — lookious, rather weary, and thoroughly resolved. ing so like his handsome wilful father, that He had begun to think there was some instead of feeling angry, foolish Sir Douglas truth in the severe opinion expressed by his looked after him with aching tenderness and friend Lorimer Boyd, that the great mis- intense good-will! fortune of Kenneth's life was his uncle's On arriving at his lodgings on this parindulgence.
ticular morning, not only Sır Douglas did “Of course,” that friend had said, “as not find Kenneth up (that perhaps with his long as you put a feather-bed for him to habits was scarcely to be expected), but it fall upon, he will pitch head-foremost like a was doubtful, from the hesitating manner harlequin, into every scrape and trap on of the servant, whether he had been in at the stage of existence. Leave him to suffer all, since the previous day. Sir Douglas consequences. Either he is capable or in- said little to the man, and passed into the capable of self-conduct. In the one case room which had been the scene of his first all your love and pains won't save him, and interview and useless lecture. Breakfast in the other he will at last find his real lev- was laid, as then ; but not yet touched. el. If I had had an idea you were so All was in the same sort of order, or disin your dotage about this lad, Douglas, I order. The very sunshine appeared to be declare I never would have written to you. lying in stereotyped lines on the parquet I expected you to come down upon him in toor. Sir Douglas threw himself into a a stern, dignified, ofrended-guardian sort of lounge chair by the window, and once more way, and here you are for all the world like thought over all he meant to say to his a nursing mother, whose precious babe has nephew; putting it into the most patient had a tumble ! Do, for God's sake, let this loving words he could frame. be the last time that you actually help him Gradually the silence and warmth, after to escape from the only lesson his careless the rapid morning walk and long wakeful mind can profit by — namely, bitter expe- night, had their effect in spite of anxiety; rience."
and Kenneth's uncle slept as soundly as There was truth in these words; and they Lady Charlotte had done after her advenbeat hotly in Sir Douglas's ears, as he turn- ture with the recalcitrant mule at Sorrento. ed restlessly on his pillow the night they It is Lord Brougham's theory (and it is returned from Sorrento. The hours of that also the theory of other thinkers on the night passed on from silvery moonlight to same subject) that dreams occupy only a the blue dawn and the crimson glory of few moments before our waking, and that sunrise, without bringing him needful rest. during their brief passage through the brain, There was too much in the day that was they blend and connect themselves with coming, and the day that had passed, for outward objects of sense and sound. In night to be anything but a bar or a gap to proof of which, he says, you have only to divide those intervals.
go and run a pin sharply into a slumbering When the morning stir of life began once friend, and he will inform you, as he starts more, — early as such life begins in the into consciousness, that he had dreamed for streets of Naples, Sir Douglas bathed, a considerable time; that he has, in fact, dressed, and went out. Even if Kenneth had a very long dream of being attacked by was not yet up, he would wait. His neph- robbers in a wood, or otherwise wounded, ew's manner, the previous evening, had — with all graphic and interesting details; rather wounded him. It was saucy, sullen, all depending on that cruel little poke with and dissatisfied. It was easy to see that he a pin which you privately know you had thought himself maltreated, and his uncle experimentally inflicted upon him! othicious in the matter of Lady Charlotte. Sir Douglas dreamed a very pleasant Kenneth knew that Gertrude disliked and dream, of wandering in Paradise with Gerpeace ! ”
trude (and without Lady Charlotte) through trance and follow her. Perceiving after a interminable groves of orange-trees, white little breathless pause that this was not to with blossom and golden with fruit, while, be, she flung the curtains behind her, and - beyond a sort of rainbow caused by the returned, making first a few slow steps on spray of innumerable fountains, for ever ris- the very tips of her toes, then the light and ing and falling and lapping against basins rapid run performed by ballet-dancers, then of white marble carved with wreaths of im- three or four pirouettes in succession, and mense lilies — forms of angelic grace, in a profound curtsey as a finale. During the shimmering vestments of the faintest and bewildered moment that followed, while Sir most delicate colours, sung to their golden Douglas, feeling his situation already suffiharps in a most ravishing manner; ending ciently absurd, looked angrily round for his always with the burthen “ Here, there is hat, she skipped, cat-like, into one of the
great armchairs, and stood up in it as in a Just as he was straining his dreaming ear rostrum, leaning her arms over the cushionfor words he could not catch — owing ap- ed back, with a roll of music which she bad parently to the very indistinct pronuncia- snatched up on the way, and with mock tion of these agreeable angels — something gravity of recitation commenced an oration. struck him, lightly but sharply, on the tem- “Stimatissimo Signore,” said she in a ple; and again immediately afterwards on most nasal Neapolitan patois, “we rejoice the cheek.
and felicitate you on having slumbered so He started and woke; but so strange was well, and we hope"the scene acting round him, that for a min- What further foolery they might have ute he fancied that also must be a dream. performed cannot be known, since just as
A woman shabbily dressed, with resplen- Sir Douglas attempted to leave the room, dent black eyes, and a thin black silk shawl with the courtesy - - even to them — of a carelessly adjusted over shoulders very ob- bow which should include the trio, and amid viously deformed, was picking out from renewed peals of mocking laughter, the manuscript notation a melody of Blumen- door opened and Kenneth came in. thal's for the guitar. A young girl (scarce- Kenneth ! ly in courtesy to be called a young lady), His aspect in that bright Italian morning rather pretty, very pale, and dirty and ne- could scarcely be surpassed in degradation. glected in her dress, sat at the breakfast- Staggering drunk; his eyes bloodshot and table, picking the bones of a chicken; not stupefied; his hair dishevelled; his dress ungracefully, though she picked them in her neglected and disordered; his face almost fingers and seemed exceedingly hungry: as pale as those of the wild intruders alAnother “young lady,” still prettier, still ready present, he stood, swaying to and fro, paler, and (if possible) in a still more ne- with the handle of the door in his hand, glected toilette, sat perched on the scroll- apparently attempting to comprehend what work end of the stiff satin sofa opposite Sir was going on in his rooms. The door, like Douglas's chair. It is to be presumed she many in the old palaces of Naples, was was less hungry than her companion, since overlaid with tarnished but richly-patternher occupation was biting off with her very ed gilding; and beyond it was another of even white teeth the budding oranges and the heavy yellow satin brocade portières. orange-flowers from a large branch she held He stood there like a picture set in a wonin her hand, and aiming at the sleeper with drous frame. His youth, his exceeding these fragrant pellets.
grace and strength of his form, When this young nymph beheld his amaz- only made his present state of untidy helped eyes open and fix themselves upon her, lessness the more saddening. It was a horshe leaped from her perch with a lithe acti- rible vision! There was a moment of susvity which even Zizine could not have sur- pense during which all stood still. Then passed, and shrieking out, “si sveglia! si his countenance, which had worn a sort of sveglia !”— with a peal of laughter re-echo- puzzled, embarrassed, idiotic smile of greeted by the other occupants of the apartment, ing, suddenly assumed an expression of she fitted to the furthest end, where a savage anger as he turned slowly from beavy portière of yellow silk divided the looking at Sir Douglas, and fixed his dull outer from the inner chamber; and folding red eyes on the group of women, now hudthe massive brocade round her, so as only dled together, the elder adjusting her shawl to leave her laughing head visible, seemed and rolling up her manuscript music, as if to expect that the victim she had so uncere in the act of departure. moniously attacked would start from his “ How dare you come here ? how many