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peaceful servitors were attired with a gor- " Dio mio !" uttered the woman, startled geousness that would have done honor to an at the beautiful vision that now came within Eastern clime. The old Prince of Della Ripa, her sight; "the Lord of Visinara has not than whom one more fierce and brave never sacrificed his liberty for nothing." existed in all Italy, had that morning given “ Mark you her rich white dress, mother, his daughter's hand to Giovanni of Visinara; with its corsage of diamonds, and the sleeves and as she neared the castle that was hence- looped up to the elbow with lace and jewels? forth to be her home, every point from which | And over it, nearly hiding her fair neck, is a a view of the procession could be obtained mantle of blue velvet, clasped by a diamond was seized upon.
star. And see, she is taking her glove off, " By my patron saint, but it is a goodly and her hand is raised to her cheek-small sight!" exclaimed one of a group of maidens, and delicate it is too, as befitteth her rank gathered at a window beneath which the and beauty. And-look!-he lays his own bridal cavalcade was prancing. “ Only look upon it as she drops it, but she would draw at Master Pietro, the seneschal."
it from him to replace the glove. Now he " And at the steel points of the halberds, bends to speak to her, and she steals a glance --how they shine in the crimson of the set at him with her blushing cheeks and her eye ting sun."
full of love. And now he is bowing to the * Nay, rather look at these lovely dames people-hark how they shout, ‘Long life to that follow-the Lady Adelaide's tire-women. the Lady Adelaide-long life and happiness By the sacred relics! if her beauty exceed to the Count and Countess of Visinara !' " that of her maidens, it must be rare to look “She is very beautiful, Bianca ; but," upon. See the gold and purple of their pal- “Ay, what, you are a reader of countenfreys' horsecloths waving in the air.” ances, madra mia; what see you there?".
* Hist! hist! it is the Count of Visinara in “That she is proud and self-willed. And his emblazoned carriage! How haughtily he woe be to any who may hereafter look upon sits; but the Visinara is a haughty race. her handsome husband with an eye of favor, And-yes-see-by his side-oh, how love-for she loves him.” ly! Signora Montani, look! That face “Can there be a doubt of that?" echoed mnight win a kingdom."
Bianca; “has she not married him? And Gina Montani, who stood in the corner of look at his attractions : see this goodly lot of the lattice, shielded from view by its massive cavaliers speeding on to join his banquet; can frame, may possibly have heard, but she an- any there compare with him ?" swered not.
* Chi é stracco di bonaccie, si mariti," an“Say what you will of his pride, he is the swered the lady; "and have you, Bianca, handsomnest man that ever lived," exclaimed yet to learn that the comeliest mates oftena damsel, enthusiastically. “Look at him as times bring any thing but love to the altar?” he sits there now-he rides bareheaded, his Bianca made a grimace, as if she doubted. plumed cap resting on his knee-where will “It will come sure enough, then,” she said you find such a face and form as that!" aloud; “for none could be brought into daily
* What is she like?" interrupted an old contact with one so attractive and not learn duenna, snappishly, who, standing behind, / to love him." could not as yet obtain a view of the coveted. “And who should this be in a holy habit, sight; “ we know enough of his looks, let us following the bridal equipage on his mule? hear something of hers. But you girls are Surely the spiritual director of the Lady Adeever the same: if a troop of sister angels laide—the Father Anselmo it must be, that came down from heaven, headed by the Vir- we have heard speak of. A faithful man, gin Mother herself, and a graceless cavalier | but stern, it is told; and so his countenance appeared at the other side, you would turn would betray. Bend your heads in reverend your backs to the angels and your eyes upon meekness, iny children, the holy man is behim. Is she as handsome as the young Lady stowing his blessings." Beatrice, the count's sister, who married | How savage I should be if I were the Lady away a year agone?"
| Beatrice, not to be able to come to the wed“Oh, mother, she is not like her. Bea- ding after all," broke in the giddy Bianca, trice of Visinara had a warm countenance, “She reckoned fully upon it, too, they say, with eyes black as the darkest night, and and had caused her dress for the ceremony brilliant as a diamond aigrette.”
to be prepared-one to rival the bride's in " And are the wife's not black," screamed splendor, out the duenna. “ They ought to be; her “She has enough to do with her newly. blood is pure Italian."
born infant,” mumbled the good duenna. • They are blue as heaven's sky, and her | " Gayety first, care afterwards; a christening face is dazzling to behold from its extreme usually follows & wedding. Come, girls, fairness, and her golden hair droops in curls there's nothing more to see." almost to her waist-it is a band of dia-! “Nay, mother mine, some of these dames monds, you see, that confines it from the that follow lack not beauty." temples. But you can see her now, mother; “Pish !" uttered a fair yonng girl who had remember you one half so lovely ?"
I hitherto been silent; "it would be waste of time to look at their faces after the Lady | ladies to bring it to her. It proved to be a Adelaide's."
sealed letter, and was addressed to herselt. " Who is that going away? The Signora The conscious blush of love rose to her cheeks. Montani? Why, it has not all passed, sig- for she deemed it was some communication nora. She is gone, I declare! What a curi- or present from her husband. She opened it, ous girl she seems, that."
and the contents instantly caught her eve, in “Do you know what they say ?” cried lit- the soft, pure light which the lamps shed over tle Lisa, Bianca's cousin.
the apartment: " What do they say?"
" To the Lady Adelaide, Countess of Visinara. " That her mother is a descendant of those “ You fancy yourself the beloved of Giovanni, dreadful people over the sea, who have no Count of Visinera, but retire not to your rest this religion, the heretics.”
night, lady, in any such vain imagining. The heart The pious duenna boxed her niece's ears. of the count has long been given to another, and
6 You sinful little monkey, to utter such you know, by your love for him, that such passion heresy !" she cried, when anger allowed her can never change its object. Had he met you in to speak.
earlier life, it might have been otherwise. lle “So they do say so !" sobbed the young marries you, for your lineage is a high one, and lady, dancing about with the passion she she, in the world's eye and in that of his owu dared not otherwise vent. “And people do haughty race, was no fit mate for him.” say,” she continued, out of bravado, and The bridegroom was still at the banquet, smarting under the pain, “ that they are he- for some of his guests drank deeply, when a retics themselves, or else why do they never hasty summons came to him. Quitting the come to mass ?"
hall, he found, standing outside, two of his “ The old Signora Montani is bedridden; bride's attendants. how could she get to mass?" laughed Bianca. “Sir Count, the Lady Adelaide "
“Don't answer her, Bianca. If she says “Has retired ?" he observed, finding ther such a thing here again—if she insinuates hesitated, yet feeling somewhat surprised at that the Signora Gina, knowing herself to be so speedy a summons. in such league with the Evil One, would dare "Nay, signor, not retired, but to put her head inside a faithful house such 1 “But what?' Speak out." as this, I will cause her to do public penance “ We were disrobing the Lady Adelaide,
-the wicked little calumniator !" concluded Sir Count, when she saw in the chamber a the good duenna, adding a few finishing strokes note addressed to her. And-and-she read upon Lisa's ears.
| it, and fainted, in spite of the essence we 111.
I poured on her hands and brow." Long lasted the bridal banquet, and mer- “A note !--fainted !” ejaculated the count. rily it sped. Ere its conclusion, and when “It was an insulting letter, signor; for the hours were drawing towards midnight, Irene, the youngest of the Lady Adelaide's the young Lady Adelaide, attended by her attendants, read the first line or two of it maidens, was conducted to her dressing- aloud, before we could prevent her, it haychamber, according to the custom of the times ing fallen, open, on the floor. Our lady is and of the country. She sat down in front yet insensible, and the Signora Lucrezia deof a large mirror whilst they disrobed her. sired us to acquaint you, my lord.” They took the circlet of diamonds from her Without another word he turned from head, the jewels from her neck and arms, them, and passing through the various corriand the elegant bridal dress was carefully re- dors, entered the dressing-chamber. The moved; and there she sat, in a dressing-robe Lady Adelaide was still motionless, but a of cambric and lace, while they brushed out faint coloring had begun to appear in her and braided her beautiful hair. As they were face. “What is this, signora ?" demanded thus engaged, the lady's eyes ran round and the count of the chief attendant, Lucrezia. round the costly chamber. The furniture and “It must be owing to this letter, my lord, appurtenances were of the most recherché de- which was waiting for her on the cabinet," scription. One article in particular attracted was the lady's reply, holding out the open her admiration. It was a small, but costly ca- note. “The Lady Adelaide fainted whilst binet of malachite marble, exquisitely mount- she was perusing it." ed in silver, and had been a present to the “Fold it up," interrupted the count, “and count from a Russian despot. In the inner replace it there,” Lucrezia did as she was part was fixed a mirror, encircled by a large bid. “You may now go," said Giovanni to frame of silver, and on the projecting slab the attendants, advancing to support his stood open essence-bottles of pure crystal, in bride. “When the countess has need of silver frames, emitting various perfumes. As you, you shall be summoned." she continued to look at this novelty-the “You have read that letter ?” were the marble called malachite was even more rare first connected words of the Lady Adelaide. and costly in those days than it is in ours ! “Nay, my love, surely not, without your she perceived, lying by the side of the scent- permission. Will you that I read it?" bottles, a piece of folded paper, and, wonder- | She motioned in the affirmative. ing what it could be, she desired one of the “A guilty, glowing color came over his odly.
face as he read. Who could have written wife but in name: a slight ceremony only it? That it alluded to Gina Montani there has passed between us, and we both know was no doubt. Who could have sent it? how readily, with such influence as ours, the He felt convinced that she had no act or part Church at Rome would dissolve that. Sufin so dishonorable a trick-yet what may fer me to depart ere I shall be indeed your not be expected from a jealous woman? wife." Now came his trial.
“Adelaide," he replied mournfully, as he Was it not enough to make me ill?" de- held her, “I thought you loved me.'' manded Adelaide.
“I do—I do. None, save God, know how He stammered something. He was not passionately. My very life is bound up in yet sufficiently collected to speak connect yours; but it is because I so love you, that I
could not brook a rival. Let me know the *Giovanni," she exclaimed, passionately, truth at once-even though it be the worst; "deceive me not. Tell me what I have to for should I trust to you now, and find afterfear: how much of your love is left for me wards that I had been deceived, it would be --if any."
most unhappy for both of us. My whole afHe tried to soothe her. He told her an fection would be turned to hate; and not enemy must have done this; and he men- only would my own existence be wretched, tioned Gina Montani, though not by name. but I should render yours so." He said that he had sometimes visited her “You have no rival, Adelaide. You nehouse, but not to love; and that the letter ver shall have one." must allude to this.
“I mean not a rival in the vulgar accepta"You say you did not love her!" she tion of the term," she replied, a shade of cried, resentment in her tone, as she listened laughtiness mixing with her tone" but to the tale.
one in your heart-your mind—this I could He hesitated a single second; but, he rea- not bear." soned to himself, he ought at all risks to lull “ Adelaide, hear me. Some enemy, wishher suspicions-it was his duty. So he re-ing to do me a foul injury, has thrust himself plied firmly, though the flush of shame rose between us; but, rely on it, they are but to his brow, for he deemed a falsehood dis false cowards who stab in the dark. I have honorable. "In truth I did not. My love is sought you these many months; I have striven yours, Adelaide."
to gain your love; I have now made you “Why did you visit her?”
mine. Why should I have done this had my "I can hardly tell you. I hardly know affections been another's? Talk not of sepamyself: want of thought-or of occupation, ration, Adelaide.” She burst into a passionprobably.”
ate fit of weeping. “Adelaide," he whis“You surely did not wrong her ?” was the pered, as he fondly clasped her to his heart, next whispered question, as she turned her believe that I love you; believe that you face from him.
have no rival, and that I will give you none. " Wrong her! Had you known her, you I have made you my wifo-the wife of my could not have admitted the possibility of the bosom : you are, and ever shall be, my only idea," he answered, resentment in his tone love." now. "She has been carefully reared, and Sweet words! And the Lady Adelaide sufis as innocent as you are."
fered her disturbed mind to yield to them, re“Who is she?—what is her name ?? solutely thrusting away the dreadful thought
" Adelaide, let us rather forget the subject. that the heart of her attractive husband I have told you I loved her not: and I should could ever have been given to another. not have mentioned this at all, but that I
V. can think of nothing else to which that dia- Montus elapsed, and the Lady Adelaide bolical letter can have alluded. Believe me, was the happiest of the happy, although now my own wife”-and he drew her to his bo- and again the remembrance of that anony. som as he spoke that I have not done you mous letter would dart before her mind, like so great an injury as to marry where I did a dream. That most rare felicity was, indeed, not love."
hers, of passionately idolizing one from whom "Oh," she exclaimed, wringing her hands, she need never be separated by night or by and extricating herself from him, " that this day. But how was it with him? Love is cruel news had not been given me !"
almost the only passion which cannot be “My love, be comforted—be convinced. I called forth or turned aside at will, and tell you it is a false letter."
though the Count di Visinara treated his "How can I know it is false ?" she lainent- wife in all respects, and ever would, with the ed—“ how can you prove it to me?"
most cautious attention, his heart was still "Adelaide, I can but tell you so now: the true to Gina Montani. But now the Count fature and my conduct must prove it." had to leave home; business called him forth;
* Giovanni," she continued vehemently, and to remain away fifteen days. In those and half sinking on her knees before him, | earlier times women could not accompany “deceive me not. If there be aught of truth their lords every where, as they may in in this accusation, let me depart. I am your these; and when Giovanni rode away from
his castle gates, the Lady Adelaide sank in Ah! now there is an open space, and they solitude upon the arm of one of her costly are more distinct. It should be the count, sofas, all rich with brocaded velvet; and madam, and his followers." though not a tear dimmed her eye, or a line “I think it is, Lucrezia," said the Lady of pain marked her foreliead, to tell of sup- | Adelaide, calmly, not suffering her emotion pressed feelings, it seemed to her that her to appear in the presence of her maidens, heart was breaking. It was on the morrow, for that haughty girl brooked not that others news was brought to the countess that one should read her deep love for Giovanni. craved admission to lier-a maiden, young “You may return to your embroidery." and beautiful, the servitor said; and the Lady The Count di Visinara rode at a sharp Adelaide ordered her to be admitted. Young trot towards his home, followed by his reand beautiful indeed, and so she looked, as, tainers; but when he discerned the form of with downcast eyes, the visitor was ushered his wife at the window, he quickened the in-you know her, reader, though the Lady I pace to a gallop, after taking off his plumed Adelaide did not. She began to stammer cap, and waving his hand towards her in the out an incoherent explanation; that news distance. She pressed her heart to still its had reached her of the retirement of one of throbbing, and waited his approach. the Lady Adelaide's attendants, and of her. She heard him rattle over the drawbridge, wish to fill the vacant place. “What is your and was turning to leave the apartment to name ?" inquired the countess, already taken, welcoine him home, when he entered, so great as the young are apt to be, with the prepos- haste had he made. Without observing that sessing inanners and appearance of her vi- she was not alone, he advanced, and, throwsitor.
ing his arms round her, drew aside her fair "Signora, it is Gina Montani."
golden curls, and kissed her repeatedly, like “And in whose household have you re- many a inan possessed of a lovely wife will
kiss, though his love may be far away from A deep shade rose to Gina's face. “Ma- her. But she shrank from his embrace, the dam, I am a stranger as yet to servitude. I glowing crimson overspreading her face; and was not reared to expect such. But my mo- then the count turned and saw they were not ther is dead, and I am now alone in the alone. At the extreme end of the apartment, world. I have heard much, too, of the Coun- out of hearing, but within sight, were the tess of Visinara's gentleness and worth, and damsels seated over their embroidery. “Gishould wish to serve her."
na," murmured one of the girls, still pursning Some further conversation, a few prelimi- her work, “what has made you turn so pale ? nary arrangements, and Gina Montani was You are as white as Juliette's dress." installed at the castle as one of the countess's “Is the Signora Montani ill ?" demanded maids in waiting: a somewhat contradistinc- Lucrezia, sharply, for she liked not Gina. tive term, be it understood, to a waiting-1 “A sudden pain—a spasm in my side, * maid, these attendants of high-born gentle- gasped Gina. “It is over now." women being then made, in a great degree, “Is he not an attractive man?” whispered their companions. Gina speedily rose in fa- another of the ladies in Gina's ear. vor. Her manners were elegant and unas " He ?” suming, and there was a sadness about her L" The Count di Visinara: you never saw which, coupled with her great beauty, ren- him before. They are well matched for dered her eminently interesting.
| beauty, he and the Lady Adelaide." VI.
“Pray attend to your work, and let this THE Lady Adelaide stood at the eastern gossiping cease," exclaimed Lucrezia, anwindow of the Purple Room--so called from grily. its magnificent hangings—watching eagerly | Giovanni and his wife remained at the for the appearance of her husband, it being window, with their backs towards the damthe day and hour of his expected return. sels. She suffered her hand to remain in his So had she stood since the morning. Ah! - they could not see that and conversed what pleasure is there in this world like that with him in a confidential tone. Then she of watching for a beloved one! At the op-began chattering to him of her new attendposite end of the apartment were her ladies, ant, telling how lovely she was, when a serengaged upon some fancy work, in those vant entered and announced the mid-day times violently in vogue, like that eternal / meal. knitting or crotchet-work is in ours. “ Come “ Now you shall see my favorite," she exhither, Lucrezia," said the lady, at length. claimed, as he took her hand to conduct her “Discern you yon trees-groups of them to the banquet-hall. “I will stop as I pass scattered about, and through which an occa- them, to look at their work, and you shall sional glimpse of the highway may be dis- tell me if you do not think her very beantinguished ? Nay, not there; far, far away tiful.” in the distance. See you aught ?".
“ Scarcely, Adelaide, when beside you." “Nothing but the road, my lady. And “She is about my age," ran on Adelaide, yet, now I look attentively, there seems to whose spirits were raised to exuberance. be a movement, as of a body of horsemen. But it had never entered the mind of that haughty lady to imagine the possibility of the away with despair. I would see you pass Lord of Visinara, her husband, looking upon sometimes at a distance with your retainers an attendant of hers with an eye of real ad-1-and that was heaven to me.' Then came a miration; or she might not have discussed thought into my mind; I wrestled with it, their personal merits.
and would have driven it away—but there " How do you get on with the work, Lu- it was, ever urging me; it may be that my crezia ?" deipanded the Lady Adelaide, stop- | botter angel sent it there; it may be that the ping close to her attendants.
Evil One, who is ever tempting us for ill, "Favorably, madan," answered the sig- drove it on." pora, rising from her seat.
* What mean you?” he inquired. " That is a beautiful part that you are en-1 “ It suggested," she continued in a low gaged upon, Gina. Bring it forward, that voice, “that it but to see you at a distance, we may exhibit our handiwork."
and at rare intervals, could almost compenGina Montani, without raising her eyes, sate for my life of misery, what bliss would and trembling inwardly and outwardly, rose, be mine were I living under the roof of your and advanced with the embroidery. The own castle, liable to see you any hour of the Signora Lucrezia eyed her, covertly.
day; hence you find me numbered amongst * Is it not a handsome pattern ?" exclaimed your wife's waiting-maids. And blame me Adelaide, her thoughts now really occupied not, Giovanni," she hastily concluded, seeing with the beauty of the work. “And I was so him about to interrupt her; “ you are the industrious while you were away, Giovanni. cause of all, for you sought and gained my I did a good portion of this myself-I did, love; and such love! I think none can have indeed; all the shadings of the rosebuds are ever known such. And yet I must suppress my doing, and those interlaces of silver.” this love. The fiercest jealousy of the Lady:
The Lady Adelaide stopped, for, on look- | Adelaide rages in my heart--and yet I must ing to his face for approbation, she was suppress it! Giovanni, you have brought startled by the frightful pallor which had this anguish upon me; so blame me not." overspread it. “Oh, Giovanni, you are ill !! “ It is a dangerous proceeding, Gina. I was -my husband, what is it? Giovanni- ” becoming reconciled to our separation; but
" It is nothing," interrupted the count, now-it will be dangerous for both of us." leading her hurriedly from the room. “I “Ay," she answered, bitterly, "you had all. rode hard, and the sun was hot. A cup of Friends, revelry, a wife of rare beauty, the wine will restore me."
chase, the bustle of an immense household But not less awake to this emotion of the in short, what had you not to aid your mental count's than she had been to Gina's, was the struggles? I but my home of solitude, and Signora Lucrezia, and she came to the con- the jealous pictures, self, but ever inflicted, clusion that there was some unaccountable of your happiness with the Lady Adelaide.” mystery at the bottom of it, which she de- “I still love but you, Gina," he repeated, termined to do all in her power to find out. “ but I will be honorable to her, and must VII.
show it not." Days passed. The count had not yet seen “Do I ask you to show it? or think you I Gina alone, though he had sought for the op- would permit it?" she replied quickly; “no, no; portunity; but one morning when he entered I did not come here to sow discord in your the Lady Adelaide's embroidery room—so household. Suffer me to live on unnoticed called-Ġina sat there alone, sorting silks. as of these last few days, but, oh! drive me He did not observe her at the first moment, not away from you." and, being in search of his wife, called to her, “Believe me, Gina, this will never do. I “ Adelaide!”
mistrust my own powers of endurance; ay, "The Lady Adelaide is not here, signor," and of concealment." was Gina's reply, as she rose from her seat. “ You can think of me but as the waiting
“ Gina," he said, advancing cautiously, maid of your lady," she interrupted, in a tone and speaking in an under tone, is what in the of bitterness. "In time you will really rename of all the saints brought you here-an gard me as such." inmate of my castle-the attendant of the “There would be another obstacle, Gina," Lady Adelaide ?”
he returned, sinking his voice to a lower tone, "You shall hear the truth," she gasped, as if fearful even to mention the subjectleaning against the wall for support. “I“ how can you live in my household, and not have lived long, these many months, in my conform to the usages of our faith? You dreary home, unseeing you, uncared for, know that yours must never be suspected.” knowing only that you were happy with “Trust to me to manage all," she reiterated; another. Giovanni, can you picture what I “but send me not away from you." endured? My mother died-you may have “Be it so, Gina," he observed, after reflecheard of it—and her relations sent for me tion; "you deserve more sacrifice on my part into their distant country, and would have than this. But all confidence must cease becomforted me; but I remained on alone to tween us: from this time we are to each be near you. I struggled much with my un- other as strangers." bappy passion. My very soul was wearing! “Even so," she acquiesced. “Yet if you