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would find an honester- but I cannot desert with you. Tell me, Signor, if you wish to save a poor wretch from further crimes, whether you will let me find you out in England, and lend me a helping hand. One good turn deserves another.”
“ Willingly,” said IIerbert, “if you are sincere.
“ Then just put down your name upon this bit of paper, and perhaps some day I may turn out an honest fellow.”
Herbert wrote his address, half in doubt, half in gratitude.
“You are safe now," said Giulio, “and I must not stay, or they will suspect me. Follow that path, and in a quarter of an hour you will be at a village, where you may venture to remain the night : but get guides and an escort on to Naples, or else do not stir for another clear day. Addiò, Margarita. Addið, Signore," and with a nod and a bound, Giulio left the hidingplace.
"I always knew he was kind-hearted,"
said Margarita, as she and Herbert followed the path he pointed out.
They reached the village, as Giulio had said, in about a quarter of an hour, and were fortunate in meeting the priest, almost as they entered it. Herbert addressed him, and confided to him their situation and adventures. He listened attentively,' and said it was well they had spoken to him, as every other inhabitant of the village would have feared to shelter them. He took them immediately to his house, and treated them most kindly, offering them beds, refreshment, and a refuge for the morrow, all of which they accepted with gratitude.
Herbert observed that Margarita looked at the good priest with a gaze of singular agitation, and when he left them to go and order preparation to be made for their entertainment, she suddenly exclaimed
“ That was the man who married me; I could swear it.”
“ What can you mean," asked Herbert.
“That the priest who united me to Mordaunt, is here or I am mad.”
Their host returned and Herbert asked him, whether he had any recollection of marrying two persons, by name George Mordaunt, and Margarita Pacini. The priest coloured, hesitated, and said he had.
" Then I was really married,” cried Margarita, throwing herself on her knees before the priest. "Say so ; confirm it, I beg- I entreat you."
“If you are Margarita Pacini,” replied the priest, "you certainly were, really and lawfully united ; though I lament having been inveigled into so ill-concerted a thing, as your marriage turned out to be. A servant came to me, and told me, that if I wished to save a virtuous girl from dishonour, I should accompany him, and unite her to one who would otherwise seduce her. I did accompany him ; and, finding you and your intended husband both, apparently, anxious to be married,
joined your hands according to the forms of our church. When all was over, and you were gone, the servant laughed, and said that he had been revenged upon his master for some ill-turn he had done him, and had taken him a real instead of a sham priest, as he had promised to do. I inquired what he meant, and he told me that his master had ordered him to do, what he had been heartily ashamed of doing once before-to bribe some man, who could read, to go through the marriage ceremony in priestly attire ; and he had come straight to me. I found that I had been imposed on; but had no means of following you to make the facts known to you. I can now, however, I am thankful to say, give you a certificate of your marriage, which was quite lawful.”
“ Thank you! thank God!” said Margarita, passionately. “I am a wife! oh! had my parents but lived! You are my preserver-the saviour of my honour.
Oh! if you could but go to my native village, or write to the inn-keeper's wife, to make known this fact, and how I was led away from my duty and my parents, I should leave my native land almost happy.”
“I will do so gladly,” said the good priest, “and re-establish your fame as well as I can, But, my child, you have greatly erred. May God keep you from such sin for the future.”
“ Alas! I have now no parents to leave, and no heart for love," said Margarita. “ I desire only to end my days in peace and retirement."
“In a nunnery, then," said the priest, “ where you may give yourself up to religion.”
Margarita shook her head.
"I go with him,” she said, pointing to Herbert, “ to his quiet home, where he and his will teach me to be good.”
The priest said no more, but gave her the certificate of her marriage, which