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the Val d'Elsa. You may get them erected into a signoria, take a title, and found a family."
“That is a bait, I grant," answered Piero, deliberating. “But I hardly like the business ; cannot you wait the Pope's answer to the memorial ? Perhaps his holiness will not grant the dispensation to Buondelmonte."
“Oibo, the Pope disoblige the Guelphs !-rather improbable. But in a word, Piero, obey me, and the lands in the Val d'Elsa are yours; refuse, and you make me your enemy-and a powerful
Piero gave a sign of consent; his lips refused to ratify a covenant of blood.
“That is well,” said Mosca; “you are a sensible fellow, and know how to gain lands and signorie easily. To-night I will give you your instructions; but go now to the Glee-singers, and tell them that I am about to send a messenger in secret to Frederic, with an account of the state of Florence; ask if they have any intelligence to send forward.”
While the proud city of the nobles was agitated, the humble cell of the Glee-singers was not devoid of anxiety. Brunetto from the moment of the breaking off of Amidea's marriage had been in a state of extreme restlessness. He earnestly desired to obtain an interview with her, to acquaint her with a secret in his possession, but he knew not how to accomplish this without incurring the risk of discovery by others in the Palazzo, into which he could not secretly convey himself. Besides, before he should unseal his lips, he thought it desirable to gain, if possible, some new light on the subject of Florestan's imputed guilt, but he knew not to whom to apply. Valdo had never seen Bastiani, and Antonio he verily believed to be insane.
Thus Brunetto found himself helpless in the midst of his perplexity, at the very time that he most wished for active exertion in a cause which reason seemed to say was most unpromising, yet which he now began to hope was not desperate.
He at length came to the resolution of writing to the Emperor, stating his situation, and asking his Imperial Majesty's advice and instructions. He wrote in a cypher known only to the Emperor and himself, and gave his letter to Piero to forward with the missives of the “Noble Ghibelline,” before whose agent he never appeared without a black silk mask (such as was used by the popular Arlecchino, or Harlequin), his figure muffled in a cloak, and his hat flapped over his brow.
When he had despatched his letter in cypher, he felt more at ease in having taken, at least, an initiatory step, however it might be followed up hereafter.
FROM THE GERMAN. “I was now no longer at a loss to account for the consternation such a positive order from so important a person must have produced in the family of the humble miller. The marshal seldom appeared in public, and when he did was always accompanied by a numerous retinue of officers of distinguished rank, nobility and guards. The outward pomp of the great makes a deeper impression upon the feelings of the majority than their power.
“The next morning my aunt arranged my dress with trembling hands; I used my utmost endeavour to appease their fears.
" It is ten o'clock,' said my uncle, go in the name of God; we will pray for you.'
“I went; the Marshal von Montreval was in his cabinet. After waiting in suspense for more than an hour and a half I was conducted through a suite of rooms to his presence. An elderly man of rather haggard appearance, yet commanding carriage, dark complexion, and quick penetrating eyes, advanced towards me. The homage of those around him convinced me this was the marshal.
“ I wished to see you, Alamontade,' said the marshal, 'as your name is so highly distinguished with commendation in the list at the Montpellier University. Continue to cultivate your talents; you may become a useful man, and I will not fail to provide for you in future. My approbation must not cause pride, but stimulate you to greater exertion. I will continue to inquire after you; in the meantime leave nothing undone to retain the friendship of your well-wisher, M. Bertollon, and do not fail to inform him I sent for you.'
“This was the purport of what the marshal said to me. After conversing with me for a short time he seemed to view me with interest, and requesting his future influence in my favour, I took leave, and hastened to relieve the anxiety of my trembling family. Their joy was so excessive, that not only the neighbours, but the whole town, were soon apprised of the honour the marshal had shown me.
“Have I not said it,' cried my uncle, that God could influence the heart of the powerful?'
“ On my return to Montpellier, I found M. Bertollon was gone into the country to visit his wife. It was not without feelings of
i Continued from page 376.
after ship of your wer you
the marshal said
view me wit
the deepest melancholy that I again took possession of my little attic, again pressed tlie wreath of Clementine to my lips.
“I felt ashamed of the tears which disappointed hope forced to my eyes, as I exclaimed
""This faded wreath and this confined view of the house of De Sonnes must be the senseless witnesses of my love and hope through the winter ; perhaps the charms of spring may induce Clementine to return to Montpellier,' in saying which I involuntarily cast my eyes towards the building which was to receive her. At one of the windows stood a veiled female figure, her back turned towards mc. My pulse faltered; I gasped for breath ; a mist obscured my sight as I whispered to myself, “It must be Clementine.'
“I had sunk upon the window, and had neither strength nor courage to seek conviction in another glance. After gaining & little self-possession I ventured to raise my eyes once more. Her face was now turned towards me, still covered with a black veil ; the wind played in its foldsmit was raised, and I beheld Clementine, who in the same moment appeared to observe me. In the evening when the house was lighted up, I watched her shadow gliding past the window.
“I arose late the next morning, having passed a sleepless night. On approaching my window I perceived Clementine already reclining at hers. She was attired in a loose morning dress. I bowed, but it was scarcely perceptible that she returned it; yet her eyes, which sometimes timidly met mine, expressed no displeasure. Oh! happy hours, which I innocently spent absorbed in admiration of a beloved object! imagining a reciprocal attachment without daring to think it a possibility. Poor by birth and destitute of fortune, without possessing personal atiractions by which I might captivate-how dare I raise my hopes to the most amiable, as well as the richest heiress in Montpellier, for whose favour men of the first rank in the country were anxious ? How willingly my thoughts rest in the remembrances of those days ! Friendship and love are the exclusive property of mortal man; he does not share them with the animal, or even the angelic race. Friendship and love, offspring of the union of our celestial and terrestrial natures, through thy all-powerful influence we are more benevolent, more faithful, more forbearing, more domestic, and more confiding in our intercourse with the world; through thee we patiently bear the ills of life, and this wilderness beams brighter under thy powerful ascendency.
“In the evening, taking the harp from its station, I played the griefs of Count Peters, of Provence, and his beloved Magellone, at that time one of the newest and most pathetic ballads, full of expressive melody. When I had finished the first stanza, I paused for a few moments, and heard through the stillness of the
night the tones of a harp repeating the same strains. Who could it be but Clementine, who appeared to wish to be the echo of my feelings ? Music is the language of the susceptible heart; and for mine, what inexpressible happiness that Clementine had thought me worthy of such notice!"" A thousand nameless trifles whose worth we appreciate as boundless, according to the manner in which they are given or received, I must pass over in silence, although never to be forgotten. When we retrace the delightful dreams of youth, and the forms of those once revered and beloved flit before us, such remembrances, though tinctured with melancholy, are purified from the alloy of human passion, and possess an irresistible charm.
“On discovering the church to which Clementine went, I immediately frequented the same. I observed the day on which she, accompanied by her mother and friends, promenaded in the shady groves of the Pegoon.* I never failed being there, when her eyes sought mine and rewarded me with a timid glance. Without having spoken for two years we possessed each other's confidence : we disclosed our joy and sorrow, we requested and granted, we hoped and feared, we made vows and never broke them; no one had the least suspicion of our innocent intercourse, though M. Bertollon's kindness was often in danger of making me suffer for all my past pleasures, as he insisted that I should occupy another room, and it was not without the greatest difficulty I retained possession of my little attic. As soon as Madame Bertollon returned from her country house, her husband introduced me to her.
“ • Here, madame,' said he, “is Alamontade, a young man whom I esteem as my friend, and I desire nothing more ardently than that you likewise may esteem him as yours.'
“ The descriptions I had heard of lier were not exaggerated ; she was scarcely twenty, and might have sat for a painter's image of a Madonna: an interesting timidity in her manner added the more to her beauty, as it was so rarely to be met with in females of her rank in Montpellier, without which every grace loses its charm.
“She spoke little, but to the purpose. She appeared cold, but the vivacity and intelligence of her look discovered a heart replete with sensibility, and an active mind. She was the benefactress of the poor, and respected by the whole town. Neglected by her husband, and almost worshipped by the handsomest and richest men in Montpellier, yet slander could not cast the slightest shade upon the unsullied purity of her character. I saw her but seldom, for she lived a secluded, almost a monastic life. During the last year of my studies M. Bertollon was attacked with a violent illness, which rendered our mutual intercourse unavoidable, * One of the most beautiful walks, in the highest part of the town of Montpellier. August, 1845. -.VOL. XLIII.--N0. CLXXII.
of a was scarcely?tions I had heard him as yours.ing more ardentin paid mehes shall remains of the better ch
as we frequently met in the room of the invalid. The tender solicitude with which she watched the sick-bed of her husband was visible in every feature. She prepared his medicine; she read to him, and when the disorder was at its crisis, she could not be prevailed upon to leave his bed-side, although exhausted with fatigue. As his illness abated he resumed his wonted cold politeness of manner towards her. She appeared deeply sensible of his indifference, and as his health continued to improve she gradually withdrew herself as much as possible from his presence. My pity was so excited by her situation that I could not avoid reproaching him with his coldness and neglect.
66. What do you desire, Colas? ' said he. “Are you so much the master of your own heart that you can venture to demand obedience from mine? If it affords you satisfaction I will confess my wife is beautiful, but beauty alone pleases the eye, yet cannot touch the heart. We might as well be supposed capable of falling in love with the master-piece of the sculptor. I allow, likewise, she has understanding, but that one can at the most admire-not love. She is very benevolent, but she has money at her command, and finds no pleasure in expensive amusements. During my illness she paid me every attention, for which I feel grateful, and none of her wishes shall remain ungratified as far as I am able to fulfil them. The affections of the heart are involuntary; in short, Alamontade, your observations of her character have been very confined. She has her weaknesses, and, permit me to add, her faults. If now, unfortunately among these faults there might be one of such a repelling nature as to subdue every spark of affection I might formerly have felt towards her, what crime have I then committed if I have failed transforming stone into gold, or a marriage of convenience into one of the heart ?'.
6. But never, dear Bertollon, never have I observed the slightest trace of fault, and one of a repelling nature it is impossible
6. That is because your judgment has misled you,' interrupted Bertollon ; 'and as I consider you my friend, I will frankly confess to you the cause which a short time after our union separated me from her for ever. It is her senseless and uncontrollable rage ; her boundless and destructive violence. Place no confidence in this ice and snow; it is an outward serenity beneath which flames a volcano that would destroy its possessor did it not from time to time emit its fury and desolating influence. Her tranquillity of manner makes her the more to be dreaded, as she broods long over her designs before she executes them. She appears to be the soul of virtue and integrity, but these passions have destroyed in the bud every better propensity. I have penetrated into some of her designs, and could have had no conception that the mind of woman could have harboured anything so dreadful. In this manner you must confess my heart is not likely to be won.'