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the Count and the Princess. The
cess, who continually pressed her to former was a gentleman of the old taste of one or other of the delicacies. school, courteous in the extreme; The Count shook his head: the Princess had been a belle in her “She is not well this evening," said youth, and a woman of fashion all her he. “I thought she would have faintlife, and likely to be attended to. ed just now as she was looking out of
The young man approached the the window at your carriage on its ardaughter and began something of a rival.” complimentary observation ; but his A crimson glow flushed to the very
was embarrassed, and his temples of the daughter ; but she leancompliment ended in an indistincted over her plate, and her tresses cast murmur, while the daughter bowed a shade over her countenance. without looking up, moved her lips When supper was over, they drew without articulating a word, and sunk their chairs about the great fireplace. again into her chair, where she sat The flame and smoke had subsided, gazing into the fire, with a thousand and a heap of glowing embers diffused varying expressions passing over her a' grateful warmth. A guitar, which countenancé.
had been brought from the Count's The singular greeting of the young carriage, leaned against the wall ; the people was not perceived by the old Princess perceived it : “ Can we not ones, who were occupied at the time have a little music before parting for with their own courteous salutations. the night ?” demanded she. It was arranged that they should sup The Count was proud of his daughtogether; and as the Princess travel- ter's accomplishment, and joined in led with her own cook, a very tolera- the request. The young man made ble supper soon smoked
an effort of politeness, and taking up board : : this, too, was assisted by the guitar presented it, though in an choice wines, and liqueurs, and deli- embarrassed manner, to the fair mucate comfitures brought from one of sician. She would have declined it, her carriages; for she was a veteran but was too much confused to do so ; epicure, and curious in her relish for indeed, she was so nervous and agithe good things of this world. She tated, that she dared not trust her was, in fact, a vivacious little old lady, voice to make an excuse. She touchwho mingled the woman of dissipation, ed the instrument with a faltering with the devotee. She was actually hand, and, after preluding a little, acon her way to Loretto to expiate a companied herself in several Polish long life of gallantries and peccadilloes airs. Her father's eyes glistened as by a rich offering at the holy shrine. he sat gazing on her. Even the crusShe was, to be sure, rather a luxuri- ty Caspar lingered in the room, partly ant penitent, and a contrast to the through a fondness for the music of primitive pilgrims, with scrip, and his native country, and chiefly through staff, and cockleshell; but then it his pride in the musician. Indeed, would be unreasonable to expect such the melody of the voice, and the delidenial from people of fashion ; and cacy of the touch, were enough to there was not a doubt of the ample have charmed more fastidious ears. efficacy of the rich crucifixes, and gol- The little Princess nodded her head and den vessels, and jewelled ornaments, tapped her hand to the music, though which she was bearing to the treasury exceedingly out of time; while the of the blessed Virg
nephew sat buried in profound conThe Princess and the Count chatted templation of a black picture on the much during supper about the scenes opposite wall. and society in which they had min 26 And now," said the Count, patgled, and did not notice that they had ting her cheek fondly,
one more faall the conversation to themselves : vour. Let the princess hear that litthe young people were silent and con- tle Spanish air you were so fond of. strained. The daughter ate nothing, You can't think,” added he, “ what a in spite of the politeness of the Prin- proficiency she made in your lan
guage ; though she has been a sad though her gentle nature did not seem girl and neglected it of late."
calculated to harbour any such angry The colour Alushed the pale cheek inmate. of the daughter; she hesitated, mur “He saw me weep!” said she, with mured something; but with sudden a sudden mantling of the cheek, and a effort collected herself, struck the gui- swelling of the throat,~“ but no mattar boldly, and began. It was a ter !-- no matter !" Spanish romance, with something of And so saying, she threw her white love and melancholy in it. She gave arms across the window-frame, buried the first stanza with great expression, her face in them, and abandoned herfor the tremulous, melting tones of her self to an agony of tears. voice went to the heart; but her arti- mained lost in a reverie, until the culation failed, her lip quivered, the sound of her father's and Caspar's song died away,
and she burst into voices in the adjoining room gave totears.
ken that the party had retired for the The Count folded her tenderly in night. The lights gleaming from
“ Thou art not well, my window to window, showed that they child,” said he, “and I am tasking were conducting the Princess to her thee cruelly. Retire to thy chamber, apartment, which was in the oppoand God bless thee !” She bowed to site wing of the inn; and she distinctthe company without raising her eyes, ly saw the figure of the nephew as he and glided out of the room.
passed one of the casements. The Count shook his head as the She heaved a deep heart-drawn door closed. " Something is the mat- sigh, and was about to close the latter with that child.” said he, “which tice, when her attention was caught by I cannot divine. She has lost all words spoken below her window by health and spirits lately. She was two persons who had just turned an always a tender flower, and I had angle of the building. much pains to rear her. Excuse a < But what will become of the poor father's foolishness," continued he, young lady ?” said a voice which she “but I have seen much trouble in my recognized for that of the servant-wofamily ; and this poor girl is all that man. is now left to me, and she used to be 6 Pooh! she must take her chance," so lively_"
was the reply from old Pietro. May be she's in love !” said the “ But cannot she be spared ?" asklittle Princess, with a shrewd nod of ed the other entreatingly;
66 she is so the head.
kind-hearted !! Impossible!” replied the good “ Cospetto! what has got into Count artlessly. “She has never men- thee?" replied the other petulantly; tioned a word of such a thing to me. “ would you mar the whole business
How little did the worthy gentle- for the sake of a silly girl ?" By this man dream of the thousand cares, and time they had got so far from the wingriefs, and mighty love concerns dow that the Polonaise could hear which agitate a virgin heart, and which nothing further. a timid girl scarce breathes unto her There was something in this fragself.
ment of conversation that was calcuThe nephew of the Princess rose lated to alarm. Did it relate to herabruptly and walked about the room. self ?-and if so, what was this im
When she found herself alone in pending danger from which it was her chamber, the feelings of the young entreated that she might be spared ? lady, so long restrained, broke forth She was several times on the point of with violence. She opened the case- tapping at her father's door, to tell ment, that the cool air might blow him what she had heard; but she upon her throbbing temples. Per- might have been mistaken; she might haps there was some little pride or have heard indistinctly; the converpique mingled with her emotions; sation might have alluded to some one
23 ATHENEUM VOL. 2. 2d series.
will see ;
you are lost.”
else; at any rate it was too indefinite " There is a horse behind the inn," to lead to any conclusion. While in this said the woman,
6 from which the state of irresolution, she was startled man has just dismounted who has by a low knocking against the wain- been to summon the aid of a part of scot in a remote part of her gloomy the band who were at a distance.” chamber. On holding up the light, 66 One horse! and there are three she beheld a small door there, which of us !” said the Count. she had not before remarked. It was "And the Spanish Princess !” cried bolted on the inside. She advanced, the daughter anxiously—“ How can and demanded who knocked, and was she be extricated from the danger ?” answered in the voice of the female 66 Diavolo! what is she to me?" domestick. On opening the door, the said the woman in sudden passion. woman stood before.it pale and agi- “It is
I come to save, and you tated.' She entered softly, laying her will betray me and we shall all be finger on her lips in sign of caution lost! Hark!” continued she, “I am
called-I shall be discovered-one “ Fly!” said she : « leave this word more.
This door leads by a house instantly, or you are lost !" staircase to the court-yard. Under
The young lady, trembling with the shed, in the rear of the yard, is a alarm, demanded an explanation. small door leading out to the fields.
“ I have no time,” replied the wo- You will find a horse there; mount man, “I dare not-I shall be missed it; make a circuit under the shadow if I linger here--but fly instantly, or of a ridge of rocks that you
proceed cautiously and quietly until 6 And leave my father ?”
you cross a brook, and find yourself 66 Where is he >>
on the road just where there are three “ In the adjoining chamber.” white crosses nailed against a tree; “ Call him, then, but lose no time.” then put you horse to his speed, and
The young lady knocked at her make the best of your way to the vilfather's door. He was not yet retired lage—but recollect, my life is in your to bed. She hurried into his room, hands—say nothing of what you
have and told him of the fearful warning heard or seen, whatever may happen she had received. The Count re- at this inn.” turned with her into her chamber, followed by Caspar. His questions soon The woman hurried away. A short drew the truth out of the embarrassed and agitated consultation took place answers of the woman. The inn was between the Count, his daughter, and beset by robbers. They were to be the veteran Caspar. The young lady introduced after midnight, when the seemed to have lost all apprehension attendants of the Princess and the for herself in her solicitude for the rest of the travellers were sleeping, safety of the Princess. To fly in and would be an easy prey.
selfish silence, and leave her to be “ But we can barricade the inn, we massacred !" -- A shuddering seized can defend ourselves,” said the Count. her at the very thought. The gallan
" What ! when the people of the try of the Count, too, revolted at the inn are in league with the banditti ?” idea. He could not consent to turn
66 How then are we to escape ? his back upon a party of helpless traCan we not order out the carriage vellers, and leave them in ignorance and depart ?”
of the danger which hung over them. 6 San Francesco! for what? To " But what is to become of the give the alarm that the plot is discov- young lady,” said Caspar, “if the ered ? That would make the robbers alarm is given, and the inn thrown in a desperate, and bring them on you at tumult? What may happen to her in once. They have had notice of the a chance-medley affray ?" rich booty in the inn, and will not ea Here the feelings of the father were sily let it escape them.”
roused; he looked upon the lovely, ? But how else are we to get off?” helpless child, and trembled at the
chance of her falling into the hands of anxious look did the daughter cast ruffians.
back upon the gloomy pile of buildThe daughter, however, thought ing: the lights which had feebly nothing of herself. 6 The Princess! twinkled through the dusty casements the Princess !-only let the Princess were one by one disappearing, a sign know her danger.-She was willing that the house was gradually sinking to share it with her. "
to repose ; and she trembled with imAt length Caspar interfered with the patience, lest succour should not arzeal of a faithful old servant. No rive until that repose had been fatally time was to be lost - the first thing interrupted. was to get the young lady out of dan They passed silently and safely ger. “ Mount the horse," said he to along the skirts of the rocks, protected the Count,“ take her behind you, and from observation by their overhanging fly! Make for the village, rouse the shadows. They crossed the brook, inhabitants, and send assistance and reached the place where three Leave me here to give the alarm to white crosses nailed against a tree the Princess and her people. I am told of some murder that had been an old soldier, and I think we shall committed there. Just as they had be able to stand siege until you send reached this ill-onjened spot they beus aid."
held several men in the gloom comThe daughter would again have in- ing down a craggy defile among the sisted on staying with the Princess rocks.
66 For what ?” said old Caspar “ Who goes there ?” exclaimed a bluntly, “ You could do no good—You voice. The Count put spurs to his would be in the way-We should have horse, but one of the men sprang forto take care of you instead of our- ward and seized the bridle. The selves."
horse became restive, started back, There was no answering these ob- and reared, and had not the young jections: the Count seized his pistols, lady clung to her father, she would and taking his daughter under his arm, have been thrown off. The Count moved towards the staircase. The leaned forward, put a pistol to the young lady paused, stepped back, and very head of the ruffian, and fired. said, faltering with agitation--" There The latter fell dead. The horse is a young cavalier with the Princess sprang forward. Two or three shots - her nephew-perhaps he may—" were fired which whistled by the fu
“ I understand you, Mademoiselle,” gitives, but only served to augment replied old Caspar with a significant their speed. They reached the vil
not a hair of his head shall lage in safety. suffer harm if I can help it !"
The whole place was soon arousThe young lady blushed deeper ed: but such was the awe in which than ever: she had not anticipated the banditti were held, that the inhabbeing so thoroughly understood by the itants shrunk at the idea of encounblunt old servant.
tering them. A desperate band had " That is not what I mean,” said for some time infested that pass she, hesitating. She would have ad- through the mountains, and the inn ded something, or made some expla- had long been suspected of being one nation, but the moments were pre- of these horrible places where the uncious, and her father hurried 'her suspicious wayfarer is entrapped and away.
silently disposed of. The rich ornaThey found their way through the ments worn by the slattern hostess of court-yard to the small postern gate, the inn had excited heavy suspicions. where the horse stood, fastened to a Several instances had occurred of ring in the wall. The Count mounted, small parties of travellers disappearing took his daughter behind him, and mysteriously on that road, who it was they proceeded as quietly as possible supposed, at first, had been carried off in the direction which the woman had by the robbers for the sake of ransom, pointed out. Many a fearful and an but who had never been heard of
Such were the tales buzzed in account of the fight, as I have heard it the ears of the Count by the villagers related in a variety of ways. Suffice as he endeavoured to rouse them to it to say, the robbers were defeated ; the rescue of the princess and her several of them killed, and several train from their perilous situation. taken prisoners; which last, together The daughter seconded the exertions with the people of the inn, were of her father with all the eloquence either executed or sent to the galleys. of prayers, and tears and beauty. I picked up these particulars in the Every moment that elapsed increased course of a journey which I made her anxiety until it became agonizing. some time after the event had taken Fortunately, there was a body of place. I passed by the very inn. It gens-d'armes resting at the village. was then dismantled, excepting one A number of the young villagers vo- wing, in which a body of gens-d'armes lunteered to accompany them, and were stationed. They pointed out to the little army was put in motion. me the shot-holes in the windowTheCount having deposited his daugh- frames, the walls, and the pannels of ter in a place of safety, was too much the door. There were a number of of the old soldier not to hasten to the withered limbs dangling from the scene of danger. It would be diffi- branches of a neighbouring tree, and cult to paint the anxious agitation of the blackening in the air, which I was young lady while awaiting the result. told were the limbs of the robbers
The party arrived at the inn just in who had been slain, and the culprits time. The robbers, finding their who had been executed. The whole plans discovered, and the travellers place had a dismal, wild, forlorn look. prepared for their reception, had be 66 Were any of the Princess's party come open and furious in their attack. killed ?” inquired the Englishman. The Princess's party had barricadoed “ As far as I can recollect, there themselves in one suite of apartments, were two or three.” and repulsed the robbers from the “Not the nephew, I trust," said the doors and windows. Caspar had fair Venetian. shown the generalship of a veteran, « Oh no; he hastened with the and the nephew of the Princess the Count to relieve the anxiety of the dashing valour of a young soldier. daughter by the assurances of victoTheir ammunition, however, was ry. The young lady had been susnearly exhausted, and they would tained throughout the interval of sushave found it difficult to hold out pense by the very intensity of her much longer, when a discharge from feelings. The moment she saw her the musquetry of the gens-d'armes father returning in safety, accompanigave them the joyful tidings of suc- ed by the nephew of the Princess, she
uttered a cry of rapture and fainted. A fierce fight ensued, for part of Happily, however, she soon recoverthe robbers were surprised in the inn, ed, and what is more, was married and had to stand siege in their turn; shortly after to the young cavalier, and while their comrades made desperate the whole party accompanied the old attempts to relieve them from under Princess in her pilgrimage to Loretto, cover of the neighbouring rocks and where her votive offerings may still thickets.
be seen in the treasury of the Santa I cannot pretend to give a minute Case.”
To a beautiful Girl.