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Her back, and piercing through her inmost heart,
But most the proud Honoria feared the event, And thought to her alone the vision sent. Her guilt presents to her distracted mind Heaven's justice, Theodore's revengeful kind, And the same fate to the same sin assigned ; Already sees herself the monster's prey, And feels her heart and entrails torn away. 'Twas a mute scene of sorrow, mixed with fear; Still on the table lay the unfinished cheer: The knight and hungry mastiffs stood around, The mangled darne lay breathless on the ground; When on a sudden, re-inspired with breath, Again she rose, again to suffer death; Nor stayed the hell-hounds, nor the hunter stayed, But followed, as before, the flying maid : The avenger took from earth the avenging sword, And mounting, light as air, his sable steed he spurred: The clouds dispelled, the sky resumed her light, And nature stood recovered of her fright,
But fear, the last of ills, remained behind,
adieu. That sting infixed within her haughty mind, The downfal of her empire she divined; And her proud heart with secret sorrow pined. Home as they went, the sad discourse renewed, Of the relentless dame to death pursued, And of the sight obscene so lately viewed. None durst arraign the righteous doom she bore; Even they, who pitied most, yet blamed her more: The parallel they needed not to name, But in the dead they damned the living dame.
At every little noise she looked behind, For still the knight was present to her mind : And anxious oft she started on the way, And thought the horseman-ghost came thundering
for his prey. . Returned, she took her bed, with little rest, But in short slumbers dreamt the funeral feast: ! Awaked, she turned her side, and slept again; The same black vapours mounted in her brain, s And the same dreams returned with double pain. )
Now forced to wake, because afraid to sleep, Her blood all fevered, with a furious leap She sprung from bed, distracted in her mind, And feared, at every step, a twitching sprite behind.
Darkling and desperate with a staggering pace,
game, And her pursue, or Theodore be slain, And two ghosts join their packs to hunt her o'er the
plain. This dreadful image so possessed her mind, That desperate any succour else to find, She ceased all farther hope; and now began To make reflection on the unhappy man. Rich, brave, and young, who past expression loved, Proof to disdain, and not to be removed : Of all the men respected and admired, Of all the dames, except herself, desired : Why not of her? preferred above the rest By him, with knightly deeds, and open love, pro
fessed? So had another been, where he his vows addressed. This quelled her pride, yet other doubts remained, That, once disdaining, she might be disdained. The fear was just, but greater fear prevailed, Fear of her life by hellish hounds assailed : He took a lowering leave; but who can tell, What outward hate might inward love conceal ? Her sex’s arts she knew, and why not, then, Might deep dissembling have a place in men? Here hope began to dawn; resolved to try, She fixed on this her utmost remedy ; Death was behind, but hard it was to die. 'Twas time enough at last on death to call, The precipice in sight: a shrub was all, That kindly stood betwixt to break the fatal fall.)
One maid she had, beloved above the rest; Secure of her, the secret she confessed;
And now the cheerful light her fears dispelled, )
ORIGINAL, FROM THE DECAMERON.
THE FIFTH DAY.
Anastasio being in love with a young lady, spent a good part of his
fortune without being able to gain her affections. At the request of his relations he retires to Chiassi, where he sees a lady pursued and slain by a gentleman, and then given to the dogs to be devoured. He invites his friends, along with his mistress, to come and dine with him, when they see the same thing, and she, fearing, the like punishment, takes him for her husband.
· When Lauretta had made an end, Philomena began, by the queen's command, thus: Most gracious lady, as pity is a commendable quality in us, in like manner do we find cruelty most severely punished by divine justice ; which, that I may make plain to you all, and afford means to drive it from your hearts, I mean to relate a novel as full of compassion as it is agreeable.
In Ravenna, an ancient city of Romagna, dwelt formerly many persons of quality ; amongst the rest was a young gentleman named Anastasio de gli Honesti, who, by the deaths of his father and uncle, was left immensely rich; and, being a bachelor, fell in love with one of the daughters of Signor Paolo Traversaro (of a family much superior to his own) and was in hopes, by his constant application, to gain her affection : but though his endeavours were generous, noble, and praise-worthy, so far were they from succeeding, that, on the contrary, they rather turned out to his disadvantage; and so cruel, and even savage, was the beloved fair one, (either her singular beauty, or noble descent, having made her thus haughty and scornful,) that neither be, nor any thing that he did, could ever please her. This so afflicted Anastasio, that he