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“ Call me Frank, and I will tell you," said the young my word for it; and as for murder, if you have n't succeeded actor, with a look not to be mistaken.
in murdering us, you 'll go on murdering Shakespeare, I “Is there, Mr. - well then, Frank, if it must be so ? " dare say, for many a year.”
“ Yes, Lilly, there is. If the tide does not soon turn and “ Not on my stage,” growled the manager, as the boat let us off, the boat must swamp or break up in another ten began to lift and disentangle itself; “ not on my stage minutes. But have hope, Lilly; I shall lash you to the no, not in these boots - not it he would play Richard mast if the danger increases. Worst come to the worst, I call-boy's prices. A croaking impostor, to risk all our liva shall strike out for the shore. Think of me sometimes, for a mean revenge. I'll have him drummed out of Scar Lilly, if you are saved and I am lost.”
borough, see if I won't. If it was n't murder, we'd throz Lilly made no reply, but hot tears broke from her eyes him overboard now. Romeo, indeed! Why, he's only ft in big drops; and when Frank clasped her hand and to come on as third murderer in Macbeth. Yah!” pressed her cheek she said nothing, but she did not with- As they passed Filey, the mist thinned, and sunlight draw her hand.
broke out again on the white cliffs and the roofs and merry :-* A strange revival now drew the attention of the lovers. groups on the sand. Frank and Lilly had passed in a mo Flitterby, aroused by the imminent danger of which he had ment from death unto life. Feebly and by degrees Mn. become conscious, and revived by some dozen nips of Mer- Jessop, Patty, and the dresser revived, ventured on some ryweather's flask, now crawled through the water and clung champagne, and began to laugh at their own fears. Flithold of Hargrove's legs.
terby came to also, and assumed a comic mariner tone, “ Hargrove,” said he, “this is dreadful! We're all with many winks at poor, chapfallen, gloomy Hargrove, drowning we're all going down. Help! help!”
and with timid jocosities; for the manager was unappeas: 4 “ You born idiot,” croaked Hargrove, “there is no use able as Achilles, and kept referring to his enormous in acting now. We are really going down. You fool! | gold repeater, as if remonstrating with Providence I'm caught in my own trap. If the tide does not turn di- Even the manager's friend grew more vivacious as the rectly, we shall be food for fishes, sir. I tell you, in balf town of Scarborough hove in sight; Flitterby even broke-17 an hour the English stage will be thrown back twenty out with “ Merrily, merrily bounds the bark,” followed by years. He who would have been the greatest Hamlet of “Let 's all go a-sailing.”. the day will perish with a grinner through a horse-collar, The pier clock struck eight as the boat rounded the a Jew money-lender, a young jackanapes, and three silly north cliffs, and at the sound the manager broke into a women. Lord forgive me for this ! ”
final hurricane. “ Look here, sir," he said, going up to 13:00 Flitterby turned white as the dead at this. Hitherto, poor cowering Hargrove, who looked more like the though miserably ill, he had treated it as a joke. Now his Stranger on his last legs than ever, “mark me! By the fear turned into rage and repentance. He actually got on fiery Flanbango I'll denounce you, sir, to every manager in his legs, and, though the boat rolled heavily, struggled Christendom, and you 'll have to ship off your pettifogging - b across to where the lovers sat, inseparable, careless even of talents to some extreme corner of the Antipodes. •Cassio, death, no eye, no ear but for each other.
be never more an officer of mine.'” The miserable little creature came and lay down before It was quite evident, even to the most ordinary gossips, them. “ It 's that villain did it,” he said, pointing to Har- by the time the “ Fly-by-night ” rounded the pier wall
, grove." It was him, and all to spoil your benefit. He that if Frank Merryweather had lost a benefit, he bad that blethered about knowing the coast, and the reef, and how
day won a wife. to get on and off it with only a little delay; and I was to pretend to be frightened when a sea broke, just to try your mettle, and now, oh! we're all going to be drowned. Forgive me Miss Lilly; forgive me, Merryweather, won't
MONEY-MAKING AT MONACO. you? We shall be all drowned together, so let's die friends, let's be sociable, Mr. Frank and Miss Lilly, at the last hour. They 'll talk of us in London. There 'll be a leader on us in the Daily Tel. Oh, my poor old mother, Bradshaw, or any other intelligent guide-book, will what a loss to her!”
probably tell you that Monaco is a principality exquisitely It was impossible not to smile at the poor creature's sor- situated on a large rock projecting into the beautiful blue row and repentance, his cowardice and vanity, with the Mediterranean; and will probably continue to prose about one redeeming thought for the old mother he supported. its natural beauties through two or three pages at least
. “ Bear it like a man, Flitterby," said Merryweather, That the intelligent guide-books are perfectly right in still clasping Lilly; "there may be hope yet. They may their description there can be no manner of doubt; but if see us from the shore if the mist was only to lift. Keep any one were to take the trouble of watching the hundreds some heart, man, for shame; at the worst it will all soon of visitors who daily flock there from the neighboring be over."
towns of Nice, Menton, Antibes, Cannes, etc., he would A great wave, as Frank turned to Lilly and pressed her see how little attention is paid by them to the lovely landcloser to him, broke over the boat, struck down the mana- scape by which they are surrounded, and how, for the ger and Hargrove, who wallowed together, and nearly most part, they walk hastily to the one attraction of the washed Flitterby overboard. The end had come. Mrs. place, namely, the gambling rooms, and only leave them Jessop fell on her knees and prayed; Lilly clung closer to when, to use a gambler's expression, they are completely Frank, unable at that last moment to conceal her love. cleaned out. It is only after this unpleasant operation Just then a wild scream and shout broke from the boy, has been performed by Monsieur Blanc's croupier that the who had been hanging head down over the head of the beautiful scenery has any chance of being looked at, and boat. “ Hoorah! she's loosening, gents,” he cried; “I even then it is not properly appreciated. After losing can feel the sand boiling under the keel.' We shall be off heavily, a man is not in the humor to be consoled by look: in a jiffey, gents, if the sea don't stave her in. We must ing at a motionless blue sea and sky, or grand-looking all bale now to lighten her.".
mountains, or by inhaling the sweet perfume of innumerSo saying, the delighted hobble-de-hoy seized hold of able orange and lemon groves. The whole thing seems Flitterby's shiny new hat, and began splashing out the stale, flat, and unprofitable; and what seems still more water for dear life.
wonderful is, that after a good day at trente et quarante
, “ God be thanked !” said Hargrove with some real feel- or a few lucky shots at roulette, the regular gambler is in ing, or a very fair assumption of it. " Then I shall shuffle too excited a state of mind to care for gazing on the scene off this mortal coil without foul murder on my soul.” before him, and will turn more naturally
to the good din. Merryweather, who was squeezing Lilly's hands, and ner that awaits bim at the Hôtel de Paris, or the evening's half wild with joy, laughed as he looked up and said, “No, concert by M. Blanc's inimitable orchestra. Thus it is no, Mr. Hargrove, you have n't done shuffling yet, take that the gardens and terraces of the Casino, so profusely
BY P. FENDALL.
laid out and stocked with the choicest plants — the cactus, etc., all contributing largely to the spectacle éblouissant;" palm-tree, aloes, and hedges of geraniums all growing but it is only "ces femmes," as the French contemptibly abundantly — are comparatively deserted, save by two or term their modern Aspasias, who dare appear in public with three officers from the Monaco army, and a few nurses diamonds on their wrists, hands, heads, and even feet. The and children from the neighboring botels. The fascina- “bals de société” given by the administration " at Monaco tion of gambling is far beyond any other attraction; and are the dullest as well as the most amusing things going. there was an amusing story told at Hombourg a few years The ladies and gentlemen staying at the Hôtel de Paris ago, that on one occasion when Patti was holding her are all duly invited; but as none of the former have ever whole audience spell-bound in the mad scene of Lucia, a been known to accept Monsieur Blanc's hospitality, the man suddenly rushed in and exclaimed, " There is a run question arises as to who there is to dance with. In this of twelve red; " and in one moment the theatre was predicament, the “administration" invites all the official empty. That such a lovely place and heavenly climate ladies of Monaco — the wives of the lawyer, the judge, should be thrown away on its present frequenters seems the general of the army, etc.; and if all these ladies can very lamentable, and we cannot help wondering at the be united in one evening, there are perhaps six or eight reckless extravagance which Blanc has lavished on his couples to be seen dancing when the fête is at its height. pandemonium, considering how little his generosity is ap- At these solemn and strictly respectable entertainments preciated by his victims. Nothing, however, is done by there are generally a dozen men to one lady. Think what that gentleman in a mean or niggardly spirit; and it may a paradise this would be for the Brighton or Cheltenham be some consolation for ruined gamblers to know that“ la girls, where the proportion is so distractingly on the other famille Blanc" is renowned for its charitable gifts, not side! A very good supper is provided free of expense, only in the environs of Monaco, but also in Paris, where and refreshments handed round during the entr'actes of Madame Blanc is most assiduous in promoting and sustain- the dancing; but with all these luxuries, the beautiful ing charitable societies. When the pigeon bas been room is nearly empty, and the magnificent orchestra plays plucked to its uttermost farthing, and has even played - Strauss's valses to empty benches and unappreciative feet. à fact which very often occurs - the money put aside to It is, however, when the pigeon-shooting matches come off take him to some purer spot on God's earth, he may apply that Monaco is really seen at its fullest glory; then no to the bank for what is known in gambling slang as the place is to be found, far or near, on which to lay your *riatique," namely, the money to enable him to travel head at night, unless you have taken rooms weeks beforeand leave “ ce lieu de perdition.” But this money is not hand. Five gambling-tables are kept incessantly going forthcoming until the loser has been put through a severe from 11.30 A. M. till 11.30 P. M.; the click of the roulette cross-examination, and still more unpleasant inspection ball is uninterrupted, the monotonous tones of the trente by all the croupiers ; after which, a sum varying from et quarante croupiers unceasing. You must use sheer three to five hundred francs will be accorded him. The force to gain a place at either table, and money is thrown latter sum, however, is only given in the case of very frantically over the heads of the assembled multitude, so heavy losses, three hundred francs being considered suffi- eager are the visitors to lose their money and have excitecient to take a man comfortably to Paris, where every civ- ment at any cost. Taking all things into consideration, ilized person is supposed to have friends. After being however, it is doubtful whether any place could possibly paraded by the caissier through the salons, so that the be more attractive than Monte Carlo. Given an unequalled croupiers and mouchards ” who are there for the purpose climate, perpetual sunshine, complete shelter from the cold may testify to the fact of your having really lost, you are winds, an hotel which, though excessively expensive, gives conducted to “ La Caisse," an apartment on the first floor, you your money's worth, excellent music iwice a day, where you sign a receipt for the money, and go on your operatic performances twice a week, and a man must be way rejoicing, never more, however, to enter the gambling very hard to please who does not find time pass easily rooms until those few hundred francs have been religiously and pleasantly in the little principality on the Mediterraand honorably returned to the bank. We asked the secretary whether they often lost the money thus advanced. “Rarement,” he replied dryly; "on revient toujours.". This winter, after the slight excitement of “l'homme qui s'est brûlé la cervelle dans le ventre” as that would be
THE FIVE COBBLERS OF BRESCIA. suicide was laughingly denominated to me by one of the employés — had passed away, and the celebrated Maltese Radiant summer was reigning over the rugged and player had left, there was little in the play to interest the picturesque old city of Brescia L'Armata. Italian sunimpartial looker-on.
shine wrought its magic on everything. A blue elysian There was a marked improvement in the character of haze encircled the town, with gold-green acacias peering the people frequenting the salons this year. Every one sleepily through it, olive-hued poplars piercing it, and the admitted bad to procure a card of invitation from the fairy-like towers of rock-borne fortresses shining rosily " administration," which was only delivered by your giv- across it out of the sky. Red roofs and chimneys burned; ing your own name and address. Thus many of the demi- tall, dingy houses lifted their painted brows out of black monde who yearly flock to Monaco were denied admittance, depths of shadow, and grew brilliant with gazing at the and had to return disconsolate to Paris. It is a pity that Narrowest vicoletti breaking the blocks of the dwellthis rule was not more impartially carried out, as many of ings looked like dark fissures in a mountain ; fresco pictthese ladies hailing from the Vaterland were admitted, ures on the fronts of the houses in the open streets blazed owing, we suppose, to Blanc's large German connection ; with — almost — their original color, and oleanders in the whilst others, because they were French and well known, rusty balconies flashed out pink and scarlet and crimson, were refused the entrance to what is to them Elysium. making garlands of fire all down the time-darkened walls. The show of diamonds in a gambling salon is always re- A young girl was entering the town by a hilly road on markable, and this year the display at Monte Carlo sur- the outskirts, a solitary figure, threading the tall poplars, passed anything of the kind we ever remember to have and surrounded by a background of scenery, like one of seen. Juliette Beau, with her solitaire ear-rings, valued Titian's pictures. A blending of the gay, the fantastic, at one bundred thousand francs, and Lassény, with the and the sombre were noticeable in the face and apparel of produce of six years' indifferent acting in Russia, were this maiden, making her peculiarly picturesque, as she adalone enough to dazzle any one, and when joined by Mlle. vanced out of the ethereal blues and greens of the distance, Delval (Silly's sister), wńo bad a fresh parure for every and took her way through the deep-colored streets of the dress she
wore, were almost sufficient to light up the rooms town. without the aid of gas. Les grandes dames were naturally It was evidently all new to her, for she gazed at everynot behind in this exhibition of precious stones, la Princesse thing as a foreigner gazes. In the market-place she peeped Souwarow, la Comtesse de Galve, la Princesse Corsokoff
, curiously under the great white umbrellas of the fruit
and spoke in broken Italian when she purchased a “ You can go elsewhere,” said Grifone. piece of ripe melon, to quench her thirst of travel. The “ Trust her, my sons!" said Ubaldo. « She is a stras two strange men of metal who hammer out the hour on the face of the great clock made her start as they stepped for- The girl looked up and down the street, bending the ward to their work, and the paintings on the fronts of the broken shoe back and forwards in her hands, and then houses, with their curious stories told in half brilliant, glanced wistfully at the row of men who refused to help her half-blotted colors, had a fascination for her as she leaned “ If I had a needle and thread I could do it myself," she against a wall and enjoyed her refreshment. The market said. was going on at the time. Carts rolled about, voices sang “That you could not !” cried the old man.
" Give it and shouted, the yellow curtains fluttered out from the
And he turned it over and over on his knees. black shadows of the little shops at the side of the street, was a dainty little thing, made of finest leather, embroi figures of young girls, of mothers with children, appeared dered in colored silks. “ Pretty, very pretty!" said among the fire-flowers in the balconies and nodded down Ubaldo; “but not like what a peasant maiden wears. The to other people who were gazing up from below. A stone work is too fine for my trembling fingers.” pierced the girl's shoe, which was worn with walking, and And he handed it on to Trifonius, who surveyed it sushe sat down on the steps of a church and examined it rue- piciously. fully. There was an ugly hole : the owner made a little “ Stolen !” he said, and flung it to Grifone, who tossed wry face as she looked at it, then laughed, and put it on it to Prisco. again..." I shall earn a pair of strong ones before long," “ Gentlemen,” cried the girl, “ if you will not belp me she said to herself, though not in Italian. “I must pick do not hurt me. I will go farther and find kinder fellow. my steps until then.” The shoe was certainly not a peas- creatures." ant's shoe, yet the girl was dressed like a peasant. Her “ Not so fast, little one !” said Prisco. “ It is a pretty brown skirt, black bodice, and white chemisette were of shoe, and deserves to be mended." the coarsest materials. Bare and sunburnt were her pretty, And he fell to work upon it clumsily. He was not at al round arms and delicate bands; a scarlet sash hung round skilful, and tore the delicate leather with his handling. her waist, and scarlet ribbons tied up her hair — silky dark “A curse on it!" he cried. “It is too nice for me?" hair, a little bronzed at the edges. Her face was plump, “Give it to Il Garzone !” said Ubaldo. dimpled, and exquisitely moulded; her eyes were dark, And Silvio, the other young man, took the vexations luminous, and fu!l of humor. A white coif sheltered the shoe in his hands, smiled at its neatness, chose a fine bit of eyes at present, and threw a transparent, flickering shadow leather, and put a delicate little patch upon the rent. Then all round the face. After the accident to her shoe the he presented it with a look of simple good-will to the young stranger walked cautiously and with a little limp stranger maiden, who drew it on her foot and clapped her through the streets of Brescia, and the people looked after hands with delight to see how strongly it was mended. her as she went.
“I will repay - I will repay! Will you trust me ?" In a street wbich descends a bill five cobblers were she cried, fixing her eyes upon Silvio. sitting in the open air, busily engaged with their work. “ That I will,” he said, earnestly. They sat on five wooden stools, which were close together "It is nothing to him," said Prisco, quickly. "He is in a line, and each man supported his feet on the rail of only our apprentice. Without our permission he could not the seat of his neighbor. It almost seemed as if they all have put a stitch in it.” rode a single wooden horse down the brow of the hill, in “I ihank every one,” said the girl; “but bim the most. 80 close and straight a file had they ranged themselves. Ah! now I can walk farther and look for work." First in the row was a very old man, with white hair and “ Are you looking for work?” cried Prisco. “What a placid countenance, who waxed his thread often, and was can you do?_Can you mend my boots ? " slow at his work; next, bis sons, two elderly men, singu- “No; but I can scrub a floor, cook a dinner, dance, sing, larly like each other, except that the expression of the one and tell the truth." was morose and abstracted, while that of the other was " She is a lively creature,” whispered Prisco to bis uncle nervous and fierce; fourthly, a good-looking young man, Grisone. “Wby not hire her at once to supply our need?" with lively eyes and a confident air, who gazed about the “ Well thought on!” said Grifone. “ So friendless and street between every two of his stitches; and, last of all, poor, she would work for next to nothing.” second young man, with an earnest, intelligent face, who “And we can send her away without notice, if she ofseemed to give all bis attention to his work. As our limp- fends," growled Trifonius. ing maiden came down the street she caught sight of this “ It were & charitable act,” said Ubaldo ; « but here group, and, hastening up to them, pointed to her broken comes La Mugnaia, returning from her search." shoe.
A tall, meagre-looking woman came up the street and “ Ciabattini?” she asked eagerly.
joined the group La Mugnaia was gauni and sallow, with Yes, they were cobblers, answered the men, raising their a square, wrinkled face, white teeth, and large brown eyes; five heads and gazing in surprise at the liveliness and her bead completely bound up in a yellow handkerchief. beauty of her face. Ubaldo, the old man, looked at her She looked stern and wary, like an old soldier; but when kindly; Trifonius, the morose, and Grifone, the fiery, re- she smiled, her fine brown eyes softened, and a surprising garded her with grudging admiration; while the two sunshine warmed up the weather-beaten countenance. young men, Prisco, the son of Trifonius, and Silvio, the “Well, Orsola !” said Trifonius,“ have you succeeded apprentice, gazed round at her over their shoulders with in finding us a maid to take care of our house ? " the liveliest interest and delight. As they all stared, with “ No, indeed," said Orsola. their thread suspended, the young stranger suddenly broke “There is a young girl here who is seeking for work," into a peal of the most deliciously mirthful laughter, which said Ubaldo. " Question her." shook in the air like the song of a lark, and made the five “What can you do ?" asked the woman of the girl. cobblers also laugh, though they did not know what they “ Put me in a house and try me.” were laughing at.
“ What payment do you expect ?" “ You all look so funny!” cried the girl, drawing forth a “Food and shelter, and anything you like. I have to fine wbite handkerchief and wiping the tears of merriment work up the price of mending my shoe.” from her eyes. “ I will take ber with me to Verona,” said La Mugnaia
, “This is not business !" growled Trifonius.
" and there I will prove her. If you see her coming back pay?"
you may hire her.” “We do not work for nothing," said Grifone.
" It is a great deal of trouble for nothing," grumbled “I have no money at present,” said the girl ; “but I Prisco. mean to pay you afterwards."
“La Mugnaia is a sensible woman,” said Ubaldo. “Let “ It will not do," said Trifonius.
her manage our affairs.”
6 Can you
" If the signora will allow me to add some strong san- “ Most of them being torments," said Trifonius. dals to her shoes,” said Silvio, “she will be better able for “She will torment us yet!” growled Grifone. the journey."
The ancient Ubaldo was beld in much esteom among his The two women departed for Verona, and the cobblers friends in Brescia; also his sons Trifonius and Grifone. went on with their work. During the week that followed They bad all followed the cobbling profession from their many a glance was cast up the street by which the stranger youth, had laid up some money, and walked in honest maiden was expected to return, till, at last, one day, Silvio ways. Prisco, who was their pride, was to be endowed startled the rest by crying out,
with their savings, being already crowned with the halo of " Here is La Scarpetta coming over the hill !”
their good name.
The future welfare of Prisco was the “Bravo !” said Ubaldo. “It is a good name - the constant theme of their thoughts. Anything was good or Little Shoe.'"
bad, according as it affected the glory of Prisco. **] foresee she will torment us,” said Grifone.
“ This servant-maid has bewitched our son," whispered * Rob us, perhaps," said Trifonius.
Grisone into the ear of Trifonius, one holiday, as they set off " Or make us very happy,” said Silvio, whose gaze was for a walk round the town. Prisco was always known as fastened gladly on the merry eyes and twinkling feet of the our son " among the elders. girl wbo was tripping down the hill.
“ Nonsense!" cried Trifonius. “It is Silvio who is in * You are a pair of old grumblers," said Prisco to his love with her.” father and uncle. “ As for you,” turning to Silvio, “re- “ You take this too easily,” said Grifone. “Prisco, I tell member, you are only the apprentice.”
you, is also infatuated. And do you think she will prefer "Nay, Prisco; you surely do not want fight again," Silvio, the penniless, to our son, who will inherit our propsaid Silvio, good bumoredly. And Prisco frowned, but erty and fine position in the town ?” pretended not to hear.
• This is too absurd,” said Trifonius. “A foreigner, who “Now, tell us where you have been since," said Triso- dropped from nowhere upon us; a beggar, who cannot even oius, " that we may know if you have been really with tell who were her parents. What do you propose to do ?” Orsola."
“Send her away, of course.” “I bave been living in her little mill out in the Adige,” “ Ah,” said Trifonius," she has made us so very comfortasaid the girl. “The water rushed under our feet and all ble. Let us first reason with the young people." round us. The streets were above us, and people gazed “ You are a fool; but here is Prisco." down at us from dark arches over the water. "We reached Prisco," said Trifonius, "I am anxious to tell you that our mill by a plank, swinging on ropes, across the river. you must not think of marrying La Scarpetta." At night we carried a lantern, that we might not walk into “ I do not think of it," said Prisco, moodily, “ though I the flood. La Mugnaia was hard as flint on the first few cannot deny it would make me happy. If she were the days, and sweet as honey at the last. She sent you a cake daughter of a rich tradesman now
There must be some I have baked, a shirt I have washed, and a stocking I have little honor and show about my wedding.", mended."
“ Our son ! our true son !” cried both the fathers. The cake was tasted and eaten to the crumbs, the shirt “ You will give her to the Garzone,” said Grifone, joywas white as snow, the stocking was sound and no lumps fully. on the sole.
“ Are you mad ?” cried Prisco. “ He has not a friend " Go into the house,” said Ubaldo ; and La Scarpetta in the world, and has not even learned his trade yet. Bebecame housekeeper to the cobblers. The next evening sides, she keeps us both at an equal distance." Prisco and Silvio each presented her with a pair of sturdy “Good girl!” said Trisonius. " It is better thus, as she shoes of his own making. Prisco's were large and clumsy, makes us so very comfortable.” and fell off her feet; but Silvio's fitted her to a nicety. La Scarpetta was standing at the fountain in the marketStrongly and safely shod, she danced about the floor in de place, with her empty pitcher poised on the brim, looking light, while Silvio whistled a tune for her, and Prisco down into the quivering, golden water. The diamond ripgnawed his lips in the corner.
ples broke over the piquant face, the warm neck and arms, "I am deeply in debt,” said the little dancer, looking at and the colors of her dress; then melted away and allowed ber shoes, and then at the Garzone.
her eyes to meet their own gaze in the tranquil depths of "Give me the old ones, and I am paid,” said Silvio. the basin. "I also have a right to them," said Prisco; “for my. “And this is I!” said the servant-maid, looking at shoes would fit if she would only go soberly."
herself. “Ah, they will never find me out. How sweet it "You shall each have one," said the maiden.
is to taste liberty and to be loved!” "I will have both,” said Prisco.
Voices caught her ear, speaking close beside her, distinct "She sball do as she pleases," said: Silvio.
from the noise of the street. Some men stopped to read a " Shall ? ” cried Prisco, insolently. “You, who came to large-lettered bill, which was posted on the wall of the us a pauper — you think to give law in the house ! ”
fountain. "Give up the shoes ! ” said Silvio, determinedly.
“ Whom can this be?” said one. “ Is ebe some thief, Come, come ! ” cried Ubaldo. “ They belong to the whom they want to catch, or is it a wilful lady who has run house, and we will use them as a sign of our trade." away from her friends ? " And the little shoes were hung up in the window, with “I cannot guess," said another. “ They have worded their broken soles hid from view and their embroidered it so very carefully." toes turned out to the light.
La Scarpetta turned round, and eyed the men with a After this the house of the Five Cobblers proved to be frightened stare, hurriedly filled her pitcher, and then, sudthe merriest house in Brescia. La Scarpetta was found denly, all the strength went out of her arms. As the men quick, active, and with a genius for making people comfort- passed on she was left standing quite alone, motionless able
. She was more child than woman in her froliesome gazing at the bill on the wall. Silvio found her thus as he ways; yet, had wit and shrewdness enough to carry on her passed by the fountain, coming home from his holiday walk. business , and give point
and liveliness to ber speech. She The anguish of distress in her face filled him with amazehad also a certain dignity and independence of manner, ment. Never had he seen the saucy, mirth.provoking which won her the respect of her many masters
. She made maiden look like this before. ber markets before they were up in the morning, served “Scarpetta! Carina! Fellow-servant !” he exclaimed in their food delicately, kept the place garnished with flowers, wonder. “ Is she suddenly changed to stone, that she does and often sat at the door, in the cool of the evening, chat- not even hear when one speaks to her?". ting to them while she mended the household linen, or “ Oh, Silvio, is it you ? Lift the pitcher to my mouth, helped with the finer parts of the cobbling.
will you? I am so thirsty. That will do. And have you, * Our sister-in-law has suited us well," said Ubaldo. also, been keeping holiday all alone ? " * This woman was really born for the comfort of man." · Yes; and do let me say it once: I have been longing to
I have been out in the vineyards, where we can believe what we will. The appeal of his uncle they are gathering the grapes. I have been haunted by a father, their earnest request that he would not marry picture of La Scarpetta with a basket of grapes on her Scarpetta, had given a reality, as of proof, to his faith. head. That is how you ought to live, playing about in the he watched the young girl, who had forgotten his presence beautiful open country, instead of being shut up in this vul- she sighed bitterly; and he sprang to her side.
“Have courage, ma bella I” he said. “ It is, indeed! “How odd you are, Silvio! Imagine any of my other hard fate; but time will cure this wound.” masters taking the fancy to put a basket of grapes on my “What do you mean?” asked Scarpetta, turning white head! Where do you get these pictures, I wonder, being than before, and thinking that the secret of her identis but a cobbler? I see them shining behind your eyes, was discovered. sometimes, when you do not give them forth."
“I am grieved that I cannot offer you my hand. I “ Being but the apprentice of a cobbler, and not even not for want of affection that I swear to you; bat one of your masters, you might say. Well, I would rather world requires some sacrifice of our feelings.” be your fellow-servant than the finest master-cobbler in The girl stared at him — at the self-complacent, send Brescia. As for the pictures, I suppose they come from my mental look on his face — and catching the full absurdity father, who was a famous artist, and through whose fault I of his meaning, broke into a fit of such merry laughter am now where I stand. I am too proud to speak of this to brought the color to her cheeks again, and transformed the vulgar; but I feel no pride towards my little fellow-ser- her for a moment into the old Scarpetta once more. vant. I was brought up by relations in bitter dependence, was delightful to her to hear the sound of her own laugt and I left them to learn a trade. With the help of that ter again; and she laughed and laughed to the echo, with lowly trade I sball place myself where I like.”
the most exquisite sense of fun and enjoyment of Priscal " And you have learned it well; for I notice that they discomfiture, who blushed, and frowned, and at last give you all the delicate work. But, Silvio, will you read stamped with his feet, and walked away to the door. He for me what is printed on this bill upon the wall ?” saw through the fury of his confusion a horseman riding
" It is an advertisement for the capture of a young girl up to the door, while Scarpetta's irritating laughter wa who has hidden herself — either from justice, her friends, dying away in gasps of ecstasy over his shoulder ; and or her enemies. A reward is offered for her discovery: then there came suddenly a quick, sharp cry of anguish She has a beautiful face, and is supposed to have crossed from within, snapping the music of those mirthful siglas the Alps all alone – Scarpetta!”
followed by a crash of something breaking. Prisco turned The girl had turned white as death, and caught at his his head in astonishment. The dish that Scarpetta had arm to keep herself from falling.
been holding was smashed upon the floor, and she had raz“ Silvio, Silvio ! where shall I de myself ?”
Silvio supported her to the fountain and dipped her “ Diavolo !” cried Prisco, “the girl is a witch!" and little ice-cold hands in the water.
then he saw the strange horseman beckoning, and went “Poor child, poor child !” he said, in amazement. out to the street to speak to him. “ And this is your story ? ”
La Scarpetta was on her knees in an upper chamber, “ Hide me, my friend!”
peeping with one eye from behind the window-curtain. “ That would be madness, poverina !” said Silvio. The strange horseman was richly dressed and of haughty “ You are safer at your work as the cobblers’ servant, than bearing, with a dark, harsh countenance and a sottish comyou would be in the cunningest hiding-place. You must plexion. stay indoors as much as possible for a while, and I will " It is bel it is he !” wailed the girl, quailing as his eye watch for you all I can.”
roved over the house; and she retreated, wringing her “ You do not ask me why I am so terrified, and what I hands, into the darkest corner of the room. have done.”
“ Ah!” she moaned, " what folly, what ill-luck is mine! " You shall tell me what you please, and when you Were I Silvio's wife, I need not suffer this anguish of fear. please. I cannot love you more than I do, and I will not Oh, now indeed I know that I love him, since this agony is love
you less. You have forbidden me to speak to like upon me; but I have made him afraid of me, and I am this
given up to my fate!” “ Ah, it was so good to be at peace.”
At the same moment the evil-looking horseman was I will not spoil your peace. "Let me be your friend in pointing with his finger to the pretty little embroidered this difficulty."
shoes, which had been taken from La Scarpetta, and hung “ Heaven bless you, my friend. Now, Silvio, go, and let up as a sign of their trade in the window of the cobblers. me get home in my own fashion.”
" These shoes are stolen goods,” he was saying. “I Left alone once more, the young girl lifted her pitcher command you to give them up to me, and to tell me how and took her way bravely, though with pale cheeks, through you came by them." the streets, which, late a refuge, had now grown a terror “You are under a mistake, Signor,” said Ubaldo, who to her. She shrank a little at sight of every bill posted on had come up, and was holding the stranger's horse by the a wall, and fancied that the people gazed strangely at her head, merely as a mark of attention, for the as she passed along the path. When sbe returned to the looked too tired to have any wish to run away. cobblers' dwelling she found Prisco alone in the house, came by the shoes honestly ; but if the Signor leaning dejectedly against the doorway, and reflecting how buy them hard it was that his position in the world would not allow • You bought them, perhaps, from a young woman who him to bestow his hand on La Scarpetta.
came travelling through the town. You have seen the walls " Here she comes, looking as pale as a ghost. Never placarded with inquiries regarding her. Tell me where to was a girl so changed. I can no longer have any doubt find her, and you shall be handsomely rewarded.” that she frets at my coldness; yet I dare not tell my elders " It is many weeks since she called on us here, and got that she is in love with me. Ah! why am I so delightful ? a strong pair of shoes in exchange for these," said Ubaldo.
would not have her sent out on the world because of the “ She was in a hurry to be off, and inquired about the road warmth of her heart!”
to Milan." Prisco sighed as the young girl set down her pitcher and It is dreadful to think of an old man telling falsehoods silently began her accustomed occupations. It had been like this. Let us pray that Heaven forgave him. Prisco, too painful to this self-loving youth to believe that La Scar- with Scarpetta's irritating laughter still ringing in his ears, petta preferred Silvio, and he had gradually endowed her had a sterner regard for the truth, and called after the with an imaginary devotion to himself. He found it pleas- stranger as he rode away, ant to dwell on the fancy that he had tenderly rejected her. “ I advise you not to leave the town without searching This idea, at first a plain fallacy, had imperceptibly become it well.” He was not wicked enough to give her up on the a delusion of his mind; for, when we will what to believe, spot to her foe, but he was pleased to avenge himself by