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body fell inward upon me, even as I unclosed it. The weakness, however, left me the moment I had sprung from that hideous embrace. I stood for an instant in the fresh air and reviving light of the hall, and then proceeded to move the body to a place where I could examine its features more favourably. Great heaven! what was my horror upon discovering that they were those of the interesting stranger whom I had met on the road the evening before.

The rest of my story is soon told. The household of the inn were rapidly collected, and half the inhabitants of the hamlet identified the body as that of a gentleman well known in the country. But even after the coroner's inquest was summoned, there was no light thrown upon his fate, until my drunken landlord was brought before the jury. His own testimony would have gone for little, but he produced a document which in a few words told

the whole story. It was a note, left with him the evening before by Mr. to be handed to me as soon as I should arrive at the inn. It briefly thanked me for the slight courtesy rendered him at the blacksmith's, and mentioning, that notwithstanding all precaution, his horse had fallen dead lame, and he should be obliged to pass the night at Wolfswald, he would still further trespass upon my kindness, by begging to occupy the same apartment with me. It stated that owing to some organic affection of his system, he had long been subject to the most grievous fits of nightmare, during which, he still preserved sufficient powers of volition to move to the bed of his servant, who being used to his attacks, would of course take the necessary means to alleviate them. The note concluded by saying, that the writer had less diffidence in preferring his request to be my room-mate, inasmuch, as owing to the crowded state of the house, I was sure of being thrust in upon some

one.

The reason why the ill-fated gentleman had been so urgent to press homeward, was now but too apparent, and my indignation at the drunken innkeeper, in neglecting to hand me his note, knew no bounds. Alas! in the years which have since gone by, there

has been more than one moment, when the reproaches which I then lavished upon him, have come home to myself. For the piteously appealing look of the dying man long haunted me; and I sometimes, still, hear his moan in the autumnal blast that wails around my

casement.

NOTES OF A READER.

THE PAST." It is a singular law of human life, that the past, which apparently no longer forms a portion of our existence, never dies; new shoots, as it were, spring up at different intervals and places, all bearing the indelible characteristics of the parent stock; the circular emblem of eternity is suggested by this meeting and recurrence of the broken ends of our life."

MUTUAL AFFECTION."

'Nothing

could be more pure and entire than their affection, and there was between them that mingling of hearts which words cannot describe; but which, whenever it is experienced, in whatever relation in life, is unalloyed happiness. There was a total absence of disguise, or covert censure, of mutual diffidence; perfect confidence gave rise to the fearless utterance of every idea, and there was repose, and yet an enjoyment in the sense of sympathy and truth, which filled and satisfied."

GIRLHOOD.-Let Lord Byron say what he will of bread and butter, girlhood is a beautiful season, and its love

—its warm, uncalculating, devoted love -so exaggerating in its simplicity-so keen from its freshness-is the very poetry of attachment; after-years have nothing like it. To know that the love which once seemed eternal can have an end, destroys its immortality; and thus brought to a level with the beginnings and endings, the chances and changes of life, common-place employments and pleasures—and, alas! from the sublime to the ridiculous, there is but a step; our divinity turns out an idol; we are grown too wise, too worldly for our former faith, and we laugh at what we wept before; such laughter is more bitter-a thousand times more bitter, than tears.

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GIANNINO PASQUALI was a smart tailor some five years ago, occupying a cool shop on one of the smaller canals of Venice. Four pairs of suspenders, a print of the fashions, and a motley row of the gay-coloured trousers worn by the gondoliers, ornamented the window looking on the dark alley in the rear, and, attached to the post of the water-gate on the canal side, floated a small black gondola, the possession of which afforded the same proof of the prosperity of the Venetian tailor which is expressed by a horse and buggy at the door of a snip in London. The palace-seeking traveller, who, nez en l'air, threaded the tangled labyrinth of alleys and bridges between the Rialto and St. Marc's, would scarce have observed the humble shop window of Pasquali, yet he had a consequence on the Piazza, and the lagoon had seen his triumphs as an amateur gondolier. Giannino was some thirty (25.)

years of age, and his wife Fiametta, whom he had married for her zecchini, was on the shady side of fifty.

If the truth must be told, Pasquali had discovered that, even with a bag of sequins for eye-water, Fiametta was not always the most lovely woman in Venice. Just across the canal lived old Donna Bentoccata, the nurse, whose daughter Turturilla was like the blonde in Titian's picture of the Maries; and to the charms of Turturilla, even seen through the light of leaden poverty, the unhappy Pasquali was far from insensible.

The festa of San Antonio arrived after a damp week of November, and though you would suppose the atmosphere of Venice not liable to any very sensible increase of moisture, Fiametta, like people who live on land, and who have the rheumatism as a punishment for their age and ugliness, was usually confined to her brazero of hot coals till it was dry enough on the Lido for the peacocks to walk abroad. On this festa, however, San Antonio being, as

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every one knows, the patron saint of Padua, the Padovese were to come down the Brenta, as was their custom, and cross over the sea to Venice to assist in the celebration; and Fiametta once more thought Pasquali loved her for herself alone, when he swore by his rosary that unless she accompanied him to the festa in her wedding dress, he would not turn an oar in the race, nor unfasten his gondola from the door-post. Alas! Fiametta was married in the summer solstice, and her dress was as permeable to the wind as cobweb or gossamer. Is it possible you could have remembered that, O wicked Pasquali ?

It was a day to puzzle a barometer; now bright, now rainy; now gusty as a corridor in a novel, and now calm as a lady after a fit of tears. Pasquali was up early and waked Fiametta with a kiss, and, by way of unusual tenderness, or by way of ensuring the wedding dress, he chose to play dressingmaid, and arranged with his own hands her jupon and fazzoletta. She emerged from her chamber, looking like a slice of orange-peel in a flower-bed, but smiling and nodding, and vowing the day warm as April, and the sky with out a cloud. The widening circles of an occasional drop of rain in the canal, were nothing but the bubbles bursting after a passing oar, or perhaps the last flies of summer. Pasquali swore it was weather to win down a pearl.

As Fiametta stepped into the gondola, she glanced her eyes over the way and saw Turturilla, with a face as sorrowful as the first day in Lent, seated at her window. Her lap was full of work, and it was quite evident that she had no thought of being at the festa. Fiametta's heart was already warm, and it melted quite at the view of the poor girl's loneliness.

"Pasquali mio!" she said, in a deprecating tone, as if she was very uncertain how the proposition would be received, "I think we could make room for poor Turturilla!"

A gleam of pleasure, unobserved by the confiding sposa, tinted faintly the smooth olive cheek of Pasquali.

"Eh! diavolo!" he replied, so loud that the sorrowful sempstress heard, and hung down her head still lower; must you then pity every cheese

paring of a regazza who happens to have no lover? Have reason! have reason! The gondola is narrower than your brave heart, my fine Fiametta!" And away he pushed from the water-steps.

Turturilla rose from her work, and stepped out upon the rusty gratings of the balcony to see them depart. Pasquali stopped to grease the notch of his oar, and between that and some other embarrassments, the gondola was suffered to float directly under her window. The compliment to the generous nature of Fiametta was, meantime, working, and as she was compelled to exchange a word or two with Turturilla while her husband was getting his oar into the socket, it resulted, (as he thought it very probable it would,) in the good wife's renewing her proposition, and making a point of sending the deserted girl for her holiday bonnet. Pasquali swore through all the saints and angels by the time she made herself ready, though she was but five minutes gone from the window, and telling Fiametta in her ear that she must consider it as the purest obligation, he backed up to the steps of old Donna Bentoccata, helped in her daughter with a better grace than could have been expected, and with one or two deep and short strokes, put forth into the grand canal with the velocity of a lance-fly.

A gleam of sunshine lay along the bosom of the broad silver sheet, and it was beautiful to see the gondolas with their gay-coloured freights all hastening in one direction, and with swift track, to the festa. Far up and down they rippled the smooth water, here gliding out from below a palace-arch, there from a narrow and unseen canal, the steel beaks curved and flashing, the water glancing on the oar-blades, the curtains waving, and the fair women of Venice leaning out and touching hands as they neared neighbour or acquaintance in the close-pressing gondolas. It was a beautiful sight, indeed, and three of the happiest hearts in that swift-gliding company were in Pasquali's gondola, though the bliss of Fiametta, I am compelled to say, was entirely, owing to the bandage with which love is so significantly painted. Ah! poor Fiametta!

From the Lido, from Fusina, from under the Bridge of Sighs, from all quarters of the lagoon, and from all points of the floating city of Venice, streamed the flying gondolas to the Giudecca. The narrow walk along the edge of the long and close-built island was thronged with booths and promenaders, and the black barks by hundreds bumped their steel noses against the pier as the agitated water rose and fell beneath them. The gondolas intended for the race pulled slowly up and down, close to the shore, exhibiting their fairy-like forms and their sinewy and gaily-dressed gondoliers to the crowds on land and water; the bands of music, attached to different parties, played here and there a strain; the criers of holy pictures and gingerbread made the air vocal with their lisping and soft Venetian; and all over the scene, as if it was the light of the sky or some other light as blessed but less common, shone glowing black eyes, black as night, and sparkling as the stars on night's darkling bosom. He who thinks lightly of Italian beauty should have seen the women of Venice on St. Antonio's day '32, or on any day or at any hour when their pulses are beating high and their eyes alight-for they are neither one nor the other always. The women of that fair clime, to borrow the simile of Moore, are like lavastreams, only bright when the volcano kindles. Their long lashes cover lustreless eyes, and their blood shows dully through the cheek, in common and listless hours. The calm, the passive tranquillity, in which the delicate graces of colder climes find their element, are to them a torpor of the heart when the blood scarce seems to flow. They are wakeful only to the energetic, the passionate, the joyous movements of the soul.

Pasquali stood erect in the prow of his gondola, and stole furtive glances at Turturilla, while he pointed away with his finger to call off the sharp eyes of Fiametta; but Fiametta was happy and unsuspicious. Only when now and then the wind came up chilly from the Adriatic, the poor wife shivered and sat closer to Turturilla, who in her plainer but thicker dress, to say nothing of younger blood, sat

more comfortably on the black cushion, and thought less about the weather. An occasional drop of rain fell on the nose of poor Fiametta, but if she did not believe it was the spray from Pasquali's oar, she at least did her best to believe so; and the perfidious tailor swore by St. Anthony that the clouds were as dry as her eyelashes. I never was very certain that Turturilla was not in the secret of this day's treacheries.

The broad centre of the Giudecca was cleared, and the boats took their places for the race. Pasquali ranged his gondola with those of the other spectators, and taking his seat by the side of Turturilla as a punishment for her malapropos invitation, he placed himself on the small remainder of the deep cushion on the farthest side from his now penitent spouse, and while he complained almost rudely of the narrowness of his seat, he made free to hold on by Turturilla's waist, which no doubt made the poor girl's mind more easy on the subject of her intrusion.

Who won and who lost the racewhat was the device of each flag, and what bets or bright eyes changed owners by the result, no personage of this tale knew or cared, save Fiametta. She looked on eagerly. Pasquali and Turturilla, as the French say, trouvaient autres chats à frotter.

After the decision of the grand race, St. Antonio being the protector more particularly of the humble, (" patron of pigs" in the saints' calendar,) the seignoria and the grand people generally pulled away for St. Marc's, leaving the crowded Giudecca to the people. Pasquali, as was said before, had some renown as a gondolier. Something that would be called in other countries a scrub race, followed the departure of the winning boat, and several gondolas, holding each one person only, took their places for the start. The tailor laid his hand on his bosom, and, with the smile that had first stirred the heart and the sequins of Fiametta, begged her to gratify his love by acting as his make-weight while he turned an oar for the pig of St. Antonio. The prize, roasted to an appetising crisp, stood high on a platter in front of one of the booths on shore, and Fiametta smacked her lips, overcame her fears

with an effort, and told him, in accents as little as possible like the creak of a dry oar in the socket, that he might set Turturilla on shore.

A word in her ear, as he handed her over the gunwale, reconciled Donna Bentoccata's fair daughter to this conjugal partiality, and stripping his manly figure of its upper disguises, Pasquali straightened out his fine limbs, and drove his bark to the line in a style that drew applause from even his competitors. As a mark of their approbation, they offered him an outside place, where his fair dame would be less likely to be spattered with the contending oars; but he was too generous to take advantage of this considerate offer, and crying out as he took the middle, "ben pronto, signori!" gave Fiametta a confident look, and stood like a hound in the leash.

Off they went at the tap of the drum, poor Fiametta holding her breath, and clinging to the sides of the gondola, and Pasquali developing skill and muscle-not for Fiametta's eyes only. It was a short, sharp race, without jockeying or management, all fair play and main strength, and the tailor shot past the end of the Giudecca, boat's length ahead. Much more applauded than a king at a coronation or a lordmayor taking water at London stairs, he slowly made his way back to Turturilla, and it was only when that demure damsel rather shrunk from sitting down in two inches of water, that he discovered how the disturbed element had quite filled up the hollow of the leather cushion and made a peninsula of the uncomplaining Fiametta. She was as well watered, besides, as a favourite plant in a flower-garden.

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Pasquali mio!" she said in an imploring tone, holding up the skirt of her dress with the tips of her thumb and finger, "couldn't you just take me home while I change my dress !"

"One moment Fiametta cara! they are bringing the pig !"

The crisp and suculent trophy was solemnly placed in the prow of the victor's gondola, and preparation was made to convey him home with a triumphant procession. A half hour before it was in order to move-an hour in first making the circuit of the grand canal, and an hour more in

drinking a glass and exchanging good wishes at the stairs of the Rialto, and Donna Fiametta had sat too long by two hours and a half with scarce a dry thread on her body.

The hospital of St. Girolamo is attached to the convent of that name, standing on one of the canals which put forth on the seaward side of Venice. It is a long building, with its low windows and latticed doors opening almost on the level of the sea, and the wards for the sick are large and well aired; but, except when the breeze is stirring, impregnated with a saline dampness from the canal, which, as Pasquali remarked, was good for the rheumatism. It was not so good for the patient.

The loving wife Fiametta grew worse and worse after the fatal festa, and the fit of rheumatism brought on by the slightness of her dress and the spattering he had given her in the race, had increased, by the end of the week, to a rheumatic fever. Fiametta was old and tough, however, and struggled manfully (woman as she was) with the disease, but being one night a little out of head, her loving husband took occasion to shudder at the responsibility of taking care of her, and jumping into his gondola, he pulled across to St. Girolamo, bespoke a dry bed and a sister of charity, and brought back the pious Father Gasparo and a comfortable litter. Fiametta was doz

ing when they arrived, and the kindhearted tailor, willing to spare her the pain of knowing that she was on her way to a hospital for the poor, set out some meat and wine for the monk, and sending over for Turturilla and the nurse to mix the salad, they sat and ate away the hours till the poor dame's brain should be wandering again.

Toward night the monk and Dame Bentoccata were comfortably dozing with each other's support, (having fallen asleep at table,) and Pasquali, with a kiss from Turturilla, stole softly up stairs. Fiametta was muttering unquietly, and working her fingers in the palms of her hands, and on feeling her pulse he found the fever was at its height. She took him, besides, for the prize pig of the festa, so he knew her wits were fairly abroad. He crept

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