« 上一页继续 »
pinching my arm." I was a great favourite with the servants, I was so gentle and kind to them. Beppo said not a word, but springing forwards he caught me in his arms, lifted me from the stairs, and giving them a push with his foot while in the act of placing me on board, the gondola was in motion and Chalon almost precipitated into the canal. He darted after me one look declarative of eternal hostility and implacable revenge.
I travelled day and night, and was set down at the hotel at Milan, which Leoni had given me as his address. I enquired for him. The landlady stared at me with astonishment.
"He does not stop here," said she, "he merely got down here upon his arrival, and hired a small room where he keeps his luggage, he generally calls in the morning to ask for his letters."
"But where does he lodge?" said I.
The landlady regarded me with curiosity and uncertainty ; and either out of respect or pity would not decide upon answering. I did not press her, but begged to be shown to the room which Leoni had hired. "If you know where he is to be found," said I, "send him word that his sister is here." In an hour's time Leoni arrived, he held out his arms to embrace me. "Hold," said I, shrinking from him, "if you have deceived me hitherto-do not add another crime to all those you have committed against me. Here, look at this letter. Is it your handwriting? quick quick-is it a forgery or not?" Leoni cast his eyes upon the letter and became pale as death.
"Oh God," I exclaimed, "I hoped it would prove a forgery. I was certain you could have known nothing of the infamous imposition. He has wronged me I said, he has decieved me, but he loves me. If it be true that I am in his way, he would have told me so a month since, when I summoned up courage to leave him while he supplicated me to stay. If he is ambitious and intriguing why did he detain me, for I have no fortune and my love can be of no service to him. Why should he complain of my importunity when a word would have been sufficient to dismiss me. He knows I am proud. He has no reason to fear either my prayers or my reproaches. Why would he seek to degrade me.'
I could not continue, a flow of tears choked my voice and checked my words.
'Why should I degrade you," said Leoni frantically: "to spare my griping conscience remorse. You can't understand that Juliet. You know not what a guilty conscience is."
He paused, I sank into a chair, and we both remained silent.
"Poor girl," said he at length," and you deserve to be the wife, the victim of a villain like me. Poor Juliet! Poor Juliet'!"
"Hold,” said I, "I came to hear your justification or my condemnation. You are guilty-I pardon you, farewell." "Never-never," said Leoni with wild desperation, "you shall not leave me, as long as I have a drop of blood in my veins I will oppose it. If you would go, escape secretly, but say not farewell; you are my wife, I love you; I may kill you with grief, but I cannot let you leave me."
"I would accept the grief and the death," said I, "if you only say you love me.'
"Yes, I love you, I love you," said he, putting on his usual transports; "I love you and you alone."
"Base man, 'tis false," said I; "you have attached yourself to the Princess Zigarole."
"Yes; but I detest her."
"What!" I exclaimed, struck with amazement, "then why attach yourself to her? What hideous secrets lurk beneath all these enigmas? Chalon has given me to understand that a vile design bound you to that woman-that she was old-that you expected to be her heir."
"Calumnies, vile calumnies !" said Leoni. is young and handsome."
"Very well," said I; "better you were fickle than dishonourable. Your obstinacy in trying to detain me, to torture me to death, is a cruelty I shall not endure."
"It is," said Leoni, with a gloomy air;
I would be an assassin were I to prevent you."
"6 you may go.
He left the room with an air of desperation. I threw myself upon my knees and prayed for strength. I invoked the recollection of my mother, and I rose to make preparations for my journey.
When everything was ready, I asked for post-horses for that same evening, and in the meantime I threw myself on a couch. I was so overcome with fatigue, and so shattered by sorrow, that sleep seemed to me like the repose of the tomb.
At the expiration of an hour I was awoke by a kiss from Leoni.
"I have not resolution enough to let you go," said he; "I have sent back the horses. I have taken a walk in the FEBRUARY, 1840.
country, and I have done all I could to nerve myself to let you go. I formed the resolution of not bidding you adieu, and I went to the Princess: all would not do-you must stay with me."
(To be continued.)
EDWARD AND ELLEN.
"The trumpet calls-I must away-
As from his Ellen's twining arms,
To seek the battle's lond alarms.
He pressed his father's hand, to speak
In token of his sad farewell.
His babes-it wrung his manly heart
She fell upon his heaving breast,
With sobs it racked his frame to hear,
He loosed her hold-and rushed away!
They watched him when the troop began
And when the forest hid his clan,
They gazed, as though they saw him still.
Still from the far-off wood's retreat,
"In notes by distance made more sweet,"
But to the group that caught its tone,
As though it said in sorrow's moan-
Why should fond souls, when doomed to part,
Too sure is love in boding ill!