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you thus early, at least let the poor The Dwarf started from his quiet Servite, whom you have deigned to and concentrated attitude, and came visit, retain a recollection of those forward, bearing the lute. The sun accomplishments which I will believe had all but sunk; and a single yellow to be as splendid as the glory of yon- ray penetrating the lattice, illuminated der sunset on the waters, and I fear his melancholy and graceful features will pass from among men as soon. with a faint, but unnatural brightness. Report calls you a poet. May I beg He touched the instrument at first you to let me hear one of your madri- feebly and irregularly, but afterwards gals, or sonnets ?”
with some vigor and more skill, while Sidney blushed, and replied : “I he sang such lines as these : recall not any of those trifles; but if “Woe to the heart! 'twas thus it came. you will listen to my first attempt, I That voice upon the night-wind streaming ! will endeavor to imitate your countrywill endeavor to imitate vour country Woe to the heart that feels no flanie,
When round it eyes and swords are beaming. men in their improvisations.”
Woe to the heart! I heard and crie Accordingly, he composed and re
Thou need'st not say, thou boding spirit, peated, in Italian, some lines, which What sharp and bitter griefs betide may be thus rudely turned into Eng- The souls that nought of hope inherit ! lish :
Woe to the heart! aye, every pulse “ Sayest thou the meed
Confirms the doom by ceaseless aching ; of knightly deed
And pangs that madden and convulse-
These, these attest my heart is breaking."
For a moment after he had ended
his song, the Dwarf remained absorb
ed in thought; and then, coloring It is not gold, Nor can be sold,
deeply, turned in haste away. The Like jewels, for a price;
Monk and Sir Philip Sidney bid each
other farewell, and, followed by the Do Honor's paths entice.
mournfully contrasted figure of LorenLet thrones and crowns
2o, the tall and gallant figure of the Be sought by clowns
young Englishman disappeared from They have no worth for me.
the eyes of the Servite, stooping to What are domains, And spreading plains,
pass beneath his humble door. But baits to net the free?
Sidney and the young Monteco enI would not prize
tered the gondola together, and thus A lady's eyes
conversed. “It is strange," said the That were not truth's own stars;
Englishman, “ that the learned Father
should thus depreciate the nurse of Her beauty's brightness niars.
all noble thoughts; the example of Then where is found,
heroic virtue ; the science which to In air or ground,
understand thoroughly is to compreThe meed great spirits love?
hend all divine and human knowledge ; In what lone nook Must mortals look,
the art which to practise is to be acBeneath them, or above ?
complished in all honorable actions, Within the breast,
and conspicuous for every deed of darBy honor blest,
ing and endurance.”
“Ah,” replied Lorenzo, “the statesAnd fragrance gives,
men of Venice are wise, and her solAmid the dust of tombs."
diers brave, but," and here he lowered "I too, Sir," said Father Paul, “can his voice, “in this city the trumpet of return you a similar pleasure, if my chivalry doth not sound ; these walls friend Lorenzo will exert his custom- send not forth their youth to generous ary kindness. Lorenzo, the lute is in or unprofitable enterprise ; the light of the recess at your left, on the top of Freedom sparkles not on these lagunes. that pile of the “Acta Sanctorum.'" How would you, that amid the palaces of
despotic power, and the shops of gree- looked round him fearfully, and whisdy merchants ; how would you, that pered, “ In the name of God, and of amid so many prisons for the good, mercy, let me speak with you here at and so many haunts of pollution for the coming midnight !” In much the evil, that sublime and stainless wonder, Sidney consented ; and the spirit which the gallant worship should gondola shot away, and left him standhave found a home or a temple ?” ing before the gate of his residence.
• Is it indeed thus ?” Sidney began, The stars were glittering among the but in so bold and free a tone, that clouds as thin and airy as the silverthe young Venetian bent forward, with twisted gauze of a Sultana's veil; and his finger on his lips, and whispered, the broad tracts of dark blue sky, de“ Hush !"
scending to the still deeper purple of “Is it indeed thus,” and the Eng- the sca, bounded the horizon, except lishman now spoke in cautious accents, where the ranges of palaces, and the “ with beautiful and renowned Venice? domes and towers of the city, displayAh! ancient, proud, wealthy, and ed their long perspectives of massy honorable city! Where, then, is the shadow, their projecting cornices and fruit of that good seed cast upon pinnacles touched with light, and the waters of the Adriatic, by so many their various outlines standing sharp senators and chieftains ? They sowed, and clear against the firmament. The but have not reaped.”
dip of the oars of boats which passed “Yes, they sowed wrong, and their him at intervals along the canals, the country is reaping destruction. I, I, songs of the gondoliers, the tinkling of a Venetian Noble, have seen those musical instruments, and the hum of things done within this city, which, if the swarming city, on the outskirts of there be justice in heaven, will not which Sidney stood, made up a sound keep silence before God, but cry aloud sufficiently continuous not to startle, for vengeance ;-deeds of which the sufficiently diversified to interest, and end will be, that in very shame Venice in which there was nothing jarring or will call upon the waves to cover her, inharmonious. The young poet reand these palaces will moulder into ceived, half in reverie, half in attenthe waters. The tyrant will become tion, impressions far different from a slave ; and she who is red with so those which he had before experiencmany murders, shall perish in the bonds ed, either among the green turf and that she herself hath twisted. Aye, shadowy oaks, among the halls and thou to whom the ocean, with all its cloisters, or in the busy cities of northdowry, was an obedient bride ; to ern climates. He leaned upon a whom Ascalon, and Tyre, and Con- carved balustrade of the broad steps stantinople, were captives and servants, which rose from the water to the en-shalt no longer have a place among try, and gazed, and mused, and gazed the nations, nor a mast to show thy again, and listened to the sounds pennon on the waters, nor a tower to which breathed around him. And his bear thy standard on the land.” While thoughts wandered to the glades of Lorenzo spoke thus in a low and earnest England; and to the free and fearand thrilling tone, he looked up through less loveliness of the forms which the gloom at the lion of St. Mark, he had so often seen sweeping through with a countenance of such fierce and those glades, or brightening, like so resolved indignation, as would better many sunbeams, the obscure depths have beseemed a hostile General at of the forest. There came over the head of an armament, than the his mind, like the dewey freshfeeble and misshapen boy who sat by ness of a summer breeze, the reSidney. The gondola stopped at the membrance of those fair brows, those steps which led up to the English- sparkling eyes, and delicaie lips, man's residence; but, as he was bid- which command so much of reverding farewell to Monteco, the youth ence, and win so much of love, but which seem to scorn the voluptuous perhaps superstitious, but such is the homage, the only appropriate tribute influence of habitual apprehension, that to the luscious grace and impassioned I must fail to say, what I shall die to splendor of the south. He sighed as conceal, if you will not permit me to he remembered ; and he was fancying bar yonder door.” whether looks, which were dearer to Sidney looked surprised, but immehim than all the glorious beauty of diately rose and fastened the entrance. Italy, might not at that moment be Lorenzo proceeded : fixed upon the stars which he himself “ If you are astonished at my rewas contemplating, when he was questing this interview, I can only asroused by hearing sung, at no great sure you, that you will soon see suffidistance, and apparently by a young cient cause for my boldness. If you voice, a serenade.
are then offended, I can freely assert, He listened till the last note had that for the object I aim at, I would ceased to whisper its sweetness along brave the displeasure of the blessed the water, and then entered his study Saints; and, if I may say it without to await the coming of Lorenzo. His blasphemy, risk that of God himself." thoughts turned into another channel, The Englishman assured him of and he began to resolve, with some his eagerness to learn in what way he curiosity, what could have been the could serve him. motive for the earnest and passionate “If I did not believe, nay, know supplication of the Dwarf. But he such to be your generous nature, I could think of no probable solution, should be aware that my present and partook himself to the page of hopes are desperate. But I waste Dante.
time, of which I have none to spare. The clocks of Venice sounded the Listen, Sir Englishman, I implore hour of midnight, and Sidney was you, and believe that every syllable I seated by a lamp, still awed and wrap- shall utter is true. I told you that I ped by the mournful genius of the have a sister, and that every ear in great Florentine. His loose robe of Venice has heard it said she is in a dark silk, and the shadowy extent of Convent at Rome. Hear our story. the apartment, contrasted with the il- Somewhat more than eighteen years lumination thrown by the flame upon ago my father returned from the Lehis noble features. Arms of armor, vant, after having commanded a fleet revealed by their partial gleamings, against the Turks in a desperate acwere scattered round the room, and tion. In leading the boarders, he had hung upon the walls, intermingled wounded with his own hand, and taken with rich volumes, carved cabinets, prisoner, the Captain Pasha. This and a few musical instruments; and man was one of the most formidable his dagger, together with the miniature enemies that Venice ever had. His portrait of a beautiful maiden, lay be- return to his country would have enfore him on the table. The chamber dangered the safety of the state. He became peopled with the sad and ter- was given into the custody of his caprible beauty of the phantoms, whose tor. My mother suspected, whether tales he was perusing; and the fresh with reason or without I know not, sea air had seemed to grow hot and that his life was in danger; and sestifling, when he was disturbed by the cretly advised him to refuse all food entrance of an attendant, whom the but such as it would be impossible to Dwarf closely followed. The servant render dangerous. In my father's departed. Again, as in the cell of the wrath, at first discovering her interMonk, Lorenzo withdrew into shadow, ference, he smote his wife to the and seated himself just beyond the ground. I soon after came into the circle of the lamp-light. He spoke world the unhappy being you have as follows :
seen me. Three years afterwards “You will think me weak, nervous, was born my sister Isabel, and at the
same time my mother perished. We morning star. Such was not merely grew up together, seldom seeing our my inmost faith, it was also the relionly parent, and even when we met, gion of all Venice. But, compared receiving from him but little of kind- with all I felt, how little did the ness. She was the sole human being world know of her value! For othI ever saw who looked at me without ers she was an idol to be adored, a contempt; and we loved each other thing to be reverenced from afar ; to as none can love whose affections me she was a blessing and an inspirareach, and are returned by, all around tion, a better existence within my them. She had none but me for a heart. How often has she withdrawn teacher; I had none but her for a herself from the worship of crowds, playmate. She was to me what was from the most splendid triumphs that the olive-branch to the bird which beauty and genius can achieve, to sing flew out of the ark, and but for that or read with me, to soothe my hours of one twig would have found the world uneasiness, and add delight to my moa watery desert. We read, we sang, ments of pleasure!” we talked only to each other; together “Can a lady so divine,” eagerly we wove chaplets for each other's interrupted Sidney, “ have perished heads; together we recounted all the from the world like vulgar clay ?” little we knew of the past, and “O! would to Heaven that I had seen planned a common happiness for all her corpse lowered into the tomb, rawe imagined of the boundless future. ther than she should be reserved to a We had but one being; and for a few doom so horrible as that she now enyears I scarcely recollected that I was dures! Listen, and you shall know. an outcast, and a worm. The time You may well believe that so fair a rolled on; as I grew nearer to man- creature as my sister, the daughter of hood, my father remembered that he a man so powerful as Adrian Montehad a son, and occasionally employed co, was speedily surrounded by suitme as his secretary ; and at the same ors. The young, the beautiful, the time, Isabel began to be occupied in brave, the noble, and the wealthy, and, learning some of those accomplish- in some cases, all these in one, crowdments which are thought necessary in ed round her feet with their passion, society. Dancing and embroidery and besieged my father with their were arts which it was beyond my rent-rolls and genealogies. Isabel skill to teach. We did not live so cared not for any among her lovers, constantly together; and 14though, and repelled them all with gentle dethank God that my affection for her termination. But there was one who never was diminished by the weight of never addressed himself to her,—whom one of her own shining hairs—I grew she had scarcely seen. Mark Sorato a certain degree interested in the dino is encircled by the renown of employment with which my father many exploits, the suspicion of many furnished me. But I was soon roused. crimes, the infamy of many vices. Isabel was fourteen when she first ap- He is as bold, as skilful, and as unpeared in public ; and, as sure as truth scrupulous a politician as Monteco, is brighter than falsehood, you, who and shares with him the predominant have looked on the maidens of many interest in the state. But Soradino lands, never saw a purer or more glo- is stained by a thousand private exrious being than was then Isabel Mon- cesses, from which my father is as teco. Her form seemed to rise like a free as is the cedar of the mountain bird at every step over the earth she from bowing its head into the mire, trod upon. Her eyes were the deep whereon the plume of the peacock recesses of a shrine, which the blaze falls and is polluted. In the instance of sacred tapers lights and hallows; of Soradino, it is rather the pinion of and every sound of her voice might the vulture which stoops from its have been deemed the singing of the bloody crag to clog its feathers in the dust. Such was the man who dared time a relation, who is Abbess of a to solicit my father for the hand of Convent at Rome ; and that, on her the holiest thing that God ever creat- return in a few months, she would ed. As well might he have asked for become the bride of Soradino. I inthe cup and the wine of the sacrament, quired, at the first opportunity, from to be the means of his brutal intoxica- the nurse of Isabel, as to the time, tion. He was past the middle age, mode, and object of this journey. At bloated, cruel, and debauched, -but first, she would give me no other inhe was the most powerful, and nearly formation than that such and such the most wealthy, of our nobles. How things were ordered to be said by well do I remember the morning on Monteco. When I asked her as to which, when we had scarce seen him the facts themselves, she was silent. for a month, my father entered the At last, she burst into tears, and encabinet wherein my sister and myself treated me to inquire nothing till a were seated. We were both of us future opportunity, but, in the meanengaged in designing a figure of time, to give her a hundred ducats, Psyche, the character in which she was with the aid of which, she doubted about to appear at a masked ball. not to be able to gain a sufficient anMonteco came into the room with a swer. I gave her the money ; and quicker step than usual, as if in haste the next day, the moment my father to despatch some unimportant busi- departed for the council, she entered ness, which detained him from more my apartment. For some time she serious affairs. It is now a year since let me hear nothing but exclamations that fatal morning. Were it a million and wailings. When, however, I had of years, I could not have forgotten thus far indulged her, she informed the playful loveliness of my sister, me that she had succeeded in bribing while she took her father's hand, and one of the servants, named Ludovico, pressed it to her lips ; nor was the to tell her all he knew, by giving him cold and careless glance less memo- a sum large enough to carry him berable, with which alone he returned yond the power of Venice, and to pay her salutation. To me he did not him for the risk. He had escaped utter a syllable, nor give a single look. from the city the instant he had told He said no more than this— Isabel, the story. He, and another ruffian you must prepare to wed. A suitor, named Pietro, had, it seems, been whom I approve of, has proposed him- employed the very night of the day self; and in a month you will become on which I last saw Isabel, to bind a wife. She seemed to be lost in her arms, and cover her mouth, and utter astonishment. My father went convey her in secrecy to a dungeon in on— Mark Soradino'-even then her the foundations of our palace. On habitual terror closed her lips, but she recovering from her swoon, she had, fell in a swoon upon the floor, at the doubtless, ventured to tell my father feet of her parent. His wrath broke that she never would obey him, by out. He ordered me to leave the subjecting herself to the pollution and room, and send the women, and mark, misery of a marriage with Soradino. you need not return hither. For the Such was Ludovico's information, and present you are confined to your cham- such the fate to which my sister was ber. I never saw my sister more." doomed, and which she still suffers."
“ Great God! was she murdered ?” “Do not mock me, Signor. A said the Englishman.
young and delicate lady shut up for a “No; but she is subjected to a year in a solitary prison, and that in fate, compared with which, the stilet- her father's house!” to or the poison would have been a “I swear it to be true. Were gift of mercy. A few days after, it there a doubt, I should not now be was publicly announced that Isabel here to implore your assistance. I Monteco had departed to visit for a myself have found means to visit, and