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rustling in her silk dress, and smiling with a She was conscious that she did not appear were present on this occasion Mrs. Carl brightness so unwonted that Joanna, for the at her ease, and, misinterpreting the smile that Tomkins, a woman of exceptional culture, moment, forgot the request she wished to passed between Miss Basil and Mr. Redmond, according to the verdict of Middleborough ; make.
she would have returned his offering instant- Mr. Carl Tomkins, a gentleman eminent in “O Pamela !” she cried, with unaffected ly, but that, to her great surprise, Miss Basil the life-assurance busines, but overshadowed delight, "and you, too! you are to be at the started forward with a sort of shy impulsive- in society by his wife; old Mrs. Paul Cadining ?” Never, since she could remember, ness, and, before Joanna was well aware of ruthers, ancient, deaf, and garrulous; Miss had Miss Basil appeared at the grandmam- what the prim woman would do, the gerani. Caruthers, a pretty, somewhat passée young ma's dinner-parties ; but to her artless mind ums were pinned in her bair.
lady, who had been invited for Mr. Sam Ruffthere was no other way of accounting for Very stiff and ungraceful they stood bris- ner's behoof; Dr. Garnet, the loud, aggresMiss Basil's smiling countenance.
tling, but there was no mirror at hand to be- sive man of medicine; nervous little Mr. “ No, child," answered Miss Basil, de- tray to Joanna their aggressive attitude ; and Leasom, of St. John's; and portly Chancellor cidedly, as she put Joanna aside without no- the mere fact that Pamela would do this Page, remarkable for silence and appetite. ticing her dress; "you know that I never much for her adornment gave the child a There were no young companions for Joanna; take part in any thing of the kind ; don't de- pleasure in the flowers that compensated for Artbur was there, indeed, but he took good tain me; some one is waiting to speak to me.” the disappointment about the jewels.
care not to attach himself to her, for he felt “But, ( Pamela, one moment!” cried The next moment, before her first sur- bis aunt's eyes upon him, and he obligingly Joanna, her thoughts reverting perforce to prise had subsided, in came Mrs. Basil, lean- devoted himself to Mrs. Stargola So Joherself. “I am all ready, except my jew | ing on her ivory - headed staff, like an old anna sat in a corner looking on, rather glad, els."
fairy godmother; and, after a most gracious | indeed, to escape the notice of so formidable "Jewels ? " repeated Miss Basil. “What I greeting to Basil Redmond, as if wonders a company. do you mean, Joanna ?"
were never to cease, she turned admiringly In such a party, nothing of any moment “ My jewels,” repeated Joanna, impatient- to Joanna, and expressed a smiling approval ever happens before dinner. Every one then
“O Pamela, you know ! The rubies of her appearance; then, “Permit me, ohild ?” is in a state of dull and decorous expectaand pearls that were my mother's. Oh, please, said she, with polite formality, and with an tion, and a little girl in a corner is liable to there is no time to lose; and you said they airy touch, the stiff cluster of geraniums in ! be overlooked and ignored. It was a relief should be mine!"
Joanna's hair was gracefully adjusted. -it always is a relief-when dinner was an. “When you are a woman grown, child," No time was there for more; the guests nounced. Before Joanna could penetrate the said Miss Basil; and then, with hesitating were arriving. Miss Basil, murmuring inau- mystery of the magical ease and celerity with approval, she added, “ You look well enough dible words of regret, hastily retired; Mrs. which each gentleman, without clashing with as you are."
Basil, with some ceremony, conducted Mr. his neighbor, selected some particular lady, a “I am no child,” said Joanna, upon whom Redmond to the large drawing-room (so sel. voice at her side said: admiration so tardy made no impression ; dom used now), whither Joanna, with a feel- “ Joanna, I am to have the pleasure of “ don't you see my train ?"
ing that life was just beginning, followed taking you in to dinner.” “You are detaining me," said Miss Basil, eagerly, her heart beating, her knees trem- It was Basil Redmond; and Joanna, with a slight flush of annoyance; “and some bling far more than the poor occasion called though conscious of a little disappointment one is waiting to see me." They were at the for; old Thurston, full of the dignity of his that it was not Arthur, felt a quick thrill of sitting-room door now, and Basil Redmond office, forgot his rheumatism, and strode delight at the unexpected distinction of being came forward, smiling.
majestically to the door, as if the good old “handed in " to dinner. She remembered A frown, quick and angry, darkened Jo- times had come again; then the people en- such things in books she had read, and her anna's face. Here was this stranger, again, tered, and from that moment all was confu. color rose, her eyes sparkled with the thought standing between Pamela and herself. What sion to the inexperienced neophyte, who, long that she was now indeed about to enter upon right had he to smile in that way? Yet she before it was over, found this tedious dinner. the delightful realities of life. With one could not help feeling that there was some- party a weariness to the spirit and the flesh. passing sigh for poor 'Mela's “sad exclusion thing kindly in his smile, vexatious as it was To begin with Mrs. Basil's relations, though from the doors of bliss,” she put her band to hear Pamela appeal to him.
they were the last to arrive, there was Miss on Mr. Redmond's arm, and walked, she knew " She does not need ornaments, so young Ruffner, elaborately dressed, and serenely not how, to the dining-room. as she is ?"
conscious of her own perfection ; Mrs. Ruff- Dinner, to which she had looked forward “ So young!” Hateful words to Joanna, ner, her mother, all bugles and bangles, a with considerable anxiety of mind, as the by which she knew that this appeal was in- stout, plain, good-natured, maladroit, insig- great ordea] that should stamp her future fitdicative of a determination not to indulge nificant woman, with a word in season and ness for society, passed off smoothly enough ; her vanity with the rubies and pearls. out of season—especially out of season-for there were no failures, there was no awkward
Redmond, hesitating just a little, turned everybody; Mr. Sam Ruffner, indolently smil. contre-temps, no lack of every thing needful. to the table upon which stood a vase of white ing and showing his handsome teeth ; and, Nothing of this kind, however, bad she geranium, and, with that smile Joanna in her lastly, old Mrs. Stargold, who was received feared ; she, knew that Miss Basil, who was heart called “masterful," said :
with a flutter of satisfaction, not by Mrs. behind the scenes, would have every thing “If this young lady will permit a sugges. Basil alone, but by all the assembled guests. perfect, and that old Thurston could be im. tion from me, these would be the prettiest When the little crowd that hemmed her in plicitly relied upon; for his pride was up ornaments she could wear."
fell away, Joanna saw a feeble little old lady, when Mrs. Basil gave a dinner, and he made He spoke with some diffidence, holding whose face bore the unmistakable signs of his assistant, hired for the occasion, feel that out to her a spray of the flowers; and Jo. an anxious mind. Warm as was the day, it would not do to merit his wrath. What anna half- relented toward him because he she was richly dressed in black silk, with Joanna doubted was her own ability to percalled her a young lady! She was most anx- a lace scarf, that threw into the shade every form her part creditably, a doubt that quite ious to conduct herself with becoming pro- | other toilet in the room. Her voice shook deprived the poor child of appetite. It was priety, now that she stood on the threshold when she spoke, and her hands trembled so, not possible, of course, that she could be of society ; but she was at a loss to know whenever she attempted to adjust her scarf, guilty of any barbarism, for Miss Basil had what a young lady should do under such cir- that Miss Kuffner, or Mrs. Ruffner, or Mr. been very strict in teaching the proprieties of cumstances. She cast an imploring glance Sam, would rush to her assistance. Joanna ordinary life; but Miss Basil dined without toward Miss Basil, a glance that plainly asked, wondered what pleasure this poor old lady ceremony, and poor Joanna was haunted by “What ought a young lady to do when a gen- could find in life.
a terror of transgressing the formidable eti. tleman offers flowers ?” But, receiving no There were a few people in Middlebor- quette of dinner-parties, of which she had a sign by which she could be guided, she shyly ough whom Mrs. Basil delighted to honor dim but colossal idea, She might have put forth her hand and took them, with very when she gave one of her rare dinner-parties, spared herself all anxiety, however; for be. much the manner of a child.
and besides Mrs. Stargold and her suite there tween Miss Caruthers, who absorbed Mr.
Redmond on the one side of the poor little Ruffner, it is Mr. Tomkins's opinion that every tion of an emperor and empress, or what a débutante, and Miss Ruffner, who engaged Mr. woman in the South might insure her life for singular fate afterward befell their majesties. Carl Tomkins on the other, Joanna attracted somebody's benefit, if she would exercise a Only a fugitive paper, similar to those sold at no attention,
little forethought and management, like this country fairs by thousands for a small copAfter dinner she drifted back into ber Miss Basil now. Like the great Sully, she is per coin, preserved the strange history of this corner again; but here she was no longer so "fertile in resources.'” But who the great coronation, and the poetic fancy of the Piedfortunate as to escape notice. Mrs. Paul Ca. Sully was, nobody in that company, except montese and Lombardy peasants surrounded ruthers espied her, and, puzzled by a face she Mrs. Carl Tomkins could have told. How. the historic germ with all sorts of wonderful had not seen half a dozen times, she turned ever, people felt rather flattered when she accessories, so that at the present day it is her best ear to Mrs. Carl Tomkins, inquiring, made an allusion they could not understand, difficult to effect a total separation between in an audible whisper, who she was. Mrs. and they listened attentively. Everybody fact and fiction. The main events of the Carl Tomkins appealed to Mrs. Ruffner, wbo, knows that Miss Basil sells vegetables and story, however, occurred as here related : with good-natured eagerness to gratify inno- fruits in the town; and she makes wine; sbe At the beginning of the year 1820, when cent curiosity, mildly roared the information sells a great deal of blackberry - wine, I'm Carl Felix, after suppressing all the revoluthat she was “old Judge Basil's granddaugh- told.”
tionary attempts of the Carbonari, asserted ter.” All eyes were immediately turned upon “Would you drink blackberry.wine, Mrs. his right to the throne of Piedmont, there the blushing Joanda.
Tomkins !” asked Mr. Sam Ruffner, making lived in one of the forest-huts on the out“Poor thing! poor thing!” said Mrs. a face.
skirts of the village of Spinetta two beauPaul Caruthers, who, being old herself, and “Ob, you funny man!” cackled Miss Ca. tiful sisters, who were held in universal redone with folly, invariably pitied all young ruthers.
"Why, plenty of people drink spect for their virtue and piety. They had people.
blackberry-wine, now ; it's cheap. And Miss lost both parents at a very early age, when “Not so very poor, I fancy,” said Mrs. Basil makes it-"
the younger, Margheritina, was scarcely three Carl Tomkins. "That queer Miss Basil, who “Speak softly,” said Mrs. Carl Tomkins, years old. The mother died of grief at the is never seen, except at church—” (Was glancing around. “ Remember where we are. sad fate of her husband, who accompanied Pamela, then, queer ? Joanna knew that her | Yes, Miss Basil, like the great Sully, is 'fer- Napoleon's army to Moscow and perished in excellent cousin was strict and exacting; but tile in resources ;' and I've heard that she crossing the Beresina. Positive news that to hear the slighting judgment of the world has a romantic history."
he was really dead, and had not been taken pronounced upon her thus was a shock.)
“What is it, pray ?” cried Mrs. Ruffner | prisoner, did not arrive for several years after “Sb-h!” said good-natured Mrs. Ruff- and Miss Caruthers, eagerly. “Do tell us.” that terrible national tragedy, and the good ner, with loud sibilation, for she saw Joan. “What are you saying ?” groaned Mrs. wife's feeble flame of life died with the spark na's telltale face.
Paul Caruthers. “Everybody speaks so in- of hope she had always cherished. Tho “A woman of good, sound sense,” amend distinctly, nowadays."
elder girl, named Pia, was just fifteen years ed Mrs. Carl Tomkins, promptly. “She has “La! why doesn't your aunt carry a old when she was left an orphan with her shown it by taking out a policy for the bene- trumpet ?” said Mrs. Ruffner, impatiently, to little sister, but she would not bear of giving fit of that child.” On the subject of life-as- Miss Caruthers; but she leaned forward with the child to the care of strangers, in order to surance, Mrs. Carl Tomkins was thoroughly good-humored alacrity, and whispered to the earn her own support at service. She reimbued with her husband's views.
old lady so loudly that poor little Joanna, mained in the little house her father had “ You don't tell me so !” exclaimed Mrs. hemmed into her corner, heard every word. built, maintained herself and the child by the Ruffner, forgetting all about Joanna. “Where Miss Basil, you know, ma’am; they say she earnings of her distaff and the products of a did she get money to pay the premium, or has a very romantic history."
little field of maize, and meantime kept herwhatever you call it ? ”
The old lady gravely nodded her thanks self and sister so neatly dressed and so fault. “She saved it, I suppose,” said Mrs. Carl to her informant; and, turning with owl-like lessly modest and honest that the greatest Tomkins. "She's been saving for years.” deliberation to Mrs. Carl Tomkins, said : praise was bestowed upon her, and mothers
“La !” exclaimed Mrs. Ruffner, incredu- “I've heard as much hinted before." were in the habit of holding up, the two orlously. “ How could she save out of a bare And then the five heads, Sam Ruffner's phan girls to their daughters as models of living?"
included, drew together, and “ Buz-buz, good behavior. Management,” said Mrs. Carl Tomkins, buz" was all Joanna heard, until old Mrs. Ca- The praise was hardly earned; for Pia's briefly.
ruthers impatiently pushed back her chair, poverty forced her to work from morning till “Let me into your charming circle, ladies, and exclaimed:
night merely, to keep from starving, and I entreat!” cried Miss Caruthers, rushing “That amounts to just nothing at all! I would not suffer her to put her spinning-wheel across the room with a pretty, juvenile air. thought you had some reliable information. in the corner even on holidays. And she “The gentlemen are discussing cotton and Nobody believes in any thing that comes might have been so much more comfortable politics, subjects inevitable among gentle- from Lebrun's—unless it's bonnets."
if she had only chosen. It was not only that men; and I, alas ! have not, like Mrs. Basil, Mrs. Carl Tomkins, turning aside to Mrs. assistance and friendly gifts were offered and Miss Ruffner, and Mrs. Stargold, the in. Ruffner, rolled her great eyes expressively; | from many quarters, while others would gladtelligence and experience. to appreciate those and then the conclave broke up.
ly have taken her sister, who was a remarktopics. I know you must be talking about
ably pretty and clever child, but she received something within my comprehension ?”
many a proposal for her hand, for she was THE EMPRESS OF SPI“ Do te quiet, Aurelia !” said Mrs. Paul
considered the prettiest girl in the village, Caruthers, inclining her good ear. “I can't
and any man, even the richest, would have hear what's going on."
been glad to win such a housewife. But she “Oh, don't you come here, Mr. Ruffner !"
only shook her head, declined all gifts, and cried Miss Caruthers, shaking her bead play- N the plain of Alessandria, about an sent away with a long face and heavy heart fully at Sam, who had sauntered lazily after hour's walk from the village of Ma- one after another of the young men who her. “ Here's gossip, and gentlemen hate rengo, is another hamlet called Spinetta, wooed her. gossip."
which has been completely thrown into the This prudish conduct, of course, made “Go on, Mrs. Tomkins," said Mrs. Paul shade by the fame of its world-renowned her an object of suspicion to young and old, Caruthers, impatiently. · Don't mind Aure neighbor. Even the most minute histories and even the village pastor at last found lia. What's that about a man's age? Whose of the war scarcely mention its name, and himself obliged to speak to the young girl
strangers who scan every pile of stones on about the strange pride which led her to rely “I was speaking of a WOMAN'S MANAGE- the battle-field of Marengo do not even vouch- so entirely upon berself. Her explanation MENT,” said Mrs. Carl Tomkins, raising her safe modest Spinetta a passing glavce. So it revealed no sin, so she did not confide it to voice irritably, as some people are apt to do is known to very few persons that this insig. the guardian of her soul under the seal of when the deaf fail to hear. “My dear Mrs. nificant hamlet once witnessed the corona- confession, and therefore the whole village
FROM THE GERMAN OF PAUL HEYSE.
age ? "
soon knew with what sort of eyes Pia viewed companions felt no special affection for her, one save a free and independent workman. her future.
called her the princess or even the empress, Pia probably knew that it was needful to spur She had come into the world on the 14th which she took as a matter of course, and him on to constant industry; he would have of June, 1800, at the time when the battle they tried to make the lads believe she was preferred to marry her on the spot, and then of Marengo was being fought in the vicinity simple-minded.
commence a scrambling life from hand to of Spinetta. The mother in her hour of peril But this slander was of no avail with the mouth, had heard the thunder of the French cannon, young men, especially as it really did the As, to defend herself from the accusation and trenibled with fear, as her husband was beautiful girl injustice. Pia despised no one, of pride, she bad confessed to the priest her serving under Desaix. The child was thus because she had respect for herself, and, if engagement to Maino, and this unexpected undoubtedly born under the influence of the the emperor's kiss had worked mischief in news made a great stir everywhere, the lad planet Mars, and had for its father a hero, the young brain, it had doue no worse harm thought he need hold aloof no longer, but on whom the first consul himself praised and than to render her prone to fits of reverie, every holiday, and as often as he passed the promoted to the rank of sergeant on the bat- which often attacked her when she fancied cottage on work-days, paid a visit to his betle - field. But the family pride rose still she heard secret voices describing a future loved, who never allowed him to cross the higher when five years later the mighty man be. of such splendor and honor that she felt the threshold. On pleasant evenings they could fore whom all the kingdoms of the earth trem- same thrill of delight experienced at the mo. often be seen seated outside the door on a bled once more came into the vicinity of the ment the conqueror of Marengo lifted her on little bench, with the child Margheritina playhumble village, now Emperor of the French, his horse. She was sensible enough not to ing at their feet, till she at last fell asleep and on his way to Milan to receive the crown believe these dream-voices as soon as she with her arms around the neck of the dog of Italy. The emperor held a magnificent roused herself and looked around her moth- Brusco. Then, for the first time, Maino ven. review on the battle-field of Marengo, and er's miserable hut, and when she had the sole tured to lavish a few innocent caresses on the sergeant's wife, unable to resist the temp- charge of her little sister these fancies grew his beautiful but coy betrothed. In spite of tation, set out with her child to witness the more and more rare; yet, it was still on their his passionate nature, the reverence he cher. superb spectacle. The bright little girl of account that she declined to take a place at ished for her as a superior being kept him five, of course, did not clearly understand service; and when, spite of her hard work, within certain limits. what all this meant; but, when the review she gave special care to her dress, it was “O Pia !” he often said, “I know I am of the troops was over, and the emperor with owing to the secret thought that some fine not good enough for you, and if I could believe his brilliant suite rode slowly along the road day a prince might ride by again and fix his that any mortal man would love you better to Alessandria, the mother stood in the first eyes upon her, and she would then be so or more faithfully, I would hang myself on rank of the boundless living wall formed by ashamed if she looked dirty and slovenly. the first tree, and let you be as happy as you the peasants from the neighboring villages, But her aversion to listen to any of her deserve! But have patience. Great things holding in her arms the little Pia, who usu- numerous suitors was not based upon the are happening in the world every day, real ally walked stoutly on her own tiny feet, that fact that she considered herself only fit for a miracles; and, as the nameless Corsican be. the child might have a good view of the em- noble lord, but, as she blushingly confessed came a great emperor, and the master of the peror. When shouts now arose of “There to the priest, owing to her fond and faithful whole world—to be sure his splendor came he comes! That is be! The one in front on love for the poorest lad in the whole village. to a miserable end because he loved himself the gray horse! Evviva l'Imperatore !” the This was a certain Maino, a peasant-lad, who, more than the people—so the poor peasantlittle girl, as the emperor's keen, dark eyes like Pia, had lost his parents at an early age, lad Maino may some day be a great man, and fell on her rosy face, stretched out both arms and was forced to earn an honest but scanty lead you to his house like a princess." toward the wonderful hero, shouting her ev- living, first as a day-laborer, and afterward Pia smiled incredulously at such words, viva in so clear a voice that the childish tones as a mason's apprentice. This had neither and tried to persuade her lover out of his rose high above the tumult and fell on the paralyzed his courage nor arrogance, and fancies, but something that did not seem very ear of the monarch, who checked his horse there was no bolder or gayer lad far or near. unlike a miracle actually occurred, and sudfor a moment. The next instant he lifted the He was a handsome fellow, too, with thick, denly brought the goal of their wishes, which little girl on the saddle before him, gazed curly hair, and flashing dark eyes, a broad appeared to be a long way off, close at hand. steadily for a few seconds into the large black chest, and thighs like a stag; besides, he Onc fine day, long before evening, Maino apeyes which bore the look without the quiver had a beautiful clear voice, and knew hun-peared in the village with a radiant face. of an eyelash, kissed the little forehead dreds of songs, which he accompanied on his Against Pia's wishes, he had not neglected framed in curly hair, and then returned the guitar. His only fault, except his poverty, to leave a little door open to luck, and often child to its mother, who, speechless with de- was a fiery temper, that often involved him took chances in the lottery. Now, an almost light at this unprecedented favor, stood by in brawls, where knives leaped from their unprecedented thing had happened—the four the road-side like a statue, and, absorbed in sheaths more quickly than was advisable. numbers he selected came out together. The gazing after the retreating figure of the con- But these quarrels had never yet had any fa- blessed prize brought a large sun of money queror, failed to see her own husband, when tal result, and the older Maino grew, an over- into the house, enough for him to establish soon after, wearied and covered with dust, he weening pride, rather than reasoa, held his himself in business and wed a girl whom the marched in his regiment past his wife and passion in check, so that he avoided common emperor had kissed. child.
brawls, and reserved his anger for greater His betrothed consented to become his No one will wonder that this event, oc- occasions.
without resistance. It was not so much the curring before so many eye-witnesses, and es. Love, too, had its share in taming the money that won her consent to the hasty pecially intimate acquaintances from the vil. wild fellow. Pia was only a half-grown girl | marriage as the fact that the goddess of luck lage, should produce an unusual and lasting when Maino told her that she must belong to had sent it into the house. She looked at influence. “That is Pia whom the emperor nobody but him, but, in spite of her imperial | Maino with different eyes, as a favorite of kissed” was repeated for years whenever a dreams, the child made no objections. Her higher powers, and, though too sensible to stranger in Spinetta noticed the beautiful young lover's poverty did not alarm her. She suppose that he had so brilliant a career beslender girl, who on her part, in dress and knew by her own experience that true nobil- fore him as that of the Corsican lieutenant, bearing, seemed to show that she felt herself ity and a royal nature can exist in the sim- saw him in imagination invested with all as it were ennobled by this fairy-like event plest garb. Only when her mother died she sorts of honors and dignities as the first man of her childhood. In spite of her poverty, insisted that he should keep away from her, in the village, or perhaps even podestà of one Pia always wore shoes and stockings, and and tell no one of the secret tie between them of the neighboring cities, if Fortune remained never allowed a spot to remain on her petti. until he had made enough to establish a house faithful to him. coat or the coarse linen, spun and woven by of his own, in which there must also be a Besides, she was now two-and-twenty, her own hands, while she wore her long, place for her sister. She would willingly loved the bold youth with all her heart, and thick hair above her brow in a heavy braid wait for him, but he must first serve bis ap- longed to become his wife. that looked almost like a black diadem. Her prenticeship-she would give her hand to no There were to be grand doings at the wedding--the happy bridegroom was resolved received no harsher punishment than a heavy
and his friends had mounted their horses upon that. Everybody who was even dis- fine, or perhaps only a sharp admonition to and dashed away like the wind, probably to tantly connected with the sisters, and that the culprit. But, unfortunately, one of the the forest-clad hills near Tortona, unless the was half the village, was invited to tbe tavern; two gendarmes stationed in Spinetta had. bim- fugitives had selected this road to mislead musicians were ordered from Alessandria, and self been a lover of the bride, and, on account their pursuers. In that case they would a generous cask of the best wine provided, of his handsome person, cherished high hopes probably seek refuge in the mountains near while it need hardly be stated that Maino of success. He therefore felt it as a personal Nori. dressed his bride and the child Margheritina insult, if not an offense to his official dig- Such was the sorrowful end of the wedfrom head to foot in the handsomest clothes | nity, when a marriage now took place be- ding. The bridegroom had fled to the forest that eould be procured. Even the little dog tween the beautiful Pia and this ordinary -an outcast, a bandit; the bride could do Brusco received a wedding collar of red vel- mason's apprentice. He had gone about for nothing but return to ber lonely home, and vet, with a little silver bell, and, since luck had days before the wedding brooding over plans resume the old solitary, toilsome life with her befriended him, Maino never visited his be- of vengeance, informed his comrades in the little sister. trothed without taking the latter a bouquet villages of Pardi and Mandrogne that they But, after the first terror, the beautiful of flowers and the dog a sausage.
must come to Spinetta on the marriage-day, and sensible girl did not seem to find it diffiWhen, on the second week after the as trouble might easily arise, and, if the wine cult to make this resolution. She avoided piece of good fortune, the wedding-day ar- once mounted to the peasants' heads, they all tokens of pity, took Margheritina by the rived, the bridegroom appeared on horseback two would not be able to prevent mischief. band, and turned into the path leading to her with four or five of his friends, also well When the harmless firing began to echo deserted house, where that very same day she mounted, as the village of San Giuliano Vec- on the air, the six well-armed gendarmes sud- was seen working quietly in hier every-day chio, where they all worked, was at some denly appeared in the street, demanded the clothes. distance from Spinetta, on the road to Tor- delivery of the weapons, and the bride- She told the priest, who visited her tortona, and wedding-guests must not appear groom's rival—who bore the nickname of ard evening to inquire into the state of her with dusty shoes and clothes. The bride, Barbone—triumphantly approached Maino, to mind, that she was very sorry for this terrible surrounded by her bridesmaids, herself the arrest him as the instigator of the whole tu- affray, but trusted in her own and Maino's fairest and most queenly of all, received him mult. Whether the young men, on the way lucky star. They were both undoubtedly with such a radiant smile that the worthy lad to Spinetta, bad been discussing the bold destined for some great and unusual fortune, felt as if the heavens had opened, and had deeds of former days, or whether indignation only they must not allow themselves to grow great difficulty in controlling himself suffi- at this piece of intentional malice went to weary of waiting. ciently not to make the most extravagant their brains, would be difficult to decide; suf- It was evident that her betrothed hus. leaps of joy. He swung himself from his
fice it to say that they openly resisted the band had become dearer to her than ever, horse like a feather, took his betrothed by soldiers, and Maino, almost beside himself at since he had so boldly defended himself the band, and, with the utmost dignity, as this humiliation in the presence of his be- against insolent force. On this point she the ancient village custom required, led her trothed bride, answered Barbone with such would not allow even the priest to teach her toward the church.
cutting contempt that all the villagers burst better ideas. “Even the Emperor Napoleon,'' From time immemorial it had always been into shouts of laughter. Infuriated by this she said, “ would not have reached such a a necessary part of every wedding in Spi- treatment, Barbone forgot all consideration, height, if he had allowed himself to be taken netta for the bridegroom's friends, while on and seized his enemy by the collar to drag to task by every gendarme.” the way to church and back to the inn, to him to prison with his own hands. The next The priest saw with regret that a sort of discharge small cannon, guns, and pistols, in instant the glitter of Maino's knife vied with imperial monomania had taken possession of short every thing that would make a noise. his flashing eyes. A struggle ensued, the the quiet girl's head, and resolved to make But, since Carl Felix had exerted undisputed women and children shrieked, the men fought every effort to uproot it. But of course this sway, as the fear of secret designs on the part savagely. Barbone's comrades were engaged could not be done at once. of the banditti was not wholly removed, no in a fierce battle with Maino's friends, and It was soon known in the village that peasant was allowed to have a gun, let alone not until the priest, who had heard the noise Maino and bis friends had really been seen fire one. The royal gendarmes, who were of the conflict in the church, appeared on the near Novi. The wounds inflicted on Barbone stationed everywhere among the villages, had threshold in his robes, and raised a warning and bis comrades were trifling, it is true, but strict orders to see that the command was voice, did a sudden stillness ensue. The peo- the government and police could not afford not evaded, and even the joyous firing at ple now saw with terror that Barbone and to pass over the matter lightly at a time weddings had ceased since the year 21. two of his comrades lay bleeding on the when the smothered fires of the Carbonari
Hitherto the merry village lads, to whom ground, while Maino's wedding - garments still gleamed under the and threatened noise is the principal feature at every feast, were sprinkled with blood and large drops to blaze up brightly at the first gust of wind. had sullenly yielded, gnashing their teeth ; were oozing through a cut in his velvet Therefore the escaped peace-breaker and his but Maino was not inclined to let his wed- sleeve.
comrades were hotly pursued, after the manding-day pass without this warlike music. A gloomy pause followed the wild tumult. ner of all police-hunts, which invariably alHe thought he owed it to his bride, whose The priest hurriedly approached, and no one low the game plenty of time to escape, as if father had fallen as a brave soldier, and, al- knew what would be the end of the rudely- to prolong the pleasure of the chase. In though as much powder could not be burned interrupted festival. Maino was the first to this way the authorities transformed the poor as at the coronation of the great soldier em- regain his composure. Casting one glance fellows, who at first had only entered upon peror, or on the occasion of his marriage with of mortal hatred at Barbone, who lay groan- the profession of robbery as amateurs, into Maria Theresa, the wedding-day of one who ing on the ground, he whispered into the ear accomplished virtuosi, who at last made a had drawn a prize in the lottery must not be of his motionless bride a few words that no- virtue of neoessity, and would not on any acpermitted to pass like that of any ordinary | body understood, clasped her in a passionate count have exchanged the new, free lite for peasant-lad.
embrace, kissed her pale lips, then made a the old one of toilsome labor. Therefore, when the procession was about sign to his comrades and vanished in the Pia heard all these things and seemed to half-way to the church, Maino's friends, amid crowd just as the pastor came up, panting consider them a matter of course, and by no loud shouts and evvivas, began to discharge for breath, and loudly uttering the bride- means disgraceful or desperate. All praised their guns, and the bridegroom himself, as groom's name, to ask him for an explanation her Maino for carrying on the trade of a bansoon as he heard the sound, drew from his of the affair.
dit in a very high-spirited manner, sparing belt a pair of old but beautifully-ornamented The shots he had just heard, and the sight , the poor or even helping them, attacking pistols, and, in spite of Pia's earnest entrea. of the groaning guardians of the law, taught only the great and powerful, and never stain. ties, fired them into the air.
him enough, and he had scarcely sent for a ing his name by murder or malicious cru. Under ordinary circumstances, this in. doctor and asked the wounded men how they | elty. The village of Spinetta, in which he fringement of the law would probably have felt, when news arrived that the bridegroom had formerly enjoyed no special distinction,
now began to speak of its famous son with which the bridegroom, who seemed to bave his hand and attempted to retire into the vesrespect and admiration. Those who met him grown an inch taller since his elevation to try. But Maino courteously stepped before in the mountains could not say enough of his the rank of captain of the band of brigands, him and said, still in a strange voice, like a handsome and stately appearance, or the answered, with a superior smile, that they man excited by wine : chivalrous manner in which he treated his could be perfectly at ease until the follow- “ Your reverence, we are now married, in country-people. Barbone, on the contrary, ing day, as he had put the envious disturb. / spite of Signore Barbone, but you must do who, after lying in the hospital a few weeks, ers of the peace in safe custody. The two us another favor." was once more ready for service, though he miserable scoundrels, Barbone and his ras- “I don't understand you, my son,” replied limped about on a crutch, was avoided by cally companion, were lying securely bound the priest, who with difficulty concealed his everybody, and, in spite of his official dignity, in the engine-house, which was, moreover, consternation at this new demand. met wry faces and angry glances wherever he locked and guarded. He intended to spend “I have sworn a solemn oath, by the seven turned his eyes.
that night in his young wise's cottage, but on wounds of our blessed Saviour, that I will not
the following day turn bis back upon his leave this church until I and my beloved wife, Several months had passed. Summer home for a long time, if not forever. “A Signora Pia Maino, have been crowned Emwas drawing to a close; the lovely Pia doubt. galantuomo, Signore Pastore,” he concluded, peror and Empress of Spinetta! You must less often thought, with many a secret sigh, laughing so joyously that bis wbite teeth know, your reverence, that my wife is the what would become of the hunted peasants glittered in the firelight, “ a galantuomo finds crown and pearl of women, was recognized as during the rude winter among the moun- his country wherever there are galantuomini, such in her childhood by the greatest man of tains, and her confidence in Maino's lucky and in our envied Piedmont these are rare the century and all time, who kissed her on star began to waver. One evening, when the as figs on a church-roof. I intend to settle the forehead, because he wished to declare moon was just rising over the roof of the with my wife in France or Spain, where a her his peer and her brow worthy to wear a little church, the pastor of Spinetta sat in man is taken at his proper value. The best
Therefore I beg you, your reverence, his kitchen at a little table close beside the dish loses its taste when it is burned, and my as you are already present, to perform the hearth, where he was in the habit of taking enemies here have caused a smoke and smell coronation ceremony. As for the cost—" his meals; the old maid-servant had brought that hurt the eyes. But I ask nothing gratis, He again thrust his hand into his pocket, in the dish of polenta and plate of bread and your reverence, and here is the wedding-fee." to draw out his purse. olives, and was just going into the cellar to He approached the table and counted out “You are jesting, my son," said the priest, get a bottle of the red wine of the country, a dozen shining gold-pieces, but the priest trying to smile. “Who am I, to bestow when the door was gently opened, and, with a saw that his gait was somewhat unsteady and worldly honors, if you and your young wife “Good-evening, Signore Pastore," a man at- his hands trembled. He had evidently been were ever so worthy of them? Besides, with tired in a singular costume crossed the thresh- drinking heavily, and the slightest opposition what could I crown and auoint you? This old. He really resembled one of the fantas. to his will might transform his careless good. poor house of God—” tic brigands who are usually not to be found nature into a fit of violent passion.
“ These are only excuses, begging your in Italy except on the stage, when the opera The priest therefore instantly gathered up pardon, your reverence. You have no inof “Fra Diavolo" is performed. Over one the princely fee, and declared himself ready clination to perform this sacred task, and do shoulder was flung an excellent English to precede the young couple to the church. not think us worthy of the coronation. But double-barreled gun, and two handsome sil. Meantime the twilight bad deepened into I know what I'm talking about, and will count ver-mounted pistols were thrust into the red night, but the road between the parsonage myself of no more value than a hair of Barsash that girded his waist. His face and and the church was brightly lighted by a bone's head, if I go away from this church hands were clean, and his close-curling hair number of torches brought by Maino's com- uncrowned ! So make no more delay. There's was scented with perfumed oil. The priest, panions, as well as by lamps and candles, | plenty of oil in the lamp that burns before notwithstanding he had instantly recognized with which all the inbabitants of the village the Virgin’s altar; and as for the crowns—" the famous hero of Spinetta, was very much had illuminated their little windows. The His eyes wandered over the walls on each startled, and gazed at the apparition in si- peasants of Spinetta had also probably emptied side of the altar, then he walked quietly to a lence, while the old maid-servant filed shriek- more than one glass at the expense of their couple of figures of saints the size of life, ing from the room. But Maino, nodding sa
famous fellow-citizen; at any rate, they were which stood on small pedestals, and wore anmiliarly, approached, removed his broad- all in a merry mood, and received the priest cient, dusty crowns of gilt tin. He removed brimmed hat with its floating plume, and and betrothed couple with loud cheers, ac- these, blew off the dust, polished the gilding begged his reverence to have no fear; he had companied by the firing of pistols, which now with the sleeve of his velvet jacket, and then no evil designs, and would not intrude upon had a malicious sound, as the enemies of this carried the two crowns carefully back to the him after the object of his visit was accom- harmless festal music could not fail to hear altar, and laid them on the altar-cloth. plished, namely, that the wedding ceremonies it in their gloomy dungeon. After the priest There," said he. “ These will do for which had been so rudely disturbed should and bridal pair reached the altar, there was the present. And now go to work." now be duly performed.
another short delay. The bridegroom in. “Maino!” exclaimed the young wife, with With these words be motioned toward sisted that, besides the two candles already an expression of the utmost horror, “wbat the door, and Pia timidly entered, clad in the lighted, all the chandeliers should be filled have you done? The saints in heaven—" same bridal garments she had worn before, with wax-lights and the church illuminated She did not finish the sentence. A look only it was evident that she had had little as on the occasion of the greatest festivals. from her husband had silenced her. time to arrange them. Behind her appeared The money for this expenditure he tossed But the priest did not allow himself to be a motley throng of dark figures with glitter- | into the baptismal font, and commanded the intimidated by these imperious eyes. “I sol. ing weapons, and the whole population of organ to be played. Meantime the poor lit. emnly protest against such sacrilege,” he exSpinetta seemed to have assembled before the tle church was bathed in fairy-like splendor, claimed, in so stern a tone that even Maino's house, waiting in breathless suspense to see and, when all was ready, and the stately youth wild comrades shrank back. “Do you know, what would happen next.
led his beautiful bride to the altar, an excla- | blinded youth, that you defy God's anger The priest, though a much braver man mation of admiration ran from lip to lip, and when you seize upon the ornaments of the than his famous colleague, Don Abbondio, each lad, in spite of the ban of outlawry, church, the crowns of the saints, to serve perceived that no refusal was possible, and as would gladly have changed places with the your worldly pride ? Depart, and pray to the all the usual preliminaries had been arranged bridegroom, each maiden with the bappy Holy Virgin to forgive you this blasphemous before the first wedding-day, he could have bride.
deed, and intercede with the Lord of heaven! no conscientious scruples about blessing this But the priest-the only one in the throng I wash my hands in innocence. I bave nothing marriage. But he took the liberty of asking who did not feel perfectly at ease in regard to to do with this profanation of the saints.” the question whether Maino was quite sure the affair-hurriedly performed the ceremony,
With these words he turned away, and, the wedding would not again be disturbed by and, when the pair had gained their object, before any one could detain bim, disappeared the interference of the temporal powers; to and were irrevocably united, hastily waved in the vestry.