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orinLbslongitodSet, i^ie set Ihall be paidibrb; ifaa 
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Book binding, Suiionary, Accompc-boolu Ruled lo 

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andTansr Gold Paper, Guld Boideri, &c im the greateu ' 

Mti iic bound inih 

Mkat Puilicatitiu j 




»■■, 



"% 



■niP 



THE 



DEMON OF SICILY, 



%c. %c. %c. 



VOL. I 



\ 



Printed by T. Wallit and H. Mills, Littl« Coram Street, 

Brunswick Square. 



m 



^P- 



THE 



DEMON OF SICILY. 



A ROMANCE, 

IN FOUR VOLUMES, 
BY 

EDWARD MONTAGUE ESQ. 

Author of Legends of a Nunnery, the Castle of Berry 

Pomeroy^ &c. 6cc. &c. 



Be thou a spirit of health, or goblin damn'd ? 

Bring'st with thee airs from Heaven, or blasts from Hell P 

Be thy intents wicked or charitable. 

Thou com*st in such a questionable shape 

That I will speak to thee. 

Shakespeabe. 

VOLUME THE FIRST. 

L O N O O N : 

PRINTED FOR J. F. HUGHES^ WIG 
STREET^ CAVENDISH SQUARE. 




1807. 






49^*- 



4', 

-1 "w *t-' 



THE 



DEMON OF SICILY. 



CHAP. I. 



The clock of the monastery had told 
in iron notes the midnight hour ; loudly it 
reverberated through the long corridors 
of the edifice and lofty aisles of the chapel, 
at lengthy dying away in sullen tones. 
Padre Bernardo started at the sounds 
Toii. I. i|k Till 



Till then his eyes had been intently 
fix 'd on a pointing of the Saint to whom 
the religious pile was dedicated^ -the 
Santa Catherina ; it was the master-piece 
of the first Italian painter of those 
times. A pleasing melancholy dwelt in 
the beautiful features; the mild blue 
eyes were raised in seeming adoration to 
Heaven ; her golden locks flowed on her 
ivory neck^ and the swelling charms of 
her bosom were perhaps too well repre- 
sented for the gaze of the secluded in- 
habitants of a monastery^ where what- ^ 
ever tends to excite the passions should 
studiously be avoided. The monk had 
been intently viewing this painting till 
he was roused from his meditations by 
the tolling of the bell; his lamp but 

faintly 



faintly glimmered ; he trimmed it^ and 
again resumed the train of his thoughts. 
The light now gleamed brightly on the 
paintings the monk fixed his large black 
eyes^ shaded by his bushy eye brows^ on 
the beautiful representation. 

What a lovely face ! said he mental- 
ly^ what expression ! tis surely such as 
^lows in the countenance of the angel 
of Mercy when receiving commission 
from on high to bring tidings, of for- 
giveness to the world! Sure no earth- 
ly woman can possess such charms ; if 
they did, passion would overcome rea^ 
son, and steep in forgetfulness the cold 
vows of seclusion. But what am I say- 
ing? Lovely painting, how hast thou 

B 2 caused 



caused my mind to stray, my passions 
too — But why were such .feelings given 
us, if they are not to be indulged ? I re- 
pent me of my vows. 

o 

At this moment a low noise was heard 
in the cell. The monk looked around, 
the taper dimly illumined the nearer 
objects with its uncertain rays, beyond 
them all was enveloped in murky ob- 
scurity, and in the dismal gloom uncer- 
tain shades and appearances seemed to 
flit along. 

A strange sensation shook the soul of 
the monk ; he stretched out his tremu- 
lous hand to aid the lamp's expiring 
beams, when, as he fearfully glared 

4^ around 



around bim^ he saw close by bis side an 
unusually tall figure in a monastic ha- 
bit, the close dra\¥n cowl of which 
completely enveloped the features from 
view; the arms were folded, and the 
head bent toward the ^ound. 

Scarcely could Bernardo collect suf- 
ficient fortitude io demand the cause 
of ^uch an unusual visit, when the mys- 
tic form thus addressed him. Hollow, 
deep, and harsh was his voice; it was such 
as awed the monk into a strict silenc«. 

'' I know, Bernardo, what thou wonld- 

est now say to me; thy other thoughts 

are also in tbe page of my remembrance. 

Thou art jright, . Radre, man was not 

/ • 

B 3 ^QWXSfc^ 



6 

formed to live alone^ to whine out his 
solitary hours in useless meditations and 
regrets. Padre^ thou hast not seen the 
world; these walls and a few musty 
volumes contain the extent of thy know- 
ledge, yet hast thy thoughts soared be- 
yond them, thou hast dared to meditate 

on the most seducing objects in nature. 

* 

Knowest thou, Bernardo, to what I al- 
lude ? It now dawns in thy breast — 
'tis woman! Padre, you think that 
woman cannot be so beautiful as that 
painting. Know that it is a faint at- 
tempt at the true representation of 
their charms Wouldst thou see one, 
monk ? " 



Bernardo had^ id some degree reeo- 

vercd 



vered from his astonishment during the 

speech of the stranger. Attentively he 

had listened to it; each word sunk deep 

in his recollection^ his curiosity was 

roused^ he had never seen other women 

than the. veiled Nuns of the convent 
which was contiguous to the monastery of 

Santa Catherina^ and his Jdeas of their 
features were only formed from the paint- 
ing of the Saint which were suspended 
in his cell. A sudden emotion seized 
his mind^ unlike what he had ever before 
experienced ; he turned himself around ; 
and though he could not avoid a secret 
dread stealing over his soul as he sur- 
veyed the tall figure beside him, he 
replied, 

./' It has long been the wish of my 

B 4 ^^%^l»\ 



8 

wakeful hours to survey the master- piece 
of Nature. The more we see of its won- 
ders^ the more we are disposed to adore 
the Author of them.'* 

Sajing these words^ he again raised 
his head to try if he could observe the 
countenance of the mysterious figure. 
The cowl had been misplaced^ he saw 
a smile on the dark features^ it was a 
smile of contempt; dreadful was the 
expression of the lower part of the ter- 
rible visage, the upper part was still 
concealed by the cowl, but a slight mo- 
tion made by the figure shewed to the 
monk one of the eyes, which appeared 
to him like a glowing flame. He start- 
ed from his seat> and with ideas too 

terrible 



terrible for utterance^ he covered his 
face with his hand^ lest he should again 
behold such an horrible appearance. 

At this moment the bell of the mo- 
nastery tolled one! 

'^ Bernardo !" said the harsh voice, 
"expect, me here to-morrow at mid- 
night. Let not these yain fears prevent 
thee from profiting by my condescen* 
sion. " 

The monk heard the words, biit un- 
able to reply, he remained in his pre- 
sent posture some time; at length he 
ventured to look around him. The 
lamp was nearly expiring, but as well 

B 5 as 



10 

as he could judge by its dim rays^ he 
was alone^ yet no opening or closing 
door had announced the departure of his 
visitor ; whom the monk now conjectured 
was ho inhabitant of the convent or 
even of the earth, but some demon, who, 
taking advantage of his wandering 
thoughts, had, watchful of the too fit op- 
portunity, endeavoured to alienate him 
from his duty. He had promised to 
be there the next night in order to prose* 
cute his further plans ; there, how- 
ever, thought the monk, he will fail ; 
no more will I listen to his specious 
arguments. 

Such was the ruminations of Bernardo 
after the departure of the terrible noc- 
turnal 



^ 



11 

turnal intruder. Taking, the lamp in 
his hand he traversed his cell^ looking 
fearfully around him lest in some dark 
recess hould still lurk the horrid figure. 

His fears, however, were vain ; for at the 
tolling of the first hour of mord he be- 
came the solitary trembling inhabitant 
of his cell. A mystic awful silence 
reigned throughout the pile ; and the 
monk, as he paced his chamber, softly 
trod the flpor^ for he started at the sound 
of his own steps, and feared to be- 
hold the attendant shadow of his tall 
figure gliding along the wall. 

He placed the lamp on the table, 
and advanced to the casement, which 

B 6 he 



IS 

\» opened. Chilly blew the blast of 
morning. 

The moon shone on the waving 
branches of the trees^ which thickly 
tenanted the garden belonging to the 
monastery^ and brightened the gray 
walls of th« building with her silvery 
beams. 

The iiQul of the monk^ disturbed by 
the occurrehc** of the nighty took no 
pleasure from the tranquil scene which 
lay before him. In bis bosom there 
yet remained not only a chaos of con- 
tending terrors^ but also of contending 
passions. In the moment of his fears 
his resolutions had been good^ but in 

proportion 



>%. 



IS 

proportion as they abated^ so faded 
away his resolves to resist the temptations 
which he conceived about to be thrown 
in bis way. 

At any rate^ thought he^ I will again 
see this mysterious person^ who it ap-^ 
pears wishes to enlarge my thoughts^ to 
make me acquainted with the worlds from 
which I have been hitherto ; excluded* 
It still lies with me to baffie, his evil de* 
signs :• in struggling with temptations lies 
the sole proof of virtue.-**It is surely 
no proof of goodaess to act wiell when 
we cannot do otherwise, whem t^e will 
has nothing to do with our actions. 

Instead, therefore, of being doubtful 

of 



14 

of himself, he placed confidence in his 
yirtue ; he conceived himself able to resist, 
and therefore no longer thought of flying 
from temptation — Fatal reliance. 

Having staid indulging his reverie 
some time at the casement, chilled by 
the cold air^ he at length returned from 
it, and sat down by the table on which 
was the lamp. The painting which 
had so greatly fascinated him was again 
the subject of his meditation, a<id he 
recalled to his mind what the nocturnal 
visitant had said respecting it. Little 

» 

trouble was there in bringing those 
words to his remembrance ; deeply were 
they rooted in his breast. 



15 

'' If that '' said he '' is but a faint 
attempt to represent their charms^ what 
must they \}e in realitjr ? How anxious 
I feel, for the apjpbinted hour^ when I 
shall judge myself the truth of that 
assertion. " 

The 'matin bell roused the monk 
from meditations so unfit to be held 
within the walls of a monastery; and 
by one^ too^ who at the altar had 
sworn a solemn and irrerocable oath^ 
registered in Heaven^ to dedicate his 
life^ his soul and body^ to the worship, 
of Him who dwells far above mortal 
ken^ and is far beyond mortal compre- 
hension. 



Reluctantly he joined the train of the 

holy 



16 

holy fathers^ and entered the lofty aisles 
of the chapel^ at the same time that the 
nuns and boarders of the convent pre- 
ceded lily the Lady Abbess, took their ac- 
customed seats within the gilded skreen 
that separated the part they occupied 
from that appropriated for the monks. 

The sertice began — but the thoughts 

> 

of the monk wandered from the avoca- 
tions of the hour ; he joined in the re? 
spouses but his heart that morning had 
no share in the words of his mouth. 



His eyes were fixed on the nuns and 
boarders, if haply he . could get a 
glimpse of their features; there, how- 
ever, he was disappointed; he listened 

to 



17 

to their melodious strains with rapture^ 
but it was not the rapture which devo- 
tioa yields to h.er pure votaries; it was 
a rapture sullied with thoughts which 
the midoight occurences had awakened 
in his mind. 

He was glad when the service ceased^ 
for conscience told him he was acting 
wrong in letting his imagination rove on 
subjects contrary to what ought to have 
so entirely occupied them as to exclude 
all worldly ideas ; but the arch enemy of 
man bad seized on his fluctuating soul 
while it lingered in its election of 
heavenly blessings or earthly pleasures^ 
and, like a wary foe, noticed the breach, 

and 



18 

and entered the weak bulwark which 
had so feebly opposed him. 

Slowly wore away the tedious hours; 
often did the monk look to the Heavens^ 
where glowed in meridian splendor the 
regent of day. At length he began 
to decline^ and the shadows of the 
larches and tall pines encreased on the 
earth ; slowly he sunk beneath the hilly 
boundary of the western horixon^ buf 
*not at the moment that he illumined 
other worlds was his total departure 
mannifest for the clouds still retained 
tjbeir borrowed radiance^ and the face of 
nature glowed with their golden reflec- 
tion. 

The 



« • 



19 

The visper bell then tolled. Again 
\¥as the monk, obliged to attend in the 
chapel^ but his ideas were still more 
distant from what was then passing than 
in the morning. 



Soon^ thought he as he surveyed the 
nuns^ soon I shall behold one of your sex. 
This night is to present to my view the 
fairest of Nature's works; but how it is 
to be effected I know not. Much < I 
have heard of the potency of magic, 
but surely it must be powerless with- 
in theie consecrated walls. He, however, 
who knew my thoughts ere my lips 
bad given them utterance, is surely abfo 
to effect his promiie. 

After 



20 

After the hour of repast was over, the 
monk retired to his cell; he fastened 
the door to prevent any intrusion. And 
having carefully examined every part, 
he sat dow^n, and with anxious expectan- 
cy awaited the arrival of the promised 
visitor. 

> ■ 

On' the table lay jaivyolume of 
monastic tf^les^ such as might be sup- 
posed to originate froip the superstitious 
and ill-informed minds of those who 
lived in a still ruder era than when 
these imperfect records were traced by 
the hand that now no longer grasps the 
descriptive pen. The monk had jet 
two hours to wear away ere his car 

would be greeted by the long-sounding 

i. 

»- hour 



21 

hoar of midnight^ and he sought to pass 
the time in the perusal of some of the 
pages of the ancient volume. 



He read a little — he started^ and looked 
around him ; he had opened the book 
^here began a gloomy relation which 
Tvas increased by his expectations of 
the probable events of the night. Still 
a kind of anxious curiosity to know the 
rest of the tale made him again turn his 
attention to the pages, which in a short 
time completely engaged it. 

The clock now tolled eleven— the 
Padre counted the reverberating strokes 
of the ponderous hammer. Another 

hour^ 



I 
■w 



23 

hour^ thought he^ in the perusal of this 
tale will soon pass. 

He then trimmed his lamp^ looked for 
some moments anxiously at the painting 
before him. then gazed around the 
gloomy chamber^ and again fixed his 
attention on the book. 

The legend which had so greatly excited 
his attention he finished ere half theperiod 
of time that remained to the appointed 
hour was clasped. Bernardo yawn- 
ed, he closed the book, his senses w^re fa- 
tigued, the last liight he had not slept, and 
during the day the agitation of his mind 
made him wish not for repose ; he leaned 
back in his chair, drew his cowl over his 

face. 



«3 

&ce^ and soon the somniferoui deity 
weighed heavy on his eyelids. Thus 
we will leave him while we relate the 
tale that had engaged his attention. 



Leonardi de Vicensio and the Fair 

Isabella. 

Furiously flashed the red lightnings^ 
and dreadfully roared the peals of thun- 
der on the bleak mountains ! — But what 
was the lightnings or what the thunder to 
Ugo De Tracy ? Little recked he either ; 
not so his terrified steed that starting 
and stumbling continually^ forced him to 
alight. Long had De Tracy wandered 
through the dark folds of nighty uncer- 
tain of his course; till the lofty walls 
t>f a castle appeared to his searching 

eyes 



24 

eyes as the lightning, darting from tile 
black bosom . of the low-hwig clouds, 
illumined the dreary waste. 

The building appeared ruinous and 
uninhabited, but as the jaded steed was 
unable to proceed farther, the Signor 
determined to seek a shelter for him 
beneath the ruin during the storm. 

Entering the large hall he tied him 
to a pillar, and a blue glimmering light 
which seemed slowly to wave in the air 
at some distance, attracting his notice, he 
drew forth his trusty faulchion, and 
advanced toward it. 

With some difficulty, however, he 

effected 



25 

efi^k^d thii, as the roof laid in heaps on 
the pavement in many places^ and the 
fragments of the huge colunms crossed 
his path; when at length he had advanced 
to the further extremity of the halL he 
saw that the blue flames whose slow- 
waving motion had caught his eye pro- 
ceeded from a lamp^ carried by a form 
that appeared to have been some time 
claimed by the relentless angel of death : 
the face was ghastly pale^ the eye 
deep sunk in the socket^ and the dis- 
gusting traces of putrefaction were vi- 
sible on the countenance. 



Confounded atthis horrible appearance^ 
which bore the resemblance of a female^ 
De Tracy stopped^ when a hollow voice 

VOL. I. c said 



«6 

said '^ De Tracy, dost thou not Viow 
me ? dost thou not know thy Isabella > 



. " Gracious powers. ! what nn|ean you 
by these words ! Isabella De Tracy 
lives not here/* 



.; ^' This is her tomb/' again said the 
spectre seemingly fixing her rayless eyes 
on him, ^' follow mc ! " 



Ugo knew not fear; resolutely he 
replied, '' I will walk in the shadow 
of thy steps, mysterious being, who hast 
mentioned the name of that much- 
loTed wife, under circumstances which 
overwhelm my soul with a terrible 

dread. 



«r 



» '* 



dreftA. Heavai forbid thit any sinister 
event should bate befallen her. '' 

The spectre sighed deeply^ and turn- 
ing rounds seemed to look sorrowfully 
at Ugo De Tracj ; it then passed on to 
a pair of folding doors^ which^ at its 
approach^ flew wide on their massy 
hinges. 



Ugo De Tracy, had just returned to 
Sicily from a pilgrimage to the Lady of 
Loretto^ and was going to the southern 
parts of it^ where arose his stately 
castle^ when being benighted, he met 
with the extraordinary and melancholy 
adventure which is recorded in these pa- 
ges by Bartolo, one of the first monks who 
resided in the holy walls of Santa 

c 2 C^^«vas^.^ 



38 

Catherina^ which building is erected oa 
the same site as that whereon the ruin- 
ous castle formerly stood. 



Ugo followed the spectre through 
the corridore. Arrived at the extremity, 
part of the wainscoting which was pan- 
nelled gave way, and disclosed a dark 
flight of steps. Aided by the feeble 
gleams of the blue light, which the ter- 
rible form carried, he followed it down 
an almost disniantled staircase for some 
time, till at length Ugo observing that 
the steps were cut out of the solid 
rock, and that they were decending into 
the bowels of the earth far beneath the 
foundations of the Castle, suddenly 
stopped, and thus questioned, the spec- 
tre : — 



89 

ire :— *' Whither wouldst thou lead mc ? 
what can be your object m briDging m% 
here? I will proceed no further/' 

The spectre replied not^ ilowlj it 
raised its hand to its throaty and a deep 
sigh echoed through the dull^ gloomj 
place. 

The soul of De Tracy, disdaining 
the impulses of fear^ now determined 
to follow the forra^ which haying slow-* 
ly deceended to the bottom of the steps^ 
turned into a small chamber^ or rather 
dungeon, where what was De Tracy's 
horror at beholding the headless trunk 
of a female lying on the ground ! 

c3 The 



30 

The qpectre stood bjr the side of it. 
A hollow Toice which seemed to fill the 
dungeon^ slowlj laid " revenge the deed ! ** 
Ugo started ; till now his eyes had been 
fixed on the mangled form at his feet^ 
when suddenly the blue light died away^ 
and he was left in the black horrors 
of impenetrable darkness. 



Isabella was lovely as the rose when 
first it. unfolds its beauties to the morn- 
ing beams ; eight months had she been 
the happy wife pf De Tracy, when 
Superstition with her ominous voice 
bade him bend his knee at the shrine of 
the Lady of Loretto. 

Ugo ^ith many sight embraced hi& 

. ■wife. 



31 

and she beheld his departure with the 
frequent tear of unavailing sorrow ; she 
took her station on the topmost turret 
of her castle^ and while she saw hiB 
loved form winding along the valley 
which it overlooked^ she still retained 
sufficient fortitude to restrain the tide of 
grief which swelled her sad heart; 
but when distance had rendered him 
almost invisible^ and an intervening 
hill obscured him from her anxious 
sights then it was^ that^ dissolved in tears 
and uttering deep and heartfelt sighs^ 
she sunk almost bereft of animation into 
the supporting arm& of her attendants, 
who conveyed her from the towering 
turret to her now cheerless chamber. 

€ 4 



32 

Daily, however/- did she revisit the 
turret, daily cast her eyes tow^ard the 
place where she had last beheld her 
1 oved De Tracy, while her sighs would 
increase the zephyr, and her tears tric- 
kle down her lovely checks. 

One evening as seated on the turret, she 
leaned her beauteous head on her snowy 
arm and was pensively contemplating 
the splendor of the setting sun as he 
was sinking in the watery wave, the 
clash of arms drew her attention to- 
ward the place from whence the hostile 
sounds proceeded; whennear the entrance 
a wood whose leafy tenantry overshaded 
a large track of land, she beheld a 
Knight engaged in furious contest with 

four 



•k 



S3 

four seemingly well appointed ruffians; 
a dart piered his breast^ and he fell 
from his horse. Isabella shrieked at 
the sight; she arrose from her seat^ 
and summoning her attendants^ bade 
them fly to the succour of the wounded 
Knight^ and offer him an appartment 
in her castle^ if the breath of life ling- 
ered in his veins. 

Hastily the domestics obeyed the 
commands of their Lady. From )ier 
turret she still surveyed the deeds of 
the banditti; they were now proceed- 
ing to strip off the armor of the Knight^ 
who still lay on the earth. The dart 
had not been the messenger of death ; 
his sword was still in his hand ; rage 

c 5 strung 



34 

strung his nerves^ and indignant at the 
pew insuH oflfered him, the Knight 
raised his glaive^ and with a sudden thrust 
made a passage for the current of life 
in the breast of one of the ruffians, whof 
fell to the blood-stained earth; the 
other with terible execrations were on 
the point of avenging the death of their 
comrade; already had they upraised 
their swords, thirsting for blood, when 
the approach of the domestics of the 
Lady Isttbella put them to suddea 
flight. 

The wounded Knrght was placed on 
a litter, and borne to the castle, where 
he was attended by the surgeon of the 
household. Speedily he recovered, a 

*" few 



35 

few days saw him able to his depar- 
ture, and he desired to be brought to 
the Signora Isabella to thank her for 
being the preserver of his life. 

He was conducted into her presence ; 
when, struck with astonishment at the 
bhize of beauteous charms which con- 
centered in that lovely female, he re- 
mained Hke one amazed ; and, unknow- 
ing of his actions, with difficully at 
length he stammered out his thanks to 
the Signora for her kind conduct to- 
ward him ; while his dark expressive 
eyes rolled unceasing over the beauteous 
form of Isabella. 



Leonardi di Vicensio was the name 

c 6 of 



\ 



36 

of the Knight. He was of gigantic 
stature^ like the hero's of other years^ 
his face was gloomy as the dark lower-^ 
' ing clouds of night when the ^ thunder 
is heard and the lightnings play around 
the arch of Heaven; his hushy eye- 
brows protruded |ar over his darkly 
rolling eyes ; his cheek bones were high; 
his nose was long and acquiline ; a 
dark smile played at times on his lips> 
but it was like the ocean^ which puts on 
a serene look just before the storms raise 
its angry billows to the skies. 

Such was Leonardi di Vicensio ; who^ 
when he had left the presence of the 
peaceless Isabella began to meditate on 
the means to get her to consent to gra- 

gratify 



3f 

gratify the base passions which her 
charms had raised in his bosom. 

All night he slept not; he arose ere 
the lark yet awoke in his downy nest, 
or ere the breeze of morning had dis- 
persed; the wiwholesome vapors of 
night. 

Restless was the soul of Leonardi as 
bestrode through ft. h.n,.ftl,eC„- 
tie of De Tracy, revolving in his mind 
dark and horrible deeds. 

Passing by the portals which led to 
the chapel, he thought he heard a voice 
within; he listened again; the voice 
sweetly sounded in his ear, it was like 

music 



38 

mnsic to the bite of the deadly taran- 
tula, it charmed hit semei to a forgct- 
fulness of all beside, for it was that of 
Isabella. ^ 

On her knees before the altar he be- 
held the lovely wife of Dfe Tracy; 
with impatience and dissatisfaction he 
heard her petition the saints for his 
safe return. At that moment he stood 
by her side, she turned around, and 
overcome by a sudden emotiom of fear, 
she shrieked aloud. 



Echo alone heard her. Thrice she 
repeated the exclamation along the 
vaulted roofs and dreary corridores 
where she held her reign; but it reach- 

ltd 



39 

I 

m 

ed Xkoi tbe ear» of other mortal than 
those of the gloomy Leonardi. 

On the step of the altar, seizing the 
the trembling hand of Isabella^ he bent 
his kniee, while through hi» grated 
Tisor^ by the light of the bright clouds 
which tinged with the glories of the 
sun^ who was then £sist retiring from 
other worlds^ cast a crimson radiance 
into the chapel through the twisted 
panes of the large attar window, she 
beheld his darkly-roUing eyes. 

'' Fair Isabella/* said the Knight^ 
^' why petition Heayen to bring thee thy 

* 

husband? Listen to the suit of Leo^ 
nardi ; he lo^es, he adories thee ; thy 

beauties 



40 

beauties dw^ll in his heart; all night 
he has thoiight on them; behold him 
a suppliant who never knelt before/' 



''And of little use. Sir Knight/' 
said the fear-struck Isabella, '' is that 
lowlj posture now. Suffer me, Signor 
Leonardi, to use my own discretion in 
retiring from^this place, nor longer de- 
tain my hand.'' 



" Say not so, beauteous Isabella, suf- 
fer me to hope that time and my un* 
ceasing attentions may" — 

'' May what, Signor?" said Isabella, 
her lofty soul swelling high with indig- 
nation. '' Know you not that I am the 

wife 



41 

wife of Ugo De Tracy, who^ if he 
were here, would well chastise thee 
for this insolence. Like him, I spurn 
whatever is base and dishonorable, and 
•uch I hold the Signor Leonardi. " 

The Knight rose from his bended 
knee^ in a transport of rage he flung 
from hit grasp the arm of Isabella; 
he laid his hand on his faalchion, sud- 
denly he withdrew^ while he gnashed 
his teeth, and inwardly muttered curses 
deep and horrid. 

Isabella, with a dignified firmness 

walked toward the portals of the chapel. 

■% 

Soon her elegant form was lost to the 

view 



43 

tiew of the deep-plotting Vicenaio ; who^ 
whea he heard the closing of the dis- 
tant portals^ laid his right hand on the 
altar, and solemnly swore to be revenged 
of Isabella De Tracy. 

The statue of the Holy Mother started 
at his horrid oath, while from each mar- 
ble tomb in the chapel burst a melancho- 
ly groan,, which deep sounded in the ears 
of Leonardi. 



" Groan on, and start,'* he furiously 
exclaimed, ^^ portends and prodigies are 
lost on me, use your arts, ye mouldering 
bones;, and you, inanimate represenative 
of the immaculate Virgin^ may raise your 



armi» 



43 

arms again^ and look with horror ob me^ 
I fear not all that yoH can do/' 

Dark grew the chapel; a murky 
cloud hung before the large easement ; 
but by the still small glimmering of 
light Leonardi beheld himself surround- 
ed by tall skeletons^ who wayed their 
fleshless arm§ for him to depart. 

It was then that coM drops of water 
stood on the forehead of Leonardi — 
'^ Tremble !*' said a voice over the altar. 
Ho raised hit eyes> the statue of the 
Virgin again appeared Mrimated; its 
gaze was fixed on him« 

Leomurdi fied> he was unable to en- 
dure 



44 

dure the horror of the moment. With 
him fled the. shadow of night, the 
Inurky ck>ud disappeared, and the frail 
remains of mortality sought their si-^ 
lent tombs. 

Hastily he proceeded to the stables, 
where snorted his coal-black steed ; 
quickly he saddled him, and vaulting 
on his back, was soon far from the ken 
of the tower of De Tracy's castle. 

/ 

r 

In the bosom of a dark forest, where 
the beams of day in their meridian lustre 
faintly glimmered, Leonardi reined in 
his steed ; there he alighted ; and 
there his memory recalled the horrible 
prodigies he had witnessed; but his 

memory 



45 

memorj likewue retained the cbarmt 
of Isabella, bis dreadful oatb, and ber 
insulting expressions. 

'' And I will be revenged," said be, 
a^ unlacing bis belmet sbaded witb black 
plumes' be cast it on tbe verdant grass ; 
' '' let but tbe sun decend, let but tbe 
gloomy sbade of nigbt be unfurled from 
tbe battlements of Heaven, and I will 
bear away tbe baugbty, lovely Isabel- 
la. 



Ryno, tbe black steed of tbe savage 
Vicensio, was cropping tbe berbage, 
wbile tb^ Knigbt, witb arms folded, 
leaned against tbe stem of a large tree. 
The increasing sbade sbewed tbe sun to 

be 



46 

be declining from his meridian altitude. 
Gloomy was his soul, and far more 
black his thoughts than the fabled river 
which rolls its sable way^s into the 
va8t Tartarean gulph. 

The Knight prepared to depart : he 

stooped to take from the ground his 

.helmet, when he hastily drew back op 

perceiving that a snake had made it his 

abode. 

He had not as yet armed his hands 
with the ponderous gauntlet. Sullenly 
he drew them on. Approaching the snake 
which had twisted its scaly folds in the 
hollow of his casqiie, he suddenly seized 
on its head wbieh rested in the midst. 

The 



♦7 

The poisonous reptile twisted its 
speckled form round the body of the 
Knight^ but its efforts were vain^ for 
the head was soon crushed in the gaunt* 
let^ and it for ever ceased to dart its 
deadly tongue. 

Leonardi smiled horribly. *^ What 
other men/" said he^ '* would have con- 
verted into an omer of bad import^ I 
construe into sucess. Scaly wretch^ thou 
shall adorn my helm with the bright 
colors of thy variegated skin." 

This said^ he bound around his casque 
the long body of the snake^ unmindful 
of the black gore which dropped from 

the 



48 

the lacerated head^ and then called to 
Ryno his steed. 

The sable courser at the well-known 
voice of his master threw up his head 
in the air^ and neighed aloud. In an 
instant he came up to the place wher« 
stood the vindictive Knight. 

Leonardi was on his saddle in a mo* 
ment; the steed measured back his swifl^ 
paces^ and soon arrived at the skirts of 
the forest. 



A gloomy horror presided over Na- 
ture. The sun had sunk to other 

worlds; the crimson of the clouds had 
disappeared ; a misty vapor enveloped 

tht 



49 

the face of creation ; a mournful silence 
reigned around^ save that at a distance 
was heard the unceasing roaring of Etna 
in her fier j caverns. 

Leonardi looked toward the place 
where the mountain rose, but the flames 
were obscured by the gloomy va- 
por, 

This opapue mist, thought Leo- 
nardi, favors my design ; under its kind 
covert I can, unseen, approach the cas- 
tle of the peerless Isabella, and, 
if fortune will befriend me, bear her 
away. 

He now drew near its lofty walls. 
VOL. I. D Ryno 



50 

Ryno lie placed in the concealing recess 
of a buttress >¥hile he strode into the 
hall with cautious pace^ his hand grasp* 
ing his glaive. 

Unseen he crossed it; and entering 
the chapol^ leaned against the column 
which Was nearest to the portals^ for 
his soul had not yet forgot the terrific 
omens of the morning. 

The storm that had been long gather- 
ing in the gloomy clouds now burst 
forth in awful fury, blue lightnings dart- 
ed around the chapel which vibrated at 
the tremendous peals of thunder thM 
roared unceasing in the arch of Heaven. 
The rain poured down in torrents, and, 

driven 



51 

driven by the blasts dashed against the 
painted casementi of the chapel. At times 
ke heard the wild shrieks of the spirits 
of the mountains between the pauses of 
the angry gusts of wind ; but he derided 
the utmost fury of the storm^ and 
waited impatiently in the hope of seeing 
Isabella enter the chapel. 

Nor long did he hope in vain ; the 

unfortunate wife of De Tracy, alarmed 

by the storm, left her chamber tosuppli- 

jcate at the altar for the safety of her 

husband. 

_ ■ 

With a cwitious, trembling hand, she 
opened the portal ; she raised her lamp to 
illuminate the dusky aisle, but its feeble 

D 2 rays 



52 

ravf pierced the surrounding gloom but 
a fcvv paces before her. 

Leonardi concealed his gigantic form 
behind a column, and as the Signora ad- 
vanced he rushed forward, and caught 
her in his arms. 

She rent the air with her shrieks, 
but her exclamations were lost in the 
wild howling of the storm ; and soon her 
senses forsook her, and she lay inanimate 
in his iron grasp. 

Hastily he bore her through the halL 
and coming to the buttress looked in 
vain for R vno ; scared by the peals of 
thunder and irivid flashes of lightning, 

he 



53 

he bad wandered from the place. Loud- 
ly he called on him, and soon the faith- 
ful steed appeared through the dull 
gloom. 

The sound of his voice awoke the 

hapless Isabella from her insensate state 
to a knowledge of the extent of her 
miserj. She was placed on the steed ; 
Leonard! held her in one arm, while 
the other grasped the reins ; and swiftly 
as the arrow from the bow of the hunter 
they darted through the stormy vapors 
which clustered around. 



Their course lay by the base of Etna : 
as they approached toward it, the flames 

D 3 lighted 



54 

lighted them on their way. Isabella trem- 
bled when she beheld the fiery torrenti 
which descended (he mountain sides, but 
she trembled more at being in the power 
of the unprincipled Leonardi. 

Swiftly the steed proceeded obedient to 
his master's will the whole of that night. 
When gloomily the morning dawned 
the turrets of a dismantled castle rose 
to view. 



At the decayed bridge Leonard! 
alighted, he conducted the trembling 
form of Isabella through the broken 
portals. Well knew the Knight the sub- 
terraneous recesses of the castle ; within 



its 



55 

its tottering walls his own arm had per- 
petrated dark deeds of horror. 

Down many a step which seemed to 
be a passage to the bowels of the earthy 
he forced the wretched Isabella^ till at 
length they entered a dungeon. 

'' Now, lady, "said he in harsh accents, 
^ 'tis like thou mayest repent of the deep 
insult you have offered me. No longer a 
suitor, I command thee to yeild to my 
wishes; dreadful indeed will be the 
punishment of disobedience, for my 
loul yet burns with the remembrance of \ 
the injury I have received. " 

The soul of Isabella rose above the 

D 4 Vv<(ytt^\\ 



>■ 



56 

horrors of her situation ; she seized the 
dagger that glittered in the girdle of 
the gloomy Leonardi. 

'' Barbarian," said she, '^ I fear thee 
not; in a moment I can put myself 
beyond thy infamous design. Powers of 
merry, receive my soul !" 

The dagger she had directed to her 
bosom here interrupted her; she fell to 
the ground, her pure blood dyed her 
garments. 

Furious grew Leonardi at being dis- 
appointed of his expected prey; he lookr 
ed blackly on the prostrate Isabella ; she 
still lived, for the wound was not mortal. 

Since 



57 

'^ Since not my desires, I can how- 
ever yet satiate my revenge; the pangs of 
death from my hand shall torture thee." 

Thus said, he drew his glaive; he di- 
vided the lovely head of Isabella from 
the convulsed body; he caught it by 
the beautiful long black tresses^ and 
strode away with it to another chamber ; 
he set it on a piece of a broken column, 
and contemplated with a demoniac sa- 
tisfaction the features once so lovely, so 
interesting, but now ghastly with the 
agonies of death. "Those eyes," said 
he " will no longer look indignant on me; 
neither will that mouth further insult me. 

» 

Would I Could have increased the tor- 
ture of death ; gladly would I have done 

D 5 it; 



58 

it ; for her groani were comfort to m j 
•oul." 

Some dayg he continued indulging 
his black revenge; at length a new 
thought struck him; '' I will go" said he, 
"to the cell where her body lies^ and take 
from it her proud heart ; I shall find 
pleasure in trampling on it." 

He was going ; when strange terrors 
shook his soul ; on a sudden his ima* 
gination hears the com planing spec* 
tre of the murdered Isabella groan^ his 
hair stiffens^ he starts^ the headless shade 
seems to pursue him through the gloom 
-^his blood chilled^ he stood leaning on 
his faulchion^ while with a pale^ disord- 
ered 



59 

erd countenance^ he questioned tinis 
himself : 



'' What ! shall Leonardi become the 
slave of superstitious terrors ? shall his 
mighty soul jeild to the fever of ima* 
gination ? perish the thought^ perish 
myself first ! No, I am resolved I vi^ill 
tear out the heart of Isabella ! " 



Mournful was the soul of Ugo de 
Tracy when the supernatural appearance 
faded from his view ; and the blue light 
ceasing to illumine^ the dreary cell left 

him in the murky shades of night ; left 
him too with the murdered, headless 

D 6 body 



60 

body iTvhich he was told wai that of bis 
beloved Isabella. 



Suddenly he heard a heavy step sound* 
ing through the subterraneous caverns 
of the castle ; the clank of armor ac^ 
companied the echoing paces. 

Bearing a torch^ entered a gigantic 
figure clothed in sable armor; round 
his helmet^ shaded with black plumes^ 
was twisted a large snake^ the poisonious 
head hung loosely in the air ; in his left 
hand he bore the head of a female^ as 
appeared by the dark flowing locks^ in 
his right an unsheathed faulchion and 
the torch. 

His 




61 

His Tizor was up. Dark as the shades 
of night when the lightnings fly and 
thunder is heard^ was his countenance. 
His eyes rolled gloomily dreadful. 

Dt Tracy^ anxious to know the pur- 
port of his comings drew back into the 

gloom of the cell. Nor long staid he 
there. 



'' Thus^ '* said the sable, black-hearted 
Knight, '' do I seek my last revenge. 
I will find that heart, that proud, vaunt- 
ing'heart of Isabella, which made her de- 
fy me, which made her resist the de- 
sires of my bosom. " 

Thus having spoke, he flung to the 

earth 



62 

earth the head ; it rolled toward De 
Tracy, the light of the torch gleamed 
on the sunken features, he beheld in 
them the mortal remains of his adored 
wife. Rage, bloody rage, strung his 
nerves ; he drew his glaive, and as the 
Knight was tearing away the garments 
that once concealed the swelling beauties 
of Isabella's bosom, he strode from 
his murky recess. 

'' Fiend of Hell!" in accents hoarse 
with rage he exclaimed, ^^my eyes have 
seen thy deed, my ears haye heard thy 
speech, look up, before thee stands Ugo 
de Tracy!" 

Leonardi stopped his dreadful em- 
ployment; he rolled his eyes on Ugo. 

'' Thou, 



6S 

. '' Thou, then/' taid he ''art the husband 
of that Isabella who lies between us. 
There lies her head, this sword separated 
it from her body ; it has the like office to 
perform on thee. '' 

Furiously rushed the knights to 
combat. Leonardi flung his torch to the 
earth ; dreadful was the contest, for the 
fierce power of just passion swelled the 
soul of Ugo de Tracy, black malice and 
revenge the heart of Leonardi de -Yi- 
censio. 

The combat long hung in doubtful ba- 
lance, till at length Ugo pierced the 
throat of his dire opponent; dreadful he 
fell, the clash of his armor rung through 

the 



64. 

the vaulted caverns of the castle^ a 
black torrent of blood rolled out his^ 
soul^ the attendant fiends of hell in anx- 
ious expectation stood awaiting its es- 
cape from its mortal coil^ they seized 
it in their sharp talons^ grining hor- 
ribly they darted through the bosom of 
rifted earth, and plunged it deep in red 
oceans of unextinguishable flames. 

Sadly mourned Ugo de Tracy over 
the body of his beloved Isabella; he 
kissed the wan lips^ he raised the earth 
over the once so much adored form ; but 
the body of her savage murderer he 
left uncovered. 

Such was the fate of the fair Isabella; 

such 



65 

such was the punnishment of Leonardi 
de Vicensio. The avenging Deity who 
surveys the sinful actions of men at last 
brought on him the retributive arm 
of justice. 

Pray for his loul^ ye who read these 
pageSj for it endures horrible torments. 
His bones yet lay embruised^ the left 
wing of the monastery covers the drar 
gons cell^ where it is said his spectre 
on the first of *every moon is compelled 
to come and view them whitening 
through time^ while the attendant furies 
lash him with their whips formed of 
scorpions* deadly stings. Such is the pu- 
nishment destined for the murderer, and 

which 



66 

which Leonard! de Vicensio will endure 
to the end of time. 



Such w^as the tale which the Padre 
Bernardo perused while awaiting the 
arrival of the Demon. It was sad^ it 
was horrible. Bartolo^ the monk whose 
hand had traced the descriptive cha- 
racters^ had increased the gloom of the 
tale ; perhaps his soul was as melancholy 
as his writings for the breasts of the in- 
habitants of a monastery^ shut out from 
the enlivening intercourses of the worlds 
are too frequently the receptacles of 
superstition; which heightened by the mo- 
nastic gloom which pervades around 
them^ produce nothing but ideas of hor- 
ror and images of woe. 



% 



67 



CHAP. II. 



Near the town of PoUizzi^ in a 
beautiful yallej stood the aqcient reii- 
dence of the noble family of Carlentini. 
Nobility of birth was indeed all that the 
Marchese had to boast of^ for the dis- 
sipation of his ancestors had only left 
to him the estate on which he resided, 
the late Marchese havings in order to 
raise a sum of money^ disposed of it, un 
der a particular restriction that it should 
be the property of his ton during hia 



68 

life time ; by this he thought he had 
amply fulfilled his duty as a parent; 
and he had also provided for himself 
the means to continue in his career of 
dissipation. 

Such was the limited state of the 
pecuniary resources of Rodcrigo de 
Carlor.tini^ the present Marchese, when, 
in consequence of the death of hia 
father^ he came to the estate and title ; 
but^ though poor in his purse^ he was 
rich in love^ for the beautiful Louisa da 
Bononi returned his sincere passion. 

During the life time of his father 
his solcitude was great lest his attachment 
to his adored Louisa should come to his 

know- 



69 

knowledge ; for well lie knew how great- 
ly he should incur his anger^ as the 
object of his passion resided with her 
mother^ who was possessed of a trifling 
independency on the estate of the 
Marchese, whither she had retired with 
her daughter on recovering the af- 
flicting intelligence of the death of her 
husband^ a Sicilian officer who had 
fallen in one of the contests which so 
often disturbed the Italian states. 



To see Louisa and not to admire her 
were imposible, but to be acquainted with 
her, to enjoy the charms of her conver- 
sation^ to beheld those nameless excel- 
lencies she possessed^ and not to love^ to 
adore her, were equally so. 

Ricardo 



70 

Ricardo returning from the chase 
beheld this lovely female sitting on a 
bank shaded by the myrtle and jessamine 
beside her neat but lowly residence. 
She had not put on her veil as the wea- 
ther was very warm, that the gentle 
zephyrs, no longer heated by the rays 
of the ardent sun, might the better re- 
fresh her, being languid from the heat 
of the day. 

Her dark brown hair, braided after 
the Sicilian mode, and adorned with a 
few simple flowers, the beauties of her 
interesting countenance, and her har- 
monious voice, which accompanied 
the soft notes of a lute, made Ricardo 
start with astonishment, and an expres-- 

sion 



71 

sion of admiration proceeded from his 
lips. 

Surprized at his voice^ the enchanting 
musician raised her lovely eyes^ and 
when she saw the Signor standing at the 
low paling which separated the garden 
from the road, she instantly ceased to 
charm the listering inhabitants of the 
groves with her voice, or touch the 
trembling strings of her lute; she blush- 
ed deeply, but it was the pure blush of 
innocence unacquainted with the ways 
of the world, and, in (Jie already en- 
amoured eyes of Ricardo it added to her 
resistless charmes. 

Ricardo would not add to her confu- 
sion by his longer stay, but saluting her 

respectfully. 



73 

respectfully, rode toward the Cas- 
tello. 

Lousia gracefully returned his salute^ 
for she knew him to be the son of the 
Marchese to whom the domain belonged^ 
and had often before seen him pass her 
humble residence. She had admired 
his graceful form, and -his countenance^ 
which now leaving the uncertain features 
of youth^ were assuming a manly expre- 
sion. Among the Sicilan nobility who 
sometimes visited the Castle she had 
seen no one so interesting as Ricardo^ 
and no one occupied, her thoughts so 
much as he did. 

She felt for him an indefinable sensa- 
tion. 



7S 

tioDj pure as the morning zephyr^ whcn^ 
rufhing from ambrosial caves^ it first 
touches the summit of the western 
.waves. 

Her bosom 'was the blissful seat of 
innocence; it was like the heart of 
the rose before it opens to the sun ; it 
was the residence of unadulterated 
sweets. Hitherto^ whatever were her 
thoughts she disclosed them to her 
^beloved mother^ but now she kept 
secret her growing friendship for 
Ricardo. 



Strange it is that she should feel 
such a sensation for one whom she had 
never spoken to; but what mortal can ac- 
count for the sensations Qf our hearts ? 



I 



74 

A pleasing exterior at all times com- 
mands attention. Ricardo was the 
most graceful Louisa had ever seen; 
she thought too that his heart must be 
endued with equal attractions sls his 
person; she thought that where the Deitj 
had stamped a godlike form^ he had en- 
dowed it with godlike attributes. Such, 
indeed, is sometimes the cai^e; and in 
the judgment Lousia had formed df 
Ricardo she had not erred. 

When Ricardo rode from the cottge 
where he had seen the lovely Louisa, Kis 
whole soul dwelt on her melodious voice 
and her fascinating beauties. ' Often he 
looked back, his ejes wandered around 
the cottage, but the little arbor hid from 
his view the lovely form that rose witb 

' wich 



.f ■■ 



75 

such strong emotions to his ima- 
gination. 

The Castello was situated on the gentle 
rising of a verdant hill. It was an ir- 
regular fabric of considerable extent^ 
and seemed formed for the abode 
of a numerous train^ such as in 
those days were necessary^ either for 
the purpose of ostentatious magnificence^ 
or as a residence for the troops which 
sometimes it was requisite to entertain 
in the turbulent times^ which often 
witnessed the destruction of the efforts 
of the peasants, the ensanguined fields 
and drew the tear of misery from the 
aching eye of the widow and orphan. 

The present inhabitants occupied 






76 

little more than one wing of the exten- 
wve building, the other parts were deso- 
late and gloomy. The Marchesc had 
neither the wish nor the ability to restore 
the place to its ancient splendor; in- 
deed he was not often at his estate him- 
self^ for he resided almost constantly at 
Palermo, the gaiety and dissipation of 
which place agreed more with his ideas 
than the retirement of his Castello. 
Seldom were any inquiries made by him 
concerning its inhabitants, who in its 
silent courts and melancholy halls passed 
their monotonous hours. 

During a few of the hottest weeks 
in the year the Marchesc would repair 
to his estate, attended by some of his 
dissipated companions, and consume 

the 



77 ' 

the hours in wild revelry and debauch- 
ery. 

^ For his son he shewed little if any 
affection. His wife was said to have died 
suddenly before Ricardo had attained 
his fourth year ; but there were strange 
reports concerning her sudden dissolu- 
tion ; and whether it was the solitary 
situation of the Castle which excited 
the idea^ or that the fearful fkncies of 
the domestics had been acted upon by 
tome of those almost unaccountable 
sounds which are heard in ruinous places^ 
is not certain ; but it was reported^ and 
generally believed by the peasantry, 
that the spirit of the Lady haunted the 
apartments of the Southern Angle Tower, 
and that the rayk of* a lamp bad been 
\ e3 itto^coS\7j 



78 

frequently seen at night gleaming 
through the apertures that were made 
in the wall to give light to the circular 
steps which led to the chambers. 

The situation of the tower made it 
the more likely to be fixed on by the 
domestics as the residence of an unquiet 
spirit^ for it reared its frowning black 
walls at the extremity of a dilapidated 
pile of buildings which had not been 
inhabited in the memory of any of the 
present inhabitants of the Castle. 

Ricardo could not feel much love 
for a father who seemed to have so very 
little for him^ and he rather rejoiced 
than otherwise when he saw the day 
arrive on which the Murcfaese and hii 

riotouf 



79 

riotous companioDt returned to Paler- 
mo. 

The only companioo he had in the 
caitle was Father Grimaldi^ a monk who 
had been many years confessor to its 
inhabitants. lie was a man of gloomy 
deportment^! and stern exterior^ his 
manners were particularly forbidding an^*' 
unpleasant to the young Ricardo^ ; 
from his infancy was disgusted with 
whatever seemed to wear the semblance 
of disguise and mystery. 

r 

Yet strange to relate, this monk, re- 
pugnant as he appeared in his manners 
and behaviour to the inhabitants of the 
Castle, was the constant companion of 
the Marchese in his retired hours. Whe- 

£ 4 ther 



80 

ther it was that the monk unbent the 
austerity of his demeanour before 
the Marchese^ or that the advice of the 
father was necessary to him in some of his 
schemes^ remains to be develloped. 
Certain it is that he appeared to hare 
great sway over the Marchese. 

*t It was on the evening of the day suc- 
'-^Clding that on which Ricardo first be- 
held the lovely Louisa^ that, having 
made himself acquainted with her 
name^ he alighted at the door of the 
Cottage, and desired the female attend- 
ant who appeared to acquaint the Sig- 
nora Benoni that he was come to pay 
his respects to her. 

I'hough she wished to remain per- 
fectly 



fcctly secluded from visitors during her 
necessary retirement^ yet it was impos- 
sible to refuse the attention which the 
son of the Marchese seemed disposed 
to pay to her. 

Louisa blushed when she heard of 
the arrival of Ricardo; his earnest 
gaze^ his respectful salute^ and his fre- 
quent examination of the cottage as he 
retired, immediately recurred to her. 
Studious to escape the eye of her mo- 
ther^ she turned aside, and seemed to 
be busily employed in arranging some 
flowers in a vase when Ricardo entered. 



Hastily his eyes were rivetted on the 
magnet which had attracted him to that 
place ; he beheld her far more enchant- 

« 5 vck^ 



8S 

ing than he had at first conceiyed ; anj 
from that moment love entered bit 
heart. 

But it was not the love of the volup- 
tuary^ it was not the base passion 
which inflames the breast of the sedu- 
cer; it was that pure flame which ani- 
mates pure hearts ; it was such as may 
be conceiyed to exist in disembodied 
souls. 



* His agreeable and respectful deport- 
ment soon made his yisit productive of 
pleasure to the Signora Bononi. Louisa 
too never passed so happy an hour ; the 
moments flew unheeded by on the 
downy pinions of young loves. 

^ She 



88 

She 0^ed when he departed; Ri- 
cardo sighed too. He fe|t that in leay- 
ivg Louisa he left all that was dear to 
hiiji^. all that could charm the rugged 
path of life^ and make it appear be- 
decked with roses. 



■ J ■ . I ; 



To be united ,to her^ T/hat happiness! 
what ecfitacy! to be, always with her^ to 
sit beside her on the margin of the 
murmuring riyulet^ to listen to her con- 
Terse, to ascend the lofty enclosure of 
the Talley, to mark the beauties of the 
rising or the setting sun, to view the 
variegated beauties of indulgent Nature, 
to view herself, the greatest charm of 
the creation ! to anticipate her wishes, to 
possess her love, oh ! that were indeed 
to possess Paradise. 

e6 ino* 



84 

Such were Ricardo's thoughts as he 
pursued his way toward the* Castle. 
How dull^ how gloomj it seemed^ as 
he entered it ; he almost was astonishea 
to think how he could possibly hare 
existed so many years in it ; while the 
cottage where dwelt Louisa seemed 
decked with all that could charm the 
senses. He recollected the little bow- 
er^ the green lattices^ the simple vases 
filled with flowers gathered by her 
hand ; there^ whatever he saw gave him 
pleasure; here^ all around filled him 
with disgust. 

Horror seemed to sit brooding over 
the time-dismantled turrets of the Cas- 
tle; she had spread around her sable 



wmgSj 



> 



S5 

» 

wiiigs^ \rliich added an additional 
gloom to the scene. 

r 

Hastily iRicardo crossed the dull hall^ 
and entered^ his chamber ; he sat down 
bj the casement^ and leaning his arm 
on .the stone frame- work^ remained 
deeply absorbed in meditation. 

m 

It is easy to divine that the fair 
Louisa was the bright subject of his 
thoughts; and remained so till his at- 
tendant^ entering the chamber with a 
lights for awhile stopped the train of 
his ideas. 



<( 



'' The Padre, Signor/' said the man, 
awaits you, at the supper table." 

"Tell 



c . 



m 

"Telj,;him> Carlo, that I am, j^ 
well enough to attend/' 

The domestic bowed^ wd i RicfMrdo 
was left by himself. At no time did I^^ 
like the company of the father^ but 
at the present moment his dislil^e of 
the monk's forbidding manners, was 
greatly increased by the remembrance 
of the delightful society in which, he 
had passed that evening. 

Weary at length , with indulging the 
long train of thoughts which crowded 
into his mind^ he threw himself on his 
couch. 

In his slumber^ fancy brought him 
back to the cottage where Louisa 

was 



87 

was; again he conversed with her^ 
again he sighed^ again he suffered the 
pain of parting from her. At that mo- 
ment he awoke^ he started at the una- 
sual glare of light which appeared in 
his chamber^ but soon perceived that 
it was the silver radiance of the Queen 
of Nighty who threw her bright beams 
through his casement ; he watched her 
through the Heavens in cloudless ma- 
jesty; perhaps^ thought he^ bright 
planet^ thou dost likewise illumine the 
chamber of Louisa^ perhaps she too 
views thee with emotions of wonder 
and rapture. 

In the morning Ricardo arose; he 
went to the casement^ and looked to- 
ward the valley^ but his apartments 

beings 



88 

being in the nortkern angle^ but a small 
part of it could be teen. 

Leaving his toom, he passed through 
the long corridorc which conducted him 
to the grand staircase that led to the North 
Hall^ whose lofty roof^ supported bj 
triple rows ofblackmarble columns^ and 

m 

the partial light that entered from the 
casement^ tinted with armorial bearings^ 
made itappear gloomy, even in the bright 
meridian glare. Hastily he crossed the 
hall^ and wound round the Castle till 
he came to that part which commanded 
a view of the side of the valley, where 
he saw rising amidst the almost unbow- 
ing shrubs the white walls of the 
cottage were Louisa dwelt. 

He 



89 

» 

He VfMS now tfaoding nearly oposite 
the SoHthen Angle Tower^ and he imme- 
diately formed a wish to have his 
apartments in it ; from thence he thought 
hfi should at times hehold the lovely 
Loiifisa^ and he could always gaze on the 
spot where she resided. 

From that moment the lovely situati- 
on of the tower and the various rej^orts 
concerning it were thought of no longer^ 
and he determined to ask leave to reside 
there^ from the Padre Grimaldi^ who 
ordered every thing in the Castle during 
the absence of the Marchese. 

Having staid some time with his eyes 
fixed on the distant walls of Louisa's 
residence^ he retraced his steps^ delight- 
ed 



90 

ed in the idea of at least living where he 
could gratify his sight at pleasure. 

When he entered the Castle he found 
that the hour for the morning repast 
was not arrived^ and that the Padre had 
not yet left his chamber, he was there- 
fore obliged to exercise his patience, and 
employ his thoughts in forming plans of 
frequently visiting his new acquaintance, 
aiid of disclosing to the lovely cause 
the ttoder passion which gathered 
strength with the revolving moments. 

At length when the Castle bell pro- 
claimed the hour for the morning re- 
past Padre Grimaldi appeared in the 
hall ; he saluted Ricardo in his usnal 



91 

austere maimer^ which he returned with 
more than his accustomed courtesy. 

'' Father/* said Ricardo, '' theb«auty 
of the morning has made me an early 
riser. Among the many enchanting views 
which the Castle commands^ I know 
of none that has more extent and variety 
than that which is seen from the 
Southern Angle Tower/' 

The Padre started; for a mgment 
he raised his dark eyes with a deep 
penetrating look on Ricardo, while 
an inward chill blanched his cheeks ; he 
said not a word^ but seemed immedi- 
ately after to have fallen into a reverie, 
which, from the effect it had on his 
frame, was on no pleasing subject. 

Ricardo 



98 

Ricardo observed the agitation of 
Griraaldi with, great surprise; he, how- 
eyer, affected not to notice it, but after 
a short pause continued his speech. 

'^ I should feel obliged, father, by 
your allowing me to have the keys, that 
I may see that part of the Castle; and, 
if you have no objection, I should like 
to reside in the tower/' 

'' To reside in the tower ? " said Gri- 

« 

maldi, in a deep voice, rendered almost 
inarticulate by the apparent emotions 
of his mind ; '' Signor Ricardo, you 
know not what you ask.'* 

Suddenly the Padre arose from his 

seat, bestrode aibout the hall in a gloomy 

« * '" 

silenoe. 



93 

silence^ his actions increased Ricardo's 
desire to be acquainted with the mystery 
that he saw clearly was connected with 
the tower. 

After awhile the monk resumed his 
seat ; he seemed to hare recovered from 
the agitation the request of Ricardo had 
plunged him into. 

'^ Have you/' said he, looking sted- 
fastly at him, '^ have you any -particu- 
lar reasons for wishing to see that tower ? 
for as to residing in it, you must be well 
aware that its runious state will render 
that impossible/' 



tt 



It was the wish of livihgthere, father/' 

repli- 



^ 



94 
replied Ricardo, " that made me ask to 
have the keys to procure an entraace." 

'' Probably/' said Grimaldi, with a 
scrutinizing glance, " you wish to look 
for the supernatural beings who are said 
to haunt it, and to endeavour to raise your 
fame in the opinion of the yassals as be- 
ing daring enough to perform so despe^ 
rate an enterprize." 

'^ The idea/' replied Ricardo, '^nerer 
entered^ my mind ; the beauty of the 
scenery delighted me ; neither am I sur 
perstitious enough to believe that there is 
any truth in the report of the peasantry/' 

^^No!'' rep'lied the father, in a 
deeper voice> after some .moments of 

reflection 



V ■ 'V 



95 

reflection^ '' I wai once of your opinion^ 
but I have witnessed a sight there-— 
horrible indeed it was. " 

« 

Here he ceased to speaks for the 
thoughts that then seemed to rush to 
his memory denied him the power. 
Again he traTcrsed the hall^ sometimes 
stopping and looking on the ground^ 
then casting a side-glance at Ricardo> 
who/ greatly amazed^ sat with his eyt% 
intently fixed on him. 

'^ The recalling of past terrors/' said 
Grimaldi^ stopping opposite to Ricardo^ 
^^ sometimes s)iocks as much as if the 
scenes were but then acting. It is always 
so with me ; but my sufierings the night 
. I entered that tower were such as will in 



i- 



96 

future teach me the folly of incredulity/* 
Here the mouk pausjed awhile^ and 
thensaid^ ^^ If after what I have advanced 
you wish to visit that ruin^ I will give 
you the keyi^ and this night you may 
commence your search/' 

'' And why not by day, father ? " said 
Ricardo, somewhat amazed. < 

'' What so soon afraid, Signor ?'* said 
Grimaldi. " You have heard, no doiibt, 
that the unquiet spirits who haunt that 

place appear only at midnight, and 
therefore would wisely shun a possibility 
of meeting with them by going there 

in the morning; this is indeed a rare 
proof of courage/' 





Ricardo felt angry at the words of 
the father^ and as his curiosity was roused 
by what he had said concerning the 
Southern Tower, he immediately replied 
that it was not fear which made him 
desire to inspect that part of the Cas- 
tle by daylight ; and that if the father 
pleased, he would at midnight explore 
the long deserted recesses of that buil- 
ding. 

To this Grimaldi assented, and pro- 
mised to deliver him the keys which 
opened the gates of the court-yard, and 
of the folding portals of- the South Hall, 
from which there was a communication 
with the tower. He then left the hall, and 
Ricardo to his own reflection ; on the 
sin^lar behayiour of the Padre Grimal- 



• , ' 



' r. -. 






98 

di^ and permitting him to explore a 
place where, according to his own ac- 
count, he had witnessed a terrible sight; 
and iiideGd it was very apparant from his 
agetatiou at the mention of the South 
Angle Tower that some dark mystery was 
connected with that building, which 
however Ricardo hinted the coming 
night would fully develope. 

A gloomy reserve sat on the features 
of Grimaldi when Ricardo met him in 
the hall; at the hour of dinner he seemed 
to be revolving somewhat of dark pur- 
port in his mind, for a frown dwelt on 
his forehead, and his eyes glared jBercely 
beneath his bushy brows. He eat little, 

m 

and spoke not to Ricardo, whose mind 
was too intently employed in thinking 

of 



10 



99 

of the beauties of Louisa^ to feel a desire 
to interrupt a silence which correspond- 
ed with his wishes. 

When the repast was concluded^ the 
father arose from his seat. Ricardo. 
was on the point of demanding the pro- 
mised keys, but was prevented by Gri- 
maldi's saying. 

'' When the bell tolls eleven, Signor^ I 
shall await you in the hall."' 

^^ Do you then mean to accompany 
me father?'" demanded Ricardo. 



''By no means !" replied the Padre; 

'' reflect on what I said this morning; 

after that, you will find it not likely 

. - f3 thai 



100 

that I should wish to seek to renew the 
horrors I have endured." 

Saying this^ he left the hall ; and Ri- 

cardo walked on the verdent lawn 

> 

which gently descended to the valley. 
He soon found himself winding along 
the margin of a beautiful stream of wa- 
ter, which fertilized the plains around. 
He contined advancing immersed in 
thought, till suddenly raising his eyes, 
the neat habitation of the Signora Bo- 
noni appeared before him. The temp- 
tation was irresistible ; and he was pro- 
ceeding toward it when he saw before 
him that Signora and the lovely Louisa. 

The heart of Ricardo beat high with 

emotions of delight at the unexpected 

^ plajnare 

■ v. 



101 

pleasure. He soon joined them, and en- 
tered into conversation with the Signora 
Bo noni, now and then casting an en- 
amoured glance at her charming 
daughter. 

When at length, Ricardo^ bid the 
Signora Benoni adieu, he tenderly gazed 
on Louisa, her eyes were at that moment 
fixed on him ; blushing deeply she turn- 
ed asside, and so great was her confu- 
sion, that she omitted the common forms 
of parting. 

Ricardo noticed her conduct. Good 
Heavens! thought he, if the lovely 
Louisa should servey me with the eyes 
of Affection, what happiness ! 

r..::|iidulging the pleasing reflections 



{ 



102 

excited by the behaviour of Louisa^ 
Ricardo found himself near the Castle. 

Somewhat fatigued with his long walk^ 
he sat down on the trunk of a fallen 

tree, and continued musing till the Cas- 

tie bell reminded him that it wanted 

but one hour to his appointment with 

Grimaldi. 



It was now completely dark, the moon 
had not yet peeped over the eastern 
hills, and the deep shades of night pre- 
vailed. Ricardo was seated nearly op* 
posite the ruinous part of the Castle/ 
and as he looked toward its grey walls' 
his attention was suddenly rivettecNij- 
a faint gleam of light which appeared 
t QQQ of the broken casements ot^^kf^ 



?f 



"^^.v 






103 

southern buildings. It was however 
soon removed^ and all again was envel- 
loped in darkness ; when a few minutes 
after he plainly discovered a figure 
bearing a lamp slowly pass along the 
hall. 

This was then a proof that the re- 
ports concerning that part of the Castle 
were not without .foundation^ and Ri- 
cardo was somewhat shaken from his 
intention of exploring those mysterious 
chambers. 

He aros« from his seat and directed 
his steps to the hall^ pondering in his 
mind on what he had seen. At length 
howerer^ his curiosity surmounted his 
feiUrs^ and he was determined to as^ 

F 4: ctxXskva. 



> * 



-I-' . 



i: 



ertaiQ whether aerial or corpereal 
beings made those chambers their re- 
sidence. 



It was near eleven when he entered 
the hall; a few lamps hung against the 
black pillars served to shew the 
extent of the place^ and to add to the 
gloomy horrors which always seemed 
to reside in it. 

A distant pace made Ricardo look 

forward, and he soon recognised the 

father Grimaldi; at that instant the 
bell tolled. 



'^ You look pale, Ricardo/' said the 
Padre, fixing his dark gaze on him, ^^ do 
you repent your undertaking ? ** ' '•'^'^- - 



105 

'' No^ father/' said Ricardo^ '' on th# 
contrary^, I feel most anxious to com- 
mence my intended search/' 

'^ But that must not take place be- 
fore twelve ; the moon will then assist 
you" replied the father^; '^ reccollect.that 
when you have opened the portals of 
the hall^ you continue straight forward^ 
the door at the opposite end leads 
through a narrow passage to the South- 
ern Angle Tower. Do you take any 
arms ? *' 

*' Most assuredly'' replied Ricardo^ 
who was almost on the point of relating 
what he had seen that nighty but sud- 
denly stopped through fear of being 

F 5 pre- 



» 



106 

prevented going; '^ I shall take my sword 
and a trombone/' 

^' Your sword will do without the trom- 
bone/' said Grimaldi ; '^ the report^ should 
you be tempted to fire it^ might endanger 
your life in bringing down some of the old 
walls of the buildings. Besides a sword 
is surely a sufficient security against / 
ghosts ; I should ciertainly advise you 
not to trouble yourself with a trombone/* 

Ricardo consented to take only hit 
sword with him ; and having received 
the keys from Grimaldi^ he went to his 
apartment to make the necessary pre- 
parations for his bold undertaking. * 

He concealed his lamp and sword 

beneath 



107 

beneath his cloak, and waiting till the 
clock had tolled twelve, when, assisted 
by the light of the moon, which shone 
brightly on the castle walls, he crossed 
several passages of the castle, till his 
progress was stopped by a large iron 
gate which led into the southern court- 
yard. 

The riisty wards of the lock made it 
extremely diflScult to turn the key in it; 
but at length Ricardo forced back the 
bolt, and pushing against the gate, it 
slowly yeilded to his eflforts, harshly 
creaking on the time-worn hinges. 

The court-yard was choaked up by 
rank grass and weeds, through which 
Ricardo with some trouble forced his 

F 6 way^ 



^ 



108 

way ; and had it not been for the moon^ 
he would have been perplexed to have 
discovered the door of the South Hall. 
Its beams however rested on it^ and 
Ricardo searching for the key forced it 
into the large lock. 

At that moment a dismal clank was 
heard in the hall^ which echo repeated 
in various gradations of melancholy 
sound that smote chilly on the senses of 
Ricardo. 

He stardedback^ leaving the key in the 
lock^ and awaited in dismal expectancy 
the result. The noise, however, died 
away in sullen murmurs, and at length 
all was hushed. Ricardo endeavoured 
to compose his agitation; and again ad- 
van ci ng 



109 

vancing to the portals^ threw them, open ; 
he drew his sword^ and raising his lamp 
surveyed with caution the dnsk j recesa. 
All seemed silent within ; and the beam 
of the moon streaming through some of 
the further casements^ served to shew 
the great extent of the hall. 

At length he entered. The sound of 
his steps ran in loud whispers around 
the place. At first he paused^ and looked 
about^ for the echo had so often re- 
peated his steps that he thought there 
must be more than his. 

He now continued on in a direct line^ 
according to the instructions of Grimaldi^ 
in order to find the door that opened to 
the passages leading to the Angle Tower ^ 

stopoing 



no 

stoppings however^ at intervals, for the 
continual echo of his steps grew pain- 
ful and eyer dangerous^ as they might 

V 

conceal the approach of an enemy^ who 
could unseen advance toward him 
though the gloom that reigned around. 

In one of those places he was con* 
scions that he heard another, pace, 
though at some distance. This circum- 
stance, combined with what he had 
already witnessed in that hall but a short 
time before, almost made him resolve on 
turning back. 

Something laying in a heap before him, 
at the foot of a column, at this momen 
attracted his attention. It was a heap 
of old armour that had fallen from its 

station 



Ill 

station on the column^ und in fill like- 
lihood was what occasio ned the noise that 
he had heard when he stood at the out- 
side of the hall portals. 

In the moment of terror the being 
able to account for any one circum- 
stance of alarm that occurs often 
composes the mind. Such was the case 
with Ricardo ; he smiled at the fears 
which had seized him when he beard 
the clanking sound of armour against 
the marble floor of the hall^ and began 
to think the footstep he had h^ard might 
be nothing more then a continued re- 
verberation of his own. 

The door he sought was half open ; 
he could just discover it by the aid of 

hit 



112 

his lamp ; and his fears being greatljr 
abated by the view of the fallen armour, 
he at length advanced softly toward 
it. 



When he came within a few paces, 
and just as he was going to stretch out 
his arm to push it back^ it was sudden- 
ly closed against him with a thunder- 
ing noise, and a low hollow groan as- 
sailed his ears. 

Ricardo staggered back to a column 
against which he leant with his eyes fix- 
ed onthe door, expecting every moment 
to see some spectre issue from it, which 
busy fancy soon depicted with a horri- 
ble and soul-appalling form. 

When 



113 

When at length Ricardo \vas able to 
thinks various ideas crowded on his 
mind. At one time he determined to 
stay where he was till the mornings but 
then he feared his lamp would not last 
so long ; and to be in the dark^ in the 
lonely hour of nighty in such a place^ 
would be more than his spirits^ consi- 
derably weakened by the shock he had 
received^ could support. Had there 
been any wind that night he would wil- 
lingly attribute to that the sudden clos- 
ing of the door^ and even the dreadful 
moan he had heard ; but not a breath 
of wind was abroad even the zephyr 
slept in distant caves. 

After remaining near half an hour 
in ruminating; on what be had heard 



114 

and seen^ Ricardo left the colunui^ aud 
advanced toward the door^ curious to 
know whether it had been fastened 
or not ; but the door yielding to his 
slight pressure^ opened^ and the rays of 
the lamp gleamed on the walls of a 
corridore. 

Half determined to proceed^ and pre- 
pare to turn back on the slightest alarm^ 
Ricardo crossed the threshold. In the 
corridore he felt more secure than he 
did in the hall^ for his lamp gave a bet- 
ter light than it could in that extensive 
place. 

Still irresolute^ he slowly advanced, 
at times looking behind him on the door, 
and then before hun, half expecting to 

see 



115 

see some dreadful form in the distant 
shades. 

Hardly had he proceeded many paces> 
when a hollow voice said, '' Stop ! *' and 
to the astonished eyes of Ricardo a 
bloody sword and arm seemed thrust 
out of the solid wall, and which, waving 
furiously in the air, prevented his .fur- 
ther advance. At the same moment 
deep and dismal groans, and now and 
then a shriek, with a dreadful discor* 
dailt laugh, was heard. These repeated 
by the. attentive echos became athousand 
times more dreadful than even the noise 
itself. 



Ricardo hastily retreated ; he crossed 
^le ball, and rushed out of the ^ottskU^ 



- 116 

then passed the court-yard, and, locking 
the iron gate, began to breathe. 

He now repented of his temerity in 
persisting in his visit to the ruins after 
the hints thrown out by Grimaldi of 
what he had witnessed in them; and 
when he was able, retraced his way, 
and soon arrived in the North Hall/ 
from whence he proceeded to his cham- 
ber. 

Having closed the door, he laid hit 
sword and lamp on the table; and 
throwing himself into a scat, endeavoured 
to compose the agitations of his mind, 
which shook his frame to a dreadful 
degree. 

His 



117 

tlig mind resembled a chaos of half- 
formed ideas^ which it was totally im- 
possible to reduce to order; his brain 
became confused^ and^ at lengthy in 
hopes of cnjojing a slumber which 
would compose his disturbed faculties^ 
he laid dow n on his couch without tak- 
ing off his cloaths. 

After some time he closed his yes ien 
sleep ; but his distempered fancy tor- 
tured him with a repetition of the hor- 
rors of the night, adding thereto what- 
ever extravagant forms inventive air- 
born fancy could produce. Still how- 
ever Ricardo slumberd ; but it was a 
slumber that, far from composing his 
faculties, plunged them deeper in wild 

disturbance. 

At 



118 

At length the beams of the morning 
robbed sleep of its unfluence on his eye- 
lids ; he started as he awoke, and wildly 
looked around the chamber. On the 
table he saw the keys, the sword, and 
the lamp. '' Tis all true then/' said 
he ; ^' would it had been but a dream.'* 

4 

Hisbrain seemed on fire; an acute pain 
throbbed in his temples ; he arose from 
the couch and threw open the casement. 
Morning was just arising in the east, the 
rays of the sun feebly penetrated the mist 
of night, the grass yet bent beneath the 
dew, the hedges glittered with the , 
transparent drops of water that were 
suspended from their branches^ the 
sheep were heard bleating in the valley 
and on the verdant hills, and the birds 

of 



119 

of the forest gaily hailed the lovely ap- 
proach of day. 

Ricardo for a time surveyed the 
peaceful scene before him ; it composed 
his mind^ the gentle gale that slowly 
winded through the valley cooled the 
burning heat of his forehead^ and now 
the idea of Louisa^ with all her lovely 
charms^ recurred to his memory. In- 
tent on the pleasing ideas which he 
permitted his thoughts to revel in, the 
transactions of the night grew dim on 
his recollection. 

Thus his mind became more com- 
posed; and when the hour arrived for 
the morning repast, the traces of the 

terrors 



130 

terrors of the night were hut faintly 
visible on his countenance. 

Father Grimaldi seemed to be await- 
ing the entrance of Ricardo in the hall. 
When he entered he raised his eyes 
on him^ and a momentary surprise seem-^ 
ed to dwell in his countenance. 

" Your curiosity, Signor/' said he at 
lentgh/' is no doubt satisfied/' 

Ricardo came prepared io anwer the 
interrogations of the Padre, and therefore 
told him what he had heard and seen, 
and that his progress being stopped by the 
bloody sword, he had not been able to 
enter the Angle Tower. 

The 



131 

The monk heard the whole relation 
of Ricardo without interrupting him. 
When he had concluded^ he said, " you 
have doubtless now, Signor, given up 
all idea of visiting or residing in apart- 
ments where jou must be well convinced 
supernatural beings have taken their 
abode/' 

Ricardo could not help owning that 
he had ; '' yet still, " said he '^ I could 
wish, with you, father, and some atten-* 
dants, to endeavour to penetrate into 
tho^c mysteries." 

The Padre was silent some minutes; 
at length he said, '' have you brought 
back the keys, Signor ?*' 

VOL. I. G '' 1 have 



122 

" I haye^ all but the one which opens 
the portal of the South Hall ; it is io 
the lock." 

9 

^^ After what I have witnessed there," 
6aid Grimaldi, ^^ and what you have 
yourself seen, I do not- deem it praper 
for any one to disturb those mysterious 
places. Should my lord the Marchcse/ 
when he comes, think proper to listen 
to your request, I will give up the keys, 
but till then I will not part with them." 

The determined air with which he 
spoke those words rendered it needless 
for Ricardo to say more, for he well 
knew that the Padre Grimaldi was not 
of a disposition to be moved by any 
entreaty. In silence they now conclude 

ed 



123 

ed the repast^ and the father immedi- 
atelj rose from the table^ and requested 
Ricardo would send him the keys> which 
he instantly complied with^ and now 
calml J brought to his remembrance the 
event of the nighty which however served 
to involve him in a mist of tormenting 
and fruitless ideas. 



cl2 



124 



CHAP. III. 



PiiDRE BERKARDO was awoke 
from his slumbers by the bell of the 
monastery tolling twdve. Scarcely had 
the last tones died away in distance, 
when the supernatural visitant made his 
appearance ; he was habited in the same 
manner as on the last nighty and . carried 
a wand in his hand; his features were 
carefully concealed. 

The 



125 

. The monk^ ^faose memory still 
dwelt on the pages of the volume^ and 
whose mind^ from his being just awaken- 
ed from sleep^ had not resumed its na- 
tural strength^ trembled with art inter-- 
nal horror as in discordant tones the fol- 
lowing words grated harshly on his 
ears: 



'' Padre^ I am come to make my pro- 
mise good^ if thou art willing ; but I 
must first attain thy assenting signature 
to this scroll^ for without the wish of its 
members I may not act within these 
walls/' 



^^ And who is there that can restrain 
thecj whose po<M^r appears to great?*' 

' o3 demanded 



126 

demanded the monk in an inquiring 
Ume. 

'^ Those ^ho are too curious some* 
times pass unanswered/' replied the 
mysterous voice 

'^ Of what nature is the contents of 
the schedule to which I am to give my 
. assent ? surely that may not be conceived 
an improper question ?" 

''No;** replied the voice, ''but it 
shows that baiieful suspicion lurks in 
your breast. Your thoughts, during the 
day, when other subjects occupied your 
iiiind# ill agree with this cautious, mode; 
you then longed anxiously for tbe^ night 
tbpit 10^^ul4 bring to yo^ur view a woman 

far 



127 

far lovelier than that inanimate repre- 
. sentation before you ; and you now con- 
sume the time by idle questions. What 
view, I^adre, can I have but your plea- 
sure ? is not man master of his own ac« 
tions, in every sense a free agent ? can 
I guide the secret workings of his soul 
from the channel into ' which it is his 
will they should flow ? as easy could I 

force you to repose on the bosom of thd 
invisible gale, as form your ideas con- 
trary to your own consent. — In thee I 
am disappointed ; I thought you pos* 
sessed a mind restless and cautious ; I 
knew you were without (he means of 
attaining perhaps even the smallest of 
your desires, I pitied your situation; 
you know the rest. From what passed in 
* G * your 



128 

your heart I knew you wished to see me^ 
I obeyed even thoughts to which you 
had not given utterance. Where is there 
one of the Saints you worship who would 
do the like ? thou may est call on them, 
I defy them to attend thy invocation." 

The monk was going to reply^ and 
even to sign the scroll without any fur- 
ther delay; when loud claps of thunder 
bust in tremendous peals over the mo- 
nastery. 



'^ The Saints protect me!" said the 
terrified monk, starting from his seat, 
and holding to a rude pillar to support 
his agitated frame, for the earth was 
convulsed, and the cell rocked with the 

dreadful 



.] 



1S9 

dreadful visitations X)f nature^ when 
on a sudden a bright blaze illumined its 
. dusky sides. The monk turned his 
gaze toward his visitant; tremblingly 
he stood in the spot where he had first 
behdd him; and in proportion as the 
brightness increased around^ his gigan- 
tic form dissolved^ till at lengthy like 

the uncertain vision of the night-born 

■. ■• • 

fancy^ it existed but in idea. 

Another object^ far mare pleasing^, 
now attracted the attention of the 
monk. Soft and harmonious melodies 
sounded thoughout the chamber^ which 
was perfumed with' aromatic odors. 
The monk cast his eyes upwards ; 
the roof of the cell no longer was there^ 
and a dazzipg bright cloudy in which 

G 5 , wat 



r- 



130 

was reclined a still brighter form^ slow^ 
\j desended to the floor ; the radiant mist 
seperated^ and Bernardo beheld^ fifom 
the known expi'ession of the features^ 
the Santa Catherina. 

The Saint surveyed Bernardo with 
a mild but sotrowful look ; while the 
monk^ lost in sensations of ecstasy^ 
gazed on her lovely form; her golden 
locks^ enriched by a tiara of brilliants^ 
waved in captivating ringlets on her 
bosom ; the rose of youth sported in her 
lovely checks ; but how shall the p^ 
of man describe the beauties of a Saint ? 
— vain presumptuous effort ! 

^' Padre/* said the lovely Saint^ in a 
voice in which was concentered the 

melody 



131 

melody of a thousand harps^ '^ what 
form was that which faded away on my 
wproach ? Who hast thou suffered to 
gain entrance within walls dqvoted to 
my service?" 

Abashed the monk held down his 
headjbut yet beneath his overhanging 
brows bis dark eyes gazed on the Swat. 

'' I know him not^ celestial visitant ; 
neither gave I him entrance here ; he 
came unsought^ unasked^ unwished/' 

^^ Say not so^ misguided mortal^ 'tis 
like thou didst not invoke his presence^ 
but by indulging wicked thoughts^ 
Bernardo^ you permitted him to enter; 
and after you had once seen him^ after 
you had heard him ridicule the reli- 

G 6 gion 



^> 



132 

gion to which you belong, you again 
wished to see him. Thou seest how 
superior is my power to his ; how likib 
a guilty wretch he slunk away, even at 
the reflection of the radiance which 
surrounds me. Listen to him, Bernar- 
do, and dreadful will be the state of 
yoiur soul when death has done his of- 
fice on your corporeal form. But re- 
pent of your faulty conduct, amend 
your future life, and by tears, fasting, 
and penitence, render yourself worthy 
to become an inhabitant of the blissful 
regions of Paradise, Behold now, 
Bernardo, the fate of those who are 
impious in this world!'* 

f 

This said, a chasm yawned hideous- 
ly in the earth at the feet of the monk, 

who 



133 

who^. when at length his ejes had wander- 
ed down the dreadful profundity^ beheld 
»«ea of liquid fire^ like the metallic 
ore which the alchemist melts in hiA 
crucibles in order to pour into the mould 
to receive its destined form. Of bound- 
less extent appeared this horrid ocean> 
which raised its fiery waves in loftj 
ridges; deep plunged in this abyss of 
misery inexpressible appeared thousands 
of forms^ whose screams deep and soul- 
felt rushed to the ears of the terified 
monk ; groups of fiends at times amus- 
ed themselves by taking the burning 
wretches from the fiery sea and plung- 
ing them in rivers whose water appeared 
stagnant with intense cold ; • dreadful 
was the change, dreadful the torture 
to the sufferers, but to the fiends it af- 
forded 



134 

forded delight, manifested by their 
hideous, discordant yells of merriment. 



.j: 



Slow stalking over the burning sea 
appeared a figure of unusual size ; hi» 
form was noble ; a beautiful symmetry 
dwelt in his limbs, but his countenance 
bore the marks of regret, disappointed 
ambition, and inveterate malice; dark 
and dreadful passions had marked his 
features with their gloomy hue, and 
by his eyes of fire the monk recognized 
in him his nocturnal visitant. 

Terrified and horror-struck, Bernardo 
hid his face with his hands, and shook 
with the agitation of his mind. 



% 



The lovely * eyes of the Saint were 

fixed 



135 

fixed OD him ; but she who could read 
the dark volumes of futurity^ to 
-whom the deeds of other years^ and what 
18 to occur ia the boundless tide of eter- 
nity appeared without a shade before 
her, sighed deeply. 

^' Lift up thy view now, Bernnrdo, 
and ' weigh well the difference in the 
existence of the immortal soul after « 
life virtuously emyloyed/' 

The monk obeyed; but so many 
dazzling glories met his view, that his 
eyes shrunk from the transcendent efful- 
gence ; again he ventured to raise his 
eyelids, the horrid cham at his feet was 
closed, and the roar from those regions 
of horror no longer appalling his Mul, 



136 

made him the more freely indulge in the 
blissful scene of Paradise. 

Myriads of bright forms^ seated on 
thrones of silver canopied by golden 
clouds^ unceasing in grateful adora- 
tions tuned^ their harps to hymns of 
praise. Beauty dwelt around^ each 
of the celestial inhabitants appeared 
to have just attained the age when the 
loves and graces unite to bring to per* 
fection the human frame^ no cares^ no 
sorrows seemed to dwell among the hear 
venly host; all was joy in its most per* 
feet state. 

After the astonishment of the monk 
had in some degree ceased^ he began to 
contemplate the scene before him with 

the 



137 

the eye of the voluptuary : here were 
no enrious veils to conceal the lovely 
l>eatific charms of the radiant host; 
little attire suited their beauteous forms^ 
for guiltless were there minds. A zone 
of immortal make pressed to their 
taper waists the transparent robes that 
gently floated on the fragrant wing of 
the zephyrs. Deeply sighed the monk^ 
greatly he pasted to be amwgst. those 
k>vely forms, when the Santa Catherina, 
shocked to see so much depravity inhabit 
a human being, closed the view from his 
unhallowed gaze. 

Discontented the monk turned hi* 
egres on her wko thus addressed him: 



€t 



Now, Beqa.rdo, I leate^oulp mak^ 



138 

your election ; you have seen the result 
of a wicked and of a well-spent life^ 
conduct yourself piously^ and I will- 
be your friend ; act the reverse/ and I 
leave you to the common enemy of man- 
kindj who will fawn before you to 
accomplish his dark designs^ and finally 
rejoice over you when writhmg in 
unutterable agonies such as you have 
but seen the guilty suffer^ you tost on 
unfathomable boundless oceans of liquid 
fire." 

Slowly the bright cloud united in 
front of the Saiiit, who directing her 
beauteous eyes to He&ven; slowly 
ascended toward those exalted regionci 
of bliss. The cell grew dark^ the monk 
lost in thought, leaned against afillar, 
^ revolving 



139 

revolving in his mind what he had heard 
and seen ; at length turning rounds, he 
beheld the ta^e^ the volume^ the lamp 
and the chairj in the same position as 
when he left them ; he advanced with 
faltering steps^ and taking the lampj 
held it up to the paintings but what had 
before given him so mucl) pleasure^ now 
4iigU8ted him. '' How feeble/' said he^ 
'' are the efforts of the painter to afford 

4 

even a single idea of the angelic charms 

f f tl^e Santa Cathe]:ina«'' 

if 

t, 

ThiQ monk threw himself into hit 
ij^ati 4eeply ruminating on the past^ or 
riukhef on the be4uties l^e Iwl beheld, 
Md wbich jinitirely ol^Htf^r^kted from his 
siind the regions of despajy: ^wa^ ^xiox 
wlj^ph had been open to his view. His 



i 



140 

goul ^as far gone in guilty thoughU 
and wishes. '' If" said he, " the vro- 
men of this world are as lovely as those 
in the next, methinks I could tear down 
these my prison walls, to enjoy their en- 
chanting converse/' — 

Suddenly a means arose in his mind 
by which there was a sli^t possibility 
of gratifying his curiosity; tis true the 
greatest danger attended it, and there* 
fore the attempt would call forth all 
his art, skill, and dexterity; he reflected 
on it with sensations of pleasure, and 
though at that moment he meditated 
no real crime, yet he knew not that by 
it he threw hiflHielf into temptatioiM to 
him irresistiblOi 



141 ^ 

The near approach of the raomiDg 
beams rendered it impossible for him 
to make the attempt at that time^ he 
was therefore, obliged to defer it till the 
next nigbt; he then lay down on his 
pallet^ and endeavoured to court a short 
repose ere the mattin bell should call 
him to the duties of the day. 

Rest however awaited him not there ; 
he turned from side to side^ but in no 
posture would calm sleep steep in for- 
getfulness the agitation of his mind. 
tie arose^ and leaving his cell^ walked into 
the gardens belonging to the monastery 
as the bell tolled four. Ascending an 
eminence which commanded an exten* 
sive view there, he beheld the sun rising 
in radiant majesty from the calm waves of 

the 



I4S 

the sea ; first he threw his broad beams 
on the aspiring summit of Mount Etna^ 
then emitting volumes of black smoke^ 
which ascending became condensed in 
the air till driven abroad by the western 
breeze, which rolled them toward the , 
Ionian Sea. 

The monastery and convent of Santa 
Catherina was erected on the side of 
one of the lofty hills which form the 
well-known Val de Demone, which lays 
in the north-east part of. the island of 
Sicily. To the north it commanded a 
view of the Mediterranean sea and the 
isles of Lipare; to the west it overlook- 
ed a vast extent of country interspersed 
with several castles and large towns, 

parti- 



143 

particularly those of Randasso and 
Lingua Crossa. 

From the eminence which the restless 
mind of the monk had made him desi- 
rous to ascend was seen a part of the con- 
vent gardens which were seperated from 
those belonging to the monastery by a 
lofty wall. Eagerly did Bernardo gaze 
toward that place; and it was evident 
that not the wish of seeing the sun 
arise from other worlds to perform 
his daily course over this hemisphere^ 
or to survey the beauties of the lovely 
prospect which now so sweetly opened 
to the view, drew the monk to that ele- 
vated spot; some dark, some deep design, 
evidently was on the anvil of his mind, and 
which as it appeared, shunned the inquir- 



144 

face of day, as he had fixed on the 
coming night to accomplish his purpose, 
whatever it might he. 

Well it might be supposed that the 

« 

events which had so strongly marked 
the past night would have obliterated 
from his mind all ideas of doing any 
thing that was not consistent with the 
rule of right; but the monk now re- 
membered the whole but as a baseless 
vision, excepting, indeed, the remem- 
brance that he cherished of the heavenly 
charms he had beheld, and which acted 
as a powerful stimulant to urge him to 
the completion of his intentions; so hard 
is it to turn the current of evil thoughts ' 
when virtue holds but a doubtful sway 

over the mind. 

Bent 



145 

Bent on the accomplishment of his 
wishes^ he had sullenly listened to the 
Toice of the immaculate Santa Catherina^ 
i^ho had so graciously evinced her solici- 
tude for the 'welfare of his soul bj 
condescending to be herself his monitor. 

The dreadful view which she had dis- 
closed of the regions of eternal horrors 
suited not the religious tenets of the 
monk^ who looked only to a short du^ 
ration in pugatory for a remission of 
all worldly offences^ should the abbot 
refuse to grant him absolution before 
death ; neither did he approve of acts 
of mortification and penasce^ for the 
Padre Bernardo was well affected to- 

voL. I. H ward 



146 

ward the indulgence of his appetites^ 
aud he almost began to believe the 
whole brought about through the means 
of the mysterious yisitantj in order to prove 
whether he was worthy of his efforts 
to serve him. In this disposition he 
thought of him no longer with terror, 
and he determined that, as he meant to 
make some attempt to satisfy his curiosity 
that night, the next should be the 
one wlien he tvotild see the supernatural 
being and comply with his requests, on 
condition. &at he should perform what- 
ever was required of him. 

In such a melancholy determination 
as this the sound of the matin bell 
broke on the silence of the morning, 

and 



147 

and the Padre Bernardo hasted from 
the eminence in the garden of the mo- 
nastery to join the train^ and in the 
chapel to appear as an assistant in what 
was so far distant from his thoughts^ 
which now grew each hour darker^ 
and more pregnant with evil designs. 



hS 



148 



CHAP. IV. 



Louisa's breast^ unknown almost to 
herself, cherished the most pure love for 
Ricardo. She thought it was really the 
sensations of friendship and esteem that 
made her continually ruminate on that 
Signor, but the subtle deity of hearts 
had made her completely his vassal 
ere she was consious of it. She begui 
to feel a distaste to whatever before had 

attracted 



149 

attracted her attention and had given 
her pleasure ; her flowers were some- 
times neglected for whole days^ the 
jessamine which wantoned round her 
favorite hower wanted her attentive 
hand ; she often sighed without being 
conscious of it ; and whenever a horse- 
man passed the cottage^ she would raise 
her eyes to see if it was not.Ricardo^ 
while a sudden suffusion crimsoned her 
lovely countenance. 

In the mean time various emotions 
possessed the soul of the Signor. He 
found it impossible to drive, from his 
mind the mysterious events of the past 
nig^t. The noises he had heard at the 
time the sword was waved against him^ 

H 3 increased 



150 

increased by the attendant echoj were 
such as might be supposed to proceed 
from the dark bosom of the bottomless 
pit where the souls of the wicked are 
continally undergoing a new series of 
tortures and horrors. 



Neither that day nor the next did he 
stir from the Castle. Grimaldi^ whom he 
only saw at the hour of repast^, nerer 
turned the conversation to the ruins ; he 
seeme^y indeed, either to have forgot-' 
ten what had so lately taken place in 
them^ or to wish to do so^ and hii 
general coi^yersation was on the expect- 
ed arrival of the Marchese, a courier 
having been dispatched from Palermo 
bearing intelligence to that effect. 

Ricardo 



n 






151 

Ricardothen<determined'to visit Lou- 
isa^ for he was fearful that when the 
- Marchese arrived he should not have 
many opportunities of doing so unob- 
served. On the evening of the thifd 
day he approached the cottage, and 
when he entered it^ to his inexpressible 
delight found the lovely Louisa sitting 
by herself; the Signora Bonbni having 
gone to a neighbouring cottage to assist 
a poor woman wl{0 was unwell. 

The innate tnodesty of Louisa made 
her blush deeply as Ricardo entered the 
apartment. Secluded as she ha^ hither- 
to been from society. It was the first 
time she was ever alone with a stran- 
ger. Some other emotions which it is . 

H 4 likely 



152 

■ 

likely she also felt, contributed to in- 
crease her confusion. 

Sach an opportunity of declaring the 
sentiments of his breast was eagerly 
seized by Ricardo; be threw himself 
at the feet of the trembling and al- 
most alarmed Louisa, he poured forth 
his soul to her. 

'^ Beautiful Louisa ! the first moment 
that gave thy lovely form to my 
eyes my heart no longer owned my 
sway, but when I became acquainted 
with your virtues and the numberless 
and nameless graces that adorn you, 
my whole soul became yours. Do not 
conceive, most amiable Louisa, that I atn 

guided 



~'*'-v 



153 

guided by other motives than those of 
honor and virtue. Oh ! Louisa, avert 
not that sweet face from me; let m% 
gaze on those beauties I must ever adore." 

'' Rise, Signor, said Louisa; '' the 
lowly posture you have taken distresses 
me ; you forget yourself, or the son of 
the Marchese de Carlentini woi^ld not 
surely thus address himself to thehum* 
hie Louisa."' 



"Love, dearest maid of my heart/' 
replied Ricardo, '' love levels all distinc* 
tlons,; but were I possessed of a crown, I 
should lay it at Louisa's feet. Suffer 
me," continued he, taking hold of her 
hand, ^'suffer me to hope that the at- 

h5 tentions. 



4:- 



/.. 



154 

tentions^ the adoration^ of Ricardo. will 
one day be blessed with a I'etum from 
the divine object of them/* 

^^ Signor, " said Louisa^ '^ whatever 
were the sentiments of my hearty they 
could be of no • import to you ; the 
future Marchese de Carlentini must 
look to one of equal rank with himself 
as his wif(^/' 



^' By the powers of love I swear, 
if Louisa listens not to my vows of ado* 
ration^ never to wed; the thought of 
other than you is torture to my soul. 
O Louisa! lovely! dearest Louisa^ let 
not my heart burst with agony. Per- 
haps^ oh ! heavens^ perhaps another has 

your 




-•?*- 



155 

your love. O envied mbrtal! spoak^ 
my Louisa^ tell me my fate, but be 
merciful." 

Here his speech failed, his eyes suf- 
fused in tears were fixed on the pallid 
Louisa, who, affected at his emotions, 
sought to comfort him. 

'^ Signor, if the assurance that tKe 
/humble Louisa has no other acquaint- 
ance than yourself, ( if I may be al- 
lowed the honor of ranking you as 
such,) is of any importance to your 
comfort, I should be wrong not to men- 
tion it. I am yet too young even to 
dream of love ; but if the friendship, 
the esteem of Louisa, are worth ac- 

H 6 ceptance. 



156 

ceptance^ no one possesses them more 
than the Signor Ricardo. '^ 

In ecstacy at this speech^ which freed 
the hosom of Ricardo from an insup- 
portable burthen^ he kissed the tender 
hand he held^ nor did the now blush- 
ing Louisa seek to prevent him. At 
her solicitation he arose from his sup- 
pliant posture^ while Hope with her 
golden pinions fluttered around him^ 
and sweetly whispered in his ear that 
Louisa would be his. 

Scarcely had she time to compose the 
agHation of her mind^ when her mother 
entered the apartment. She seemed 
surprised to .find her daughter alone 

with 



157 

with Ricardo^ and an air of gravity 
prevailed over her features. He in- 
stantly observed it ; and^ elate with the 
reception he had met v^ith from Louisa^ 
determined no longer to concealfrom 
her his sentiments concerning her daugh* 
t^r; he therefore took an opportunity 
when Louisa was out of the apartment 
to commence the interesting conver- 
sation. 

« 

All attempts on the part -of the 
Signora Bononi to convince him that 
an union with her daughter would be 
little short of madness^ were in vain; 
and with difficulty she obtained a pro- 
mise from him not to mention to the 
Marchese his wild project, for she well 

knew 



158 

knew that both herself and the inno- 
cent Louisa would become the imme- 
diate objects of his persecution. And 
she had also the welfare of her daughter 
too much in view not secretly to re- 
joice at the attachment of Ricardo^ 
particularly as she had every reason to 
believe it mutual. 



With his breast lightened of an op- 
pressive load, and hopes of* future days 
of halcyon joy, Ricardo quitted the 
cottage where dwelt his only comfort, 
the bright star which was to lead him to 
the flowery paths of domestic bliss. 

When he entered the Castle, he found 
some of the servants of the Md^rchese 

already 




\ 



159 

already ftrrired^ and making prepara- 
tions for his reception and the Signors 
who usually accompanied him. The 
gloom that had so long reigned within 
its lofty walls now began to be dispersed, 
the apartments were furnished in a sump- 
tuous style^ and the long tables were' 
once more laid in the centre of the hall. 

The next day the merry trumpeters 
announced the approach of the Mar- 
chese^ and Ricardo^ with the Padre Gri- 
maldi^ staid in the North Hall to meet 
and welcome him to his residenfce. He 
was accompanied by three Signors^ 
and a numerous train of domestics fol- 
lowed them. He slightly embraced his 
son as he entered^ and having presented 

him 



160 

him to the Signers who were with him^ 
he passed on to father Grimaldi to whom 
he spoke for some time^ but in such low 
tones^ that Ricardo^ who was engaged 
in conversation with the companions of 
the Marchese^ could not hear a word. 
The steward now attended to shew the 
strangers their apartments^ and the 
Marchese quitted the hall with Gri- 
maldi, 

Ricardo thus left alone^ had leisure to 
reflect on the companions of his father. 
In the Count Altona^ he saw a combi- 
nation of the most repulsive manners 
that^ accordingto his ideas^ could possibly 
exist in one person ; dissimulation^ pride^; ; 
and envy, formed the leading traits oi , 

. bis 



. r I 

■■■ 4 
f ■ 

» 



161 

his disposition. The Signor Roderigo 
de Romanzo appeared little better than 
the captain of a banditti^ his person 
was gigantic^ his face almost covered 
by a pair of enormous^ whiskers^ a 
long Roman nose^ and black piercing 
eyes^ glared beneath his overhanging 
brows^ while his whole countenance 
was shaded by a large plume of black 
feathers^ which he wore in his military 
hat^ and which added to the: sombre 
appearance of his features. The third 
person was the young Count de Leoni^ 

in whom Ricardo saw one who per- 

•■ • ■ . 

haps possessed a congenial dispotition 

with his own thoughts. At the fintt 

.interview^ it was almost impossible to 

^dge^ but each seemed to be pleased 

with 



'< 



163 . 

the other^ and to feel a desire to cul- 
tivate his friendship. 

An elegant entertainment was pre- 
pared in the North Hall, of which the 
Marchese and his three companions, 
with Grimaldi and Ricardo, partook ; 
and Ricardo found, that when the en- 
livening flask had gone brisklj round, 
and each character began to develope 
itself, that he *was not mistaken in the 
opinion he had formed of the liaugfatjr 
Count Altona, and the ferocibus Ibok-^ 
ing Signor Roderigo de Romanzo. All 
of them seemed to pay the greatest at- 
tention to tke Count de Leoni, Grimaldi 
excepted, who still retained his usual 
repuUive manners, notwithstanding the 

evident 



us 

evident e:xertion8' of the Marchese to 
induce him to unbend from his stern 
deportment. 

When at length thejr retired from the 
banquet^ the company proceedjed to 
the apartments of the Marchese^ ^rhere 
they sat down to play. Jliioardo was 
astonifihed ^t the vast sums which wer^ 
staked^ and coflcerJDed to see that ihef 
Count de Leonid add ihe Signoi* Eode-* 
mgo ile.Romaqzo^ wlio ^ere opposed to 
the Marchese and the Count AUona^ 
lost to a considerable amount. 

• « ■• 

He at length retired from the |tj^Ft«^ 
ment, and in the aoUttide of hi9 own. 
reflected on his beloved Louisa; but his, 

rdlectiona 



164 

reflections occasioned both joy and sor* 
row ; joy, that she seemed to regard 
him in a favourable light ; and sorrow^ 
that it would be impossible to be united 
to her during the life-time of his 
father. 

In such reflections the hours wore 
sadly away, when the stillness which 
hitherto had reigned around was in- 
terupted by sudden bursts of laughter 
and merriment, which appeared to codm 
from the North Hall. 

Ricardo now for the first time re* 
fleeted that it was long past the houi^ of 
supper, which had sounded unobserred 
during his meditations. He, however, 

felt 



165 

felt curious to know what it was that 
occasioned such noisy merriments^ and 
for that purpose leaving .f his chamber^ 
proceeded to the extremity of the cor- 
ridore^ where a small portal opened on 
a gallery which ran round the hall. 

From thence he perceived the Mar- 
chese and his companions^ who appear- 
ed in a state of inebriation. Their ex- 
clamations were loud, and their conver- 
sation disgusting to the ear of Ricardo^ 
who rejoiced that his absence of mind 
had prevented him from joining such 
a dissipated crew. 

At one side of the. table sat the fa- 
ther Grimaldi^ who alone partook not 

of 



166 

of the general festivity. He appeared 
to be indulging his \isual gloomy ^deas^ 
even' in the .midst of such a licentious 
scene. 

Surelj^ thought Rtcardo, that maamust 
have committed some horrible act which 
.«.» „.ce«i,,g., to .mbitto hi, .X. 
istence^ and renders him a burden to 
himself and unpleasant to every one 
around. 

Weary with viewing the scene 
which presented itself to his sights 
Ricardo left the gallery and returned to 
his eouch^ where sleep awaited to close 
his eyes, and the powers of fancy to , 

. bring 



167 

bring to his imagination his beloved 
Louisa. 

In a few days^ Ricardo having found 
an opportunity to speak to the Marchese^ 
informed him of the events that had 
taken place in the soutljern v^ing of the 
Castle^ and requested to be permitted 
to search them with a party of domes- 
tics. 

The Mafchese listened to him with 
impatience^ and when Ricardo had con- 
cluded^ thus addressed him : 



'^ From Father Grimaldi I have already 
been informed of your adventures in 
the ruinsy and I cannot conceive the 



reason 



168 

reason of your wish to explore them* 
Tell me, Ricardo/' continued the 
Marchese, fixing his eyes stedfastly on 
him, '^ is it not . in consequence of some 
idle reports which I understand exist 
among the peasant and domestics ? Have 
you been so weak as to listen to them ? 
It must be so, or your curioity could 
never have been so greatly roused. An- 
swer me truly." 

Ricardo ingenuously owned that his 
first wish was to reside in the Southern. 
Angle Tower, as it commanded so 
beautiful and extensive a prospect^ and 
that afterwards the appearance of the 
figure bearing the lamp excited his 

curiosity 



169 

curiosity to examine the deserted cham- 
ber. 



'' Idle chimeras of the brain^ *' 
replied the Marchese^ whom Ricardo 
could not help observing turned pale 
at the mention of the South Angle 
Tower ; * ^' henceforth Ricardo^ let 
me hear no more on this subject^ 
thou wilt infect a;ll the inhabitants 
with thy fears^ which I am sorrj to 
saj can only exist in a weak and un- 
informed mind. Or supposing that 
what you have asserted were true, 
^8 it possible^ think you^ to drive away 
aerial beings ? Reflect on the absurdity 
Wy for a moment, and recollect too 
that I charge you never to attempt to 
YOL. I. I enter 



170 

enter those ruins^ and never to make 
them the subject of your conversation 
as you fear my displeasure. 

Such was the result of Ricardo's con- 
versation M^ith the haughty Marchese, 
who immediately left the hall and joined 
the Count 41^01^9' And Signor Romanzo 
who were walking on the lawn ; while 
Ricardo^ somewhat confused at the 
stern comportment of his father^ retired 
to his chamber ; and leaning over the 
stone frame of the casement^ gave way 
to the reflections his conduct had ex- 
cited. . - 

While he was thus employed a low 
murmur of voices made him look on the 
terrace below, where he saw thc^Mar- 

chese 



171 

« 

cfaese in earnest conversation with his 
two companions ; he heard them once 
or twice pronounce the name of the 
Count de Leonid from which circum- 
stance it was evident he was the subject 
of their discourse. 

r 

^^ It ought to be shared equally a- 
mongst us/' said Romanzo^ in a tone 
loud enough to be heard by Ricardo. 

To this the Marchese replied^ and a 
long conversation ensued^ the result of 
which was the departure of Romanzo 
in evident anger from the Marchese and 
Altona^ who still continued to converse 
together l6ng after the enraged Ro* 
manzo had quitted th e terrace 

1 3 The 



172 

The Count Altona then departed^ and 
the Marchese continued slowly pacing 
the terrace, at times leaning over the 
M^all and betraying tokens of suspence 
and anxiety; at length, however, Altona 
appeared with Romanzo; the Marchese 
hastily advanced toward hira ; and, by 
their gestures, the difference that had 
taken place seemed to be amicablj 
adjusted. 

They then left the terrace, and Ri- 
cardo to his reflections on their con- 
duct, which indeed was little in 
favor of ^he rectitude of their inten- 
tions toward the Count de Leoni; 
and he shuddered at the horrid sur- 
mises 



J 
\ 



173 

mises which >he could not prevent 
' entering his mind. 

At times he almost felt inclined to 
disclose his suspicions to the Count him- 
self; but the idea of the foul light 
in which he must represent his father 
obliged him to be silent. 

He had improved * his acquaintance 
with Leonid and used to ride out with 
him about the estate^ which was ex^ 
tensive and beautifully diversified with 
the luxuriant productions of Nature^ 
and he observed with regret that the 
features of the Count at times bore 
an air of deep melancholy, and which 
seemed to increase upon him. 

1 3 ^Vv^ 



* • 



174 

The cause was unknown to Ricardo^ 
who now never mixed in the evening 
parties of the Marchcse, but gene- 
rally used after the banquet to turn 
bis steps to the dwelling of Louisa^ 
where his hours passed in sweet con- 
verse with the beloved of his heart 

She at length blessed him with an 
avowal of a mutual affection^ and on 
the downy pinions of delight happily 

« 

passed the fleeting houjcs; blessing 
and blessed they looked to each other 
for happiness^ and found it in the 
endearing smile and tender pressure^ 
warm with the emotions of pure and 
sincere affection. 

Such 



175 

Such is the happiness attendant on 
virtuous love; each moment increases 
the dear charm^ each moment it be- 
comes more interwoven with existence 
itself. It is like the pure flame which 
the Virgins of the Sun attend^ and 
which never expires. 

Deeply impressed with sentiments 
sacred to love^ the happy pair in- 
dulged without reserve in transports 
known only to those whose bosoms 
have felt the sweet influence^ but in 
which the most rigid attention to 
modesty was never violated. 

Happy lover, recollect what your 
emotions were when you learned that 

1 4 the 



176 

the soul of her you adored was free, 
peaceful, and unconquered, and that 
you might aspire to the supreme fe- 
licity of teaching it to love ; recollect 
too the ravishing delight which seized 
your soul, when the sweet confession 
of a mutual affection slowly proceed- 
ed from the coral lips of the beauty 
of your heart; were not those mo- 
ments of ecstatic bliss ? Recollect what 
you then felt, and confess that^ the 
delights of that moment were worth 
ages of pain. 

Such happiness did Ricardo enjoy; 
wad vmich would have been without 
alloy were it not for the constant fear 
he was in lest the Marchese should 

come 



177 

come to the knowledge of his at- 
tachment. 



One morning when he had just taken 
leave of Louisa^ at thegate which opened 
to the road, he was suddenly accosted 
by the Count Altona^ who^ it seems 
was at that moment riding past. He 
saluted Ricardo^ and after a short 
conversation^ invited him to join him 
in the ride. 

Ricardo/ although vexed that he had 
been seen at the cottage^ comforted 
himself with the idea that Louisa 
could hardlf have been observed by 
the Count, and in order to find out 
if she had, readily consented to the 

1 5 invitation^ 



178 

invitation^ and accompanied him 
- through the extensive and beautiful 
valley; but the Count was silent re- 
specting Louisij^^ and Ricardo felt as- 
sured that. his secret vras safe. 
« 

He sav^ with the greatest concern 
the increasing melancholy that marked 

^ 

the features of the Count de Leoni ; 
-when that day they had assembled in 
the Hall at the , banquet he drank 
frequently, and evidently appeared to 
endeavour to drown obtruding thoughts 
in the inebriating juice of the grape. 
When the repast was concluded, they 
repaired as usual to the apartments 
of the Marchese, and Ricardo to his 
own chamber, for he was fearful of 

T 

going 



179 

going that evening to the residence of 
Louisa. 

The misty shades of night were 
advancing with rapid strides^ for the 
ftun had long ceased to illumine the 
valley^ and was pursuing his bright 
journey to other worlds, who were 
now rejoicing at his gladdening ap- 
proach. 

A hasty step on the terrace made 
Ricardo lean over the lower frame of 
the casement, and to his astonishment 
he beheld the Count de Leoni. His 
gestures betrayed the anguish of his 
mind, and as he passed uader the 
casement, Ricardo heard him speak 

1 6 in 



180 

disordered accents the following words. 
— ^' Oh Heavens ! wretch that I am 
not sooner to see the snare that was 
laid for me ! Ruined — utterly ruined ! 
Accursed walls,*' said he, looking at 
the Castle, ^^why did you not fall 
and overwhelm the vile crew ye shel- 
ter ere my destruction was completed ? *' 
Thrice he smote his forehead, then 
looking over the wall and seeing 
some of his domestics, he order- 
' ed them to hring his horse directly, 
and then quitted the terrace. 

The astonishment of Ricardo, the 
shame he felt, rendered him incapable 
of action; to be the son of a man 
who was guilty of so much baseness, 

afflicted 



181 

afflicted him , more than the weak pen 
can describe. He still staid at the 
casement^ and in a few minutes beheld 
the unfortunate Count gallop furi- 
ously across the lawn^ and disappear 
in the surrounding shades. 

The Castle bell soon after an- 
nounced the hour of supper^ and Ri- 
cardo determined to station himself in 
the gallery^ to see what would pass 
between the Marchese and his com- 
panions on hearing of the absence of 
the Count. Accordingly he took his 
station in a place where he could not 
be seen^ and when the Marchese and 
his associates met, he perceived they 
were in unusual spirits ; when the 

domestics 



183 

domestics announced the Count de 
Leonid a smile was visible on their 
features^ and they gaily sat do\yn to 
the repast. 

Their conversation, while the do- 
mestics were in the room, was on ge- 
neral topics; but when they were 
away^ the Marchese thus addressed 
his companions: — 

'' Count Altona, I am sorry to be obliged 
to renew the subject in which the Signor 
Romanzo appeared to conceive himself 
unfairly dealt with. You know/* said 
said he, lowering his voice, ''that the 

« 

terms of our agreement with the Sig- 
nor was to allow him one thousand. 

gold 



183 

gold ducats^ on condition of his in- 
troducing to us the Count de Leoni." 



'' You will do well, Marchese,'' 
sullenlj replied the Signor Romanzo, 
'^ to recollect the conversation I held 
with you before we came to the Castle, 
and also the promise you made before 
the Count Altona, that I was to share 
with you equally the pillage of Leooi/' 

'' We did that '' replied the Count, 
" in order to keep you quiet; the Mar- 
chese and myself are willing to con- 
form to our first promise. What pre- 
tensions, Signor Romanzo, can you posr 
sibly have to such a partition ? Content 

yourself 



184 

yourself with the thousand ducats; the 
next time you shall have more." 

" The Saints curse me if I do ! " fu- 
riously replied the Signer Romanzo; 
^^ give me one thirds or by the Virgin I ' 
will expose you at Palermo. — Mar- 
chese^ I address myself to you; it was 
with you my agreement was made/' 

" You know my resolves,** said the 
Marchese, ^^ nor am I to be intimi- 
dated by the threats of Signor Ro- 
manzo, whom I have honored by per- 
mitting to reside beneath my roof, " 

'^ I am resolved to have my right, **^ 

said Romanzo, *^Qr*' — 

« 

"Or 



185 
''Or what? " replied the Marchese. 

• '' Or dispute it with ray sword/* 

'^ Your sword/' said the Marchese, 
'* will do little for you. No one feari 
it here. There are your ducats," con- 
tined he, throwing a large purse on the 
table. 

'' Marchese," said the furious Ro- 
manzo, rising up and unsheathing his 

# 

sword, ''hear me — you are a villain." 

'' That word shall be your last, " 
said the angry Marchese, and instant- 
ly drawing, attacked Romanzo. 

Ricardo 



186 

Ricardo rushed from his place of 
concealment in the gallery, and flew 
toward the Hall ; . he had, however, 
arrived too late, for the . Marchese 
was wounded and lay on the floor wel- 
tering in his blood. 

''Count Altona/' exclaimed Ro- 
manzo '' 'tis your turn now/* 

'' No, villain ! *' exclaimed Ricardo, 
snatching from the hand of his dying 
fatlber the sword which had been of so 
little use, '' first you must fight with 
mc. 

Romanzo, eyeing him contemptu- 
pusly, aimed a furious blow at his 

head. 



187 

head. Ricardo avoided the stroke^ and 
at the same instant pierced his un- 
guarded side. The sword reached his 
heart ; and the gigantic Romanzo 
with a hideous groan fell lifeless on 
the marble pavement. 

The doraesticii, alarmed by tht 
clashing of swords^ had rushed 
into the * Hall. They instantly con- 
veyed the Marchese to his couch^ and 
Grimaldi^ who was skilled in surgery^ 
dressed his wound. 



But the feeble efforts of man want- 
ed power to assist the Marchese; life 
was ebbing fast ; the sword had pierced 



tome 



188 

some of the vital parts^ and the wound 
was mortal. 

Ricardo was standing mournfully hy 
the side of the couch^ when th« Mar- 
chese opening his eyes^ thus with diffi* v 
culty addressed him ; — 

« 

'^ Thou hast done well, my son, to 
revenge the wound I have received hy 
the death of Romanzo. I feel the 
lamp of life is near expiring, ^id ere 
it is quite extinguished, I would un- 
fa urthen my conscience of a dreadful 
secret which weighs heavy on my 
soul/' 

Father Grimaldi, who was in the 

chamber. 



189 

chamber^ now hastily came to the side 
of the qouch ; his countenance was pale 
and agitated. 

^' Signor Ricardo/' said he, suddenly 
interrupting the speech of the Mar- 
chese^ '^ may I request your absence 
for a few ini|iutes7 the mind of the 
Marchese seems disordered, and needs, 
while he is able to receive it, the holy 
rites of the church/' 



Ricardo reluctantly, and greatly sur- 
prised at the earnest request of the fa- 
ther, withdrew, and left him alone with 
the Marchese. It was, however, but 
a short time before Grimaldi came to 

inform 



^ 190 

inform him he might again enter the 
chamber^ which he instantly did. • 

The countenance of Grimaldi had 
recovered its usual composure^ but 
that of the Marchese seemed dreadfully 
agitated. The sharp pangs of death assail- 
ed him ; his' eyes rolled about with a 
dreadful meanings while the crimson 
flush on bis cheek indicated the fever 
that was preying on his vitals. 

'^ Why am I thus surrounded " said 
he, looking wildly about him ; ^^ did 
not I tell you how it happened; ask 
Grimaldi, it was his fault.*' 

Again the confessor approached the bed. 

'' Marchese '' 



191 

'^ Marchese/* said he, '^ recollect your- 
self; there arc none in the chamber 
but your son and myself/' 

^^ Griraaldi, deny it not; it was your 
fault, '* said the Marchese. '' Oh ! 
how the recollection tortures me. Now ' 
would I could recal that hour. How the 
demons stare at me — ^they arc waitings for 
my soul — oh ! Ricardo, hold me; let me 
not go ; they will tear me to pieces — 
mercy — oh, mercy ! — Heaven ha,ve mer- 
cy on my** — 

^^Soul! ** he would have said, but 
death for ever stopped his further 
speech. A groan of long and horrible 
continuance announced the departure 
of the breath of life. Now he lay 

motionless 



192 

motionless ; his countenance blacken- 
ed and distorted by his struggles with 
the relentless power and the pangs of 
his bbdy^ and what was far worse^ 
his conscience^ for Ricardo too plainly 
perceived that there was some dreadful 
secret which he wished to unfold^ but 
was prevented either by Grimaldi or 
the pangs he endured. 

Ricardo now left the chamber^ and 
Grimaldi being left alone^ approached 
the breathless form of the Marchese; 
he gazed at it while he said in a low 
voice '' had but a few minutes more of 
existence been allowed thee, thou 
wouldst have betrayed me to the world. ' 
Now I am secure, save from that aveng- 
ing 



193 

ing. Pow^ which doubtless now hoTeri 
oyer me grasping the retributive sword 
0^ juftice. Would I could fly from 
c^mscience; would I could flj from 
4fl»th.! Oh! what tortures must be mine 
in that awful fnoment when the soul is 
leering its mortal coil and going to give 
an account of its deeds before the dread- 
ful throne of judgment. — But let me 
ao^. think of it^ lest I hasten my disso- 
lution ; let me steel mj hearty smd resist 
tl^ attacks of conscience^ which renders 
D|j ^istence one $c&ke of horror/* 

Such were the^ words of Grimaldi, 
who now left the side of the couch« 
and summoned the attendants to per* 
form the last offices to the body 

■•;<;.■',■.■••• . » 

of the Marchese de Carlentini. - 
TOL. I. K Ricardo 



194 

Ricardo mourned yfitii filial afl^tioD 
the loss of his father^ ihough faehad so 

■ _ • 

little demeaned himself as one. Yet ke 
forgot all the instances* <>f his^ tmkifid* 
nessj and remembered only those few 
moments in which he liad sfaewti the 
most trifling marks of aflfection fur 
him. , 



■ ■ ■ I 4i » - 



On the evening of ttie siteond day a 
train of monks arrived frotn a nei^- 
bouring monaster jr^^ ^ ivirich wa^ nettr ^ 
town of PoUizzi^ and the body ef ^ 
late Marchese was conveyed into the 
chapel^ which ^as'^hung with blacky 
and lit by the torches carried by, the 
domestics. Ricardo attended , the aw- 
ful ceremony. The. deep voicjps c^ the 

Fathers 



id5 

Fathers chaunthig ike Requiem was 
alone heard ; the solema sounds floated 
intiie air^ and Echp^ with all her buiy 
Irt^^ increaed the mournful harmony. 
At teigth 4he mortal remains were con* 
(Hgnedtp the peaceful tomb ; and the 
•terrice being eoncludedj tiie procession 
left the chapel. 

The superior of the m<masterj re- 
faained some time with Ricardo^ in or- 
4iN to pour into his bosom the consohn 
• tion of religious discourse ; and when 
ihe dbuUitions of Ricardo's sorrow had 
ill some degree subsided^ he left him, 
and proceeded to his peaceful abode. 

The Count Altona had, the day after 

K 2 the 



196 

death of the Marchese^ sent a message 
of condolence to Ricardo^ and had der 
parted yviih his people from the Castle^ 

as had also the domestics of the un- 

- » 

fortunate Count de Leoni in . search of 
their master ; and the people belonging 
to the Signor Rom^izo with his breath- 
Jess remains. 

Such was the termiaatian of the 
dreadful eireiits whiqh an: unprincipled 
motive »of'ruiping an 4iiQ,wary^ and un- 
{fortunate youths gave rise to* Asso- 
ciates in a bad cause never long agree ; 
if, Justice does not overlie them^ they 
generally inflict it on t}iemselyes. 

, No longer in fear of bis attai;ch- 

ment 



197 

menf to Lauis^ being' knowo^ Ricfirdo 
sent a messenger to ber witb earnest 
inquiries after ber bealtb^ and tbat of 
tbe Signora Bononi. 

I 

The answer of Louisa was lon^;. she 
condoled with him on the late unfortu- 
nate events at the Castle^ and represented 
her mother and herself as being perfectly 
well; bot there waa an air of melan- 
choly diffused throughout the letter 
which greatly distressed Ricardo. It 
seemed written as if she was labour- 
ing under some calamity, and which 
she wished not to divulge^ but which 

had taken such hold on her faculties 

» 

that she was unable to a^oid . almost 
expressing it by her style of writiog. 

■ ■ ■ Ik 

K 3 Tbe 



198 

The recent erenfiiatliie Gieurtle rendered 
it improjier for Ricardo to leare it; and 
Kis retpect for his father was such at 
to make him rigidly conform to the 
rules which custom had rienderd un- 
amdable* 

In searching among the papers of 
his late' father, in order to ascertain 
whether he had left any will^ he found 
a large packet, which on inspection he 
found to contain the writings relative to 
the estates of the Count de Leoiii. 

Delighted beyond measure at an op* 
portunity of rendering justice io the 
unfortunate Count, he instantly des-» 
patched messengers after him, to ac- 
quaint 



W9 

qakmthivfi with the circumstances that 
had taken place at the Gastle^ and that 
if he would repair, ihere^ he: ;would be 
informed pf a - circumstance of the ut- 
ni^Mit importance to him. 

« Having done this bis inind became 
more composed^ and he waited with 
much anxiety fpr the return of his 
toaMen |ters> fit the fond hope of ma- 
kong the Count de Leoni every satisfac^ 
tioa finr. the wrongs which he had re<- 
oeiveii from his father and his agents. 

But the people returned after haying 
been to Palermo^ and to the estates 
whi<A the Cixuiit had possessed^ with- 
out beitt^ able to gaio the teast intel* 

1 4 ligence 



200 

ligence where the Count wms ; Hud 
cardo^ when he recollected the despair 
and distraction which was but too ap- 
parent in his actions on the e^esmg he 
had left the Castle, at times-greatly 
feared that he had^ in one of his fits of 
desperation, laid violent hands on him- 
self. . 

. ' 4 

The father Grimaldi seldom appcwed 
in the presence. of Ricardo; he was 
almost always shut up in his aparttuent 
and sometimes^ either^ ver j early io. the 
morning, or when the shades of evening 
enveloped in their dusky mantle all 
around, he would walk on .the li^wn^ 
and seek to find relief from the evid^it 
disturbance which reigned witllip his 

breast; 



201 

I>feasi; ; his face grew meagre; his eyes 
and cheeks were hollow^ an4 it was 
evident he was labouring under some 
dreadful evil which was fast hui:rying 
him to ^^ that bourne from whence no 
traveller e'er returned. " 



•. 



At length he entirely confined him- 
sdf to his apartment^ and soon af- 
ter to his'bed; a fever preyed on hi» 
vitals^ and reduced him to the dreary 
brink of the grave. 

In this extremity he s^ent for Ricardo^ 
who immediately complied with his re- 
quest^ and came to his apartment. He 
wat greatly shocked to see the dread- 
ful change that had taken place in so 

K 5 short 



202 

short a time> and that even now the 
hand of death was on the mysterious 
Grhnaldi. 

m 

After motioning to his domestic to 
quit the chamber^ he thus addressed 
Ricardo : — 



'' My hour is at length arrived. I 
already feel the cold <;hill of disso<- 
lution anticipate the dreadfol mo- 
ment of my departure from this 
ivorld; dreadful indeed to me^ whose 
evil deeds weigh down my soul! 
No gleam of comfort animates me; 
hope is extinct ; deeply have I sin- 
ned ; dreadful must be my atone- * 
ment. But there is mercy; and my 

long * 



303 

long repentance may perhapg at last- 
be considered aa some alleviation of 
mj ccime. Thou wilt^ ere long, dig- 
nor^ know the mystery of the South 
Angle Tower. — These papers will in- 
form you with the extent of my guilt; 
but 1 entreai^t with my dying breath that 
you will not break the seal 'till I am 
in my .grave ; and if it be possible^ 
da not, curse me^ for misery and des- 
pair have have been my portion since 
I committed the dreadful deed. — 
Surely''—- 

At that moment a pang sharp and 
heartfelt^ the h^^rbinger of deaths 
distorted the countenance of the monk ; 
he groaned dreadfully, and turned up 

i 

JL 6 his 



S04 

his eyes to Heaven wiifli'''an- ^xpres- 
sion of contrition '\¥hich seemed to 
come from a heart almost hopeless of 
mercy. 

Ricardo wished to speak to hiiti 
Tvords of comfort^ but was unable; 
he was ignorant^ of the crime he had 
committed ; but from the contmual 
torture he seemed to endure^ and the 
last words of his father^ which yibrat- 
ed in his ears^ he was convinced it was 
an offence dark and dreadful^ and which 
concerned himself. 

He promised that he would not break 
the enclosure of the packet till the 
time he had mentioned ; and Grimaldi^ 

who 



205 

wko lta4 now become a little composed 
by the disc^ontiiiuajice of the pangs of 
dfiath^ in a faint voice continued :— r , 



'^ Surely the torments I have endured 
in this world will be considered. Nor 
peace^^ nor comfort^ have I know for 
many years. Oh! had virtue ever 
been the constant attendant on my ac- 
tions^ how widely different would this 
awful hour appear to me. On the 
brink of eternity^ stained with the 
^ blackest crime that human nature can 
be capable of! O earthy swallow me 
up> nor let my soul escape; imprison 
it deep^ deep in thy dark bowels; let 
it not ascend to give an account of my 
offences ; let it not descend to endure 

the 



S06 

tbe tormenti it merits. Aft i now ir« 
fast opening the gates of >teriiaHife — 
have mercy Heaven ! — have itier^y on 
the soul of a murderer!" 

Ricardo started at the dreadful vrord, 
xvhich 'was the last that GrimaldS 
spoke in this world ; the angel of death 
had claimed him as his prey^ and his 
soul had fled to those dreaded regions 
above to give an account of the dread* 
ful crimes it had been guilty of. 

Ricardo pensively left the chamber 
with the placket giveAi him by Grimaldi 
in his hand^ deposited it in his cabi* 
net^ and perceiving that the moon was 
breaking over the eastern horizon^ 

which 



207 

which DOW glowed with the near ap« 
proach of the radiant regent of day, 
he determined to stay an hour in his 
chamber; and then io see Louisa^ as 
he was anxious io know if his suBpi- 
cions respecting the state of her mind 
when she wrote to him were right. 

The recent events crowded so thick 
upon his mind that more than an hour 
passed ere he was aware of it ; be now 
descended from his chamber^ and hastily, 
with the fond impatience of an anxious 
Ibye, proceeded to the residence 
of Louisa. But dreadful was the in- 
telligence that awaited him -there; he 
entered the cottage, and not seeing any 
one in the aparment where the Signora 

< Bononi 



i08 

Boooni and her daughter used to sft, 
lie was proceeding into the garden; 
when the sound of lamentation assailed 
his ears; hastily he flew^ directed by 
tbem^ into a chamber^ where he saw 
the Signora Bononi and her donaestic 
gagged and bound with cords in such 
a manner^ as to render them unable 

« 

to stir. He immediately released them^ 
antfinreplyto his almost distracted in- 
quiries concerning Louisa^ was informed 
by the Signora Bononi that late thj 
preceding evenings three men in maskr 
had entered the cottage^ and after having 
confined herself and servant in the man- 
ner he had found theiii^ had carried 
off Louisa. 



f ; 

— I 



209 



CHAP. V. 



When the Padre Bernardo left the 
rest of the monks he v^ent ib his 
cell^ and haying replenished his lAnp 
with oif^ he repaired to the chapel: 

"Darkness and silence reigned in the 
long-drawn aisles. Often the monk 
started at the echoes of his slow paces 
as' the J reveberated aloiig the'vaultdl 

yWf:' ' '■''•"' " ■-'■-■■ ■'■ 

At 



ftie 

At length he stopped at the gilded 
screen which divided the part alotted 
to the nuns of the convent. With 
scrupulous attention he examined the 
fastenings of the folding gates^ and 
applied several ke}^s to ' the lock^ but 
without -success. 

Though doomed to meet a disap- 
pointment at thia place^. he did not 
desyair ; but turning from the screen^ 
he crossed, the aisle> and opeping a 
large door^ proceeded down seTeral 
steps^ taking care to shroud his la|mp 
from the blasts that rushed in melan- 
choly moans through the dreary sub- 
terraneous repositories for the depart:^ 



■» *• . V 



ed monks af Santa Catherina; fox": it 

was 



vras the cemetery of the monasterj that 
Bernardo \yas now in. 



He often looked around to see if 



bis steps were followed; but no bu- 
man sound broke on bis ear. Tbe 
ground be was now traversing rose 
in many sftiall billocks terminated by 
a cro8s> wbicb marked tbe spot wbere 
lay tbe mouldering remains of tbe 
Monks. 

Strange ideas disturbed tbe mind of Bar* 
nardo wbicb was naturally superstitions^ 
his. terrors increased every moment; 
tbat beings wbo belonged not. to ibis 

tL 

world were allowed to visit it be was well 
assured of^ and be eacb moment ex- 

. pected 



I ■ 



«13 

pected to see the graves burst 
open^ and their imnates rise from their 
silent recesses and stop his further 
progress.— In fancy he saw them 
stalking around him. The bell now 
tolled eleven. 

The monk collecting his courage 
proceeded rather quicker than before ; 
and leaving the cemetery^ advanced in- 
to another cavern^ which he crossed. 

This place, was of gieat extent^ 
and the roof was supported, by a 
number of rude, pillars ; it was im- 
mediately beneath the chapel; and 
Bernardo^ after he had noticed every 
part of the opposite wall, hastily re- 

turned 



SIS 

— # 

turned to the cemetery^ and taking 
from thence the implements with which 
the graves were raade^ began to open 
the ground in a retired corner^ where 
it .was not likely the most prying 
jsje would discover, his operations. 

In a short time he effected 
his purpose^ for the stones which 
composed the wall fell down deprived 
of their support ; and the monk cros- 
sing thrpugh the aperture he had 
made^ found himselC to his great de- 
light^ in the cemetery of the con- 
vent. 



Eagerly he proceeded forward^ hold- 
ing his lamp up to enable him to dis- 

« 

cover 



S14 

cover what course he should pursue, 
when suddenly a deep sigh met his 
afiVighted ear, and as he looked to^ 
ward the place where the sound pro- 
ceeded, he saw a figure seemingly rise 
out of one of the graves, and, with 
a lanihorn in its hold, proceeded slowly 
and mournfully from the place. 

The terrified monk staggered back 
to the wall, against which he leant 
almost deprived of reason ; his large eyes 
were fixed intently on the figure which 
was crossing the cemetery, and short- 
ly after ascended some steps on which 
the lamp gleamed. Soon it arrived to 
the summit, and the light of the lamp 
was lost. A closisng door then as- 
sured 



jur^ the monk thait he was rid of the 
object that had so greatly alarmed him. 

. f|e hp^iUt^ Sow ,fum^ time ty pro- 
Kfi^; however at lengtji he slpwl/ 
went forward^ glancing his ejes 
aromid in eyery direction. He looked 
Mrith. particuliir attention toward the 
ipot >fr<m wlience he had behel^, the 
Sgiire riaoj and saw a grfitve which 
appeared hy the freshness of th^ earth 
to rluure ^ iheen . iinade the - preceding 
day. While he was looki|[^ on . it 
he heard a groan as if beneath his 
;feet» and tibeiie vof ds ipstintly utter- 






■t€ 



Help l-mO^ ! imercj' Uv I shall 
.'db ! " These 



^16 

These words Bernardd yns' 'ibtiS.- 
dent came from tbe neiii^'fliftde -grsre. 

" Good HeavAi »"'sMd he,' " i hu- 
tnan beings a female too, m% ' biseti 
interred alive. " t.-.m 






f . 



' Hllstiljf ' he fan for hig ' irpftde^ acrd 

r 

''itirew aside the iftartfe that scaotilj 

'V;ov6red the cbfiul> tli^>>lid df -which 

he tore open, And ' beheld 'In . it 

ipt nbn- clothed in- the habiliment ^of 

the grave. ' • ,;'{7r* 



% r 



Wildly she arose froiii her dreary 
abode, and gazed silently for- some 
time on the monk. ^^ For what horri- 
ble piirposej^ " Mid she at leogiii, '^was 

I here 



^ 



217 

I here enclosed ? Oh ! too well I 
am convinced this was the work of 
lister Agatha, *' 

m 

During her speech the monk sur- 

^^eyed her features; they were inte- 

r^ting^ but a languid^ pallid hue^ 

like that of deaths prevailed over them. 

He now was struck with the danger 
he ran of being discoyered^ and was 
greatly perplexed what he should do 
with the nun, who, exhauisted with 
the efforts she had made to release 
herself from the grave, was sitting 
down on the ' coffin of which she had 
been so latetjr the tenant. 

Nothing short of the attendant cir- 
YOL. I. h cumstances 






218 

cumstances could have prevented the 
monk^ who now for the first time was 
alone with a woman^ from taking ad^ 
vantage of her defenceless situation. 
It was at this moment that the De- 
iTion, darting his vratchful eyes through 
the centre of the ierraqueoua globe, 
beheld the monk^ and knew the dark 
passions which assailed hjis breast,; 
he smiled with a^ mal\gnaa|; satisfac- 
tion^ and felt assured he should sue- 
ceed in his designs^, andj 9^dd anotljL^r 
victim to his numei^ous bands. 



». .. • 



The monk would wiHingly have 
bore the nun to his ce^^ but his feajs of 

a discovery alone forced him tp'relin- 

• ..•_■ •> ... -. 

quish 



.1 ... 



219 

quish that idea; he therefore thus ad- 
dressed her : — 

Whatever wajs my motive in visiting 
these vaults, to you, at least, they have 
.proved fortunate, since ere a few more 
moments had elapsed you would 
have been annihilated. You must now 
take a solemn oath not to mention the 
means by which you escaped, or that 
you saw here a monk of Santa Cathe- 
rina/' 

The nun acquiesced with the wishes 
of Padre Bernardo, and swore on the 
cross which had been raised at the head 
of her grave not to divulge the circuip- 
stances of her wonderful escape. 

h 2 Bernardo 



^ - 



220 

Bernardo then assisted her to the 
steps which he had observed the figure 
that had so greatly alarmed hira ascend> 
and throwing open the door found him- 
self in that part of the chapel which 
was behind the screen^ and appropriated 
solely for the convent. He then bade his 
wan companion sit down on the steps of 
the altar^ and there await the coming 
dawn. 



Vexed at the interruptions which had 
attended him, he then retraced his steps ^; 
and having replaced his tools^ and clos- 
ed the passage he had made with the 
loose stones, he cautiously entered his 
cell, fully determined to return ix^ the 
convent the next nfght. 

He 



I 



221 

He threw himself on the pallet 
and ]aj ruminating on the past events^ 
when the tolling of the convent bell 
made him start up^ and proceed to 
the casement which commanded a view 
af its grey walls. 

Light gleamed momentarily from 
many of the casements^ and his eye 
caugh tthe forms of the nuns proceeding 
hastily past them. Soon the bell ceased^ 
and all wa» silent. 

The monk then returned to his 
couch ruminating on the probable 
cause of the disturbance in the con- 
\eat, which at length he attributed 

to 

; L 3 



282 

to it» right source, namely, the ap. 
pearaoce of the uun whom he had 
rescued from the grave. 

The ahbot of Santa Catherkia, dis- 
turbed by the bell at that unusual 
hour, arose, and throwing on his gar- 
ments proceeded to the parlour of the 
conyent, where he saw the venerable 
abbess, who related to him the won- 
derful event that had taken place res* 
pecting sister Marianne, who, after she 
had been interred in the cemetery, had 
returned again to a mortal existence.* 

-'^ deep and inexplicable mystery^ 
seemed to attend the transaction ; the 
nun was also mysterious in her an- 
swers. 



223. 

swers^ aiid it appearedv necessary that 
the abbot should exert his authority 
in order to make her declare how 
she had effected her escape from the 
grave, from which she had emerged 
without assistance. 



Such was the relation which Ber- 
nardo heard among the fathers of San- 
ta Catherina. Greatly did he tremble 
le$t the nun should not pay a strict, 
observance to her oath. 



]$ut when he beard that she had 
confessed that she was bound by a 
solemn promise not to disclose the 
maimer of hei* regaining her liberty 

from 
L 4 



224 • 

from the grave^ .and that the abbot 
had sent to the Pope for authority to 
absolve her from that oath^ his 
bosom then became the seat of a thoii* 

# 

sand fears lest it should be discovered 
that he had dared to seek an entrance 
within the forbidden walls of the 

i 

convent. 

The rules of the monastery were 
particularly severe with respect to 
women, who were excluded from at- 
tending divine service in the chapel; ' 
except on the celebration of -the fes- 
tival of the Santa Catherina, which took 
place but twice in a century. As that 
period was now near at hand, many 
of those monks who had been placed 

there 



225 

there from their infartcjr, and which 
was the case with the Padre Bernardo^ 
had not seen the face of a wonian> 
the forms of the nuns of the convent^ 
with their long black veil seen through 
the chapel screen^ was all they had to 
form their ideas from respecting that 
fascinating sex. But the monk Ber- 
nardo in the conversation of the Padre 
Pietro was made acquainted with what 
happy had it been for his soul he had 
; never known. His passions were rouzed 
by the ill-judged relations of Pietro^ 
and daily and nightly « did he gaze 
aHd sigh at the inanimate representatioa 
of the tutelary Saint of the monastery^ 
38 the reader has already seen in the 
first pages of these records. 

L 5 



22$ 

The^Boul of the mook chilled wkh 
fear irhcB he reflected on the doiigec 
he ran of hekig .disovered in his nee* 
tunil attempt to ei^i the canTeat. 
Ill ar few days the mesaai^r would 
retom; from Rome with the neeessai^ 
indulgence from the Pej>^. to absolve 
the nun firom all guilt in divulging 
the cireumstancefr she had swosn to 
conceaL 

fie was= fearfukof putting hi« design, 
in practice the xianX ni^ht^ which be* 
passed in his oell in a state of agitar 
turn which deprived him of rest. Of- 
ten was he going to invoke the pre- 
sence of the Demon^ hut as often was 
he deterred by the feeble voice of vir- 
tue. 



2»r 

tae, which in some small degree res- 
trained him in his rapid advances to, 
vice. 



In the midst of these meditations the 
passing bell of the Convent tolled. All 
the monks were roused from their pal- 
lets^ and attended in the chapel to pray 
for the repose of the departing soul. 

High was^ raised the soft harmonious 
melody of the nuns*; mixed with the 
deep voices of .the monks^ the sounds 
floated along the vaulted roof; and 
borne on th^ breeze of niPit^ ascended 
toward the hei^vens. 

Soon the ceasing of the bell told 

L 6 the 



228 
the disolution of tbe frail mortal whose 

■ 

80ul was now winging its rapid fliglit 
throught the vas^ aerial space toward 
the dreadful tribunal^ to give an ac- 
count of the offences it- committed 
while it animated its mortal coil. 

Slowly the monks left the chapel. 
Bernardo spoke not to anj of the fa- 
ijieTSy but wrapt in gloon^y meditations^ 
retired to his cell. 

A heavy slumher stole on his eye- 
lids ; when the dreadful visions of the 
night clusteffd around him, and aj[)- 
peared to his wakeful imagination. 

He thought he heheld a woman^ 

fairer 



229 

fairer, if possible, than any of the ra- 
diant groups which the Santa Cathe- 
rina had displayed to his i^iew ; eagerly 
he ran toward her> when' suddenly the 
earth yawned between them; he now 
thought he saw the Demon advancing 
toward him^ who at his request made 
the earth unite. In ecstacies of delight 
he conducted the fair io the yerdant 
banks of a rivulet^ where they sat down 
on the grassy slope beneath the shade of 
a wide spreading larch . He then thought 
he drew near to embrai^e her; his arms 
encircled her lovely waist ; when sudden- 
ly the beauteous fornAtded to his view> 
the flesh deserted the bones^ and a hide- 
ous skull was before him. Forth from 
the eye-less sockets rushed two snakes^ 

who 



UQ 

who instantly twined around his $bud-- 
dering limbs their scaly folds ; hastily 
be dropped the loathsome sLelet^n> the. 
bones ratUed as they feU to the 
ground. 

The &C€^ of Nature^ so besiutiful 
before^ now suddenly changed; the. 
verdant bank^ the shady tree^ the 
sparkling rivulet vanished^ and Ber- 
nardo thought himself on a huge ridge 
of aspiring Etna. On one side he saw 
a dreadful abyss^ ^n. the other he beheld 
the fiery bdwds of the mountain cast- 
ing forth Yolume4K flames and smoke. 
He dared notmove^ for he conceived 
himself so nicely poised on the ridge 
that the least inclination one way or 

the 



231 

the other must either cause him to he 
dashed to pieces down the steep^ or to 
perish in the fiery caverns of the moun- 
tain. 



la this state of dreadful agitation 
he n^woke; cold drops of sweat stood 
OB his pallid face; for some time he 
thought what he had seen was a dread- 
ful reality^ and he feared almost to 
move in his bed from a recollection of 
his imaginary situation. At length he 
started from his pallet and having 
o^ned his casement, the bright beams 
of the morning illuminea his chamber. 
By degrees his senses becaipe more 
composed, and ere the matin bell 
had warned him to the chapel, the 

effect 



232 

effect of pale fears and deep terror 
weve banished his countenance. 

When in the refectory, he learned 
that the nun who had made her escape 
from the grave in so wonderful a man- 
ner, had been recalled to it, and that 
it was her for whom the bell had 
tolled during the night. 

Joj^illumiued the countenance of the 
monk at this so unlooked-for escape . 
from his worst fears, and he scarcely 
listened to the many surmises which- 
escaped the fathers on a circumstance 
so mysterious ; but when some of them 
expressed theii: apprehension that sister 
Marianne had not been fairly dealt with, 

that 



233 

that part of their conversation struck 
Bernardo and recalled to his mind that 
at the moment of the nun coming to 
the use of her reason and speech^ she 
had accused sister Agatha as being 
the author of her then melancholy si- 
tuation. 



In the delight occasioned by the in- 
telligence^ the remembrance of the night 
faded on his recollection. 

Thinking there was now no danger 
in putting his designs jnto oxecutioUj, 
he determined that night, if no sinis' 
ter event took place^ to visit the con- 
vent> he knew that according to cus- 
tom^ the body of the nun would not 

be 



•^ 



234 

be interred till the next morning, and 
be thought if he did not go then, that 
some person might be appointed to 
watch the grave ; he therefore resolved 
to take advantage of the present time, 
as the nent night his attempt might 
be attended with the danger of a dis- 
covery. 

Having thus formed his resolves, he 
waited anxiously till the descending 
shades of night should render it safe 
for him to put his design into ex/equ- 
tion, for the u^nk was^ wary and caur 
tious to a >great degree, as he well 
knew the dreadfql punishment that 
would be his portion should his pro- 
ceeding be discovered, for th^ #ipo^- 

tioa 



233 

tion of the abbot was haughty, cruel, 
and vindictive, and hapless was the 
life of him who displeased the stern 
Superior, 

At length the shades of night gra- 
dually prevailed^ and the gay scenes of 
mid-day splendor gave place to the 
solemnity of twilight; the peaceful 
moon with captivating majesty rose 
slowly to the height of Heaven. 

But the silence of night, which en- 
creases the harmony of the feelings of 
those whose unaccusing conscience pro- 
duce nothing but anticipation of hap- 
piness, ill agreed with the restless soul 
of the monk^ who was preparing to 

turn 



236 

turn his cautious steps tov^ard the con- 
vlent, when a fear of being discovered 
made him pause ; his dream too return* 
cd to his recollection with the dreadful 
sensations he had endured^ but at the 
same time it brought to his imagination 
the visionary charms of the female ; pas- 
sion and curiosity impelled him to ad* 
vance^ while fear kept him back* 

" The mysterious visitant " said he^ 
gloomily, '' might advise me — would I 
could see him, but it wants near an hour 
of midnight/ I will jstay till then, per- 
haps he may come here. " 

Seated on an ebon throne, high raised 
over the burning sea, the Demon dart- 
ing 



237 

■ 

ing his piercing eyes through the re- 
gions of night and horror which sur- 
rounded his dreadful dominions^ saw 
themonk^ and though deep plunged in the 
centre of the glohe, he heard his re- 
quest^ and determined at the hour when 
he was permitted to visit the earth to 
accede to the wishes of the wretched 
monk^ whose sOul he sanguinely hoped 
would be added to the number of thbse^ 
who^ tortured with intolerable torments, 
vexed the murky regions of contamina- 
ted vapours which hung around his 
horrific regions with their dreadful un- 
availing plaints. 

Having formed his wish, fatally preg- 
nant with future horrors, the monk 
threw himself into a seat ; his eyes 

glared 



238 

glared about the chamber, the baneful 
passions which existed in his bosotn 
darkened his sallow visage^ he folded 

his armsj sunk his head on his breast^ 

i ' ' ' 

and waited with impatience till the- 
tedious moments should bring on the 
midnight hour. 

Slowly^ as if anticipating the mise- 
ries it would produce, sounded the long- 
toned bell of midnight.; and as echo 
ceased to reverberate the sullen sounds^ 
and the breeze had borne them afar io 
other parts, the Demon appeared be- 
fore the monk. 



Though anticipating his presence, 
though wishing to him^ yet the monk 

trembled^ 



1 



239 

trembled, and the half- formed sentence 
died away ere he could give it ut- 
terance. 

'' You wished to see me^ Padre ; 
you wished my advice ; behold me rea- 
dy to serve you. You need not,'* con- 
tinued he, *' tell me your purpose, I 
know your thoughts as soon as they are 
formed ; this night there will be dan- 
ger in going to the convent ; had you 
attempted it, you would have been 
dicovered, and to-morrow would have 
seen you shut out from the society of 
man, the inhabitant, perhaps for life, 
of a gloomy dungeon. '' 

The monk trembled, ^^ but your 

power 



240 

power doubtles" saidbe^ ''could have 
emancipated me. " 

*' Yes, " replied the Demon^ '' even 
if mountains had been piled upon thee^ 
easily could I upraise them. " 

Security glowed in the countenance 
^ of Bernardo ; he now feared not hu- 
man power, since he could so easily es- 
cape its. thralls;, and in proportion 
as tho'se fears died away, his reliance 
on the Demon increased, Alas ! he 
little knew that he was forging the fet- 
ters that were to bind his soul for ever 
to him. ' 

''As it would not be prudent,'' said , 

the 



341 

the arch Demon^ ^^ to visit the convent 
this night ; suffer me to bring you to 
a place where you may behold the 
greatest beauty in Sicily. " 

^^ How ? " said the monk astoni- 
shed ; '' I go ? I cannot climb the lofty 
walls. '' 

The Demon smiled ghastly '' Did I 
not tell thee, '' said he, '^ that were 
mountains thrown on thy trembling 
form, I could hurl them off? and 
thinkest thou that these walls are in 
my eye as any restraint ? To me they 
seem formed of passive air ; the strong- 
est embattled ramparts give way to my 

approach, 
VOL. i^ M 






243 

approach^ and I can dive into the bow- 
els of the earth as easilj as the bird 
wings his fleet course on the zephyrs 
of day. Say then, monk, wilt thou 
trust thy self with me for a short space 
of time ? for ere the clock has tolled the 
coming hour thou wilt be in thy present 
place. 

Eagerly the monk consented. At that 
moment a strong grasp seized his 
arm, the walls of the cell divided to 

fl 

let him pass, and he was instantly ele- 
vated in the regions of air.* The De- 
mon spread two broad black pinions 
to the wind that shadowed the plains 
below, and in a moment of time, 
even ere the fears which his novel 

situatipn 



243 

aation might well occasion had ta- 
il any hold on his frame^ he found 
Dself in a large garden opposite the 
ding doors of a pavilion which 
8 illutiained with tapers. 



^^We are both/' said the Demon. 
Qvisible to mortal sight. In that 
rilton is the lovely female I wish you 
see; she now awaits the arrival ot her 
er; we vrill enter and observe their 
eting/' 



rhey now entered the pavilion. Pow- 

of love ! what a sight met the 

)s of the monk. Reclined on a su-^ 

perb 
M 3 



S44 

perb couch lay the most elegant female, 
such as even the strong powers of fan- 
cy would fail in ability to raise to the 
imagination. Beautifully arched eye- 
brows, eyes sparkling with lustre^ 
cheeks where the rose appeared but 
newly blown^ and a mouth breathing 
ambrosial sweetness around; her hesom 
partially covered with a thin gauze, 
that by the slight concealment of her 
panting orbs permitted the imagination 
to revel in ideal charms.«=— Her lovely 
dark hair flowed on her ivory neck is^ 
glossy ringlets, part sported over her 
polished fbrehead, and part was con- 
fined by strings of pearls, whose white- 
ness improved the beauty of her 
tresses 



^5 

* This lovely female was leaning on 
her arm and looking toward the door 
when the monk entered. The Idea of 
being invisible was new, and for a mo* 
ment he thought he was discovered ; 
-he drew back confused, but the De- 
mon bade him enter. The lovely 
* Signora knew not what dangerous 
spirits were now so near her ; she was 
in anxious e^fpectation of the promised 
arrival of her lover. 

Scarcely could the monk restrain 
himself from rushing toward her; his 
passions at the sight of so lovely an 
object were wound up to the highest 
pitch of frenzy. The Demon smiled 
at his emotions ; he meant to rjslise 

M 3 them 



■■^ 



246 

them still more^ he meant too to make 
him feel other sensations^ which would 
more completely bring about the dark 
designs he \yas formings and make < 
the monk irrevocably his. 



/ 



A hasty step was now heard; the 
lovely Signora raised herself on tiie 
sofa^ the door flew open^ and a young 
cavalier of extraordinaiy beauty rush- 
ed to her arms. 

What a sight was this for the monk ; 
his bosom burned with rage^ his breath 
grew convulsed^ his eyes rolled on 
the intruder with expressions of the 
blackest revenge and hatred. The 
Demon knew what was passing in the 

mind 




247 

mind of the monk, but restrained 
him from darting on the Signor by 
his iron grasp. 

"'Wait yet a little while/' said he 
to the Padre, '' you shall have your 
wishes; I read your thoughts, my 
friend, I will serve you/' 

Somewhat comforted by this, the 
monk again fixed his impassioned gaze" 
on the lovely countenance of the Sig- 
nora. who, as she lifted her eyes to 
the cavalier, which seemed by turps 
animated with lively passion, by turns 
melting with the softest languor, seem- 
ed now more beautiful than ever. 
The presence of the beloved object 

M 4 of 



248 

of her affections restored to her coun- 
tenance the rose which expectation 
had made 'pale on her cheek ; her 
fair bosom trembled to her sighs — 
sighs which ' increased the force of 
every charm,^ and expiring on h^r rubj 
lips invited the kiss. 

Her dress was of light thin gauze^ 
on which the wanton zephyrs played^ 
whose balmy breath was the fra- 
grance of the new-blown rose 

The monk listened to their soft ex- 
pressions of mutual love ; lorve which 
constitutes the perfection of earthly hap- 
piness i he saw too that as enamoured 

they 



.249 

tbcy conversed the fire of love concen- 
tred in their eyes. 

The pavilion was beautifully orna- 
mented with whatever could charm 
the senses ; lovely paintings, done by 
the ablest Italian masters, decorated . 
the walls ; curtains of the richest silk 
flowed in profusion before the case- 
ments; Etruscan vases, supported on 
silver tripods, held the lamps that il- 
lumined the chamber, which was per- 
fumed by aromatic flowers, which 
richly breathed their fragrance around. 
The enchanting place seemed anima- 
ted by a spirit of tenderness ; a soft 
languor seized the soul of the monk- 
how 

M 5 



250 

how did ever J snare of Toluptuout* 
ness encircle him. 



Philomel sweetly tuned her plaintive 
strains in the adjoining grove; she 
chaunted in weak notes^ yielding to 
the sorrows of her heart. 



The moon was seen sweetly gleam- 
ing on the waving outline of the trees 
from a casement which was inclosed ; 
a sweet tranquillity pervaded each 
scene ; the monk felt the influence 
of the place^ and his eyes expressed 
it; but at times^ when the raging 
fever of jealousy pervaded his soul, 
his countenance grew dark as the stormy 

clouds 



251 

cUuds of' nighty and the flash of rage 
and anger from his ejes was as, the 
lightning gleaming through the shades ; 
while his whole frame would shake 
with the new-born emotions of his 
soul. 

Delicious to the lovers was the re- 
ciprocal tale of love; sweet was to 
them the love-inspiring iook^ the gentle 
pressure of the hand^ and the fond 
expressions of their eyes^ which seemed 
to dart to each others soul. 

At times they mentioned the ap- 
proaching festival which was to take 
place at the monastery of Santa Ca- 

therina. 



25S 

therina^ as the period which would 
render them truly hagpy. 

The eyes of the monk were never 
weary of gazing at the lovely female; 
the raging passion^ now first knowu, 
and under such a powerful incitement^ 
pervaded his whole frame ; hut the De- 
mon, who saw that the purpose for 
which he brought the monk there 
shewed every prospect of success^ now 
told him that the morning hour would 
in a few minutes arrive^ and that he 
must convey him back to the monas- 
tery. 

'^ Let me stay, mysterious being ; 
let me stay here, I conjure you; can 

I leave 



253 

V 

I leave that divinity^ leave her too 
with that man ? O torture ! torture ! — 
give me but a dagger, 1 feel myself 
capable of any act, however atrocious. 
I will murder him, and then with your 
assistance I shall prevail, I shall be 
truly happy. What concession would 
I not make to you for so great an 
indulgeftce." - 

However willing the Demon might 
be to accord with the desires of Ber- 
nardo, and thereby add to his long 
black li&t another hapless soul^ yet it 
was no|; in his power to grant hi» re- 
quest. As to what respected the ruin 
of that Signora, he had no power over 

« 

a virtuous mind, l^ut the moment it 

made 



254 

t 

made a false step^ then his influence 
began. 

'' I would:, '* said he, '' willingly 
grant what you ask, but the time will 
not permit; you reflect not. Padre, that 
you. are now near twenty leagues from 
the monastery of Santa Catherina ; wait 
with patience, you will have the beau- 
tiful Signora in your power, that I 
can promise you/' 

Ere the monk could reply, and while 
yet his gaze lingered on the lovely 
form before him, he felt himself rising 
from the place whereon he stood ; the 
roof of the pavilion divided to let 
him pass, he heard the wide flapping 

of 



255 

of the black pinions which the Demon 
spread to the breeze of night, and 
cleaying the air a thousand degrees 
swifter than the arrow from the bow of 
the hunter, in a few moments the monk 
was in his cell. 



'' To-morrow night/' said the De- 
mon, '^ thou mayest enter the convent; 
there is a female there whose charms, 
though not equal to those thou hast 
gazed on this night, are nevertheless 
such as boast many attractions. I will 
dispose her heart to thee; but be not 
X precipitate, thou must be cautious, and 
reflect on the dangers attendant on a 
discovery.*' 

The 



^56 

The bell of the monastery now tolled 
one ; the monk; whose gaze was fixed 
on the form of the Demon^ saw it 
gradually dissolving into air> and 
vanish from his sight ere echo had ceas- 
ed to reverberate the sound through 
the vast pile. 
.« 

The monk trimmed the dim lamp, 
and throwing himself into a seat, re- 
flected on the events of the last hour. 
The Demon had promised him that he 

should have the lovely Signora in his 

» 

power; that promise alone was his 
comfort in his absence; but though he 
thought almost unceasingly of her^ jet 
the words of the Demon respecting 
tlie female in the convent escaped not 

hifr 



357 

his recollection. But how, thought 
he, shall I discover her among so ma- 
ny? to me it appears impossible to 
be effected ; but doubtless he who 
seems to possess such power will 
throw her in my way. 

The nun who had escaped from the 
grave, and who had so strangely ceas- 
ed to exist, had been again commit- 
ted to the silent repository for the 
dead, and the past morning had wit- 
nessed the solemn ceremony, therefore 
he did not fear being disturbed in his 
nocturnal visit on that account. 

Other ideas now crowded on his 
mind. The festival of Santa Cathe- 
rina drew near, and the Signora and 

her 



358 

her lover Had mentioned it as the pe* 
riod which would render them happy ; 

■ 

from that he conceived that they meant 
to be united there. That, thought he, 
if I have any interest with the Demon^ 
shall never take place. No/ I would- 
termii^te his existence at the very altar 
itself ere he should be the possessor 
of so much loveliness. 



The remembrance that the Demon had 
promised he should have that lovely 
woman in his power now again recur- 
red to him, and soothed the rising 
tempest of his soul; while the new 
prospect which was opening to his 
view of the nun, a boarder of the 
coHvent, whom he should see the next 

night. 



259 . 

nighty served to assuage the disquie- 
tude of his mind^ and to make him 
long for the hour when he was to 
enter ^those forbidden walls. 



Amidst his varions meditations the 
sombrous deity of slumber weigh- 
ed heavy on his senses ; he re- 
tired to his couch, where sleep clos- 
ed his eye-lids, while his restless and 
perturbed imagination brought to his 
view the lovely female, whom he oft 
essayed, but in vain^ to clasp in his em- 
brace, for as often as he opened his arms, 
the visionary form eluded his pur- 
pose. • 

The summons for matin service 

awoke 



360 

awoke him from his deep slumbers^ 
and the Padre Bernardo rfsing from 
his conch, entered the chapel^ where 
his ideas wandered to what he had 
beheld in the pavilion^ and to the 
adventure he was that night to have 
in the convent, while the devotional 
duties of the morning were neglected 
and were unthought of. 



END OF VOL. I 



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