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jectured his purpose; nor was he mistaken; the assassin drew near his destin.. ed prey, and at the
very moment when his arm was raised to plunge the stiletto into the bosom of the signor, Di Soranzo arrested the blow; the bravo dexter. ously eluded his grasp, and fled. Di So, ranzo would have pursued him but for the stranger, who overwhelmed him with thanks and expressions of gratitude.
" I guess, (cried he,) from whence this dastardly blow proceeds, and my life would have fallen a sacrifice to the bà. sest treachery, - but for the goodness of heaven. in sending you to my assistance; and never will I, signor, forget the debt of gratitude I owe you.'
Di Soranzo interrupted his thanks, by an assurance that they were misplaced, since common humanity only would have impelled him to save the life of a fellow creature, even at, enme hazard ; whereas, in truth, there was 'none in what he did. He insisted
bome with the stranger, who was, he found, the Signor Lodivico Verezzi. He rejoiced that providence had made him the instrument of saving the life of so good a man; for the worth of Verezzi was well known to him by report. When they reached the house of the signor, Di Soranzo declined his invitation to enter it; and promising to see him in the morning, took his leave.
“Early the next day, he paid his promised visit to Verezzi, who received him with the warmest demonstration's of pleasure.
“ • You look pale and unrefreshed signor, (said Di Soranzo); I hope that your last night's adventure is not the cause :
“. It is indeed, (replied Verezzi); this is the third time that my life has been attempted; and I have reason to believe that these attempts proceed from the son of my dearest friend.'
«• But surely, (cried Di Soranzo), re
gard for your own safety, would impel you to punish the assassin, if you know him to be such.'
Though my suspicion is strong, and I think well founded, (said Verezos. zi,) yet, I have no absolute proof; and for his father's sake, I am unwilling to take
any step against him; I will tell you signor why I suspect, and you can then judge whether I am right.
“ Heaven has blest my declining age with one daughter, who is my only child. During the
pregnancy of my wife I had a severe fit of illness; and almost despairing of my recovery, she vowed if I was spared, to dedicate her expected infant to the seryice of heaven; her prayers were heard; I recovered, and my daughter before she saw. the light was destined to a life of monastic seclusion. When I recovered, and my wife acquainted me with the vow she had made to the Virgin, I deeply regretted it; but there was now no remedy, and as the infant proved a girl, I consoled
myself with the hope that heaven would bless us with a son; these hopes were however disappointed, we had not any more children, and I could not help repining, when I thought that we must one day lose our Albertina, who was the delight of our lives.
my child was about fifteen, it pleased heaven to deprive me of her mother ; this was the severest blow I had ever met with; and but for Albertina, I should have sunk under it: she was indeed an angel of consolation, and her pious cares at length succeeded in calming my mind, and restoring me to tranquillity, though not to happiness. . I had taken care to keep my Albertina as much as possible secluded from society, that she might not have to regret those pleasures which she was destined never to enjoy : but chance presented her to the view of the Count D'Avila; he was captivated with my child, and he thought that his rank and immense wealth would make her accept his offer
ed hand with transport ; besides, his father, the Duke De had been my patron, and was still my friend, Had not my wife's vow rendered the marriage of Albertina impossible; yet, never should she have become the wife of D'Avila; whose youthful depravity had tarnished the honour of the illustrious house. The air of proud condescension with which he made his proposals, roused my indignation; but 'I suppressed it, and coldly returning him thanks for the honour he intended me, informed him that Albertina was already dedicated to the church
• • I shall not attempt, my dear signor, to repeat to you
the blasphemous things which this young libertine uttered, when he found that I was firm in my purpose. * Respect for your
father, young man, (cried I) prevents me chastising your insolence as it deserves ; but I in. sist upon your instantly quitting my house: he obeyed, but he vowed revenge, and I have but too much reason