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pass the remainder of his days with him. D' Rosonio had by this time conquered his love for Victoria, of whom he took leave with a brotherly affection; nor did his heart throb, as it would once have done, with pain, when he learned some sime after that she had given her hand to an opulent Spaniard; most sincerely did he invoke heaven to bless their union, and his prayers were heard; for the lot of Victoria was as happy as she had deserved it should be.
SOON after D'Rosonio had attained his twenty-third year, Montalva one morning burst into his chamber.
Congratulate me, (cried he in a tone of rapture), the loveliest and most affluent woman in Naples will be mine.
"I do congratulate thee my friend, (said D'Rosonio, warmly embracing him), but may I not know thy fair one's name?”
"Bianca Lupinetti, (replied the signor); thou knowest she is the only surviving branch of one of the noblest families in Naples, and her fortune which is immense is at her own disposal: that for
warm, and perhaps a useful friend; one thing I must caution you against, do not attempt to watch or follow me; if you do, you will never see me more:' she walked hastily away before I could reply.
"I puzzled myself in vain, to conjecture who the incognita could be; and the next day I took care to be there at the same hour. In a few minutes the woman appeared.
"You are punctuality itself, signor, (said she) and to-night you shall see your incognita, be near the church of St. Giovanni a little before midnight; and I will conduct you to her.'
You may be sure Fernando, (continued Montalva), I did not hesitate to promise obedience; and never did I long for the arrival of an hour, as I did for that of midnight. At last it came, and just as the clock was striking, my incognita's ambassadress approached me. Follow me,' said she; I obeyed, and for some time we proceeded in silence;
she then turned round.
'We are now
very near the place to which I am about to conduct you, signor, (cried she), suffer me to tie this handkerchief over Nay, (cried.
your eyes. I hesitated.
she) on no other condition can you accompany me. These words were sufficient; I suffered her to tie the handkerchief round my eyes, and she then led me forward. In a few minutes she unbound them, and I found myself in a large garden opposite to a magnificent house; my conductress took from her pocket a key, and opening the door of the house, she led me up a flight of back stairs to a small apartment; we had no light but what the moon afforded.
Stay here for a few minutes, signor, (said she) and I will return to you:' she quitted, the room as she spoke, and I observed that she locked the door after her; I had not time to, indulge many conjectures upon this circumstance: a slight noise made me turn to that part of the apartment from whence I thought
it-proceeded; I saw a pannel slide back, and by doing so, discovered to me a most magnificent apartment, splendidly the woman who had brought me there, now entered through the pannel; she motioned to me to follow her, and I obeyed: but the magnificence of every thing around me, had no longer power to attract my attention, when I beheld the loveliest female figure my eyes had ever seen, advance to meet me; a long veil which fell in folds to her feet, while it concealed from me her countenance, gave additional graces to her figure; tall, majestic, and commanding; the graceful symmetry of her person could not be excelled; while the feminine delicacy of her air and manner, would alone have been sufficient to excite admiration.
"We conversed for some time before she would suffer me to see her face; at last, she raised her veil; and what a heaven of beauty met my eyes. gazed upon her in speechless transport;