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human eye; say, minstrel, how came these horrors known to thee?"
By no earthly means (replied the minstrel); but speak not thus Montalva, let monks and women talk of crime, it exists but in idea; D'Rosonio stood between thee and happiness, thou did'st right to destroy him; but why doés Isabel exist?"
"What can I have to fear from her?" (cried Montalva.)
Every thing (exclaimed the minstrel), even now is her hand solicited by one of the noblest youths of Naples; her birth may be discovered
Impossible?" (interrupted Mon
"No! not impossible; I tell thee it. may be discovered (continued the minstrel), what then becomes of thee?" Montalva was silent.
"Another blow (said the subtle tempter), and all is sure."
Again imbrue my hands in blood?
(cried Montalva). Oh! no, no."
fore thou didst imbrue thy hands in bod (said the minstrel, with a malignt smile); but mark me, Montalva, came here thy friend, why I am so is not of import to thee to know. I I thee, and thou wilt find it true, at one only means is left to hide nat thou callest thy guilt from the orld. While Isabel D'Rosonio exists ou art not safe; think of this warn-g, and if thou hast the spirit of a an, take it."
A gleam of blue and sulphurous ght flashed round the minstrel, and in n instant he vanished from before the yes of the astonished count; for some moments the greatest horror took posession of the soul of Montalva; when e could reflect, the only conjecture he hought it possible to form was, that is visitor must be a magician. He had vowed that his knowledge of Monalva's guilt was not obtained by earthly means, yet, wherefore had he for twelve years kept the secret, and why did he now urge the wretched
Montalva to plunge still deeper in guilt?
"No, Isabel; (exclaimed be, men. tally) no consideration, save my own safety, shall prevail on me to sacrifice thy life."
He now summoned his domestics, and smoothing his brow, enquired whether the minstrel had departed? They all declared they had not seen him, and Montalva affected to suppose that he had quitted the castle unobserved. Such was the horror of the count's mind, that he did not dare to remain entirely alone; he commanded Antonio to remain in an anti-chamber, and while lost in a maze of distracting thoughts, he paced his apartments. He every moment expected again to behold his late terrific visitor.
More than twelve years had now elapsed since the murder of the count, and the voice of conscience Montalva had supposed was all that he could possibly have to dread; but this mys
terious minstrel had awakened every dormant fear, and the count resolved on a journey to the convent of St. Teresa, to learn if indeed he had spoken truth..
"I will have her professed as soon as possible (thought he), and then minstrel I shall not heed thy pròphecies."
He left the castle as he pretended on business, which carried him to Naples, and his departure was indeed a day of jubileę to his doméstics, who were now for the first time at liberty to indulge in that noisy gaiety which distinguishes. the lower order of people, but which their lord's severity had hitherto repressed.
Montalva, after stopping (a few days. at Naples, set out unattended for the convent of St. Teresa; his arrival filled the bosom of the lady abbess with pleasure, she hastened to receive him, and sent to summon Isabel to the grate.-A. strange and new sensation filled the..
breast of Montalva, when he beheld the lovely girl whom he had rendered an orphan; he was not surprised at feeling remorse on seeing one whom, he had so greatly injured; but how could he account for the inexplicable pleasure which the sight of Isabel occasioned him. Lovely as she was, the heart of Montalva had ceased to throb at the sight of beauty, nor was the sentiment he felt, while he gazed on the blushing Isabel, of that nature which beauty creates ; it was neither desire nor admiration, but a feeling equally tender and pure. He recovered self-command enough to express his pleasure at the sight of Isabel, whom he informed that it was his intention that she should immediately take the veil.
The suddenness of the information robbed Isabel of that fortitude which she thought she had acquired, and she burst into tears:
"How is this? (cried Montalva angrily) have you not long known that