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and possessed of a princely fortune, solicits in marriage the hand of your ward."

The abbess paused, and looked earnestly at the signor, but no expression of pleasure animated his countenance; his features were convulsed, and he vainly strove to hide his agitation under an appearance of anger.

"I know not (continued she), what the family of Isabel may be, but she is the child of my fondest affection; and Signor Sforza has my warmest wishes for his success."

"Isabel then loses the signor," (interrupted Montalva).

"A confession of her affection for him has never yet passed her lips (said the abbess), but her heart may be read in her expressive countenance; and that heart I am convinced is Sforza's."

'Tis well, madam (haughtily replied the count); a convent is the last place where I should have supposed an amour would be carried on, and a girl

destined to the veil, I had thought you would have secluded from every eye."

"Hear me, signor (mildly interrupted the lady abbess), when you placed Isabel under my care, you told me that it was your wish she should, at a proper age, become a member of our sisterhood, but you represented her as an orphan with out fortune. The Signor Sforza might aspire to a rich and highly-born bride; how then could I suppose it wrong to sanction his passion for your ward? yet Isabel has not violated the duty which she may owe you; that she is decidedly against a monastic life, I am well convinced: but I also know, that she will not become. the wife of any man in defiance of your wish, if you have a right to insist upon. her obedience."

The abbess ceased, and Montalva knew not how to reply; at length, he said," there are many reasons why Isabel must take the veil, what those

reasons are, I will acquaint you to-morrow, if you will then allow me the honour of seeing you. The abbess acquiesced, and the count took his leave.

When he returned to the inn, where he intended to remain during the few days of his stay, he shut himself in his apartment, to consider what measures he should take.

"Minstrel, I fear thou wast right," (burst involuntarily from his lips, and in an instant the form of the minstrel appeared before him.)

"Thou art now convinced, Montalva (cried he, while the astonished count sunk motionless on a couch), that I told thee truth, wouldst thou wish to know more?”

"First tell me, I beseech thee (said Montalva), to what, or whom I speak ; art thou indeed of earthly mold, or Why this enquiry (cried the minstrel), thinkest thou not I am thy friend ?"


He fixed, upon the count those piercing eyes that had before struck horror to the soul of Montalva.

"I read thy heart (continued be), thou thinkest me a demon." Montalya shuddered, "whether I am so or not, what matters it to thee? I have told thee what has happened, I will show thee what must happen, if thou hast not a spirit to prevent it."

He drew from beneath his cloak a mirror, which he held before Montalva, who, with a convulsive shudder, closed. his eyes, and inarticulately tried to, pray,

"This pious mockery, suits well with the actions of Montalva (cried the demon, for it was indeed an infernal spirit, that stood before the count), thou hast need of prayer, soon. will the husband of Isabel demand of thee, the domains of his bride, soon will thy public and ignominious death, appease the manes of the murdered Count D'Rosonio."

"It cannot be," (cried the agonized Montalva). "Look and convince thyself" (continued the demon).

Montalva cast his eyes upon the mirror; he beheld Isabel weeping in the arms of a young and noble looking man; presently they vanished, and he saw them before an altar, the priest appeared to give them the nuptial benediction, and the bridegroom embraced Isabel. This scene also disappeared, and Montalva saw himself in the hands of officers of justice; near him were placed implements of torture, and the officers approached him with menacing looks, as if prepared to bind him on rack."

"Are there no means to prevent this?" (exclaimed he).

"Yes; one, and only one (replied the fiend), Isabel must die."

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"No (cried Montalva); I will fly from Naples of the count's death there can be no proof; nor see I how Isabel's birth could ever be discovered.”

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