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never in her whole life disobeyed their wishes, but now she thought that it would be almost criminal to obey them. Her vows were plighted to my son, and for some time she steadily refused to break them. At last, her mother fell sick, or rather, I believe (heaven forgive me), pretended to be sick, and she persuaded Ursula that her recovery depended upon the poor girl's marrying Vincentio; she promised that she would, on condition that she was allowed to come and tell us the cause of her doing so; her mother at first refused, but Ursula would not consent upon any other terms, and she was suffered to see us for the last time.
"She had not been in our cottage for some months, and my wife was rejoiced to see her. Ursula, my dear child (cried she), how welcome you are. I hope you have brought us good news-Oh! how I wish that Tomaso was here.'
"I saw by Ursula's countenance
that there was no cause for joy, but I was shocked when, at the mention of my son, she turned as pale as ashes and burst into tears.
"Oh, my mother (cried she to Teresa), I am come to you for the last time-in a few days I am to be married.'
"Well (said my wife, hastily), you had no need to be yourself the messenger of this news, we should have known it soon enough; my poor Tomaso deserved a more constant heart-but Vincentio's riches may not make you happier than you might have been with my
"I stopped my wife, for I saw the distress of poor Ursula, and I thought. that she could not be to blame; and, indeed, when she told us how matters were, we both acknowledged that she could not act otherwise than she did.
'I would see you once more (cried she), that I might tell you all, and that I might beg of you to tell Tomaso-'
Her voice faltered, and she could not proceed.
"We embraced, and endeavoured to comfort her; she staid with us for some time, and would have remained longer, but from a fear of meeting my son. In the evening Tomaso returned; he seemed more cheerful than he had been for some time, and I felt very loth to wound him with the cruel news, but yet it was necessary that he should know it; his countenance changed several times while I was speaking, and when I had finished he remained silent. I would rather he had appeared more agitated, for I dreaded the effects of the deep despair, which was visible in I tried to rouse him.
"Tomaso (said I), for my sake and your mother's, do not thus despond, be more a man.”
"Not for myself, father (cried he), but for her do I grieve. Oh! may heaven give her strength to bear this trial.'
"I a few days afterwards, the news of Ursula's marriage reached us, and from that time to the present, which is now some weeks, we have never seen her. My son strove all that he could to prevent our seeing the impression which the loss of her made upon his mind; but, alas! it was too plain. Today we went a few miles from hence, with some grapes that we wanted to sell, and in returning, Vincentio passed us; he was much intoxicated, so much so indeed, that he could hardly walk. He gave my son a look of scorn as he passed, and poor Tomaso sighed deeply.
"Ah! father (said he), how hard is poor Ursula's lot; how different would it have been if he checked himself,
and I did not pursue the subject. We loitered, for I did not wish to overtake Vincentio, who walked, or rather staggered forward till he stream, where there was a plank laid across. The plank was a broad one,
came to a
and perfectly secure, if he had been sober, but in his present state, it was very dangerous for him to attempt to cross it.
"We now hurried forward, but before we came up to him, he was more than half way over. He will get across with safety' (said I); but I had scarcely uttered the words, when his foot slipped, and he fell into the
"Tomaso is but and indifferent swimmer, but he darted forward with the rapidity of lightening, and plunged in after Vincentio: for some moments I trembled for the life of my son, for the stream was very broad and deep; but my fears were soon dispelled, by his bringing the insensible Vincentio in his arms to the opposite side. some time we thought that Vincentio was actually dead, at last he shewed signs of life, but the fright had affected him so much, that when he recovered, he was unable to walk, and we were