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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 chd not hesitate to proinise 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 your eyes. I hesitated.
• Nay, (cried 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 illuminated; 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 ine to see her face ; at last, she raised her veil; and what a heaven of beauty met my eyes.
I gazed upon her in speechless transport;
“ But may
her attendant's entrance prevented my expressing the admiration with which she had inspired me; the woman whispered to her and she then said to me.-
“ . For the present I must bid you farewell.'
I not hope to be allowed to see you again' cried I
“ « Yes, (said she), in a few days. I supplicated for a shorter period, and received permission to come again on the following night. Flora her confidant, who had before conducted me, was to meet me at the church of-mand with this permission, I was obliged to retire ; totally ignorant of the name or rank of my fair enslaver. Her woman led me again into the garden, and bound my eyes. In a short time I found myself near the church where we had met.
« « And now, signor, (cried Flora), dieu 'till to-morrow night.'
Stop a moment (said I,) may I not ask
“ What you please to-morrow night, signor (cried she), but now I must away.'
“She left me as she spoke, and I hastened home. I retired to bed, but I courted repose in vain. Thou, knowest, Fernando, that I have hitherto thought but lightly of the sex; and often have I sworn never to part with my liberty: yet I saw clearly that this adventure, if pursued, must end in matrimony. True, such an angel, if possessed. of wealth and birth, might render the fetters of hymen less galling than I had ever thought them; but might it not be all a cheat? Might she not have sought me out, to hide perhaps the disgraceful consequences of some amour in which she had been engaged ? or”
“ Now, on my life, thou didst not deserve the generous confidence she placed in thee (cried D’Rosonio), how couldst thou indulge such mean suspicions of such a creature as thou describest her to be? For shame, Montalva!",