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the fawn's neck, and disappeared with the this was the eighth that I had cured of the animal in the forest.
sin of curiosity. Do you still wish to learn Scarcely had she vanished when those my name ?" whom she had left started suddenly from the
* Most certainly." ground, and then stood motionless and stu- “Well, then, my poor friend, know that pefied as if a thunderbolt had burst above I am Captain Hector Fiaramonti." their heads. The young horseman, who had " I shall not forget it." watched all the maniac's gestures with such “ The d—l is in it, if you do not forget it interest, had just leaped his steed across the within twenty-four hours. I am in the habit wide ditch which surrounded the castle, and of acting generously with my adversaries; with a single bound was in the midst of the I always allow them twenty-four hours of gay throng. For some moments they stood existence, before I send them to the shades." confounded at this act of audacity. When “ It is a display of generosity that I am the first feeling of surprise had passed, every willing to recognize, by giving you a piece man rushed indignantly towards the bold of information in my turn." intruder, and one of them, grasping him by " It must be something curious." the throat, dragged him rudely from his “ You shall judge. Do you see this, and horse.
this ?” The young man leaped up so suddenly, He pointed with his finger to two deep that it seemed as if he had scarcely touched scars that he had received, the one upon the the ground, and confronting the one who had temple, the other above the left eyebrow. just forced him from the saddle, he cast a “A man almost as robust as you," he confierce glance upon him, and half drew his tinued, “ and perhaps as skilful in the use of poignard from its sheath. Still he did not his weapons, grossly insulted me one day ; attempt to execute the significant menace it is now two years since. I challenged him, intimated by this energetic gesture. and he came upon the ground, scoffing at
The man from whom he had suffered this my youth and weakness, for I was then even indignity was of lofty stature, and so vigor- more slender and delicate than I am to-day ; ously formed, that he seemed endowed with but I calculated neither my strength nor my strength sufficient to crush him in his hands. skill in the art of fence. The result was His temples, worn by the chafing of his such as might have been expected. I was casque, his lofty, calm, and intrepid brow, stretched upon the meadow, with this wound the large mustachios, which covered half his upon my temple, a wound which brought face, together with his cold and sarcastic air, me to the verge of the grave, and confined his imperturbable attitude as he faced that me for eight months to my bed. As soon poignard which was raised against his breast, as I was healed, my first thought was to seek all gave him an aspect singularly imposing out my victorious adversary; and after havWhether it were that his adversary was ing roamed over all Italy, I encountered him daunted by an exterior so intimidating, or at Milan. We fought a second time, and I whether another thought, flashing across his received another wound, which, like the first, mind, had changed his resolution, he restored was almost mortal, and the scar of which his poignard to its sheath, and calmly pick- you see here, above my eyebrow. This ing up his cap, which had rolled to a distance, double failure, the result of which had, in and returning to the man from whom he had both cases, so nearly proved fatal to me, had received so serious an affront, he said: not yet appeased the thirst for vengeance “Your name, Sir ?"
that devoured me; and as soon as I had re“ I am very willing to tell it to you,” re-covered health and strength, I hastened to plied the other, “but I will first give you a Rome, where I learned that my enemy was little piece of information, which will prob- passing the summer. He laughed in my ably cool your curiosity.”
face when I challenged him to a third com“ Let me hear it."
bat; but an hour after he laughed no longer." “ About a year since, a personage, whom “ You wounded bim ?" I had treated somewhat roughly—as I have " I slew him. Captain Hector Fiaramonti, you—demanded my name—like you—and, remember this narrative; I shall soon reon the following day, the poor fool suffered mind you of it. And now, gentlemen, is my sword to pass through his body; and the Prince Vivaldi present among you ?"
“ He is before you,” replied an old man, “ Prince, pardon me for still insisting; but whose white beard, whose sad and serious I feel a profound conviction that I shall be features, were well adapted to inspire respect. successful in the cure that I wish to under
“ Prince, will you consent to grant me a take. I cannot offer my life as a guarantee, moment's interview ?"
since I am to venture it against Captain “The manner in which you have intro- Fiaramonti, but I offer you my good steed, duced yourself here, Signor, might well jus- Uzelino, which I value more than life.” tify me in refusing your request; still I deem The Prince Vivaldi cast an irresolute you already too severely punished, by the glance upon those who stood around him; lesson which the Captain Hector has given so tenacious a resolution moved him in his you; therefore I will not treat you rigorously. own despite. I will listen to you, but in the presence of "Remember," resumed Fiorentino, that these knights and dames, who are my friends, during the year that she has been a maniac, and when you have told me your name.” your daughter's condition has remained un“My name is Fiorentino."
altered, and that the more inveterate her “ And you are a soldier, doubtless, if I malady, the more difficult will be the cure. may judge by your exterior ?”
Let her madness endure yet for a year, and "No ; I follow another calling." without wishing to question the skill of
“And what have you to communicate to Messire Pezzolini, I declare that it will be me, that is of such importance? What has incurable.” brought you hither ?"
“And you aspire to do that which is “I have come to heal your daughter, if beyond the science of Signor Pezzolini ?" you will confide her to my care.”
“I do; and I demand three days to give “ You !" cried the Prince, casting a glance the proof." of astonishment upon the young man, whose “What say you to this self-confidence, exterior promised none of those qualifications Signor ?" said the Prince, turning to the old that in all ages are required of a physician.
He whispered a few words in the ear of “I say, Prince, that it will be the first another old man, of an austere and imposing time that I have ever seen a madman cure visage. The latter replied by an incredulous madness. If you are inclined to make the smile, and cast upon Fiorentino a glance of trial, however, I confess I am not less curious the most profound contempt.
you to see the result.” “I thank you,” replied the Prince at last; “So, then, it is agreed," said Fiorentino; " but here is Messire Pezzolini, whose repu- “your daughter's health is, from this motation is widely spread throughout Italy, and ment, intrusted to my care; and for three it is to him that I have intrusted my daugh- days I assume the responsibility of her cure.” ter's recovery."
“Well, be it so! I consent. With these words he pointed to the old “And if within three days I do not fulfil man with whom he had just spoken. my engagement, my poor Uzelino is yours.
“And during the year that Messire Pez- A word more. Every means which it shall zolini has been engaged in this task, what please me to employ, in order to reach my has been his progress ? Scarcely such as to aim, shall be left at my disposal, provided promise great hopes of his success. Since Signor Pezzolini acknowledges them to be the first day of his attendance he has not without danger ?” advanced a step towards the desired result. “ Certainly." Well
, if you are willing to trust to my skill, “In addition, I will act always beneath I engage to heal her in three days.” your eyes, and those of the persons here “ This young man is mad!" said Messire present. And now that you
have accepted Pezzolini, disdainfully.
my proposal, Prince Vivaldi, I wish to be “ Decidedly mad!" re-echoed Captain Fia- informed on many points. It would be well ramonti, turning his back upon the stranger. that I should learn the cause of this madness,
The Prince cast a glance of compassion and the means that have been employed to upon Fiorentino, and departed, followed by heal it.” all present.
“Let us sit upon this greensward, my But the young man hastened after him, young Signor, and I will relate all to you." and barring his passage, said:
All the assemblage, both men and women, seated themselves upon the grass. Fiorentino | hither with my poor child, and I at once took a place in their midst, enduring with dispatched a messenger to Messire Pezzoimperturbable calmness the scoffing glances lini, begging him to come upon the instant, which were cast upon him from all sides. and to employ for my daughter's cure all
“Signor, I listen!" he said to the Prince. the means that lay in his power, let the cost
The Prince began. “When I lost my be what it might. Messire Pezzolini inwife, the Princess," he said, stifling a sigh, formed me that it was necessary that Vanina "I sent this poor child to my sister, who dwelt should have, incessantly, charming scenes near the little village of W.- wishing to before her eyes, and gay society continually remove Vanina for a while from the spot around her; that she should often receive where her mother had just breathed her last
. novel and always agreeable impressions. It I left her there for six months, at the expira- was of great importance, above all, he said, tion of which time I wrote to my sister to that she should enjoy the utmost liberty, send her back to me, as I had resolved to and that no one should appear to regard conclude her marriage with Captain Fiara- her movements, however singular and sensemonti; a marriage which had been agreed less they might be. All these instructions upon before her departure. The domestic have been scrupulously followed. I have so whom I dispatched with this letter returned arranged every thing within and about this in a few days with an answer from my sister, mansion that the eyes of my poor Vanina in which she prayed me to leave Vanina with can always repose upon a beautiful and her for some time, as she was ill, and found varied landscape. I have gathered around in the society of her niece a great relief to her a circle of devoted friends, who aid my the sufferings that she endured. I could not efforts with all their power; and, in fine, no refuse without harshness. I left my daughter one appears to hear her incoherent words, with her, notwithstanding the remonstrances or see her unmeaning glances. This is all of the Captain, who was vexed at this new that we have thus far tried, and, until now, delay, and I waited patiently for my sister's these means have remained without result. recovery, that she might send her back to me. She has not yet displayed a ray of reason.”
“Still, as after an interval of two months • Well, Signor Fiorentino," said Messire she did not return, I resolved to go for her, Pezzolini, in a tone of irony, “do you apand I set out with the Captain, who persisted prove of these measures ?" in accompanying me, in order that he might, “I approve of them much ; but this will a few days earlier, see her who was soon to not prevent me from pursuing a course be his wife. But we were both far from directly opposite. I have conceived a plan anticipating the misfortune that awaited us that I have formed from
observations at the end of our journey. We reached my upon nature and the human mind.” sister's mansion, after a ride of two days. “ We are about to see something rare, I She was dead! I advanced to embrace my think.” daughter. She uttered a piercing shriek “You will see a cure effected, which you when she beheld us, and fell senseless to the have looked upon as hopeless. I do not floor. When we raised her, she was a maniac! think that there is any thing rare in that.” Was this sad event to be attributed to grief “That which I see most clearly in this at her aunt's death, or to our sudden ap- arrangement," said Captain Fiaramonti, “is pearance ! Alas, I cannot say. I questioned that the Signor Fiorentino gains thereby all those among whom she had lived, as to two days of existence, upon which he had her pleasures, her habits, the persons whom no right to count; and this proves that he is she visited, collecting the slightest particu- a skilful man, to say the least.” lars, in the hope of discovering some fact “You have no farther particulars to tell that could enlighten me. I learned nothing, me concerning your daughter ?” said Fiorenexcept that during her aunt's malady, she tino to the Prince, without replying to this often went to pass part of her days in a insolent speech. neighboring castle, in which dwelt a young “ You remind me of one thing that I had maiden, an intimate friend, of about her own forgotten; one thing rather singular indeed. age. I repaired to this castle; its occupants Among the friends who have been willing had left it several days before.
to seclude themselves with me in this man"Overwhelmed with grief, we returned Ision is a young sculptor, the Signor Gabuzzi,
who is now seated at your side. As he could nents. The women, especially, always fond not renounce his art, he has arranged for of the marvellous, warmly defended him himself a studio in my castle; my daughter against the attacks of Captain Fiaramonti, often repairs thither, and seems to take the who represented him as a contemptible adgreatest pleasure in examining, one by one, venturer. the productions of his chisel. Chief of all, “If he were a man of courage," said the there is a vase of bronze there, for which she Captain, “would he have coldly borne, as he has shown such decided partiality, that my did yesterday, the most deadly insult that a young friend has consented to have it placed man can suffer ?” in her chamber, and she often passes long “But did you not remark, Captain,” obhours in admiring it, conversing with it, and served the sculptor Gabuzzi, “the rage that sometimes kissing it, or bathing it with her sparkled in the glance that he cast at you tears."
on rising, and the rapidity with which he "And is there any person here for whom placed his hand upon his poignard to avenge she seems to display a marked attachment?" the affront ?”
“Yes; she manifests an evident predilec- “ Most certainly,” replied the Captain. tion for Captain Fiaramonti.”
“I remarked all that very plainly; but I saw Very well; all this suits admirably with also, and you saw it as well as I, that this my plan. I need but one thing, and your great rage disappeared as soon as he saw daughter's recovery is certain. It is neces- with whom he had to deal.” sary that one of these charming Signoras “ It
be so, but I cannot believe that should consent to consider me, for an hour this man is a coward. There is that about only, as a favored lover. Beautiful Signo- him which too completely contradicts this rina," said Fiorentino, turning to a pretty opinion." maiden, who was seated a few paces from “You think, then, that he will not try to him, “will you refuse to assist me in this escape, in order to avoid the combat ?” little comedy ?"
“ I believe so, firmly.” “On the contrary, I will do so very will- “ And have you the same confidence in ingly, Signor."
his science as in his
e ?" “The sacrifice that I have to demand of “No; and still I do not deny that he Signor Gabuzzi and the Captain Fiaramonti possesses it. I cannot resolve to pass judgis somewhat more difficult, but I do not ment upon this matter before the issue of doubt that both will be sufficiently generous the first trial, which we are about to witness.” to accord it to me."
“If he ventures to attempt it, indeed; for “What can I do to serve you ?" said the I do not see him approach. artist.
“ Here he is, Captain.”
] “I need your vase of bronze."
Fiorentino, in truth, now joined those who “And I?" said the Captain.
expected him so impatiently, and with sen“I need your life. When I shall have timents so diverse. His air was firm and broken both, the Princess will no longer be decided, but grave and thoughtful. . a maniac, and in three days, Captain Hector "Prince, and you, Signorina," he said, Fiaramonti
, she will have recovered her rea- addressing Vivaldi and the young maiden son."
who was to aid him in his attempt, “the
Princess Vanina is at this moment in this CHAPTER II.
meadow, on the borders of the large sheet of water. Be so good as to accompany me."
The three went, and the rest followed On the following morning, at break of them at some distance, as far as the middle day, all the guests of the villa Juliana, ex- of the meadow. cept Fiorentino, were assembled around the When there, Fiorentino begged them to fountain. They were discoursing of this pause, the Prince Vivaldi with the rest, and strange personage, and the conversation was advancing alone with the young Signorina, very animated, for in the bold engagement they took their seats upon the grass, at a which he had taken upon himself, and the few steps' distance from the poor maniac, first trial of which he was now about to who was gazing at the water that murmured make, he found as many partisans as oppo-1 at her feet.
THE FIRST TRIAL,
“Your name, beautiful Signorina?” said “ Do you see, beloved Giulia," said the Fiorentino to the young maiden, “or that young man, “ do you see these waters so which it pleases you to adopt ?"
calm, these islands so verdant, that horizon "My name is Giulia.”
of a blue so delicate and soft? Do you “Well then, my charming Giulia, be so see below yonder those tall poplars almost kind as to imagine for a moment that you hidden in the mists of the stream? Do you have given me all your soul, and, without see yonder bark, that glides so slowly by anger, suffer me to take those slight favors that bank, which is almost concealed by that are granted to a happy lover.” flowers! Well, then, my Giulia, if you will
“Well, Signor,” said Giulia, smiling, “I come with me to France, with me, who will not refuse you."
love you more than I love myself, more than “And bear well in mind, divine Signorina, I love my brothers and my sisters, such are that it is very important for the success of the lovely views that we shall have incesour enterprise that you should do all that santly beneath our eyes, and we shall enjoy I demand of you with the most rigorous them together, for there we shall be united." punctuality.”
"Ah, but why, my Fiorentino," replied “ Command ! I will obey."
Giulia, resigning her hand to the young “In the first place, it is necessary that I man's lips, “why should we go so far to should sit somewhat lower than you do— seek the pleasures that we can find here in so! that is very well; then my head must this fair Italy, where we were both born ?" rest partly upon your lap, and my lips must “But do you not know, Giulia, that if we touch your hand as I speak to you.” remain here we shall never be united ? Do “This is all, I suppose ?".
you not know that another spouse is already “This is all , as regards the pantomime, chosen for you! Can you live happy far
, O divine Giulia! But I must address words from Fiorentino ? Do you wish that, seeof love to you, and it is necessary for you to ing you in the power of my rival, I should answer."
die with grief at your feet? Oh, my Giulia, “That appears to me a little singular." your heart is
and calm as the waves of “It is nothing but a jest; and then have this quiet lake, but mine is agitated and you not promised to obey me with the do- stormy as the sea in its fury. Do not cility of a child ?”
arouse the tempest which now scarcely sleeps “Well
, then, be it so! Murmur in my in my bosom.” ear your words of love, and I will do my "Is it true, then, that you love me, Fiobest to suit you in my answers.”
rentino ?” “I commence then, for here comes the
“ Love you ?" Princess."
He was interrupted by Vanina, who, The poor girl, in truth, had just perceived placing her hand upon Giulia's shoulder, the young pair, in the attitude indicated by said, with a glance that was veiled with Fiorentino, and she seemed to feel a sudden tears: agitation at the sight; then she advanced “ Good morrow, Vanina !" slowly towards them, her lips smiling, her Giulia started. brow radiant. As soon as he saw her ap- “ This is the first time that she has utterproach, Fiorentino half leaned his head upon ed her name," she said, whispering in FioThe lap of the beautiful Giulia, and spoke to lentino's ear. her in the language agreed upon between “ I will not carry the trial farther at presthem.
ent,” he said, in a low voice; "it is enouglı At this decisive moment no one thought for one day.” longer of jesting; the most vivid anxiety “You have returned to me then, Vanina ?” seized upon every mind, and the Prince said the maniac. “I thought that you were Vivaldi, his heart palpitating, his eyes fixed dead, it is so long since I have seen you."
his child, almost swooned beneath the "You remember me, then ?" said Giulia. violence of his emotions.
I well remember having seen Vanina approached close to Fiorentino, you long since in a lovely meadow with and bent her head aside, the more distinctly your
betrothed.” to hear the words that he addressed to “My betrothed ?" Giulia.
“ Yes, your betrothed, the Signor —