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dragged down with him the noble parent, whose loss to her the world could not repay." The confession was made, and the voice that made it had sunk into sighs and silence, when Calaspo, to his surprise, felt his hand clasped by the old man, and heard himself pronounced to be the very son whom he would have desired; the man whom, under the princely roof of the Ottaviani, he had united in their cradles to his Melanie; the descendant of his first and fastest friend, whom he had sought in every part of Europe, and whom, if they were but set free, he would wed to his daughter at the moment, in spite of fate or fortune." But where are we now?" murmured Calaspo." Where are we now?" echoed Spinola.
A low sound, like distant thunder, or the fire of artillery, followed the words, as if prolonging them through the earth and air. The bells in all the churches began suddenly to ring. The cell was instantly darkened. Cries arose on every side in the prison. Muskets were heard; the garrison were evidently alarmed, and all was in tumult and terror. The earthquake of 1796 is still remembered in the Piedmontoise. It tore up hills, scattered forests, and filled valleys. Castles were laid in ruins, where they lie in ruins to this day. The whole mountain country was heaved from its foundations. Barcelonette shared the fate of Fort Dauphin, Saluces, and a hundred towns and villages. The citadel was shaken like a basket of osiers on a mountain lake. The solid walls cracked and tore up like paper. Calaspo and Spinola saw their dungeon split from top to bottom, and the remnant of the fortress rolling down the hill like a stream of water. All was darkness, dissonance, confusion, and cries of agony and horror. But what was death to others, to the prisoners was freedom. Calaspo sprang through the ruins, bearing the less active Marquis along with him; they reached the bank of one of the small rivers of the country. The Valita had been a running streamlet the day before, it was now a cataract, roaring and rushing down, loaded with the wrecks of the forest along its side. Calaspo urged his companion to plunge in, but the
attempt could be scarcely less than death. Spinola paused for a moment, to discover a safer passage. But that moment was fatal; a shower of balls from one of the French pickets, tore up the ground at their feet. Calaspo fell, desperately wounded, and saw no more.
In 1797, two years after Bonaparte had beaten the Austrians from the whole of the Piedmontoise, and was under the walls of Milan, his triumphal entry was the most magnificent display that the citizens had ever witnessed; and in testimony of their rejoicing, they resolved that a day's food should be distributed to all prisoners who sent for it to the Town-hall. Among those who attended there, was one young female, attired in the very relics of penury, yet with a look of such peculiar dignity and loveliness, that the guards instinctively made way for her to the place of distribution. The report of her loveliness reached the ears of the French officers, and they came crowding out to see this perfection of Italian beauty.
She passed along, fully sustaining all that fame had said of her face and form. But an outcry was suddenly heard, a confusion was evident among the officers; and the General commanding the brigade was seen, to the universal astonishment, rushing through the crowd, and kneeling before the fair stranger. She scarcely could recognise in the plumes and showy uniform of the republican staff, the wild countenance of the mountaineer, which, wild as it was, had yet first taught her to love. But she recognised it at last, and showed her memory by fainting in his arms.
The story of both was one of a few words. Calaspo had been found on the bank where he fell; on his recovery he had been offered service in the French army. Napoleon observed his talents, and raised him rapidly, until he had made him a general. Spinola, too, had been taken, but by the Austrians, been thrown into a dungeon, and had lived on the industry of his incomparable daughter.
But the storms were now past the sunshine had come, and their sky was clouded no more,
THE HOUR OF FORTUNE.
IN THREE NICKS.
METHOUGHT I was present with Quevedo when he paid one of his visits to Elysium. Jove seemed to be in a most towering passion, and grumbled and growled amazingly; Interlarding his discourse with sundry expletives, not fit to be mentioned to ears polite. Many of the Immortals came running up to ascertain the cause of his indignation, Apollo, with a flaming crown upon his head, made of highly burnished brass, rose from a table where he had been puzzling for a rhyme, and approached with the pen still in his hand; Bacchus was disturbed at his fifteenth tumbler, and resigned the whisky bottle with a sigh. The ladies, too, drew near in a state of great agitation. Venus came first, wondering what could have put her father into such a rage, and hiding a billet-doux she had just received from Mars. That gallant deity also approached, dressed like a captain in the yeomanry; and while all the rest stood in silence, wondering at Jupiter's exclamations, he looked as bold as a bully after a beating, and said, "How now, governor! what's the meaning of all this? What mare's nest have you discovered now ?" Jupiter who, by the by, very needlessly, as I thought, held a flaming thunderbolt in his hand, though it was now the height of summer, frowned upon his impertinent questioner, and said, "Hold your tongue, you bab bling Bobadil, or I'll crack your skull with this thunderbolt. Send little Mercury here, some of you." In a moment Mercury was at his side, dressed in the Olympian livery, sky-blue, turned up with sable, as tidy a sort of footman as ever I saw, and bowing, waited his master's command. Co Go," said Jupiter, "and bring that infernal old jade Fortune here, as fast as you can; and don't stay tippling in the pothouses by the way, or making love to the bar-maids." In an instant the shoulder-knots expanded into wings, the gold-headed cane changed into a caduceus, and the clocks in his stockings sprang out
into well-feathered pinions; and before you could see that he was gone, he was back again, dragging an oldlooking woman by the ear, who squalled terribly under the operation, and uttered many complaints against him for his roughness. She rolled in upon a curious sort of wheel, round which an innumerable multitude of strings were twisted in all possible directions; and she was attended by a tall strapping-looking woman as her servant. This domestic was almost bald, except that there was one lock of rich glossy hair hanging over her brow; and the story went, that whoever could lay hold of that lock, had not only her, but her mistress also, entirely in their power. The maid's name was Opportunity. I had scarcely time to make these remarks, when Jupiter, in a voice of thunder, exclaimed, “So, madam! you are here at last. I have fifty complaints sent up to me every day, that you neglect your duty, and, what is worse, they cast all the blame of your negligence upon me. Now, that's what I won't stand-it would wear out the patience of Job." Upon this the old lady cast an angry look on her attendant, and said, "How is this, you good-for-nothing baggage? Is it for this that I pay you such wages, and feed you so well; that I should be snubbed before company after this fashion ?" Then turning to Jupiter, who had laid down the thunderbolt by accident, on his neighbour Apol lo's lap, and almost burnt up the thin nankeen breeches in which he was drest, she said, Indeed, indeed, sir, it is none of my fault. I go my rounds, and keep my eyes about me, as well as I am able; but if people won't take the trouble to tell me what they want, or even to give their cards to my servant here""Yes, indeed," interrupted the damsel thus referred to, "if gemmen won't mind us poor servants, and give us a small token now and then, I wonder how we are to get on, on the wages we get."- Ah, certainly," said Mars, who had been a sad gallant in his time, " I always found
in my young days that a tip to the waiting-maid was the surest way to the heart of the mistress; and so, as I was saying, my pretty maid, here's half-a-crown for you, to help to buy" "Paws off, Pompey," cried the maid, " and keep the half-crown to bribe the next blacksmith.-Isn't that master Vulcan I see limping this way with a net in his hand?" The gentleman slipt back to his place as quickly as he could, while even Jupiter could scarcely help laughing at his crestfallen appearance; however, putting on a terrible frown, he continued "I don't care how it has happened; but by the Lord Harry, if it ever takes place again-if I hear any more complaints made against your administration, I'll turn you out of office in a twinkling, and give the seals to the Opposition."
Terrified by this threat, the old
lady promised the strictest attention, and said, “Ladies and Gentlemen, if you will wait for a short time, you shall see some wonderful sights. What's o'clock just now?" Half-adozen watches were pulled out in an instant, but no two of them were precisely agreed. However, Apollo, whose time-keeper goes on a diamond, assured her it was exactly a quarter to six. "Wait, then, just fifteen minutes, and whenever your jolly countenance makes every dial-plate point to six o'clock, you shall see the sports begin. High and low, rich and poor, every man, woman, and child, shall, for once at least, have what they deserve." Saying this, she tumbled off upon her wheel, creaking and crackling as if it had not been greased for a century, and going at such a rate, that she was out of sight in a
NICK THE FIRST.
"We have still a home, my Emily, though it is a poor one," said Ernest Darley to his beautiful young wife, the first day they took possession of their lodgings in a humble alley in London." I little thought, when we used to wander in the old woods at Balston, that I should take you to such a miserable abode as this."
"I am happier here, dear Ernest, than in the woods of Balston."
"Now, by heavens, it makes me angry to see you happy! I believe you would continue to smile and be contented if we were in jail." "If we were in jail together, Ernest."
"Ah! bless you, my own dearest. Fortune cannot continue to frown on so much goodness."
"The Christian calls Fortune by a different name. He calls it Providence."
"Well, providence, fortune, fate, chance, or whatever other name it rejoices in, cannot surely persecute us for ever. We are guilty of no fault."
"We married against your uncle's will. He spurned us from the moment we were united. He must have some reason surely for his detestation of me."
"What reason can any one have to detest you? You were poor-had
he not told me over and over again that he did not care for wealth in the object of my choice? You were young, beautiful, accomplished, my equal in birth-it can't be-it can't be! I tell you it must be something that I have done which makes him so enraged."
"And what have you done, Ernest, that can make him your enemy? You bore with all his humours and caprices; you were affectionate to him as a son; he loved you better than any thing else upon earth. How kind he was to you in your youth, and how well you deserved his kindness! No, no, it is me he persecutes-me he hates."
"Then may the God of",
"Hush! hush! dear Ernest. He
Have I not begged an interview, in terms which I never thought I should have meanness enough to address to mortal man? Have I not besought him at least to inform me what I have done to draw down his indignation, and has he ever even deigned to send an answer? I have left our address here with his scoundrelly attorney, in case he should condescend to favour me with a reply." At this moment a knock was heard at the door, and in answer to the "Come in" of Mr Darley, a lawyer's clerk presented himself, and with no very respectful demeanour, held out a letter.
"A letter? From whom ?" "From Mr Clutchem. Does it wait an answer?"
Ernest hurriedly glanced it over. "No. There-there," he said, as soon as they were again alone. "Re lent, indeed! Read it."
Emily took the letter and read.
Sir, I am desired by Sir Edward Darley, Bart., to inform you, that no begging letters will be received; and farther, I am desired to inform you, that Sir Edward Darley holds acknowledgments from you for the sum of L.3400, advanced to you while at Oxford. Measures will be taken to exact payment of the full amount forthwith. Your obedient servant,
"SIMON CLUTCHEM." "Then we are indeed entirely ruined!" said Emily, with a sigh. "Do you doubt it? so we have been any day these three months." "But can he really claim that money ?"
"I suppose so. He always took my acknowledgments for the amount of my year's allowance, solely, he said, to enable him to keep his books. As he had always taught me to consider myself his heir, I never thought he would produce them against me; but stay, have you looked on the other page of the note ?"
"P.S. I am farther requested to beg your presence to-day, at half past five, to be witness to an important deed."
At the appointed hour Ernest was punctually at Mr Clutchem's office. There, sitting in an easy chair, to his great surprise he saw his uncle. He approached with a gush of old feelings at his heart, but the baronet fiercely ordered him back.
"Stand there," he said, "till I tell you the reason for which I have summoned you here to-day. You recollect the old long-tailed pony you rode when you were a little boy at school, which I turned out for life at your request?"
"I do," said Ernest, wondering to what this address tended..
"I had him shot the day before yesterday. Your dogs? you no doubt recollect them well! Bruno, and Ponto, and Cæsar-and the old Newfoundland that brought Miss Merivale-I beg your pardon, Mrs Ernest Darley, your amiable wife, out of the lake, when your awkwardness upset the boat?"
"I do the faithful affectionate creature."
"I hanged them all at the same time. You recollect Abraham Andrews whom you installed in the fancy cottage in the park, and his mother, and his family, that you were so much interested in? They have left the cottage; they have been paupers on the parish for some time."
“Sir !” cried Ernest, “if you only summoned me here to listen to the recital of such infamous, inhuman"
Spare your heroics, young man, you will listen to something more before we part. But come, we're wasting time. Now hear me. You married that girl. You asked no leave of me. Do you know, sir, who her mother was who her father was,and do you know, sir, what reason I have to hate them? Answer me that, sir."
"Her father and mother have long been dead, sir. I never knew any cause you could have to dislike them.'
"Dislike!-use better words, sir. Say hate-detest-abhor them. Oh! you did not!-you ought to have asked, sir-you would have known that the mother ruined my happiness -that the father attempted to take my life that I loved her, sir-fiercely-truly-and that she taught me to believe that she returned my love ;till-till it suited her purposes, and she proved herself a"
"Stay, sir. I will hear no such language applied to the mother of my wife."
"Your wife! Oh, is she your wife, sir? and has her equipages, no doubt, and her country house, and her town
house-your lady wife, sir-and her mother was"
"I shall stay here no longer, sir." "Wait, wait!-Mr Clutchem, is the deed all properly prepared? worded so that the law can find no flaws in't ?".
"It is, Sir Edward."
"Then give me a pen, Mr Clutchem, it wants but my signature to make it efficient.
"This deed, Mr Ernest Darley, is my will-by which I bestow irrevocably, land, houses, money, goods, mortgages, &c. &c., on certain charities, for which I care nothing, sir, but that I know my bequest will be less beneficial, so applied, than by any other means; and I leave you, sir, and your inestimable wife, the baronetcy-oh! I would not have you deprived of that!-and a jail, sir; and here, sir, I have called you to be a witness. The ink, the ink, Mr Clutchem," he continued, and held out the pen to dip it in the inkstand, keeping his eye still savagely
fixed on his unfortunate nephew. The clock struck six-a sudden light flashed into the room-and Ernest thought he heard, for one moment, the creaking of a wheel.
The Baronet's hand continued in the same position-his eye still glared upon the countenance of his nephew, and dead silence reigned in the room. At last Mr Clutchem advanced-" How's this? bless me! Sir Edward is quite cold. Help, there -run for Sir Astley. Ah! the passion was too much for him-gone off in a fit. Dead as an unsigned parchment.-Sir Ernest, I shall be happy, sir, to continue in the service of the family. The rent-roll is in my desk, sir-fourteen thousand a year. How would you like the funeral conducted? Quite private, of course. Honour me by accepting the loan of this two thousand pounds for your immediate expenses. I wish you long life, Sir Ernest, and joy of your title, Sir Ernest. Sir Edward shall be carefully buried this-day-week."
NICK THE SECOND.
"Down the road,-down the road, -ya! hip! there goes the bang-up tippers!-that 'ere in the snowy Benjamin is Jem Larkins, as drives the Funny Woman, all the way from Cheltenham, thirteen mile an hour." "Oh! a rare fight it will be, von't it, Jem ?"
"Vell, I'm blow'd if that ben't a turn out, however. Who is them coves in the brishky?"
"Oh, them's the backers; that 'ere on the near side is Sir Philip Pudgil, and this here on the far side is the Honourable Mr Augustus Scamp. Sir Philip backs Bill for a couple o' hundreds.”
The two gentlemen thus described by the hostler of the Queen's Head, proceeded rapidly on their way to Hurly Bottom, where a grand pugilistic contest was appointed to take place. Their conversation on the road was brief, as both seemed to prefer their private cogitations to the interchange of speech. When they drew near the place of contest, they began to look out with considerable anxiety for their respective men. The crowd collected was immense; but leaving their carriage, they had no great difficulty in making their
VOL. XXXI. NO. CXCV.
way to the little alehouse where the combatants remained till the hour fixed on for entering the ring. Here the gentlemen separated, Sir Philip proceeding to the apartment of Bill, and Mr Scamp repairing to that of the other combatant.
"I'll tell you what it is, Tom," said the Honourable Augustus, when he found himself alone with his champion, "you must make a cross of it, and lose."
"Why so, sir? I've posted the blunt on my own side, and must do my best to win."
"Nonsense; I'll make up your losses the odds are six to four on you. I've taken them all, to the tune of eight thousand pounds. I'll pay your bets, and make it a five hundred screen in your favour besides."
Oh, as to that, I can wap Bill or lose to him, for sartain,--but are you sure he's not bought to lose too?-for, if so be, you know he may give in the first blow, and we must win in spite of ourselves."
"No danger of that; Sir Philip's fresh in the ring, and orders him to do his best. Now, he's a regular glutton, so you may give him as much as you like the first four or five rounds,