« AnteriorContinuar »
dimentary deposits? My responsesion my answer to the general quesagain is, That as the two schools of tion, Whether a remote prebistoric geologists now pamed differ widely antiquity for the human race has in their translation into geologic been established from the recent distime of all phenomena of the kind covery of specimens of man's handihere described, this question, like work in the so-called Diluvium, I the preceding, does not admit, in the maintain it is not proven, by no means present state of the science, of a asserting that it can be disproved, specific or quantitative answer. but insisting simply that it remains
In conclusion, then, of the whole --Not Proven. inquiry, condensing into one expres
H. D. R.
THE ROMANCE OF AGOSTINI.
PART II.--CHAPTER VIJI.
FRANCISCO came in with a singu- —had been pensively flitting up and lar expression in his face and looks. down with a book in its hand upon The wonderful disclosure he had the loggia on the first floor; but it is heard so lately affected him mightily, to be doubted whether Francisco at as might be imagined, and he was that moment would have perceived conscious that it had affected him. even the Signorina Inglese. He The result was that he looked round stood leaning over Teta's balcony, him with a watchful and jealous ob- turning round and round upon his servation, as a man might do who finger a ring of somewhat questionfelt himself slightly intoxicated, and able metal, set with a cameo-flora defied anybody else to notice it. of small value, sometimes glancing With this instinctive desire to conceal up across the roofs at the green side the thoughts which kept up a con- of Pincio, with its carriages gleamtinual turmoil within him, he eyed ing past in the sunshine, but oftener the two women severely, and 'ad- watching mechanically the flow of dressed them with an austerity and the pure bright water of the little seriousness quite unnatural to the fountain into its homely basin. The young man. He was afraid they tinkle of that dropping satisfied his should see how his veins swelled and restlessness—it was a relief to him throbbed-how his figure dilated in to string upon its monotonous cadspite of himself, and how a perfect ence the broken beadroll of his own fairyland of hopes crowded upon over-exciting thoughts. him. So, as he was too proud to The two women exchanged looks discover the extent of his emotion and telegraphic communications beto his humble companions, he had no hind him. They managed a hurried refuge but in an artificial reserve, consultation all in silence, while which was much more remarkable, Teta continued busy with her tableand by no means so pleasant, as the linen. “Shall you speak to him ? ” warm excitement and agitation which asked Mariuccia with her eyes. it was meant to conceal. He made “What do you think of him ?-is it his salutations to Teta very briefly, not strange he says nothing ?"and then, instead of asking any “Patienza !” answered Teta, under questions, made a step out upon the her breath, casting watchful looks balcony, and, leaning over the rail- at him over the head of her companing, looked down upon the deep little ion. She went bustling about now, court below, with its little fountain putting up her table-cloths and naptinkling and shining in the cool kins-calling his attention without shade. An hour before, a pretty any words-saying nothing even to little figure, in a flutter of light Mariuccia-only making demonstramuslin flounces---for it was a true tion of her presence by the sound St Martin's summer that November of her firm lively footstep, and the
rustle of her dress. This unspoken threw a veil over the Piazza Trajano call upon him recalled Francisco pre- and Francisco the painter. For the sently to himself. He came in from moment it was the Duke Agostini, the balcony with an impatient step, grand in his newly-acquired glories, hovered into the room, looking curi- who threw himself
, splendid yet ously, but without seeing, what Teta blushing, into that very grand, very was about, and for a moment waiting shabby old rococo chair, which was in uneasy silence for some one else to one of the special features of Teta's begin the conversation. Teta, how- room. ever, bustled about imperturbably “My enemies ! I had not an eneputting up her linen. She gave him my in the world this morning," said no assistance ; and Mariuccia dealt Francisco, his excitement running only in wistful, pitiful, reverential over in a little tremulous laughter. glances, and did not speak.
“Who are they? I have not consi“So, Sora Teta,” said Francisco at dered that side of the question.” last, in a little burst, "there is a Ah, Madonna Santissima! that story, it appears; and you have all thou shouldst have enemies, my innoknown it, you good people, and only cent child !” said Mariuccia, in a fernow, when it's dangerous, you tell it vent whisper, “and they such as to me!”
should be thy dearest friends!” This naturalexpression of petulance “Eccellenza," said Teta, solemnly, burst from him almost unawares, for standing with one arm thrust out by moments the young man did feel from her side, and the other burthat to tell him this secret of his dened with the last bundle of her birth now, was in reality to do him linen; “first of all, there is the an injury. What chance had he of Duchessa." overcoming all the difficulties before Francisco's brow darkened; he did him, and establishing his position as not say anything; he merely acknowDuke Agostini? and as Francisco ledged her name with a slight, almost the painter, what could he ever be haughty gesture, half of shame, half again, but a discontented and repin- of defiance. ing man?
“And after the Duchessa,” conExcellency,” said Teta, suddenly tinued Teta, with great unction and facing round upon him with her emphasis, "Donna Anna; and after armful of linen, "should Mariuccia Donna Anna, Don Angelo Lontoria, have given you the news for a sweet- her husband, and all the friends meat at Rocca, or put it in your Be- they can make. You were well to fana stocking at St Michael's, instead be a man, Signore mio - you have of your little gun and sword? Was enough of battles to fight.” it not better for you a great deal to As she stood there fronting him wait till you were a man, and could with her full figure, her bold head, do something? For to be sure there her stately Roman bearing, Teta will be much to do, Don Francisco; looked a buxom war-goddess, ready your Excellency's enemies are not tó at least for any amount of battles be despised."
which could be fought by word and Francisco's face reddened in spite gesture. Whatever the young hero's of himself—something of reality grew sentiments might be, Teta's spirit into the marvellous tale when another rose with the warmest impulse of voice repeated that astonishing title. pugnacity at thought of this contest. A thrill of renewed but pleasant Donna Anna was somewhere near excitement ran through his frame; her own age, and had left reminihis good-humour came back to him. scences in the mind of Cenci's daughHe no longer reminded himself of ter, which did not dispose Teta to the dread possibility of falling back grieve over the heiress's possible again into the rank and place with downfall; and the Duchessa was which he had been so very well con- the natural enemy of the hightent when the sun rose on this mira- spirited girl, who had been all but culous morning. He was twenty, born in her service. On Francisco's and might be one of the most not- behalf Teta would have exulted to able nobles of Rome. Teta’s address confront both the ladies, and utter her
Roman mind freely in racy Italian, natural conditions. From the mowith an unlimited force of adjective; ment when he first knew of the relafor Gaetano's gifts made his courier- tionship between them, it had been ship a very independent personage; intolerable to the young man to and Teta, when all her apartments hear the name of the woman who were let, veiled her bonnet to no- was his mother. She was his bitbody. She set her disengaged hand terest enemy, certain to stand out firmly on her waist, and thrust out against his claims with the fiercest her elbow like any English Bellona; opposition. It was impossible that -such natural and womanful senti- he could feel any tenderness for her; ments being catholic, and beyond but he could not bear the mention of the narrow restraints of nationality. her name. Francisco plucked his brown mus- Benissimo !" said Teta, drawing tache and looked at her: he knew a long breath after an interval of nothing of Donna Anna; he was silence, “I will do your Excellency calm, and destitute of that pleasant that pleasure; but you must see my fervour of antagonism. With a mother, if it is possible, and Madame vague sensation that to have such Margherita. Madame Margherita is adversaries was the first splendid so much employed among the Forescircumstance in his new fortune, he tieri, that it is hard to find her. repeated their names composedly to now, I will go and ask for her prehimself.
sently. You shall have a famous “Donna Anna! Well," said Fran- dish of maccaroni con Sugo for cisco, after a pause, she is rich supper, Don Francisco. Return, if enough already --or her husband is; it please you, an hour after the but I confess to you, my good Ave Maria, then there will be time Teta,” he said, grandly, " that if the to talk ; and you can make an present possessors had, like myself, end of it, and know all that we no other prospects, I should have women have to tell you. Unhaphesitated to ruin another family for pily, Signore mio, we are all women; my own sole good.”
for, to be sure, you were a baby, and “The blessed child !” cried Mari- fell into the hands of such ; and we ụccia, hastily snatching and kissing shall be all the less likely to tronble her nursling's hand.
you when you gain your cause. Ma"Don Francisco,” said Teta, potriuccia is old, I have no children. without a little sarcasm, "your Ex- We shall not tease you about all our cellency is too good to live. For my people. I think, on the whole, Ecpart, I am not so much concerned cellenza, you will be fortunate with for Donna Anna : I know her, as it your witnesses. Blessed Santa Thehappens. Holy Santa Theresa, bow resa ! so many of us too !” well I know her! And as for the “Be sure I will remember my Duchessa
obligations to you all, Sora Teta," “Do me the pleasure to say no- said Francisco, grandly, as he rose thing about the Duchessa,” said Fran- from his chair. Mariuccia could not cisco, in a harsh, constrained voice. restrain herself as he sauntered forth,
Teta came to a dead stop, and con- superb in his young dignity. She was sidered whether she should be angry; not affronted at the small notice he but, looking at the young man, as lie had taken of her. He was her own sat unconsciously plucking his mus- child and nursling, and to be partache, with that cloud upon his face, doned seventy times seven offences. Teta for the first time perceived. It was pride' and exultation alone with a little awe and perturbation, á inspired her as she lost sight of him gleam of the Duchessa herself in that down the stairs. younger and more lovable counten- “Madonna Santissima !
Is not ance, which completely silenced her lie a prince? There is not a beggar indignation. No one had ever seen on the roadside but would know thee the likeness before ; but from that to be noble, bello mio!” cried Maday, few looked at Francisco without riuccia. "Tell me, Teta, among all more or less perceiving it. Nature your rich Forestieri, have you ever still existed, though under those un- seen so princely a man?"
"E Romano," said Teta, with me, I would not trust the supper careless pride; "he is a Roman." for our young Don to the woman Then she closed her great cupboard, yonder in the kitchen. Ah," added and locked it with an emphasis. “If Teta, with another long breath, it will amuse you, Mariuccia mia, you “bella Duchessa, it will be hard can look to the sugo while I seek work for thee to deny thine own Madame Margherita ; for, believe face !"
It was drawing towards evening, their glossy uncovered locks gleamand the Corso was thronged as usual, ing to the light, and little inferior in when Francisco descended the long point of bearing to the Contadini ; stairs, and came out into the gay Roman men with heads that might crowd. November—but the sky shin- do for a Hadrian or an Antonine ing overhead with that deep steadfast bull-necked, bullet-headed, substanimperturbable blue, which, further tial figures, neither poetical nor imanorth, is the glory of summer days ginative, but strong, gross, and forcialone--and the passing carriages all ble, like the coarse forcible Romans of brilliant with bright colours, the an elder age. Francisco strayed along tuilette of summer warmed with the pavement through the midst of autumnal ribbons, and loose glories that vociferous throng. Last night of unnecessary shawl and mantle. he had entered into all the humours That idle current of life had left the of the crowd with the fervour of true sunny eminence of Pincio as the local feeling, knowing himself one great arch of blue sky reddened over of them. To-day everything was in magnificent circles of colour to- changed; he set his hat over his wards the west, for this final delight eyes, and answered very briefly the of Roman promenaders. Few scenes passing salutations of his acquaintcould have been supposed more un- His looks wandered rather to like the solemn associations which the stream of carriages than to the unaccustomed travellers connect with flood of passengers on foot. He was the very name of the Eternal City. looking, not with the universal adThere is nothing eternal in the Rome miration of youth for pretty faces of the Corso-in that narrow line of passing, but with a scrutiny, haughty street full of bright shops, and houses and earnest, for one or two faces let to the Forestieri
, interrupted here which were not pretty,-for the old and there by the stuccoed facade of Duchessa, who drove every day a seventeenth-century church, or the through that ancient scene of her blank front of a big palace : nothing triumphs, with an old dame de comsolemn in the gay line of carriages, pagnie as unlovely as herself, and a the pretty toilettes, nor in the pre- couple of tiny spaniels lost in the posterous children and red-jacketed heap of wrappings which encumnurses, who form an admiring chorus, bered the front seat of the carriage ; and keep Roman flirtations in coun- and for the pale countenance of Donna tenance. Neither is the crowd on Anna, dissatisfied and complaining, foot of a seriously impressive charac- with her nurses and children, grudgter: these are not the graceful Ital- ing always, in the midst of wealth, ians of romance, with dark visionary the postponement of her own personal countenance, lithe frame, and myste- hopes and inheritance. His mother rious deportment; on the contrary, and his sister! Francisco found little an unslender, unvisionary race, strong solace in these names of tenderness. in nothing more than in gross flesh and He looked eagerly to see them, with blood, go gaily thronging along the a strange unexplainable curiosity, pavement ; peasant women among wondering whether the change which them with white handkerchiefs on had passed upon himself would pertheir ample shoulders, carrying their haps change the aspect of these faces, heads like so many duchesses ; Ro- and whether that weird old Duchess man girls of full-developed form, with appeared to a stranger's passing
glance with a different look from this suddenly darkening, momentary, that which she would bear to the miraculous twilight. The Ave Maria more penetrating gaze of her son. had rung out from all the bells of But he did not see either of the Rome. Work was over everywhere, ladies as he pushed onward through and the stir of amusement and rethe busy Corso. Then he went ra- laxation quickened yonder in the pidly with the same purpose up the hidden streets, though it was the quiet winding ascent of the Pincian Hill, of night and rest that fell over that and loitered about there, looking into hill of Pleasure. The young painter all the carriages, like many another lingered on the terraced road, playidle young Roman. Far in the dis- ing with his own agitation and hopes, tance, the sun, just at setting, was and slow to descend once more into burning upon a line of sea, visible discussion of that wonderful episode over the head of that old solemn in his history that happened twenty city, which from this height, heaving years ago, when he was carried out up darkly on its foundation of hills of his princely birthplace under cover against that broad hemisphere of of Mariuccia's shawl. It suited him colour in the west, looked more better to wander up and down, with worthy of its name. There sat the air blowing fresh in his face, Rome, with her dark crowd of m mounting in imagination to the igh dern houses, hiding somewhere among topgallant of his sudden fortune. To them the tawny line of the Tiber, do that by a leap; to glance into the and dominated by the big dome of ineffable future, gleaming grand with St Peter's. Modern Rome--not that wealth and honours; to take imagidumb heathen mother sitting voice- nary possession of the Genzaro paless on her Palatine-Rome astir lace; to return, no longer a poor with the tongues of strangers, the portrait-painter, but a Roman noble, jests and din of her own holiday. to the Signorina Inglese, who had making children. There lay that beguiled Francisco the painter out dark human problem, troublous of his heart. It was more congenial puzzle of priests and men, in a doubt- to the young man's mind to walk ful precarious repose, like the old about in the soft night-air, and see Albanian lake, with no Emissarium one by one these stars come gleanifor its choke of rising waters, but ing over bim, than to descend to the with the tender country and quiet lighted Corso, with all its cafés open, heights of hills beguiling the eye, be- and to climb Teta's long stair, and yond dark St Peter yonder, into a over the sugo and salad listen to the gentle idyll of attendant nature, women and their recollections, and sweet Monte Mario and his brethren ascertain how far he could depend rising wistful against those celestial upon the testimony of Madame Marblushes of warm reflection which gherita. Francisco roused himself, glow over all that region of sky. However, as the first hour of night Against that same flush of sunset rang from the Roman churches. He the pines upon Pincio itself stand took his way slowly to the needful forth, all lined and traced in every consultation, in spite of himself, delicate twig; and figures glide about somewhat contemptuous of Teta's with a noiseless motion, not because upper room, and the society of the they are all inpressed and quiet, but faithful peasant and the English because the magic atmosphere has nurse. And it was only twelve hours charmed the sound. Among these old, this wonderful grandeur and eleloiterers Francisco loitered in the vation !—but such hours as these are new tumult of his fancies. The last years. carriage had lingered away out of
When Francisco entered at Teta's him which warmed the half disguse great door and began dreamily to he felt at the consultation before ascend the stair, an accident befell him into warm and angry eagerness.