Imatges de pàgina

then all retired from the altar, where the Padre proceeded to the celebration of mass.

It was requisite that immediately on Florestan's marriage he should set out for Germany to meet the Emperor, to resume his service and to present his bride. They left Florence amid the affectionate farewells of the Amidei and the blessings of l'adre Severino.

They first, however, bent their course to Arezzo, and indulged themselves with rambling among their favourite haunts, and living over again their first happy days. Florestan had obtained the Emperor's permission to diverge from the route in order to visit the cottage in which he had been succoured after the Battle of Bouvines. And the good peasants could scarcely believe their senses when they saw the transformation of the poor wounded soldier. Amidea thought she could never sufficiently reward their disinterested kindness; and left them rich, delighted, and amazed. The bride and bridegroom arrived at the court of Frederic

. The Emperor received Amidea graciously and Florestan affectionately; and Amidea looked with interest and increased loyalty on that handsome young sovereign, a boy-father and husband, a poet, statesman, and general.

They were joyfully welcomed by Valdo, whom they found in great favour at court, and exerting himself to obliterate and atone for his former disrespect to the Emperor. Already occupation and cheerful scenes had gone far in restoring the mind of Valdo to health. His appearance, too, was greatly improved; he was now a remarkably fine-looking young man, and even Amidea thought him not much inferior in person to Florestan. An intimate friendship grew up between the two quondam Glee-singers, but they seldom talked of Florentine adventures, which would ever be too painful to Valdo.

At the court of Frederic there was a young lively German baroness, Gertrude Von Heimburg, an heiress, and her own mistress. She distinguished Valdo by her notice, and delighted to quarrel with him for the churlish sayings against women which from the force of habit still fell from his lips ; and she playfully retorted with sarcasms against men, as she was perfect mistress of Italian, and could readily answer Valdo in their war of words.

They daily met and squabbled, and sought each other out to squabble again. And Gertrude declared that speaking Italian was a great disadvantage to Valdo ; it was too effeminate for a man and a soldier; he must learn German. He consented on condi. tion that she would teach him; she undertook the task, and could not accuse him of dulness or idleness. Still they fell out and made peace, taught and learned, and squabbled again; till Frederic told them he would have no unlicensed squabblers at his court ;

they must take out a licence to quarrel from some good priest. They followed his advice, and---never quarrelled after.

Valdo had no reason to love his Italian recollections, therefore he took his wife's name, learned her language thoroughly, left off Italian by degrees, and became so completely Germanized that he relished the small hard grapes of the Rhine as well as the luscious clusters of Italy, and preferred the thin Rhenish wines to Aleatico; for which Florestan declared himself often tempted to challenge him to mortal combat. He adopted mustachios and spoke gutturally, and would even have taken to smoking had the Germans then been smokers; but, luckily for the men of those times, the “ wicked weed had not as yet been introduced.

Valdo was translated in time into General Von Heimberg; he became an uxorious husband, a doating father, a most courteous humble servant of womankind, and a cheerful and happy man. But he never forgot Rosara, and annually kept the day of her birth and that of her death as times of prayer and seclusion.

Florestan in time attained the rank of marshal. On his first arrival at court with his bride he had been created a count of the empire; and the Count and Countess Bastiani sometimes saw their beloved old Padre Severino, who gained by Almanno's marriage a little Amidea to train up, and to talk to about her aunt.

Imma, the young widow, recovered at length from her lingering illness, and, in spite of her mother's opposition, she took the veil, and lived a nun in a convent which she founded with her inheritance, as she also did a chantry for the repose of Buondelmonte's soul.

The Widow Donati, disappointed in all her views, retired from society, and lived on a weary existence; for her whole life lay in plotting, and now her occupation was gone for ever.

Amid the disorders of Florence Uberti's palace had often been attacked and even besieged by Guelph mobs. At length a strong party obtained entrance by the treachery of a bribed domestic; Uberti was killed, with many of his retainers, in endeavouring to repel the invaders, and the palazzo was plundered.

The civil discord raged in Florence with almost uninterrupted fury; scarcely a day passed without some fresh combat, some fresh slaughter in the streets. Noble fought against noble, family against family, party against party, from street to street, from palace to palace, froin tower to tower. Sometimes the factions were (reconciled for awhile and a hollow truce was patched up again: but discord revived on the smallest provocation. Neither party gained any decided advantage over the other for thirty-three years, till A.D. 1248.

At that period the Emperor, fearing to lose all hold on Florence in the increasing dissensions, wrote to the chiefs of the Ghibellines in the city to assemble the whole party in secret and to attack simultaneously all the Guelph posts, while the King of Antioch (Frederic's natural son) should appear before the gates. This plan was carried into effect on Candlemas night 1248. The defences of the Guelphs were forced in all directions ; for they were in detached parties, while the forces of their enemies were concentrated. The Ghibellines became masters of the city and its dependencies, expelled the Guelphs, and demolished thirty-six of their principal palaces. And this success induced other parts of Tuscany which had hitherto inclined to the Guelph party to declare for the Emperor Frederic II.

Note. The Ghibellines, however, did not remain in uninterrupted possession. Florence changed masters many times, and at length became a republic independent of the Emperors of Germany. Its destinies were long swayed by the Medici, and the biography of that family is the history of Florence. Cosmo di Medlici, known as Cosmo 1., became sovereign as Grand Duke of Tuscany, 1569. The ducal sovereignty remained in the Medici race till 1737, when they became extinct, and it then vested in Francis of Lorraine, afterwards Emperor of Germany; and after all its centuries of struggles for independence and republicanism, Florence became and continues subject to imperial sway.

M. E. N.




The moon is rising, Elodie;

Joy shines in every star,
And hark! the mingled melody

Of flute and gay guitar.
Our young Rienu's bridal calls

Our happy bands to-night
Where nature spreads our flowery halls,
And hangs her gems of light.

Come, Elodie ! sweet Elodie !

Our happy bands are met ;
Come, join the bridal dance with me,

And strike the castanet.

Our moonlight dancers, Elodie,

Are tripping to the strain
Of fair La Mancha's melody,

The pride of Moorish Spain.
More beautiful than all art thou,

My own Gitana maid,
With those rich ringlets on thy brow,
Thy brilliant eyes to shade.

Come Elodie! sweet Elodie !

Our happy bands are met;
Come, join the bridal dance with me,

And strike the castanet.

Our festive hall rings gaily round,

Our cups are brimming o'er,
The dancers crush in every bound

The sweetmeats on the floor.
Throw wide the door, let all be free

To join the bridal throng,
To share our hospitality,
Our merry dance and song.

Oh, Elodie! sweet Elodie !

When all are gaily met,
'Tis bliss to tread the dance with thee,

And strike the castanet.


The Gipsies in Spain are termed Gitanos, but everywhere these people exhibit the same personal qualities, follow the same customs and mode of life, and speak the same language. Their colour of skin is an olive-brown, and they are remarkable for regularity of features, bodily symmetry, and an uncommon brilliancy of eye. After being for five years among them Mr. Barrow came to the conclusion that the “ race is the most beautiful in the world." The account of a Gitano wedding is singular. “After much feasting, drinking, and singing in the Gipsy house, the bridal train sallied forth a wild spectacle. The betrothed pair were followed by their nearest friends; then came a rabble rout of Gipsies, screaming, and shouting, and discharging guns and pistols, till all around rang with the din, and the village dogs barked. Throughout the day there was nothing but singing, drinking, feasting, and dancing; but the most singular part of the bridal festival was reserved for the night. Nearly a ton weight of sweetmeats had been prepared at an enormous expense, not for the gratification of the palate, but for a purpose purely Gipsy. These costly sweetmeats--of all kinds and of all forms, but principally j'enas, or yolks of eggs prepared with a crust of sugar (a delicious bonne bouche)-were strewn on the floor of a large room, at least to the depth of three inches. Into this room, at a given signal, tripped the young bride and bridegroom, dancing romális, followed by all the Gitanos and Gitanas, dancing romális. In a few minutes all the sweetmeats were reduced to a powder. The festival endures three days, at the end of which the greatest part of the property of the bridegroom, even if he were in easy circumstances, has been wasted in this strange kind of riot and dissipation. Daco, the Gipsy of Badajoz, attributed his ruir to the extravagance of his marriagc festival; and many other Gitanos have confessed the same thing of themselves. They said that throughout the three days they appeared to be under the influence of infatuation, having no other wish or thought but to make away with their substance; some have gone so far as to cast money by handfuls into the streets. Throughout the three days all the doors are kept open, and all strangers welcomed with a hospitality which knows no bounds."




Taking it for granted that the reader has a tolerable memory—which by the bye, is essentially necessary for monthly-magazine readers-it will not be necessary to say one word about what has already been printed, but at once go into



The blood of the murdered man reflected back the beams of the sun, the spire of the church, and the aged trees with the crows upon their topmost branches-nay, the blood lay so thick upon the ground, as well as upon the tombstone, that it even reflected back the murderer’s own face, when he saw it was ghastly and haggard, and not like unto the face he had seen before in a common mirror. He looked, and he watched the reflection, just as though he were bound or obliged to do so; when, as he looked, and as he watched, half dreamingly, there came up out of the red fluid, a white, sad, and melancholy-faced figure, which cast its brilliant eyes full upon him, when it said,

“Richard, Richard, you are a lost, a fallen man ; so that even your own mother spurns you."

Nay, nay, kind remembrancer," the man cried, bitterly ; " nay, nay, do not frown upon me; do not desert me now. Oh, mother; if you knew what my misery has been throughout life, and all brought about by this object who was once a schoolmaster, I am sure you would pity me."

“No, son, no ; you have gone too far now-no, not too far for a mother-but really a mother's heart-ghost though it be-cannot extend its elasticity much further."

“Oh, mother! then you forgive me?" he sobbed, whilst in a supplicating posture, when he thought there was a smile upon its face, and he tried to grasp his parent, but instead he had within his arms the dead body of his old enemy-now his enemy no longer. Then he caught hold of the dead man's hand, and he held it up towards heaven, whilst he uttered an exclamation which he meant for a prayer; then he fell down by the side of the corse, and cried, and cried like-oh! no, not like a child, but rather like a man! Women cry sometimes, children cry very often, but men cry only when a mother dies—I mean a good, a worthy, an upright, a generally-beloved mother-ay, when a mother's body, with

i Continued from page 501, vol. xliv.

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