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have nothing to pardon, but I bave something, benevolent heart of Henry felt a gratification to requist. Will you give me the disposal of | so exquisite aod so pure as when the lovely your daughter's hand?”
Nina bathed bis hand with ber tears, while The peasant, with joy sparkling in his eyes, ll the rough old man, whose joy almost equalled presented it to him ; aod ibe King, putting it || bis daughter's, murmured to himself :- By into that of Louis," Receive from me,” said the mass, it was fortunate bat I did not lura he, "a gift which I am sure you will value as our good Henry out;" and then advancing to you ought; your future fortune shall be my | the King he added, " Your Majesty has care."
proved that I told you truth, when I called No language can do justice to the feelings you the father of your people." of the lovers, and never, perhaps, had the 11
HANNIBAL FERACUTI, PRINCE OF SABIONETTA.
(Concluded from Page 255.).
Approaching the Prince with respectful, Sabionetta, and there was not a family in the tenderness, he asked his consent to the mar- duchy who did not weep for a daughter or a riage of his daughter with Gherardini. Han. || sister seduced or violated by the satellites or nibal did not hesitate to accord it; he even artifices of the Priuce, who was become the thougbt he might make the offer to Adolfo of execration of his subjects. Adolfo alone re. augmenting the marriage portion of the beau strained the hatred of the public; he was dear tiful Stefanina, but Rivaldi refused it._"A to the soldiery, who cheerfully obeyed bim, wife,” said he,“ should bring no other dowry were ever submissive, and kept ilie people to her husband than gentleness and virtue; under subordination. Alas! Adolfo was far and riches are but too apt to destroy in a || from foreseeing the abyss which bis cowardly female heart the only qualities which consti. || opponent was opening for him. He set off tute the happiness of their husbands." Ü for Ripafratta, carrying with him tbe satisfac
However, the infamous Des Roehers had not ll tion of having seen that time had not effaced beheld without jealousy the marks of esteem from the heart of Hannibal the remembrance with which the Prince had distinguished the of his services, and enjoying the pleasure of valiant Rinaldi, and he determined on bis announcing to his daughter that the busband rain. Des Roehers, born in France, of ob- 1) whom her inclination and her duty had chosen scure parents, united to the most relaxed priu. It was agreeable to the Prince. ciples the most corrupt morals: a single The gentle Stefanina awaited the return of glance was sufficient to enable him to see and her father with all the impatience of love and to take hold of the weak side of the most artful | the anxiety of fear. Her lover, no less agitated characters. The ardent nature of the Prince than herself, suffered his imagination to did not escape bis penetrating eye,' and be Il lengthen out the time which yet separated judged that to second the unbridled desires of | them and delayed bis happiness, when Rinaldi Hannibal' was the surest road to that fortune | arrived. He asked for his future son-in-law, and honour he was ambitious to obtain: he who had passed over into Casale during the began by rendering kimself agreeable, and absence of Adolfo; and Gherardio; arriving iafinished by making himself useful. His atro. 1) stantly on the orders of Rinaldi, learned from cious inind easily familiarized with crime, be his own lips that the morrow was the day fixed joyfully committed it, as it was advantageous for his union with the lovely Stefapina. The to his views and to the accomplishment of his | day was passed in preparations for their jourPrince's wishes.
ney; for Rinaldi had told them that immedi. Des Rochers had spread terror througb | ately after the ceremony they would mount
their horses and repair to Sabionetta, where | however, dissipated her fears, and made her the Prince had requested they should keep | basten her steps to the apartment of her fie their wedding
ther. She found him animaled with joy at Although Slefanina did not murmur, it was the idea of the happiness he was about to not without regret tbat she heard the com- procure for his daughter; he embraced her mand to quit her present way of life, and en- with tenderness, and said to her, -"Stefanina, counter the bustle of the world in that mo- thou wilt pass from the arms of a lerder pareut ment when her happiness could be found only into those of a fond husband; remember that. in retirement and in the sole society of an I give up to him all my rights; never take adored busband, who wouid have taught her advantage of his tenderness, if you wish never to enjoy every heartfelt delight by his own to feel the weight of his authority; your bussentiments and feelings. This was the first band bas every qualification 10 constitute the time that Stefanina failed to perform with l happiness of a virtuvus woman; but he has pleasure the commands of ler father; her also that strength of mind which will render tears flowed in spite of all her efforts, and in him master over bis affections when it is his spile of all the happiness she promised herself duty to sacrifice them to what is just and ju ber union with Gherardini, she experiencrd right, beware of failing in your duties towards only melanculy sensat ons in her inmost him; your husband otherwise will become soul. Ofies she would wish' ber marriage to your iyi ant, ard you will find no longer a be delayed, in vrder to put off the instant when support in your fa. her.” the mi fortunes which ber imagination bad Never before had so much severity been assured her were about to overwhelm her as known in the counsels of Rinaldi to his daugh, sbe quitted the altar which should witness ter; nor ever had he sought more by his car. her vows. Nigut came; Gherardini rema ne?, resses to make her forget whatever might have for the first time, at the Casile of Ripafraita, 1 been too harsh in his expressions. Sefanina, and retiring to the apartment which had been conforted by the tes'imonies of affection destined før bim, he gave himself up to the which her father lavished on her, suffered her pleasure of thinking on those joys which the heart to pour forth the torrent of tenderuess morrow would give to him; bis beart antici. with wbich it was overwhelmed, and forgetting pated them, and such was the enchanting all the anxieties of the past night, its phanimage which bis imagination gave to tbe fu. toms and the terrors of early dawn, she sa v ture, that he thought the delicious momeuls only happiness in view, and she followed ber of certainty too tardy in iheir arrival. Alas! father to the altar, where the impatient Gbepoor Sie fanina was far from experiencing such rardini awaited her. Stefavina looked like the delight; her terrified spirit scemed to see only just opening rose, while Gherar.ljni was like the disasters; she trembled for her father, her hus suo when, issuing from the gates of the east, band, and herself, while daik forebodings cor he sheds light and life on the whole creation. ment d hier incessantly. It stemed as if some At the awful sound of the sacred viws which inferual power, jealous of the bappiness which the minister of God pronounced to bless I heir she was about to enjoy, conjured up phantoms union, the tender brile heaved a gentle sigh to destroy ibe peace of so pure a spirit; or which added to their extatic charm, as she prorather it seemed as if Heaven, who formed | mised to ive ovly for her faithful Gherardini, woman of a ciay more pure than that from who, intoxicated with the most delightful senwhich it created man, had given them also a ciment, led her from the chapel to the door higher degree of feeling to render them aile | where their horses awajied them, and from to receive that prophetic inspiration with | whence they departed, accompanied by Ri. which they are sometimes animated : whatever naldi and some esquires. it might be, Stefanina saw the morning break The atrocious Des Ruebers was the cause only with terror; she shuddered as the sound of this journey. He had found means to perof the bell called her to the chapel; love, l) suade the Prince that to celebrate the wed. ding in the palace of Sabionetta would give it || and at the same time a strcke on the bead more popularity than elsewhere; besides he which calised him to fall senseless between ike could not better honour the man who bad horse's feet. Althis sight the esquires, al. taught his father arms, than in taking upon | rearly wounded, Aed from the field of batile, himself to make the fortune of bis family and the bandits, content with their victory, But these motives which he had placed before re!ired for fear that the inhabitants of the the eyes of Plannibal, were not those which neighbouring villages might run to the place bad determined him to draw Rinaldi, Stefall at ihe noise of the combat, and give informa. nina, and her husband to Sabionetta : thi || tion of the authors of this crime, and for which monster proposed to the Prince to carry off | all Lombardy would cry aloud for vengeance. the bride of the valiant Gherardini, and it was However, Des Roeber's bad caused bis prey with this intention that he had engaged to to be shut up in the castle at the gates of invite the new married pair to his Court. Des || Sobionetta, which contained a woman as corRoehers was aware that Rinaldi did not know rupt as himself, and wild whom be had long be bad enemies in bis neigbbourhood, and he maintained a criminal correspondence. Donua began his journey without any precaution, Bianca, for it was to her care that Des Rochers because he had no suspicion, and Gherardini had confided the virtuous Stefanina, sought at would ensure the safety of his father-in-law, first to assure her of her safety, and to inspire and follow his example of security; conse her with confideuce; but the daughter of Ri. quently a few ruffians which Des Rochers had naldi seemed as if annihilated with sorrow, all always in pay, would be sufficient to render her senses appeared frozen ; she shed no tears, bim master of Stefaniaa, after having killed and Donna Bianca judging that the idea of Rinaldi and Gherardi, and put their suite to her misfortunes had left 100 deep an impres. Right.
sion on her mind for any thing to diminish Between Sabionetta and Ripafratta there was its agony, ceased to speak to her, and ordered a little whick and lonely wood, and it was there || ber to be left alone in her chamber, which Dus Rcelcrs posted bimself with his troop. was now her prison. Rinaldi suon made his appearance, when Des! While things were in this train at the castle Rochers, who was completely arm d, let down of Donna Bianca, the valiant Rinaldi recovered bis vizor, and followed by his men, rushed from bis swoon, disengaged his left leg which from his ambuscade, and couching his lance, remained under his wounded horse, and darted on Rinaldi, who adroitly parrying the soatching up his sword, sought to avenge his lance, let fail a lerrible blow with his sword fall by the death of some of his enemies ; ou the helmet of the murderer; Rinaldi was but the brave old man saw himself only sur. about to repeat the blow, and gain a triumph rounded by dead corpses; the two Esquires perhaps, alihough in his ordinary habits, l had perished in fighting in his defence, Ste. against a man completely armed, when a ball || fanina had disappeared, and her husband lay from an arquebuse struck his horse, and he weltering in bis blood, proving to the eyes of fell dead over his rider. While the hardy | Rinaldi that he had only abandoned his bride Adolfo, stunned by his fall, lay extended on with life. However, an unaccountable cmotion the ground, Des Rochers flew to Stefanina, il caused him to inspect the wounds of bis sonand lifting her from ber palfrey and seating in-law; he found him wounded ouly in the her before him upon the horse he rode, set off | arm, and be attributed to that only the apon full gallop, leaving to his satellites the pearance of death which spread itself over the care of getting rid of Rinaldi and Gherardini person of Gherardini, and also from the loss of But Gherardiui was no such easy prey; by the bluod. He bound up the wound, and heard a help of the two esquires he faced the assail. gentle groan; this gave hopes to the brave ants, and two amongst them were already man; a neighbouring brook offered its pure desperately wounded, when the intrepid Ghe waters, and he bathed the face and temples saudini reccived a sabre wound in his left arm, ll of his unfortunate son, who coming to himself, sought only, as he opened bis eyes, his lovely imunicated his ideas to Gherardini:-“ It is bride. Alas! they had torn her from his not then,” said he, “to satisfy the impure de. sight; but the hope of recovering her or of sire of Des Rochers, that he bas carried off avenging her, on him who had dragged her my child; it is bis hatred towards me and thee, away, gave tim hopes and strength enough that nerved the same arm to precipitate us to to rise and desire to quit the place dyed with the toipb that would dishonvur and outrage his blood, and watered by the tears of bis my daughter; but he has not yet consummated Stefanioa, when he saw one of the banditti the outrage which he menaced; the coward whom he had felled to the earth, making i would debase thy wife, be shall not enjy this efforts to rise. Gherardini went up to him, and humiliation; let us prevent him, and wash presenting the point of his sword, threatened to away by his blood the stain which is prepared kill him, if he refused to declare who was the for us. Let us speed forward ; Des Roebers author of this crime, of which he and his shall perish beneath our feet; come, Gherardi: comrades had only been the instruments. This ini, a great mind can never be weakened by the mau who had but a breath of life in him, loss of blood ; virtue opholds him, and gives spatched off the mask under which be, as well to ihe body that force which beretofore was as his comrades had hidden their faces, and I wanting." discovered to the eyes of the father and son a Gherardini did not want this excitement; groom belonging to Des Roehers.
love, honour, vengeance, by turns burned in Rinaldi immediately felt of what import. bis bosom; and he armed himself with that auce it was to prolong the existence of coat of mail under bis habit which the an. a man from whom he could gain every in. || cient esquire of Rinaldi, who inhabited the formation of the fate of his daughter; and | village, had offered to accompany bis master pulting him under the care of some labourera | in. Adolfo knew well his valour and fidelity, that the noise of fire-arms had drawn to the he was overjoyed to associate with him in this wood, he ordered them to transport him to enterprize, and received fr m bis hands a coat their dwelling, and to bring horses for his l of mail equal to that which Gherardini had reson-in-law and for himself.
ceived from his host. Although one of Gherardini's esquires bad! They waited the morrow with impatience ; opposed his sword against the blow of the the wisbed-for moment at length arrived, and sabre which bad overthrown bis master, it had they all three, mounted ou vigorous steeds, not diminished its fiolence enough to preventAew towards the Castle of Donna Bianca ; the a conlusion taking place, or prevented his ex- | draw.bridges were ibrown down, they passed periencing the most insupportable agonies; 1 over, and the centinel, who saw them ap. happily the flow of blood and congealed proach with no other arms but their swords, blood, issuing from the orifice, rendering by did not stop them, and they were already in only the necessary space safety to the com- the apartments of the Castle before its mis. pressed brain, gave the requisite play to tress could be warned of their arrival; they the organs; so that when the horses arrived, were about to penetrate into every apartment, Gherardioi feit fufficient strength to be led to when Donna Bianca presented berself before the next village.
abem. He was no sooner arrived with Rinaldi, Accustomed to dissimulation, she asked than he began to interrogate the wounded them with a firm tone of voice, " wbat brought groom; and this man finding his eyd drawing 11 tbem thither?" near, declared that himself and his com- Rinaldi then assuming the ascendancy panions had received an order to kill Rinaldi | wbich virtue gave him over hardened vice, and Gherardini, and to carry off Stefanina, to said :-“Madam, justice and our rights have conduct her as privately as possible to the ll caused us to set aside the laws of politeness; Castle of Donna Bianca.
you bare in your Castle my only daughter, At the name of Bianca, Rinaldi felt joy rewhom a cowardly villain has treacherously newed in his busom, and immediately he com-carried off from the arms of her busband..
You must know this villain, I denounce him sight of Rinaldi and of Gherardini, whom he to you; you should blush to unite in his thought had fallen by the hands of his erines; diminish the niagnitude of them by people, gave him but a slight alarm; he even restoring to me my daughter, or tremble:'I am conducted them himself to Stefanina, and ready to p:ove you as guilty as him, whose while Gherardini was occupied only witb ber, crimes you will endeavour in vain to deny." || Rinaldi saw only the Prince, whose aspect
Donna Bianca wos moved for the first time confirmed in the mind of Adolfo all he bad in her life; she was not mistress of the emo- before suspected of Des Roeher's designs ; he tions with which her bosom was agitated; Il regarded the Prince for an instant, to seek to fear had conquered her effrontery, but ihel discover the effect of Stefanina's charms on bis arrival of Des Rochers soon restored it to her. lirflammable heart; the calm appearance of
Des Roebers at first expressed bis astonish: Hannibal dissipated Rinaldi's fears, and he ment at seeing a kind of altercation amongst said to him :-“ Princt, a villain carried off the parties, and affecting himself an air of ll my daughter; he destined her for his lawless serenity, he said to Rina'di, “tha: next to ihe plea-ures, but thou hast known how to respect happiness of having sui coured the beautiful her virtue; thou hast scorned to defile her Stefanina, he could ut experience greater ears by impure desires ; thou hast bridled than to receive R Maldi and bis son-in law in thine inclination; I can read thy soul; it is a place wbere he bad in his power to evince to loo noble to be corrupted by the vile artifices them all the esteem he telt; pass,” added he, Il of tbis foreigner, thou wilt restore Stefaniaa “ into the next apartment, and you shall bear | to her father, and to her husband, wbile Des from the lips of your daughter the account of || Roehers- ". her deliverance.”
Des Roehers would have spoken, in order to Stefanina, however, had recovered the use | justify himself, bui the Prince prevented him, of her senses, only benumbed by the crowd of | and turning to Adulfo, he informed him of sensatious which agitated her heart; she be. what Des Rochers had told him concerning beld beside her a well made man, glittering ll the carrying off, and the deliverance of Ste. with gold and jewels, who addressed ber in the faoina. most kind aud affecting manner : she knew Rinaldi waited impatiently till the Prince bim not, and answered only by tears to all had concluded; but no sovner had he ceased that the most lively interest gave to the ex 1 speaking than the furivus Adolfo seized on pressions of the Prince of Sabionetta, for i: Des Rochers, and threw him on the ground; was him whom Des Roehers had intro then presenting to bım the point of his sword, duced to Stefavina, and the bypocrite had he said, in accents of indignation:" In vain prepared every thing to make himself appear thou has sought to disguise the truth; two innocent of the carrying off Stefanina; he had
of thy satellites have fallen beneath the arm of
of thy s ordered four of his people to hold themselves
The valiunt Gherardini; one of tbem yet lives, armed, with their vizors down, on the high | he unfolded to us the infamous plot that thoa road, to attack the travellers when they should ) formed against us.-Tremble! the thunder is appear with Stefanina, carry her off, and bring | ready, and it would already have burst over her to ļhe Castle, where he followed them, thee if such villains were worthy of receiving and sbewed bimself, after baving changed his l their death from Heaven-it belongs to the helmet and coat of mail, amongst the number
executioner alone to avenge the universe of of Stcfapina's deliverers. By this stratagern, be pretended immediately to the Prince, that
While Rinaldi was yet speaking, Donna he had rescued the daughter of Rinaldi, aud he Bianca had approacbed Stefanina, and was reckoned upon that love with which she could threatening to plunge her poignard in her mot fail to inspire Hannibal, to be recompenced heart, if life was refused to Des Rochers; but even for the murder of Rinaldi, if its author the faithful squire, attentive to all the motions should ever be discovered. The traitor was of this fury, gave her so violent a blow on the so şure of the success of his plans, that the arm with his gauntlet, ibat ihe poignard fell