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to walk in the narrow way, though even she should tread it alone; to bide the pelting of the storm, although no shelter should be at hand. She almost determined, but with the morning came remembered dreams of her husband's tender love, in their early wedded days, for the renewal of which she felt that she could sacrifice more than life. She was yet kneeling in her quiet oratory, striving to still the tumult within, her face dimmed with tears and pale with thought, when John Beccaria came with the early dawn to visit her. To him she made known her hopes and fears, and even her half-formed and oftenshaken resolves.

"Barbara Montalto," said the old man, after some minutes' silence, “your mother was one of the first among the Locarnese, who dispensed on her death-bed with a confessor; she was the very first in our infant church to be buried without the funeral parade of lighted torch and upborne cross. To my spiritual guardianship she bequeathed her infant. In darkness, through a snow storm, I guided a good pastor from Chiavenna hither, to assist me in baptizing you in the name of the Lord. Many times, since then, have I journeyed through perils by day and perils by night, to instruct your infant mind, and lead you, step by step, in the way of holiness. I have thought of you by day, and prayed for you at night, and this is the result! My daughter! you have walked with us as long as our path has led by peaceful stream and through the flowery valley, and now, at the first aspect of the desert and the precipice, you falter. Heedless of your dead mother, now a saint in glory, deaf to the thousand voices of the

slain martyrs of our church, which call you onwards, you choose rather to listen to the unholy pleadings of an earthly love, and you remain behind. My child, I am not wont to be so moved," for the old man's countenance kindled as he spoke, "but, in truth, I had not looked for this from you."

Barbara, who had listened to this appeal from her good pastor with a penitent heart, now arose, and with hands, meekly folded, said in a steady voice: "Father, forgive me! the doubts which did so sadly beset my mind have cleared away at your bidding. Forgive the error of my woman's heart; I will lay down even this treasure on the altar; I will follow Him who died for me, even unto death!"

On the next morning, the deputies sent by the seven Roman Catholic Cantons of Switzerland arrived in Locarno. Their first act was to assemble the inhabitants, and to read to them a threatening harangue. They accused them of disturbing the peace of the Helvetic body, and gave them only four-and-twenty hours wherein to make their decision. To this measure the municipal authorities subscribed their consent; the assembly dispersed; and now all was tumult and confusion in the usually quiet little town. Shops were closed; the market-place was empty; even the carriers, generally so busy transporting goods between Italy and Switzerland, tarried at home that day. It was a point that came home to the heart of every individual; for rumour even averred that it was the intention of the papal authority to prevent, if possible, such of the Locarnese who should prefer exile with freedom of conscience to apostasy, from taking with them either their property or their

children. The first, it was said, would be far better employed in the service of Holy Mother Church ; and for the last, it would be an act of greater mercy to tear the babe from its mother's breast, than to suffer it to be brought up in heresy.

That night sleep visited but few couches in Locarno; day dawned, and a large body of the inhabitants repaired to the town-hall, professed themselves willing to abjure their errors, and besought forgiveness, and re-admission into the church.

In the afternoon another far different scene took place: the few, steadfast in faith and true in love, went up to shew themselves worthy of the name they bore. It was a solemn and beautiful sight: the greyhaired and the strong in youth, old men and delicate women, and young children, all met together in one righteous cause; ready at the call of truth to abandon home and country, and all the sweet associations of infancy, which had grown with their growth and strengthened with their strength. The prefect, Isaiah Reuchlin, walked at the head of the little procession, and deeming it right to make one effort to avert the impending blow, he stroked back the white hairs that shaded his forehead, and drawing himself up to his utmost height, he begged the deputies to inform him of what crime himself and his flock were accused.

"We," he said, "have diligently searched the Scriptures and compared together the Latin and Italian translations. Upon perfect conviction of its purity, we have adopted as our own, the creed of the holy Apostles; we do not wish to cause war; all we pray for is investigation. All we claim, is pity."

But the deputies sternly answered, “We come not

here to listen to your faith; the lords of the seven provinces have decided theirs, and will not permit it to be disputed. We ask you in one word, will you abandon your heresy or not?"

Then arose a murmur of many voices. "We will live in our faith; it is the only true one; we will die in it."

"You will, then," said one of the deputies, "write down your names; our clerks hold a register for the purpose, that we may know how to separate the chaff from the wheat!"

Isaiah Reuchlin was the first to obey this mandate, and his name was followed by that of Beccaria. There was one present in that assembly who ought to have been the next to advance, and she yet lingered, with dizziness in her head, and a feeling of sickly suffocation at her heart; she yet stood leaning near the low pillar by which she had stationed herself on first entering the room; her anxious eye wandered from one well known face to another, but none of her loved ones were there; the companions of her sorrow had each some one to look to and weep with: the young girl turned to her mother, and the wife looked to her husband for support; and a glance of affection, a pressure of the hand were as priceless treasures at that moment. Barbara alone had none to lean upon but the Invisible, for she was an orphan, and her husband had ceased from loving her. Not even Fiore was there; so Barbara lingered till the very last, and then with faltering step and eye downcast, as fearing to meet the gaze of those who might accuse her of vacillating in her purpose, she also drew nigh to the registering officer. What saw she on

the paper, that sent the blood in rich torrents to her cheek and brow, and lighted up her dark eye with unwonted energy and steadied her trembling hand? Aye! had she been signing her acceptation of a diadem, she would not have signed it with a feeling of such deep joy, as animated her now, while she also added her name to the long list of wandering exiles.

Lightly she leaped into the little bark that was to bear her home; lightly she sprung up the marble steps of her own castle, for she saw Montalto awaiting her in the veranda: with a feeling almost of renewed hope she seized his hand and pressed it fondly to her lips, thanking him all the while with an ardour of joy that made her look again almost as beautiful as in the days of youth and happiness.

"Do not thank me," said Montalto; "surely you could not suspect me, Barbara, of harbouring so mean a purpose as that of deserting a falling cause? Barbara, you know me to be fickle and ungrateful, and thoughtless; but could you suspect me of cowardice! Answer me?"

"No," answered Barbara; and she spoke steadily; for she spoke the perfect truth,—“I did not suspect you of cowardice; I knew you were of too noble, too proud a nature for that; but there were other feelings, other motives, which I thought would sway you— would prevent you from leaving Locarno."

"Barbara," said her husband, and he spoke more tenderly than he had spoken for years, “I understand you; and you did not imagine the possibility of any other than yourself following me into poverty. You were right, lady," he continued drawing her into the saloon, and seating himself by her. "I learned

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