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in a corner of our apartment; and when I draw near, she smiles. Thou knowest that all our property, houses, lands, money,—all was confiscated; but we are richer now than we were in our lake palace, and happier, infinitely; for though I go no more to join the stately assembly, or the merry dance, neither do I ever meet the darkling countenances of that bad Luigi, nor of his dangerous sister. We have neighbours to love and assist us; we have enough for content; and if ever I do, for one moment, regret the well-filled purse, when I am forced to refuse assistance to the needy, even then I console myself with the thought, that, just as we ourselves do derive more pleasure from the bunches of fruit and flowers, offered by the poor peasants who have nothing more to give, than we did in the days of our wealth, from the rich gems proffered by wealthy and noble friends, even so the trifle we can now spare from our own need, may be a fairer offering in the sight of God, than the large sums we gave and missed not out of our abundance.--Come to us, Fiore; I long to show you our tiny garden, full of rich fruit, and gay with Alpine flowers; I long to show you our neat and pleasant cottage, which I arrange with my own hands; and more than all, I long to show you my own Montalto, happy and affectionate, as he was in the first days of our wedded life, and my little Benvenuta, who is beauty and health personified.—Come to us, Fiore; we have room in our hearts and in our house for you: oh! come to us, and we will do our very best to bind the bruised reed, and to share with you that peace which the world can neither give nor take away."
A DEATH-BED SCENE IN A PALACE.
BRIGHT, and warm, and cheering, were the sunbeams that lit up the old towers and castle windows of Pavia, on the morning which witnessed the triumphal entry of Charles the Eighth, of France. Ludovico Il Moro came forth to meet his noble ally, and the rejoicings and carousals that ensued had never been paralleled in that fair city. Alas! on what different scenes does the self-same sun arise; -his beams penetrated through a narrow window in one tower of the regal palace, and witnessed a scene that was far different from a scene of rejoicing.
"Come, Bona, come;" said a young and noblelooking boy, who, by climbing up into an antique high-backed chair, had contrived to obtain a momentary glance at the scene without; "Come, Bóna, come, and see this fine sight: there are noble cavaliers with white waving plumes, prancing on brave coursers from Barbary; and banners waving aloft, and images of the Holy Virgin, and bright ladies with jewelled head-gear;-come, sister, come hither!"
But the fair child whom he addressed arose not :she continued rocking slowly, backwards and forwards, in her little chair, singing, in low whispered tones, an old nursery song.
"Come, Bona!" resumed the boy, somewhat impatiently; "cease that murmuring song, and come, look
on this brilliant procession.-Hark! the music rings forth: did you ever hear a burst so glorious? and, Bona, they are stopping at the palace gates.-What can they be coming for?"
The young child arose, but she went not to the window. She hastened to the far end of the room where, on a low couch, sick and suffering, her father reclined. Beside that bed of pain, knelt with bowed face hidden in the rich coverlet, a young fair woman; her long golden hair, her bright blue eyes, and downy cheek, seemed fitted only for haunts of happiness and sweet spring time; yet she would not have exchanged her lonely watch by the side of her dying husband for all the pleasures that life might yield. The little Bona seemed to think that, that too was her fittest place; for she knelt down timidly by her mother, and sought to put her little hands within those of the
"Pray, my child, pray," said the Lady Isabel, "to him who calls himself the God of the fatherless." The dying Galeazzo fixed his eyes upon the loved ones beside him. Weak and erring as he had been, fluctuating in purpose and feeble in execution; he yet loved tenderly the dear ones who knelt there in prayer for him, and his dim eye lighted up with something like hope, when it rested for a moment on the noble boy, who even yet might redeem the falling fortunes of his line. There was a deep silence in that room; the silence of anxious prayer and of affection, that feared every look might be its last.
Suddenly a noise arose,-a loud long laugh; and it was succeeded by the chorus of a merry hunting song. The sounds proceeded from the lower apartments of
the palace, and broke in on the sacred silence of the chamber, like the exulting cry of evil ones. The lady arose, and, stamping her little foot on the ground, she exclaimed, "Now, by our Lady, the usurper is not content with driving us into an obscure corner of our own fair palace, but even here he will not let us remain at peace. Would that I were a man but for one short hour, for thy dear sake, my own love! then would I defy him to mortal combat, and trust to God for the success of the innocent!"
But Galeazzo, raising himself and supporting his aching head on the fair shoulder of his young child, who had clambered up on his couch, took the hands of Isabel, and fixing his dim eyes on her face flushed with indignation, said, "Calm yourself, dearest! I am about to depart; what avails it whether I die upon a throne, or on an humble pallet? Your love would soften even the hard rock, if on it only I might find repose! Isabel, we began life together, surrounded by all that men call precious; the pride of rank and the luxury of wealth were ours. Now, our throne is wrested from us, our friends have departed; but trust me, thy true faith and tender love have compensated me for all. Peace, then, Isabel; and bless our spoiler, even as I do."
The lady's countenance, as she listened to Galeazzo's voice, became calm as was its wont. She began to speak in her accustomed low sweet voice, when the door of the apartment was opened by a page announcing the arrival of Charles VIII., who came in courtesy to visit his cousin. Preceded by a flourish of music, and accompanied by a brilliant train of courtiers, the monarch entered; but he came not un
watched or unguarded. Ludovico, the dark and ambitious usurper, was there also; and when Charles drew nigh his cousin's pallet bed, Ludovico also advanced to prevent them from holding any private converse together. Something Galeazzo murmured of the tumult of noisy revels, held in his own palace, which disturbed him when he would sleep; but Ludovico broke in upon his speech, and said to the king of France, "Our dear nephew is mending the physicians tell me, daily; soon he will be able to join our assemblies below, held, as we all know, for state purposes, and with which we may not dispense. You will soon be the gayest among us, Giovanni! and you will bring your young son with you; it is many days since he has graced our court. Francesco, wilt thou come hither, my child?"
The child came, but not with the air of one accepting a favour, or acknowledging it gratefully. His little face was red with passion: he caught the glittering hilt of Ludovico's sword, and exclaimed, "It is yourself, uncle, who have sent my father hither to perish! When I too am a man, and wear a sword, then, be sure, I will do the like by you." The duke affected to laugh at his rebellious little relative; but nevertheless changed colour, and turned quickly to see what effect this speech had produced on Charles. Charles heard it not; for the Lady Isabel was kneeling at his feet, and entreating him with all the eloquence of a breaking heart, to have pity on herself and on her babes; to resign his claim on her paternal inheritance, and turn away his arms from her aged father's kingdom. "Soon," she said, as well as her tears and sobs would permit her, "I shall be alone in the