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and Domo d'Ossola, and the inscriptions over the doors, sounded like sweet music. We went through a market-place; the girls were dressed in their holiday garb, and one man passed by clad in a white robe, with a large, scarlet cape, and a white pigtail hanging down between his shoulders. He was a servant of the church. At Isella, we bought, for a few sous, as much fruit as we liked to carry off with us: here, too, the vines are real southern vines, such as the Latin poets describe; not like the miserable bushes of France, but growing to their natural height and trained over high lattice-work, or still more gracefully flinging, at their own sweet will, their wild tendrils over mulberry, and orange, and chesnut
A change has come over the spirit even of our postillions. Instead of the clumsy, ragged, seven-leaguebooted gentlemen who escorted us through the highways of Burgundy, and who never failed to elicit most ominous growls from Violet's aristocratic pet Frà, we have now a smart dapper little person with a fine horn fastened to his shoulder by a splendid tassel, who answered some trifling question of May's in Italian,--in Italian, the language of poetry and romance. How odd it seemed to hear this language, in our own island spoken only by the highly born and highly educated, from the mouth of a peasant.
"And this is Italy!" said May pettishly, as we assembled for supper in the little saloon of the hotel at Bavéno. "Cold stuccoed floors that chill one's very heart, comfortless walls covered with jootmoot latticework, tantalizing one with vain dreamings of spring flowers and summer fruits,-horrid unnatural paint
ings of birds, ugly enough to frighten Frà,-macaroni and larks for supper,-I am sure I see nothing so charming in Italy!"
"Nothing, May!" cried little Emily, holding up a handful of wild clove-pinks and periwinkles, fresh and fragrant, "would you gather these in the hedgerows at home?"
"Weeds!" answered the young lady, in a tone that made Frà Diavolo start and wag his tail.
"Nothing, May!" said her sister: "is it nothing to tread the land that Ariosto trod; nothing to breathe the air that Petrarch breathed; nothing to tarry in the city wherein Raffaelle dwelt?—oh, May!"
"Is it nothing to look on such a scene as this?" said Harry, gently drawing the discontented lady forth into the balcony, on which the windows of our apartment opened. It was a scene to calm every murmur, even though the murmur had proceeded from so legitimate a cause as a cold supper.
Almost immediately under the balcony stood a white cottage, covered with a luxurious vine. It was close to the shores of the Lago Maggiore; the low mountains that skirt the lake had lost their clear, sharp outline beneath the softening hues of twilight. Isola Madre slept on the quiet waters, like a spot sacred to peace; not a sound was heard, but the musical rippling of the wave, while high above, the clear bright moon sat like a throned pearl in the deep sky, shedding her soft brilliance far and wide over the still waters.
I stood in the balcony of the little inn, gazing on this fair soft scene, and acknowledged that at last my long-cherished hopes were fulfilled. I was in Italy;
but did the realization of my day-dream bring with it happiness? Alas! alas! even in that entranced hour, I sighed, vainly sighed for the presence of those dear ones, whose love had been unknown to myself, until lost,-the wellspring of my happiness,the life of my life. It is not in any aspect of nature, however lovely, it is not in any music, however sweet, —it is not in any delight addressed to eye or ear, to give happiness. Happiness, whose seat is in the heart, we must seek in the hearts of our fellow pilgrims: the sympathising word,--the kind smile,—the warm clasp of the hand,—these are the things which make any spot a home, and any home, however lowly, a paradise.
I remembered the days when I was not alone in my joys and griefs, and dreaming of the merry hours we had spent together,—of the bitter, bitter parting pang, of the cloud which since then had fallen on my spirit, making the fair face of nature a sealed book, and life itself a weariness. The vine-wreathed trellice sleeping in the moonlight, castle and cot, and beautiful lake passed away like a vision from my tear-dimmed eyes; my merry companions had left me, and I knew it not; I awoke from my reverie and found myself alone.
Morning arose, bright and beautiful, and dismissing the carriages at Arona, we scrambled up a steep bank by the road side, and "Italy!" again burst from more than one of our party, when, having gained its summit, we looked down on mount and lake, noble castles, ruined arches, and deserted temples. Our purpose was to see the enormous statue of S. Carlo Borromeo, which crowns the wooded height
near Arona, but we did not follow the example of our countrymen who mounted into his saintship's pericranium and dined in his head.
At Sesto Calende, the women had their hair fastened up with large silver bodkins. Three or four young girls with an old woman, crowded round our carriage, while we stopped to change horses, and after pointing out to us a marriage procession that was passing down the street, and asking a few questions respecting whence we came, whither we were going, and so on, the old woman proceeded to inform us that she intended giving a little ball in the evening, and if we would but change our purpose of proceeding to Milan and honour her with our company, she would do her best to amuse us. There was a warm-hearted kindness in her manner, and in the proposal altogether, that struck me as being marvellously different from the prudent proper distance at which we English folks keep foreigners and strangers. As a farther inducement, she pulled forward one of her young companions, and told us she was from Milan, and a counsellor's daughter. We afterwards learned that this good lady was a schoolmistress, and actually one of the principal people in Sesto Calende.
The moon rose long before we reached Milan, and some of our party, recollecting the robberies on this very road, that took place last week, felt rather nervous. Sir Mark held his pistols, primed and loaded, ready to fire off at the first villain who should spring from behind the hedge. Harry amused the children, by relating to them all the horrid murders. of which he had ever heard, or which his invention could furnish. Little Agnes shut her eyes, and thought
herself safe; and I, having nothing to lose, felt marvellously quiet, and gave myself up, heart and soul, to admiring the clear sky and delicious moonlight of Italy. Nevertheless, we were none of us sorry when the carriage wheels were again clattering over the round rough stones, and we drove under the arched gateway of the court-yard of the hotel.
"What!" said May, "is this the hole we are to sleep in?" as the trim waiter, after showing us into our dormitory, left us to inspect it at leisure. Even my heart sunk within me, as I looked round; and lest you should think it is all dolce far niente with travellers, I send you a sketch of this right pleasant apartment in one of the first hotels of Milan. It had been splendid, perhaps, in the days of Noah; for though small, it was lofty, and there were gilt mouldings and cornices, now all broken and decayed. A bed, a crazy set of drawers, one cane fauteuil, without a cushion, a stand, with a broken basin, and a tarnished mirror, composed its furniture; all as dirty as might be; while the stone floor, cold and uncarpetted, completed the comfortable aspect of the whole. However, we soon procured from the waiter,-for there was not a woman, either mistress or maid-servant belonging to the establishment,—materials wherewith to change all this; and after being awakened some half dozen times by Italian serenading, and by the great bell of the cathedral close by, we slept the travellers' dreamless sleep!
The next day was a grand fête-day,—“ All Saints,” and we found amusement enough in watching the people returning from mass. Such groups! so novel, and so odd! Austrian soldiers, friars, with their