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some reward. I do not think that la Vittoria is quite idle. Look out for yourself, my child. If you take to plotting, remember it is a

game of two."

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“If she thwarts me in one single step, I will let loose that madman on her,” said Irma, trembling.

“You mean the Signor Antonio-Pericles ?“No; I mean that furious man I saw at your villa, dear countess.” “Ah! Barto Rizzo. A very furious man.

He bellowed when he heard her name, I remember. You must not do it. But, for Count Ammiani's sake, I desire to see his marriage postponed, at least."

“ Where is she?” Irma inquired.

The countess shrugged. “Even though I knew, I could not prudently tell you in your present excited state.”

She went to Pericles for a loan of money. Pericles remarked that there was not much of it in Turin. “But, countess, you whirl the

“ gold-pieces like dust from your wheels; and a spy, my good soul, a lovely secret emissary, she will be getting underpaid if she allows herself to want money. There is your beauty; it is ripe, but it is fresh, and it is extraordinary. Yes; there is your beauty." Before she could obtain a promise of the money, Violetta had to submit to be stripped to her character, which was hard; but on the other hand, Pericles exacted no interest on his money, and it was not often that he exacted a return of it in coin. Under these circumstances, ladies in need of money can find it in their hearts to pardon mere brutality of phrase. Pericles promised to send it to the countess on one condition; which condition he cancelled, saying dejectedly, “I do not care to know where she is. I will not know."

“She has the score of Hagar, wherever she is,” said Violetta, “and when she hears that you have done the scena without her aid, you will have struck a dagger in her bosom.”

“Not,” Pericles cried in despair, “not if she should hear Irma's Hagar. To the desert with Irma! It is the place for a crab-apple. Bravo, Abraham ! you were wise.”

Pericles added that Montini was hourly expected, and that there was to be a rehearsal in the evening.

When she had driven home, Violetta found Barto Rizzo's accusatory paper was laid on her writing-desk. She gathered the contents in a careless glance, and walked into the garden alone, to look for Carlo.

He was leaning on the balustrade of the terrace, near the watergate, looking into the deep clear lake-water. Violetta placed herself beside him without a greeting.

“You are watching fish for coolness, my Carlo ?”
“Yes," he said, and did not turn to her face.
“You were very angry


you arrived ?


She waited for his reply.
“Why do you not speak, Carlino ?
“I am watching fish for coolness," he said.
“Meantime," said Violetta, “I am scorched.

He looked up, and led her to an arch of shade, where he sat quite silent.

Can anything be more vexing than this ?” she was reduced to exclaim.

“Ah!” said he, "you would like the catalogue to be written out for

you in a big bold hand, possibly, with terrific initials at the end of the page.” Carlo, you

have done worse than that. When I saw you first here, what crimes did you not accuse me of? what names did you not scatter on my head ? and what things did I not confess to? I bore the unkindness, for you were beaten, and you wanted a victim. And, my dear friend, considering that I am after all a woman, my forbearance has subsequently been still greater."

“How?” he asked. Her half pathetic candour melted him.

“ You must have a lively memory for the uses of forgetfulness, Carlo. When

When you had scourged me well, you thought it proper to raise me up and give me comfort. I was wicked for serving the king, and therefore the country, as a spy; but I was to persevere, and cancel my iniquities by betraying those whom I served to you. That was your instructive precept. Have I done it or not? Answer,

? too—have I done it for any payment beyond your approbation? I persuaded you to hope for Lombardy, and without any vaunting of my own patriotism. You have seen and spoken to the men I directed you to visit. If their heads master yours, I shall be reprobated for it, I know surely; but I am confident as yet that you can match them. In another month I expect to see the king over the Ticino once more, and Carlo in Brescia with his comrades. You try to penetrate my eyes. That's foolish ; I can make them glass. Read me by what I say and what I do. I do not entreat you to trust me; I merely beg that you will trust your own judgment of me by what I have helped you to do hitherto. You and I, my dear boy, have had some trifling together. Admit that another woman would have refused to surrender you as I did when your unruly Vittoria was at last induced to come to you from Milan. Or, another woman would have had her revenge on discovering that she had been a puppet of soft eyes and a lover's quarrel with his mistress. Instead of which, I let you go. I am opposed to the marriage, it's true; and you know why.”

Carlo had listened to Violetta, measuring the false and the true in this recapitulation of her conduct with cool accuracy until she alluded to their personal relations. Thereat his brows darkened.

“We have had some trifling together,'” he said, musingly.

"Is it going to be denied in these sweeter days ?” Violetta reddened.

“ The phrase is elastic. Suppose my bride were to hear it ?” “It was addressed to your ears, Carlo."

" It cuts two ways. Will you tell me when it was that I last had the happiness of saluting you, lip to lip?”

“In Brescia—before I had espoused an imbecile—two nights before my marriage-near the fountain of the Greek girl with a pitcher."

Pride and anger nerved the reply. It was uttered in a rapid low breath. Coming altogether unexpectedly, it created an intense momentary revulsion of his feelings by conjuring up his boyish love in

a scene more living than the sunlight. He lifted her hand to his mouth. He was Italian enough, though a lover, to feel that she deserved more. She had reddened deliciously, and therewith hung a dewy rosy moisture on her underlids. Raising her

eyes, she looked like a cut orange to a thirsty lip. He kissed her, saying, “Pardon.”

"Keep it secret, you mean?” she retorted. “Yes, I pardon that wish of yours. I can pardon much to my beauty.”

” She stood up as majestically as she had spoken. “You know, my Violetta, that I am madly in love." “I have learnt it."

“You know it:—what else would .. ? If I were not lost in love, could I see you as I do and let Brescia be the final chapter?”

Violetta sighed. “I should have preferred its being so rather than this superfluous additional line to announce an end, like a foolish staff on the edge of a cliff.

a cliff. You thought that you were saluting a leper, or a saint?"

"Neither. If ever we can talk together again as we have done,” Carlo said gloomily, “I will tell you what I think of myself.”

“No, but Richelieu might have behaved .... Ah! perhaps not quite in the same way,” she corrected her flowing apology for him. " But, then, he was a Frenchman. He could be flighty without losing his head. Dear Italian Carlo! Yes, in the teeth of Barto Rizzo, and for the sake of the country, marry her at once. It will be the best thing for you; really the best. You want to know from me the whereabouts of Barto Rizzo. He may be in the mountain over Stresa, or in Milan. He also has thrown off my yoke, such as it was ! I do assure you, Carlo, I have no command over him : but, mind, I half doat on the wretch. No man made me desperately in love with myself before he saw me, when I stopped his raving in the middle of the road with one look of my face. There was foam on his beard and round his eyes; the poor wretch took out his hand



kerchief, and he sobbed. I don't know how many luckless creatures he had killed on his way; but when I took him into my carriageking, emperor, orator on stilts, minister of police—not one has flattered me as he did, by just gazing at me. Beauty can do as much as music, my Carlo."

Carlo thanked heaven that Violetta had no passion in her nature. She had none: merely a leaning towards evil, a light sense of shame, a desire for money, and in her heart a contempt for the principles she did not possess; but which, apart from the intervention of other influences, could occasionally sway her actions. Friendship, or rather the shadowy recovery of a past attachment that had been more than friendship, inclined her now and then to serve a master who failed distinctly to represent her interests; and when she met Carlo after the close of the war, she had really set to work in hearty kindliness to rescue him from what she termed "shipwreck with that disastrous Republican crew.” He had obtained greater ascendency over her than she liked; yet she would have forgiven it, as well as her consequent slight deviation from direct allegiance to her masters in various cities, but for Carlo's commanding personal coolness. She who had tamed a madman by her beauty, was outraged, and not unnaturally, by the indifference of a lover.

Later in the day, Laura and Vittoria, with Agostino, reached the villa; and Adela put her lips to Vittoria's ear, whispering: “Naughty! when are you to lose your liberty to turn men's heads ?” and then she heaved a sigh with Wilfrid's name. She had formed the acquaintance of Countess d'Isorella in Turin, she said, and satisfactorily repeated her lesson, but with a blush. She was little more than a shade to Vittoria, who wondered what she had to live for. After the early evening dinner, when sunlight and the colours of the sun were beyond the western mountains, they pushed out on the lake. A moon was overhead, seeming to drop lower on them as she filled with light. Agostino's conceits ran like sparks over dead paper : “The moon was in her nunnery below:” “ The clock on the high tower (quasi-campanile) of the Villa Ricciardi blazed to the sunset, deeming it no piece of supererogation to tell the God of Day the hour:” “Or to tell a king he is benten,” said Vittoria, so reminding him of their many discussions upon Charles Albert. Carlo laughed at the queer fall of Agostino's chin.

“We near the vesper hour, my daughter,” said Agostino ; "you would provoke me to argumentation in heaven itself. I am for peace. I remember looking down on two cats with arched backs in the solitary arena of the Verona amphitheatre. We men, my Carlo, will not, in the decay of time, so conduct ourselves.”

“If you mean, that you will allow the hour to pass without discord, I approve you," said Violetta.

Vittoria looked on Laura and thought of the cannon-sounding hours, whose echoes rolled over their slaughtered hope. The sun fell, the moon shone, and the sun would rise again, but Italy lay face to earth. They had seen her together before the enemy. That recollection was a joy that stood, though the winds beat at it, and the torrents. She loved her friend's worn eyelids and softly-shut mouth; the after-glow of battle seemed on them; the silence of the field of carnage under heaven; and the patient turning of Laura's eyes this way and that to speakers upon common things, covered the despair of her heart as with a soldier's cloak.

Laura met the tender study of Vittoria's look and smiled.

They nearch the Villa Ricciardi, and heard singing The villa was lighted profusely, so that it made a little mock-sunset on the lake.

“Irma!” said Vittoria, astonished at the ring of a well-known voice that shot up in firework fashion, as Pericles had said of it. Incredulous, she listened till she was sure; and then glanced hurried questions at all eyes. Violetta laughed, saying, 6. You have the score of Rocco Ricci's Hagar!

The boat drew under the blazing windows, and half-guessing, half hearing, Vittoria understood that Pericles was giving an entertainment here, and had abjured her. She was not insensible to the slight. This feeling, joined to her long unsatisfied craving to sing, led her to be intolerant of Irma's style, and visibly vexed her.

Violetta whispered : “He declares that your voice is cracked : show him! Burst out with the · Addio' of Hagar. May she not, Carlo? Don't you permit the poor soul to sing ? She cannot contain herself."

Carlo, Adela, Agostino, and Violetta prompted her, and, catching a pause in the villa, she sang the opening notes of Hagar's “ Addio” with her old glorious fulness of tone, and perfect utterance.

The first who called her name was Rocco Ricci, but Pericles was the first to rush out and hang over the boat.

“ Witch ! traitress! infernal ghost ! heart of ice!” and in English “humbug!” and in French “coquine!” These were a few of the titles he poured on

! her. Rocco Ricci and Montini kissed hands to her, begging her to come to them. She was very willing outwardly, and in her heart most eager;. but Carlo bade the rowers push off. Then it was pitiful to hear the moans of abject supplication from Pericles. He implored Count Ammiani's pardon, Vittoria's pardon, for telling her what she was; and as the boat drew farther away, he offered her sums of money to enter the villa and sing the score of Hagar; sums of money to every form of assistance. He offered to bear the blame of her bad behaviour to him, said he would forget it and

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