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After her death, I persuaded him become of Gabriella Heath might to join me in Italy. Glentwyr prompt me to seek her out. CerCastle had been sold; and not only tain it is, that I listened eagerly had he forbidden Gabriella's name. to all news from England, in a stupid, to be mentioned before him, but he unreasoning way, as though it were refused to be made acquainted with possible that any despatches could her whereabouts, her prospects, or contain intelligence of an obscure her position. From this resolution cottage in some remote part of Wales. he never swerved. In small things The feeling may have been presentitolerant beyond most people, once ment-a foreshadowing of the future his sense of honour was touched, his that some people possess, for there whole nature became metamorphosed was yet another link to be added to In the same degree that he had been that hapless chain of events. a credulous and adoring father, so One morning while scanning, as was he afterwards a relentless and usual, the English newspapers, my unforgiving judge; and on the few heart gave a sudden bound as the occasions on which I ventured to familiar name, Gabriella Heath, sound him on the subject, he in- caught my eye. Once more that variably replied, with perfect calm- fatal name was destined to be associness, that he bore no ill-will to the ated with calamity, and this time peasantry of Wales, with the excep with guilt. The paper stated briefly tion of one woman who had deliber- that a young woman known as Gabby ately dishonoured a name stainless Wynn, daughter of the late Sir for generations, and had, moreover, Andrew and Lady Gabriella Heath, murdered his wife. Did I require of Glentwyr Castle, and Rocklands, him to select this special woman as &c., &c., was arraigned for the wilful a recipient of his gratitude? With murder of her husband, James these feelings unchanged, he died Wynn. My first instinct was a wild about a year after the catastrophe desire to start for England, which I that had broken up his home, his should certainly have yielded to, but hopes, and happiness; and in his will I was most unexpectedly chained. I Gabriella was formally disinherited. could not get leave of absence. I
My friends, in all this I have not did not then know that my father spoken to you of myself. How had sent word to detain
me ; could any words give an idea of the I could have thrown up my appointbitterness of a trial such as mine ? ment with honour, I should certainly I can relate naked facts, the desola- have done so. I lived in a kind of tion of a hearth, the degradation of dream during the progress of that a name, the deaths of a stricken terrible trial. With feverish anxiety, woman and broken-hearted man, I watched for the arrival of the my own voluntary exile for long and mails ; and then, with a copy of weary years, the ruin of my hopes, the public papers, hurried off the blasting of the youngest, and to battle alone with the horror what should have been the brightest of the awful details. The acportion of my life; but to describe counts were pitiless and precise. or detail the sufferings that such The case for the prosecution was things bring with them, is not in the short, and to this effect :- That Gapower of mere language.
briella Heath had fallen violently in When I left England as attache to love with and married the man, a foreign embassy, it was partly to Wynn—and here some painful refershun the land of such cruel experi- ences to the disparity of their social ences, and partly because my fa- positions, and her broken-hearted ther feared that, if at home, a mor- parents, were given that he had bid desire to find out what had brought her home to his father's
farm, and had been a good husband the terrible waking from the ideal to to her, in spite of the objections of the real, the discovery, too late, that his family to seeing a fine lady the idol of gold was an idol of clay among them; that she was proud --what these must have been to a and violent, unwilling to conciliate highly-wrought and sensitive nature. her new relations, and accustomed “God forbid ! gentlemen of the to exasperate her husband by inces- jury," he said, “ that I should atsant scenes of scornful reproach and tempt to palliate this crime ; but in vituperation; that on one of these shrinking from the act, I cannot occasions, returning home, tired out forget the provocation. Trampled from a day's labour, she met him on and insulted by the man through with such a volley of unprovoked whom she had lost all-name and and bitter taunts, that, in a fit of fame, home and friends - reviled indigaation, he raised his hand, and and disowned for him, deceived and struck her. That night he was degraded by him, this woman expifound murdered in his bed. Such ated in years of bitterness—whu can was the substance of the accusation, estimate their bitterness ?—the crime without the comments and remarks of having loved too faithfully. But with which it was interspersed. even the veriest worm will turn at The prisoner--my soul revolted at length. There came a day when the expression-pleaded guilty, and the one drop that filled it to oversullenly refused to say å word in flowing was poured into this woman's extenuation of her crime. But the cup. Encouraged by the applauding unhappy woman was not wholly for- jeers of every member of his family, saken. Some distant connexions of the brutal coward struck her as she the Heath family, anxious, if pos- stood alone among them, in her sible, to lessen the additional dis- fatal defenceless superiority. Was grace which threatened their doomed it the blood of a thousand ancestors house, had engaged for the defence that rushed with tumultuous rebelone of the ablest lawyers of the lion to her brain? Was it the last day; and he certainly made as agonised throe of a yet unbroken much out of his miserable ma- spirit? I dare not conjecture. I terials as was possible. Ingeniously only know that, goaded to madness, avoiding any attempt at refutation in a frenzy of wild unconsciousness, of the crime, or any direct reference theunhappy woman rushed to avenge to the crushing facts of the accusa- her wrongs--to cancel her misery in tion, he slid, with apparent uncon- the crime for which she now stands sciousness, into the strain, always so charged before you." powerful with English juries, of an It was a well-imagined defence, - appeal to their sympathies. The and, I always thought, prompted the woman before them was still young recommendation to mercy which acand
very beautiful; and, in words of companied the verdict of guilty. In glowing eloquence, he wove, from consideration of that recommendathe stores of his imagination, a pa- tion, the sentence of death was com thetic tale of her life and sufferings. muted into one of transporation for First representing the young girl in life; and the subject dropped from her aristocratic home, surrounded the record of human events. These by all conceivable luxuries; then occurrences took place four years painting her romantic devotion, her after the death of Sir Andrew Heath. sacrifice of all for love ; and crown- In all the lacerating pain they ing the elaborate imaginary picture brought, it was yet a comfort to re by a vivid description of what the member that he had not lived to gradual disenchantment, the daily know them. From that time my and hourly loss of cherished illusions, native land became more than ever
distasteful to me. My father died, back to the cold hearth I had left, a
so old as almost to belong to all such associations; and not the records of a former generation; until thirty - five years of exile had yet this very night, my friends, I blanched my hair, and warned have learned that till within a few me of coming old age, did I venture hours ago it had a sequel.
As Sir Edward Ashby pronounced And then silence fell on the little the last words, he placed before the party. But that night, for the first doctor and clergy man the papers con time since its reoccupation, Ashby fided to the latter by the dying ser Hall harboured guests, for the clergyvant. They were three in number. man and doctor refused to leave
The first was a baptismal registry their friend alone with that strange of Gabriella Heath, daughter of Sir revelation, while the dead was yet in Andrew and Lady Gabriella Heath, the house. with date and local particulars.
A few days later, when a mourn. The second, a certificate of marri- ing train issued from the gates of the age between James Wynn and Ga- Hall, the lord of the manor attended briella Heath, with date and names as chief mourner, and truly“ of witnesses. The third, a ticket-of-leave, dis
the little port
Had seldom seen a costlier funeral. charge from prison for good conduct, granted to the convict, Gabby Wynn, But in this ordinary deference to and dated some six years back. the memory of an old servant, the
“My God!" exclaimed Dr. Nichol, people of Ashby only saw a confir“it cannot be possible! That strange. mation of their opinions respecting wizened creature—that mass of scar the “eccentric Sir Edward," who, red ugliness and deformity--"
being the greatest aristocrat and * Was once the peerless Gabriella landed proprietor in the neighbourHeath !" said Sir Edward, conclud hood, had given too deep offence to ing the doctor's sentence in the ab the county by his unexpected seclusent tones of a man whose thoughts sion and unaccountable inhospitality are far away from the subject on to be worthy a renewal of surprise. which he is speaking.
Others, whose greater curiosity took “ Truly, she was, as she herself them to the churchyard to inspect said, a deeply guilty sinner," mused the last testimonial to the object of Mr. Nugent, as he renewed in this homage, found only a simple thought the death-bed scene he marble slab, erected near the family now so fully comprehended; "but vault of the Ashbys and inscribed he mercy of God is infinite !"
with the simple letter, G. t
THE MISFORTUNES OF PIETRO
for the unfriendly feelings of any of MEDICIS,
the other states. To Cosmo succeeded a very dif But the great man was not long ferent and very
in his tomb when the family of the his son Pietro; a man of very Pitti formed a conspiracy to get rid limited understanding and ability, of Pietro, and thus effectually humble and one who inherited only one of the pretensions of the House of the business qualifications of his Medicis. Their family was distin. father, that of looking well to the guished in arts, and arms, and preservation of his property. The letters, even the then living three great scholar, Poggio, had forced a brothers and their seven cousinsknowledge of Latin and Greek into german, and why should it be overhis head; and made an attempt to shadowed by one whose only disintroduce philosophy along with tinction arose from success in busiit . But Pietro's brain was not ness? To the minds of these learnequal to its comprehension. Add ed and warlike scions of a noble to these defects, the presence of house, no means of humbling the gout in his system from the age of rival establishment presented itself fifteen, and the almost incapability but assassination. Such, four hunof using his hands and feet. Poor dred years since, were the amenities Pietro formed no exception to the of life in an Italian free republic. generality of the children of great Some knights of the poniard were men, when put in comparison with accordingly subsidised; and invited their fathers. Cosmo, well aware of from Romagna to take the life of the inability of his successor to sup
Pietro at an unguarded moment. A port the glory of his house, had, good round sum was guaranteed to during his latter years, interested his the little troop, to be handed over many friends in all the orders of the to their manager when the work was state in the weal of his successor. done ; and ample instructions and a He also endeavoured to strengthen favourable opportunity pointed out for him, and generally for the re- for its accomplishment. public, the good feelings of the King
Pietro's house was in the neighof Naples, Ferdinand of Arragon, bourhood of the gate at the lower and Galeas Sforza, Duke of Milan. part of the city. He himself was to While these potentates acted in con
return thither on a certain evening cert with Florence, he feared little from his country house, and the
assassins might conveniently wait had not inspired Pietro to go a for him outside the gate. To render round-about away to his home that harmless their appearance at that evening, they would have most cerlocality in a body, they were to tainly left him outside the gate as keep themselves employed in exer- dead as Julius Cæsar. Therefore cising their horses whenever they they were entitled to their full refound curious eyes directed towards ward, having achieved as much of them.
their stipulated duty as men on Nothing could at first promise mould could do." Their honourbetter than the design. Pietro set able employers could not see the out on his return at the hour ex- thing in this light. “They had not pected, his litter being merely ac finished the job for which payment companied by two attendants; but was covenanted. Let it be tried the he had not proceeded far when he next opportunity, and their money changed his purpose, and instead of awaited them. Otherwise they should returning directly home, he took be content with half pay--very good the road which led to the upper remuneration indeed for nothing part of the city, to pay a flying visit done." The master bravo would to a friend.
He arrived safely, have made an angry rejoinder to chatted with his friend, and was this speech, but something of a persuaded to stay and sup with threatening character in the mien of him. Darkness by this time having the padrones changed his intenti descended on the city, his host He said that he could do nothing would not allow him to proceed without the approval of his comrades
. homewards without a special good Their resolve he would respectfully guard of his own people.
communicate to the signorias Nightfall having arrived to the early as possible. For the present assassins without the arrival of their he would respectfully wish his man, they entered the city, and, patrons good day. separating into groups, watched the This he did ; but instead of quitdifferent approaches which conduct- ting the city he repaired to one of ed to Pietro's dwelling. One of his friends, who had access to Pietro, these groups had the fortune of see and requested him to inform the ing him approach in his litter at a great man that he was possessed of rather late hour, but alas, front and
a secret touching the weal of the rerear, and sides of his vehicle were public and his own life, and that he guarded by stout fellows well armed.
was prepared to exchange this secret Nothing was to be done, and the for a full pardon for all offences
, and separate little bodies being informed a certain sum of money in hand. of the mischance, betook themselves This message the friend delivered, to the rendezvous, where it was and found Pietro much interested in agreed that they should return with-it
, for the sight of the strangers out delay to Romagna, all save their stationed at the outlets of his manmanager, who wonld needs remain sion had left a disagreeable impresto touch the reward.
sion on his mind. The bandit was Alack-a-day! a difference arose treated in such an open and liberal between his learned and warlike fashion as to entirely remove all employers and himself. His opinion mistrust, and he candidly revealed was that he and his men honourably
the plot, the hiring of himself and fulfilled their part of the contract. his band, and the failure of the “They had punctually attended at attempt. "The Gonfalonier being inthe appointed place, and if some in formed of the occurrence, seized on fluence inimical to the views of the conspirators, brought them to the gentlemen of their profession trial, and a sentence of exile in per