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into the aisle, and thus grimly spoke to him: "So, thou art there, thou glorious faithful one? Thou sbalt live in the Kingdom-tocome with the Marlis. Come in, bird, into the house; " continued he, curving his fore-finger, and beckoning to Frederick with it; "advance and join the committee." A change came over his face in a moment; he unlocked the door; threw it open; dragged out the body of Romelli with awful violence; then turning to Hume, tried to speak, but could not, from violent emotion. He continued for a minute, merely pointing to the body, but at length he said, "So, there it is out: 1 would not have its blood mingle with my sister's ashes."
"Most murderous wretch," cried Frederick, grappling with him; "how didst thou dare call me to witness this?" "Sir, I thought your good opinion of some value, and I called you to see me approve myself a man of justice." "A wild beast thou! say a fiend rather; but thou shalt answer for it." "Ha!" cried Marli, with desperate energy, casting himself free from Hume's hold—" Hear me, sir, now my brother: Go, weep for the little wren that dies in a tussle with the blue cuckoo, but give not your sympathy to that carrion, for he was a wretch, whose heart-strings might, unscathed, have tied up the forked bundles of lightning, so callous were they, so wicked, so callous. For your wife's sake, my sister, do not. Moreover you must leave this country instantly; and for your kindness to my sister, I shall go with you wherever you go, and be your slave till death, because in that I shall be honouring her." "A discreet travelling companion, forsooth! '' returned Hume. "Harkye, sir: like fire and water 1 can be a good servant; but my mastery, if your negative to my proposal put it upon me, may be equally dangerous." "Granted,—in the matters of Italian assassination," said Frederick. "But, suppose, sir, that this very moment I dispute your mastery? Suppose I tell you that even now my eye is upon you, and that I do not mean to let you leave the churchyard without a desperate effort on my part to secure your person?" "I shall not stay at present," said Cardo, "to show you how easily I can defy you, armed as I am. Let us come to the point. You love Signora Romelli, and she loves you. Well:—But you shall never marry her, for her vile father's sake. She shall never sit a bride on the throne of your heart, which my sister Charlotte could not gain: Nay, she shall never wear for you the comely garment of marriage, which my sister Charlotte gained. She shall never be happy as a wife, where my sister Charlotte could not be happy as a wife. I will flee this instant, and you will be suspected of Romelli's murder. 1 have put things in such a train, that suspicion must naturally fall upon you. No one, save yourself, and another whom I can trust, has seen me in this visit to your neighbourhood. The deed has been done with your own pistol and dagger, with which, besides the key to open the aisle door, my knowledge of Mrs Mather's premises enabled me secretly to provide myself a few nights ago. If you think it could serve you aught in the court of justice to produce my card of to-day, inviting you hither, look at it again, and see that it is not signed. Moreover, on a more careful glance, you will find it a fair imitation of your own hand-writing, so that it would instantly be declared an ex post facto forgery—a poorly-conceived contrivance. That dead dog was honoured likewise with a note of invitation, but I took care to put such dangerous hints in it, that he would not fail to burn it as soon as read. Moreover, on your way hither, you met two villagers, who, by a shrewd contrivance of mine, which it is needless at present to explain, were drawn to the road, notwithstanding the late hour, and who could not fail to recognise you, though they might not speak. Now, sir, do you see how you are beleaguered? You can hardly escape a condemning verdict: And even were it 'Not Proven,' still the lurking suspicion against you, which such a niggardly acquittal implies, would for ever prevent the fine-souled Julia Romelli from becoming your wife. Now for your alternative of choice:—Shall I leave you—and will you stay—to be confounded in this country? Or will you not rather flee with me instantly, where both of us shall be safe; and where, because you so honoured and tried to save the twin-sister of my being, my beloved one, I shall tame my safety, and my pride, and my powers, to be. with you day and night as your companion and friend? Remember, either alternative will equally well serve my ends.'' "I have listened to you well, you must allow," said Hume; "and I have come to the conclusion, that your ingenuity and finesse are admirable; but what a pity it is that they should all go for nothing! To show you, sir, what an overweening fool you are, I will constrain myself to tell you, that Julia Romelli is already married to Dr Stewart, in consequence of my choosing a bride elsewhere. Now, sir, seeing what my connexion with your family has already gained for me, can you still urge it upon me, as a very important acquisition, to secure your devoted and worshipful attendance? Faugh! your hand smells rankly, and I will not taste that bread which you have touched."
At this announcement of Miss Romelli's marriage, Marli gave a sort of involuntary scream. With trembling earnestness he then drew forth his bloody handkerchief, tied one end round his neck, and proffered the other to Dr Hume, with the following words: "Is it so, sir? Is Julia lost to you? I knew not of this: and now 1 do not rejoice. But take the napkin, sir, and lead me away to justice: Take it, sir, if you wish any triumph over our family. By the souls of all my race, I shall follow you quietly as a lamb, for you have suffered too much already, from the Marlis. Not one hair of your noble head shall for this murder come into danger. Not one suspicion shall attach to your cloudless name. Had the law seized you, by my soul's being I would not have let you die, though I wished you never to get Julia Romelli for your wife. As it now is, you shall not for a moment be impeached.—Lead me away."
Hume was puzzled what step now to take. He could have no wish to see Marli perish on the scaffold, even though he was a murderer; besides, that he would himself indirectly share the ignominy, from having been so allied to the family. But, then, on the other hand, though life might now be of little value to him, he would not have his honour called in question, nor his name linked with the suspicions of his having had any thing to do with such a vile deed of murder, which might assuredly happen to him were the real murderer to escape. He was, besides, though of a very ardent temperament, a man of a wise and well-constituted heart, and could not but think, that Marli should be directly responsible to the laws of a wise country for his outrageous act. In something like a compromise betwixt these feelings, he said, "I shall endeavour, sir, to keep the blame from myself, and fix it upon the proper culprit:— Should you make your escape, I shall defend myself as well as possible.''
uSo the die is cast against me," said Marli, who, notwithstanding the sincere spirit of his surrender, had perhaps clung to the hope, that Hume might yet be disposed to save him, by leaving the country with him for ever. "But I shall abide it—Take me now in tow, for I am impatient to grapple with my fate."
"Not at all,'' said Frederick; refusing the handkerchief, caring not for the outrageous effect of which the wild spirit of Marli seemed studious, in proposing the use of this bloody leading-string. He went close, however, by the side of the Italian, determined now to lay hold on him should he offer to escape. This, however, Antonio did not attempt; but, going quietly with Hume to the village, he himself roused the constables, stated to them his crime, and put himself under their care, to convey him to the jail of the neighbouring town, which was done without delay.
Marli was found guilty of Romelli's murder; and condemned to be executed in the churchyard where the murder was committed, —a place of execution certainly new and remarkable. Frederick Hume, according to a solemn promise which he had made to Marli, when one day he visited him in jail before his trial, again waited on the prisoner in his cell a few days before the appointed time ol execution. The Italian boy was sitting on his low pallet-bed, apparently in deep abstraction, and he sat for a minute after Frederick entered. His face was calm, and clearly pale, as if it had come out of the refiner's furnace; but his dark hair was raised a little above one of his temples, as if disordered by the wind; and there was an awful shadow and a trouble in the inner rooms of his eye. So soon as Hume named him, he arose, and advancing, kissed his visitor on the cheek, exclaiming earnestly, " My brother! My brother I"
"Well, then, my poor Antonio Marli," said Hume, much moved, " I trust you repent of your crime?"
"Why? and wherefore?" answered the prisoner, with a gesture of impatience. "But you shall hear me: When you were last in the jail with me, I was not in the vein for explanations, but now you shall hear and judge of Romelli's deserts. I would make you a prince, sir, if 1 could, but I have no other way of giving you honour, than by unfolding myself a little to you, which I would do were the confession to show my heart one molten hell.—My father, who, as you have already heard, was a clergyman in the north of Italy, was one stormy night returning home, through a small village, about a mile from our house, when he heard a poor sailor begging at a door for a lodging during the night, which was refused him. My good old father, remembering that he himself had a son a sailor, who might come to equal want, brought home with him the rejected seaman, gave him food and dry raiment, and made him sit with us by the parlour fire. The man was of a talkative disposition, and being, moreover, cheered by the wine which was plentifully given him, began voluntarily to tell us of his having been lately shipwrecked. 'And how could it be otherwise?' continued the mariner; 'how could that ship thrive? You will hear why she could not; for I know the whole story. Well, before sailing from Genoa, on our last voyage, our captain, who was a widower, had fallen in love with a young lady. Now, it so happened, that his mate, a nice young chap, liked the same damsel; and she, in return, preferred him to the sulky captain, who, in consequence, was mightily huffed, and took every opportunity, after we had sailed from port, of venting his spleen against his rival. One day, being becalmed in the South Seas, near a beautiful green island abounding in wild game, the captain with a small party went on shore, to have some sport in shooting kangaroos. To the surprise of every one the young mate was allowed to go with us, and glad he was, for te was a lad of fine mettle, and delighted in all sorts of amusement But no sooner had we landed, than the captain turned to him, and said peremptorily, 'Now, sir, you must watch the boat till we return.' Poor fellow, he knew his duty, though he felt the mean revenge, and folding his arms, he turned quickly round with his face from us, which was burning with anger, and began to hum a tune. After we had pursued our sport for some hours in the woods, we returned to the boat, and were surprised to find that the mate was not beside it. We saw him, however, about a hundred yards off, (for he had probably been allured from his charge by seeing some game not far off,) hasting towards us. The captain, trembling with malignant eagerness, ordered us all into the boat in a moment, and made us pull away as fast as possible from the poor young fellow, who, loudly demanding not to be left in such a wild place, dashed into the sea, and swam after us. Be sure all of us used our oars with as little effect as possible, to let him make his leeway. This he soon did, and took hold of the edge of the boat; when the cruel captain drew his hanger, and cut through his fingers, leaving him again to fall back into the sea. 'You dis obeyed my orders, sir, in not staying beside the boat,' cried the heartless savage, whom every soul of us would gladly have tossed overboard,though the instinct of discipline kept us quiet. As for the poor mate, he cast a bitter and reproachful glance at the boat, folded his arms, and diving down into the sea, was never more seen. How could the ship, that bore us with the monster, be blessed after such doings? She was beat to pieces on the coast of Sicily, and the captain and 1 alone escaped. He used me very scurvily thereafter, and I am not ashamed to tell his misdeeds. But it was a pity for the good ship, the Arrow.' 'O, God! hold fast my head!' exclaimed my father, on hearing the name of the vessel—' If—if—but tell me the captain's name.' 'Romelli.' 'And the mate's?' 'Hugo Marli;—a blylhe sailor!' 'My Hugo!—my own boy!' cried my father; and the old man's head sunk down upon his breast. Never shall I forget the wild strange manner in which our sailor-guest at this caught hold of the liquor that was standing on the table, drunk it all out of the bottle, and then fled from the house, leaving me alone, a little boy, to raise and comfort my father's heart. In a few days the old man died of a broken heart, and I was left alone with my twin sister Charlotte. Day and night I thought of Hugo, the gay and gallant sailor boy that all the maids of Italy loved, the pride and stay of my father's heart, who brought presents for Charlotte from far lands, and taught me to fish for minnows in the brook, and to pipe upon the jointed stems of the green wheat:—And all this was at an end