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the noblemen and students were endeavouring to comfort and support the venerable old man whom the scene had so dreadfully agitated, when An- ̧ tonio shouted aloud," Death and destruction! he was the man that did it!" He then recounted to them the terrible tale-he laid bare the hellish art and magical practices of the trembling Pietro-he told them of his own fearful interview with the dead-alive Crescentia. No sooner had he finished than a storm of wrath, curses, and abhorrence broke forth on all sides against the agonized sinnner; and in the blindness of their fury the people had wellnigh torn him in pieces on the spot. "Away with him," they cried, "to the gallows or the rack !" At this moment the inquisitors approached: Pietro raised himself up, and his person appearing to dilate, he struck out furiously around him with a giant's strength. He trode up to the corpse of Crescentia, which lay smiling before him like an image of holiness—he gazed upon it for a moment, and then, with eyes flashing fire, forced his way through the middle of the crowd. The people gave way before the terror of his presence, and he escaped into the streets. Here, however, the crowd rallied, and pursued him with yells and curses. Not being able to overtake him, they pelted him with stones; but at length the magician, bleeding and dropping with sweat, while his teeth chattered with agony, reached the threshold of his own door.
He secreted himself in the innermost chamber in his house, while Berecynth, curious to know what the disturbance was all about, went out into the street and encountered the full fury of the mob. "Seize the
devil's-mask!" cried they; "tear his famulus in pieces! The wretch does not know what the inside of a church is like.' Berecynth was seized-his cries and entreaties were in vain. Nothing was heard on all sides but imprecations and menaces of death. "Carry me before a judge," cried the dwarf," and my innocence will be made apparent.” The police upon this laid hold of him, and conveyed him to prison. The mob thronged after him. "Come along!" cried the jailer, "I have plenty of chains and fagots in readiness for you, my little man.' Berecynth endeavoured to escape, but the constables kept fast hold of him. One held him by the throat, another by the arms, another by the legs, and a fourth by the head, in order to make sure of their victim. While all this tumult was going on, and while the people were thus cursing and laughing, his bearers were driven suddenly asunder-a cravat remained in the hands of one of them, a jacket in the hands of another-the third held a cap, and the fourth a shoe -but the dwarf himself was nowhere to be seen. He could not be said to have escaped he had vanished-the people knew not how.
The mob now broke open the mansion of Abano, and found the magician lying dead and drenched in blood upon his couch. They plundered the house, and set on fire all the magical instruments, books, and other strange furniture which it contained; and now the city resounded with nothing but execrations on the man whom yesterday all had honoured as the very ambassador of God. Their abhorrence of his unheard-of wickedness was the greater on that very account.
THE HERMIT'S CELL.
A few days afterwards, when the popular agitation had somewhat subsided, the corpse of Pietro was buried at midnight, out of consecrated ground. The body of the fair Crescentia was also again solemnly interred. Then Antonio, and his friend Alphonso, determined to leave Padua― Antonio to go to Florence, and after having settled his affairs there, to retire into a cloister for life; and Alphonso to proceed to Rome, where a great festival was about to be celebrated by command of the Pope, and to which
all the neighbouring nations had been invited-and so the friends parted.
Antonio, desirous of avoiding all public notice, pursued his journey by the most unfrequented paths. One evening, about sunset, he found himself in a valley among the Apennines, where no habitation of any sort was to be seen. After wandering about for some time in the gathering darkness, he heard the sound of a hermit's bell in the distance. He walked forwards in the direction from whence the sound came, and at length reached
a small hut, situated in a thicket, which he entered by a wooden bridge that had been thrown across a torrent. Here he found an infirm old man, kneeling, in profound devotion, before a crucifix. The old man welcomed the youth kindly, prepared for him a bed of moss in an inner cave, which was separated by a door from his own cell, and placed before him a repast of fruits, water, and wine. When Antonio had refreshed himself, he sat up, enjoying the conversation of the monk, who, having been a soldier in his younger days, had seen a good deal of the world, and served in a number of campaigns. Thus it was near midnight before the youth thought of retiring to rest; and, just as he was doing so, another frail old monk entered the cell to join the hermit in his nightly devotions.
Antonio had not rested above an hour, when he wakened suddenly from his sleep. He thought he heard a noise of voices and wrangling. He raised himself up, and listened, until he was certain that his senses did not misinform him. The tones also appeared to be familiar to him, so that he could not help again asking himself whether he was not still dreaming. He rose and approached the door, and put his eye to a chink, through which he could see into the next room. And, what was his astonishment, when he beheld Pietro d'Abano-the man whom he considered dead-speaking in loud wrath his face flushed, and his eyes darting fire. Opposite him stood the figure of the hateful Berecynth.
"Your persecutor," cried the latter, in a cracked voice-"the man who is the cause of all your misery-the pious loving fool, is under the same roof with us. He has come to your very hand to be slaughtered like a tame rabbit, and yet you delay to strike!"
"Silence!" exclaimed Pietro; "I have consulted my familiars, and find that I cannot prevail against him, for as yet he has fallen into no sin."
"Then have at him, without minding your familiars!" cried the abortion. "Strike him dead with your own gracious hand, and see how much his youth or his innocence will avail him! And I must be a miserable second if I do not heartily back you in so honourable a deed."
"Let us fall to work, then," ex
claimed Pietro; "do you take the hammer-I will carry the hatchet. He is at this moment fast asleep."
They approached the door; upon which Antonio flung it wide open, and courageously came forward to confront his assailants. He had his drawn sword in his hand, but was struck motionless as a statue when he beheld, at some distance before him, nothing but two infirm old hermits on their knees at the cross, fervently breathing forth their prayers.
"Do you want any thing?" asked his entertainer, slowly rising from the ground.
Antonio could not reply for astonishment.
"Wherefore have you your drawn sword in your hand?" asked the frail old man; "why is your aspect so threatening?"
Antonio excused himself on the ground that he had been troubled by a dreadful dream, and retired.
He did not, however, attempt to go to sleep, so terribly was he agitated by what had happened. After a time he again heard Berecynth's cracked voice, and Pietro speaking to him in distinct tones.
"You see it is vain attempting it," said the latter; "he is armed, and on his guard, and is not likely to go to sleep again to-night.'
"We must overpower him, however," returned the fiend; " he has recognised us, and, if we do not settle him, our fate is sealed. He will hand us over to the Inquisition to-morrow morning, and it won't be tardy in consigning us to the stake."
Antonio again looked through the chink, and again he perceived the two sorcerers. Sword in hand, he dashed into the room, but, as before, he found nothing but two frail old men prostrate on the ground in prayer. Driven frantic by the illusion, he seized them in his arms, and wrestled with them violently. They turned upon him in despair; at one moment the countenance seemed to be that of Pietroat another, that of the hermit-then it seemed to be the spectre Berecynth's, and again that of an infirm old man. Amid shrieks and yells, he at last succeeded in hurling them out of the cell, which he bolted fast. Then was heard from without a sobbing of many voices, dying wailings, and dreary shrieks; while a storm passing over at the time, filled up the pauses of the concert. At
length Antonio, in spite of his agitation, fell asleep, resting on his sword, before the crucifix; and, when he awakened in the cold morning wind, he found himself lying on the top of a small rock, surrounded by thick woods, while he thought he heard a sound as if of scornful laughter dying away in
the distance. Not knowing what road to take, he wandered about at random during the greater part of that day; but, towards evening, reached the door of a collier's cottage, and on the following morning proceeded on his journey towards Florence.
THE MEETING IN ROME.
Antonio's object in going to Florence was to visit his family and relations. He was undecided what course of life to pursue, so much did he appear to be the sport of fortune, while the reality of existence, he thought, was no better than a miserable dream. He set his affairs in order; and, in his ancestral palace, gave himself up to grief, representing to himself in lively colours, in these well-known halls, his own misery and that of his parents. He often thought of that hateful witch, and of her who bore so close a resemblance to his affianced bride-that other Crescentia whom he had so strangely found and lost. This indo
lent prostration of mind, however, at length gave way to the desire of visiting Rome and its curiosities. He wished again to enjoy the society of his friend Alphonso and the father of Crescentia, who were living there; and accordingly he left Florence, and proceeded towards that city.
The tumult of Rome, so different from any thing he had been accustomed to in Florence or Padua, greatly surprised him as he entered that city. He thought he should never be able to find any of his friends amid the mighty throng. His satisfaction was therefore the greater, when, on going up to the capitol, he met Podesta coming down from the same. The old man took him home with him, where he had the gratification of paying his respects to the mother of his Crescentia.
The news of the singular death of Pietro, of Crescentia's strange restoration to life and subsequent disenchantment, had reached Rome upon every wind that blew. But of course many perverted and false versions of the story were abroad, and therefore the parents were both glad and grieved to hear the true account of it from Antonio's lips. The abhorrence expressed for the magician, by Crescentia's mother especially, was unbounded. In the bitterness of her soul, she
believed that he had been bribed by the Marconi family to poison her daughter; and that he had an additional motive thereto in the feeling, that he could again restore her to life for the gratification of his own diabolical pur
"Let us leave every thing to Providence," said the old man. "The circumstances as they stand are dreadful enough without our seeking to exaggerate them, by involving others in crimes of such unheard-of magnitude. However, be they guilty or innocent, I am resolved to disinherit the Marconi family, and shall leave all my possessions to the monasteries and other religious establishments here, in one of which I myself shall probably spend the remainder of my days."
"But," said the mother, with tears in her eyes, "what if it were possible to recover that other Crescentia-our lost daughter's twin-sister whom Antonio has told us about? During your absence she was stolen away from me in her infancy; and the ex pressions made use of before Antonio by that old witch, who was in the pay of the Marconi family, appear to me so remarkable, that I think we ought not even yet to despair of getting back our lost child."
"My good Eudoxia," replied the father, "lay aside your dreams and vain imaginations. We have nothing to hope for on this earth but death; and that it may be soft and holy, is the only boon we ought now to pray for at the hands of Heaven."
"And if afterwards, when too late, we were to find that our poor lost child might have been recovered, what would be our remorse for not having relied with greater confidence on the merciful dispensations of the Most High!"
Podesta threw a gloomy look on Antonio, as he rejoined "Nothing was wanting to complete our misery
but those idle imaginations of yours, which, by inspiring the mother of Crescentia with hopes that are never to be realized, have deprived her for ever of repose."
"May I ask you to explain yourself?" said Antonio.
"Young man," said the father, "since that night on which you pretended to have met
"Pretended!" cried Antonio, laying his hand on his sword. "Nay!" continued the old man, "let that pass. Far be it from me
to accuse you of falsehood. I know well the truth and nobleness of your nature. But do you think I can have failed to observe that your senses have been to a certain extent disordered ever since that unhappy night on which you met the funeral of my daughter of her who, on the following day, was to have been your bride? Then, during the night of agony you passed in the forest, is it wonderful that, in the excess of your passionate grief, you should have imagined that you again beheld the image of Crescentia and that you should have mixed up the vision with the remembrance of your own unhappy parents? Consider, were we able to discover
the smallest trace of the hut you said you had spent the night in, or of the robber you had slain? Not a vestigeand not a soul in the neighbourhood had ever heard either of the one or the other. No, my dear young friend, your meeting with my real dead daughter had turned your brain and overthrown your reason; and the same disordered fantasy will account for your vision of the hermit's cell, in which the image of the dead Pietro presented itself to your imagination. Believe me, all these phantoms were brought before your senses merely by the jugglery of pain and sorrow.
Antonio was perplexed, and knew not what to reply. Dreadfully as his faculties had been shaken by the loss of his beloved Crescentia, he yet felt convinced that the events of that awful night in the forest, were not the mere offspring of his imagination. At the same time, he became doubly desirous of restoring that second Crescentia to her disconsolate parents-if it were only for the purpose of convincing the sceptical Podesta of the truth of his story. With these feelings he bade them farewell, and went forth into the crowded streets of the city.
A NEW FRIEND.
As he was proceeding along the thronged thoroughfares, he caught an indistinct glimpse of what appeared to him to be the figure of the hideous old woman of the forest. In the utmost anxiety he pressed forward to overtake her, and had almost done so, when a long procession of pilgrims, streaming forth out of a side street, cut him off from the object of his pursuit, and, when the pageant had passed, the old woman was nowhere to be seen. In great perplexity, he ascended the steps of the Temple of St John, in order to obtain a more extensive view, and, while standing there, he felt a friendly tap upon the shoulder, and heard his name pronounced by a wellknown voice. On turning round, he recognised his Spanish friend Alphonso.
"Here you are," said the latter in a tone of cordiality, "on the very spot where I expected to find you." "What do you mean by that?" asked Antonio.
"Let us leave these crowded streets,"
said Alphonso, "where we can hardly hear ourselves speaking for the worse than Babylonian confusion of tongues that prevails."
Accordingly, they walked into the country, and here Alphonso informed his friend, that since he came to Rome he had addicted himself to the study of astrology, fortune-telling, and other similar pursuits-pursuits which he had formerly condemned, in the belief that they could be successfully practised only through the instrumentality of evil spirits. "But," continued he, " since I became acquainted with the incomparable Castalio, I have viewed these matters in a totally different light."
"Is it possible," cried Antonio, "that, after our terrible experience in Padua, you can again put your soul in peril by cultivating such studies? Are you, then, of opinion that the sciences which stand within the limits of nature and reason are not worth the pains bestowed upon them; and that all our labours ought to be de
voted to those which are based in deception, and in which, at any rate, no success is to be obtained except through fellowship with the powers of darkness?"
“Warmth, my good friend," rejoined the Spaniard, "is not argument. We are much too young to under stand ourselves thoroughly, or to have fathomed all the mysteries of the universe. And if you but saw the man to whom I owe so much, I am sure all your scruples would vanish. So pious is he, so simple; and so pure is the faith that may be read in the depth of his serene eyes."
"And what say you to Pietro?" replied Antonio. "Were not our feelings towards him precisely of this description?"
"No," answered his friend. "Pietro was a man who laid claim to more than mortal endowments. He came among us like an ambassador from heaven, and strove to dazzle the eyes of ordinary men by the brightness of supernatural accomplishments. He gloried in ceremony and pomp; and even in his condescension he made you feel the prodigious distance that separated him from you. But my new friend, Castalio, is quite a different sort of person. He does not deal in the magnificent or the sublime; rather believing that there must be something spurious or defective in the nature of those who indulge in over lofty aspirations; and that even the greatest of men, in the genuine consciousness of his soul, must bear witness to the truth that he, no less than the most ignorant beggar in the streets, is but a child of clay."
"You excite my curiosity," said Antonio. "Can he read the past and the future, and foretell the destinies of men? Can he, think you, unriddle for me the mysteries of own particular fate?"
"It is precisely in that sort of research that his wonderful capacity displays itself," answered Alphonso. "And he goes to work in an extremely simple and innocent manner.
are none of the customary adjurations, formulas, shrieks, and death-agonies, to be found in his practice. He has no magical apparatus, no crystals or imprisoned spirits-no mirror, or skeletons, or smoking incense vessels. He is in himself all-sufficient. I spoke to him of you, and he informed me that to-day, at this very hour, I should
find you standing on the steps of the Lateran church; and you see that it has so come to pass."
Antonio now became extremely anxious to be introduced to the gifted seer, and to learn from him his destiny. They dined in a garden in the country, and towards evening returned to town.
It was twilight when they entered a small street which ran behind the monument to Augustus. Here they crossed a little grass plot, and, knocking at the entrance of a small house, the door was opened, and, arm in arm -(Antonio filled with the most in. tense expectations)-the two friends walked into the hall.
A young nian, about thirty years of age, and with nothing remark able in his appearance, came forward to meet them. He greeted them with great simplicity of manner. "You are welcome," said he to Antonio," your Spanish friend has spoken so highly in your favour, that I have long been desirous of making your acquaintance. Only you must not imagine that you have come to an adept to whom all mysteries are known, or to a man before whom the foundations of hell tremble. No, my friend, a mere mortal man stands before you-one like yourself, or at least one whom you or any man may resemble, if you fear not to renounce the vain pursuits and tumults of the world, and to devote yourself to a life of severe and earnest study.
"Look around you," continued he, "this is my unostentatious dwellingplace-and in yonder chamber stands my bed. There is no room here for the mighty instruments and treacherous preparations of magic. You see here no circles, or glasses, or globes, or signs of the zodiac-and, in truth, there is no occasion for them. The man who, in humility and profound earnestness of purpose, descends into the depths of his own soul, in order to know himself, has all those secrets laid bare before him, which he would in vain, by any other process, conjure heaven and hell to render up. come ye like little children!' These are the words which throw wide the gates of the whole world of mystery
-Unsophisticate your nature; and then, though but for an hour or a moment, ye shall be lightened of the load laid upon you by the rash impiety of our first parents. then shall ye wander back into the bosom of parɛ,