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wide world ? .. Unhappy child, would that thou hadst never been born!” and all day long she lamented; but her tears availed her little. The others were not slow in returning to claim their due ; and there were no tidings of the thief; he had fled far away with his plunder. A process against her was instantly begun in BOLOGNA; and what defence could she make, --how release herself from the obligation of the bond? Wilfully cr in negligence she had parted with the gold, ---- she had parted with it to one, when she should have kept it for all; and inevitable ruin awaited her! “Go, GIANETTA,” said she to her daughter, " take this veil which your mother has worn and wept under so often, and implore the counsellor Calderino to plead for us on the day of trial. He is generous, and will listen to the unfortunate. But, if he will not, go from door to door; Monaldi cannot refuse
Make haste, my child; but remember the chapel as you pass by it. Nothing prospers without a prayer.”
Alas! she went, but in vain. These were retained against them; those demanded more than they had to give; and all bade them despair. What was to be done? No advocate; and the cause to come on to-morrow !
Now GIANETTA had a lover; and he was a student of the law, a young man of great promise, LORENZO MARTELLI. He had studied long and diligently under that learned lawyer, GIOVANNI ANDREAS, who, though little of stature, was great in renown, and by his contemporaries was called the Arch-doctor, the Rabbi of Doctors, the Light of the World. Under him he had studied, sitting on the same bench with Petrarch; and also under his daughter NOVELLA, who would often lecture to the scholars when her father was otherwise engaged, placing herself behind a small curtain lest her beauty should divert their thoughts from the subject; a precaution in this instance at least unnecessary, LORENZO having lost his heart to another. 298
To him she flies in her necessity; but of what assistance can he be? He has just taken his place at the bar, but he has never spoken; and how stand up alone, unpractised and unprepared as he is, against an array that would alarm the most experienced? -"Were I as mighty as I am weak," said he, "my fears for you would make me as nothing. But I will be there, GIANETTA; and may the Friend of the friendless give me strength in that hour! Even now my heart fails me; but, come what will, while I have a loaf to share you and
your mother shall never want. I will beg through the world for you."
The day arrives, and the court assembles. The claim is stated, and the evidence given. And now the defence is called for — but none is made; not a syllable is uttered; and, after a pause and a consultation of some minutes, the judges are proceeding to give judgment, silence having been proclaimed in the court, when LORENZO rises and thus addresses them: “Reverend signors. Young as I am, may I venture to speak before you? I would speak in behalf of one who has none else to help her; and I will not keep you long. Much has been said ; much on the sacred nature of the obligation—and we acknowledge it in its full force. Let it be fulfilled, and to the last letter. It is what we solicit, what we require. But to whom is the bag of gold to be delivered? What says the bond? Not to one—not to twobut to the three. Let the three stand forth and claim it."
From that day (for who can doubt the issue ?) none were sought, none employed, but the subtle, the eloquent LORENZO. Wealth followed fame; nor need I say how soon he sat at his marriage-feast, or who sat beside him.
One of two things MONTRIOLI may have,
He clanks his fetters to disturb my peace.
Much to be grateful for; but most has he,
What men most covet, wealth, distinction, power,
THEY stand between the mountains and the sea;
The brazen gates for prayer and sacrifice !
How many centuries did the sun go round
From my youth upward have I longed to tread This classic ground. And am I here at last? Wandering at will through the long porticos, And catching, as through some majestic grove, Now the blue ocean, and now, chaos-like, Mountains and mountain-gulfs, and, half-way up, Towns like the living rock from which they grew ? A cloudy region, black and desolate, Where once a slave withstood a world in arms.
The air is sweet with violets, running wild 302 'Mid broken friezes and fallen capitals; Sweet as when Tully, writing down his thoughts, Those thoughts so precious and so lately lost 303 (Turning to thee, divine Philosophy,