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attack him. Still, he had some valuables about him; and all things except reason and order are possible with a mob. But necessity does the work of courage. He went on towards the Ponte Vecchio, the rush, and the trampling, and the confused voices getting so loud before him that he had ceased to hear them behind.
For he had reached the end of the street, and the crowd pouring from the bridge met him at the turning and hemmed in his way. He had not time to wonder at a sudden shout before he felt himself surrounded, not, in the first instance, by an unarmed rabble, but by armed Compagnacci; the next sensation was that his cap fell off, and that he was thrust violently forward amongst the rabble, along the narrow passage of the bridge. Then he distinguished the shouts, “Piagnone! Medicean! Piagnone! Throw him over the bridge!"
His mantle was being torn off him with strong pulls that would have throttled him if the fibula had not given way. Then his scarsella was snatched at; but all the while he was being hustled and dragged; and the snatch failed
- his scarsella still hung at his side. Shouting, yelling, halfmotiveless execration rang stunningly in his ears, spreading even amongst those who had not yet seen him, and only knew there was a man to be reviled. Tito's horrible dread was that he should be struck down or trampled on before he reached the open arches that surmount the centre of the bridge. There was one hope for him, that they might throw him over before they had wounded him or beaten the strength out of him; and his whole soul was absorbed in that one hope and its obverse terror.
Yes - they were at the arches. In that moment Tito, with bloodless face and eyes dilated, had one of the selfpreserving inspirations that come in extremity. With a sudden desperate effort he mastered the clasp of his belt, and fung belt and scarsella forward towards a yard of clear space against the parapet, crying in a ringing voice,
"There are diamonds! there is gold!"
In the instant the hold on him was relaxed, and there was a rush towards the scarsella. He threw himself on the parapet with a desperate leap, and the next moment plunged plunged with a great plash into the dark river far below.
It was his chance of salvation; and it was a good chance. His life had been saved once before by his fine swimming, and as he rose to the surface again after his long dive he had a sense of deliverance. He struck out with all the energy of his strong prime, and the current helped him. If he could only swim beyond the Ponte alla Carrara he might land in a remote part of the city, and even yet reach San Gallo. Life was still before him. And the idiot mob, shouting and bellowing on the bridge there, would think he was drowned.
They did think so. Peering over the parapet along the dark stream, they could not see afar off the moving blackness of the floating hair, and the velvet tunic-sleeves.
It was only from the other way that a pale olive face could be seen looking white above the dark water: a face not easy even for the indifferent to forget, with its square forehead, the long low arch of the eyebrows, and the long lustrous agate-like eyes. Onward the face went on the dark current, with inflated quivering nostrils, with the blue veins distended on the temples. One bridge was passed the bridge of Santa Trinità. Should he risk landing now rather than trust to his strength? No. He heard, or fancied he heard, yells and cries pursuing him. Terror pressed him most from the side of his fellow-men: he was less afraid of indefinite chances, and he swam on, panting and straining. He was not so fresh as he would have been if he had passed the night in sleep
Yet the next bridge - the last bridge - was passed. He was conscious of it; but in that tumult of his blood, he could only feel vaguely that he was safe and mightland. But where? The current was having its way with him: he hardly knew where he was: exhaustion was bringing on the dreamy state that precedes unconsciousness.
But now there were eyes that discerned him
aged eyes, strong for the distance. Baldassarre, looking up blankly from the search in the runlet that brought him nothing, had seen a white object coming along the broader stream. Could that be any fortunate chance for him? He looked and looked till the object gathered form: then he leaned forward with a start as he sat among the rank green stems, and his eyes seemed to be filled with a new light. Yet he only watched motionless. Something was being brought to him.
The next instant a man's body was cast violently on the grass two yards from him, and he started forward like a panther, clutching the velvet tunic as he fell forward on the body and flashed a look in the man's face.
Dead was he dead? The eyes were rigid. But no, it could not be - justice had brought him. Men looked dead sometimes, and yet the life came back into them. Baldassarre did not feel feeble in that moment. He knew just what he could do. He got his large fingers within the neck of the tunic and held them there, kneeling on one knee beside the body and watching the face. There was a fierce hope in his heart, but it was mixed with trembling. In his eyes there was only fierceness: all the slow-burning remnant of life within him seemed to have leaped into flame.
Rigid — rigid still. Those eyes with the half-fallen lids were locked against vengeance.
Could it be that he was dead? There was nothing to measure the time: it seemed long enough for hope to freeze into despair.
Surely at last the eyelids were quivering: the eyes were no longer rigid. There was a vibrating light in them - they opened wide.
Ah, yes! You see me you know me!”
Tito knew him; but he did not know whether it was life or death that had brought him into the presence of his injured father. It might be death — and death might mean this chill gloom with the face of the hideous past hanging over him for
But now Baldassarre's only dread was, lest the young limbs should escape him. He pressed his knuckles against the round throat, and knelt upon the chest with all the force of his aged frame. Let death come now!
Again he kept his watch on the face. And when the eyes were rigid again, he dared not trust them. He would never loose his hold till some one came and found them. Justice would send some witness, and then he, Baldassarre, would declare that he had killed this traitor, to whom he had once been a father. They would perhaps believe him now, and then he would be content with the struggle of justice on earth
then he would desire to die with his hold on this body, and follow the traitor to hell that he might clutch him there.
And so he knelt, and so he pressed his knuckles against the round throat, without trusting to the seeming death, till the light got strong, and he could kneel no longer. Then he sat on the body, still clutching the neck of the tunic. But the hours went on, and no witness came. No eyes descried afar off the two human bodies among the tall grass by the riverside. Florence was busy with greater affairs, and the preparation of a deeper tragedy.
Not long after those two bodies were lying in the grass, Savonarola was being tortured, and crying out in his agony, “I will confess!”
It was not until the sun was westward that a waggon drawn by a mild grey ax came to the edge of the grassy margin, and as the man who led it was leaning to gather up the round stones that lay heaped in readiness to be carried away, he detected some startling object in the grass. The aged man had fallen forward, and his dead clutch was on the garment of the other. It was not possible to separate them: nay, it was better to put them into the waggon and carry them as they were into the great Piazza, that notice might be given to the Eight.
As the waggon entered the frequented streets there was a growing crowd escorting it with its strange burden. No one knew the bodies for a long while, for the aged face had fallen forward, half hiding the younger. But before they had been moved out of sight, they had been recognized. Romola. II.
“I know that old man," Piero di Cosimo had testified. “I painted his likeness once. He is the prisoner who clutched Melema on the steps of the Duomo."
“He is perhaps the same old man who appeared at supper in my gardens," said Bernardo Rucellai, one of the Eight. “I had forgotten him — I thought he had died in prison. But there is no knowing the truth now.”
Who shall put his finger on the work of justice, and say, “It is there?” Justice is like the kingdom of God it is not without us as a fact, it is within us as a great yearning.
Romola's Waking. Romola in her boat passed from dreaming into long deep sleep, and then again from deep sleep into busy dreaming, till at last she felt herself stretching out her arms in the court of the Bargello, where the flickering flames of the tapers seemed to get stronger and stronger till the dark scene was blotted out with light. Her eyes opened, and she saw it was the light of morning. Her boatwas lying still in a little creek; on her right hand lay the speckless sapphire-blue of the Mediterranean; on her left one of those scenes which were and still are repeated again and again, like a sweet rhythm, on the shores of that loveliest sea.
In a deep curve of the mountains lay a breadth of green land, curtained by gentle tree-shadowed slopes leaning towards the rocky heights. Up these slopes might be seen here and there, gleaming between the tree-tops, a pathway leading to a little irregular mass of building that seemed to have clambered in a hasty way up the mountain-side, and taken a difficult stand there for the sake of showing the tall belfry as a sight of beauty to the scattered and clustered houses of the village below. The rays of the newly-risen sun fell obliquely on the westward hom of this crescent-shaped nook: all else lay in dewy shadow. No sound came across