+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

books and manuscripts by the Grand-Duke
Ferdinand the Third, who, however,
relaxed in vigour the law enjoining every
printer to deposit in it a copy of all works
that issued from his press. The library is
open daily to the public from nine till three,
except on festivals, and perhaps few who
have been to Florence are ignorant of the
existence of the Magliabechiana. It contains
rich literary treasures. Among the most
valuable are counted the Mentz Bible of
1462, on vellum; the first edition of Homer,
printed at Florence, 1488, also on vellum
with miniatures, and presented to Pietro
de' Medicis; a copy on vellum of Dante,
1481, embellished with miniatures within
and niello without, presented by Laudino
to the Senate of Florence; a magnificent
copy of the Anthologia of Lascarius, 1494,
also a present to Pietro de' Medicis; with
other vellum copies of singular beauty of
the Florentine History of Leonardo Aretino
(Acciaioli's translation, Ven., 1476), and
of the Argonautica of Apollonius, Flor.,

This rich collection keeps green the
memory of one of the most singular of men,
and forms his proudest and most immortal
monument; and though his name may not
be generally familiar, yet none who visit
Florence and view the rich bequest he has
left to the peoples of all time, can fail to
feel curiosity as to his history.



THE next morning was destined to be
an eventful one at Beckworth. First of
all Mrs. Rouse entered her mistress's room
at an unusually early hour, and dragging
back the curtains with a violent jerk, as
though resolved that, at length, full
daylight should be thrown upon the iniquities
she was about to unveil, she began, in a
loud rousing voice:

"Well! I should say as it was time
you was awake, ma'am, and had your eyes
open to the pretty doin's as are goin' on in
this house! What did I tell you, ma'am?
Didn't I warn you, as you can't say I
didn't, that she was a artful designing
minx, and we should have trouble with
her before she'd been in the house a

"Mon Dieu, Rouse, what is the matter?
What is it? Do not keep me in suspense
in this way."

"The matter is, ma'am, I'm sorry to
have to say it, that she's been and got
round Mr. Lowndes, till he's just mad
after herand that's all about it. He
insulted me shameful yesterday when I come
into the room and found 'em together.
Not that I'd ha' spoke to you about that,
ma'am; no, not if it wasn't for what I was
witness to with my own eyes, last night.
I couldn't have believed that he could ha'
demeaned hisself to do such a thingI
couldn't, indeedyour own maid, and all!"

"Why, what on earth did he do? Mon
Dieu! woman, can't you speak?" cried
Mrs. Cartaret, sitting now bolt upright in
her bed, and beating the coverlet in her

"Do, ma'am?" responded the house-
keeper, who seemed to find a cruel
satisfaction in prolonging her mistress's
suspense. "It was doin's such as I never see in
this house. You might ha' knocked me down
with a feather, and I haven't slep' a wink
all night, to think how you've been deceived
you as had such a high opinion of the
young woman, ma'am, which you was
nourishing a viper in your bosom, as I well
foresaw." Then seeing that Mrs. Cartaret's
impatience was passing all bounds, and
that in another minute she would be out
of bed, and shaking Mrs. Rouse by the
collar (as the choleric old lady had once
been known to treat an obstinate house-
maid), she continued:

"I can hardly bring myself to say it,
ma'am; but they was a kissing and a
hugging of each other in the passage, and
she pretending to strugglethe artful
hussy! — till she saw me, and then she
took to her heels fast enough, I'll warrant
you! After that, ma'am, I suppose
you'll agree with me that the sooner the
jade's packed off, out o' the house, the

"Juste Ciel!" cried Mrs. Cartaret, clasping
her hands, "but it is impossible. My
good Rouse, you must be mistaken. What!
that quiet girl? Your eyes must have
deceived you. My son, alas! yes, he perhaps
foolish boy——"

"I tell you what it is, Mrs. Cartaret. I
don't wish to say nothin' disrespectful
against Mr. Lowndes, which it's my belief
it's much more the gal's fault than his, but
if you don't send her off, then and there,
I won't answer for the consequences; that's
all. If Mr. Lowndes is 'foolish' as you say,
ma'am, so much the worsehe'll get took
in the easier; and there's Mr. Dapper. I
don't know what it is the men see in the gal,
but she'd ha' made a fool of him, tooonly