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always with abundance of light and noiseto give
due premonitory notice of their approach.

Bartolommeo Canacci, it will be remembered,
had been left in the fatal house paralysed
by terror and imbecility, and almost in a state
of deliquium. As soon, however, as the assassins
had departed, carrying away with them the most
frightful of the evidences of their crime, and the
house remained in dead stillness, with the
exception of the helpless wailing, which from time
to time came from the chamber of old Giustino,
Bartolommeo's excess of terror had subsided.
As soon as he ascertained that in truth he and
his bedridden old father were the only living
beings remaining in the house, thoughts of turning
the occasion to his own advantage began to
arise in his mind. And when the officers of
justice entered, he was found rifling the coffers
in the old man's chamber, heedless of his mingled
entreaties and imprecations.

It was a matter of course, according to the
traditions of the Florentine police, that both
these, the evidently helpless father, as well as the
presumptively guilty son, should be arrested.
Nor did the zeal of the "Bargello"* and his
officers cease there in a matter the scandal of
which was the talk of every tongue, gentle and
simple, in Florence. Several other relatives of
the unfortunate family, with their wives and
families, some of them resident in villas at a
distance from Florence, were arrested and lodged
in the Bargello. Of course nobody, official or
unofficial, had the slightest idea that these
unhappy people were in any way guilty of the
horrible crime, but it was desirable that
something should be done, and some activity
manifested. And although the real authoress of the
crime, and the motive of it, were well known, it
was especially necessary that "Justice" should
not presume to lay her hand on personages
placed so far above her. It was necessary,
also, or at least decent and desirable, that,
although in fact the truth of the matter was no
mystery, the city and the authorities should
pretend to know something very different. One
"proces-verbal" accordingly was drawn up
containing a true account of the facts of the case as
far as they could be known; and a second
fictitious one, in which nothing was suffered to
appear derogatory in any way to "persons of
condition." The first document was sedulously
locked away from the light of day among the
secret archives of the court, in company with
much else which it was fondly hoped would
never be exposed to the public eye. The second
was given to the world as the result of the most
accurate investigation that justice could make
into the history of so monstrous an enormity.

* The chief of the Florentine police, as well as
the prison over which he presided, was so called.

The depositions of the Signori Carlini and
Serselli were also taken. They related what
they had seen in the Casa Canacci, and
afterwards from the window of the adjoining house.
Of course their evidence criminated no one on
whom the police could lay hands except the
wretched Bartolommeo. It was proved that the
assassins who had entered the house had obtained
access to it by his means, and had come in in his
company. In a short timeas it seems to have
appeared to the Florentine public of that day:
that is to say, in a few monthsthe unfortunate
old man was allowed to return to his own bed to
die, and the other manifestly innocent members
of the family were liberated. But Bartolommeo,
and a brother of his, who appears to have had
nothing whatever to do in the matter from first
to last, were tortured. And the agony of the
rack soon forced from Bartolommeo a complete
confession of the whole circumstances of the
conspiracy and the crime. This confession, of
course, could not be suffered to reach the public.
But it sufficed to furnish the majesty of the law
with the victim which was needed for its
decorum, and for the finishing of the affair with a
proper and satisfactory coup de th√©√Ętre.

Bartolommeo was, to a certain extent, guilty.
Possibly he was not altogether the dupe of the
story the duchess had told him, as to the scope of
her vengeance. At all events, he was guilty of being
caught in the act of rifling his father's coffers.
And the majesty of the law accordingly took his
life with a very tranquil conscience. On the
27th of November, 1639, he was beheaded in that
blood-saturated old court-yard of the Bargello,
nearly a year after the committal of the crime.

Many prayers, and the intercession of powerful
mediators, were employed to induce Salviati to
pardon and become reconciled to the Lady
Veronica. But they were all in vain. Reiterated
supplications from the duchess reached him.
Strong remonstrances were addressed to him by
the Prince Carlo, her father, by the cardinals of
the familyAlderano and Odoardoby Ricciarda
Gonzaga, and by other connexions. Many of the
ruling sovereigns of Italy endeavoured to
influence him. Even the pontiff, Innocent the
Eleventh, used his authority in favour of so
highly connected a murderess. But Salviati was
inflexible in his determination never again to see
the woman whose ruthless deed had desolated
his life and heart. He never did see her again
after that fatal New Year's morning. He died,
unforgiving and broken-hearted.

The lot of the Duchess Veronica was a
different one. She lived to a great age, residing
chiefly at Massa. She became (as might have
been foreseen) exemplarily religious in her life;
and at her death was deemed little less than a
canonised saint by all the population of the small
territory of her family.

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