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as though it would break with every puff of
wind, and the little sail fluttered like a
handkerchief upon the waves. In a moment it
disappeared, and we knew that our
foreboding had proved true." The rest of the tale
I had from the lips of the black-bearded official,
the sole survivor; and a wilder tale of human
passion does not often fall within the bounds
of sober truth.

The old mariner at starting had been placed
at the helm, as the most competent man of the
party; but there was an alarming difference
between the eddies, currents, and billows at
the cape, and the smooth waters of the Bay
of Naples. A monstrous cavallone appeared
in the distance; leaping, roaring, foaming,
it was close upon their quarter; its crest
overhung them; in an instant, said my
informant, they were swallowed up. The
boat was overturned, but the crewstruggling
desperately for liferose with it once more to
the surface, clinging to its bottom. In their
last agony they glared upon each other, face
to face among the beating waves, and the
loud execrations of his companions were
poured passionately on the ancient mariner,
whose want of skill was cursed as the fatal
cause of their despair. The hold of the poor
old fellow, weak with age and faint with
emotion, had not strength to bear him up
amid the tossing of the waters, and as his
grasp relaxed, the others watched his weakness
with a fiendish satisfaction. "It is some
consolation," exclaimed one, "to see you die
first, fool as you are." He did not hear the
latest maledictions, but went down in the
deep sea. The next who died was Raffaelluccio,
upon whose daily work the daily
bread of a mother and three sisters
depended; "I am stiff with cold and can hang
on no longer," he said to his companion.
"Get on my shoulders," was the answer of
the stronger man. And so he did, and so he
died, the living man with the dead weight
upon him grappling still for life and drifting
before the storm. The young boatman, the
other survivor, trembling himself upon the
brink of eternity, crept round to the dead
body, and having robbed it of a watch and
chain and other valuables, pushed it from the
shoulders of his friend into the sea. So there
remained these two men, clinging to the boat
and gazing on each other anxiously.

The thought had crossed the mind of the
young man that if they lived until they should
be thrown ashore, the surviving passenger
would require that he should deliver up the
watch and other valuables to the family of
Raffaelluccio. He may not have taken them
with a design of theft. He probably saw that
the dead body cumbered his companion, and
committed it from a good human motive to
the sea, having removed the jewellery. But
to retain possession of the property, his
conscience did not bid him shrink from
murder of which no eye of man would ever
see the stain. An unexpected blow would
silence his companion, and leave him on the
boat to drift to land, a sole survivor, quietly
made richer by the wreck. "I read it in his
eyes," said my informant. "The devil was in
them, and I watched him well, but a heavy
sea raised his side of the boatthat was his
opportunity; and immediately he struck a
heavy blow upon my head. If he was the
younger I was the stronger, and he summoned
me to struggle for my life, or for that chance
of life which either of us had upon the gulf of
waters. There was a horrible wrestling. I
am the only survivor.

"All that day, and through a stormy, pitch-dark
night, I lay tossed about, almost senseless,
in the Bay of Naples. But, before dawn
on the second day my boat was cast ashore at
Torre dell' Annunziata, and there locked
between two rocks. I had just strength to
crawl to the Coast Guard-house, in which I
perceived that lights were twinkling. I was
spurned. My papers were demanded.

"Faint as I was, in time I found it possible
to make the good officials understand my
case, and excuse the production of credentials
from the fishes. They took me in and treated
me with Christian kindness. My looks had
frightened them; my face was bloated, and my
eyes protruded like those of a lobster."

The mother of Raffaelluccio was living in
Capri, and I was there when the news came
back of her son's fate. In the darkness of an
October night, the ruined familythe
bereaved mother and her daughtersmounted
to their house-top, and turning towards the
sea, shrieked wildly for the son and brother
whom it held from them.

The voice of woe that then thrilled in my
ears will never be forgotten. I never knew
till then what agony could be, not expressed
only, but communicated by the wail of women.



THAT proud and wicked French nobility
who dragged their country to destruction,
and who were every day and every year
regarded with deeper hatred and detestation in
the hearts of the French people, learnt
nothing, even from the defeat of Agincourt. So
far from uniting against the common enemy,
they became, among themselves, more violent,
more bloody, and more falseif that were
possiblethan they had been before. The
Count of Armagnac persuaded the French
king to plunder of her treasures Queen
Isabella of Bavaria, and to make her a prisoner.
She, who had hitherto been the bitter enemy
of the Duke of Burgundy, proposed to join
him, in revenge. He attacked her guards and
carried her off to Troyes, where she proclaimed
herself Regent of France, and made him her
lieutenant. The Armagnac party were at
that time possessed of Paris; but, one of the
gates of the city being secretly opened on a