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red wedge; with their wings waving as
evenly as guardsmen march, they float away,
a cloud of living fire. They were named
flamingo from flamma. Not less interesting
than their flight is to see from a
distance thousands stalking gracefully along the
shores of the stagni, like a fringe of crimson
silk fanned by the evening breeze. They
seldom breed in the stagni. They probably
prefer Africa; but, occasionally a nest is
founda conical pile of weeds, shells, &c.,
raised about two feet and a half high; on
which, having deposited their eggs, they sit
astride, with their long legs hanging down, à
la fourchette, as the French would say, and
hatch. The Romans considered flamingoes'
brains and tongues a delicacy. The modern
Sardes seldom eat them, but make a musical
pipe of the shank bone for their national
instrumenta sort of abominable bagpipe.

At another point of the Sardinian coast,
near Oristana, are lagunes, which afford
very remarkable fishing, only second in
importance to that of the tunny described in
Household Words. These lagunes are about
seven miles long, and four and a half wide,
divided off by thick fences of reeds into three
partitions, some of which are lifted up to
admit the shoals of fish that come from
the sea. On the occasion of a battue for the
amusement of the viceroy, all the fences
were closed up. Across the first and lowest
division, a long net, drawn by a hundred
men, preceded by a few yards an immense
barge, which, gradually moving forward,
drove all the fish to the next division, when
the doors were closed; and so on, till arriving
at the third, the slaying process commenced.
Fifty men, nearly naked, each with a net
bag round the waists, a bludgeon in the right
hand, leaped into the water, and proceeded
to seize and slay, until the mass had
disappeared from the surface; and then they dived
and struggled for more. Some active fish
leaped into the boat; some, over the nets in
the rear; some, falling plump in the fishers'
faces, overturned them heavily. At length the
wallets were full, and the mermen ceased for
a short rest, then recommenced until the
whole harvest was gleaned.

After the fishing came a breakfast of countless
kinds of fish, dressed in various manners
most delicious, but to be imagined rather
than described. The viceroy declared that he
should never forget a Cabras fish feast, and
the traveller said the same. This Cabras
fishery was rented at two thousand three
hundred and four pounds a year, and was
offered for sale at forty-two thousand two
hundred and forty pounds. The value of
each battue varies from two pounds to forty
pounds sterling.

Sardinia is not less rich in flocks, and
herds, and corn-fields, than in game, fish,
and fruit. The ground has sometimes been
manured with unsold cheese. The people
are good people, of whom, with roads and
other means of communication and civilisation,
combined with useful suitable education,
much might be made. We may, perhaps,
another time, say something of their manners,
customs, habits, costumes, poems, legends,
and laws. There are few countries in Europe
that offer more promising results for
commerce and agriculture, wisely encouraged,
than the island of the Sardes. It might be
well worth the attention of some of those
who seek profits and adventures on the other
side of the world. The Sardes can produce a
mass of the forest and field produce we most
require; and they are rather prejudiced in.
favour of Englishmen than disposed to object
to their company.

            THE YELLOW MASK.


ABOUT eight months after the Countess
d'Ascoli had been laid in her grave in the
Campo Santo, two reports were circulated
through the gay world of Pisa, which excited
curiosity and awakened expectation
everywhere. The first report announced that a
grand masked ball was to be given at the
Melani Palace, to celebrate the day on which
the heir of the house attained his majority.
All the friends of the family were delighted
at the prospect of this festival; for the old
Marquis Melani had the reputation of being
one of the most hospitable, and, at the same
time, one of the most eccentric men in Pisa.
Every one expected, therefore, that he would
secure for the entertainment of his guests, if
he really gave the ball, the most whimsical
novelties in the way of masks, dances, and
amusements generally, that had ever been

The second report was, that the rich
widower, Fabio d'Ascoli, was on the point of
returning to Pisa, after having improved his
health and spirits by travelling in foreign
countries; and that he might be expected to
appear again in society, for the first time
since the death of his wife, at the masked
ball which was to be given in the Melani
Palace. This announcement excited special
interest among the young ladies of Pisa.
Fabio had only reached his thirtieth year;
and it was universally agreed that his return.
to society in his native city could indicate
nothing more certainly than his desire to find
a second mother for his infant child. All the
single ladies would now have been ready to
bet, as confidently as Brigida had offered to
bet eight months before, that Fabio d'Ascoli
would marry again.

For once in a way, report turned out to be
true, in both the cases just mentioned.
Invitations were actually issued from the Melani
Palace, and Fabio returned from abroad to
his home on the Arno.

In settling all the arrangements connected
with his masked ball, the Marquis Melani
showed that he was determined not only to