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"It will not injure them at all, my
dearest. Pray let them proceed. And
yourself, sweet pythoness," continued the mother
- "does Apollo lift up the veil that covers
your own achievement."

"Ha! what is't that I see? A palace in
Rome! —- statues- columns- altars-
pictures! Artists in the antechambers
sculptors in the studio! The very fate I
dream of- the voice of the eternal city in
my ears- the mirror of the Tiber before my
eyes!"

"And your husband?" inquired the father.

"I see him not," continued the priestess, in
the full flow of vision."He must be somewhere,
but my heart is so filled with other things
there is no room for him- no, not a corner!
I see St. Angelo; and the pope is coming
forth at the great gate. He pauses when he
reaches my palazzo; his attendants stop;
his holiness descends from his coach; he
mounts the stair; he lifts me from my knee,
and says, 'Be blest, my daughter sister of
so many kings, you are also niece of a holy
cardinal!' "

A loud laugh interrupted the further
revelation, and the pythoness dropped her
petticoats to their full extent, and changed in
a moment her voice and attitude.

"So that's the fate reserved for me!"
exclaimed the abbé, who had entered
unperceived by the garden steps, accompanied by
Mucius Scævola, who, however, stayed in the
background and gazed into the sky, as if he
were studying the moon. "And truly,
Paolina the gipsy, it is a fortune greatly to
be desired. Red stockings and high-heeled
shoes are a very becoming wear when a man
happens to have a handsome foot and a
well-formed leg."

"But where have you been all day?"
inquired the lady. "We have expected you
here some hours ago."

"O! sister of the dark eyes, gracious and
kind!" answered the priest, "we have had
an adventure. Come hither, majestic Scævola,
the enemy of kings, and tell your respected
ancestress what mighty deeds you have
accomplished. Listen, children all, for Æneas
is about to enchant the ears of the maternal
Dido, and we must all keep silence-
conticuere omnes."

Mucius Scævola advanced to the front
of the arbour. A young man of finely
proportioned figure; a face of correct and
classical outline, with a mouth of almost
feminine softness; a roundness of chin
which might have been envied by Hebe, and
eyes so dark, so deep, so noble in their
expression, that they would have been fitting
instruments to threaten and command in the
countenance of Jove himself. He was
dressed in a green velvet jacket with wide
sleeves, slashed and filled in with pink satin;
wide trowsers of a light colour extended
only down to an inch or two below the knee,
and ended in a profusion of red ribbons,
which fluttered half-way to the ankle. His
stockings were spangled with silver, and his
shoes had silver buckles.

"Your native dress," said his mother, in a
tone of joy, when she saw him. "Ah! how
it gladdens my heart that you have not
altogether deserted the costume of your
youth!"

Before the young man had time to reply,
the priest broke forth:

"'Tis by a special miracle the youth has
any apparel at all. Some person unknown
to us must have prayed to the Virgin, and
she must have made Jiacinto the tailor
forget to send home Giuseppe's new suit;
for on landing on the quay, wet and
torn-"

"How's that?" exclaimed the mother.
"Were you wrecked in that little skiff,
and dashed upon the rocks? O! tell
me."

"Forgive me, dearest, for remarking,"
said the more apathetic father, "that you
only hinder the reverend brother from
continuing his narrative. It is very good
of the Virgin to think of Giuseppe's
clothes; but the tailor is an unpunctual
knave."

"We were sailing, most excellent relatives,
a good way from the land, when we
encountered a goodly ship which was proceeding on
the voyage from our capital to the coast of
France. There was music on board as we
came near, and dancing upon the deck. As
there was no wind, or very little, we stayed
a long time by the vessel's side; and at last
some of the party invited us to ascend and
join in their enjoyment. We were on the
point of doing so, when a nurse, of a very
dark complexion- almost a black- strangely
dressed, and looking directly under the
influence of the devil, held up a child in her
arms, and leaned over the bulwarks to see
how we achieved our ascent. But, at the
moment of our touching the rope, a shriek
from the demoniacal nursemaid- probably a
Protestant from the wilds of Africa- attracted
our attention. The ship had made a
small lurch under a momentary puff of wind,
and the baby had fallen into the sea. We
heard it splash in the water and utter a faint
scream. But the crew, far from jumping to
the rescue, kept calling over the side,
'Beware, beware! the shark is coming!' Mucius
Scævola saw a lady, tall and beautiful the
exact likeness of our Madonna of Griefs at
the Augustin church- wringing her hands,
and crying, 'My child, my child! will
nobody save my child?' and in an instant
paddled our boat towards the scene of
danger. We saw by a little ripple on the
water a few yards off that the voracious
monster was on its way to the same destination;
and which should get first to the
infant was now the question. The fish was
more rapid —— our boat was still ten feet from
the struggling child; the shark's jaws we

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