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hand was placed upon the lock, yet he dared not enter-Adelheida dying, Adelheida, the worshipped object of his adoration, the sanctioned idol of his vows, exhausted, panting, breathless, presented herself to his imagination, and mocked the efforts of fortitude.
While yet he stood irresolute, unconscious how to act or what to say-whether to proclaim her his wife, and explain at once his interest, or to shrink back, and bury in solitude his despair, the Conte Alverani, wild, 'horror-struck, dismayed, rushed from an adjoining apartment. At the sight of Huberto, he started; his countenance assumed a ghastly paleness ; he staggered back a few paces, placed his spread hands
and groaned, "Avaunt, wretch !” At length, in a deep sepulchral tone, he articulated, “blast not my sight: fly, dy; and may the demons of darkness" “Forbear, my Lord,” interrupted Hu
berto; who, in the anger of the Conte, read at once the discovery of bis marriage, and the pregnancy of his Adelheida; “ forbear, nor, in a moment like this, crush one already fallen with the heavy weight of a malediction.”
“A moment like this !" repeated the incensed Alverani; “ a moment like this !" and he grasped the hilt of his stiletto. «. Ponder well your words; rouse not niy fury; bury yourself in the earth's deep surface, for concealment can alone baffle vengeance. Begone! pause another moment, and the life's warm stream, now flowing round your heart, shall appease the--"
" What! my friend, my benefactor, my
father!” and he sank on his knee before him. « Strike," and he made bare his bosom; " take the life which your bounty preserved, which your munificence cherished.”
or Father!” muttered the Conte, 'tis false." “No, no, no," ejaculated Di Rinaldini,
forcibly grasping his hand; “ father given me by Adelheida.”
Again loud and reiterated shrieks filled the gallery ; again sobs; sighs, and exclamations, betrayed the paroxysm of pain.
“My daughter! my daughter!” murmured the nearly frantic Conte.'
“My wife !” groaned Huberto, starting from his imploring attitude, and once more flying to the door of the apartment. The Conte followed him; he seized his
Explain,” he importuned; "father, wife, Adelheida."
“Yes, yes; in the 'sight of Heaven, Adelheida is my wife," answered Di Rinaldini; our vows are ratified-soon shall I become a father.”
Never, never,” groaned the Conte, throwing hiinself with violence on the fluor, tearing his hair, and acting as
though under the wild extravagance of insanity.
In vain Huberto soothed, in vain he reasoned; the wretched parent, deaf to every remonstrance, and maddened by the danger which threatened his darling, his only child, uttered the incoherent ravings of despair, and refused al aid, all consolation : "No, no,” he articulated; " Adelheida dies, and my age is childless—Adelheida dies, and I am a wretch for ever."
“ Your virtues will ensure peace," murmured Huberto; “your virtues, wafted, by the wings of Charity, to the throne of Grace, will call forth the boon of mercy; and, like the meliorating balm of medicine, ease the throbbi:ig of a wounded heart. 'Tis 1, widowed, bereaved ; 'tis I who am doomed to suffer; to struggle through the long, the dreary pilgrimage of life; to waste whole years in unavailing, ceaseless regret, the slave of sorrow; the victim of memory.”
"The fiends already tear me,” vociserated the Conte, regardless of the persuasions of Di Rinaldini, and staring wildly around; “now, now am I in the regions of the damned”
“ Hold! hoid!” said Father Brazilio, who caught the last sentence, as he softly stole from the chamber of the sufferer:
greet not the ordinations of Providence with the murmur of discontent; submission is the province of man, mercy the attribute of Heaven.”
“Will my child live? say," questioned the nearly frantie parent, "will she recover?"
“ The Lady Adelheida slumbers," rejoined the monk.
Huberto raised his eyes in silent thankfulness.
Come, come," continued the father, placing his finger on his lip, in token of silence,
prayer can, alone subdue the turbulence of passion; prayer, Signor, is B 4