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find all dissimilar _but_ the name; yet mayest thou still muse,
contemplative, over the tomb and ashes of him, whom thy mind has
shadowed forth, as a noble light in a more romantic age.

Art thou a moralist, a thinking Christian? Thou mayest there trace - and
the pursuit shall profit thee - the steps of the sainted apostle; he who
was so signally called forth, to hear witness to the truth of ONE, whom
he had erst reviled. Yon cordelier will show you the bay, where his
vessel took refuge in its distress; and will tell you, that yon jagged
rock first gave its dangerous welcome, to the bark of his patron saint.

Lovest thou music? hast loved? or been beloved? or both perchance?

Steal forth when night holds her starry court, and the guitars around
are tinkling, as more than one rich voice deplores his mistress's
cruelty, in hopes she may now relent. But see! _there_ is one, who puts
in requisition neither music's spell, nor flattery's lay.

See! he approaches. His cloak wrapped around him, he cautiously treads
the tranquil street.

He gains the portico - the signal is given. Who but an expectant maiden
could hear one so slight?

Hark! a sound! cautiously the lattice opens - above him blushes the fair
one! How brightly her dark eye flashes! how silver soft the tones of
her voice!

The stern father - the querulous mother - the tricked duenna - all - all
are slumbering. She leans forward, and her ear drinks in his honied
words; as her head is supported by her snowy arm.

And now he whispers more passionately. She answers not, but hides her
face in her hands. She starts! she throws back her hair from her brow;
she waves a white fazzolet, and is gone.

Not thus flies the lover. He crouches beneath the Ionic portico, his
figure hardly discernible. A bolt - the last bolt is withdrawn. A form is
dimly seen within - retiring, timid, repentant.

Sweet the task to calm that throbbing heart, or teach it to throb no
more with fear!

But let him of melancholy mood, wander to the deserted village. A more
fearful calamity has befallen it, than ever attended the soft shades, of
the one conjured up by the poet.

_Here_ the demon Plague, with baneful wing, and pestilential influence,
tarried for many days; till not one - no! not one soul of that village
train - that did not join his bygone fathers.

Stray along its grass-grown roofless tenements! where _your_ echo alone
breaks the silence, as it startles from its resting-place the slumbering
owl - for who would dwell in abodes so marked for destruction? Stray
there! think of the gentle contadina diffusing happiness around her!
_then_ think of her as she supports the youth she loves - as she clasps
his faint form - and drinks in a poisonous contagion from his pallid lip.

Think of her as the disease seizes on its new victim - still
attempting to prop up his head - to reach the cup, that may relieve
his maddening thirst, - until, giddy and overpowered, she sinks at
last; but - beside him!

Think of their dying together! _that_ at least is a solace.

Do not the scene and the thought draw a tear?

If your eye be dry, come - come away - _your_ step should not sound there!

The wind continued fair during the whole of the first day. Every trace
of Valletta was soon lost; and the good barque Boston swept by the rocky
coast of the island, where few human habitations meet the eye, swiftly
and cheerily. The sea birds sported round the tall masts - the canvas
bulged out bravely - the Captain forgot his shore griefs, and commenced a
colloquy with Sir Henry. The sailors sung in chorus; whilst poor
Acmé, - we grieve to confess the fact, for never was a Mediterranean sea
looked down on by brighter sun, or more cloudless sky, - retired to her
cabin, supported by George, a prey to that unsentimental malady, sea
sickness. The following day, the wind shifted some points; and the
Captain judged it most prudent to forego his original intention of
steering direct for Palermo; but to take advantage of the breeze, and
adopt the passage through the Faro of Messina.

Delmé felt glad of this change; for Scylla and Charybdis to an
Englishman, are as familiar as Whittington and his cat. For the first
two days Acmé continued unwell; and George, who already appeared
improved by the sea air, never left her side.

Delmé had therefore a dull time of it; which he strove to enliven by
conversing, one after the other, with the Captain and his two mates.
From all of them, he learnt something; but from all he turned away, as
they commenced discussing the comparative merits of the United States,
and the old country; a subject he had neither the wish to enter on, nor
fortitude to prosecute. Not daunted, he attacked mate the third; and was
led to infer better things, as the young gentleman commenced expatiating
on the "purple sky," and "dark blue sea." This hope did not last long;
for this lover of nature turned round to Sir Henry, and asked him in a
nasal twang, if he preferred Cooper's or Mr. Scott's novels? Delmè was
not naturally a rude man, but as he turned away, he hummed something
very like Yankee-doodle.

And then the moon got up; and Sir Henry felt lonely and sentimental. He
leant over the vessel's side, and watched it pictured on the ocean, and
quivering as the transient billow swept onwards. And he thought of home,
and Emily. He thought of his brother, his heir, - if he died, the only
male to inherit the ancient honours of his house, - married to a
stranger, and - but Acmé was too sweet a being, not to have already
enlisted all his sympathies with her. And as if all these thoughts, like
rays converged in a burning glass, did but tend to one object, the image
of Julia Vernon suddenly rose before him.

He saw her beautiful as ever - gentleness in her eye - fascination in
her smile!

And the air got cold - and he went to bed.

Chapter XIX.

A Dream and a Ghost Story.

"Touching this eye-creation;
What is it to surprise us? Here we are
Engendered out of nothing cognisable -
If this were not a wonder, nothing is;
If this be wonderful, then all is so.
Man's grosser attributes can generate
What _is_ not, and has never been at all;
What should forbid his fancy to restore
A being pass'd away? The wonder lies
In the mind merely of the wondering man."

It was the fourth evening of the voyage. Hardly a breath fanned the
sails, as the vessel slowly glided between the Calabrian and Sicilian
coasts, approaching quite close to the former.

The party, seated on chairs placed on the deck, gazed in a spirit of
placid enjoyment on one of those scenes, which the enthusiastic
traveller often recals, as in his native clime, he pines for foreign
lands, and for novel impressions. The sun was setting over the purple
peaks of the Calabrian mountains, smiling in sunny gladness on deep
ravines, whose echoes few human feet now woke, save those of simple
peasant, or lawless bandit. Where the orb of day held its declining
course, the sky wore a hue of burnished gold; its rich tint alone
varied, by one fleecy violet cloud, whose outline of rounded beauty, was
marked by a clear cincture of white,

On their right, beneath the mountain, lay the little village of Capo del
Marte, a perfect specimen of Italian scenery.

Its sandy beach, against which the tide beat in dalliance - the chafed
spray catching and reflecting the glories of the setting sun - ran
smoothly up a slope of some thirty yards; beyond which, the orange
trees, in their greenest foliage, chequered with their shade the white
cottages scattered above them.

The busy hum of the fishermen on the coast - the splash of the casting
net - and the drip of the oar - were appropriate accompaniments to the
simple scene.

On the Sicilian side, a different view wooed attention. There, old Etna
upreared his encumbered head, around which the smoke clung in dense
majesty; and - not contemptible rivals of the declining deity - the moon's
silvery crescent, and the evening star's quiet splendour, were bedecking
the cloudless blue of the firmament.

Acmé gazed enraptured on the scene - her long tresses hanging back on the
chair, across which one hand was languidly thrown.

"Giorgio," said she, "do you see this beautiful bird close to the
ship - swimming so steadily - its snowy plumage apparently unwet from its
contact with the wave? To what can you compare it?"

"That bright-eyed gull, love!" replied he, "riding on the water as if
all regardless that he is on the wide - wide sea - whose billows may so
soon be lashed up to madness; - where may I find a resemblance more
close, than my Acmé's simplicity, which guides her through a troubled
world, unknowing its treacheries, and happily ignorant of its dangers
and its woes?"

"Ah!" said the blushing girl, "how poetical you are this evening; will
you tell us a story, Giorgio?"

"_I_ will tell you one," said Delmé, interrupting her. "Do you recollect
old Featherstone, who had been in the civil service in India, and who
lived so near Delmé Park, George?"

"Perfectly," said his brother, "I remember I used to think him mad,
because he always looked so melancholy, and used to send us word in the
morning when he contemplated a visit; in order that all cats might be
kept out of his way."

"The very man! I am glad you know so much about him, for it is on this
subject I was going to speak. I cannot tell you where he picked up the
idea originally - but I believe in a dream - that a cat would occasion
his death.

"Well! he was at Ascot one year, when a gipsy woman came up to him on
the course - told him his fortune - and, to his utter astonishment, warned
him to beware of the wild cat.

"From that moment, I understand his habits changed. From being a
tolerably cheerful companion, he became a wretched hypochondriac; all
his energies being directed to the avoiding a contact with any of the
feline race.

"Featherstone, two or three years ago, embarked in one of the mining
speculations - lost great part of his fortune - and found it necessary to
try and retrieve his affairs, by a second voyage to India.

"I heard nothing more of him, till just before leaving England, when
my old school-fellow, Lockhart, who went as a cadet to the East,
called on me - reminded me of our old whimsical friend - and related
his tragic death.

"Lockhart says that one day he and some mutual friends, persuaded
Featherstone to accompany them into the interior of the country, to
enjoy the diversion of a boar hunt.

"They had had good sport, and were returning homewards, when they
suddenly came on a party of natives, headed by the Rajah.

"They were mounted on elephants, and surrounding a jungle, in which, as
some sepoys had reported, lay a tiger.

"You know Lockhart's manner - animated and enthusiastic - making one see
the scene he is describing.

"I will try and clothe the rest of the story in his own words, although I
can hardly hope it will make the same impression on you, that its
recital did on me.

"'Well, Sir! we all said we would see the sport - all but
Featherstone - who said something about coming on.

"'We were engaged to dine with Sir John M - - , who was in that part of
the world, on some six-and-eightpenny mission about indigo.

"'The beaters went in, firing and shouting - intending to make him break
towards the hunting party.

"'We all drew up on one side, to be in view, but out of the way;
Featherstone was next me. He suddenly grasped my arm, and pointed to the
jungle, his teeth chattering - his face ashy pale. I turned and saw the
tiger! - a splendid beast - certainly!

"'He seemed not to notice us, and stalked on with an innocent yep! yep!
like a sick hound's, more than anything else.

"'Suddenly his eye caught us, and flashed fire. At the first view, he
crouched to the earth, then came on us, bounding like a tost foot-ball.
More magnificent leaps I never beheld! We were struck dumb - but
fired - and turned our horses' heads! - all but Featherstone.

"'I shall remember the tones of his voice to my dying hour.

"'"The cat! Lockhart! the cat!"

"'I don't know whether his horse refused the spur - or whether the rider's
nerve was gone: but neither appeared to make an effort, till the animal
was close on them.

"'The horse gave one plunge - and had hardly recovered his feet, when down
went horse and rider.

"'Featherstone gave a piercing scream! Some of the sepoys were by this
time up - and fired.

"'The tiger trailed off - the blood spouting down his striped side.

"'We came up - it was all over!

"'The first stroke of that terrific paw had laid the unfortunate man's
scull bare. On his shoulder, were the marks of the animal's teeth.

"'The horse was still writhing in agony. One of my pistols relieved him.

"'We bore Featherstone to the nearest cantonment, and buried him there.'"

"How terrible!" said Acmé, as she gave a slight shudder. "Englishmen are
generally more sceptical on these points than we are; and disbelieve
supernatural appearances, which we are accustomed to think are not
unfrequent. I could tell you many stories, which, in my native island,
were believed by our enemies the Turks, as well as by ourselves: but if
you would like it, I will tell you a circumstance that occurred to
myself, the reality of which I dare not doubt.

"You have often, Giorgio! heard me revert with pain, to the horrible
scene which took place, on the recapture of our little isle by the
infidel Turks; when my family were massacred, and only poor Acmé left to
tell their tale."

Here the young bride put her handkerchief to her face, and wept
bitterly. George put his arm round her and soothed her. She continued
her narrative.

"You know my escape, and how I was sent to a kinsman, who had promised
to have me sent to my kind friends in Malta. He was a Corfuote, and it
was in Corfu I remained for a long - a very long time - and there first
met my dear friend, Zöe Scalvo-Forressi. I was then very young. We lived
in the Campagna - about four miles from each other.

"We had both our Greek ponies, and used often to pass the evenings
together; and at length knew our road so well, that often it was night
before we parted.

"One night, we had been singing together at her house, and it was later
than usual when I cantered home.

"About four months had elapsed previous to my landing in Corfu, and I had
been eight months there; although at the time, I paid little attention
to these circumstances.

"My road lay through an olive grove. I had arrived in its centre, where
a small knoll stretched away on my right; on whose summit, was a white
Greek monastery, backed by some dark cypress trees.

"The moon was shining brightly - dancing on the silver side of the olive
trees - and illuminating the green sward.

"This was smooth and verdant.

"My spirits were more than usually buoyant, when suddenly my pony

"I could not conceive the reason.

"I looked before me. Immediately in front of me, was the shattered trunk
of an old olive tree - it had been blasted by lightning - and sitting
quietly at its foot - I saw my own mother, Giorgio! as clearly as I see
you now. I could not be mistaken. She wore the same embroidered vest and
Albanian shawl, as when I had last seen her.

"She conversed with me calmly for many minutes, and - which surprised me
much at the time - I felt no dread, and asked her and answered many

"She told me I should die early, in a foreign land; and many - many more
things, which I dare not repeat; for I cannot contemplate the
possibility of their being true.

"At the time, I told you I felt composed: without any sense of alarm
or surprise. For many days afterwards, however, I never left my bed
of sickness.

"I told my kinsman all the circumstances, and he discovered beyond a
doubt, that it was on that very day, the twelve-month previous, that my
poor mother had been murdered."

Sir Henry and George tried to smile at Acmé's story, and account for
what she had seen; - but her manner was so impressive, and her ingenious
reasonings - delivered in the most earnest tone - seemed to confute so
entirely all their speculations, that they were at length content to
deem it "wondrous strange."

In the best and wisest of us, there is such a tendency to believe in a
mysterious link, connecting the living and the departed; that a story
of this nature, in exciting our feelings, serves to paralyse our
reasoning faculties, and leaves us half converts, to the doctrines that
we faintly combat.

They looked forth again on the scene. The mountains of Calabria were
frowning on them. The village was far behind - and not a straggling light
marked its situation.

Numberless stars were reflected on the glassy water, whose serenity was
no longer ruffled by wing of sea bird, which long ere now had returned
to its "wave girded nest."

Our party and the watch were the only lingerers on deck.

George wrapped Acmé's silk cloak around her, and then carefully assisted
her in her descent to the cabin.

Chapter XX.

The Mad House.

"And see the mind's convulsion leave it weak."

The land breeze continued to freshen, and the first dawn of morning saw
our party on deck, scanning with near view, the opposite coasts of
Sicily and Italy, as their vessel glided through the Faro of Messina.

Some pilot boats, - how unlike those which greet the homeward-bound
voyager, as he first hails Britain's chalky cliffs - crowded around the
vessel, offering their services to guide it through the strait.

Avarice - one incentive to language - had endowed these Sicilian mariners
with a competent knowledge of English, which they dealt out

As the Captain made his selection, the rejected candidates failed not
to use that familiar English salâm; half the gusto of which is lost,
when used by foreign lip.

On the Calabrian coast, the sea-port town of Reggio wore an unusual air
of bustle and animation.

It was a festa day there; and groups of peasants, in many-coloured
costumes, paced up and down the mole; emitting that joyous hum, which
is the never-failing concomitant of a happy crowd. Passing through
the Faro, the vessel's course lay by the northern coast of Sicily.
The current and wind were alike favourable, as it swept on by Melazzo
and Lascari.

Etna, towering over the lesser mountains, became once more visible; its
summit buried in the clouds of heaven.

On the right, a luminous crimson ring revealed Stromboli, whose fitful
volcano was more than usually active.

The following day our party arrived at Palermo. So pleasurable had been
their voyage, that it was with a feeling akin to regret, that they heard
the rumbling chains of the anchor, rush through the hawse-hole, as
their vessel took her station in the bay.

After going through those wearisome forms, which a foreign sea-port
exacts; and which appear purposely intended, to temper the rapture of
the sea-worn voyager, as he congratulates himself on once more treading
terra firma; our party found themselves the inmates of the English
hotel; and spent the remainder of the day in engaging a cicerone, and in
discussing plans for the morrow.

The morrow came - sunny and cloudless - and the cicerone bowed to the
ground, as he opened the door of the commodious fiacre.

"Where shall I drive to, Sir?"

"What were our plans, George?" said Sir Henry.

"I think," replied George, "that we only formed one plan to change it
for another. Let the cicerone decide for us."

_He,_ nothing loath, accepted the charge; and taking his station on the
box of the carriage, directed the driver.

The carriage first stopped before a large stone building. The bell was
rung - a veteran porter presented himself - and our party entered the
court yard.

"What place is this?" said Delmé.

"This," rejoined his guide, with the true cicerone fluency, "is the
famous lunatic asylum, instituted by the illustrious Baron Pisani. This,
gentlemen, is the Baron!"

Here a benevolent-looking little man with a large nose, took off his

"So much approved of was his beneficent design, that our noble King, and
our paternal Government, have not only adopted it; but have graciously
permitted the Baron, to continue to preside over that institution, which
he so happily commenced, and which he so refulgently adorns."

During this announcement, the Baron's face flushed with a simple, but
honest pride.

These praises did not to him appear exaggerated; for his intentions had
been of the purest, and in this institution was his whole soul wrapt up.
Acmé became somewhat pale, as she heard where they were, and looked
nervously at George; who could not forbear smiling, as he begged they
would be under no apprehensions.

"Yes! gentlemen," said the Baron, "circumstances in early life made me
regard mental disease as the most fearful of all. I observed its victims
struggling between reason and insanity; goaded on by the ignorance of
empirics, and the harsh treatment of those about them, until light fled
the tortured brain, and madness directed its every impulse. You,
gentlemen, are English travellers, I perceive! In _your_ happy land,
where generosity and wealth go hand in hand, there are, I doubt not,
many humane institutions, where those, who - bowed down by misfortunes,
or preyed on by disease - have lost the power to take care of themselves,
may find a home, where they may be anxiously tended, and carefully
provided for.

"Here we knew not of such things.

"I have said, gentlemen, that chance made me feel a deep interest in
these unfortunates. I sunk the greater part of my fortune, in
constructing this mansion, trusting that the subscriptions of
individuals, would enable me to prosecute the good work.

"In this I was disappointed; but our worthy Viceroy, who took an interest
in my plans, laid the matter before the Government, which - as Signer
Guiseppe observes - has not only undertaken to support my asylum, but
also permits me to preside over the establishment. _That_, gentlemen, is
my apartment, with the mignionette boxes in front, and without iron bars
in the window; though indeed these very bars are painted, at my
suggestion, such a delicate green, that you might not have been aware
that they were such.

"This is our first chamber - cheerful and snug. Here are the patients
first brought. We indulge them in all their caprices, until we are
enabled to decide with certainty, on the fantasy the brain has conjured
up. From this room, we take them to the adjacent bed-room, where we
administer such remedies as we think the best fitted to restore reason.

"If these fail, we apportion the patient a cell, and consider the case as
beyond our immediate relief. We cure, on an average, two-thirds of the
cases forwarded to us; and there have been instances of the mind's
recovering its tone, after a confinement of some years."

"How many inmates have you in the asylum at present?" said Acmé.

"One hundred and thirty-six, eighty-six of whom are males. These are our
baths, to which they are daily taken; this the refectory; this the
parlatorio, where they see their friends; and now, if the lady is not
afraid, we will descend to the court yard, and see my charges."

"There is no fear?" said George.

"Not in the least. Our punishment is so formidable, that few will incur
it by being refractory."

"What! then you are obliged to punish them?" said Acmé, with a shudder.

"Sometimes, but not often. I will show you what our punishment consists
in. You see this room without furniture! Observe the walls and floor;
and even the door as it closes. All these are carefully stuffed; and if
you walk across the room, there is no sound.

"We cautiously search violent lunatics; who are then dressed in a plain
flannel suit, and left alone. It is seldom we have occasion to retain
them longer than twenty-four hours. They soon find they cannot injure
themselves; their most violent efforts cannot elicit a sound. Their
minds become calmed; and when released, they are perfectly quiet, and
generally inclined to melancholy."

They descended to the court yard, set apart for the men. Its inmates
were pacing it hurriedly; some jabbering to themselves; others with
groups round them, to whom they addressed some quickly delivered jargon.
With one or two exceptions, all noticed the entrance of the strangers;
and some of them bowed to them, with mock gravity. One man, who wore an
old cocked hat with a shabby feather, tapped Sir Henry on the shoulder.

"Vous me reconnaissez - Napoleon! votre Empereur!"

He wheeled round, and called for his Mamelukes.

The next moment, a young and interesting looking person came forward,

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