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little island. Pardon me, dearest Ghita ; but we must throw dust into their eyes.”

“ Has any strange sail been seen about your island, within the last twenty-four hours ?”

“ The bay is full of strange sail, S'nore; even the Turks coming to see us, since the last trouble with the French.”

Ay—but the Turks are now your allies, like us Eng. lish.-Have you seen any other strangers ?"

They tell me, there are ships from the far north, too, S’nore, off the town. Russians, I believe, they call them.”

They, too, are allies ; but, I mean, enemies. Has there not been a lugger seen off your island, within the last day or two-a lugger of the French ?”

“ Si-i— I know what you mean, now, S’nore; there has been a vessel like that you mention, off the island; for I saw her with my own eyes-si-si. It was about the twenty-third hour, last evening-a lugger, and we all said she must be French, by her wicked looks.”

“Raoul!” said Ghita, as if reproaching him for an indiscretion.

“ This is the true way to befog them,” answered the young man; “ they have certainly heard of us; and by seeming to tell a little truth, frankly, it will give me an opportunity of telling more untruth.”

“Ah, Raoul, it is a sad life, that renders untruths neces


“ It is the art of war, dearest; without it, we should soon be outwitted, by these knaves of English.—Si-si, S’nori; we all said just that, concerning her looks and rig.”.

“ Will you sheer your boat alongside, friend !” inquired Griffin, “and come on board of us? We have a ducat, here, that wants an owner ; I fancy it will fit your pocket, as well as another's. We will haul you ahead, abreast of the gangway.”

“Oh! Raoul, do not think of this rash act,” whispered Ghita ;

“the vice-governatore, or the podestà, will recollect you; and then all will be lost !"

“Fear nothing, Ghita—a good cause, and a keen wit, will carry me through; while the least hesitation might, indeed, ruin us. These English first ask, and then take, without asking, if you tell them no. Corpo di Bacco! who ever heard, either, of a lazzarone's refusing a ducat !”

Raoul then whispered a few words to Ithuel, when, the boat being, by this time, far enough ahead, he gave it a sheer alongside of the ship, seized a man-rope, and went up the cleets as actively as a cat. It is certain, not a soul on board that fine frigate had the least suspicion of the true cha. racter of the individual who now confidently trod her quarter-deck. The young man, himself, loved the excitement of such an adventure, and he felt the greater confidence in his impunity, from the circumstance that there was no other light than that of the moon. The sails, too, cast their shadows upon deck; and then, neither of the two Italians was a wizard, at detecting impostors, as he knew by experience.

The watch was set for the night, and Winchester, who had returned to duty, held the trumpet, while Griffin had no other immediate office, but to interpret. Two or three midshipmen were lounging about the quarter-deck; here and there a seaman was on the look-out, at the halyards, or on a cat-head ; some twenty or thirty old sea-dogs were pacing the gangways or the forecastle, with their arms crossed, and. hands stuck in their jackets; and a quick-eyed, active quarter-master stood near the man at the wheel, conning the ship. The remainder of the watch had stowed themselves between the guns, or among the booms, in readiness to act, but, in truth, dozing. Cuffe, Griffin, and the two Italians, descended from the taffrail, and awaited the approach of the supposed lazzarone, or boatman of Capri, as he was now believed to be, near the stern of the vessel. By an arrangement among themselves, Vito Viti became the spokes. man; Griffin translating to the captain, all that passed, in an under-tone, as soon as it was uttered.

“Come hither, friend," commenced the podestâ, in a patronizing, but somewhat lofty manner;

and noble English captain, Sir Kooffe, desires me to present you with a ducat, by way of showing that he asks no more of you than he is willing to pay for. A ducat* is a great deal

16 this

* The silver ducat of Naples is worth 80 grani, or rather less than 80 cents; the golden ducat, or sequin of Italy, Holland, Turkey, &c. is worth a trifle more than two American dollars. Raoul was offered the former.


of money, as you know; and good pay merits good ser. vices.”

“S’nore, si ; your eccellenza says the truth ; a good ducat, certainly, deserves good services."

“Bene. Now, tell these signori all you know ab that said lugger; where you saw her; when you saw her; and what she was about. Keep your mind clear, and tell us one thing at a time.”

S’nore, si. I will keep my mind clear, and tell you no more than one thing at a time. I believe, eccellenza, I am to begin with where I saw her; then I'm to tell you when I saw her; after which, you wish to know what she 'vas about. I believe, this is the way you put it, S’nore ?"

“Excellently well; answer in that order, and you will make yourself understood. But, first, tell me ;-do all the natives of Capri speak the same sort of Italian as you yourself, friend ?

“S'nore, si-though my mother having been a French woman, they tell me that I have caught a little from her. We all get something from our mothers, eccellenza ; and its a pity we could not keep more of it.”

True, friend; but now for the lugger. Remember that honourable signori will hear what you say; therefore, for your own credit, speak to the point; and speak nothing but truth, for the love of God.”

“Then, S'nore, first, as to where I saw her—does your eccellenza mean, where I was at the time, or where the lugger was ?"

“Where the lugger was, fellow. Dost think Sir Kooffe cares where thou spent thy day!”

Well, then, eccellenza, the lugger was near the Island of Capri, on the side next the Mediterranean, which, you know, S'more, is on the side opposite to the bay, and near, as might be, abreast of the house of Giacomo Alberti-does your eccellenza know anything of the house I mean ?"

“ Not I; but tell your story, as if I knew all about it. It is these particulars which give value to a tale. How far from the nearest land ?-Mention that fact, by all means, if you happen to remember.”

“Well, eccellenza, could the distance be measured, now, I think it would prove to be about as far-not quite, S’nore ;


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but, I say, aboutabout as far as from the said Giacomo's largest fig-tree, to the vines of Giovanni, his wife's cousin. Si-I think, just about that distance."

“ And how far may that be, friend. Be precise, as much may depend on your answers.

“S’nore, that may be a trifle farther than it is from the church to the top of the stairs that lead to Ana Capri.”

“Cospetto !—Thou wilt earn thy ducat speedily, at this rate! Tell us, at once, in miles; was the lugger one, two, six, or twenty miles from your island, at the time thou speak’st of?

Eccellenza, you bid me speak of the time, in the second place; after I had told you of the where, in the first place. I wish to do whatever will give you pleasure, S’nore."

Neighbour Vito Viti,” put in the vice-governatore, “ it may be well to remember that this matter is not to be recorded, as you would put on file the confessions of a thief; it

may be better to let the honest boatman tell his story in his own way.”

Ay, now the veechy has set to work, I hope we shall get the worth of our ducat,” observed Cuffe, in English.

“S’nori,” rejoined Raoul, “it shall be just as your eccellenzi say.

The lugger you speak of was off the island, last evening, steering towards Ischia ; which place she must have reached, in the course of the night, as there was a good land-wind, from the twenty-third to the fifth hour.”

“ This agrees with our account, as to the time and place,” said Griffin ; “ but not at all, as to the direction the corsair was steering. We hear, she was her rounding the southern cape, for the Gulf of Salerno."

Raoul started, and gave thanks, mentally, that he had come on board, as this statement showed that his enemies had received only too accurate information of his recent movements. He had hopes, however, of being able, yet, to change their intentions, and to put them on a wrong scent.

S’nori,” he said, “I should like to know who it is that mistakes south-east for north-west. None of our pilots or boatmen, I should think, could ever make so great a blunder. S’nore, you are an officer, and understand such things; and I will just ask you, if Ischia does not lie north-west of Capri?"



“Of that fact, there can be no manner of doubt,” returned Griffin; “it is equally true, that the Gulf of Salerno lies south-east of both”

“ There, now!” interrupted Raoul, with a well-acted assumption of vulgar triumph; “I knew, your eccellenza, when you came to look into it, would see the folly of saying that a vessel, which was standing from Capri towards Ischia, was going on any other course than north-west !”

“But this is not the question, amico. We all understand the bearings of these islands, which are the bearings of the whole coast, down here-away; but the question is, which way the lugger was steering ?

“ I thought I had said, eccellenza, that she was heading across towards Ischia,” answered Raoul, with an air of obtuse innocence.

If you do, you give an account exactly different from that which has been sent to the admiral, by the good bishop of your own island. May I never eat another of his own quails, if I think he would deceive us; and it is not easy to suppose, a man like him, does not know north from south.”

Raoul inwardly muttered a malediction on all priests; a class of men, which, rightly enough, he believed to be united in their hostility to France. But, it would not do to express this, in his assumed character; and 'he affected to listen, as one of his class ought to give ear, to a fact that came from his spiritual father.

“ North from south, eccellenza !-Monsignore knows a great deal more than that, if the truth were said ; though, I suppose, these noble signori are acquainted with the right reverend father's great infirmity ?"

“ Not we—none of us, I fancy, ever had the honour to be in his company. Surely, fellow, your bishop is a man of trath ?"

Truth !-Yes, eccellenza, so true is he, that if he were to tell me that the thing I saw myself, had not, and could not happen, I should rather believe Monsignore, than believe my own eyes. Still, signori, eyes are something; and as the right reverend father has none, or, what are as bail as none, for any use they can be in looking at a vessel half-amile off, he may not always see what he thinks he sees. When Monsignore tells us that so and so is Gospel, we all

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