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singularly marked the deportment and countenance of Ghita Caraccioli. In a word, the two visiters were Carlo Giuntn. tardi, and his gentle niece. Nelson was struck with the modesty of mien and loveliness of the latter, and he courteously invited her to be seated, though he and Cuffe both continued standing. A few efforts at making himself understood, however, soon satisfied this renowned admiral that he had need of an interpreter, his guests speaking no English, and his own Italian being too imperfect to carry on anything like a connected conversation. He hesitated an instant, and then went to the door of the inner cabin, an apartment in which voices had occasionally been heard, the whole time, one of the speakers being evidently a female. Here he stood, leaning against the bulkhead, as if in doubt; and then he uttered his wishes.
I must ask a service of you, which I would not think of doing in any ordinary case," he said, with a gentleness of voice and manner that showed he addressed one who had habitual influence over him. "I want an interpreter, between myself and the second handsomest woman in the kingdom of Naples; and I know no one so fit for the office, as the first."
“ With all my heart, dear Nelson,” answered a full, rich, female voice from within. “Sir William is busied in his antiquities; and I was really getting to be ennuiéed, for want of an occupation. I suppose you have the wrongs of some injured lady to redress, in your capacity of Lord High Chancellor of the Fleet."
“ I am yet ignorant of the nature of the complaint ; but it is not unlikely it will turn out to be something like that which you suspect. Even in such a case, no better inter. cessor can be required, than one who is so much superior to the frailties and weaknesses of her sex, in general.”
The lady who now made her appearance from the inner tabin, though strikingly handsome, had not that in her appearance which would justify the implied eulogium of the British admiral's last speech. There was an appearance of art and worldliness, in the expression of her countenance, that was only so much the more striking, when placed in obvious contrast to the ingenuous nature and calm purity hat shone in every lineament of the face of Ghita." One
might very well have passed for an image of the goddess Circe; while the other would have made no bad model for a vestal, could the latter have borne the moral impression of the sublime and heart-searching truths that are inculcated by the real oracles of God. Then the lady was a woman in the meridian of her charms, aided by all the cunning of the toilet, and a taste that was piquant and peculiar, if not pure; while the other stood in her simple, dark Neapolitan boddice, and a head that had no other ornament than its own silken tresses; a style of dress, however, that set off her faultless form, and winning countenance, more than could have been done by any of the devices of the mantua-maker or the milliner. The lady betrayed a little surprise, and, perhaps, a shade of uneasiness, as her glance first fell on Ghita ; but, much too good an actress to be disconcerted easily, she smiled, and immediately recovered her ease.
“ Is this the being, Nelson, who comes with such a petition ?” she demanded, with a touch of natural, womanly sensibility, in her voice ;-—"and that poor old man, I dare say, is the heart-stricken father.”
“ As to the errand, you will remember, I know nothing, as yet; and pledge myself to nothing."
Captain Cuffe, I hope I have the pleasure to see you well.--Sir William joins the admiral, in hoping you will make one of our little family party to-day, at dinner, and—”
“ And what says the mistress—not of the house, but of the ship?" put in Nelson, whose eyes had scarce turned an instant from the face of the siren, since she entered the fore-cabin.
“ That she - always disclaiming the title, honourable though it be—that she unites with all the rest, in inviting Captain Cuffe to honour us with his company. Nelson tells me you were one of his old Agamemnons, as he calls you all, aged and young, men and boys, little and big; and I love even the sound of the name. What a glorious title for a ship—Agamemnon !-A Greek, led on by a true English heart !”
Ay, it is somewhat better than ·That 'll Do,' and the niher affair, Ha! Cuffe!” returned the admiral, smiling, and glancing at his subordinate-“ But, all this time, we are
ignorant of the errand of this honest-looking Italian, and his exceedingly innocent-looking companion.”
Well, then, in this matter, gentlemen, I am only to be regarded as a mere mouth-piece,” put in the lady—“an echo, to repeat what reaches my car, though it be an Irish echo, which repeats in a different tongue from that in which the sounds first reach it. Put your questions, my lord ; they shall be faithfully rendered, with all the answers that may be given. I only hope Captain Cuffe will come out of this affair, as innocent as he now looks.”
The two gentlemen smiled; but the trifling could not disturb its subject, as he was profoundly ignorant of the existence of the two strangers, five minutes before ; while the boldness of the allusions, rather suited the freedom of a ship, and the habits of the part of the world in which they happened
“ We will first inquire the name of this worthy man, is you will condescend to ask it,” observed Nelson, to his fair friend.
“ Carlo Giuntotardi, noble lady-once a poor scholar, in Napoli, here, and now a keeper of the prince's watch-towers, on the heights of Argentaro," was the quiet, but respectful answer of the man, who, like his niece, had declined taking a seat, a circumstance that left the whole party standing; “ Carlo Giuntotardi, illustrious lady.”
“A very good name, Signore, and one of which you have no need to be ashamed. And thine ?” turning to the girl.
“Ghita Caraccioli, Eccellenza; the sister's daughter of this honest tower-keeper of the prince.”
Had a bomb exploded over the Foudroyant, Nelson cer. tainly would not have been as much startled; while the lady's beautiful face assumed a look of dark resentment, not unmingled with fear. Even Cuffe understood enough of the sounds to catch the name, and he advanced a step, with lively curiosity, and an anxious concern expressed on his ruddy face. But these emotions soon subsided, the lady first regaining her sell-possession, though Nelson paced the cabin five or six times, working the stump of his arm, before he even looked up, again.
“I was about to ask if there never is to be an end of these annoyances,” observed the lady, in English ; " but there must
be sor.e mistake in this. The house of Caraccioli is one of the most illustrious of Italy, and can scarcely have any of this class, who feel an interest in hini of whom we are thinking. I will, therefore, inquire further into this matter. Signorina," -changing the language to Italian, and speaking with severity, like one who questioned what she heard—“ Caraccioli is a noble name; and is not often borne by the daughter of any prince's tower-keepers !"
Ghita trembled, and she looked abashed. But she was sustained by too high a principle, and was too innocent, herself, to stand long rebuked, in the presence of guilt ; and, as the flush, which resembled that which so often passes over her native skies, at even, left her countenance, she raised her eyes to the dark-looking face of the lady, and gave her
“ I know what your Eccellenza means," she said, " and feel its justice. Still, it is cruel to the child, not to bear the name of her parent. My father was called Caraccioli; and he left me his name as my sole inheritance. have been his right to it, let my uncle say.”
Speak, then, Signor Giuntotardi. First, give us the history of this name; then tell us what has brought you
“ Noble lady, my sister, as pious and innocent a woman as ever lived in Italy, and now, blessed in heaven, married Don Francesco Caraccioli, the son of Don Francesco of that illustrious family, who now stands condemned to death, for having led the fleet against the king; and Ghita, here, is the only fruit of the union. It is true, that the church did not authorize the connection which brought my niece’s father into being ; but the noble admiral never hesitated to acknowledge his son, and he gave him his name, until love bound him in wedlock with a poor scholar's sister. Then, indeed, his father turned his face from him; and death soon removed both husband and wise from the reach of all earthly displeasure. This is our simple story, noble and illustrious signora ; and the reason why my poor niece, here, bears a name as great as that of Caraccioli.”
“ You mean us to understand, Signor Giuntolardi, that your niece is the grand-daughter of Don Francesco Caraccioli, through a natural son of that unfortunate admiral ?”
“Such is the fact, Signora. As my sister was honestly married, I could do no less than bring up her daughter to bear a name that her father was permitted to bear before her.”
“Such things are common; and require no apology. One question more, before I explain to the English admiral what you have said.—Does Prince Caraccioli know of the existence of this grand-daughter?"
“Eccellenza, I fear not. Her parents died so soon- -1 loved the child so well and there was so little hope that one illustrious as he, would wish to acknowledge a connection through the holy church, with persons humble as we, that I have never done more to make my niece known, than to let her bear the same name as her father."
The lady seemed relieved, by this; and she now briefly explained io Nelson, the substance of what the other had said.
“ It may be,” she added, “they are here on that errand, concerning which we have, already, heard so much, and so uselessly ; but I rather think not, from this account; for what interest can they feel in one who is absolutely a stranger to them. It may be some idle conceit, however, connected with this same affair. What is your wish, Ghita ?
- This is Don Horatio Nelsoni, the illustrious English admiral, of whom you have heard so much.”
“Eccellenza, I am sure of it,” answered Ghita, earnestly; my good uncle, here, has told you who we are; and you may well guess our business. We came from St. Agata, on the other side of the bay, only this morning, and heard from a relation in the town, that Don Francesco had been seized, that very hour. Since, we are told, that he has been con. demned to die, for treason against the king; and that, by officers who met in this very ship. Some even say, signora that he is to meet his fate ere the sun set !”
“If this should be so, what reason is it that thou shoulds* give thyself concern ?"
“ Eccellenza, he was my father's father; and though I never saw him, I know that the same blood runs in our veins. When this is so, there should be the same feelings in our hearts."
“ This is well, Ghita in appearance, at least; but thou