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ened on a bright star, and a tumult of thought began to crowd upon his brain. There are moments in the life of every man, when the mental vision obtains clearer views ct remote conclusions, equally in connection with the past and the future, as there are days, when an atmosphere purer than common, more readily gives up its objects to the physical organs, – leaving the mind momentarily the master, almost without control. One of these gleams of truth passed over the faculties of the dying man, and it could not be altogether without its fruits. Raoul's soul was agitated by novel censations.
“Do thy priests fancy that they who have known and loved each other in this life,” he asked, “ will know and love each other, in that which they fancy is to come ?"
“ The life that is to come, Raoul, is one all love, or one all hatred. That we may know each other, I try to hope; nor, do I see any reason for disbelieving it. My uncle is of opinion it must be so:”
“Thy uncle, Ghita ? What, Carlo Giuntotardi—he who seemeth never to think of things around him doth a mind like his dwell on thoughts as remote and sublime as this ?"
“Little dost thou know, or understand him, Raoul. His mind seldom ceases to dwell on thoughts like these; this is the reason why earth, and all it contains, seem so indif
Raoul made no answer, but appearing to suffer under the pain of his wound, the feelings of woman so far prevailed over Ghita's tender nature, that she had not the heart to press even his salvation on him, at such a moment. She offered him soothing drinks, and nursed him with unabated care; and when there seemed to be a cessation to his sufferings, she again passed minutes on her knees, her whole soul absorbed in his future welfare. An hour passed in this · manner, all on, or near the rock sleeping, overcome by fatigue, but Ghita and the dying man.
“That star haunts me, Ghita !" Raoul at length muttered. “If it be really a world, some all-powerful hand must havo created it. Chance never made a world, more than chance n.ade a ship. Thought — mind - intelligence must have governed at the formation of one, as well as of the other."
For months Ghita had not known an instant as happy as
that. It appeared as if the mind of Raoul were about to extricate itself from the shallow philosophy so much in fashion, and which had hitherto deadened a nature so kind, an intellect ordinarily so clear. Could his thoughts but once take the right direction, she had strong confidence in the distinctness of their views, but most of all in the goodness of the Deity.
“Raoul,” she whispered, “ God is there, as he is with us, on this rock. His spirit is everywhere. Bless him !-bless him in thy soul, my beloved, and be for ever happy!”.
Raoul answered not. His face was upturned, and his eye still remained riveted on that particular star. Ghita would not disturb him, but taking his hand in hers, she once more knelt, and resumed her prayers. Minute passed after min. ute, and neither seemed disposed to speak. At length Ghita became woman again, and bethought her of her patient's bodily wants. It was time to administer the liquids of the surgeon, and she advanced to hold them to his lips. The eye was still fastened on the star, but the lips did not meet her with the customary smile of love. They were compressed, as when the body was about to mingle in the strife of a bat. tle, a sort of stern resolution being settled on them. Raoul Yvard was dead.
The discovery of the truth was a fearful moment to Ghita. Not a living being near her had the consciousness of her situation; all being bound in the sleep of the weary. The first feeling was that which belonged to her sex. She threw nerself on the body, and embraced it wildly, giving way to those pent-up emotions, of which her lover, in his moody humours, was wont to accuse her of not possessing. She kissed the forehead, the cheeks, the pallid, stern lips of the dead ; and, for a time, there was the danger that her own spirit might pass away in the paroxysm of her grief. But, it was morally impossible for Ghita to remain long under the influence of despair. Her gentle spirit had communed too long and too closely with her Heavenly Father, not to resort to his support in all the critical moments of life. She prayed, for the tenth time, that night, and arose from her knees calm, if not absolutely resigned.
The situation of Ghita was now as wildly picturesque as it was moving to her inmost spirit. All around her still slept,
and that, to the eye, as profoundly as he who was only to rise again, when the sea and the land gave up their dead. The excitement and exertions of the past day produced their reaction, and seldom did sleep exercise a more pro. found influence. The fire was still burning bright, on the islet of the gig-men, casting its rays fairly atwhart the ruins, the different sleepers in them, and the immoveable body of the dead. At moments, gusts of the Tramontana, which was now blowing fresh, descended so low as to fan the flames, when the glare that succeeded seemed to give a startling reality to all that surrounded the place.
Still, the girl was too highly sustained, to be moved with anything but her loss, and her restless inquietude for the departed spirit. She saw that even her uncle slept, leaving her truly alone with Raoul. Once a feeling of desertion came over her, and she was inclined to arouse some of the sleepers. She did approach the spot where the surgeon lay, and her hand was raised to stir him, when a flash of light shot atwhart the pallid countenance of Raoul, and she perceived that his eyes were still open. Draying near, she bent over the body, gazing long and wistfully into those windows of the soul, that had so often beamed on her in manly tenderness, and she felt, like a miser with his hoarded gold, unwilling to share it with any other.
Throughout the livelong night did Ghita watch by the body of her well-beloved, now hanging over it with a tenderness no change could extinguish, now besieging heaven with her prayers.
Not one awoke, to interfere with the strange happiness she felt in those pious offices, or to wound her sensibilities, by the surprise or the sneers of the vulgar. Ere the day came, she closed the eyes of Raoul with her own hands, covered his body with a French ensign, that lay upon the rock, and sat, patient and resigned, awaiting the moment when some of the others might be ready to aid her in performing the last pious offices in be. half of the dead. As a Romanist, she found a holy conso. lation in that beautiful portion of her church's creed, that admits of unceasing petition for the souls of the departed, even to the latest hour of earthly things.
Winchester was the first to stir. Starting up, he appeared to be astonished at the situation in which he found
himself; but a glance around told the whole truth. Aj vancing towards Ghita, he was about to inquire after the welfare of Raoul, when, struck by the expression of her seraphic countenance, he turned to the body, and read the truth in the appropriate pall. It was no time for self. upbraidings, or for reproaches to others; but arousing the sleepers, in a subdued and respectful manner, he gave to the place the quiet and seeming sanctity of a chapel.
Carlo Giuntotardi, soon after, begged the dead body from the conquerors. There was no motive for denying the request, and it was placed in a boat, and towed to the shore, accompanied by all who had remained. The heavy sirocco that soon succeeded, drove the waves atwhart the islet of the ruins, effectually erasing its stains of blood, and sweeping every trace of le Feu-Follet, and of the recent events, into
At the foot of che Scaricatojo, the seamen constructed a rude bier, and thus they bore the dead up that wild, and yet lovely precipice, persevering in their good work until they Teached the cottago of Carlo Giuntotardi's sister. A little procession accompanied the body from the first; and, Ghita being universally known and respected among the simple inhabitants of those heights, when it entered the street of St. Agata, it had grown into a line that included a hundred believers.
The convent, the en.pty buildings of which still crown the summit of one of the adjacent hills, was then in existence as a religious community; and the influence of Carlo Giuntotardi was sufficient to procure its offices in behalf of the dead. For three days and nights did the body of Raoul Yvard, the unbeliever, lie in the chapel of that holy fraternity, his soul receiving the benefit of masses; and then it was committed to holy ground, to await the summons of the last trump.
There is a strange disposition in the human breast to withhold praise from a man when living, that is freely accorded to him when dead. Although we believe that envy, and its attendant evil, detraction, are peculiarly demo. cratic vices, meaning thereby that democracy is the most fertile field in which these human failings luxuriate, yet is there much reason to think that our parent nation is preeminent in the exhibition of the peculiarity first mentioned. That which subsequently awaited Napoleon, after his imprisonment and death, was now exhibited in the case of Raoul Yvard, on a scale suited to his condition and renown. From being detested in the English fleet, he got to be honoured and extolled. Now that he was dead and harm. less, his seamanship could be praised, his chivalry emulated, his courage glorified. Winchester, McBean, O'Leary, and Clinch, attended his funeral, quite as a matter of course. They had proved themselves worthy to be there; but many others insisted on being of the party. Some came to get a last look of so celebrated an adventurer, even in his coffin ; others to say they had been present; and not a few to catch a glimpse of the girl whose romantic, but innocent passion, had got to be the subject of much discourse in the ships. The result was such a procession, and such funeral honours, as threw the quiet little hamlet of St. Agata into commotion. All noted the particulars, and all were pleased but Ghita. On her, these tardy compliments failed of their effect, her soul being engrossed with the great care of petitioning heaven in behalf of the deceased.
Andrea Barrofaldi and Vito Viti, too, figured on this occasion; the latter taking care to let all who would listen, understand how closely he had been connected with “ Sir Smees;” no longer viewed as an impostor, but honoured as a hero. He even created a little difficulty in claiming a precedency for the toga over arms on the occasion; well knowing that if the vice-governatore got a conspicuous place in the ceremony, that the podestà could not fail to be near at hand. The matter was settled entirely to Andrea's satisfaction, if not to that of his friend.
To confess the truth, Nelson was not sorry for what had occurred. When he learned the desperate nature of Raoul's defence, and heard some traits of his liberal conduct on various occasions, he felt a generous regret at his death, but he thought even this preferable to escape.
When Cuffe got in, and brought the report of the lugger's fate, though he would have preferred her capture, the common sentiment settled down into a feeling that both lugger and commander had fared as well as a privateer and her people usually merited.