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After a momentary struggle, he turned his eye toward the female, and perceiving that she was now sinking into a stupor, to which the charitable draught had probably contributed as much as her previous exhaustion, he drew a long breath, and muttering · It is well!' advanced some steps toward the door; but remembering the woman's charge, he returned to the bed-side. By this time, the cries became much fainter; a few minutes more, and they ceased entirely; and shortly after, the woman entered the room, her cloak closely wrapped around her, as if ready to depart.
The man approached her. • Is all over ?' muttered he.
• Yes,' she replied, in the same low tone, but casting a look of extreme horror at him ; 'the poor innocent shall never trouble you again.' And then, as if to cut short any farther communication with such a wretch, she proceeded to give directions as to the farther treatment of her patient; and was hurrying from the room, when the man stepped before her and put into her hands a purse filled with gold-pieces. The woman instantly dashed it to the floor, and in the most indignant tone exclaimed : "Do you think I will receive from you the price of blood ? Take it back, monster that you are ! and may your money perish with you !
As you like,' he coldly replied, but not without shuddering slightly at the woman's words: this however you must submit to;' and he again drew forth a handkerchief and advanced toward her. She shrank from his touch, but made no resistance, and in silence permitted him to blind-fold her as before. He then led her down the same flight of stairs, and through the same passage ; repeatedly charging her to beware how she made any effort to discover either his name or the house to which she had been brought, which must, he warned her, bring upon her immediate destruction.
The house-door closed upon them, the carriage-door opened, she was assisted in, and carried home by the same apparently unnecessarily circuitous route; the strange being helped her out; and not until her own door closed upon them, did he remove the bandage from her eyes. This done, he repeated his charge in still more emphatic words, and vanished from her sight; and here we will leave the bewildered woman to recover as she best may her scattered senses.
By this time the storm had passed away; the rays of early morning were beginning to streak the east; and Nature, as if refreshed rather than wearied by the recent conflict in which she had been engaged, was fast putting off the dull weeds of night, to array herself in the gorgeous robes of a southern spring day.
Ah! could the storms which rage in the human bosom be as easily dispelled; could the dark passions which devastate the heart of man thus retreat before the sunshine of peace, this world would not be the scene of misery it now is. The fair gardens which decorate the face of ou rmother Earth may for awhile be shorn of their beauty by the raging of the pitiless storm ; but they will bloom again, and with renovated vigor and added beauty, when the refreshing alternations of dew and sunshine restore them to life. Alas! is it thus with that source and spring of evil, the human heart? Can peace again take up its abode there, when once it has been rudely thrust out by those monopolizing
guests which rage with more wildness than any outward storm of the elements ? Alas, no! We have been told, and every day's experi. ence shows us, that with man this is impossible.'
WHEN Severn's sweeping flood had overthrown
Many times have I been questioned as to the “how and the when' I picked up the pretty little Spanish clipper, sailing in company with me over life's changeable ocean. Till lately, I have refused to satisfy the anxious querists; but as many of them are old friends and constant readers of the KnicKERBOCKER, I have resolved to satisfy their curiosity through its pleasant pages. In a yarn of this kind, one can be per. mitted to get under way suddenly, and come to abruptly ; therefore I shall begin at once.
While cruising in the West Indies, in the old · Boston,' I had many opportunities of making acquaintances on the different islands, and I was then of an age and temperament that prevented me from ever permitting such opportunities to escape. In our occasional visits to Havana, I had become acquainted with the family of Don Manuel de Candelario ; which consisted of himself, a yet comely wife, a son of my own age, who held a lieutenant's commission in Her Catholic Ma. jesty's Navy, and two daughters; girls as fair as ever tbrew lovedarts from beneath the convenient shadow of a Castilian mantilla.
The eldest of the twain, Doña ISABELLA, had just crossed Time's tide-wake into her eighteenth year, and was an angel-creation of perfection ; one of your quiet, voluptuous, dreamy creatures, without one feature or a single outline in her figure which could be improved by alteration. Her eye was like a liquid lake of night-sky, with a single. star swimming like a soul in its centre. Her sister CAROLINA was widely different in feature and character. As beautiful, yet in another style; more wild, ever gay and laughing; she was the girl for a
sailor to fall in love with. Isabella would have pleased the dreamy ideality of the languid, love-sick poet Keats; while Carolina would have suited Byron or Moore for an ocean-heroine.
We had just anchored in Havana, after a long cruise to windward, when the carnival season of 1839 commenced. Our mud-hook had scarce had time to settle itself in the 'ten-fathom hole,' when I rigged myself in my best claw-hammer jacket, a pair of trousers which sheeted home at the bottom, and rowed on shore. In a few minutes I had reached the casa of Don Manuel, where I found the whole family assembled, discoursing upon preparations for the evening's amusement. A kiss all around (LORD! how my heart jumps, when Memory overhauls her log !) and I was duly installed on the committee of advice.
• Now,' cried the girls, as I entered the apartment, ' now our party is complete. Señor Buntline will go; what costume will you wear, Don Eduardo ?'
The question threw me quite aback. I had never attended a masquerade ball before ; and having only a general idea of the rules and discipline in vogue at such a place, I knew not what 'rig' to assume.
• I think a Guerilla's dress would become him very well; it would suit the independent, off-hand manner of a sailor,' said Carolina.
• Ah, no! hermana dulce,' replied Isabella ; "he would better sustain the character of a Troubadour; he plays well, and sings the songs of his native land so sweetly. (There's no accounting for woman's taste, reader; for be it known to you, in a low whisper, that my music would frighten a white bear.) Yes,' continued Doña Isabella, you must dress him up as un triste Troubadour, and loan him your guitar."
Nonsense, girls ! interrupted Don Mattias ; "a sailor should never sail under false colors. He'd feel like a sick dolphin aground, in any rig but his own. Stick to the tarpaulin and blue jacket, Ned, and do n't mind the romantic ideas of these novel-reading sisters of mine; and bear a hand, youngster; it's time we were under way.'
I will leave the choice of my rig to the ladies,' said I, with true ocean-born gallantry; and they, after some little “warring of sweet words,' concluded that I should dress as their brother had desired.
With his aid soon found myself in pumps, white Turkish or rather balloon trousers, a blue-jacket, ornamented with sundry rows of bright buttons, a pink-and-blue striped shirt, and a miniature likeness of the star-spangled banner,' taken in silk, wrapped around my neck, as a patriotic symptom of a neckerchief. To this, add a very handsome mask, chosen by the sentimental Isabella, and you have my tout ensemble. How do you like it? While awaiting your favorable answer, I 'll unmask the rest of our party.
Hallo! what are you cruising after, Sir ?' said I, as a militarylooking personage, with a long black curling moustache, hair to match, and a lightning-eye, strode up within a fathom of me, significantly laying his gloved hand upon the jeweled hilt of a long • Toledo' which hung at his side. Here's a snap ! thought I, as a hasty vision of all my little intrigues and amours flashed through my mind; I've touched the infernal Castilian pride or jealousy of this fellow, and now there's no dancing for me to-night! But the stranger raised his mask, and oh!
how she made the old frescoed room ring with her merry laughter ! It was none other than Carolina, dressed for the ball. I stood like a monkey at the opera, perfectly transfixed with astonishment at the amazing transformation, while she enjoyed my unconcealed surprise. The folds of a military cloak concealed the delicate outline of her finely-moulded figure; she had inserted her pretty little feet in large boots, to which were attached the golden spurs of knighthood; and being tall for a woman, she made a fine specimen of a Spanish offi.
• Quieres comprar flores ?' breathed a sweet, low voice in my ear, arousing me from my silent and stupid gaze. I turned around, and there, in the dress of a Castilian flower.girl, stood the fair Isabella. Before I go any farther, let me say to the untravelled reader that it is the prettiest dress in the world, if it be worn by a beautiful woman. The short white skirt, just long enough to reveal the beauties of a foot and ankle which would have killed Venus had she seen it, and caused the crowner's quest' to return 'died of envy ;' the light blue boddice, silken-laced and tasselled, fitting neatly to a full swelling bust; the snowy, crimped ruffle, resting far down on the transparent bosom; the arms bare up to the gently-rounded elbows, so beautiful that one could scarcely look at them without wishing them for an every day cravat; and to crown the whole, a gossamer-web mantilla contrasted its pearly whiteness with her jetty ringlets, now twining on the wings of the kissing zephyr, and then coquettishly brought forward to conceal, and thus render doubly beautiful, a soul-born blush But whew! I'm quite out of breath writing such a long sentence without a pause.
This was the dress worn by 'Bella, and in it she looked more like one heaven-sent to give poor mortals an idea of an angel, than a being of earthly mould.
• No otro flore, masque a ti !' answered I, gazing half-mesmerized upon the beautiful creature.
Another personage now stalked into the room, much after the fashion of Hamlet's befloured ghost in a country theatre. It was Don Mattias, in the character of Boabdil, Granada's last king, from whom by the way the family of Don Manuel claimed lineal descent.
Mattias looked remarkably well in his regal costume; the loose vel. vet robes became his tall figure, and the jeweled crescent which glittered above his brow, served to set off its noble height and marble whiteness. In fact, I doubt much if Boabdil ever looked half as well as his representative.
Everything now being ready, we entered the family-volante, and drove through crowded streets filled with gay masses of people wearing the guise of almost every nation on earth, to the Tacon Theatre, which is situated about half a mile outside the city gates. This, the largest and probably the richest theatre in the world, was filled with people. Every known nation, and some unknown ones, here found representatives. In one part, the grave, dignified and gloomy Turk sat cross-legged on his velvet cushion, scowling through the heavy masses of smoke which curled lazily upward from his inlaid chiboque; in another, a 'gatherin'