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frank a countenance? She felt the blood glow in her cheek. How prove to herself whether the love he pretended were true or feigned?
The conversation turned on the subject of love. Many of her suitors spoke with enthusiasm on the subject, wishing to gain thus the confidence of Ippolita; but she turned all their high-flown expressions into ridicule, and, with unaccustomed bitterness, forgot her usual courtesy in her tauntings. Montreville listened silently. Impatient of this shew of coldness, she turned suddenly towards him, asking " And what does our French visitant say to our Italian eloquence? Words, and not deeds,' are a lover's motto; think you not so, Chevalier ?"
Montreville's countenance lighted up with a glow of pleasure at this address:-" Since," he cried," you, Madam, deign to permit me to speak on the subject of love, I shall not, I trust, be found a worse pleader than these gentlemen for its sacred cause." Then he entered on a description and a defence of the passion, so glowing, so fervent, and so sincere, that while his bright eyes flashed fire, and his cheek burnt with enthusiasm, the lids of Ippolita's dark orbs half veiled them, and the blush of confusion stained her cheek. He had described the adoration of the lover for his mistress-he descanted on his tenderness-then he spoke of his devotion, his readiness to sacrifice his life for her smile :-towards the end of his harangue Ippolita somewhat recovered herself; and when he paused, as if concluding, she turned to him with a smile of mockery, saying, "Fine expressions these, Chevalier, and they the more confirm my saying, words not deeds.' For my part, I never saw any of these furious fire-eating lovers who really ever burnt and were consumed. Sigh, they may-and lament, and strive to weep; but when a test should be made the fire goes out, and-oh miracle!—the fuel remains unconsumed!",
"Madam," replied Montreville," that I love you I have confessed, and you have not deigned to believe me, nor will you open your eyes to the burning affection that consumes me, If for a moment you could become aware of the feeling that devours me, your goodness would lead you to pity me. Since by your per mission I now speak, may I not say that a fire possesses my heart,
which not all the waters of the Adige, that flows beneath the bridge we are now crossing, could even allay, far less extinguish ?"
"Nay, the trial has not yet been made," said the proud girl, with a scornful laugh; piqued at being thus challenged to believe, and acknowledge her belief in the existence of a passion whose existence she had denied:-she continued, "the time is opportune-the waters flow icy cold at your feet, yet not colder your heart; will you not prove their power over it ?"
It was nearly the end of the month of October; the change of season was already severely felt, and the north wind that blew added to the cold. When the lover heard this proud and cruel girl invite him to throw himself into the water, hurried away by youthful and rash passion, and blinded by his ardent desire of proving his truth, he replied fervently-" Most ready am I to obey you-most happy to find a way of proving my sincerity." Then, without pause, dashing his spurs into his horse's sides, he forced the noble barb he rode to leap from the bridge into the swift and foaming river. The Adige is very deep, and rapid, and difficult of navigation, especially near the bridges, on account of the gulphs and whirlpools; and now, on account of recent rains, it was swollen and tempestuous. The horse, weighed down by the burthen of his rider, sank at once to the bottom, and then, like a ball which rebounds from the ground on which it has been flung, he rose again to the surface, with the youth still in the saddle. Then he began, with pant and strain, to breast the water transversely towards the shore, guided by Montreville; and, gaining somewhat on the current, he drew near the banks. The youth, who still kept his seat, turning his head towards his proud mistress, cried with a loud voice, "Behold, lady of my heart, behold, I am in the midst of the waters! yet bathed as I am by their icy waves, I feel no cold; and feeling them all around me, they in no way allay the fever of my love, but the rather my true heart burns with a purer and steadier flame in despite of their chilling influence."
His companions, who were still on the bridge, remained astonished and frightened, and overcome by the sight presented to them by the courageous and undaunted "Montreville, they stood as if sense
less, speechless, and wonder-stricken. The youth, who gazed more intently on the beautiful Ippolita than on the course of his horse, reached the banks of the river; but in a place where a high wall rose immediately at its edge, so that he was unable to land. He was obliged therefore to direct his horse towards a spot where the sloping bank promised a safe exit from the river. Desiring to turn his horse with the rein, spurring him at the same time, the water, striking his sides violently as he turned, and rushing between his legs, threw him over, so that the ardent Montreville, notwithstanding all his exertions, lost his stirups and his seat; but still keeping hold of the rein, thus leading his horse, he came again to the surface of the water. At this frightful and pitiable spectacle, all the persons assembled on the bridge and on the banks began to cry aloud for help. Montreville did not lose his presence of mind, yet as soon as he rose on the water he became aware of the peril of his situation; so, loosening and casting from him his cloak, he quitted his horse's rein, leaving him to guide himself instinctively to a place of safety, he addressed himself for swimming, and though his dress was cumbrous, and his heavy sword was belted to his side, yet he strove gallantly with his watery enemy. There were no boats near, nor was there any person who would risk his life by endeavouring to aid him; but all who beheld him assisted him only by their cries. The women, weeping and trembling for fear, stood overcome by terror, watching the event of this rash and perilous enterprize. The proud Ippolita, who before had never given credit to the existence of so true a passion, softened by so horrible and fearful an event, and deeply compassionating her hapless lover, bathed in tears, cried aloud for help, and passionately entreated the standers-by to go to his assistance; but, as I have said, no one dared make an attempt to save him, which would have put their own lives in similar peril to the one he encountered. Montreville was an excellent swimmer, and had been accustomed to such hardy and even dangerous pastime; so that when he saw his dear mistress weeping bitterly, and demonstrating by her manner her fears on his account, he held himself entirely and overpaid for all that he had risked; and such delight filled his heart, that his strength increasing with his joy,
the idea of danger was entirely forgotten. So, swimming with undaunted heart, and dextrously cutting through the opposing waves, each moment he gained on his enemy, and approached a feasible landing-place; and though impeded by his heavy garments, and weighed down by his sword, yet he contrived to cast from him the waters, and so to conquer their effect, that he reached the sloping bank, and, getting on land, hastened in safety towards the spot where his lady and her companions were. His horse following in his master's wake, also gained the landing-place, and was led away by the Chevalier's servants.
Love and truth the while achieved a complete victory. Ippolita felt her whole heart dissolve in pity and compassion for her lover, so that to have saved him from the waves she would most willingly have put her own life in similar peril; but knowing no means whereby to assist him, she called aloud for help, weeping the while and franticly wringing her hands. When Montreville had landed, wet as he was, he respectfully approached the lovely girl, saying, "I am returned, dearest lady, such as you behold, my heart still burning with unconquerable love-devoted in life and death to your service."
Ippolita was surrounded by the flower of the Italian nobility; she stood bright in loveliness, power, and youth; but pride was extinguished in her bosom: thus as he stood-the waters dripping from his garments-his hair shedding a thousand dew-drops-his cheek which had glowed with enthusiasm, now became ashy pale from his over-exertion,-thus, as he humbly and gently presented himself before her, she cast herself into his arms, exclaiming, "Love, you have conquered !-Montreville, you have won me-I am yours for ever!"
SKETCHES FROM THE CLUB-BOOK.
[We have done a very impudent thing in laying these sketches before the reader. They were sent us by a friend for another purpose, which indeed has been given up,—but we publish them without leave, we hope not without forgiveness or even approbation; for we know we should have had it for asking, and we meant
to have so had it; but what are we to do with such a purse of guineas in our desk, the consequences of sickness upón ús, and a printer's devil crying for payment at the door? O beautiful doctrine of the community of property! Our belief in thy beauty must save us. The owner knows, that at any time we would give him ten of our paragraphs for half-a-dozen such of his; and we must say for ourselves, that we are a thief in the style of Robin Hood, equally willing to be surpassed by our Companions, and to share with all who are in want of us. So here follow our stolen goods. If we are not forgiven, generosity no longer resides in a house in Bedford square, which we had taken to be full of it.
We need not say that these portraits are from the life. They bear their own evidence upon them. They ought to have come after our Dinner-party last week. Old Charlton, it is true, is not a beau ideal in the style of Telephus; but he is human and Hora+ tian, and might illustrate a series of odes, from the Mox reficit rates of the beginning, to the Est mihi nonum of Book the Fourth.]
"The first man on our list (he was a sort of President) was Mr Charlton. He was a merry man; neither old nor young-fiveand-thirty-forty-fifty-he changed with the season. A frequent smile had ploughed strong furrows on each side of his mouth; rough weather and strong waters had given a tone to his complexion-erubuit; and there was a youthful laughter in his grey glistening eye which betokened a mind used to jest and merriment. Yet he was no humourist. He liked a broad joke, or a practical one, and laughed at it loudly; but he was not rugged enough for humour, which requires certain points to retain it. A hydrophobiast in his drink, he esteemed water as sacred to ablution, and set it apart for that purpose only. In his early life he had been a traveller. He left the land of whiskey and thistles, and took his passage for India. Forgetting, however, to propitiate the winds, they resented his neglect so effectually (somewhere south or southwest of the Cape) that he was glad to escape with a bruised body and ragged" trews to some rock on the Indian ocean. It was upon this occasion, he said, that he first remembered, the taste of