Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

and walking-staff, and said to pounce and picked up—a peachthe three goat-herds, “My lads, stone ! After this to doubt all this is matter of miracle. I would have been childish ; as a do not deny its truth — God fact he had no more than the forbid it in a simple man such boys. “My children," said he, as I am. But I do certainly we are here face to face with ask you to lead me to the scene a great mystery. It is plain of your labours."

that Messer Domeneddio hath The boys needed no second designs upon this hamlet, of asking: off they all set. The which we, His worms, have no curate went over every inch of conception. You, my dear the ground. Here lay Luca, sons, He hath chosen to be Biagio, and Astorre; the belfry workers for His purpose, which of San Zeno was in such and we cannot be very far wrong in such a direction, the peach-trees supposing to be the building of in such and such. Good : there an oratory or tabernacle to hold they were. What next ? Ac- this unspeakable relic. That cording to their account, Ma- erection must be our immediate donna had come thus and thus. anxious care. Meantime I will The good curate bundled off to place the relic in the pyx of our spy for footprints in the orchard. Lady's altar, and mark the day Marvel! there were none. This in our calendar for perpetual made him look very grave; for remembrance. I shall not fail if she made no earthly footprints to communicate with his holishe could have no earthly feet. ness the bishop. Who knows Next he must see by what way what may be the end of this ?” she had gone. She left them He was as good as his word. kneeling here, said they, went A procession was formed in no towards the peach-garden, stayed time - children carrying their by a certain tree (which they rosaries and bunches of flowers, pointed out), plucked a peach three banners, the whole village from the very top of it—this with a candle apiece; next Luca, they swore to, though the tree Biagio, and Astorre with larger was near fourteen feet high- candles —half a pound weight stood while she ate it, and went each at the least; then four over the brow of the rising men to hold up a canopy, below ground. Here was detail enough, which came the good curate himit is to be hoped. The curate self with the relic on a cushion. nosed it out like a slot-hound; It was deposited with great he paced the track himself from reverence in the place devoted, the scrub to the peach-tree, and having been first drenched with stood under this last gazing to incense. There was a solemn its top, from there to its roots; mass. After which things the he shook his head many times, curate thought himself at liberty stroked his chin a few: then to ruffle into Verona with his with a broken cry he made a

news.

VI.

THE VISITATION OF THE GOLDEN FISH.

When a beast of chase—hart- the benches, partly for fear of royal, bear, or wolf-has been a visit from the watch, partly bayed and broken up, the least because, having already fallen worthy parts are thrown to the there once, they feared to fall curs which always come up at there again if they rose. In the heels of the pack. Soit is with one hand each held his knife, a kingly seat: the best of the in the other his empty mug. meats, after the great officers of Two ladies, intimates of theirs, the household have feasted, go Robaccia and Crucciacorda, sat to the dependants of these; the immediately above them, with peelings and guttings, the very petticoats ready to make amoffal and scour of the broth, are bush the moment a staff should flung farther, to the parasites of rattle at the door; round the the parasites, the ticks on ticks' table half-a-dozen shabby rogues backs. Round about the Castle bickered over their cards; Picaof Verona, where Can Grande gente, the hairy brigand, lay II. misused the justice which his snoring across

snoring across the threshold, forefathers had set up, lay the and his dog on him; on a barrel houses of his courtiers; beyond in a corner a gigantic shepherd them the lodgings of the grooms; in leather, with bandaged legs beyond them again, down to and a patch over one eye, shut the river's brink, were the stews the other eye while he roared a and cabins and unholy dens hymn to Bacchus at the top whose office was to be lower stretch of his lungs. The oilthan the lowest, that there lamp flickered, flared, and might still be degrees for the gloomed, half drowned in the gentlemen of gentlemen's gentle fumes of wine. A smell of

And since even cock- wicked bodies, foul clothes, roaches must drink, in this drink, and bad language made fungus - bed of misery there the air wellnigh solid. The flourished a rather infamous hour was at the stroke of tavern by the sale of vino nos ten ; outside the streets seemed trano, black and sour, of cer- asleep. tain sausages, black also and

In the middle of the uproar nameless, speckled with white Stefano the host looked

up lumps, and of other wares whom sharply, listening. to name were to expose. This “Stop your devil's ferment, was the tavern of the Golden Malabocca !” he thundered at Fish.

the shepherd; “stop it, or I'll On the evening of the day of split your crown." the Translation of the Peachstone, this tavern was full to

“ Bacco trionfante, suffocation. Stefano, the purple

Amante e spumante,

Evviva l'ubbriacchezza ! ” faced host, in shirt and breeches, stood dealing the liquor from a roared Malabocca, screwing up tub. Two outlaws lay under his eye. Stefano brought down

men,

comes

never

a mug full of wine upon his Last Things! Who pate, which gave him a red knocking in high God's name? baptism. “ Hist, you block- Who saith, 'Open'?-I will tell head, hist!” said his host. you: it is She who last night lit “There is a stir outside the upon my village and my own door I tell you !” The shepherd sister's son. Eh! bodies of all grew sober in a moment. dogs, what will become of us

There was a brief scramble in sinners ?” Here the shepherd the room—then silence. The beat the drum of his breast as a ladies' petticoats went farther signal before he fell flat on the than they were ever intended to floor. go; Picagente rolled over and From behind his wailful voice over till he reached cover under the gentle knocking was heard the table; the cards were hidden, running on. It had all the players' heads buried in ceased; it was insistent! Crosstheir elbows. Stefano blew out ing himself desperately, Stefano the light. Then they heard dis- slid back the bolts, then paused, tinctly a fluttering knock at the then turned the key, then

paused door, timid but continuous. again to breathe hard, his hand

Feigning a yawn, Stefano upon the latch. He threw his growled, “Who's there at this head forward with a gesture of hour?

abandonment to what must be, The answer came in a woman's flung wide the door, and dropped voice, saying, “Open, open, in upon his two knees. the name of high God.” Against a mild radiance, softer brought every head into the air than any lamp could shed, was again, but hushed every breath. a tall shrouded woman's figure.

The shepherd broke the silence They saw the round of her with a groan. He brought his cloaked head, they saw the white hand splashing on to his wet stream of her under-robe run head, then fell to his knees and from a peak at her bosom in a began to confess his sins. broadening path to her feet.

“My fault, my fault, my ex- They saw the pure grey moon ceeding great fault! O Mary! of her face, guessed by the dark 0 Jesus ! O nobis peccatori- rings where her eyes should be, bus !Thus the shepherd, watched with quicker awe the voicing the suspicions of the slow movement of her arms, rest. So he became their lifted their own to what she prophet as well as their priest. held up, and to the running He towered in the room.

under-current of the two sob“I tell you, comrades, that bing drabs muttered in one the hour of our visitation is voice their remembered adoracome. Not Can Grande and tion. his hounds are hunting us this The tall shepherd rose up by night; not the tumbril, the the help of the table, swayed branding-irons, nor the cart's and spoke. No one knew his tail, are for us, but the pains of voice again, hollow as it was death, the fire eternal, the untir- like the sea-grumble. “O Holiable worm, the trumpet of the est, O Rose, o Stem of Sharon,

It

VI.-THE VISITATION OF THE GOLDEN FISH.

When a beast of chase—hart- the benches, partly for fear of royal, bear, or wolf—has been a visit from the watch, partly bayed and broken up, the least because, having already fallen worthy parts are thrown to the there once, they feared to fall curs which always come up at there again if they rose. In the heels of the pack. Soit is with one hand each held his knife, a kingly seat: the best of the in the other his empty mug. meats, after the great officers of Two ladies, intimates of theirs, the household have feasted, go Robaccia and Crucciacorda, sat to the dependants of these; the immediately above them, with peelings and guttings, the very petticoats ready to make amoffal and scour of the broth, are bush the moment a staff should flung farther, to the parasites of rattle at the door; round the the parasites, the ticks on ticks' table half-a-dozen shabby rogues backs. Round about the Castle bickered over their cards; Picaof Verona, where Can Grande gente, the hairy brigand, lay II. misused the justice which his snoring across the threshold, forefathers had set up, lay the and his dog on him; on a barrel houses of his courtiers; beyond in a corner a gigantic shepherd them the lodgings of the grooms; in leather, with bandaged legs beyond them again, down to and a patch over one eye, shut the river's brink, were the stews the other eye while he roared a and cabins and unholy dens hymn to Bacchus at the top whose office was to be lower stretch of his lungs. The oilthan the lowest, that there lamp flickered, flared, and might still be degrees for the gloomed, half drowned in the gentlemen of gentlemen's gentle- fumes of wine. A smell of

And since even cock- wicked bodies, foul clothes, roaches must drink, in this drink, and bad language made fungus - bed of misery there the air wellnigh solid. The flourished a rather infamous hour was at the stroke of tavern by the sale of vino nos ten; outside the streets seemed trano, black and sour, of cer- asleep. tain sausages, black also and

In the middle of the uproar nameless, speckled with white Stefano the host looked up lumps, and of other wares whom sharply, listening. to name were to expose.

This

“Stop your devil's ferment, was the tavern of the Golden Malabocca !” he thundered at Fish.

the shepherd; “stop it, or I'll On the evening of the day of split your crown." the Translation of the Peachstone, this tavern was full to “ Bacco trionfante, suffocation. Stefano, the purple

Amante e spumante,

Evviva l'ubbriacchezza ! " faced host, in shirt and breeches, stood dealing the liquor from a roared Malabocca, screwing up tub. Two outlaws lay under his eye. Stefano brought down

men.

[graphic][subsumed]
« AnteriorContinuar »