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perturbable woman. She perpetually presented the appearance of a piece of machinery-like a watch wound up every morning or night. She advanced upon me.
'Madam,' said I, pardon me; but I did not expect to see you. Where is Miss Wilfred ?"
Miss Wilfred,' she replied, 'came into my room about an hour since, and throwing herself into my arms, sobbed upon my bosom that I thought her heart would break. I could not prevail upon her to tell me the cause of her grief. She said that now she was the most miserable of women—that she had been unfortunate before; but that now she was wretched beyond hope. Now, Mr. Savage, if you have been the cause of this
*I have—I have—' I exclaimed, vehemently, I have been a madman, madam; but I am not a villain ! The dearest creature! Mrs. Phillips-I must pass you-I must go to her--I must fling myself at her feet
You must not tonight,' she replied, placing her back against the door, and holding forth her hands. • I will not have Miss Wilfred agitated to-night. She is in her own room. Nay, sir, you shall not
The woman was too strong for me, or for such force as I could employ against a woman. It was in vain to wheedle or to remonstrate, although I did both for a considerable time. Mrs. Phillips was inexorable. I was sain, therefore, to retire, which, after all, when I had submitted to do so, I believe was the best. I was so utterly ashamed of myself that I know not how I could have stood before her presence.
I did not, however, go home, but to my tavern, which had already supplied me with courage to undertake my villanous project, and must now im part consolation to me on its defeat. I stayed there very late. How I got home I did not know until afterwards.
On the following morning, as I came down stairs, Lord Tyrconnel pushed open a door, and in an insolently imperious voice, called out from the inner part of the room,•That is you, Mr. Savage, I believe. Here! I want you.'
I was in no humour on that morning to put up with insult; and indeed, not to have offended me this lord must have used very choice language. I looked in at the door with no smooth brow, and with an eye in no wise amiable.
You spoke?' I want you.' "You want manners. Perhaps you have mislaid them. They cannot, I hope, be far off. Let me shut the door upon you and them, lest they escape. You will, probably, find them before I return.'
He turned round, for when I looked in upon him, he was standing with his back towards me; but I closed the door suddenly, and left the house,
It was not long ere I reached the house of Mrs. Phillips. The servant ushered me into Elizabeth's drawing-room. I waited her coming with some anxiety, and in no small trepidation. How would she receive me? I almost dreaded to conjecture.
Mrs. Phillips at last presented herself. I saluted her with great gravity. She handed me a sealed letter in silence.
• What is this, madam ?? I faltered, and must have turned pale. I felt the blood recede from my heart; I knew the seal too well. I dared not glance at the superscription. . What is the meaning of this ? Where is Elizabeth ?
There was an alteration in the woman's face. There was sorrow
• Miss Wilfred is gone,' she replied, and bas left that letter for
• Gone! Whither ?'
I retired to the window, and with shaking hands broke open the letter, which I read as well as those hands would let me. Every word a viper in my bosom: yet all sweetness, gentleness, forgive. ness; but forgiveness as of the dying to the survivor, who shall no more be seen. I could have burst into an agony of weeping, for my spirits had been overwrought; but I swallowed down the weakness which I feared Mrs. Phillips had detected. Crushing the letter together, I thrust it in mny pocket. In another moment I drew the letter from my pocket, imprecating curses on my head for having 80 rudely deformed it. Again and again I read it - Dearest Richard'-no hope could be drawn thence;-the letter itself forbade it. Had it breathed resentment, I had had less reason to despair. I must discover whither she bad fled-throw myself at her feet, nor leave her till she promised my pardon.
I left the house abruptly, nothing doubting that, before the day was over, I should prove successful in my search, and be blest with her forgiveness. My spirits revived as her lovely and beloved idea filled my mind.
She had few friends or acquaintances: these my memory readily recalled, and to these in turn I hastened. Lord Trevor was out of town, nor had Elizabeth been to his house. Lady Hertford was at home, and listened to the story I forged upon the instant with cold incredulity. She had not seen Miss Wilfred. She added, that when she did see her, she feared it was probable she should have something concerning Mr. Savage that would induce her never to see him again. She had heard of my wild pranks at taverns, and was quite certain I had done something to affront Miss Wilfred.
I was in no humour to listen to the objurgatory speeches of this very correct lady, and took my departure with some abruptness. The same want of success awaited me everywhere. I went back to Mrs. Phillips, and compelled her to promise that, should Miss Wil. fred return, she would immediately send a messenger for me.
I awaited his coming with the utmost anxiety until nine o'clock, when, unable to bear the suspense, the agony of my own thoughts, I flung out of Lord Tyrconnel's house, and once more presented myself before Mrs. Phillips. No tidings.
In no pleasant mood I carried myself away to my accustomed tavern; but I dismissed all appearance of emotion at the threshold. I met there several of the wild and waggish rascals with whom I had caroused on the previous night. They rallied me upon my state of helpless drunkenness, and reminded me, or rather told me,-for I had utterly forgotten it--of a general invitation I had given to the company to spend the night with me at the house of Lord Tyrconnel.
Away we went, some half drunk already, others hastening to be so, eight or ten of us hallooing through the streets, intolerant of the watch and of every obstruction, whether of animal matter or of physical substance, that impeded, or seemed to impede, our onward progress.
Arrived at the house, a vigorous application of the knocker en. forced immediate admittance. We burst like a torrent into the hall. I summoned the butler before me, and pronounced my orders. He remonstrated, but in vain. His were later instructions than, in my presence, had been given to him. I reminded hiin of Lord Tyrconnel's injunctions to obey me as himself. He was fain in this instance to do so. I passed with my friends up stairs.
I have no distinct remembrance of what took place after we had been provided with wine-plenty there was, and of the best. It was a scene of disorderly merriment. The sounds of uproar, of wild laughter, of songs and catches, of extravagance, of licentious non. sense, still ring in my ears.
In the very perplexity of the confusion at the very moment when each man may be supposed to have been, and probably was, talking to his neighbour upon a subject which he did not understand, and in a language which was unintelligible, into the room walks, or rather stalks, my Lord Tyrconnel.
When I discerned him and a phantom of himself, looming in the distance, which was not, I believe, till he had been a minute in the room, I called aloud to him (this, and all that took place till the company broke up, was told me afterwards by one of the party):
'You are welcome, Lord Tyrconnel, very welcome; although not invited, you are, I say, very welcome.'
To this he answered : • I believe, indeed, Mr. Savage, had' I been invited, I should not have been more welcome, or less ;' then turning to one of the gentlemen, “Mr. Barker, I am surprised to see you here. You know the terms upon which Mr. Savage holds a footing in my house. Let me tell you, after 10-morrow he shall have no further opportunity of disgracing me or himself here. He is too drunk to listen to reason or to hear resentment to-night. Prevail upon your friends to go. It is no fault of theirs. I should be sorry to affront gentlemen in my own house, which, however, I must do, if they are not speedily gone. My servants have called - the watch.'
I think I heard the conclusion of this sentence; for, it seems, I arose and made toward the speaker. Barker, however, held me tightly, till Lord Tyrconnel was gone from the room, when I succeeded in breaking from his grasp, and away I staggered in quest of the insulent disturber of my social enjoyment.
I recollect nothing that followed. When I awoke next morning, I found myself in my own bed, and by degrees attained to a partial remembrance of the last night's scene, of its interruption, and of the presence of him by whom it had been interrupted.
A MALTESE GHOST STORY.
BY RICHARD JOHNS.
• That is a singular looking rock,' said I to myself, and, as I thought, by myself, while gazing from the southern coast of Malta towards the little islet of Filfla, which, about four miles distant, uninhabited and seldom visited, rises from the blue waves a solitary, rugged mass of cliff and table-land, rather less than half a mile in circumference.
"And that is a true saying, signor,' responded a voice behind me in English, but with a strong Maltese accent.
I turned my head on the instant, and saw that I had been followed to the cliff where I had just seated myself, by an aged man,-a meagre, ragged Maltese fisherman.
* You speak English well,' said I; ‘you have been in England ?'
• I served in a man-of-war for four years, and in an English merchantman just as long; but it was years ago. I could speak better once. English is sooner learnt than Maltese.'
I fancied the old man smiled, for I had addressed him, perversely enough, in one of my best attempts at his own language, and, to turn the subject, I suddenly asked him whether I could procure a boat in the neighbourhood.
• Not nearer than Marsa Scirocco,' he answered, pointing towards that bay, “and there my son has one.'
Could he take me to Filfla ?I demanded; and not a little astonished was I at the effect my question had upon the old man.
Looking towards the islet rather than at me, a tremor seemed to seize his whole frame, and rapidly crossing himself, he exclaimed, -
• There are other fishermen at Marsa Scirocco. Holy mother of Heaven! ask not old Cristo, or son of his, to go to Filfla!'
* And why not, Cristo ?' I inquired, my curiosity naturally ex. cited.
• It is a long story,' rejoined the fisherman; but if the signor is going back to Valetta, and will give a few grains to a poor old man, who can show him the nearest way, I might tell it as we walked.'
This was truly characteristic of Malta ; a fair half of the population are beggars. I of course promised the required gratuity, and in return heard a genuine Maltese ghost story. I shall often depart from the words of the fisherman ; but the reader must take the narrative as I can best tell it, after the lapse of several months since it was told to me.
* Andrea Casha and Domenico Balzan,' leisurely commenced old Cristo, 'were neighbours' sons, residing at the entrance of the same casal, loving not the less for living near; though you know neighbours sometimes cease to be neighbourly. Their fathers' cotton, corn, and clover-fields; their gardens, well stocked with orange and fig-trees, and vines, were close to each other : the terrace-wall that supported the soil of the one proprietor, in continuation often did the like office for the other. Both the old men were thought equally wealthy for their walk in life, until the elder Balzan dying, it appeared that his properly was mortgaged even above its value to his neighbour. He had speculated and met great losses in a mercantile house at Valetta, with which a Maltese farmer should bave had nothing to do, and this caused his ruin. When Domenico Balzan had settled his father's affairs, he was obliged to accept the old Casha's offer of a home and employment on the property which he had looked upon as his inheritance, but which now belonged to another. This degradation he at first felt severely, for he was of a proud and restless spirit. He even quarrelled with Andrea, who tried in vain to console him, and he would ultimately have emigrated to Sicily, bad not the elder Casha died, and Domenico's too partial friend had it in his power to heap favours upon his old playfellow, which not only reconciled their differences, but rendered it likely that they would continue companions for life. Balzan was made by Andrea Casha the complete manager of his property, and he even went so far as 10 execute a will, by which, should he die without issue, Balzan's paternal estate would be restored to him. The young proprietor seemed, indeed, anxious to make any sacrifice rather than lose his friend, who, more than two years his senior, had been to him as a staff from his youth up, until he imagined that he could not go alone. Balzan knew well how to foster this idea, and to render hinself essential to his patron. Unscrupulous himself, he would have encouraged any vices in Andrea that might distract his attention from business. Vices Andrea Casha had none, for he was a well-principled and amiable young man, but he had a weakness, which answered Balzan's purpose as fully. He was so devoted to the festas and other pageants of the church, that a great portion of his time, and no small portion of his income, was lost in his attendance on, and support of, what Protestants would call religious vanities : not a discharge of fireworks graced the eve of a saint's day in Malta but went off with some of his money.
• These dissipations bad soon an effect which Balzan never contemplaled. Andrea, on several occasions after his return from a festa, spoke in most lover-like terms of a certain Signora Margarita Abela, who it would seem was almost as faithful an attendant upon festas as himself. She was invariably accompanied by her uncle, an elderly padrè, with whom Andrea had made an acquaintance, and who evidently encouraged the attentions of the young farmer.
6 « Domenico,” said Casha one day to his friend, " I insist upon your going with me to the festa of St. Gregory. I am to carry the standard of our cosal ; Margarita will be at Zeitun, and bravely will I wave it in her honour."
• Now the feast of St. Gregory at the casal or village of Zeitun is the most remarkable of all the country festas. Then and there the laymen of each of the casals in Malta, who subscribe to the support and watch over the interest of their principal churches, march in procession to the church of St. Gregory at Zeitun, from a village called “Casal Nuovo," where all these "fratelli'' previously meet. They wear distinctive uniforms, and a standard is borne before each party, the bearing of which is an honour sold to the highest bidder. The rustic lovers of Malta are anxious to secure this prize, as it is considered a most winning compliment to lustily wave the standard on the approach of a chosen fair one, and as their staves are very