MoboReader > Literature > Withered Leaves. Vol. III.(of III)

   Chapter 12 CONFESSIONS.

Withered Leaves. Vol. III.(of III) By Rudolf von Gottschall Characters: 32012

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:03


"When you receive these lines," wrote Giulia, "I shall have left Kulmitten with Beate, and all traces of me, it is to be hoped, will be lost to you and to the world. I take nothing with me, save the remembrance of your goodness and love, and they shall support me in my forsakenness, and render it possible for me to endure life.

"What else can it be to me, but an atonement of the past, but a prayer, a prayer for forgiveness? I shall never learn if it be fulfilled, but in my best hours I shall comfort myself with it, I shall hope and believe in it, as we believe in one only happiness!

"And I dare believe and hope, because the crime that I committed was committed only through boundless love for you, through passion that gives up and sacrifices everything for the possession of the beloved one, even its duty, its honour--at least that which before law and the world passes for such. I had hoped to be able to preserve my secret, and at the same time untroubled happiness for you, even although mine was ever disturbed by pangs of conscience; it has been ordained differently, the veil has suddenly fallen. I stand as a criminal before your eyes. If you, too, measure me with the measure of others, then there is no absolution for me, but you, whom I loved most deeply, will also be more capable than all others of forgiveness.

"The whole history of my sorrow is connected with a man who has now met with so terrible an end, he was fatal to my life. I may regret that a low mind made him an unsettled, unhappy wanderer upon earth, but I cannot weep for him, because tears are too precious to be wasted upon what is ignoble. Others may, perhaps, think the same of me, but every great passion has an atoning power. The story of my life is short, but eventful.

"My parents possessed a small estate near Bergamo; they exchanged it for another in the Italian Tyrol, but they were unfortunate, their affairs went wrong. Young as I was, I had to think of earning something for myself, and as I was esteemed tolerably good looking, and my voice melodious and strong, it was determined that I should devote myself to the stage. Influential friends provided for my education, so that I might enter the chorus at the Pergola, in Florence.

"I was eighteen years old, I did not know life. In my dreams I might sketch a brilliant future for myself: the present was poor enough, it did not satisfy the ambition of artistic struggles, it barely yielded daily bread. Gradually, however, I began to receive subordinate parts, in which, if not by my singing, yet by my voice, my whole manner, I could rouse people's attention.

"At that time I became acquainted with Baluzzi; he was twenty years older than I, and also a chorus singer, but for him the chorus was only a place of refuge, as it seemed, the sad close to a mysterious life. He was considered to be a handsome man, all my friends were proud when he paid them any little attention. Soon he began to distinguish me especially, which roused my companions' jealousy, made me, however, the more susceptible of the tokens of his favour. He understood how to win a young heart; he surrounded himself with the charm of recklessness; here and there he allowed a reminiscence of his past, a picture to gleam shedding around him the halo of a bold, daring man. Being a member of the chorus appeared to us as a disguise which he had assumed in his momentary need.

"Unacquainted with life, captivated by Baluzzi's fiery glances, and the power of his language, I was soon beneath his spell. I loved him with inexperienced, ardent love. An event also occurred that showed me his uncontrolled feelings, it is true, but also the strength of his passion. I had inspired a Florentine noble with one of those transient affections which the stage so easily ignited. I had treated him politely, and he looked upon me as an easy prey. Late one evening he came to me. I bade him leave, he became more importunate. Baluzzi had watched for him, came to me, drew out his dagger, and wounded the nobleman. The wound was not dangerous and my well-born friend deemed it best to observe silence. I, however, could gauge Baluzzi's love for me by the measure of his savage jealousy.

"Nor did he only crave for fleeting love, he strove to possess me from the first. He told the wounded intruder that I was his betrothed, and asserted his right of active defence. I had not given him the right until now, but I did not show over-much resistance when he claimed it. Once when I refused to listen to him, we were standing upon the platform of the companile, he threatened to throw himself down, and I appeased him with hasty consent, because I believed that he would fulfil his threat.

"One thing I must say for him--and that was my misfortune--he believed in my talent, my future. While others thought my performances pretty and taking, he was convinced that, with my voice, my appearance, after a little progress in singing, I should become great on the Italian stage. In imagination he foresaw my pecuniary, my brilliant successes, therefore he strove to possess me. I was an object of his calculations, and they had not deceived him. That he also found me personally desirable I will readily believe, for the world, the public, the newspapers, and above all, my mirror told me that I was beautiful.

"Baluzzi's passionate courtship, which inspired me with fear and dread--as he intimidated me with menaces if I should not do his will--I could no longer resist. I had sung my first more important part at the Pergola and been very successful; his calculations now gained a firmer basis, more resolutely he went at his object. At that time, it is true, I only perceived the expression of unlimited passion in all that he said or did, which at last intoxicated me, for nothing is more infectious than the soul's warmth. I gave my consent to the marriage; that it should be a secret one at first, we both agreed. Nothing is more fatal to young actresses than the title of Signora, it sets a barrier to those undecided wishes which spontaneously, like a superfluous element of nature, mingle with the admiration of beauty and artistic revelations; in such unexpressed emotions often lies the secret of success. A grand career lay before me, it must remain free and open to me. Baluzzi also desired this. We were married in the remote little church in the middle of the Orta lake. For the stage I continued to be Signora Bollini; but the heavy, fatal error of my life had been committed, it was no youthful folly whose consequences could be brushed away with a light hand. Marriage is indissoluble according to the laws of the Church, indissoluble according to those of the country. The priest's words had converted me into a slave for evermore. I did not feel it then, I was happy. This confession does not disgrace me, because felicity lies in our feelings, and delusion can call it forth as well as truth. Youth has its own rapture, its own bliss, and love is not so powerless as not to procure full enjoyment for all who are filled with it. Those were glorious days which I spent by the banks of the Orta lake. Baluzzi then seemed like a demi-god to me, but that bliss was of short duration.

"Returned to Florence, I soon remarked that he displayed several rougher sides of his nature, at first surprising, then alarming me. I perceived that he gave himself up to a wild life, which, merely to win and deceive me, he had interrupted for some time. He laid an embargo upon my cash-box, I was almost reduced to poverty; he was a gambler, a drunkard, and spent his nights with wild companions.

"The rapture of love, however, had given unthought-of wings to my talent; from part to part I attained greater success, and after the lapse of a year was engaged at the Pergola with a considerable salary, but, with the salary, increased Baluzzi's claims; often he demanded money for his journeys to Monaco, where he indulged his mania for play, whence he always returned a bankrupt. All my expostulations were vain, he met them with bitter scorn and the defiant manner of a lord and master.

"He gambled at Monaco, he engaged in equivocal business, and did I not send him sufficient money at any time, he pursued me like a spy, like a shadow. He read of my successes in the papers, he kept a book of them, he calculated my receipts. In Milan, not long after, began the era of my triumphs, the most distinguished circles were opened to me. I became intimate with Princess Dolgia, and she invited we to her villa at Stresa.

"It was then that I saw you for the first time, when my heart burned for you with glowing passion, when I experienced all the charms of love and life, and felt the shame of my chains doubly heavy; then, too, he spied upon me by the lake shore, he had been dissatisfied with the last remittance; he demanded more. At the same time his heart was inflamed with savage jealousy, or was it rather an emotion of hatred--he saw that we loved one another. I feared for your life, only a great price could assuage his wrath. But, carried away with delight that knew no bounds, as if to raise me in blissful dreams above the unworthiness with which my life was filled, I would not curb my glowing love, and greater than the sin of loving was the wicked doubt, whether the welfare of my soul was more imperilled by your love than by the mad passion of a brutal criminal.

"Since then my only thought has been for you and your love; he followed me upon my career of triumph which I commenced through Europe. I would fly from you, only entwine your love like a transient dream in my life--and ever again it urged me to seek you; therefore I came here and stayed so long on the shores of the northern lakes. It drew me to your native land, to your own home. I visited your Castle while you were absent; then I tore myself away from the glowing dreams of my longing--for almost two years I lingered in Russia. Owing to no fault of mine, Baluzzi had lost all traces of me for a considerable time; he had been guilty of some breach of the laws in Russia, and was, I know not why, banished to Siberia, but he discovered me again, and, like a leech, he clung to my heels.

"My increasing fame gave me the entrée to good society, I gained the friendship of princes and princesses. Intercourse with Baluzzi could only injure my name. Little as he fulfilled his duties as a chorus singer in Florence, he was known as one of those musical assistants who stood upon a subordinate step of the ladder of art, in those circles I had risen far above his horizon. I often let him feel it, and he rebelled with double defiance against my 'impudent overbearing.' Yet he saw that, for his own sake, he must not disturb my career; he agreed only to see and speak to me secretly, and before the world to assume the semblance of friendship; he often came after dissipated entertainments and asserted his rights, rousing my anger.

"Another fearful surprise awaited me. A falling scene had struck his shoulder; he persistently rejected all assistance from the surgeon, and from me. I went to see him, he lay in feverish sleep. I wanted to see the wound, that appeared to me as serious as his resistance was suspicious. I drew back the bandage and saw--even now the recollection fills me with horror--upon his shoulder the branded mark of a galley-slave! It was to a desperate criminal that I had given hand and heart!

"There are countries in which the law would grant the right of divorce in cases where such discoveries were made after marriage, because they assume that only by mistake could such an union have been formed. But in Italy there is no such law, and had there been I had neglected the time which is allowed for such an appeal. I knew nothing about it.

"Nevertheless, my resolution, to set myself free from the horrible control of this man, so far as lay in my power, remained immovable. When Baluzzi had recovered, I imparted my discovery to him with great composure; he started. I told him that I knew now that I had married a heavily punished criminal.

"'Quarrels at the gaming table,' said he shortly, 'a hasty dagger that caught its victim.'

"'Perhaps combined with cheating and robbery,' added I.

"'What does it matter to you? Who dares to reproach me with a punishment that I have undergone?' I explained succinctly to him that I could have nothing in common with a dismissed galley-slave, and forbade him to visit me any more. Naturally this prohibition angered him, but I declared that I should betray his secret to the world, publish the brand which justice had imprinted upon him, and thus had cast him out for ever from association with his fellow-men.

"'Then I shall proclaim our marriage,' cried he triumphantly, 'and upon you will rest the same curse.'

"'And our fame, my talent, our gains?'

"He became thoughtful, and entered into negociations; he should not disturb my path any more, but he claimed the greater portion of my receipts for himself; under these conditions, so long as I remained on the stage, where he prophesied me a brilliant career, he should not assert his rights over me, but so soon as from any cause I left the theatre, I should again fall into his power, not only my possessions, but also my life and person; thus should he be indemnified for the long privation. I might then proclaim that he had been in the bagno, it was immaterial to him. The wife of a galley-slave shared his disgrace; yes, then he should be my master again and possess the right to the whims of a sultan.

"He parted from me; I bound myself always to give him my address, as I was about to set out on a starring tour in Italy and abroad. I felt like a serf who is granted liberty which is liable to be recalled at any moment, but my earnings were paralysed, and my heart could not beat freely without committing sin. That was control worse than the galley!

"I saw you again. From that time my life has been no secret to you. I would belong to you for ever, it was the one object of my life, and yet unattainable if I did not possess the audacity to defy the constraint of a law binding me for life to the galley. Is there no higher decree than the mutable chequered one of these countries in our hemisphere? Is there not a holier love which may scorn an unholy bond? I hoped to annihilate the proofs of my slavery: I hoped to keep the spectre of my life far aloof from myself, and still farther from you; to enjoy a happiness over which, indeed, hung a sword on a silver thread, yet invisible to you and your repose, not hostile to your peace--in vain! He came because I had resigned the stage; he came not to demand my money, but myself, and in wild desperation I bought a new reprieve with the gift of your love, the diamond diadem, the family jewels of the Blandens. But dying, the wretched man fulfilled his oaths of revenge, and, as bleeding, he descends amongst the shadows, he leaves me behind amidst the falling ruins of my bliss.

"Well;--I am a guilty woman! Now condemn me! I have deceived you, I bring disgrace upon your house--and yet, so long as my heart beats, it will beat for you; I go forth into misery, behind me the myrmidons of the law, nothing is left for me save the last greeting, the last word of blessing! God protect the most noble man whom the earth contains, and if he cannot forgive me then may his pity follow me--the outcast, the scorned--into the wide world!"

Again, and again, Blanden read the letter with throbbing heart and a tear in his eyes, he ordered his horses to be harnessed and drove furiously to Kulmitten. The Castle was desolate and empty. Giulia and Beate had left it in a peasant's cart which chanced to be passing through, both in the plainest garments, none could tell whither.

He was alone. He waited for the officers of justice who would soon knock at those doors and attach the seal of nameless shame to the sacred heritage of his family. He sat there a

silent, moody man, and buried all his hopes.

LAST CHAPTER.

TO THE EAST!

Since the occurrences which we have just related, two years had passed away.

The political storm had burst which the weather tokens on the horizon had long since foretold, the regeneration of the German people was proclaimed amid mighty convulsions.

It was a premature spring whose blossoms shed their leaves before they attained maturity.

The uproar raged through the large towns. Blood flowed over the streets. War between brothers was unfettered. Often those fought together, who desired the same object; with cannon balls, the people greeted the desired concessions of Government; wild tumult had taken possession of hearts and minds. The equinoctial gale of the spring of liberty swept through Europe, and general shipwreck ensued.

Only upon one tiny spot of earth, where it was necessary to defend German soil against foreign encroachments, and to prepare the place for the German Empire of the future, a struggle had been commenced, which did not bear the fearful impress of a war between brothers, which was ennobled by glorious enthusiasm for the fatherland. The dependence upon the will of foreign rulers who trod old rights under foot, had become insupportable to a brave race of people which flew to arms to preserve the right, to repel the interference of a newly-crowned king, and to maintain its connection with Germany at the point of the sword.

It was on a day in April, 1848, that the thunder of cannon echoed across the narrow bay of Flensburg; the red columns of the Danish army had extended themselves around the village of Bau and threatened to cut off the advance guard of the Schleswig-Holstein army that was stationed at Bau and Krusau. Soon the battle began! The flower of the country's youth, the students of Kiel, with the riflemen of that town, had to withstand the first onslaught of the enemy.

Over the hedges, out of the ditches, the advanced out-posts fired upon the red sharpshooters, upon the rushing enemy.

"Forward!" resounded the cry of the officers; "forward!" rang Blanden's voice. He led the disciples of alma mater to the battle; he had hastened to them, and entered their ranks amongst the first German volunteers, who placed their swords at the disposal of the good cause of Schleswig-Holstein.

"Forward!" replied the students' cry, with tempestuous enthusiasm, many of whom had a musket in their hands for the first time, who had poured in from the lecture-rooms to prove by active deeds their devotion to their fatherland. And forward moved the volunteer band; with levelled bayonets they charged the Danish vanguard, drove it back, and held their position beneath a heavy fire; courage and energy compensated for lack of numbers.

The Danes gave the courageously attacking force credit for strong supports; for a fresh effort they summoned fresh powers to their assistance.

Regardless of the balls which whistled round him from every side, Blanden, too, stood under fire; it almost seemed as if death would be welcome to him, and yet he was filled with burning love of battle as he looked into the radiant faces of those youths who went so full of the courage of sacrifice to meet their death.

Yes, and it was no common food for powder that filled the ditches, they were the best sons of the land. It was the vanguard of the German spirit, and wherever it had conquered it was always the united word of the sword, and the sword of the word which had gained the victory. These bayonets were not merely a flashing protest of the northern nations; the hands in which they rested were equally powerful to wield the pen--and knew how to prove this right.

Meanwhile the shots thundered from Bau, the crashing salvoes, however, drew towards the south-east of Flensburg. Soon scattered troops announced that the sixteenth battalion at Bau had been beaten by the Danes. Now the brave men stood helplessly, no order from head-quarters came to them; one orderly after another was despatched, none returned. The retreat to Flensburg was endangered.

Thus they left the corpse-strewn battle field in order to force a retreat for themselves. Bau and Krusau were the Schleswig-Holstein Thermopyl?!

Singing battle songs, the troops of lads approached the town, but they were hymns to the dead, for now only did death reap its abundant harvest.

The road ran along the shore, the bay suddenly became alive, the white and red flags approached, and the sky-blue lion prepared to spring. Was not the sea, the kingdom of the old Vikings, subject to the island people; how long did the Sound stand beneath the dominion of Danish cannon?

And it was a submissive bay of the conquered East Sea, which here made its entry into the Schleswig-Holstein country of beeches and hedges.

Suddenly the waves became alive, from the narrow tongue of land, from Holsens, where the Leviathans, the armed men of war, lay, it came ever nearer like a dark cloud upon the billows, a dense evil-boding throng.

They were the Danish gun-boats; then flashed the shots, then blazed the touch-holes. Astonished, the waves caught the strange smoke of powder which spread itself over them like a veil, and the cartridges rattled on the strand.

Like an ocean monster of the old legend rolling devouringly upon the land, death leaped from the waves and laid its victims low. The road became filled with corpses, of what use were the single bullets, which struck the boats; of what avail the temporary shelter behind the trunks of trees along the path!

"Forward to the foundry!" rang the cry of death. It was a kind of trench granting protection. There they could fall fighting; here the band resembled game driven by the keepers, upon which the sportsmen can shoot from a safe position.

And with winged steps all thronged to the fort of death, determined, at least, to sell their lives dearly.

Cartridge upon cartridge blazed across; wounded and dying leaned against the tall stems of the beeches, and the down crashing branches decked these pale brows as if with a homely wreath of honour, upon which trickled the cold drops of death.

Already Blanden saw the smoking furnaces of the foundry before him; there a flash quivers through the cloud of vapour; in conical flight the birds of death swept through, on right and left, fell into the trees, here and there penetrated the earth, struck the companions by his side, and stretched Blanden himself on the ground. He gazed into the night, as it descended upon his eyes--the night of death--but uttered not a word of lament. His last thought before his senses forsook him was the futility of his life, which was honourably terminated by death upon the battle-field.

When he opened his eyes again amidst violent pain, he fancied he was still under the spell of a dream: had he awoke in India amongst the peris? His bewildered fancy led the favourite images of his waking dreams before his mind.

A tear-bedimmed eye rested upon him, a slight form, wrapped in a cloak, bent over him.

They were the eyes, it was the figure of Giulia; with a loud cry of joy she welcomed his awaking.

But it was yet the day, the same day of the battle. Vollies rattled round the iron fort; where at other times the wheels of machinery revolved, now revolved the wheel of death.

A gun-boat still lay upon the strand, the otters had moved nearer to Flensburg, but that one did not cease from its work of devastation. A cartridge rattled and fell into the beech and struck down a branch, which fell upon Giulia and cut her brow. She had bent over Blanden to shelter him.

"Where am I? You here?" said he, half unconsciously.

"Do not ask how."

"Who brings you here?"

"Charity and longing for death, but now there is not a moment to lose."

She beckoned to two peasants, who stood close by with a little cart, and lifted Blanden into it, beside a wounded man who already lay there. Giulia seated herself upon the hard straw sack. They went along back streets to the inn of a neighbouring village, where several surgeons were in full employment.

It was a long time before Blanden recovered from his wounds, which left him slightly lame for life. Giulia was once more his faithful nurse, she also followed him to the Danish captivity, into which he, with the other wounded men, had fallen.

The feeling of belonging wholly to one another became quickened in both. From every side Blanden heard with what heroic valour Giulia had hastened into the battle field, how amidst shot and shells she had brought consolation, succour and relief to the wounded, an angel of mercy, whose memory would live for all ages in the hearts of the Schleswig-Holstein youth. For long both avoided speaking of their separation, its causes, of their later experiences. There would have been the risk of great agitation for Blanden, for both the danger of parting again, and yet both felt how painful an effect this would have upon their lives.

At last Blanden had sufficiently recovered to be allowed to go out into the fresh air, and he, with others, had been already exchanged for Danish prisoners.

They sat under a lofty avenue of beeches by the sea, lying so quietly and blue before them. Islands rose out of the waves and ships passed on the horizon.

"Where have you been, Giulia, since you left me?"

"Upon a little island near that of Sylt, in a lonely fisherman's cottage, there I deemed myself most effectually concealed. So quickly could the law not raise its accusation, not follow my track and find me yonder in my solitude, where, with Beate, I helped to mend fishing nets, and obtained a little money by teaching children. For hours I sat upon the 'dunes,' I saw the tide rush in which for centuries has been washing away these islands, ready to swallow them up, and which already has buried so much work of men's hands within its depths. Like a sea mew's flight over the foaming, dashing billows, my thoughts swept over the heights and abysses of my life, and my bruised heart did bitter penance, and as the roaring hurricane came and stirred the waves and tore them upwards until towering on high they dashed upon the shore, so was I now overwhelmed with the fire and wild passion which had animated me, and with the recollection of all the tempests of my life.

"I could have retired to a convent in my own country, but my soul longed for the free breath of heaven, and an irrevocable bond would have crushed it to the ground.

"Beate left me, she had often been at Sylt during the season, and there had made the acquaintance of a well-to-do Hamburg merchant, whom her sparkling eyes and lively manner had fascinated. We parted amid tears, she was my most faithful friend, who for me had jeopardised her honour. Then the feeling of being utterly forsaken came upon me, the never ceasing return of ebb and flow, the only event of which the 'dunes' could tell, made my spirit weary and listless, all the fettered springs of life stirred within me. I could not have lived amid the ocean solitude another year, my talent for a Robinsonade was exhausted. Then the news of war, which was at that time only imminent, but of whose outbreak messengers brought premature intelligence, penetrated to our fishermen's cottages; I resolved to make atonement for my past as a nurse in the midst of the conflict, and hoped, perhaps, to meet death from a merciful bullet. When I came here I found nothing prepared, I wished to go upon the battle-field as a volunteer Samaritan, and beneath its terrible and yet elevating influences, I felt the pulses of my life beat higher once more--I forgot myself. I relieved pain, I earned thanks--the sin of my life seemed to be melting away as if tears and words of gratitude washed it out. Thus I found you. Fate led those together again, whom it had parted, but still the gulf of guilt lies between them. You have recovered, my task is completed, let me go hence once more."

"No Giulia," cried Blanden with a burst of emotion, "now we part no more."

Giulia looked enquiringly at him; she could not believe his words.

"I part from my preserver no more. I am superstitious, or believing enough to follow the signal of fate which re-united us upon the field of honour. You have nothing more to fear from justice. Baluzzi's messenger, wild Robert, did not reach his goal, he fell, lost in the swamp, the edges of which were thoroughly searched by the guards; doubtlessly he ventured too far in order to escape them. Baluzzi's accusation lies deep down in the morass where it ought to lie; he himself is dead, never did any messenger of justice trouble me. Thus there is but one human being in the world who can bring an accusation against you, and that one dare not, because you only sinned out of love for me, out of blind, but yet true ardent love, and with this kiss I absolve you."

He kissed Giulia's brow; sobbing, she sank into his arms.

"Fate has foiled my most glorious plans of life, we cannot return to the desolate Castle. Your sudden flight injured my name again, the people there will not associate with us, but the world is large! Although my life has been a failure, although I must stay far from my home, there yet remains to me the thinker's dream and the ecstasy of love."

"Not for my sake shall you fly from all," said Giulia imploringly.

"I, too, am dead to this portion of the world. I can do nothing more for my fatherland. This bullet has rendered me unfit for war, a chain of unfortunate circumstances for peace. I cannot stand before any electors, a political career is closed to me. Thus I fly for my sake also, and you, my fondly loved wife, I take with me as comforter. The registry at San Giulio still tells of your guilt, we must away, far away from here. I know a land, the cradle of the gods, perhaps the cradle of mankind, a wonder land. There beneath the giant mountain lies the Walar Lake, and the Behat winds through a paradise of rustling fruit trees and prolific plains upon which gaze down glaciers high as heaven. Beautiful beings wander there in the most blessed valley of the world, and there free from the constraint of law and the trammels of society, which here rule the world, we will build ourselves huts and I will introduce you to the profound wisdom of the land of the lotus-flowers. Follow me to Cashmere."

Giulia pressed him to her heart, "I have no will but yours."

Blanden wrote to Wegen and begged him to sell Kulmitten, Rositten, and Nehren. His friend, Olga's happy husband, doubly happy by her unexpected mastery of the art of cooking, executed Blanden's commission, and by means of a large inheritance, was enabled to buy Kulmitten, the principal estate, for himself.

To Kuhl, however, who really had invited no living creature excepting Caro, to his wedding dinner, Blanden wrote--

"I go far away, to the primeval home of mankind; I am a shipwrecked mariner, and, united to Giulia, shall build myself a hut in the desert. Withered leaves--they fell upon the flowers of my heart, and twice have covered and crushed out their life. My friend! no man can overcome his past. Unforeseen it rises again like a spectre and stretches the destroyer's hand into our lives. Poor Eva was the victim of one of those fearful chains of events which, long invisible, suddenly seize us with a ghostly grasp. That I had loved the mother, was the daughter's death! Withered leaves--vainly my Giulia amid bitterest pain sought to wrench herself loose from her past, but it held her firmly as in an iron vice. Away into the kingdom of Buddha, into the dream-world of the East! I could not live as I would, therefore now I will live as I can."

Not long after a Hamburg steamboat bore the loving pair into the land of the lotus-flowers.

FOOTNOTE:

Footnote 1: The evening preceding the wedding day,--Translator's note.

THE END.

* * *

Printed by Remington & Co., 5, Arundel Street, Strand, W.C.

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