Read CHAPTER LXI of Wagner‚ the Wehr-Wolf , free online book, by George W. M. Reynolds, on

While those awful scenes were being enacted in the subterranes of the holy inquisition, Demetrius was actively engaged in directing those plans and effecting those arrangements which the scheming disposition of Nisida of Riverola had suggested. We should observe that in the morning he had sought and found Antonio, with whom he had so expertly managed that the villain had fallen completely into the snare spread to entrap him, and had not only confessed that he held at his disposal the liberty of the Count of Riverola, but had also agreed to deliver him up to the Greek. In a word, every thing in this respect took place precisely as Nisida had foreseen. Accordingly, so soon as it was dark in the evening, sixty of the Ottoman soldiers quitted by two and threes the mansion which the Florentine Government had appropriated as a dwelling for the envoy and his suit. The men whom Demetrius thus intrusted with the execution of his scheme, and whose energy and fidelity he had previously secured by means of liberal reward and promise of more, were disguised in different ways, but were all well armed. To be brief, so well were the various dispositions taken, and so effectually were they executed, that those sixty soldiers had concealed themselves in the grove indicated by their master, without having excited in the minds of the Florentine people the least suspicion that anything unusual was about to take place. It was close upon eleven o’clock at night, when Demetrius, after having obtained a hasty interview with Nisida, whom he acquainted with the progress of the plot, repaired to the grove wherein his men were already distributed, and took his station in the midst of the knot of olives on the right of the huge chestnut tree which overhung the chasm.

Nearly a quarter of an hour elapsed, and naught was heard save the waving of the branches and the rustling of the foliage, as the breeze of night agitated the grove; but at the expiration of that brief period, the sound of voices was suddenly heard close by the chestnut tree not preceded by any footsteps nor other indication of the presence of men and thus appearing as if they had all at once and in an instant emerged from the earth.

Not a moment had elapsed no, not a moment ere those individuals whose voices were thus abruptly heard, were captured and secured by a dozen Ottoman soldiers, who sprung upon them from the dense thickets around or dropped amongst them from the branches overhead and so admirably was the swoop made, that five persons were seized, bound and held powerless and incapable of resistance ere the echo of the cry of alarm which they raised had died away in the maze of the grove. And simultaneously with the performance of this skillful maneuver, a shrill whistle was wafted from the lips of Demetrius through the wood, and as if by magic, a dozen torches were seen to light up and numbers of men, with naked scimiters gleaming in the rays of those firebrands, rushed toward the spot where the capture had been made. The effect of that sudden illumination those flashing weapons and that convergence of many warriors all toward the same point, was striking in the extreme, and as the glare of the torches shone on the countenances of the four men in the midst of whom was Francisco (the whole five, however, being held bound and powerless by the Ottoman soldiers), it was evident that the entire proceeding had inspired the guilty wretches with the most painful alarm. Demetrius instantly knew that the handsome and noble-looking young man in the midst of the group of captives and captors, must be Don Francisco of Riverola, and he also saw at a glance that one of the ruffians with him was Antonio. But he merely had leisure at the moment to address a word of reassurance and friendship to Nisida’s brother for, lo! the secret of the entrance to the robbers’ stronghold was revealed discovered! Yes there, at the foot of the tree, and now rendered completely visible by the glare of the torch-light, was a small square aperture, from which the trap door had been raised to afford egress to the captured party.

“Secure that entrance!” cried Demetrius, hastily; “and hasten down those steps, some dozen of you, so as to guard it well!” then, the instant this command was obeyed he turned toward Francisco, saying, “Lord of Riverola am I right in thus addressing you?”

“Such is my name,” answered Francisco; “and if you, brave chief, will but release me and lend me a sword, I will prove to thee that I have no particular affection for these miscreants.”

Demetrius gave the necessary order and in another moment the young Count of Riverola was not only free, but with a weapon in his hand. The Greek then made a rapid, but significant fatally significant sign to his men; and quick as thought, the three robbers and their confederate Antonio were strangled by the bowstrings which the Ottomans whipped around their necks. A few stifled cries and all was over! Thus perished the wretch Antonio one of those treacherous, malignant, and avaricious Italians who bring dishonor on their noble nation, a man who had sought to turn the vindictive feelings of the Count of Arestino to his own purposes, alike to fill his purse and to wreak his hateful spite on the Riverola family! Scarcely was the tragedy enacted, when Demetrius ordered the four bodies to be conveyed down the steps disclosed by the trap-door; “for,” said he, “we will endeavor so to direct our proceedings that not a trace of them shall be left upon ground; as the Florentines would not be well-pleased if they learnt that foreign soldiers have undertaken the duties which they themselves should perform.” Several of the Ottomans accordingly bore the dead bodies down the steps; and Demetrius, accompanied by Francisco, followed at the head of the greater portion of the troops, a sufficient number, however, remaining behind to constitute a guard at the entrance of the stronghold.

While they were yet descending the stone stairs, Demetrius seized the opportunity of that temporary lull in the excitement of the night’s adventures, to give Francisco hasty but welcome tidings of his sister; and the reader may suppose that the generous-hearted young count was overjoyed to learn that Nisida was not only alive, but also once more an inmate of the ancestral home. Demetrius said nothing relative to Flora; and Francisco, not dreaming for a moment that his deliverer even knew there was such a being in existence, asked no questions on that subject. His anxiety was not, however, any less to fly to the cottage; for it must be remembered that he was arrested first, on the 3d of July, and had yet to learn all the afflictions which had fallen upon Flora and her aunt afflictions of the existence whereof he had been kept in utter ignorance by the banditti during his long captivity of nearly three months in their stronghold. But while we are thus somewhat digressing, the invaders are penetrating further into the stronghold. Headed by Demetrius and Francisco, and all carrying their drawn scimiters in their hands, the corps proceeded along a vast vaulted subterrane, paved with flag-stones, until a huge iron door, studded with nails, barred the way.

“Stay!” whispered Francisco, suddenly recollecting himself, “I think I can devise a means to induce the rogues to open this portal, or I am much mistaken.”

He accordingly seized a torch and hurried back to the foot of the stone-steps; in the immediate vicinity of which he searched narrowly for some object. At last he discovered the object of his investigation namely a large bell hanging in a niche, and from which a strong wire ran up through the ground to the surface. This bell Francisco set ringing, and then hurried back to rejoin his deliverers. Scarcely was he again by the side of Demetrius, when he saw that his stratagem had fully succeeded; for the iron door swung heavily round on its hinges and in another moment the cries of terror which the two robber-sentinels raised on the inner side, were hushed forever by the Turkish scimiters. Down another flight of steps the invaders then precipitated themselves, another door, at the bottom, having been opened in compliance with the same signal which had led to the unfolding of the first and now the alarm was given by the sentinels guarding the second post those sentinels flying madly on, having beholden the immolation of their comrades. But Demetrius and Francisco speedily overtook them just as they emerged from another long vaulted and paved cavern-passage, and were about to cross a plank which connected the two sides of a deep chasm in whose depths a rapid stream rushed gurgling on.

Into the turbid waters the two fugitive sentinels were cast: over the bridge poured the invaders, and into another caverned corridor, hollowed out of the solid rock, did they enter, the torch-bearers following immediately behind the Greek and the young count. It was evident that neither the cries of the surprised sentinels nor the tread of the invaders had alarmed the main corps of the banditti; for, on reaching a barrier formed by massive folding doors, and knocking thereat, the portals instantly began to move on their hinges and in rushed the Ottoman soldiers, headed by their two gallant Christian leaders. The robbers were in the midst of a deep carouse in their magnificent cavern-hall, when their festivity was thus rudely interrupted.

“We are betrayed!” thundered Lomellino, the captain of the horde; “to arms! to arms!”

But the invaders allowed them no time to concentrate themselves in a serried phalanx, and tremendous carnage ensued. Surprised and taken unaware as they were, the banditti fought as if a spell were upon them, paralyzing their energies and warning them that their last hour was come. The terrible scimiters of the Turks hewed them down in all directions; some, who sought to fly, were literally cut to pieces. Lomellino fell beneath the sword of the gallant Count of Riverola; and within twenty minutes after the invaders first set foot in the banqueting hall, not a soul of the formidable horde was left alive!

Demetrius abandoned the plunder of the den to his troops; and when the portable part of the rich booty had been divided amongst them, they returned to their own grove, into which the entrance of the stronghold opened. When the subterrane was thus cleared of the living, and the dead alone remained in that place which had so long been their home, and was now their tomb, Demetrius ordered his forces to disperse and return to their quarters in Florence in the same prudent manner which had characterized their egress thence a few hours before. Francisco and Demetrius, being left alone together in the grove, proceeded by torchlight to close the trap-door, which they found to consist of a thick plate of iron covered with earth, so prepared, by glutinous substances no doubt, that it was hard as rock; and thus, when the trap was shut down, not even a close inspection would lead to a suspicion of its existence, so admirably did it fit into its setting and correspond with the soil all around.

It required, moreover, but a slight exercise of their imaginative powers to enable Demetrius and Francisco to conjecture that every time any of the banditti had come forth from their stronghold they were accustomed to strew a little fresh earth over the entire spot, and thus afford an additional precaution against the chance of detection on the part of any one who might chance to stray in that direction. We may also add that the trap-door was provided with a massive bolt which fastened it inside when closed, and that the handle of the bell-wire, which gave the signal to open the trap, was concealed in a small hollow in the old chestnut-tree. Having thus satisfied his curiosity by means of these discoveries, Demetrius accompanied Francisco to the city; and during their walk thither, he informed the young count that he was an envoy from the Ottoman Grand Vizier to the Florentine Government that he had become acquainted with Nisida on board the ship which delivered her from her lonely residence on an island in the Mediterranean and that as she had by some means or other learnt where Francisco was imprisoned, he had undertaken to deliver him. The young count renewed his warmest thanks to the chivalrous Greek for the kind interest he had manifested in his behalf; and they separated at the gate of the Riverola mansion, into which Francisco hurried to embrace his sister; while Demetrius repaired to his own abode.

The meeting between Nisida and her brother Francisco was affecting in the extreme; and for a brief space the softer feelings in the lady’s nature triumphed over those strong, turbulent, and concentrated passions which usually held such indomitable sway over her. For her attachment to him was profound and sincere; and the immense sacrifice she had made in what she conceived to be his welfare and interests had tended to strengthen this almost boundless love.

On his side, the young count was rejoiced to behold his sister, whose strange disappearance and long absence had filled his mind with the worst apprehensions. Yes, he was rejoiced to see her once more beneath the ancestral roof; and, with a fond brother’s pride, he surveyed her splendid countenance, which triumph and happiness now invested with an animation that rendered her surpassingly beautiful!

A few brief and rapidly-given explanations were exchanged between them, by means of the language of the fingers, Francisco satisfying Nisida’s anxiety in respect to the success of her project, by which the total extermination of the banditti had been effected, and she conveying to him as much of the outline of her adventures during the last seven months as she thought it prudent to impart. They then separated, it being now very late; and, moreover, Nisida had still some work in hand for that night. The moment Francisco was alone, he exclaimed aloud, “Oh! is it possible that this dear sister who loves me so much, is really the bitter enemy of Flora? But to-morrow to-morrow I must have a long explanation with Nisida; and Heaven grant that she may not stand in the way of my happiness! Oh, Flora dearest Flora, if you knew how deeply I have suffered on your account during my captivity in that accursed cavern! And what must you have thought of my disappearance my absence! Alas! did the same vengeance which pursued me wreak its spite also on thee, fair girl? did the miscreant, Antonio, who boastingly proclaimed himself to my face the author of my captivity, and who sullenly refused to give me any tidings of those whom I cared for, and of what was passing in the world without, did he dare to molest thee? But suspense is intolerable, I cannot endure it even for a few short hours! No I will speed me at once to the dwelling of my Flora, and thus assuage her grief and put an end to my own fears at the same time!”

Having thus resolved, Francisco repaired to his own apartment, enveloped himself in a cloak, secured weapons of defense about his person, and then quitted the mansion, unperceived by a living soul. Almost at the same time, but by another mode of egress namely, the private staircase leading from her own apartments into the garden, and which has been so often mentioned in the course of this narrative Donna Nisida stole likewise from the Riverola palace. She was habited in male attire; and beneath her doublet she wore the light but strong cuirass which she usually donned ere setting out on any nocturnal enterprise, and which she was now particularly cautious not to omit from the details of her toilet, inasmuch as the mysterious appearance of the muffled figure, which had alarmed her on the previous evening, induced her to adopt every precaution against secret and unknown enemies. Whither was the Lady Nisida now hurrying, through the dark streets of Florence? what new object had she in contemplation?

Her way was bent toward an obscure neighborhood in the immediate vicinity of the cathedral; and in a short time she reached the house in which Dame Margaretha, Antonio’s mother, dwelt. She knocked gently at the door, which was shortly opened by the old woman, who imagined it was her son that sought admittance; for, though in the service of the Count of Arestino, Antonio was often kept abroad late by the various machinations in which he had been engaged, and it was by no means unusual for him to seek his mother’s dwelling at all hours.

Margaretha, who appeared in a loose wrapper hastily thrown on, held a lamp in her hand; and when its rays streamed not on the countenance of her son, but showed the form of a cavalier handsomely appareled, she started back in mingled astonishment and fear. A second glance, however, enabled her to recognize the Lady Nisida; and an exclamation of wonder escaped her lips. Nisida entered the house, closed the door behind her, and motioned Dame Margaretha to lead the way into the nearest apartment. The old woman obeyed tremblingly; for she feared that the lady’s visit boded no good; and this apprehension on her part was not only enhanced by her own knowledge of all Antonio’s treachery toward Count Francisco, but also by the imperious manner, determined looks, and strange disguise of her visitress. But Margaretha’s terror speedily gave way to indescribable astonishment when Nisida suddenly addressed her in a language which not for many, many years, had the old woman heard flow from that delicious mouth!

“Margaretha,” said Nisida, “you must prepare to accompany me forthwith! Be not surprised to hear me thus capable of rendering myself intelligible by means of an organ on which a seal was so long placed. A marvelous cure has been accomplished in respect to me, during my absence from Florence. But you must prepare to accompany me, I say; your son Antonio ”

“My son!” ejaculated the woman, now again trembling from head to foot, and surveying Nisida’s countenance in a manner denoting the acutest suspense.

“Your son is wounded mortally wounded in a street skirmish ”

“Wounded!” shrieked Margaretha. “Oh, dear lady tell me all tell me the worst! What has happened to my unfortunate son? He is dead he is dead! Your manner convinces me that hope is past!”

And she wrung her hands bitterly, while tears streamed down her wrinkled cheeks.

“No, he is not dead, Margaretha!” exclaimed Nisida; “but he is dying and he implored me, by everything I deemed sacred, to hasten thither and fetch you to him, that he may receive your blessing and close his eyes in peace.”

“In peace!” repeated the old woman bitterly: then, to herself she said, “Donna Nisida suspects not his perfidy knows not all his wickedness.”

“Delay not,” urged the lady, perceiving what was passing in her mind. “You are well aware that my brother, who, alas! has disappeared most mysteriously, dismissed Antonio abruptly from his service many months ago; but, whatever were the cause, it is forgotten, at least by me. So tarry not, but prepare to accompany me.”

Margaretha hastened to her bedroom, and reappeared in a few minutes, completely dressed and ready to issue forth.

“Keep close by me,” said Nisida, as she opened the house-door; “and breathe not a word as we pass through the streets. I have reasons of my own for assuming a disguise, and I wish not to be recognized.”

Margaretha was too much absorbed in the contemplation of the afflicting intelligence which she had received, to observe anything at all suspicious in these injunctions; and thus it was that the two females proceeded in silence through the streets leading toward the Riverola mansion.

By means of a pass-key Nisida opened the wicket-gate of the spacious gardens, and she traversed the grounds, Margaretha walking by her side. In a few minutes they reached a low door, affording admission into the basement-story of the palace, and of which Nisida always possessed the key.

“Go first,” said the lady, in a scarcely audible whisper; “I must close the door behind us.”

“But wherefore this way?” demanded Margaretha, a sudden apprehension starting up in her mind. “This door leads down to the cellars.”

“The officers of justice are in search of Antonio and I am concealing him for your sake,” was the whispered and rapid assurance given by Nisida. “Would you have him die in peace in your arms, or perish on the scaffold?”

Margaretha shuddered convulsively, and hurried down the dark flight of stone steps upon which the door opened. Terrible emotions raged in her bosom indescribable alarms, grief, suspicion, and also a longing eagerness to put faith in the apparent friendship of Nisida.

“Give me your hand,” said the lady; and the hand that was thrust into hers was cold and trembling.

Then Nisida hurried Margaretha along a narrow subterranean passage, in which the blackest night reigned; and, though the old woman was a prey to apprehensions that increased each moment to a fearful degree, she dared not utter a word either to question to implore or to remonstrate. At length they stopped; and Nisida, dropping Margaretha’s hand, drew back heavy bolts which raised ominous echoes in the vaulted passage. In another moment a door began to move stubbornly on its hinges; and almost at the same time a faint light gleamed forth increasing in power as the door opened wider, but still attaining no greater strength than that which a common iron lamp could afford. Margaretha’s anxious glances were plunged into the cellar or vault to which the door opened, and whence the light came: but she saw no one within. It, however, appeared as if some horrible reminiscence, connected with the place, came back to her startled mind; for, falling on her knees, and clinging wildly to her companion, she cried in a piercing tone, “Oh! lady, wherefore have you brought me hither? where is my son? what does all this horrible mystery mean? But, chiefly now of all why, why are we here at this hour?”

“In a few moments you shall know more!” exclaimed Nisida; and as she spoke, with an almost superhuman strength she dragged, or rather, flung the prostrate woman into the vault, rushing in herself immediately afterward, and closing the door behind her.

“Holy God!” shrieked Margaretha, gazing wildly round the damp and naked walls of solid masonry, and then up at the lamp suspended to the arched ceiling, “is this the place? But no! you are ignorant of all that; it was not for that you brought me hither! Speak, lady, speak! Where is Antonio? What have I done to merit your displeasure? Oh, mercy! mercy! Bend not those terrible glances upon me! Your eyes flash fire! You are not Nisida you are an evil spirit! Oh, mercy! mercy!”

And thus did the miserable woman rave, as, kneeling on the cold, damp ground she extended her tightly-clasped hands in an imploring manner toward Nisida, who, drawn up to her full height, was contemplating the groveling wretch with eyes that seemed to shoot forth shafts of devouring flame! Terrible, indeed, was the appearance of Nisida! Like to an avenging deity was she no longer woman in the glory of her charms and the elegance of her disguise, but a fury a very fiend, an implacable demoness, armed with the blasting lightnings of infernal malignity and hellish rancor!

“Holy Virgin, protect me!” shrieked Margaretha, every nerve thrilling with the agony of ineffable alarm.

“Yes, call upon Heaven to aid you, vile woman!” said Nisida, in a thick, hoarse, and strangely altered voice, “for you are beyond the reach of human aid! Know ye whose remains or rather the mangled portions of whose remains lie in this unconsecrated ground? Ah! well may you start in horror and surprise, for I know all all!”

A terrific scream burst from the lips of Margaretha; and she threw her wild looks around as if she were going mad.

“Detestable woman!” exclaimed Nisida, fixing her burning eyes more intently still on Margaretha’s countenance: “you are now about to pay the penalty of your complicity in the most odious crimes that ever made nights terrible in Florence! The period of vengeance has at length arrived! But I must torture ere I slay ye! Yes, I must give thee a foretaste of that hell to which your soul is so soon to plunge down! Know, then, that Antonio your son Antonio is no more. Not three hours have elapsed since he was slain assassinated murdered, if you will so call it and by my commands.”

“Oh! lady, have pity upon me pity upon me, a bereaved mother!” implored the old woman, in a voice of anguish so penetrating, that vile as she was, it would have moved any human being save Nisida. “Do not kill me and I will end my miserable days in a convent! Give me time to repent of all my sins for they are numerous and great! Oh! spare me, dear lady have mercy upon me have mercy upon me!”

“What mercy had you on them whose mangled remains are buried in the ground beneath your feet?” demanded Nisida, in a voice almost suffocated with rage. “Prepare for death your last moment is at hand!” and a bright dagger flashed in the lamp-light.

“Mercy mercy!” exclaimed Margaretha, springing forward, and grasping Nisida’s knees.

“I know not what mercy is!” cried the terrible Italian woman, raising the long, bright, glittering dagger over her head.

“Holy God! protect me! Lady dear lady, have pity upon me!” shrieked the agonized wretch, her countenance hideously distorted, and appallingly ghastly, as it was raised in such bitterly earnest appeal toward that of the avengeress. “Again I say mercy mercy!”

“Die, fiend!” exclaimed Nisida; and the dagger, descending with lightning speed, sunk deep into the bosom of the prostrate victim. A dreadful cry burst from the lips of the wretched woman; and she fell back a corpse!

“Oh! my dear my well-beloved and never-to-be-forgotten mother!” said Nisida, falling upon her knees by the side of the body, and gazing intently upward as if her eyes could pierce the entire building overhead, and catch a glimpse of the spirit of the parent whom she thus apostrophized “pardon me pardon me for this deed! Thou didst enjoin me to abstain from vengeance but when I thought of all thy wrongs, the contemplation drove me mad and an irresistible power a force which I could not resist has hurried me on to achieve the punishment of this wretch who was so malignant an enemy of thine; dearest mother, pardon me look not down angrily on thy daughter!”

Then Nisida gave way to all the softer emotion which attended the reaction that her mind was now rapidly undergoing, after being so highly strung, as for the last few hours it was and her tears fell in torrents. For some minutes she remained in her kneeling position, and weeping, till she grew afraid yes, afraid of being in that lonely place, with the corpse stretched on the ground a place, too, which for other reasons awoke such terrible recollections in her mind.

Starting to her feet and neither waiting to extinguish the lamp, which she herself had lighted at an early period of the night, nor to withdraw her dagger from the bosom of the murdered Margaretha Nisida fled from the vault, and regained her own apartment in safety, and unperceived.

When morning dawned, Nisida rose from a couch in which she had obtained two hours of troubled slumber, and, having hastily dressed herself, proceeded to the chamber of her brother Francisco.

But he was not there nor had his bed been slept in during the past night.

“He is searching after his Flora,” thought Nisida. “Alas, poor youth how it grieves me thus to be compelled to thwart thee in thy love! But my oath and thine interests, Francisco, demand this conduct on my part. And better better it is that thou shouldst hear from strangers the terrible tidings that thy Flora is a prisoner in the dungeon of the inquisition, where she can issue forth only to proceed to the stake! Yes and better, too, is it that she should die, than that this marriage shall be accomplished!”

Nisida quitted the room, and repaired to the apartment where the morning repast was served up.

A note, addressed to herself, lay upon the table. She instantly recognized the handwriting of Dr. Duras, tore open the billet, and read the contents as follows:

“My brother Angelo came to me very late last night and informed me that a sense of imperious duty compelled him to change his mind relative to the two women Francatelli. He accordingly appeared on their behalf, and obtained a delay of eight days. But nothing can save them from condemnation at the end of this period, unless indeed immense interests be made on their account with the duke. My brother alone deserves your blame, dear friend; let not your anger fall on your affectionate and devoted servant.


Nisida bit her lips with vexation. She now regretted she had effected the liberation of Francisco before she was convinced that Flora was past the reach of human mercy; but, in the next moment she resumed her haughty composure, as she said within herself, “My brother may essay all his influence: but mine shall prevail!”

Scarcely had she established this determination in her mind, when the door was burst open, and Francisco pale, ghastly, and with eyes wandering wildly staggered into the apartment.

Nisida, who really felt deeply on his account, sprung forward received him in her arms and supported him to a seat.

“Oh! Nisida, Nisida!” he exclaimed aloud, in a tone expressive of deep anguish; “what will become of your unfortunate brother? But it is not you who have done this! No for you were not in Florence at the time which beheld the cruel separation of Flora and myself!”

And, throwing himself on his sister’s neck, he burst into tears. He had apostrophized her in the manner just related, not because he fancied that she could hear or understand him; but because he forgot, in the maddening paroxysms of his grief, that Nisida was (as he believed) deaf and dumb! She wound her arms round him she pressed him to her bosom she covered his pale forehead with kisses; while her heart bled at the sight of his alarming sorrow.

Suddenly he started up flung his arms wildly about and exclaimed, in a frantic voice, “Bring me my steel panoply! give me my burgonet my cuirass and my trusty sword; and let me arouse all Florence to a sense of its infamy in permitting that terrible inquisition to exist! Bring me my armor, I say the same sword I wielded on the walls of Rhodes and I will soon gather a trusty band to aid me!”

But, overcome with excitement, he fell forward dashing his head violently upon the floor, before Nisida could save him. She pealed the silver bell that was placed upon the breakfast-table, and assistance soon came. Francisco was immediately conveyed to his chamber Dr. Duras was sent for and on his arrival, he pronounced the young nobleman to be laboring under a violent fever. The proper medical precautions were adopted; and the physician was in a few hours able to declare that Francisco was in no imminent danger, but that several days would elapse ere he could possibly become convalescent. Nisida remained by his bedside, and was most assiduous most tender most anxious in her attentions toward him; and when he raved, in his delirium, of Flora and the inquisition, it went to her very heart to think that she was compelled by a stern necessity to abstain from exerting her influence to procure the release of one whose presence would prove of far greater benefit to the sufferer than all the anodynes and drugs which the skill of Dr. Duras might administer!