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LONDON [Vol. II]
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narrative must now take a leap of several months.
It was the middle of October.
Once more in the vicinity of Count Alteroni's mansion
near Richmond, a handsome young man and a beautiful dark-eyed maiden were
Need we say that they were Richard and the charming
The countenances of both wore an expression of
melancholy; but that indication of feeling was commingled with the traces of
Richard's eyes beamed with ardour, and his lips denoted
stern resolution: Isabella's bewitching features showed that her generous soul
entertained warm and profound hope, even though the cloud sate upon her brow.
"Yes, my adored one," said Richard, gazing
tenderly upon her, "It is decided! To-morrow I embark on this expedition.
But I could not quit England without seeing you once more, dearest Isabella; and
for two or three days have I vainly wandered in this neighbourhood with the hope
of meeting you — alone."
"Oh! Richard, had I for one moment divined that you
were so near, I should have come to you," answered the Princess; "and
this you know well! If I have hitherto discouraged clandestine meetings and
secret correspondence — save on one or two occasions — it
was simply because you should not have reason to think lightly of me; — but
you are well aware, Richard, that my heart is thine — unchangeably
thine, — and that my happiest moments are those I pass with
"I cannot chide you, dearest, for that fine feeling
which has made you discourage clandestine meetings and secret
correspondence," said Richard, gazing with mingled admiration and rapture
upon the angelic countenance of Isabella; "but now that circumstances are
about to change, — now that I shall be far away from thee, beloved
girl — that [-101-] restriction must in
some degree be removed, and you will permit me to write to you from time to
"It would be an absurd affectation and a ridiculous
prudery, were I to refuse you," replied Isabella. "Yes, dear
Richard — write to me; — and write often," she
added, tears starting into her eyes.
"A thousand thanks, Isabella, for this kind
permission — this proof of your love. And, oh! to whatever perils I
am about to oppose myself face to face, — in whatever dangers I may
be involved, — whatever miseries or privations I may be destined to
endure, — the thought of you, my own adored Isabella, will make all
seem light! But I do not anticipate much difficulty in the attainment of our
grand object. General Grachia, Colonel Morosino, and the other chiefs of this
enterprise, have so well, so prudently, so cautiously digested all the measures
necessary to ensure success, that failure is scarcely possible. The tyranny of
the Grand Duke and of his shameless Ministry has reduced the Castelcicalans to
despair. We have three fine vessels; and twelve hundred devoted patriots will
form the expedition. The moment we land, we shall be welcomed with enthusiasm.
And if an opportunity should serve for me to show myself worthy of the
confidence that General Grachia and his colleagues have placed in me, — if,"
continued Richard, his handsome countenance now lighted up with a glow of heroic
enthusiasm, — " if the aid of my feeble efforts can in any way
demonstrate my zeal in favour of the constitutional cause, be well assured,
dearest Isabella, that it is not an idle boaster, nor a braggart coward who now
assures thee that he will not dishonour the service in which he has
"Of that I feel convinced, Richard," exclaimed
the Italian lady, whose soul caught the enthusiasm which animated her lover.
"But you know not the wild hopes — the exalted visions which
have at times filled my imagination, since I heard a few weeks ago that you were
one of the chiefs of this enterprise, the preparations for which were
communicated to my father. For you are doubtless aware that General Grachia has
made my father acquainted with his intentions and projects — "
"Which the Prince discountenances," added
Richard, with a sigh. "Nevertheless, he is perhaps right: but if we
succeed, Isabella — oh! if we succeed, your father becomes the
sovereign of a great and enlightened people! Then — what hope will
remain for me!"
"Providence will not desert us, Richard,"
answered Isabella. "Said I not ere now that the wildest hopes — the
most exalted visions have dazzled my imagination! I will not describe them to
you, Richard; but need I confess that they are connected with yourself! The
dying words of our poor friend Mary Anne have made an impression upon me which I
can never forget."
"I can well divine all the hopes and aspirations
which her prophetic language was calculated to excite," returned
Markham; "for there have been moments when I was weak enough to yield to
the same influence myself. But the future is with the Almighty; and He must
ordain our happiness or our misery! I must now leave you, my beloved
Isabella: — when I am away thou wilt think of me often?"
"Oh! Richard, will you really depart? will you
venture on this expedition, so fraught with danger?" cried Isabella, now
giving way to her grief as the moment of separation drew nigh. "I told you
to hope — I wished to console you; but it is I who require
consolation when about to say farewell to you! Oh! Richard, if you knew what
anguish now fills my heart, you would be enabled to estimate all my love for
"I do — I do, adored Isabella!"
ejaculated Markham, pressing her to his breast. "How devotedly — how
faithfully you have loved me, I never can forget! When spurned from your
father's house — overwhelmed with the most cruel suspicions, your
love remained unchanged; and in many a bitter, bitter hour, have I derived sweet
solace from the conviction that thy heart was mine! Oh! Isabella, God in his
mercy grant that I may return from this enterprise with some honour to myself!
It is not that I am influenced by motives of selfish ambition; — it
is that I may remove at least one of the hundred obstacles which oppose our
union. And now adieu, my angel — my dearly-beloved Isabella:
adieu — adieu!"
"Farewell, Richard — farewell, dearest
one — my first and only love," murmured Isabella, as she wept
bitterly upon his breast.
Then they embraced each other with that passionate
ardour — with that lingering unwillingness to separate — with
that profound dread to tear themselves asunder, which lovers In the moment, of
parting alone can know.
"Let us be firm, Isabella," said Richard:
"who can tell what happiness my share in this enterprise may create for
"Yes — something tells me that it will
be so," answered Isabella; "and that hope sustains me!"
Another embrace — and they parted,
Yes — they parted, — that
handsome young man and that charming Italian maiden!
And soon they waved their handkerchiefs for the last
time; — then, in a few moments, they were lost to each other's view.
Richard returned home to his house at Lower Holloway.
He had visited the farm near Hounslow a few days
previously, and had taken leave of Katherine. The young maiden had wept when her
benefactor communicated to her his intended absence from England for some time;
but, as he did not acquaint her with the nature of the business which took him
away from his native country, she was not aware of the perils he was about to
He had now to say farewell to the inmates of his own
dwelling. But towards Mr. Monroe, Ellen, and the faithful Whittingham he was
less reserved than he had been to Katherine.
Vainly had the old butler implored "Master Richard
not to indemnify himself with other people's business;" — vainly
had Mr. Monroe endeavoured to persuade him to refrain from risking his life in
the political dissensions of a foreign country; vainly had the beautiful and
generous-hearted Ellen, with a sisterly warmth, argued on the same side. Richard
was determined: — they deemed him obstinate — foolish — almost
mad; but they knew not of his love for Isabella!
"I must now make you acquainted with a certain
portion of my affairs," said our hero, addressing Mr. Monroe, "in
order that you may manage them for me until my return. I have embarked as much
of my capital as I could well spare in the enter[-102-]prise
on which I am about to set out: you will find in my strong-box, of which I leave
you the key, a sufficient sum of money to answer the expenses of the
establishment until January. Should I not return by that time, you will find
papers in the same place, which will instruct you relative to the moneys that
will then be due to me from the two respectable individuals who are my tenants.
Moreover," added Richard, — and here his voice faltered, — "my
will is in the strong-box; and should I perish in this undertaking, you will
find, my dear friend, — and you too, my faithful Whittingham, — that
I have not left you without resources."
"Richard, this is too generous!" exclaimed Mr.
Monroe, tears of gratitude trickling down his cheeks.
Whittingham also wept; and Ellen's sobs were
convulsive — for she regarded Richard in the light of a dear
"Render not our parting moments more painful than
they naturally are, my dear friends," said Markham. "You cannot
understand — but, if I live, you shall some day know — the
motives which influence me in joining this expedition. Mr. Monroe — Ellen — Whittingham,
I have one last request to make. You are all aware that on the 10th of July,
1843, a solemn appointment exists between my brother and myself. If I should
perish in a far-off clime, — or if a prison, or any accident prevent
my return, — let one of you represent me on that occasion. Should it
be so, tell my brother how much I have loved him — how anxiously I
have ever looked forward to that day, — how sincerely I have prayed
for his welfare and his success! Tell him," continued Richard, while the
tears rolled down his cheeks, large and fast, — "tell him that
I have cherished his memory as no brother ever before was known to do; and if he
be poor — or unhappy — or suffering — or
unfortunate, receive him into this house, which will then be your own — console,
comfort him! if he be criminal, do not spurn him — remember, he is
Ellen sobbed as if her heart would break as Richard
uttered these words.
There was something fearfully poignant and convulsive in
that young lady's grief.
But suddenly rousing herself, she rushed from the room;
and, returning in a few moments with her child, she presented it to Markham,
saying "Embrace him, Richard, before you depart; — embrace
him — for he bears your Christian name!"
Our hero received the innocent infant in his arms, and
kissed it tenderly.
No pen can depict the expression of pleasure — of
radiant joy, — joy shining out from amidst her tears, — with
which Ellen contemplated that proof of affection towards her babe.
"Thank you, Richard — thank you, my
brother," she exclaimed, as she received back her child.
The old butler and Mr. Monroe were not callous to the
touching nature of that scene.
"I have now no more to say," observed Richard.
"I am about to retire to the library for a short time. At five o'clock the
post-chaise will be here. Whittingham, my faithful friend, you will see that all
my necessaries be carefully packed."
Markham then withdrew to his study.
There he wrote a few letters upon matters of business.
At length Whittingham made his appearance.
"Morcar is arrived, Master Richard," said the
old man, " and it is close upon five."
"I shall soon be ready, Whittingham." answered
The old butler withdrew.
Then Richard took from his strong-box the mysterious
packet which had been left to him by Thomas Armstrong; and that sacred trust he
secured about his person.
"Now," he said," I am about to quit the
home of my forefathers."
And tears trickled down his cheeks.
"This is foolish!" he exclaimed, after a
pause: "I must not yield to my emotions, when on the eve of such a grand
and glorious undertaking."
He then returned to the drawing-room.
At that moment the post-chaise arrived at the front door
of the mansion.
We will not detail the affecting nature of the farewell
scene: suffice it to say that Richard departed with the fervent prayers and the
sincerest wishes of those whom he left behind.
Morcar, the gipsy, accompanied him.
" Which road, sir?" asked the postillion.
"Canterbury — Deal," replied
And the post-chaise whirled him away from the home of
* * * * *
By a special messenger, on the same day when the
above-mentioned incidents took place, the following letter was despatched from
"TO HER SERENE HIGHNESS THE GRAND DUCHESS OF
"I have the honour to inform your Serene Highness
that the measures which I adopted (and which your Highness condemned in the last
letter your Highness deigned to address to me) have enabled me to ascertain the
intentions of the conspirators. The three vessels purchased by them are now
completely equipped and manned. One has already arrived in the Downs, where the
Chiefs of the rebels are to join her. A second sailed from Hull four days ago:
and the third left Waterford about the same time. They will all three meet at
Cadiz, where they are to take in stores and water. Twelve hundred exiled
Castelcicalans are on board these three ships, which are ostensibly fitted out
as emigrant vessels for North America. So well have General Grachia, Colonel
Morosino, and Mr. Markham planned their schemes, that I question whether even
the English government is acquainted with the real destination of those ships,
and the object of their crews.
"Beware, then, noble lady! The last meeting of the
Chiefs of the expedition was held last evening; and I was present in my presumed
capacity of a stanch adherent to the cause of the conspirators. The reasons
which I adduced for not proceeding with them on the enterprise, and for
remaining in London, were completely satisfactory; and no one for a moment
suspected my integrity. indeed, the confidence which Mr. Markham has placed in
me from the beginning, in consequence of the share which I had in saving his
life (an incident to which I have alluded in preceding letters to your Highness)
on a certain occasion, annihilated all suspicion as to the sincerity of my
"At the meeting of which I have just spoken, it was
resolved that the descent upon Castelcicala shall be made in the neighbourhood
of Ossore, which, I need scarcely inform your Serene Highness, is a small
sea-port about thirty-five miles to the south of Montoni.
"And now I have discharged what I consider to be a
faithful duty. If I have fallen in your Highness's good opinion by betraying
those with whom I affected to act, I fondly hope that the importance of the
information which I have thereby been enabled to give you, will restore me to
your Highness's favour.
"But remember, my lady — remember the
prayer which I offered up to your Highness when first I wrote concern[-103-]ing
this conspiracy, — remember the earnest supplication which I then
made and now renew, — that not a hair of Richard Markham's head
must be injured!
"I have the honour to subscribe myself your
Serene highness's most faithful and devoted servant,
"Oct. 16th, 1840."
Thus was it that Mr. Greenwood's Italian valet provided,
to the utmost of his power, for the safety of Richard Markham, in case those
whom he improperly denominated "conspirators' should fall into the hands of
the Castelcicalan authorities.
chapter < | THE MYSTERIES OF
LONDON [Vol. II]
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