Page:A Sicilian Romance (1792) vol. 1.djvu/16

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CHAPTER I.


TOWARDS the close of the sixteenth century, this castle was in the possession of Ferdinand, fifth marquis of Mazzini, and was for some years the principal residence of his family. He was a man of a voluptuous and imperious character. To his first wife, he married Louisa Bernini, second daughter of the count della Salario, a lady yet more distinguished for the sweetness of her manners and the gentleness of her disposition, than for her beauty. She brought the marquis one son and two daughters, who lost their amiable mother in early childhood. The arrogant and impetuous character of the marquis, operated powerfully upon the mild and susceptible nature of his lady ; and it was by many persons believed, that his unkindness and neglect put a period to her life.