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Terrible Tales

threatening looks, so that I could not help concluding he had been in his own life the hero of a scene resembling that I had described. However, it is most certain, I had merely repeated the circumstance from a letter that I had read from the girl’s mother at Leghorn, of which I shall say more afterwards.

‘Who would then have thought it possible that Felippo would conduct himself in the manner that he did soon afterwards? On his return to Venice, a young beauty, who had just made her appearance there, of wealth and high birth, was introduced to him by his parents. In a short time the recollection of his engagement at Leghorn was almost banished from his mind. His letters to Clara became more cold and laboured, till at length he ceased to write at all. The trembling handwriting and traces of many tears which appeared in Clara’s letters had no effect upon his volatile heart. He now forgot everything but Camilla.

‘This young lady’s father, with whom I was so well acquainted that I lived as familiarly in his house as in my own, invited me to the wedding. The bride’s parents had always lived together very happily, and were anxious that the same priest by whom they had been united should also pronounce the benediction over their daughter. The priest, who, though far advanced in years, had never shown hitherto any decline of his faculties or strength, was now seized with a lingering fever, which did not allow him to leave his bed. At length, however, he got better, and a day was appointed for the betrothing. As if some supernatural influence were exerted to prevent this, the priest, on the morning agreed on, was again attacked with such weakness that it was impossible for him to leave the house, and he