Chapter 6


Our limits will not permit us to relate all that passed during our hero’s stay of a fortnight at Don Rebiera’s. He and Gascoigne were treated as if they were his own sons, and the kindness of the female part of the family was equally remarkable. Agnes, naturally perhaps, showed a preference or partiality for Jack: to which Gascoigne willingly submitted, as he felt that our hero had a prior and stronger claim, and during the time that they remained a feeling of attachment was created between Agnes and the philosopher, which, if not love, was at least something very near akin to it; but the fact was, that they were both much too young to think of marriage; and, although they walked and talked, and laughed, and played together, they were always at home in time for their dinner. Still, the young lady thought she preferred our hero, even to her brothers, and Jack thought that the young lady was the prettiest and kindest girl that he had ever met with. At the end of the fortnight, our two midshipmen took their leave, furnished with letters of recommendation to many of the first nobility in Palermo, and mounted on two fine mules with bell bridles. The old Donna kissed them both, the Don showered down his blessings of good wishes, and Donna Agnes’ lips trembled as she bade them adieu; and, as soon as they were gone, she went up to her chamber and wept. Jack also was very grave, and his eyes moistened at the thoughts of leaving Agnes. Neither of them was aware, until the hour of parting, how much they had wound themselves together.

The first quarter of an hour our two midshipmen followed their guide in silence. Jack wished to be left to his own thoughts, and Gascoigne perceived it.

“Well, Easy,” said Gascoigne, at last, “if I had been in your place, constantly in company of, and loved by that charming girl, I could never have torn myself away.”

“Loved by her, Ned,” replied Jack, “what makes you say that?”

“Because I am sure it was the case; she lived but in your presence. Why, if you were out of the room, she never spoke a word, but sat there as melancholy as a sick monkey—the moment you came in again, she beamed out as glorious as the sun, and was all life and spirit.”

“I thought people were always melancholy when they were in love,” replied Jack.

“When those that they love are out of their presence.”

“Well, then, I am out of her presence, and I feel very melancholy, so I suppose, by your argument, I am in love. Can a man be in love without knowing it?”

“I really cannot say, Jack, I never was in love myself, but I’ve seen many others spooney. My time will come, I suppose, by-and-by. They say, that for every man made, there is a woman also made to fit him, if he could only find her. Now, it’s my opinion that you have found yours—I’ll lay my life she’s crying at this moment.”

“Do you really think so, Ned? let’s go back—poor little Agnes—let’s go back; I feel I do love her, and I’ll tell her so.’

“Pooh, nonsense! it’s too late now; you should have told her that before, when you walked with her in the garden.”

“But I did not know it, Ned. However, as you say, it would be foolish to turn back, so I’ll write to her from Palermo.”

Here an argument ensued upon love, which we shall not trouble the reader with, as it was not very profound, both sides knowing very little on the subject. It did, however, end with our hero being convinced that he

  By PanEris using Melati.

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