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Stories By English Authors: Italy (Selected by Scribners)
written by "Trollope, Anthony, 1815-1882"
...r, that I had planned this unfortunate complication for my own pleasure, and that I ought to have been playing the part of a suppliant instead of that of a sorely tried benefactor. First she was so kind as to set me down as an imposter, and was only convinced of my honesty when I showed her a letter in the beloved Alberto's handwriting. Then she declared that she could not possibly go off with a total stranger. Then she discovered that, upon further consideration, she could not abandon poor dear papa in his old age. And so forth, and so forth, with a running accompaniment of tears and sobs. Of course she consented at last to enter the boat; but I was so exasperated by her silly behaviour that I would not speak to her, and had really scarcely noticed whether she was pretty or plain till we were more than half-way to Mestre. But when we had hoisted our sail, and were running before a fine, fresh breeze toward the land, and our four men had shipped their oars and were chattering and laughing under their breath in the bows, and the first perils of our enterprise seemed to have been safely surmounted, my equanimity began to return to me, and I stole a glance at the partner of my flight, who had lifted her veil, and showed a pretty, round, childish face, with a clear, brown complexion, and a pair of the most splendid dark eyes it has ever been my good fortune to behold. There were no tears in them now, but a certain half-frightened, half-mischievous light instead, as if she rather enjoyed the adventure, in spite of its inauspicious opening. A very little encouragement induced her to enter into conversation, and ere long she was prattling away as unrestrainedly as if we had been friends all our lives. She asked me a great many questions. What was I doing in Venice? Had I known Alberto long? Was I very fond of him? Did I think that the old Count von Rosenau would be very angry when he heard of his son's marriage? I answered her as best I could, f...

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