anished man and a beggar. Nor do I repine at this my fate. Most willing am I that my right arm alone should create my fortunes; and, with the blessing of God, I hope so to direct my course, that we may yet meet upon more equal terms. In this hope I turn my steps, not unwillingly, from this city; dear as its name is to my heart鈥攁nd dear the 鏉窞钃濋捇澶╂垚缇庡コ associations which link its proud towers with the memory of my forefathers. I leave it
a soldier of fortune; how I may return is written in the page where your unread destiny is traced as well as mine. But my care ends not with myself. My dying father bequeathed to me this child, my orphan sister, whom I have, until 鏉窞澶滅綉妗戞嬁鎸夋懇璁哄潧 now, watched over with a parent鈥檚 love. I should ill perform the part intrusted to me, were I to drag this tender blossom from its native bower into the rude highways of life. Lord Fabian, I can count no man my friend; for it would seem that your smiles have won the hearts of my fellow-citizens from me; and death and exile have so dealt with my house, that not one of my name exists within the walls of Siena. To you alone can I intrust this precious charge. Will you accept it until called upon to render it back to me, her brother, or to the 鏉窞鍝釜浼氭墍濂界帺 juster hands of our Creator, pure and untarnished as I now deliver her to you? I ask you to protect her helplessness, to guard her honour; will you鈥攄are you accept a treasure, with the assurance of restoring it unsoiled, unhurt?鈥?
The deep expressive voice of the noble youth and his earnest eloquence 鏉窞瓒虫荡鎸夋懇 enchained the ears of the whole assembly; and when he ceased, Fabian, proud of the appeal, and nothing loath in the buoyant spirit of youth to undertake a charge which, thus proffered before his assembled kinsmen and friends, became an honour, answered readily, 鈥淚 agree, and solemnly before Heaven accept your offer. I declare myself the guardian and protector of your sister; she shall dwell in safety beneath my kind mother鈥檚 care, and if the saints permit your return, she shall be delivered back to you as spotless as she now is.鈥?
Lorenzo 鏉窞榫欏嚖419璁哄潧 bowed his head; something choked his utterance as he thought that he was about to part for ever from Flora; but he disdained to betray this weakness before his enemies. He took his sister鈥檚 hand and gazed upon her slight form with a look of earnest fondness, then murmuring a blessing over her, and kissing her brow, he again saluted Count Fabian, and turning away with measured steps and lofty mien, left the hall. Flora, scarcely understanding what had passed, stood trembling and weeping under her veil. She yielded her passive hand to Fabian, who, leading her to his mother,
said: 鈥淢adam, I ask of your goodness, and the maternal indulgence you have ever shown, to assist me in fulfilling my promise, by taking under your gracious charge this young orphan.鈥?
鈥淵ou command here, my son,鈥?said the countess, 鈥渁nd your will shall be obeyed.鈥?鏉窞娌瑰帇鎸夋懇浼氭墍 Then making a sign to one of her attendants, Flora was conducted from the hall, to where, in solitude and silence, she wept over her brother鈥檚 departure, and her own strange position.