The Works of Frederick Schiller: Early Dramas and Romances

By Friedrich Schiller; Henry G. Bohn | Go to book overview

Biondello was one, accompanied him. By some accident it happened that the sedan, which had been hired in haste, broke down, and the Prince was obliged to proceed the remainder of the way on foot. Biondello walked in front; their course lay through several dark, retired streets, and, as daybreak was at hand, the lamps were either burning dimly or had gone out altogether. They had proceeded about a quarter of an hour, when Biondello discovered that he had lost his way. The similarity of the bridges had deceived him, and, instead of crossing that of St. Mark, they found themselves in Sestière di Castello. It was in a by-street, and not a soul was stirring; they were obliged to turn back, in order to gain a main street by which to set themselves right. They had proceeded but a few paces when they heard cries of "murder" in a neighbouring street. With his usual determined courage, the Prince, unarmed as he was, snatched a stick from one of his attendants, and rushed forward in the direction whence the sound came. Three ruffianly looking fellows were just about to assassinate a man, who with his companion was feebly defending himself; the Prince appeared just in time to arrest the fatal blow. The voices of the Prince and his followers alarmed the murderers, who did not expect any interruption in so lonely a place; after inflicting a few slight wounds with their daggers, they abandoned their victim and took to their heels Exhausted with the unequal combat, the wounded man sunk half fainting into the arms of the Prince; his companion informed my master, that the man whose life he had saved was the Marquis Civitella, a nephew of the Cardinal A* * * i. As the Marquis's wounds bled freely, Biondello acted as surgeon, to the best of his ability, and the Prince took care to have him conveyed to the palace of his uncle, which was near at hand, and whither he himself accompanied him. This done, he left the house without revealing his name.

This, however, was discovered by a servant who had recognized Biondello. Already on the following morning, the cardinal, an old acquaintance from the Bucentauro, waited upon the Prince. The interview lasted an hour; the Cardinal was much moved; tears stood in his eyes when they parted; the Prince, too, was affected. The same evening a visit was paid to the sick man, of whose case the surgeon

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