If she should not find it, she would regard its loss as an evidence that the garden was resorted to by different persons, and such a discovery might easily deter her from visiting it again. And what worse fortune could attend my hopes?
"That which I had conjectured actually took place, and I had scarcely ended my copy when she re-appeared with her former companion, anxiously intent on the search. I attached the note to a tile which I had detached from the roof, and dropped at a spot which she would pass. Her gracefully expressed joy at finding it rewarded me for my generosity. She examined it in every part with keen searching glances, as if she were seeking to detect the unhallowed hands that might have touched it; but the contented look with which she hid it in her bosom showed that she was free from all suspicion. She went, and the parting glance she threw on the garden seemed expressive of gratitude to the guardian deities of the spot, who had so faithfully watched over the secret of her heart.
"I now hastened to decipher the letter. After trying several languages, I at length succeeded by the use of English. Its contents were so remarkable that my memory still retains a perfect recollection of them -----"
I am interrupted, and must give you the conclusion on a future occasion.
BARON F----- TO COUNT O-----.
In truth, my dearest friend, you do the good Biondello injustice. The suspicion you entertain against him is unfounded, and, while I allow you full liberty to condemn all Italians generally, I must maintain that this one at least is an honest man.
You think it singular that a person of such brilliant endowments and such exemplary conduct should debase himself to enter the service of another if he were not actuated by secret motives, and these, you further conclude, must necessarily be of a suspicious character. But where is the novelty of a man of talent and of merit endeavouring to win favour