The Weekly novelette, v. III, no. 1, Saturday, March 20, 1858, [incomplete].
Cobb, Sylvanus, Jr.
26 June 2019
Boston : [M. M. Ballou]
The Lost heir; or, The Duke and the Lazzarone : a tale of Naples and its environs / by Sylvanus Cobb, Jr. Duke and the Lazzarone
American literature > Periodicals. American literature > 19th century > Periodicals. Popular literature > United States > 19th century > Periodicals. Story papers > Specimens. Naples (Italy) > Fiction.
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man, in a half-hushed voice, as he turnedhis head to-
wards the sen.‘ " Hark! Don't you hear that 1" '
The marquis turned his ear towards the sea, and he
distinctly heard a low moaning sound, like the faint
Wail of one in distress. , ,
“ I hear a moan,” he replied. V
“ Then let us pull.”
“If you can stand it, signer.”
“As long as you can,” was Zarani’s reply, as be
bent himself to the oar.
The moan grew louder, and the breath that the boat-
’ man had felt grew stronger. ‘ The glassy surface of
the bay was broken, and as the twiliwt was beginning
to deepen, the gathering storm rolled in, and premature
darkness shut the distant shore from sight.
‘ "It has come,” murmured the marquis, as the spray
began to fly over the boat.’ -' . . . '
' The boatman made no answer.
‘,‘ Will it be much worse 1',’ asked Zarani.
"It has hardly begun yet,” was the answer.
" Then we are not to be envied." ,
"No. lVe'd bettcr both of us pray." -
" We'd better work while we pray,” said the mar
quis, as he noticed that the other was slacking ' his‘
efforts. vi?‘ ‘ - ‘ . "
' " The most we can do now is to keep the boat before
it,” returned the boatmaii. “ The wind and sea will
set us in fast enough.” ' V
The storm had now increased to a fearful point, and
yet the shore was more than eight miles distant.’ The
waves dashed into the boat, and the wind roared wildly
over the dashing spray. The stonn was‘ from the
southward and westward, and the hoarse roaring of
the surge on the rocks of‘ Capri could be distinctly
heard. - Zarani could no longer see thevfeaturesiof his
companion, but he could hear the murmurs of fear that
fell from his lips, and an own heart be'gan“to sink
, within his bosom. The darkness was intense, and it
was with the utmost dilhculty that the boat could be
kept before the wind,‘ ‘
Half an hour had passed since the storm fairly
' broke, and during that time it was evident that the
boat: had‘ been driving furionslyltowards the shore.
Considerable of the distance had been gained, but as
the roaring of the surge fell upon the ear, the shore be-
cixine equally asnhject of fear with the tea. The boat
was being driven towards ‘the rocks to the southward
of the city, and in suchlcase there was little hope on
either hand. ‘ 7 '
“The boat 'must be bailed out, signer,” said the
boatman ;‘ "and if you will keep, her head in, I will
doit." I 3' ' r ' ii ‘ I
the deadlyrfear that had beset him.
; "T will look out for‘ that,".’rctnrncd the young mar-
.quis, as he shoved his our out over the stern. "Bail
a‘iv:uy, hsifast as possible, for the water is already nearly
.V'to my knees." . , ' . ,
l The boatman laid his car upon the thwarts, and then
opening the small cuddyat the bows he obtained a
small pail, with which he‘ commenced dipping up the
Jvntcr andthrowing it overboard. Zarani could just
see the outlines of his figure as he moved to and fro,
but he could not see his movements.
“ Great God, have mercyon as l’,’ cried the boatman,
starting up from his work and clasping his hands.
" May the holy virgin protect me i” And he crossed
himself as he spoke. '
, " What now?” exclaimed the marquis.
, “ Hear the surge l"
V.“ I've heard it for along time. Bail away."
."‘ It's of no use," uttered the affrightcd man, drop-
ping upon his knees. , .
“Yes it is of use,” sliouteil Zaranl, as he placed his
lzand above his eyes to prevent the spray from utterly
blinding him “ Bend to it, man, or we shall sink ere
B. dovlzcri more waves can reach us." I ,
The marquis could see the man still kneeling upon
the thwart, and he was upon the point of moving for-
ward, and had pulled in his car for that purpose, when
..!.'And,that’s the voice of the storm." . .- . .
The s eakei-’s tones were trcmulous and betokeued
. P . . ,
a heavy sea struck the boat upon theyquarter, knocking’
him over into the bottom of the sterusheets, and drench-
ing him with water. .He was not seriously hurt by the
fall, andgetting upon his feet as soon as he could, he
graspedthe rail with both hands and tried to gaze out
'into'the darkness, but nothing savelthe dim outlines of-
the bows of the boat’rnet his gaze! Vliis companion
was gone! cg;
No shriek, no groan, was heard, for the roar of the
tempest shut out all sounds but those of his own mak-
ing. Zarani with difliculty worked his way to the cen-
tre of the boat and gazed down beneath the thwarts,
but there was no man there! Guiseppe Zaraninow
thought of prayer, and a petition of frenzied desire
burst from ‘his lips. The heart that had been compara-
tively calm in the companionship of a second sufferer
sank intoidespair in its solitude. ‘The soul that knew
no fear of mortal foo quailed before the power of the
tempest. ]Iad there been even work to do towards
salvation, the marquis might have been calm, but this
was denied him. All he could do now was to cling to
the frail bark and trust to the fortune that seemed play-
ing the demon.
The roar of the surge, as ithroke upon the rocks,
was now deafening, and the unhappy man could see
lights upon the shore. ' Soon afterwards he could see a
thousand white spectres dancing in the darkness where
the foam was being dashed from the broken wave-caps,
and he knew that a few minutes would decide his fate.
Instead of ‘entirely unnerving him, however, the reality
of the fearful scene gave him more strength, and his
thoughts came to his assistapce. Amid the thuuders
of the breaking waves, and invthc dread prcsencepf
‘theldeath-king, Zarani quickly studied the relative po-
sition of the boat with the shore, and he found, as he
‘might have known had he thought, that she was setting
side on. The most that he.cou‘ld do was to throw
himself flat upon the bottom of the boat, with his head
held clear of the water that had collected there, and
thus await the result. .
Hardly had the young man chosen his position,
when the boat was lifted upon the‘ bosom of a rising
sea, and on the next instant came the crashing of the
strained fabric as it was rent in sunder. ‘ Zarani felt
the shock, and he heard the crash, but further than that
he knew not. j1‘or an instant a confused roar rushed
through his brain, and then all was hushed in forgetful-
ncss. He had felt a blow, and he experienced an in-
stant's pain, but that was all.
Wnnx Guiseppe Zarani came to himself he would
have moved, but he was too weak. He was sensible
of but little pain, and that, was in the back of the head.
He was in a coarse bed, the covering of which, though
clean and neat, was yet but the larger part of a boat
sail. Ills pillow, however, was soft, and the couch
upon which his limbs rcposcd felt easy and comfortable.
“Are you awake, signer?" asked a rough, yet kind
voice at his side. ‘
“ Yes,”, returned the marquis.
" Here is some drink, then." '
The young man took the proffered cup, and at the
same time the attendant placed his hand beneath the
invalid’s neck and raised the head. The drink was a
kind of cordial, and it tasted grateful to the parched
lips and tongue. ‘
“ Where am I?" asked Zurnni, as he gave back the
“ Where you need sleep," was the laconic. response.
“ I'll see you again when you need my attendance."
Next the unknown turned from the bed, and in a
moment more, Zarani heard the door close behind him.
The proceeding sccmcd rather summary, but the mar-
quis thought little of it, and he soon began to look
about, which he was able to do by simply moving his
head. The room in which he lay was very small, not
over eight feet square, and the windows upon two op-
posite sides showed that it was a wing of some other
building. The walls were of soft stone, and the brown
tiling of the roof was in sight not more than seven feet
from the door. There was no view, however, beyond,
for the windows were screened by green paper curtains, ,
and Zarani’s curiosity waxed warmer to know where '
he was. A few bunches of mncceroni hung’n'pon' the
wall at the foot of the had; upon a small shelf on one
side, near the right window, stood a small alabaster
crucifix, and close by it hung a rough painting of the
Madonna. Of one thing alone was the young man‘
satisfied, and that was, that the abode was one of pov-
erty, but, at the same time, of taste and cleanliness.
A drowsy sensation soon overcame the invalid, and
he closed his eyes and sank into a quiet slumber.
When he again awoke, the room was lighter than be-
fore, and he could see that the sun was shining brightly
in through one of the windows. Again he gazed
about him, but all was the same as before. He called
aloud, but no one answered him. He felt stronger
than when he had first, recovered his consciousness,
and be resolved to arise from the bed and survey the
premises for himself. ‘ '
There was considerable pain in his head as he aroso
to a sittiug'posture, but the natural impetuosity of his
disposition was not easily to be overcome, and he slip- '
ped out upon the floor. His first object was to seek
his garments. The green velvet frock was still about
him, but his cloak, hat, and boots were missingf
There was an old cap upon a peg near the door, how-
ever, and this the marquis secured and placed upon
his head. An old pair of top-boots, too, stood by the
head of the bed-just such a pair as a nobleman might
have given to a beggar-and these he drew on without
His soiled frock, his quaint cap, his heavy boots, and
his unshaven face, gave him a look anything but agree-
able, as he could see by a. piece of looking-glass that
hung near the crucifix, but he cared little for this, so
that he found out where he was. The door yielded to 4
his touch, and as he stepped out beyond he found him- “
self in another square room somewhat larger than the
one he had left. There was 9. door upon th A
and this the marquis opened, thereby finding himself
in the open air, and stepping off a short distance, be
turned about and looked back upon the place he had .
left. It was a small'dilapidafcd building,‘ looking "as
though the original owner had left it to any who might
occnpyit. To the right he saw the city, some sh;-ea
miles distant, and before him, some hundred rods be.
yond the house he had left, was the shore of the be.‘-m""“ .,
‘All vestiges of the storm had passed; the sun wasii.
little past the meridian, and the air was soft and via;,,',,
The pain in Zarani‘s head began to‘ increase, and a,
dizziness came over him. He pressed his hand upon
his brow, and soon his brain was more steady.
Back from the small building, through a grove of
lemons, opened a wide court, at the extremity of which '
stood the old cathedral of"St. Joseph. Towards this
court the marquis made his way, and upon one side 1],,
saw a small deal table, upon which stood a drinking.
cup. Near it was a low stool, and as he felt the dizzi.
ness again coming over him, he hastened to this sea;
and sank down upon it. The cxcrtiou had been more
than he could bear, and resting his elbow upon the
table, his head sank upon his hand, and for several
moments all was confusion in his brain. ,
For some time the marquis remained thus, when his
brain became quiet, and he thought he heard a low ex-
clamation near him. He opened his eyes, and then for
an instant he thought some fairy vision had burst upon
him. At a short distance stood a huge chesmm t,'c‘e
and looking out from behind it,-lmlf-hidden by the 10“;
aloes that grew around, was one of the sweetest fe-
male forms he had ever seen. llcr dress was simple
in the extreme, and about her dark brown hair whit-lt
was gathered into a glossy mass ere it rear-lied gfm
shoulders, she were a wreath of white ros
blossoms. The lovely prcscncc was regarding him
with an earnest look, with one hand e,xgcm1e.1,,5;f
in wondering anxiety, and Zarani dared not misc his
head lest he should frighten her away ' ’
es and orange
‘ “rat; .‘ V‘