Book III. Theurgia
--i cavalier sen vanno
dove il pino fatal gli attende in porto.
Gerus. Lib., cant. xv (Argomento.)
The knights came where the fatal bark
Awaited them in the port.
But that which especially distinguishes the brotherhood is their marvellous knowledge of
all the resources of medical art. They work not by charms, but simples.--"MS. Account of
the Origin and Attributes of the true Rosicrucians," by J. Von D--.
At this time it chanced that Viola had the opportunity to return the kindness shown to her
by the friendly musician whose house had received and sheltered her when first left an
orphan on the world. Old Bernardi had brought up three sons to the same profession as
himself, and they had lately left Naples to seek their fortunes in the wealthier cities of
Northern Europe, where the musical market was less overstocked. There was only left to
glad the household of his aged wife and himself, a lively, prattling, dark-eyed girl of
some eight years old, the child of his second son, whose mother had died in giving her
birth. It so happened that, about a month previous to the date on which our story has now
entered, a paralytic affection had disabled Bernardi from the duties of his calling. He had
been always a social, harmless, improvident, generous fellow--living on his gains from
day to day, as if the day of sickness and old age never was to arrive. Though he received
a small allowance for his past services, it ill sufficed for his wants,; neither was he free
from debt. Poverty stood at his hearth,--when Viola's grateful smile and liberal hand
came to chase the grim fiend away. But it is not enough to a heart truly kind to send and
give; more charitable is it to visit and console. "Forget not thy father's friend." So almost
daily went the bright idol of Naples to the house of Bernardi. Suddenly a heavier
affliction than either poverty or the palsy befell the old musician. His grandchild, his little
Beatrice, fell ill, suddenly and dangerously ill, of one of those rapid fevers common to the
South; and Viola was summoned from her strange and fearful reveries of love or fancy, to
the sick-bed of the young sufferer.
The child was exceedingly fond of Viola, and the old people thought that her mere
presence would bring healing; but when Viola arrived, Beatrice was insensible.
Fortunately there was no performance that evening at San Carlo, and she resolved to stay
the night and partake its fearful cares and dangerous vigil.