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CHAPTER XVIII.

THE ADIEU.

“ Adieu! the joys of La Valette.”
“ No more! no more! No! never more on me

The freshness of the heart shall fall like dew."

“ Absence makes the heart grow fonder,

Isle of Beauty ! fare thee well."

Malta! the snowy sail shivers in the wind-the waves, chafed by our intruding keel, are proudly foaming—sea birds soar, screaming their farewell aloft--as we wave our hand to thee for ever! What is our feeling, as we see thee diminish hourly?

Regret! unfeigned regret!

Albeit we speed to our native land, on the wing of a bark as fleet as ever—but it matters notthou hast seen the best of our days.

Visions conjured up by thee, have the unusual power, to banish anticipations of Almack's glories, and of home flirtations.

We are recalling balls enjoyed in thee, loved island! the valse spun round with the darling fleet-footed Maltese, who during its pauses leant back on our arm, against which her spangled zone throbbed, from the pulsations of her heart.

Dreams of turtle and of grand master—the fish, not the officialand of consecutive iced champagne, mock our sight! But more-yes ! far more than all, are we reminded of thy abode—thou dispenser of cheering liquids! thou promoter of convivial happiness! meek Saverio! How swiftly glided the mirth-loving nights as—the enchanting strains of the prima donna hushed—we adjourned to thy ever to be praised bottegua !

With what precision didst thou there mete out the many varied ingredients—the exact relative proportions—which can alone embody our conception of the nectar of the Gods, punch à la Romaine !

Whose cigars ever equalled thine, thou prince of

Ganymedes ? and when were cigars more justly appreciated, than as our puffs kept time with the trolling ditty, resounding through the walls of thy domain?

The luxury of those days !

Then would Sol come peeping in upon us; as unwelcome and unlooked-for a visitant, as to the enamoured Juliet, when she sighing told her lover

that

“ 'T' was but a meteor that the sun exhaled,

To be to him that night a torch-bearer,
And light him on his way to Mantua."

Then, with head dizzy from its gladness, with heart unduly elate, has the Strada Teatro seen us, imperiously calling for the submissive calèche. Arrived in our chamber, how gravely did we close its shutters! With what a feeling of satisfied enjoyment, did we court the downy freshness of the snow-white sheet!

Sweet and deep were our slumbers—for youth's spell was upon us, and our fifth lustre had not yet heralded us to serious thoughts and anxious cares.

Awoke by the officious valet, and remorseless friend, deemest though our debauch was felt? No! an effervescent draught of soda calmed us; we ate a blood orange, and smoked a cigar! ..

We often hear Malta abused. Byron is the stale authority; and every snub-nosed cynic turns up his prominent organ, and talks of “sirocco, sun, and sweat.” Byron disliked it-he had cause. He was there at a bad season, and was suffering from an attack of bile. We know of no place abroad, where the English eye will meet · with so little to offend it, and so much to please and impress. . There is such a blending together of European, Asiatic, and African customs; there is such a variety in the costumes one meets; there is such grandeur in their palaces—such glory in their annals; such novelty in their manners and habits ; such devotion in their religious observances; such simplicity and yet such beauty, in the dress of the women; and their wearers possess such fascinations ; that we defy the most fastidious of critics, who has really resided there, to deny to Malta many of those attributes, with which he would

invest that place, on whose beauty and agrémenis, he may prefer of all others to descant.

With the commonplace observer, its superb harbour, studded with gilded boats ; its powerful fortifications, where art towers over nature, and where the eye looks up a rock, and catches a bristling battery; the glare of its scenery, with no foliage to cover the white stone ;-all these, together with the different way in which the minutiæ of life are transacted,—will call forth his attention, and demand his notice.

Art thou a poet, or a fancied warrior? What scene has been more replete with noble exploits? In whose breasts did the flame of chivalry burn brighter, than in those of the knights of St. John of Jerusalem? Not a name meets thee, that has not belonged to a hero! If thou grievest to find all dissimilar but the name; yet mayest thou still muse, contemplative, over the tomb and ashes of him, whom thy mind has shadowed forth, as a noble light in a more romantic age.

Art thou a moralist, a thinking Christian? Thou, mayest there trace and the pursuit shall profit

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