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On the northern shore of Sicily are still to be seen the magnificent of a castle, which belonged to the noble house of Mazzini. It stands in the centre of a small bay, and upon a gentle acclivity, which, on one side, slopes towards the sea, and on the other rises into an crowned by dark woods. The situation is admirably beautiful and , and the ruins have an air of ancient , which, contrasted with the present of the scene, impresses the traveller with and curiosity. During my travels abroad I visited this spot. As I walked over the loose fragments of stone, which lay through the immense area of the fabrick, and surveyed the and grandeur of the ruins, I , by a natural association of ideas, to the times when these walls stood proudly in their original splendour, when the halls were the scenes of hospitality and magnificence, and when they with the voices of those whom death had long since swept from the earth. 'Thus,' said I, 'shall the present generation—he who now sinks in misery—and he who now swims in pleasure, alike pass away and be forgotten.' My heart with the reflection; and, as I turned from the scene with a sigh, I my eyes upon a friar, whose venerable figure, gently bending towards the earth, formed no uninteresting object in the picture. He observed my emotion; and, as my eye met his, shook his head and to the ruin. 'These walls,' said he, 'were once the seat of luxury and . They exhibited a singular instance of the retribution of Heaven, and were from that period , and abandoned to decay.' His words excited my curiosity, and I further concerning their meaning.  
'A solemn history belongs to this castle, said he, 'which is too long and intricate for me to relate. It is, however, contained in a manuscript in our library, of which I could, perhaps, you a sight. A brother of our order, a descendant of the noble house of Mazzini, collected and recorded the most striking incidents relating to his family, and the history thus formed, he left as a to our convent. If you please, we will walk .'
I accompanied him to the convent, and the friar introduced me to his superior, a man of an intelligent mind and heart, with whom I passed some hours in interesting conversation. I believe my sentiments pleased him; for, by his indulgence, I was permitted to take abstracts of the history before me, which, with some further particulars obtained in conversation with the , I have arranged in the following pages.

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