Sandra Belloni — Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 546 pages of information about Sandra Belloni Complete.
there is gin smelling near him.  At last my father had to stop there day and night.  Then that good woman’s daughter came to him to keep him from starving; she risked being stripped naked and beaten with rods, to keep my father from starving.  When my father speaks of Sandra now, it makes my mother—­she does not like it.  I am named after her:  Emilia Alessandra Belloni.  ‘Sandra’ is short for it.  She did not know why I was christened that, and will never call me anything but Emilia, though my father says Sandra, always.  My father never speaks of that dear Sandra herself, except when he is tipsy.  Once I used to wish him to be tipsy; for then I used to sit at my piano while he talked, and I made all his words go into music.  One night I did it so well, my father jumped right up from his chair, shouting “Italia!” and he caught his wig off his head, and threw it into the fire, and rushed out into the street quite bald, and people thought him mad.

“It was the beginning of all our misfortunes!  My father was taken and locked up in a place as a tipsy man.  That he has never forgiven the English for!  It has made me and my mother miserable ever since.  My mother is sure it is all since that night.  Do you know, I remember, though I was so young, that I felt the music—­oh! like a devil in my bosom?  Perhaps it was, and it passed out of me into him.  Do you think it was?”

Wilfrid answered:  “Well, no!  I shouldn’t think you had anything to do with the devil.”  Indeed, he was beginning to think her one of the smallest of frocked female essences.

“I lost my piano through it,” she went on.  “I could not practise.  I was the most miserable creature in all the world till I fell in love with my harp.  My father would not play to get money.  He sat in his chair, and only spoke to ask about meal-time, and we had no money for food, except by selling everything we had.  Then my piano went.  So then I said to my mother, I will advertize to give lessons, as other people do, and make money for us all, myself.  So we paid money for a brass-plate, and our landlady’s kind son put it up on the door for nothing, and we waited for pupils to come.  I used to pray to the Virgin that she would blessedly send me pupils, for my poor mother’s complaints were so shrill and out of tune it’s impossible to tell you what I suffered.  But by-and-by my father saw the brass-plate.  He fell into one of his dreadful passions.  We had to buy him another wig.  His passions were so expensive:  my mother used to say, “There goes our poor dinner out of the window!” But, well! he went to get employment now.  He can, always, when he pleases; for such a touch on the violin as my father has, you never heard.  You feel yourself from top to toe, when my father plays.  I feel as if I breathed music like air.  One day came news from Italy, all in the newspaper, of my father’s friends and old companions shot and murdered by the Austrians.  He read it in the evening, after we had a quiet day. 

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Sandra Belloni — Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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