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A Handbook to the Works of Browning (6th ed.)

Patrizj pursued his journey without rest


"Monsignore,

the Governor, being informed of the event, immediately despatched Captain Patrizj to arrest the culprits; but on reaching the vineyard the police officers discovered that they were no longer there, but had gone towards the high road an hour before. Patrizj pursued his journey without rest, and having arrived at the inn, was told by the landlord that Franceschini had insisted upon obtaining horses, which were refused to him because he was not supplied with the necessary order; and had proceeded therefore on foot with his companions towards Baccano. Continuing his march, and taking the necessary precautions, he arrived at the Merluzza inn, and there discovered the assassins, who were speedily arrested; their knives still stained with blood, a hundred and fifty scudi in coin being also found on Franceschini's person. The arrest, however, cost Patrizj his life, for he had heated himself too much, and having received a slight wound, died in a few days."

"The knife of Franceschini was on the Genoese pattern, and triangular; and was notched at the edge, so that it could not be withdrawn from the wounded flesh without lacerating it in such a manner as to render the wound incurable."

"The criminals being taken to Ponte Milvio, they went through a first examination at the inn there at the hands of the notaries and judges sent thither for the purpose, and the chief points of a confession were obtained from them."

style="text-align: justify;">"When the capture of the delinquents was known in Rome, a multitude of the people hastened to see them as they were conveyed bound on horses into the city. It is related that Franceschini having asked one of the police officers in the course of the journey _how ever the crime had been discovered_, and being told _that it had been revealed by his wife, whom they had found still living_, was almost stupefied by the intelligence. Towards twenty-three o'clock (the last hour before sunset) they arrived at the prisons. A certain Francesco Pasquini, of Citta di Castello, and Allessandro Baldeschi, of the same town, both twenty-two years of age, were the assistants of Guido Franceschini in the murder of the Comparini; and Gambasini and Agostinelli were those who stood on guard at the gate."

"Meanwhile the corpses of the assassinated Comparini were exposed at San Lorenzo, in Lucina, but so disfigured, and especially Franceschini's wife, by their wounds in the face, that they were no longer recognizable. The unhappy Francesca, after taking the sacrament, forgiving her murderers, under seventeen years of age, and after having made her will, died on the sixth day of the month, which was that of the Epiphany; and was able to clear herself of all the calumnies which her husband had brought against her. The surprise of the people in seeing these corpses was great, from the atrocity of the deed, which made one really shudder, seeing two septuagenarians and a girl of seventeen so miserably put to death."

"The trial proceeding meanwhile, many papers were drawn up on the subject, bringing forward all the most incriminating circumstances of this horrible massacre; and others also were written for the defence with much erudition, especially by the advocate of the poor, a certain Monsignor Spreti, which had the effect of postponing the sentence; also because Baldeschi persisted in denial, though he was tortured with the rope, and twice fainted under it. At last he confessed, and so did the others, who also revealed the fact that they had intended in due time to murder Franceschini himself, and take his money, because he had not kept his promise of paying them the moment they should have left Rome."


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