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Estaphana, daughter Lusigni, and Belfoni fall in love. When Estaphana tells her father, however, Lusigni is notably averse to the match. Instead, Lusigni arranges for Estaphana to marry the Duke de Savelli. When Estaphana objects the Duke kidnaps her and takes her to a castle tended by an old servant, Jacquilina and her husband. In the meantime, Lusigni catches Belfoni outside his home imprisons him in a secret dungeon.
Locked in the Duke’s castle, Estaphana is visited by the Duke who attempts to rape her. Fortunately, Jacqulina bursts in and reveals that Estaphana is the Duke’s daughter, proven by a miniature of the Duke’s former wife that Estaphana wears. Jacqulina reveals herself to be Emily de Salerno, one of the Duke’s former lovers, who kidnapped Estaphana as an infant as revenge against the Duke. Estaphana was left on the doorstep of Lusigni to be raised as his daughter.
Duke stabs Emily de Salerno and himself. As the Duke dies, Befloni enters (having secretly escaped from Lusigni’s dungeon). Belfoni and Estaphana enter through a secret door from which they hear groans, and discover the Duke’s dying wife, Estaphana’s mother.
Upon returning to Naples, Belfoni and Estaphana find Lusigni on his deathbed. Lusigni reveals to Belfoni that he is Belfoni’s uncle. Lusigni explains that he imprisoned and murdered his older brother, Belfoni’s father, to gain his inheritance, making Belfoni the heir the estate. As a dying qish, Lusigni asks that Belfoni and Estaphana be married.
Literature in English, British Isles
Crookenden, Isaac. The Mysterious Murder; or, the Usurper of Naples: An Original Romance. To Which is Prefixed, The Nocturnal Assassin; or, Spanish Jealousy. London: J. Lee, 1808.