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we have done in our village ; and, if we had, where curtain, lest her beauty should divert their thoughts ; would be your security ?"
a precaution in this instance at least unnecessary, "In your word, Lady."
Lorenzo having lost his heart to another.' “But what if I died to-night? Where would it be To him she flies in her necessity ; but of what then ?" said she, laughing. "The money would go to assistance can he be ? He has just taken his place at the Church; for none could claim it."
the bar, but he has never spoken ; and how stand up * Perhaps you will favor us with an acknowledg, alone, unpractised and unprepared as he is, against
an array that would alarm the most experienced ? - If you will write it."
“ Were I as mighty as I am weak," said he, “ my An acknowledgment was written accordingly, and fears for you would make me as nothing. But I will she signed it before Master Bartolo, the village phy- be there, Gianetta ; and may the Friend of the sician who had just called by chance to learn the news Friendless give me strength in that hour! Even now of the day, the gold to be delivered when applied my heart fails me; but, come what will, while I have for, but to be delivered (these were the words) not to a loaf to share, you and your mother shall never want one or to two—but to the three; words wisely I will beg through the world for you." introduced by those to whom it belonged, knowing The day arrives, and the court assembles. The what they knew of each other. The gold they had claim is stated, and the evidence given. And now the just released from a miser's chest in Perugia; and defence is called for—but none is made ; not a syl they were now on a scent that promised more. lable is uttered; and, after a pause and a consultar
They and their shadows were no sooner departed, tion of some minutes, the Judges are proceeding to than the Venetian returned, saying, “Give me leave give judgment, silence having been proclaimed in to set my seal on the bag, as the others have done;" the court, when Lorenzo rises and thus addresses and she placed it on a table before him. But in that them. moment she was called away to receive a Cavalier, “Reverend Signors. Young as I am, may I venture who had just dismounted from his horse; and, when to speak before you ? I would speak in behalf of one she came back, it was gone. The temptation had who has none else to help her; and I will not keep proved irresistible; and the man and the money had you long. vanished together.
“ Much has been said; much on the sacred nature "Wretched woman that I am!” she cried, as in an of the obligation—and we acknowledge it in its full agony of grief she fell on her daughter's neck, “What forcé. Let it be fulfilled, and to the last letter. It is will become of us ? Are we again to be cast out into what we solicit, what we require. But to whom is the wide world –Unhappy child, would that thou the bag of gold to be delivered ? What says the bond ? hadst never been born!” and all day long she la- Not to one—not to two—but to the three. Let the mented; but her tears availed her little. The others three stand forth and claim it.” were not slow in returning to claim their due; and From that day, (for who can doubt the issue ?) none there were no tidings of the thief: he had fled far were sought, none employed, but the subtle, the elo away with his plunder. A process against her was quent Lorenzo. Wealih followed Fame; nor need I instantly begun in Bologna ; and what defence could say how soon he sat at his marriage-feast, or who sat she make ?--how release herself from the obligation beside him. of the bond ? Wilfully or in negligence she had
XVII. parted with it to one, when she should have kept it for all ; and inevitable ruin awaited her!
A CHARACTER. “Go, Gianetta," said she to her daughter, " take
One of two things Montrioli may have, this veil which your mother has worn and wept My envy or compassion. Both he cannot. under so often, and implore the Counsellor Calderino Yet on he goes, numbering as miseries, to plead for us on the day of trial. He is generous, What least of all he would consent to lose, and will listen to the unfortunate. But, if he will What most indeed he prides himself upon, not, go from door to door; Monaldi cannot refuse us. And, for not having, most despises me. Make haste, my child; but remember the chapel as "At morn the minister exacts an hour; you pass by it. Nothing prospers without a prayer.” At noon the king. Then comes the council-board ;
Alas, she went, but in vain. These were retained And then the chase, the supper. When, ah! when, against them; those demanded more than they had the leisure and the liberty I sigh for? to give; and all bade them despair. What was to Not when at home; at home a miscreant-crew, be done? No advocate; and the cause to come on That now no longer serve me, mine the service. to-morrow!
And then that old hereditary bore, Now Gianetta had a lover; and he was a student The steward, his stories longer than his rent-roll, of the law, a young man of great promise, Lorenzo Who enters, quill in car, and, one by one, Martelli. He had studied long and diligently under As though I lived to write and wrote to live, that learned lawyer, Giovanni Andreas, who, though Unrolls his leases for my signature." little of stature, was great in renown, and by his con
He clanks his fetters to disturb my peace. temporaries was called the Arch-doctor, the Rabbi Yet who would wear them, and become the slave of Doctors, the Light of the World. Under him he had studied, sitting on the same bench with Petrarch; and also under his daughter, Novella, who would
1 Ce pourroit étre, says Bayle, la matière d'un joli probleme. often lecture to the scholars, when her father was le profit de ses auditeurs, en leur cachant son beau visage. Ils
on pourroit examiner si cette fille avançoit, ou si elle retardoit otherwise engaged, placing herself behind a small auroit cent choses à dire pour et contre là-desus. 11
Of wealth and power, renouncing willingly A heaving bark, an anchor on the strand,
May tell him what it is ; but what it was,
Cannot be told so soon. But to the wise how precious !-every day
The time has been, A little life, a blank to be inscribed
When on the quays along the Syrian coast, With gentle deeds, such as in after-time
"T was ask'd and eagerly, at break of dawn, Console, rejoice, whene'er we turn the leaf " What ships are from Amalfi ?" when her coins, To read them? All, wherever in the scale,
Silver and gold, circled from clime to clime; Have, be they high or low, or rich or poor,
From Alexandria southward to Sennaar, Inherit they a sheep-hook or a sceptre,
And eastward, through Damascus and Cabul Much to be grateful for; but most has he,
And Samarcand, to thy. great wall, Cathay. Born in that middle sphere, that temperate zone, Where Knowledge lights his lamp, there most secure, Then were the nations by her wisdom sway'd; And Wisdom comes, if ever, she who dwells And every crime on every sea was judged Above the clouds, above the firmament,
According to her judgments. In her port That Seraph sitting in the heaven of heavens. Prows, strange, uncouth, from Nile and Niger met,
People of various feature, various speech ; What men most covet, wealth, distinction, power, And in their countries many a house of prayer, Are baubles nothing worth, that only serve And many a shelter, where no shelter was, To rouse us up, as children in the schools
And many a well, like Jacob's in the wild, Are roused up to exertion. The reward
Rose at her bidding. Then in Palestine, Is in the race we run, not in the prize;
By the way-side, in sober grandeur stood And they, the few, that have it ere they earn it, An Hospital, that, night and day, received Having by favor or inheritance,
The pilgrims of the west ;(166) and, when it was These dangerous gifts placed in their idle hands, And all that should await on worth well-tried, “Who are the noble founders ?" every tongue All in the glorious days of old reserved
At once replied, “ The merchants of Amalfi.” For manhood most mature or reverend age, That Hospital, when Godfrey scaled the walls, Know not, nor ever can, the generous pride Sent forth its holy men in complete steel; That glows in him who on himself relies,
And hence, the cowl relinquish'd for the helm, Entering the lists of life.
That chosen band, valiant, invincible,
So long renown'd as champions of the Cross,
In Rhodes, in Malta.
For three hundred years,
There, unapproach'd but from the deep, they dwelt,
Assail'd for ever, yet from age to age He who sets sail from Naples, when the wind
Acknowledging no master. From the deep Blows fragrance from Posilipo, may soon,
They gather'd in their harvests; bringing home, Crossing from side to side that beautiful lake,
In the same ship, relics of ancient Greece, (167) Land underneath the cliff, where once among That land of glory where their fathers lay, The children gathering shells along the shore, Grain from the golden vales of Sicily, (168) One laugh'd and play'd, unconscious of his fate;' And Indian spices. When at length they fell, His to drink deep of sorrow, and, through life,
Losing their liberty, they left mankind To be the scorn of them that knew him not,
A legacy, compared with which the wealth Trampling alike the giver and his gift,
Of Eastern kings what is it in the scale?The gift a pearl precious, inestimable,
The mariner's compass. A lay divine, a lay of love and war,
They are now forgot, To charm, ennoble, and, from age to age,
And with them all they did, all they endured, Sweeten the labor, when the oar was plied Struggling with fortune. When Sicardi stood, Or on the Adrian or the Tuscan sea.
And, with a shout like thunder, cried, “Come forth,
And serve me in Salerno!" forth they came, There would I linger—then go forth again,
Covering the sea, a mournful spectacle; And hover round that region unexplored,
The women wailing, and the heavy oar Where to Salvator (when, as some relate,
Falling unheard. Not thus did they return, By chance or choice he led a bandit's life, The tyrant slain ;(169) though then the grass of year Yet oft withdrew, alone and unobserved,
Grew in their streets. To wander through those awful solitudes)
There now to him who sails Nature reveald herself. Unveil'd she stood, Under the shore, a few white villages, In all her wildness, all her majesty,
Scatter'd above, below, some in the clouds, As in that older time, ere Man was made. Some on the margin of the dark-blue sea,
And glittering through their lemon-groves, announce There would I linger—then go forth again; The region of Amalfi. Then, half-fallen, And he who steers due east, doubling the cape, A lonely watch-tower on the precipice, Discovers, in a crevice of the rock,
Their ancient land-mark, comes. Long may it last; The fishing-town, Amalfi. (165) Haply there And to the seaman in a distant age,
Though now he little thinks how large his debt, 1 Tasso. Serve for their monument! (170)
Save the shrill-voiced cicala flitting round
On the rough pediment to sit and sing ;
Or the green lizard rustling through the grass, Awful memorials, but of whom we know noi!'
To vanish in the chinks that Time has made. The seaman, passing, gazes from the deck. The buffalo-driver, in his shaggy cloak,
In such an hour as this, the sun's broad disk Points to the work of magic and moves on.
Seen at his setting, and a flood of light Time was they stood along the crowded street,
Filling the courts of these old sanctuaries, Temples of Gods! and on their ample steps
(Gigantic shadows, broken and confused, What various habits, various tongues beset
Across the innumerable columns flung)
In such an hour he came, who saw and told,
Walls of some capital city first appear'd, All silent now as in the ages past,
Half razed, half sunk, or scatter'd as in scorn; Trodden under foot and mingled, dust with dust.
-And what within them? what but in the midst
These Three in more than their original grandeur How many centuries did the sun go round From Mount Alburnus to the Tyrrhene sea,
And, round about, no stone upon another ?
As if the spoiler had fallen back in fear,
And, turning, left them to the elements.
'Tis said a stranger in the days of old
(Some say a Dorian, some a Sybarite ; Waiting the appointed time! All, all within
But distant things are ever lost in clouds), Proclaims that Nature had resumed her right,
"T is said a stranger came, and, with his plow, And taken to herself what man renounced ;
Traced out the site; and Posidonia rose, (173) No cornice, triglyph, or worn abacus, But with thick ivy hung or branching fern;
Severely great, Neptune the tutelar God; Their iron-brown o'erspread with brightest verdure! And in her haven many a mast from Tyre.
A Homer's language murmuriug in her streets,
Then came another, an unbidden guest. From my youth upward have I longed to tread
He knockd and enter'd with a train in arms; This classic ground—And am I here at last ? Wandering at will through the long porticoes,
And all was changed, her very name and language And catching, as through some majestic grove,
The Tyrian merchant, shipping at his door Now the blue ocean, and now, chaos-like,
Ivory and gold, and silk, and frankincense, Mountains and mountain gulfs, and, half-way up,
Sailid as before, but sailing, cried “ For Pæstum !" Towns like the living rock from which they grew ? Pæstum's twice-blowing roses ; while, within,
And now a Virgil, now an Ovid sung A cloudy region, black and desolate,
Parents and children mourn'd-and, every year, Where once a slave withstood a world in arms.?
("T was on the day of some old festival) The air is sweet with violeis, running wild (171) Talk'd in the ancient tongue of things gone by.”
Met to give way to tears, and once again, 'Mid broken friezes and fallen capitals;
At length an Arab climb'd the battlements,
And from all eyes the glorious vision fled! (Turning to thee, divine Philosophy,
Leaving a place lonely and dangerous,
Where whom the robber spares, a deadlier foe 3
Strikes at unseen—and at a time when joy For Athens; when a ship, if north-east winds
Opens the heart, when summer-skies are blue, Blew from the Prestan gardens, slack'd her course.
And the clear air is soft and delicate;
For then the demon works—then with that air On as he moved along the level shore,
The thoughtless wretch drinks in a subtle poison These temples, in their splendor eminent Mid arcs and obelisks, and domes and towers,
Lulling to sleep; and, when he sleeps, he dies. Retlecting back the radiance of the west, Well might He dream of Glory --Now, coil'd up,
But what are These still standing in the midst ?
The earth has rock'd beneath ; the Thunder-stone The serpent sleeps within them; the she-wolf Suckles her young: and, as alone I stand
Passed through and through, and left its traces there, In this, the nobler pile, the elements
Yet still they stand as by some Unknown Charter! Of earth and air its only floor and covering,
Oh, they are Nature's own! and, as allied
To the vast Mountains and the eternal Sea, How solemn is the stillness ! Nothing stirs
They want no written history ; theirs a voice
For ever speaking to the heart of Man! 1 The temples of Pæstum are three in number; and have survived, nearly nine centuries, the total destruction of the city.. Tradition is silent concerning them; but they must have exist- 1 They are said to have been discovered by accident abou ed sow between two and three thousand year.
the middle of the last century. 2 Spartacus. See Plutarch in the lifo of Crassus.
2 Athenæus, xiv.
3 The Mal'aria.
It was a Harper, wandering with his harp,
By time and grief ennobled, not subdued; If thou art wise, thou wouldst not. 'Tis by some Though from his height descending, day by day, Believed to be his master-work, who look'd
And, as his upward look at once betray'd,
Blind as old Homer. At a fount he sate,
And now in silence, as their custom was,
The sun's decline awaited. Sleeps in the vault beneath. We know not much;
But the child But what we know, we will communicate. Was worn with travel. Heavy sleep weigh'd down "Tis in an ancient record of the House ;
His eye-lids; and the grandsire, when we came, And may it make thee tremble, lest thou fall!
Embolden'd by his love and by his fear,
His fear lest night o'ertake them on the road, Once on a Christmas-eve-ere yet the roof Humbly besought me to convey them both Rung with the hymn of the Nativity,
A little onward. Such small services There came a stranger to the convent-gate,
Who can refuse?-Not I; and him who can, And ask'd admittance; ever and anon,
Blest though he be with every earthly gift,
Within a crazed and tatter'd vehicle, (176)
We lumber'd on together; the old man
When question'd the adventures of his life,
And all the dangers he had undergone ;
They were bound, he said,
And promised me much pleasure. His short trance, Most devout he was ;
Short as it was, had, like a charmed cup, Most unremitting in the Services;
Restored his spirit, and, as on we crawld, Then, only then, untroubled, unassail'd;
Slow as the snail (my muleteer dismounting, And, to beguile a melancholy hour,
And now his mules addressing, now his pipe, Would sometimes exercise that noble art
And now Luigi) he pour'd out his heart, He learnt in Florence; with a master's hand, Largely repaying me. At length the sun As to this day the Sacristy attests,
Departed, setting in a sea of gold; Painting the wonders of the Apocalypse.
And, as we gazed, he bade me rest assured
That like the setting would the rising be. At length he sunk to rest, and in his cell
Their harp—it had a voice oracular, Left, when he went, a work in secret done,
And in the desert, in the crowded street, The portrait, for a portrait it must be, That hangs behind the curtain. Whence he drew, Twanged shrill and clear, o'er hill and dale they
Spoke when consulted. If the treble chord None here can doubt: for they that come to catch
went, The faintest glimpse—to catch it and be gone,
The grandsire, step by step, led by the child; Gaze as he gazed, then shrink into themselves,
And not a rain-drop from a passing cloud Acting the self-same part. But why 't was drawn,
Fell on their garments. Thus it spoke to-day; Whether in penance, to atone for Guilt,
Inspiring joy, and, in the young one's mind,
Brightening a path already full of sunshine.
Day glimmer'd; and beyond the precipice 1 Michael Angelo. (Which my mule follow'd as in love with fear,
Or as in scorn, yet more and more inclining Should have the power, the will to make this world
To him who never wrong'd them! Who that breathes But soon the surges fled, and we descried
Would not, when first he heard it, turn away
A consciousness how soon we shall be gone,
Or, if we linger-but a few short years-
How sure to look upon our brother's grave,
Rose like another sun, illumining
Waters and woods and cloud-capt promontories, Fumed from the caldron; while, beyond the fort
Glades for a hermit's cell, a lady's bower, Whither I wander'd, step by step led on,
Scenes of Elysium, such as Night alone The fisher dragg'd their net, the fish within Reveals below, nor often-scenes that fled At every heave fluttering and full of life,
As at the waving of a wizard's wand, At every heave striking their silver fins
And left behind them, as their parting gift, 'Gainst the dark meshes.
A thousand nameless odors. All was still ; Soon a boatman's shout And now the nightingale her song pour'd forth Re-echoed; and red bonnets on the beach,
In such a torrent of heart-felt delight, Waving, recallid me. We embark'd and left
So fast it flow'd, her tongue so voluble, That noble haven, where, when Genoa reign'd,
As if she thought her hearers would be gone A hundred galleys shelter'd-in the day,
Ere half was told. 'Twas where in the north-west. When lofty spirits met, and, deck to deck,
Sull unassail'd and unassailable,
Burning in stillness on its craggy seat;
When those now glowing in the azure vault, In silence-underneath a mountain-ridge,
Are dark and silent. 'Twas where o'er the sea, Untamed, untamable, reflecting round
For we were now within a cable's length, The saddest purple; nothing to be seen
Delicious gardens hung; green galleries, Of life or culture, save where, at the foot,
And marble terraces in many a flight, Some village and its church, a scanty line,
And fairy-arches flung from cliff to cliff, Athwart the wave gleam'd faintly. Fear of ill
Wildering, enchanting; and, above them all, Narrow'd our course, fear of the hurricane, A Palace, such as somewhere in the East, And that yet greater scourge, the crafty Moor,
In Zenastan or Araby the blest, Who, like a tiger prowling for his prey,
Among ils golden groves and fruits of gold, Springs and is gone, and on the adverse coast And fountains scattering rainbows in the sun, (Where Tripoli and Tunis and Algiers
Rose, when Aladdin rubb’d the wondrous lamp; Forge fetters, and white turbans on the mole Such, if not fairer; and, when we shot by, Gather, whene'er the Crescent comes display'd
A scene of revelry, in long array Orer the Cross) his human merchandise
The windows blazing. But we now approach'd To many a curious, many & cruel eye
A City far-renown'd;' and wonder ceased.
This house was Andrea Doria's. Here he lived ;(181)
Held many a pleasant, many a grave discourse (182) Or yet more wretched sire, grown grey in chains, With them that sought him, walking to and fro Labord, his hands upon the oar, his eyes
As on his deck. 'Tis less in length and breadth
The reverence due to ancient dignity.
He left it for a better; and 't is now
A house of trade, (183) the meanest merchandise But when, ah when, do they that can, forbear
Cumbering its floors. Yet, fallen as it is,