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And thou hast found at last. Were I as thou,
None else were by; and, as I gazed unseen, I in thy grasp as thou art now in ours,
Her youth, her innocence and gaiety Soon should I make a midnight-spectacle,
Went to my heart; and, starting up, I cried, Soon, limb by limb, be mangled on a wheel,
* Fly-for your life! Alas, she shriek’d, she fell; Then gibbetted to blacken for the vultures,
And, as I caught her falling, all rush'd forth. But I would teach thee better-how to spare.
'A Wood-nymph!' said Rusconi. “By the light, Write as I dictate. If thy ransom comes,
Lovely as Hebe! Lay her in the shade.'
I heard him not. I stood as in a trance.
Wouldst thou rebel?' I did as he required.
* Now bear her hence to the well-head below.
A few cold drops will animate this marble.
But thou hast earn'd it.'
As I stagger'd down, Will serve thee; it has weather'd many a storm.» Unwilling to surrender her sweet body; The watch was set; and twice it had been changed, Her golden hair dishevell'd on a neck When morning broke, and a wild bird, a hawk, Of snow, and her fair eyes closed as in sleep, Flew in a circle, screaming. I look'd up,
Frantic with love, with hate, 'Great God!" I cried, And all were gone, save him who now kept guard, (I had almost forgotten how to pray) And on his arms lay musing. Young he seem'd, Why may I not, while yet—while yet I can, And sad, as though he could indulge at will
Release her from a thraldom worse than death? Some secret sorrow. Thou shrink'st back," he said. 'Twas done as soon as said. I kiss'd her brow,
Well mayst thou, lying, as thou dost, so near And smote her with my dagger. A short cry A ruffian-one for ever link'd and bound
She utter'd, but she stirr'd not; and to heaven To guilt and infamy. There was a time
Her gentle spirit fled. 'T was where the path When he had not perhaps been deem d unworthy, In its descent turn'd suddenly. No eye When he had watch'd that planet to its setting, Observed me, though their steps were following fast. And dwelt with pleasure on the meanest thing
But soon a yell broke forth, and all at once That Nature has given birth to.
Now 't is past.
Levell’d their deadly aim. Then I had ceased
To trouble or be troubled, and had now . Wouldst thou know more? My story is an old one. (Would I were there!) been slumbering in my grave, I loved, was scorn'd; I trusted, was betray'd;
Had not Rusconi with a terrible shout And in my anguish, my necessity,
Thrown himself in between us, and exclaim'd, Met with the fiend, the tempter-in Rusconi.
Grasping my arm, “ 'T is bravely, nobly done! 'Why thus? he cried. “Thou wouldst be free and darest Is it for deeds like these thou wear'st a sword ?
Was this the business that thou camest upon ?
Like the young tiger he has tasted blood,
And may do much hereafter. He can strike What, but a harlequin's leap? Him I had known, Home to the hilt.' Then in an under-tone, Had served with, suffer'd with; and on the walls • Thus wouldst thou justify the pledge I gave, Of Capua, while the moon went down, I swore
When in the eyes of all I read distrust?
For once,' and on his cheek, methought, I saw
The blush of virtue, 'I will save thee, Albert;
Ere his tale was told,
As on the heath we lay, my ransom came; That I may never, never more be named.
And in six days, with no ungrateful mind,
Albert was sailing on a quiet sea.
-But the night wears, and thou art much in need When on a vineyard-hill we lay conceal'd
The young Antonio, with his torch,
Is waiting to conduct thee to thy chamber.
Tuis region, surely, is not of the earth."
Was it not dropt from heaven? Not a grove, Pleased for an instant; then as carelessly
Citron or pine or cedar, not a grot The strain resuming, and, where'er she stopt,
Sea-worn and mantled with the gadding vine, Rising on tiptoe underneath the boughs
But breathes enchantment. Not a cliff but llings To pluck a grape
On the clear wave some image of delight,
Some cabin-roof glowing with crimson flowers, Show'd gentle birth; and, step by step, she came, Nearer and nearer, to the dreadful snare.
"Un pozzo di cielo caduto in terra.--SANNAZARO.
Some ruin'd temple or fallen monument,
Yet here, methinks,
Here the vines
And eager to enjoy.
Let us go round,
What the mountainous Isle,
Let us turn the prow, And in the track of him who went to die, 3 (164) Traverse this valley of waters, landing where A waking dream awaits us. At a step Two thousand years roll backward, and we stand, Like those so long within that awful place, 4 Immovable, nor asking, Can it be?
Once did I linger there alone, till day Closed, and at length the calm of twilight came, So grateful, yet so solemn! At the fount, Just where the three ways meet, I stood and look d, ("T was near a noble house, the house of Pansa), And all was still as in the long, long night That follow'd, when the shower of ashes fell, When they that sought Pompeii, sought in vain; Jt was not to be found. But now a ray, Bright and yet brighter, on the pavement glanced, And on the wheel-track worn for centuries, And on the stepping-stones from side to side, O'er which the maidens, with their water-urns, Were wont to trip so lightly. Full and clear, The moon was rising, and at once reveald The name of every dweller, and his craft; Shining throughout with an unusual lustre, And lighting up this City of the Dead.
But here the mighty Monarch underneath, He in his palace of fire, diffuses round A dazzling splendour. Here, unseen, unheard, Opening another Eden in the wild, He works his wonders; save, when issuing forth In thunder, he blots out the sun, And, mingling all things earthly as in scorn, Exalts the valley, lays the mountain low, Pours many a torrent from his burning lake, And in an hour of universal mirth, What time the trump proclaims the festival, Buries some capital city, there to sleep The sleep of ages-till a plough, a spade Disclose the secret, and the eye of day Glares coldly on the streets, the skeletons, Each in his place, each in his gay attire,
Here lived a miller; silent and at rest
1 Tiberius. * The Elder Pliny.
Has stopt to scrawl a ship, an armed man;
it, for it bears some resemblance to that of the Merchant And in a tablet on the wall we read
of Venice. Of shows ere long to be) a sculptor wrought,
We were now arrived at a pavilion that commanded Nor meanly; blocks, half-chisell'd into life,
one of the noblest prospects imaginable; the mountains, Waiting his call. Here long, as yet attests
the sea, and the islands illuminated by the last beams of The trodden floor, an olive-merchant drew
day; and, sitting down there, he proceeded with his From many an ample jar, no more replenish’d; usual vivacity; for the sadness, that had come across And here from his a vintner served his guests
him, was gone. Largely, the stain of his o'ertlowing cups
There lived in the fourteenth century, near Bologna, Fresh on the marble. On the bench, beneath,
a widow-lady of the Lambertini family, called Madonna They sate and quaffd and look'd on them that pass'd, Lucrezia, who in a revolution of the state had known Gravely discussing the last news from Rome.
the bitterness of poverty, and had even begged her
bread; kneeling day after day like a statue at the gate But lo, engraven on a threshold-stone,
of the cathedral; her rosary in her left hand and her That word of courtesy, so sacred once,
right held out for charity; her long black veil concealHail! At a master's greeting we may enter.
ing a face that had once adorned a court, and had reAnd lo, a fairy palace! every where,
ceived the homage of as many sonnets as Petrarch has
written on Laura. As through the courts and chambers we advance, Floors of mosaic, walls of arabesque,
But Fortune had at last relented; a legacy from a disAnd columns clustering in Patrician splendour.
tant relation had come to her relief; and she was now But hark, a footstep! May we not intrude?
the mistress of a small innat the foot of the Appennines ; And now, methinks, I hear a gentle laugh,
where she entertained as well as she could, and where And gentle voices mingling as in converse!
those only stopped who were contented with a little. The - And now a harp-string as struck carelessly,
house was still standing, when in my youth I passed And now-along the corridor it comes
that way; though the sign of the White Cross,' the Cross I cannot err, a filling as of baths!
of the Hospitallers, was no longer to be seen over the —Ah, no,'t is but a mockery of the sense,
door; a sign which she had taken, if we may believe Idle and vain! We are but where we were;
the tradition there, in honour of a maternal uncle, a Still wandering in a City of the Dead !
grand-master of that Order, whose achievements in Pa
lestine she would sometimes relate. A mountain-stream XVI.
ran through the garden; and at no great distance, where
the road turned on its way to Bologna, stood a litle TUE BAG OF GOLD.
chapel, in which a lamp was always burning before a
picture of the Virgin, a picture of great antiquity, the I dine very often with the good old Cardinal *** and, I work of some Greek artist. should add, with his cats; for they always sit at his
Here she was dwelling, respected by all who knew table, and are much the gravest of the company. His her; when an event took place, which threw her into beaming countenance makes us forget his age; nor did the deepest affliction. It was at noon-day in September I ever see it clouded till yesterday, when, as we were that three foot-travellers arrived, and, seating themcontemplating the sun-set from his terrace, he hap-selves on a bench under her vine-trellis, were supplied pened, in the course of our conversation, to allude to with a flagon of Aleatico by a lovely girl, her only child, an affecting circumstance in his early life.
the image of her former self. The eldest spoke like a He had just left the University of Palermo and was Venetian, and his beard was short and pointed after the entering the army, when he became acquainted with a fashion of Venice. In his demeanour he affected great young lady of great beauty and merit, a Sicilian of a courtesy, but his look inspired little confidence; for family as illustrious as his own. Living near each other, when he smiled, which he did continually, it was with they were often together; and, at an age like theirs, his lips only, not with his eyes; and they were always friendship soon turns to love. But his father, for what turned from yours. His companions were bluff and reason I forget, refused his consent to their union; till, frank in their manner, and on their tongues had many alarmed at the declining health of his son, he promised a soldier's oath. In their hats they wore a medal, such to oppose it no longer, if, after a separation of three as in that age was often distributed in war; and they years, they continued as much in love as ever.
were evidently subalterns in one of those Free Bands Relying on that promise, he said, I set out on a long which were always ready to serve in any quarrel, if a journey, but in my absence the usual arts were resorted service it could be called, where a battle was little more to. Our letters were intercepted; and false rumours than a mockery; and the slain, as on an opera-stage, were spread first of my indifference, then of my in- were up and fighting 10-morrow. Overcome with the constancy, then of my marriage with a rich heiress of heat, they threw aside their cloaks; and, with their Sienna; and, when at length I returned to make her gloves tucked under their belts, continued for some time my own, I found her in a convent of Ursuline Nuns. in earnest conversation. She had taken the veil; and I, said he with a sigh-what At length they rose to go; and the Venetian thus adelse remained for me? I went into the church. dressed their Hostess. « Excellent Lady, may we leave
Yet many, he continued, as if to turn the conversa- under your roof, for a day or two, this bag of gold ?» tion, very many have been happy though we were not; • You may,” she replied gaily. • But remember, we and, if I am not abusing an old man's privilege, let me fasten only with a laich. Bars and bolts, we bave none tell you a story with a better catastrophe. It was told to me when a boy; and you may not be unwilling to hear
La Croce Bianca.
in our village; and, if we had, where would be your should divert their thoughts; a precaution in this security?»
instance at least unnecessary, Lorenzo having lost his « In your word, Lady.»
lieart to another. I « But what if I died to-night? Where would it be To him she flies in her necessity; but of what assistthen ?» said she, laughing. The money would go to the ance can he be? Ile has just taken his place at the bar, Church; for none could claim it.,
but he has never spoken; and how stand up alone, Perhaps you will favour us with an acknowledg- unpractised and unprepared as he is, against an array ment.
that would alarm the most experienced ?-, Were I as will write it. »
mighty as I am weak,» said he, « my fears for you An acknowledgment was written accordingly, and would make me as nothing. But I will be there, Giashe signed it before Master Bartolo, the Village-physician, netta; and may the Friend of the Friendless give me who had just called by chance to learn the news of the strength in that hour! Even now my heart fails me; day; the gold to be delivered when applied for, but to but, come what will, while I have a loaf to share, you be delivered (these were the words) not to one--nor to and your Mother shall never want. I will beg ibrough two-but to the three; words wisely introduced by the world for you.. those to whom it belonged, knowing what they knew of The day arrives, and the court assembles. The claim each other. The gold they had just released from a is stated, and the evidence given. And now the defence miser's chest in Perugia; and they were now on a scent is called for—but none is made; not a syllable is utthat promised more.
tered; and, after a pause and a consultation of some They and their shadows were no sooner departed, minutes, the Judges are proceeding to give judgment, than the Venetian returned, saying, « Give me leave to silence having been proclaimed in the court, when set my seal on the bag, as the others have done;» and Lorenzo rises and thus addresses them. she placed it on a table before him. But in that mo- «Reverend Signors. Young as I am, may I venture ment she was called away to receive a Cavalier, who had to speak before you? I would speak in behalf of one just dismounted from lois borse; and, when she came who has none else to lielp her; and I will not keep you back, it was gone.
The temptation had proved irresis- long. tible; and the man and the money had vanished 10- Much has been said ; much on the sacred nature of gether.
the obligation-and we acknowledge it in its full force. « Wretched woman that I am!, she cried, as in an Let it be fulfilled, and to the last letter. It is what we agony of grief she fell on her daughter's neck, • What solicit, what we require. But to whom is the bag of will become of us! Are we again to be cast out into the gold to be delivered ? What says the bond? Not to one wide world ?-Unhappy child, would that thou hadst --not to 'wo—but to the three. Let the three stand never been born!» and all day long she lamented; but forth and claim it. her tears availed her little. The others were not slow in From that day, (for who can doubt the issue?) none returning to claim their due; and there were no tidings were sought, none employed, but the subile, the cloof the thief: he had fled far away with his plunder. A quent Lorenzo. Wealth followed Fame; nor need I say process against hier was instantly begun in Bologna; how soon he sat at luis marriage-feast, or who sat beside and what defence could she make; how release herself him. from the obligation of the bond ? Wilfully or in negligence she had parted with it to one, when she
XVII. should have kept it for all; and inevitable ruin await
A CHARACTER. ed her!
Go, Gianetta,said she to her daughier, take this one of two things Montrioli may have, vcil which your mother has worn and wept under so My envy or compassion. Both hic cannot. often, and implore the Counsellor Calderino to plead Yet on he gocs, numbering as miseries, for us on the day of trial. He is gencrous, and will What least of all he would consent to lose, listen to the Unfortunate. But, if he will not, go from What most indeed be prides himself upon, door to door ; Monaldi cannot refuse us. Make laste, And, for not having, most despises me. my child; but remember the chapel as you pass by it. • Al morn the minister exacts an hour; 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 to The leisure and the liberty I sigh for? give; and all bade them despair. What was to be Not when at home; at home a miscreant-crew, done ? No advocate; and the cause to come on to- That now no longer serve me, mine the service. morrow!
and then that old hereditary bore, Now Gianetta had a lover; and he was a student of The steward, his stories longer than his reni-roll, the law, a young man of great promise, Lorenzo Mar- Who enters, quill in ear, and, one by one, telli. He had studied long and diligently under that as though I lived to write, and wrote to live, learned lawyer, Giovanni Andreas, who, though little of Cnrolls his leases for my signature.stature, was great in renown, and by his contemporaries
lle clanks luis fetters to disturb my perce. was called the Arch-doctor, the Rabbi of Doctors, the Yet who would wear them, and become the slave Light of the World. Under him he had studied, sitting on the same bench with Petrarch ; and also under his daughter, Novella, who would often lecture to the
"Ce ponrroit étre, says Bayle, la matière d'un joli problémo: on
pourroit examiner si cette fille avangoit, ou si olie retardost le profit scholars, when her father was otherwise engaged, de ses auditeurs, en leur cachant son beau visage. Il y auroit ceul placing herself behind a small curtain, lest her beauty choses à dire pour et contre l'a-dessus.
Of wealth and power, renouncing willingly
A heaving bark, an anchor on the strand,
The time has been,
What men most covet, wealth, distinction, power, Are baubles nothing worth, that only serve To rouse us up, as children in the schools Are roused up to exertion. The reward Is in the race we run, not in the prize; And they, the few, that have it ere they earn it, Having by favour or inheritance, These dangerous gifts placed in their idle hands, And all that should await on worth well-tried, All in the glorious days of old reserved For manhood most mature or reverend age, Know not, nor ever can, the generous pride That glows in him who on himself relies, Entering the lists of life.
Then were the nations by her wisdom sway'd ; And
every crime on every sea was judged According to her judgments. In her port Prows, strange, uncouth, from Nile and Niger met, People of various feature, various speech; And in their countries many a house of prayer, And many a shelter, where no shelter was, And many a well, like Jacob's in the wild, Rose at her bidding. Then in Palestine, By the way-side, in sober grandeur stood An Hospital, that, night and day, received The pilgrims of the west; (166) and, when 't was ask'd; « Who are the noble founders ?» every tongue At once replied, « The merchants of Amalfi. » That Hospital, when Godfrey scaled the walls, Sent forth its holy men in complete steel ; And hence, the cowl relinquish'd for the helm, That chosen band, valiant, invincible, So long renown'd as champions of the Cross, In Rhodes, in Malta.
For three hundred
They are now forgot,
years Grew in their streets.
There now to him who sails Under the shore, a few white villages, Scatter'd above, below, some in the clouds, Some on the margin of the dark blue sea, And glitteriog through their lemon-groves, announce The region of Amalfi. Then half-fallen, A lonely watch-tower on the precipice, Their ancient land-mark, comes. Long may And to the seaman in a distant age, Though now he little thinks how large his debt, Serve for their monument! (170)
SORRENTO. He who sets sails from Naples, when the wind Blows fragrance from Posilipo, may soon, Crossing from side to side that beautiful lake, Land underneath the cliff, where once among The children gathering shells along the shore, One laughid and play'd, unconscious of his fate;' His to drink deep of sorrow, and, through life, To be the scorn of them that knew him pot, Trampling alike the giver and his gift, The gift a pearl precious, incstimable, A lay divine, a lay of love and war, To charm, ennoble, and, from age to age, Sweeten the labour, when the oar was plied Or on the Adrian or the Tuscan sea.
There would I linger-then go forth again, And hover round that region unexplored, Where to Salvator (when, as some relate, By chance or choice he led a bandit's life, Yet oft withdrew, alone and unobserved, To wander through those awful solitudes) Nature reveals herself. Unveil'd she stood, In all her wildness, all her majesty, As in that clder time, ere Man was made.
There would I linger-then go forth again; And he who steers due east, doubling the cape, Discovers, in a crevice of the rock, The fishing-town, Amalfi. (165) Haply there