Page images

Italians and the National Guard.


pressed, because he was obliged to deny me a Genoa, that upon its scenes those fading eyes sight of the “belle cose,” which were the joy had gazed ere merged in eternity's long dark. and pride of his heart ! He told us that when We reached Leghorn by a night's penance in Forestieri arrived there, and learned the prohibi- a Sardinian steamer, very dirty and very dear. tion against the sex, that the disappointed ladies The ladies' and gentlemen's cabins were only were apt to show temper more sincere than po- divided by a little den, in which sat the inlite. Of course he wound up his discourse with dividual who was in himself steward and stewa panegyric upon Madame for the patience ardess, ready to spring to right or left, according " With which I stood without the pale,

as the cry of “Gargon” should direct him, to Flattening my nose on a gilded rail."

surly knight or sickly damosel. At Leghorn we

found things really in a ferment; the governor It is humiliating, both for the friar's sake and had resigned, the place was in a sort of anarchy, my own, to reflect that the anticipated “buona- the national guard could not come into the field mani” had something to do with the flattery; for want of arms and habiliments, and there was but alas ! the fraternity is poor in the midst of its a sort of provisional government, self-elected of magnificent chapels, and one cannot sup upon the faechini, or porters and boatmen of the fort; pietra dura, or make an omelette out of the their chief act of authority was to cheat all the master-pieces of Bambaga.

passengers; and when we tried to resist their To return to Italian patriotism. Our first imposition, we found the landlord of our inn full-grown manifestation was at the little town held them in great awe, and declined to assist of Vaghera, our first resting-place in the Sar- our spirited efforts. So we gave way to the dinian dominions; there, as we hurried over lords of Leghorn, and listened, rather amusedly, our supper of twenty oily courses, our ears were to the doleful account mine host gave us of the filled with the roar of a concert in honour of political atmosphere around him; he was English, Pio Nono. I envied his Holiness, who did not and I felt, looking on his meek, frightened face, hear it. I was told that the music had been that the counter had lost, and the bar had not expressly composed by Rossini; but Rossini gained; his description was afterwards negatived did not and could not compose the prima donna, in toto by a travelling Italian, who had learned in and her tones were anything but composing to England'the art of d-ing, and now displayed it, us. Long after we had moved on again, there with the addition of Tuscan fioriture, to the mingled with the clatter of the wheels and the eternal discomfiture of the Tedeschi. bells of the horses the wild yells of that unhappy A very quick, well-appointed railway brought woman at the very top of the gamut. A curious us, in half an hour, to Pisa; where we found and thoughtful thing it is to travel by night patriotism rampant. We went into a café, and through a lonely country in the clear, pure saw the waiter, at a dingy little mirror, trying on radiance of an Italian moon. The little white the cap of the new national guard. Round him villages, clustering under the protection of their was a knot of unshorn, unshirted men. Each, in tall campaniles, stood out sharply against the turn, essayed the coveted decoration; and each, stars, and the grand solemn hills on either side a modern Narcissus, seemed to grow enamoured of the road swelled in long ridges against the of his mirrored semblance. The smirkings and blue sky; and you could even discern the light, attitudenizings of these rough-bearded men dusty grey olives flickering in the night-wind, would have been a study for a Hogarth. How and the darker figures of the broad-leaved syca- I wished for our inimitable M. A. Titmarsh, to mores. And then sunrise among the Apennines, put them down for “ Vanity Fair.”, Grotesque and the first glimpse of the morning-faced sea, and happy figures were they'; for indeed, if there shining like a new washed ploughboy; and the is a happy creature on this troubled earth, it is first full view of Genoa, curving in a close em- a modern Italian patriot looking at himself in brace around her bay, with the lofty cliffs the cap of the national guard. Beside the hovering on one hand, and on the other a superb mirror hung a coloured print of the Roman line of coast; hills peeping over hills, even to uniform-for they have been beforehand with the snowy ones, stretching away towards France. the Tuscans in equipping themselves. What Genoa was illuminating itself in honour of Li- admiring eyes it rivetted! How envyingly they berty, and chaunting Pio Nono as vociferously dwelt on all the glories of those painted warriors as Vaghera. Would it interest you to learn that in light trowsers and blue frock coats. How we occupied rooms in the Hotel Feder, the same unconsciously they imitated the swaggering gait, hotel in which O'Connell died? They showed the fierce turn of the head, the confident repose us the apartment: it was gilded and hung with of the hands-one on the sword-hilt, the other green, and I felt it with excusable sentimentality, on the hip. It was delightful to me: far better like a sort of remembrance to the dying, that than pictures, better than scenery, better than the national colour of his own far isle should even old Pisa's Cathedral and Campo Santo, have been round him to the last. The waiter are the thousand ways and workings of my who had attended on him was very communi- fellow-men. What a discovery it was to me to cative, and we were all deeply interested in his pounce suddenly, in a secluded cloister of the tale of O'Connell's death-days. The demagogue, Franciscans, on a dozen loyal Pisans, learning the “rent”—who could think of them there martial manæuvres with sore travail, from the The place was sacred, and we left it reverently: instructions of a fat sergeant with a pinched-in it gave a new interest to the Oriental beauty of belt! They looked a little ashamed to be caught in such unwonted studies, and took eleven on a gloriously bright day. It was rather advantage of the gate which divided their parade- / a long train, and very full. We set off amid a ground from the first cloister which we had storm of hurrahs, which rather surprised us. penetrated, to slam it, somewhat abruptly, in our “What!” we said, “ does excitement keep up faces; thereby enforcing the hint that the inner its interest with such perseverance through all square was not open to females. But through the hours of the day?" But on inquiry, we the bars were still distinctly visible their timeless found it was a new cause and effect. The train marching and ill-adjusted ranks.

we had entered was now conveying the detachThat night there was hurraing and shouting ment of Pisan troops sent to take formal posmore than ordinary, and such a hurly-burly on session of Lucca, in the name of the Grand Duke the Arno's banks, that I made up my mind to a of Tuscany. • It is well,” thought we, “ these revolution of some sort or other; but whether invaders have the good-will of the invaded, for Leopold was to be up or down. I little knew, their strength is not alarming-twenty-four men, only I had armed myself with the omnipotent one corporal, captain, and lieutenant.” In truth, “Viva Italia et Pio Nono." However, we soon this little army were somewhat doubtful of their learned that it was a rejoicing at the resignation reception, and their twenty-four muskets were of the Grand Duke of Lucca. A large band of hardly sufficient to awe the town of Lucca; Lucchese hurried over to Pisa with the news, and therefore there went with them a body of zealous there was shaking hands, and caps in the air, Pisans, who performed the part of claqucurs in hymns, and hurrahs; and great joy everywhere. a French theatre; they clapped, and waved flags

Next day was a grand procession of some and handkerchiefs, viva'd every man, woman, hundred men, preceded by a band, and followed and child whom we passed, and sang “ Pio by crowds of well-dressed people. Flags--with Nono” at every station. And in return we were the colours of Tuscany, and the papal yellow, greeted everywhere with acclamations: it was a flew merrily in the suinmer breeze, and the sort of lesser ovation-a military triumph-a chorus of deep voices chaunting “ Pio Nono,” | better siege than that of Badajos! For is it not with more concord in their hearts than their far more comfortable to find the walls of the voices, filled one with a sudden responsive ex- invaded town covered with smiling faces, instead citement. Armed men were they all, albeit of fire-mouthed cannon? Is not the glad weltheir weapons were none of the most formidable-come of a thousand voices far more cheerful canes of every thickness, and umbrellas of every than the angry thunder of the bomb? Oh dear! colour. Italian umbrellas are like the poppies I prefer the modern style of invasion infinitely; and anemones of the field. But not being re- and thought the Lucchese wiser in their generaquired to fire, they did as well on this occasion tion than even Michael Angelo, when he deas the best Joe Mantons; and, being imposingly fended Florence against the Medici by hanging shouldered, and sticking high in air their brassy mattresses from San Miniato. ferrules, they might really have struck terror The distance between Pisa and Lucca occupies into the hearts of the little boys who ran gaping generally half an hour, but, like all triumphal after the cortège. Not the least funny part of progresses, ours was very slow. The scenery

is the scene was the quiet smile of the regular beautiful; hills broken into rich knolls in the sentries, who saluted the procession as it passed foreground, and high ranges of striking peaks through the city gate. They did not dare to in the distance. At one part, where the valley laugh — that would have insulted the gloria of the Serchio draws to a narrow ravine, there Italiana--but they raised their eyebrows; and are two tall, ruined towers, and a bulky mass of one, when he thought himself safe, imitated, castellated architecture, which separately crown with his musket, the umbrella equipment which three rich olive-covered' heights. The chesnuts, had just passed him.

yellow with autumn's touch, made a strong conAll the cafés in Pisa had been re-christened, trast with the cool, silvery grey of the olive, with new and patriotic names. Near the railway- both amicably climbed the walls together, till station, one might study with advantage the stopped by the stony, barren scalps of rock. In decline and fall of popularity. The Café della the valleys lay patches of fertile fields, divided Strada ferrata had ungratefully become that of by trellised vines, which hung fondly about L'independenza Nazionale ; the Frattoria dei young elms. On reaching Lucca we found the Passagieri had gone over to the Fruttellanza population on the walls, and surrounding the Italiana ; and so it went on--every place that railway station. It is a most picturesque little sported a bottle and a coffee-cup had its high- town; its old ramparts are of dark red, over; sounding title—the Guardia Civica, the Mirone grown with turf of a lively green, and

planted et Pace, and similar delusive epithets. It is the with chesnuts and acacias. The gates are all same in Florence: the directory is become a surmounted by quaint sculpture, and the little dead letter.

capital, in its bye-gone days of the court, must Juliet showed her ignorance of the world, have had a whimsical air of miniature gentility. In when she asked—“What's in a name?” The the midst of all the raptures and rhapsodies, and Tuscan café-keepers know better!

Siamo tutti fratelli," and the set speech with We had agreed to go next day to see Lucca- which the troops were received, I could not help now an integral part of Tuscany. Something a passing wonderment that the Lucchese should prevented our leaving by the earliest train, as we so rejoice at being reduced from a metropolis had intended, and we set off about half-past into a province: it was a very odd ground of

[ocr errors]

Italians and the National Guard.


self-congratulation, and indeed we have since mother, and two boys, an infant in the mother's heard that many of the principal people of that lap, and a little playful child peeping at him tiny court are beginning to regret the change, over her shoulder. There is a richness of although, in fact, they were never consulted colouring, combined with fulness of expression, about it. I could not help thinking of Edin- in this exquisite painting, which makes it one of burgh and the Union. One old noble lady at those works that you set apart in your memory Lucca said, with a sigh, “That now the court for ever: and to think it was the work of a was abolished, there was nothing to be done in monk, a heart-sick, disappointed man! In my the world but to die.” Poor dowager ! her world admiration--and I was glad to find afterwards had been the state and service of the little mo- that so good a judge as Kügler supports me- I narchy; she had no sympathy with the national have set him next to Raphael. Andrea del Santo guard, and no admiration for the new national copied the foreground group in this picture, and uniform. She reminds me of those good high- christened it a Holy Family; but his divine heeled Lady Megs and Jeans, who, after the tigures are less heavenly than Fra Bartolemmeo's decay of Holyrood, pined away in the lofty flats human ones. The Dominican monk who showed of the Canongate, looking on Scotland as a be- us this pride of their church, said, " Ah, it is trayed and doomed country. On the day of all changed to-day; it is all peace, and that is Lucca's occupation no regret was seen on any much better.” He did not seem to regret that of the thousand faces which filled its streets. the gilded royal chapel close to the altar was to After being borne in rush through the gates, remain vacant. On returning through a large we stole to the now deserted Duomo, and lost piazza we perceived a great crowd assembled all memory of to-day's excitement in the solemn below the painted arms of the fallen dynasty. majesty of the ancient pile. We were terribly Two men were loosening this now obnoxious un-reveried, if I may coin such a word, by the escutcheon. At every reel of the doomed lilies sacristan, a prolix old man with a fishy eye, who (the Bourbon fleur-de-lys) a wild hurrah broke insisted on repeating all the Latin inscriptions, from the crowd, and when it at last fell deand would not let us admire one picture for our graded to the stones beneath, you might have selves. He told us he had been there for many heard the acclamations at Florence! Nor less years, and that he had thrice shown the Grand did they applaud themselves when one sturdy Duke of Lucca over the Cathedral. I pitied his blow decapitated the fleur-de-lys which surloss in the said Duke, for these visits seemed to mounted a military watch-box. have been the epochs of this poor old man's “Ah! fickle Lucchese!” thought I,“ with just life, and now the sceptre had vanished from such shouts you saw those arms raised which Lucca. We saw an altar raised to God the now you pull down so ignominiously.", They Deliverer, in commemoration of the city's deli- bore them triumphantly under the now deserted verance from the Pisan yoke in 1369. It was Ducal Palace to an open space under the walls, odd to look at its elaborate sculptures, and, re- and collected them together with materials membering the troubles which gave it existence, for a bonfire. There never was a more uncomto listen to the shouting of the crowd welcoming plimentary proceeding to an abdicated sovereign. those very Pisans as brothers and " concitoyens." Luckily he was out of hearing, among the hated Another reminder of old feuds was the famous Tedeschi at Milan, while his glad subjects picture of Fra Bartolemmeo, in the Church of hurrahed at his absence. It was a curious San Romano. There the Virgin, in earnest scene- -perfectly well ordered. Not a single supplication, is represented interceding for the outbreak of any kind; no drinking, no féteing, Lucchese against the powerful and tyrannous no dinnering. It is only we English whose Florentines—the Florentines, who this day had stomachs claim a share in all public excitements ! given Lucca a sovereign! It was a place to We saw this excitable little city, fussing itself so make one reflective, had not the surpassing ex- happily, from the beautiful ramparts; the sun cellence of the picture claimed every impulse was falling earthward, though not very near his of the soul in admiration. The figure of the setting; the amphitheatre of hills which emMarlonna is a master-piece; robed in a loose bosom Lucca are seen there to great advantage. gown of deep crimson, girt simply round the They are not too tall, these purple Apennines ; waist, her mantle flying behind her without con- they do not appal you like the Alps; they are cealing her majestic form, she spreads her arms not girt in storm and voiced with the thunderto heaven with the most fervent adoration and there is a home-beauty about them that recalled expostulation in her magnificent upturned eyes. our own fair hills of Perthshire, where the rich It is what the Scotch cali “ wrestling in prayer.” heather gives almost the same colouring as here She will not be denied; you see in her eloquent the refracted rays. In the Alps youth exults to face that she has reiterated all her claims to wander; in the Apennines age would be content divine favour by her Son's sufferings and her to die. It is so sunny, so warm, the old blood own agonizing sympathy. The generous fire in would not chill there so soon; and the old eye her

eyes says: “It is not for myself I ask, but would have shapes of glory before it to the last. for these, the helpless and the oppressed!" Two But the sun is going down; the cool eveningboy-angels suspend the cloudy blue mantle over breeze is commencing—it is time to think of a crowd of suppliant Lucchese. All eyes are home. bent on her with hope and gratitude. In the A different journey it was from the exulting foreground is a lovely group; mother, grand-progress of the morning. The lassitude of reaction had seized every one ; the flag itself hung And darkness ; there, with shame and bitter tears, listlessly over the engine, indulging no inore in To weep away the long and lonely years the playful flutterings of welcome. The villages That might have made some little home all bright, seemed all sleepy and going to bed; the grey All pure, and blest and joyous with the light clouds clambered slowly up the skies. In the Of love and innocence! Oh, woman! thou had stopped whining. As we crossed the green To set its

so al upon !-thy beauty, born streets of Pisa all was silence - the very beggars Little below the angels art !-thy brow,

pure, so high, was never made for scorn sanctuary where the four grand edifices cluster In Heaven's likeness, never meant to brave soleinnly, the aged dome, soaring with massive The blast of shame! to be the abject slave grandeur in the moonlight, looked as if quietly Of man's cold heartlessness !—thy angel eye contemptuous of all the ebullitions it so often Not formed to weep out bitter tears, and die witnessed. A troop of little boys mimicking A death of madness!-thy poor trusting heart soldiering made a practical caricature of the Not given to be broken, or to smart national-guard; and when we walked under the In agony! But oh, to be the all, marble walls of the fine old palace of the Lan- The one bright blessing left him from the fall; peducci, and looked up at its mysterious motto, The one green island in the raging sea and thought, whatever might have been its of humau woe, for shipwrecked man to flee origin, it might well be the moral of the And be at rest in. As on drooping flower effervescence and rejoicings of the day, “ Alla Thy love should fall on man; a balmy dew

Or parched-up shrub descends the healing shower, giornata” – for the space of a day. P. P. C.

To brighten sorrow-gladness to renew.
Thou art the rainbow on his storm of life ;

A flag of peace, where all had else been strife ;

A sunbeam in his winter's discontent;

A graceful palm-tree o'er bis Arab tent, Oh, Woman! holy Woman! in our hour

In Summer's heat and weariness ; when mute Of death and sorrow, when misfortunes lower,

And sorrow-bound, within his hands a lute And gloom and care, like darkness, shut out light,

With silver strings, of music sweet and rare, Thou art the star, that ever true and bright

To cheer his sickness, banish his despair ; Still shines the brightest in the darkest night,

His lamp of love ; and o'er Life's thory sod Shedding its gentle radiance to the last,

A flowery path, to lead his soul to God? When Lise's bright sun hath set, and Hope is past.

Last at the Cross, and thou the very first
At that lone Sepulchre, with Faith firm nurst
Within thy bosom like a sleeping child,

And meek eyes raised up to the heavens, that smiled She grew pale whilst the summer sky
With guardian angels; there thou stoodest lone,

Stretched blue o'er hill and dell,
A tearful watcher by that cold grave stone.

And died, as many daily die,
And can it be, as sacred legends tell,

Because she loved too well.
That man by thee was tempted—that be fell
By thee--through thee-before the avenging sword

They laid her in a verdant spot,

Beneath a willow tree;
Driven from heaven by his offended Lord ?
Oh! can it be? And if indeed it be,

And young and old forget her not,
The Heaven he lost he found again in thee !

But sigh, “ Poor Lucy Lee !" It was not Paradise, and thou not there;

Forth from her ashes in the spring And he had lost it through his own despair.

The rose and violet sprung : It was not good for man to be alone ;

And o'er her does the linnet sing
And oh, sweet Woman! well didst thou atone

Where winter's red-breasts sung.
For thy one fault. If true that Sin and Shame
And Death our dark inheritance became,

The soft night dews fall heary there,
Thou hast the heavy debt repaid full well;

And one white cloud above, For oh, without thee, Life had been a Hell !

E'en when the day is bright and fine, Man lost his Paradise, but bore one flower

Keeps dropping tears of love. From out that garden to adorn bis bower

And when grows full the moon on high, One lily blossom, with a scented bloom,

And Grief alone is waking, To cheer his labour and sustain his doom.

'Tis said the willow branches sigh But if he lost an earthly heaven through thee,

Just like a heart that's breaking !
Oh! Virgin Mother! Mary! let it be
Sweet Woman's boast that through thy blessed womb

And whilst the flowers with drops are hung, Was opened man a pathway from the tomb

And morning stars shine fair, To that eternal Heaven of Heavens, won,

This is the song that's often sung Bright Virgin Mother, by thy precious Son!

By angels sitting there :All honour then to Woman! Be her name

" Oh, human hearts, love on! love on! Blessed by man and angels! And foul shame

Midst bitterness and aching; Befall that man who blots the sacred word !

Oh, human hearts, love on! love on!
Who mother has, and feels his heart not stirred;

Though love your hearts be breaking.
Or wife or sister, and doth not revere
The sacred name, that renders home so dear! -

“ Love gives the spirit wings for heaven, Who feeding passion's vilest part within

Therefore love on! love on! His callous bosom, makes sweet woman sin !

And God's and Nature's praise is given Who plunges her from Virtue's sacred height,

To those who love, love on!" Driven from Paradise again, to night




(From Der Erzähler aus der Heimath und Fremde.”)


Beautiful was the morning of the June-day in the King and Cardinal Ruffo, and death to the 1799, on which the events we are about to nar- Republic !" rate happened. The glorious Italian sky, that It was a fearful spectacle to gaze on that lustrous dome of crystal and azure, appeared as collection of vagabonds, reprobates, wretched if it would fain, by additional beauty and bril- creatures, outcasts of every kind, bandits, galleyliancy, draw attention from the crimes and acts slaves-hideous revolting beings, hearing the of treachery and violence which form one of the naine but not the attributes, and scarcely the darkest pages of history.

forin of women; to hear them praying, blasAn ever-increasing crowd of ruffianly, wild, pheming, shouting, howling, groaning, chauntragged, and heedless vagabonds, was pouring ing lewd verses, ribald songs, and ever and anon from all parts of the city of Naples into one responses from the Litany; to see them pelting large stream, which, raging, murmuring, and the images of the saints with mud-struggling, dashing aside all obstacles, directed its course trampling recklessly over each other's fallen botowards the Largo di Monte Oliveto.

dies, and laughing at the cries of the weaker The Giunto di Stato, that bloody tribunal victims-robbing, murdering; alas! a fearful which ceased not from its labours night or day spectacle was that presented during those days, in order the more quickly to get through its in the streets of one of the most beautiful cities dreadful work, had interrupted its trials for a in the universe. while, had summoned to its assistance two or On, on, poured the wild multitude to the bay, three counsellors, and some eminent church dig- where a frightful drama was being acted. The nitaries, and was now debating over an affair of Neapolitan patriots had entered into an agreethe utmost importance; nothing less than the ment that they would deliver up St. Elmo and deposition of the patron saint of the city, the the other fortresses which remained in their holy St. Gennaro, and the election of St. Antonio power, if they were permitted to withdraw within his stead.

out molestation, and vessels provided to transA formal accusation was made against St. port them to Marseilles, and protection and safe Gennaro, that he had permitted the invasion of conduct granted to them during their passage. the French, sanctioned by his non-intervention This treaty was agreed to, and signed by Comthe formation of the Republic, done miracles at modore Foote on the part of the English, and the request of Championet and other of the re- Cardinal Ruffo, the generalissimo of the royalist publicans, &c. &c.; and he was solemnly called army, and the Turkish and Russian commandupon to defend himself against the charges of ers. The patriots adhered strictly to its terms; high treason, felony, and sedition.

they delivered up the fortresses, laid down their As no one appeared to take up the justification arms, betook themselves on board the vessels of the accused Saint, and his incorporeity shielded | which had been placed at their disposal, and him from all personal indignity, the tribunal only waited for a favourable wind to quit the were necessitated to content themselves with ex- shores of their native land for ever. Twilight pressing their sense of his unworthy conduct, had faded into night, the ships lay idly on the degrading him from his high honours, striking bosom of the beautiful bay, when suddenly the his name out of the list of holy guardians of the thunders of the battery above broke loose; masts, city, and confiscating all his land, wealth, sta- sails, and rudders were destroyed by the mer. tues, precious stones, and every other kind of ciless cannonade, and the vessels became mere property which the piety or superstition of his floating prisons. devotees had ever offered at his shrines.

The night was spent by all on board in mingled A second decree elevated St. Antonio to the doubt, fear, and disgust; and with the morndignity of patron saint of Naples and the sur- ing's light came the intelligence that Nelson, in rounding country, and expressed their sense of the name of King Ferdinand, refused to ratify the supernatural aid vouchsafed by him to the the treaty, and disavowed the right of Cardinal royalists on the 13th of June.

Ruffo to enter into any terms of capitulation As soon as this decision was made public, the with rebels. expectant multitude dispersed in troops down The flag at the mast-head of the adıniral's the streets, crying, shouting, Long live St. ship hung in heavy folds, as if to hide the stain Antonio, and down with Gennaro ! Long live, which such an act of treachery must cast upon



« PreviousContinue »