« AnteriorContinuar »
the apostle of freedom. Mr. Hazlitt, the borrowed robes of sentiment, in particular, who in his clouded mo- must be permitted to interfere with, or ments has much of his manner, has influence his opinions. His mind thus loved to designate him. This is must tower above the ordinary level of certainly a saving clause, with nothing mankind, as much in conduct as in to disturb its effect but the circum- intellect. It is not enough that he stance of its utter falsity.
possess the ability to discuss ; he losopher's independence, like his sen must add the heart to feel and the timent, was purely a factitious feeling. disposition to practise, the mighty It was not the healthy, progressive principle in its minutest as well as in growth of reason, but the forced pro- its most comprehensive sense ; for by duction of sophistry. It could stoop the union of worth and genius alone to be the slave of the most effeminate, -either of which, when disjoined, is demoralizing vices, and—to adopt a useless—is the world's conviction ensportsman's phrase—was begot by Ir sured. Milton, whose ethics were so ritability out of Selfishness and Ego- sublime, whose daily habits were so tism. Far different is the nature of stainless, spoke from the heart when the true apostle of liberty.
he declared himself the sworn foe to terials of his magnanimity originate despotism; the Tell of private life with himself; they are beams reflect gave abundant evidence of the public ed from the sunny purity of his own patriot ; the moral influence of Washheart, and are mixed up with, and ington as a dictator, was the necessagive a tone and coloring to, his most ry consequence of his worth as a man : trifling actions.
To be the true as but Rousseau, though he fled from serter of public freedom, the man clime to clime the fancied martyr to himself must be free. No unworthy his virtue and his independence, wrote suspicions, no rash misanthropy, no only from the promptings of an exprurient fancies, no truckling to sensu- cited, a distrustful, and a dissatisfied ality, simply because it is clothed in mind.
TO A LADY, ON THE DEATH OF HER SON.*
BY BERNARD BARTON.
The world, the heartless world, may deem What soothing thoughts must yield relief, But lightly of a loss like thine,
And fan a purer, holier flame! And think it a romantic dream
Whatever plans thy heart might frame, For such an one in grief to pine :
Had he survived thee, for his sake, A gentler creed, my friend, is mine, Could others have fulfill'd each aim,
Knowing wbat human hearts can bear, Or effort, love like thine would make ? And how a Mother's must enshrine The object of its love and care.
A Mother's heart, and hand, and eye,
Alone could do as thine bave done, For was he not, though on him fell And unremittingly supply
A cloud that wrapt his soul in night, The wants and claims of such a Son : The tenderest tie, the strongest spell, But now thy love its meed hath won,
That could thy heart to earth unite ? Thy fond solicitude may cease ;
His race of life is safely run,
Of light and life from Heaven may fall · But when the bitterness of grief
On minds which, in their mortal clay, Hath been allowed its sacred claiin,
Seem'd bound in dark Afiction's thrall ?
The unfortunate subject of these verses had lived, or existed, from childhood to manhood, in a state of most pitiable mental and bodily infirmity. To some the death of such a sufferer may seem to claim little sympathy. But the heart of a mother is naturally bound up in that of her child, especially an only one; and no common void must be caused by the removal of such an object of years of anxious solicitude.
47 ATHENEUM, vol. 1, 3d series.
Think not that He who governs all, Can call forth from his slumbering dust Whose power and love no bounds can A Spirit from all frailties free; know,
And yet permit thy soul to see Would one into existence call
One who on earth seemed rainly To suffer helpless, hopeless woe.
given, With humble hope to Him entrust
A form of light to welcome thee
Hereafter to the joys of Heaven. Thy mourn'd one ; in strong faith that He
THE POPE'S PROMISE.
It was St. John's Eve : the summer open plains, and muttering impreca
was sinking behind the distant tions against every fresh party of hills, while his last beams glittered on pleasure that passed his stall. the lofty spires and towers of Mar His wife, a lovely dark-eyed young cerata, one of the oldest towns in Ita- woman, was earnestly engaged in bindly, and formerly the metropolis of An- ing the fellow shoe to that which Ariano
The uncommon beauty of the held half finished in his hand; and she evening had tempted forth most of its beguiled the lingering hours by singing, younger inhabitants, who were seen in in a sweet voice, an old ditty, to detached groups along the high road, amuse the infant that smiled upon her or in the fields, enjoying the fresh air. knee ; while from under her long dark The wealthier females rode forth, at- eyelashes she watched the perturbed tended by cavaliers well dressed and countenance of her husband. As the gallantly mounted, while the happier sun gradually declined in the horizon, peasants were dancing on the level Pietro's patience sank with it, and beplains without the town, to the merryfore the glorious luminary had totally notes of the pipe and tabor. The disappeared, its last remaining spark streets were deserted, the sounds of was utterly extinguished; and, casting labor bad ceased, and the voice of joy down his implements of labor, he exalone mingled with the chiming of the claimed, in a hasty tone—“Now, by convent bells, which announced the the mass ! not another stitch will I set hour of evening prayer. Yet Pietro in slipper or shoe to-night were it to Ariano was still hard at work at his please the Pope !-Ha! 'tis a beautistall—Pietro, who was reckoned the ful evening; and the merry tinkling of best singer and the best dancer in that guitar has called forth all my Marcerata, and who was withal, though dancing wishes, and my legs, in idea, only a poor shoemaker, as handsome have been in motion for the last two and as well grown a young man as any hours. What say you, my pretty litin the Pope's dominions.
tle Francesca,” he continued, unconPietro's little domicile stood just sciously assuming a gayer tone, and without the town, by the road side, slapping his wife briskly on the shouland his stall fronted a long low lattic- der, “ will you put your boy to bed, ed window that commanded a fine and join with me the merry group yonview of the adjacent country, and with- der ?” in the shade of which the young fol The young woman shook her head, lower of St. Crispin was seated, busi- and looked up into his face with an ly plying his awl. His present fit of arch smile—“No, no, Pietro ! not industry appeared more like an act of till you have performed the promise imperative duty than choice : his bent you made to the handsome young fribrow expressed both impatience and ar last night."-Ariano sullenly refatigue, and he flung his various im- sumed his work. plements from side to side with a sul “Ay, keep my promise, forsooth, len and dissatisfied air, glancing wist- and be repaid by promises for my lafully from time to time towards the bor! Oh, these monks are liberal pa
trons, who are too spiritual to attend to " You are very 'profane to-night, any temporal wants but their own, Pietro, and speak more like a swag. To convert neats' leather into shoes gering man-at-arms than a poor artiand sandals, for their accommodation, zan. Besides, I am sure the bandis as difficult a task as bringing over some young padre is no hypocrite. I 80 many Turks and heretics to the never saw such a bright eye glance true faith ; and they are more nice to from beneath a monk's cowl.” fit withal, than the vainest damsel that “ Ha! art thou again thinking of ever sported a smart foot and ankle. him, Francesca ? He is a stranger in They live on the general contributions Marcerata, but I warrant him a very of the public, and take good care to wolf in lamb's clothing.” want for nothing that can be obtained The color mounted to Francesca's by way of extortion. O, 'tis a dainty brow, and she called out in a hasty life !” he continued, plying his awl, voice—“Stint in thy foolish prate, in despite of his recent vow, with in- Pietro! the young friar is even now creasing energy, whilst inveighing before us !” against his principal employers, a rich Ariano was utterly confounded when community of Franciscan monks, who he beheld the padre leaning against belonged to the noble monastery whose the stall; and he felt not a doubt that august towers formed the leading fea- the stranger had heard the whole of ture in the beautiful landscape before his intemperate conversation with his him, “O, 'tis a dainty life! whose very wife : nor was he wrong in his conjecmotto is • laziness. They are the ture. The handsome young inan, hooded locusts that devour the sub- whose noble deportment and graceful stance of the land, and receive a pa- figure set off his inonastic habit, and tent from the Pope, heaven bless him! whose bright, laughter-loving dark to live in idleness. Would that my eyes ill accorded with a monk's cowl, father had made me a member of this had been for some time a silent specholy community, instead of binding tator of the scene. Felix Peretti was me to his own unprofitable trade !” highly amused with the abuse that
“ If that had been the case, Pietro, Ariano had so unceremoniously levelI should never have shared your po- led against his holy order, for which verty and your labors," said Frances- he felt little respect himself, and as a ca, with a glance of reproachful ten- child of fortune, from his youth upderness.
wards, considered only as a step to“Il Diavolo !” exclaimed Pietro, wards further advancement. laughing; "you would have been much “How now, Signor Scarpettáro! is better off. A monk's mistress, let me it your ordinary custom to close the tell you, ever carries her head higher labors of the day by abusing your betthan an honest man's wife.”
ters? Are the shoes which you pro“ Hush ! hush! Pietro, is it right mised should be completed for my for a Christian man to utter such im- journey to Loretto, finished ?" pious invectives against these holy “No," returned Pietro; “they yet monks ?”
want a full hour's work for their com“Now, by all the saints and angels pletion, and I have just made a vow whom they pretend to worship!” re never to pursue my handicraft by canturned Ariano, "if I live and Aourish, dle-light to please any man. the boy you hold upor. your knee shall must e’en perform the journey, revebe one of these sleek hypocrites. Who rend padre, as many better and holier knows what preferment he may arrive men have done before you, barefootat ? Several bishops have risen from ed.” no higher origin. Ha! what say you “Do you make it a point of conto that, my little advocate for celiba- science, Ariano, to fulfil one promise cy? Have I not well provided for by breaking another? I cannot comyour son ?"
mence a long and fatiguing pilgrimage
without the aid of the Apostle's fully, and drawing forth a leathern horses. Oblige me in this instance, Pie- purse from the folds of his monastic tro, and I will put up a private mass gown, calmly took it by one of the tasfor the repose of your evil temper, and sels of divers colors by which it was the restoration of that goodly virtue in ornamented at each end, and emptied man, patience !"
the contents on the board. A few “As to my temper!" returned the pieces of money rolled, one after the Scarpettáro fiercely, “no one has any other, on to the stall; and the hollow right to complain of that but my wife, sound emitted by their coming thus and if she speaks truly, she will inform unceremoniously in contact with each you, father, that, when I am not fa- other, spoke the very language of potigued with working over hours for verty. The young friar counted them monks and friars, I am the best tem- deliberately over; then, turning to pered fellow in Marcerata."
Ariano, without the least embarrassThe padre cast a sly glance at the ment, explained the state of his dark eyed Francesca, from beneath his finances -“ Signor Scarpettáro, in cowl, and something like a provoking these few pieces of money, you behold smile sat ready to break forth into à all my worldly riches : I want one julio hearty laugh, upon his rosy lips.— to make up the sum you demand for “Well, friend Pietro, far be it from the shoes, which luckily will give you me, sworn as I am to peace, to rouse an opportunity of performing a good the evil spirit into action. • Resist work at a very small expense ; for, the devil,' says holy writ, “and he will you perceive, I have not wherewithal flee from you!' But a truce to all to satisfy your exorbitant charge." further colloquy; I see you are putting “ Exorbitant charge !” reiterated the finishing stroke to the disputed ar- Pietro. “Now, by St. Crispin! may I ticles: tell me how much I stand in- suffer the pains of purgatory if I take debted to you for them ?"
one quartrini less. What! after har“You cannot stand my debtor,” ing worked so many hours over my said Ariano, recovering his good hu- usual time, to be beaten down in the mor, when he found he had completed price of the article. Give me the his job, “till you have tried on the shoes, thou false friar! and pursue thy shoes, and then I fancy you will stand way barefooted. A monk! and moin my debt.” Father Felix laughed neyless, quotha. You have doubtless heartily at this sally; and, seating emptied that capacious pouch at some himself carelessly on the edge of the godless debauch, or poured its constall, with a very dégagée air, proceed- tents into a wanton's lap.” ed to draw on the shoes.
Now, out upon you for a profli“By our Lady of Loretto !" said gate reprobate, and vile Scarpetláro!" Francesca, who was earnestly watch- returned the monk. “Do you think ing all his movements, “it were a it so difficult a task for a priest to keep thousand pities that such a white and his vows ? Or do you imagine that well shapen foot should have to con we cheat our consciences as easily as tend with the sharp flints and briars.” you do your customers ? My purse
Pietro's brow contracted into a contains only eight julios ; how then frown, and, turning abruptly to the can you reasonably expect me to pay padre, he asked him how the shoes you nine? I must, therefore, remain fitted him ?
your debtor for the odd coin," • My feet, much better than the « And when do you purpose to pay price will my purse.
What am I to me?” pay you for them ?”
“ When I am Pope,” returned Pe. “ Three testoons. And the cheap- retti, laughing, “I will pay you both est pair of shoes that ever was made principal and interest.”
“God save your Holiness !” said Father Felixshook his head thought- Pietro. “If I wait for my money till
for the money."
that period arrives, the debt will still pire to the highest ecclesiastical hobe owing at the day of judgment. nors; but he had no friends among his Or, stop-I will bequeath it to my wealthier brethren, who beheld in the children of the tenth generation, to buy son of the poor Scarpettáro of Marcethem an estate in the moon. A Pope! rata an object of fear and envy. Young father, you must shroud those However, he was the pride and deroguish eyes under a deeper cowl, and light of bis parents, whose poverty he assume a more sanctified visage, and greatly alleviated, but could not wholly carry a heavier purse withal, before remove. One morning, while Pietro you can hope to obtain the Papal was taking the ineasurement of the Crown!"
smartest little foot in Marcerata, and “ When I stoop, Ariano, to pick up the pretty village beauty was cautionSt. Peter's keys, I shall not forget to ing him not to make her slippers too pay my old debts.
So, fare thee well, large, a sudden exclamation from his thou second Thomas à Didimus, and wife made him raise his head, as a God be with thee, and with thee, pret- dignified ecclesiastic entered the house, ty Francesca; and may he render the and demanded if his name were Pietro burtben thou bearest in thy arms the Ariano ? The Scarpettáro answered blessing and support of thy future in the affirınative. years."
Then, you are the man I seek. So saying, he stooped, and, pretend- Pietro Ariano, I command you, in the ing to salute the sleeping infant, con name of the Pope, the pious and blesstrived to imprint a kiss upon the white ed Sixtus the Fifth, to repair instantly band that held him. Francesca blush- to Rome, and attend his pleasure at ed all over; and Pietro, bidding his the palace of the Vatican." Holiness remember his promise, called Pietro was petrified with terror. Francesca to bim, and bade the friar The implements he had just been usgood night. His wife obeyed the sum- ing fell from his nerveless grasp, and mons, but she looked after the hand- his limbs were assailed by a universal some Felix till a turning in the road shivering fit, as if under the influence hid him from her sight.
“ Alas !” he exclaimed, Years glided on in their silent “ what is the nature of my crime ?” course, and the name of the young fri « That is best known to your own ar, and his visit to Marcerata, were conscience,” returned the stranger. forgotten by Pietro Ariano and his “ Then, the Lord have mercy upon wife. Poverty, and the increasing me! I am a sinner, and, what is still cares of a large family, tamed the vi- worse, a dead man ! Like Daniel, I vacity of the Scarpettáro's spirits : he am cast into the lion's den, and there no longer led the dance, or joined in is none to deliver me. Ah, wretch the song, but was forced, by hard ne that I am! Why did I live to witness cessity, to work both by night and day this day?" at his trade, to supply his numerous “ Oh, Pietro ! my unhappy husoffspring with bread. Francesca's band !” said Francesca, hiding her smooth brow was furrowed by the face in her garments, and weeping hand of time, and she had long yield- bitterly : “I knew long ago into what ed the palm of beauty to other and trouble your intemperate speeches younger females. Her son, on whom would bring you. Are you not now Father Felix had bestowed his bless- convinced of the folly of meddling ing, was early dedicated to a monastic with matters that did not concern you ? life, and had risen, by transcendant Did I not tell you, when you would abilities, from the rank of under assis- rail at the holy monks, you were casttant to the sacristan, to be one of the ing yourself upon a two-edged sword ? head members of the monastery of St. You will be sent to the Inquisition, Francis. The young Antonio pos- and burnt for a heretic, and I shall sessed ambition, which made him as- lose you forever!”
of an ague.