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“The night advances, and the castle bell
Tolls slowly, solemnly, the midnight hour;
Th' appointed watchers they must wake, and scour
Lest foemen in the dark surprise the tow'r.
Along the narrow passages and stairs,
A court-yard lanthorn on th' assemblage flares,
The draw-bridge falls, and forth one party fares,
“Scarce half an hour since forth they went hath past,
And hark! the word is given, and the reply:
The scouts, full certain that no danger's nigh;
For issuing from the portal all descry
Of fear, and shrouded with their hands their eyes;
For shelter swift each hurrying dastard flies;
Borne down and trampled on with groans and cries ;
"The bridge is lowered, the postern-gate set wide,
Raised the portcullis! It behoves that quick
Through the scared band, or was it boyish trick,
The dazzling snowdrifts on the ground lie thick.
Was then the phantom only flesh and blood !
For footsteps hurrying thence I plainly hear.
Oh goblin spectres, and oh slaves of fear!
And loud her laugh, as memory painted clear
We now proceed to a writer who, al., Crocciata, is a portion of the first crusade ready enjoying a very considerable share and should perhaps have been noticed beof celebrity, is entitled to more attention tore; but he has now given the world anthan Carcano or Montanari. Grossi is other narrative poem, depicting the early well known in this country as the author of days of Italy, and has laid his scene further Marco Visconte, an historical novel, the back than either of the writers just noticed, best perhaps that the Italian, we could al- and, it seems to us, in a more interesting most say the continental school has yet pro age; namely, the beginning of the 12th cenduced ; but many of his warmest English tury. His tale of Ulrico e Lida is an epiadmirers may possibly be unaware that even sode of the fierce war provoked by the mur. prior to the appearance of that tale, Grossi's der of a Milanese noble in a Comasian reputation as a poet stood high in Italy. sedition, and which raged for ten years His great work, I Lombardi alla Primal between the neighbouring Lombard cities
of Milan and Como. Grossi designates itmily resided at Como. The poem opens simply a novella, or tale, and it is nothing with Richelmo's entrance into Milan, escortmore.
The heroine, Lida,is the daughter of ing a party of Comasian prisoners of war, Otione, whose murder occasioned the war; amongst whom is his early friend Ulrico; whilst her lover, Ulrico, is a noble Comasian, and the two are conversing amicably togeth. the former playmate of herself and her elder er as they ride towards the city. brother Richelmo, when Ottone with his fa.
“ The warder at the gate had marked from far
Th' approaching troop, and banner friendly white;
The barriers raised, the arch grown black as night
Admits the warrior band, in armour bright.
“ Thither, for sacred to that saint the day,
From every street and lane the people swarm;
Around th' advancing troop a wall they form,
Their frantic hate, which deepens to a storm;
4* Richelmo bade his warriors draw their swords
And in their midst their menaced captives take;
Full slowly through the press their way they make.”
Notwithstanding their precautions, Ulrico is wounded, and Richelmo seizes the fiercest of the crowd:
“ Loudly he roars and struggles, the poltroon,
But vainly as the pie in eagle's claw;
The bold exploit enforces sudden awe,
Their fickle minds from rage to laughter draw,
The mob being thus unexpectedly brought iween the belligerents; whereupon Ulrico into good humour by the sound drubbing declares his passion, obtains every requisite bestowed upon one of themselves, Richelmo consent in Milan to his marriage, and redelivers up to the authorities all his prisoners turns to Como to solicit his father's approexcept Ulrico, whom he takes home. bation. Lida and her family remove, in the There, however, he finds his mother con- mean time, to the castle of Bellano, on the siderably less manageable than the mob. lake of Como. She is vindictively inconsolable for the mur. But time rolls on; peace is not concluded, der of her husband, and for a long time and no tidings are received from Ulrico; at positively insists upon leaving the mansion length a rumour arises that he is on the that shall harbour à Comasian, even though point of marriage with Eurosa, the daughter her former favourite, and innocent of the of Azzo di Rumo, a powerful ally of Como. crime: her two daughters, Lida and the Richelmo is furious at such treatment, child Odalinda, are equally implacable. which he leaves home to avenge: Lida is Richelmo, however, ultimately extorts ac distressed; but one evening it is whispered quiescence in favour of his wounded friend, in her ear that, next morning, Ulrico, with and, the domiciliation accomplished, time six vessels, will be on his way to Dongo, on and intercourse produce their accustomed the other side of the lake, from whence he effect, Ulrico and Lida falling in love with purposes immediately to repair to Bellano. each other. Negociations for peace and an Lida looks round, but the messenger has exchange of prisoners are set on foot bel vanished. She is early on the watch :
• Pure azure is the sky in morning's prime;
The rising sun with roseate vapours dyed ;
Show mountain, vale, and bank, the lake beside :
Dark midst the white expanse, its waters glide;
Thrown from each neighbouring mountain's lofty crest,
Dark olive, cypress, laurel, bend oppressed ?
Sweep downward from each native crag-built nest,
At length she descries the promised vessels, closely pursued by a superior force.
“But, mark ye, where around yon loftiest peak,
In the far north, a gathering tempest lowers ;
Outstarting from the mass, Legnone's towers.
Hauls up his boat, and safe beneath it cowers.
Remote; from crag to crag that louder grows:
Upwhirled by hurricanes, the gathered snows;
Alone the murmuring roar that deepening goes
Beholds the surges swell beyond the strait;
Roll menacingly onward, big with fate.
Trusting the storm man's fury may abate.
And takes their broadside-whirling round and round.
The gusts, commingling all things, all confound;
Resistless tossing, barks from barks rebound,
The tempest so far answers to Lida's hopes sels being driven by the storm upon the ini. that it puts an end to the fight; but the ob-mical shore of Bellano, to encounter, as may ject of her anxiety derives little advantage be supposed, little hospitality. from this interruption of hostilities, his ves
“ Meanwhile, through town and village, far and near,
The pealing bells give notice of th' affray;
Thither they flock, though armed in uncouth way;
Some spits, and rustic scythes, or bill-hooks sway.
The leader's Vessel makes a stout resistance under the castle walls.
" Stationed at some small distance from the land,
A storm of bolts and stones her engines pour
Slay the wrecked sailors struggling to the shore.
Of wherries, skiffs, and boats; by vigorous oar
Yet dares not from these horrors turn her eye,
Amongst the warriors in the flag-ship nigh.
His fate, who combats there so gallantly;
And on the poop can scarce his stand maintain,
Shoots underneath, and takes the hanging chain.
As to the beach they tow the prize amain,
Board her, and win, dismanned and desolate;
Assailed on all sides; his deserted state
Resistance hopeless 'gainst impending rate :
"Then might you hear from that ship’s hold arise
A female shriek of bitter agony.
Swooning, unconscious of her misery,
There long, in blest insensibility,
As marble white and cold, though living, dead." We have suffered this extract to run to hears that Ulrico is alive-a prisoner in the some length, because its scene of mingled castle, and his bride with him. Her agony human and elemental strife is one of the and rage when her rival comes before her, most striking in the poem. The main fault are well described; but Ulrico's supposed of Grossi and Carcano, and, in a less de bride proves to be his sister Rosamonda, gree, of Montanari also, is the dryness of the and the lover satisfactorily exculpates himnarrative they detail, instead of selecting a self respecting Eurosa di Rumo. The few dramatic and graphic scenes, forward. nuptial project is resumed; the crews are ing the catastrophe, and connected by a brief prisoners at large in the castle; and, upon intimation of the intermediate facts. This, the next rumour of peace, Ulrico is again we apprehend, was one of the secrets that sent home to implore his father's consent. jendered the poems of Scott and others so But scarcely is he gone when the Comasian effective: for the genuine poet can only sailors break out of the castle, and meeting paint vividly that which vividly impresses with Rosamonda, Lida, and Odalinda, forhis own fancy, namely, particular scenes cibly carry them off. Their appearance at and portions of his tale.
Cosmo complicates matters. Azzo di Ru. Richelmo, intent upon chastising Ulrico's mo, learning that his daughter is rejected reported falsehood, had led the Milanese for Lida, obtains the incarceration of the latfeet, and was killed in the first attack. ter, with threats of fearful punishment un. Whilst Lida is weeping over his body, she | less she persuades Ulrico to marry Eurosa.
But this generous, hopelessly enamoured the child wakes and screams just as they girl, al Rosamonda's instigation secretly are stealing past Azzo's door, and he is inliberales Lida, and conducts her to Ulrico, defatigable in pursuit. We extract the conwho dies with her and her little sister; but clusion of their disastrous flight.
“Beneath a beam of mighty len th, thrown o'er
The valley where it narrows and grows deep,
Headlong, precipitous, adown the steep:
Is guarded with a rail by which to creep
And gently forward urged the tottering child,
Lida, who stepped with fear, and faintly smiled.
The sisters trembling, shook in terror wild;
"Now close behind them suddenly they hear
Fierce Rumo's accents, vengeance menacing,
And sce him on the bridge impetuous spring.
His cheek and eye of wrath such terrors fling;
His eager weapon to Ulrico's heart.”
• Th'assailant on his murderous aim intent,
Thrown blindly forward, feels his footing fail,
To either side, would balance him : the rail
The beam; it leaves him: nothing now avail
Wit his catastrophe we should have, prose historic novel far better suited than thought the poem might have properly closed; either poetic tales, or fragments of epics. but Grossi" has added a whole canto, in The works we have just noticed do not which Lida gets home and goes to bed; finds possess all the merit we could desire, but her mother insane at the loss of her children; ihey are at least interesting, and even imand sees her recover her senses on the resto- portant, as showing that the most recent ration of the two survivors. Yet just when literary taste of western Europe has also exevery body, surgeon and reader included, tended to Italy. imagines her wound in a fair way of healing, the poor girl dies, a minute or two afier being married to Ulrico.
It strikes us as somewhat remarkable, that two out of these three new and popular poems should terminate with a death-bed marriage; Art. III.-La Science Politique fondée sur and we feel half tempted to consider the cir. la Science de l'Homme, ou Etude des cumstance as indicative of a return to a depth Races humaines sous le Rapport philo. and solemnity of feeling such as has not, for sophique, historique, et sociale. Par V. some centuries past, been indigenous in the Courlet, de L'Isle. Paris : Bertrand. Italian soil and spirit.
1838. 8vo. Here we take a temporary leave, looking forward with hope to more finished produc- There is in vogue amongst our continental tions from Carcano and Montanari : to the neighbours a Philosophy which, let it take genius of Grossi we decidedly think the I what shape it will, is perpetually sending