Зображення сторінки

and distress is still my companion. My heart could not but soften at Had we not better dismount and this speech of the reverend man, return?"

which betokened so much simplicity “ Be not alarmed, Imilda,” said and ignorance of the ways of a the Capuchin, in a soothing tone. wicked world. “Would, holy fa“ The dangers of these roads may ther," returned I, “that the heart have been overdrawn ; and although of man were as you imagine it! my profession forbids the use of “ Have you, then, no other arms, I doubt not our fellow tra- means of defence about you ?” veller does not journey unpro- asked the Capuchin earnestly. tected.”

It now occurred to me, for I “I confess," returned I, groping, had forgotten it till this time,-that in the side pocket of the carriage, I had a blade in my walking-cane. for the woollen case containing my “This cane is a sword-stick," I pistols, "that I am not perhaps so said ; "and may, in extremity, well prepared as I might have been, serve us instead of a better weasince so much danger is to be pon. apprehended ; for I was not at all 6. Unsheathe it!” cried the Caaware of this route being infested puchin loudly, for we were just in the manner you mention.” driving past a mountain torrent, Round and round went my hand in which rendered his accents nearly the bottom of the pocket; the case inaudible,—“unsheathe it, and let was not there-nor, to my mortifi- me see what sort of a thing it is." cation, to be found within the vehicle. I did so; and as I pulled it half

“This is most extraordinary,” I out, I chanced to look in his face, exclaimed. “It is not possible on which sate a sardonic grin. “It that, in my hurry, I have left the is slender,” he said, “and would case on the inn table ! No-no ; require to be of good temper." it cannot be. I have a distinct re The sneering laugh of the Capucollection of having put it into the chin somewhat perplexed me. pocket here, just after you, Sir, “Alas !” he continued, “ that is had got in--and before I returned a mere lath of a thing ;-and is but for my cloak, which one of the ser a sorry protection for three, against vants was drying for me.

I am as

a horde of brigands." . well assured that I placed it in this As he thus spoke, the fair Sigpocket, as I am of my own exist- nora sank back into the corner of

the carriage, and fetched a deep “Indeed," said the Capuchin, sigh. So powerfully was she af' why, it is not a little extraordi- fected, that I was in fears of her nary, and somewhat unaccountable; swooning altogether away. but really, what we firmly intended “Would to heaven," exclaimed to do occasionally wears, in memo- the holy father, “ that we were ry's eye, the aspect of something through these wild passes upinwe have done ; so much so, that it jured. We are but as clay in the is difficult in such cases to discern hands of the potter ! Would we between the intention and the fact. were all safely landed within the Very probably the dangers of the gates of our monastery of San Abruzzi may have been drawn to Francesco ; and it might rain apme by an over-charged pencil. ple-blossoms in January, ere they Surely man's nature cannot be in got me out again, to wander on any state so degraded, that he any of their confounded missions." would refuse mercy to a helpless

* Alas !” said the fair Signora, maiden, or to an unoffending son of sobbing, “I seem destined to bring the Church! And your being in sorrow on all who even commisesuch company may be a sufficient rate my situation. Would that I protection for you."

had died, rather than have involved



[ocr errors]

thee, holy father, in my wretched no chance of rooting a host of them fate!”

with your sword-stick. The die is We had by this time gained the thrown : let us all turn our pockets summit of an eminence, from which inside out, and cry mercy.” we perceived that the wild dim So saying, the capuchin scratchmountain scenery completely girdled ed his shaven crown, and smiled, or us around. Nature here reigned rather laughed.

" And as for you, in her stern and savage magnifi- my fair Imilda," added he, “I

The scope of the eye took would advise you to make up your in no vestige of man, or of his mole- mind to it. There are worse situahill works. Over abrupt and tre- tions in the world than that of bemendous precipices hung venerable coming a bandit's bride. Make a trees, that seemed almost mysteri- virtue of necessity, and Mother ously to have found footing. An Church will absolve you, for I see no occasional wild goat stood pictur- other way for it, my little rosebud.” esquely on the bare ledge, between A sudden thought now flashed the eye and the horizon; and, across my mind; and, as apparently through clefts and fissures, rivulets, we were not yet perceived by the whose waters sparkled in the mel- banditti, I determined at once to low rays of the setting sun, tumbled put my suspicions to the test. flashing into the dim and rayless shall cry to the driver to halt,” I vallies. Over all, the eagle scream- said, “and let us dismount, ere it ed and soared, dashing the last be too late.” crimson beams of daylight from his While in the act of rising for this majestic pinions.

purpose I turned to the Signora, Descending the winding road, who, terror-struck, remained almost we came to an angle, which showed insensible,-saying, “ Will you acto us a fresh expanse of Alpine company me, or proceed forward ? scenery ;-and there, between two You may depend upon whatever parted hills, the light from the west protection I can give, and, on the broke in upon a platform of sod, honor of a gentleman, I swear not where human figures were distinctly to leave you, while I have breath ; seen moving about.

if you prefer proceeding, of course My first instinct was to scrutinize I cannot help it. Stop! veturino ; them through my glass : there they I say, hallo stop !" were-freebooters to a certainty. “Go on!” shouted the Capuchin, They were clad in jackets and at the top of his voice, clapping his trowsers of gaudy colours ; had the hand upon my mouth, and thrusting usual broad-brimmed conical- me down with his brawny arm; crowned hats ; and their sashes while in a twinkling, one of my stuck full of pistols and poniards. own pistols was cocked at my head. Several were reclining on the grass “Diavolo !” he cried, “be quiet, if -a proof that we were not yet per- you don't want your brains blown ceived; and others were seated out.” round a fire, which burned in a re “ Pinion him," shouted the Sigcess of the mountain.

“Do you nora, see that?" said I to the monk, hand

“ Heu quantum mutatis ab illa !” ing him over my telescope.

“ Pinion the fellow !”—and I felt * By San Gennaro ! it all over myself seized by the elbows, with with us,” he exclaimed, with a won- any thing but feminine softness, by derful degree of coolness. “There the beautiful unknown, who, dofiling are not braver or more desperate a veil and mask, showed a majestic nen in Christendom ; we had bet- aquiline nose, overlooking a forest er at once surrender at discretion. of mustachios. While he also gropEach is an over-match for a lusty ed for a pistol in his girdle, and the en-d'armes; so, I opine, we have Bandit shone revealed, I dashed in

desperation the arm of the quondam When Jehu, with his coat of nineCapuchin aside. Off went the cocked teen capes, opened the door to inpistol : and, whether he was shot quire the meaning of all this strange or not, such a yell arose, that, in disturbance, it was some time bethe utmost trepidation,-I awoke. fore I was sufficiently recovered

“ Hold him-hold him, for the from my sleep and terror to exsake of goodness!" shouted the gra- plain that a striking picture, which zier~" he is furious—wild-non- I had lately seen, had forcibly compos—as mad as a march hare !!” wrought on my imagination in a

“ He has broken all the coach- dream. At last I succeeded in perwindows !” cried the lady.

suading all parties that I was safe “He has broken my head ! res- traveling company

to the next ponded her mate.

stage ; and ever since that night, I “Will nobody succor us?”– have been frequently haunted with “ Murder !-murder !" was the terrible visions of this Pass of the chorus of man and wife.



They sate, in sorrow sunken low, She who had borne that slaughter'd son-
Astounded and amazed ;

The mother through whose soul
They had seen the fairest visions go; The sword of agony had gone
On fearful things had gazed.

To make her people whole ;
Apart, in places secret, still,

She whom his mighty word set free In shadowy nooks they sate apart;

From fierce and fiendish spirits seren; A scatter'd troop, all sunk in heart, One who her sons to him had given : Devoid of hope or will.

A fair, immortal three.
Theirs had a splendid progress been, They saw him perish on the cross ;
A path than earth's more bright ;

In earth they saw him laid ;
There Heaven had pour'd its richest sheen, They felt his pangs, they wept his loss,
There bid its peace alight.

Trembling and sore dismay'd. And they had walk'd in glory on,

But woman's heart and woman's will With songs and with rejoicings loud, Glow'd warmly through their wildest A wondering, hoping, happy crowd,

woe; Round God's benignant Son.

They felt the ruin of the blow,

But felt they loved him still.
But horror, like a bolt of fire,
Burst on them sudden, vast;

And long before the coming dawn
Struck down they saw the hoped Messiah ; They sate amid the gloom,
O'er earth hell's shadow cast:

Regardless of the watchers' scorn,
They saw their temple's veil all rent! Beside the Saviour's tomb.

The world was rocking 'neath their tread! With precious spices in their hand Wide yawnd the graves; forth walk'd They weeping sate, and there did tell the dead,

Of each good deed and miracle And through the city went !

He wrought through all the land. Like men by lightning struck, they lay Oh! worthy were ye, women true, Bewilder'd, crush'd, and low;

That first to you was given And ponder'd through the sabbath-day, The wondrous and the wildering view In half-despairing woe.

Of all the power of Heaven. For this they trusted had been he

To see the tomb forever rent; That Israel should at length redeem : The gates of heavenly life set wide ;

Gone was the hope—a glorious dream ! To see the Scorn'd and Crucified
A brilliant mockery !

Arise-Omnipotent !
Thus did his proudest followers do; To see, to hear, to clasp his feet;
Thus did heroic men !

To set the full heart free ;
But woman's spirit, soft yet true,

All the wild flood of feelings sweet Rose in its brightness then.

To pour out mightily. In life, from pleasant Galilee,

To run, and, with a word, around They follow'd meekly in his train; Such thrilling tidings to unfold

To watch his need, to soothe his pain ; That, unto spirits faint and cold, Thus did the Maries three.

Seem'd madness in the sound.

A sound !-it lives, it vibrates yet!

Since first ye gave it birth,
Without decline, or halt, or let,

It journeys through the earth.
A sound of wonder and of fear;

A sound of joy, and hope, and life;

A sound, before which, hate and strife
And darkness disappear.

• Illustrious women !-who, like you,

Have won a rich renown?
Your love and faith are ever new;

Your deeds shall travel down
Through time,-through wide eternity.

Where'er the immortal hope is stirr'd,

Where'er Christ's living law is heard, There shall be known the Maries three.


[ocr errors]

ble :

The story of Heyne* is, proba- order to celebrate what he sees and bly, sufficiently known; but res- experiences without — he rather pecting Vitalis, perhaps the infor- draws the visible objects of external mation is not so general. Certainly life within the sphere of his internal it is not, save amongst students of world. He sings not of others, but Swedish literature, or readers of of himself. The following delineathe Foreign Review, wherein is the tion of the character of Vitalis, by only account of the birth and cala- an abler hand than ours, may serve mitous life of this ill-fated poet, so to corroborate the view which we early doomed to the tenancy of the have taken of him.

Geijer says : grave. Our own Henry Kirke — Earnestness, honesty, purity, White is but a feeble shadow, com were the ever harmonious tones of pared to what young Vitalis be- his character, which, in other rescame ; though, it must be acknow- pects, appeared, and undoubtedly ledged, that the former died much was, a composition of contrasts. younger than the latter, who lived As his physical frame was a conto complete his thirty-fourth year. trast to his strength of mind, so his Perhaps the following extract from mind, in many respects, was its own the Foreign Review may be valua- contrast, displaying, both together

and alternately, weakness and “The restlessness of his (Vita- strength, softness and severity, hulis) temper, the constant struggle of mility and pride, candor and susa gigantic mind with a weak and picion, mirth and sadness, childish feeble frame

whims and manly reason.

The "A fiery soul which, working out its way,

constituents of the man were also Fretted the pigmy body to decay' those of the poet, and both of these

wanted a higher harmony. Sufferhis eager longing for the liberation ing, cares, and penury, also, too ofof the spirit from the trammels of ten seized upon that wondrous soulearthly cares and sufferings, all be- music of which the purified tones came for him the springs of lofty now belong to more exalted spheres. lyrical effusion. The character of The language of Vitalis is the lyrical poetry is subjective within image of a spirit striving to gain its the breast of the poet, and expand- due expression—at times harsh, ing the world of sentiment, feeling, torpid, rough, and wearying—at and ideas. The lyrical poet stands in others pure and delightful : it is not no needof history or of practical life a stream conducted by an easy art in order to produce effect ; he draws to reflect all flowers on its way : it from his own sources, is the creator is rather a metal, fused by the inof his own world. He abandons ternal fire, and thus cast in unbronot the recesses of contemplation in ken and sounding forms.'

* See Atheneum, Vol. III. 3d Series, p. 78. 32 ATHENEUM, VOL. 5, 3d series.


small pension from the heir-appa“At morning I stood on the mountain's brow, rent of Sweden, while studying at

In its May-wreath crown'd, and there Saw day-rise in gold and in purple glow,

the University of Upsala. The And I cried — Oh Life, how fair!!

consequence was, that Vitalis threw

himself into the arms of penury, As the birds in the bowers their lay began, and that penury corroded his life

When the dawning time was nigh, blood, like slow, cunning, and subSo waken’d for song in the breast of man

tle poison.

But this very act showA passion heroic and high.

ed that poor Vitalis carried in his My spirit then felt the longing to soar

breast a small portion of the learen From home afar in its flight,

of human weakness. When was it To roam, like the Sun, still from shore to given to humanity to be perfect in

shore, A creator of flowers and light.

all things ? Had Vitalis possessed

a better knowledge of the world, he At even I stood on the mountain's brow, would, doubtless, have acted other

And, wrapt in devotion and prayer, wise : had he possessed, as a counSaw night-rise in silver and purple glow, And I cried — Oh Death, how fair!'

sellor, another Archivarius Lind

horst, his name would not now, perAnd when that the soft evening wind, so meek, haps, be found upon a tomb-stone, With its balmy breathing came,

for true and virtuous hearts to weep It seem'd as though Nature then kiss'd my cheek

over ; but would have been as a And tenderly sigh'd my name !

star dominant in the galaxy of the

illustrious on earth, that humbler I saw the vast Heaven encompassing all, Like children, the stars to her came;

men might bask in the rays of its The exploits of Man then seem'd to me small all-glorious light, praying for the Nought great save the Infinite's Name.

continuance of its benignant influence.

But, in want of this counAh, how unheeded, all charms which invest The joys and the hopes that men prize,

sellor, Vitalis was left unacquainted While th' eternal thoughts in the Poet's with the sinuous ways of this turbreast,

moiling world, and he shut himself Like stars in the Heavens arise !

up in a circumscribed valley and a “Poor Vitalis ! thy longing was rugged cave of his own,—where he soon gratified, and thy impatient communed with Poetry and Desspirit freed from its prison of morta- pair, until at length they tore out lity. Now are known to thee the his entrails, and feasted, in laughmanifold and mysterious meanings ter, on his mangled limbs. What of thy worshiped Nature :-the good reason had Vitalis for refusing smiling loveliness of fields and flow- the kindness of his sovereign's son? ers; the awful silence of the forest ; A mere apprehension that he might the unfathomable depth of lakes be conceived a court pensioner! and seas-all-all are explained to What if he had been so noted down thee in the clear light of Wisdom in the opinions of all men? Is a and of Love."

truly virtuous Prince amongst those We were once speaking with an Utopian formations, thought of, acquaintance respecting Vitalis, dreamed of, but never seen! If so, and we urged our opinion that the human race is stultified in plache died in consequence of his ing government in the hands of insheer ignorance of the world ; for dividuals who would be, by the inhad he known the world better, he scrutable will of Providence, a race would have better learnt to accom more akin to the beasts of the field modate himself to its common ways. than to man, made erect, and after But our acquaintance thought dif- the image of his Maker. But the ferently ; expressing himself in the consciousness of his own existence, highest terms of praise of the poet his own sense of virtue, must have who chose to retire into independent given a contradiction to this suppo· beggary, rather than receive a sition of Vitalis. Did not Shakse

« НазадПродовжити »