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“How vainly to be strong !” said Maddalo : “You talk Utopia." “ It remains to know," I then rejoined, “and those who try may find “How strong the chains are which our spirit bind; “Brittle perchance as straw ... We are assured “Much may be conquered, much may be endured Of what degrades and crushes us. We know “That we have power over ourselves to do “And suffer — what, we know not till we try ; “ But something nobler than to live and die — “So taught those kings of old philosophy “Who reigned, before Religion made men blind; “And those who suffer with their suffering kind “Yet feel their faith, religion.” “My dear friend,” Said Maddalo, “my judgment will not bend To your opinion, tho' I think you might “Make such a system refutation-tight “ As far as words go. I knew one like you “Who to this city came some months ago, “With whom I argued in this sort, and he “ Is now gone mad, - and so he answered me, Poor fellow ! but if you would like to go “We'll visit him, and his wild talk will shew “How vain are such aspiring theories.” “I hope to prove the induction otherwise, And that a want of that true theory, still, “Which seeks a 'soul of goodness' in things ill,

Or in himself or others, has thus bowed
“ His being - there are some by nature proud,
“Who patient in all else demand but this :
“ To love and be beloved with gentleness ;
“And being scorned, what wonder if they die
“Some living death? this is not destiny
“ But man's own wilful ill."

As thus I spoke Servants announced the gondola, and we Through the fast-falling rain and high-wrought sea Sailed to the island where the madhouse stands. We disembarked. The clap of tortured hands, Fierce yells and howlings and lamentings keen, And laughter where complaint had merrier been, Moans, shrieks, and curses, and blaspheming prayers Accosted us. We climbed the

stairs Into an old court yard. I heard on high, Then, fragments of most touching melody, But looking up saw not the singer there — Through the black bars in the tempestuous air I saw, like weeds on a wrecked palace growing, Long tangled locks flung wildly forth, and flowing, Of those who on a sudden were beguiled Into strange silence, and looked forth and smiled Hearing sweet sounds. -Then I: “Methinks there were “A cure of these with patience and kind care,


5 As you

If music can thus move but what is he “ Whom we seek here?” “Of his sad history “I know but this,” said Maddalo," he came “ To Venice a dejected man, and fame “Said he was wealthy, or he had been so ; “Some thought the loss of fortune wrought him woe ; “But he was ever talking in such sort

do far more sadly — he seemed hurt, “Even as a man with his peculiar wrong, “ To hear but of the oppression of the strong, “Or those absurd deceits (I think with you “In some respects you know) which carry through “ The excellent impostors of this earth “When they outface detection - he had worth, “ Poor fellow ! but a humorist in his way" Alas, what drove him mad?” “I cannot say ; A lady came with him from France, and when “She left him and returned, he wandered then “ About yon lonely isles of desart sand “ Till he grew wild - he had no cash or land “Remaining, - the police had brought him here “Some fancy took him and he would not bear “Removal; so I fitted up for him “Those rooms beside the sea, to please his whim, “ And sent him busts and books and urns for flowers “Which had adorned his life in happier hours,

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“ And instruments of music — you may guess “A stranger could do little more or less For one so gentle and unfortunate, “And those are his sweet strains which charm the weight “From madmen's chains, and make this Hell appear “A heaven of sacred silence, hushed to hear.”. “Nay, this was kind of you — he had no claim, As the world says ” —“None — but the very same “ Which I on all mankind were I as he “Fallen to such deep reverse ; – his melody “Is interrupted — now we hear the din “Of madmen, shriek on shriek again begin ; “Let us now visit him ; after this strain “He ever communes with himself again, “ And sees nor hears not any.” Having said These words we called the keeper, and he led To an apartment opening on the sea There the poor wretch was sitting mournfully Near a piano, his pale fingers twined One with the other, and the ooze and wind Rushed thro' an open casement, and did sway His hair, and starred it with the brackish spray; His head was leaning on a music book, And he was muttering, and his lean limbs shook; His lips were pressed against a folded leaf In hue too beautiful for health, and grief

Smiled in their motions as they lay apart -
As one who wrought from his own fervid heart
The eloquence of passion, soon he raised
His sad meek face and eyes lustrous and glazed
And spoke — sometimes as one who wrote and thought
His words might move some heart that heeded not
If sent to distant lands : and then as one
Reproaching deeds never to be undone
With wondering self-compassion; then his speech
Was lost in grief, and then his words came each
Unmodulated, cold, expressionless ;
But that from one jarred accent you might guess
It was despair made them so uniform :
And all the while the loud and gusty storm
Hissed thro' the window, and we stood behind
Stealing his accents from the envious wind
Unseen. I yet remember what he said
Distinctly : such impression his words made.


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Month after month,' he cried, to bear this load
And as a jade urged by the whip and goad
To drag life on, which like a heavy chain
Lengthens behind with many a link of pain ! -
And not to speak my grief — not to dare
To give a human voice to my despair,
But live and move, and wretched thing / smile on
As if I never went aside to groan,

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