Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

sche

own !"

Taverini could not stand the taunting question; he trembled universally-hesitated-turned pale--and would have retired; but this was not permitted; and he had the mortification of hearing Carlorti interrogated respecting his business there.

I am come,” said the desperado, with a bold, undaunted air, to clear the innocent-denounce the guilty--and render up to the laws of my country a life, which is now become hateful

1," and he raised his voice to an awful pitch- -“ I, in conjunction with that villain, murdered the good Count Francis. Possessed of diabolical strength, I first gagged, then strangled him; but he," again looking at the sinking Taverini, was my instigator to the bloody deed he promised to free me from a prosecution, which (now renewed) must involve my life, if I would assist him.--I did assist him and he kept off the danger I hinted at, which is of a treasonable nature, till, on a late application to him for money, he laughed at my request, and has even threatened my destruction. Now let him ward off his

The malignant aspect of Carlotti, as he pronounced these fast words, expressed the triumph of an infernal; and when Taverini was seized, he readily resigned himself to the same guard, who led them off amidst the shouts of a rejoicing multitude.

Lady Juliana, on the departure of these culprits, advanced with a timid air to Vanzenza, who could scareely support himself under the various conflicts of hope, surprise, horror, joy and doubt: a cold perspiration hung on his forehead, and he was sinking on the gaoler's shoulder ; when, perceiving the Countess's intention, he struggled with his feelings, and strove to receive her with a forced tranquillity. ! She gazed on his agitated features, caught the hand which trembled in her grasp, and burst into tears— Forgive, oh, thou most injured of human beings !” apostrophized the poor Lady" forgive the unintentional wrongs done you by a éreature, who was made to believe you guilty of the worst and cruelest excesses !"

Here, overpowered by the keenness of self-condemnation, she štopt :--she could not articulate any thing more than her earnest desire to see hiin immediately upon his liberation, when she would explain the horrible arts by which her credulity had been work. ed upon, her judgment misled, and even her humanity made to appear as a criminal weakness, that militated against the purity of conjugal affection.

Vanzenza kissed the hand which retained his ; aod being called upon to attend the decision of the judges, summoned every remains of fortitude to hear a sentence, which even then he in some measure dreaded to receive, while his acquired composure,

and the long course of suffering he had endured, gave him, in almost every one's estimation, the merit of a martyr.

"You were brought hither, Signor Vanzenza," said the denouncer of his fate, “ under a striking and probable impression of murdering your brother, Francis, Count Vanzenza.-, from a coalition of circumstances, unnecessary now to go over, found indispensable reason for your undergoing the ordinary question; and from the manner in which you bore it, I deduced on your part a criminal obstinacy, and felt myself justified in inflicting the second degree. It was soon after this event, that an application was made to me to extend your confinement, from the idea that although positive proof was wanting, yet there was little reason to doubt the reality of your crime ; in consequence you were not liberated till the prosecution fell to the ground, by the disappearance of a material evidence : and after your departure from Naples, the remembrance of Count Vanzenza's assassination remained upon

the minds of those who were interested in the discovery of a transaction, for which liū particular motive could be applied ; till at length, wearied by wrong conjectures, those who were most eager for the developement gradually remitted every enquiry : but on a late application for a renewal of the prosecution of you, Roderigo Vanzenza, I referred Signor Taverini to the ecclesiastic powers for your seizure, reserving to myself the privilege of again trying this extraordinary cause.--It now appears that, in consequence of Carlotti Dolci's self-crimination, you, Rodigo, now Count Vanzenza, are fully and honourably acquitted—restored to the title and estates of the deceased Francis. And I have further to say, that it will be expected that you become an actual accuser of Taverini, as the heir of your late brother.' So saying, the court broke up, amidst plaudits and whispering execrations of a splendid audience, for there were few present who did not condemn the unfeeling precipitation of Vanzenza's former sentence.

The news of their Lord's acquittal, and his expected arrival, reached the ancient domestics residing with Lady Juliana, and converted a most gloomy residence into the abode of peace and joy. Tancred was among the foremost to pay his duty, and conduct the Count to his sister's chamber; who (upon sight of a venerable and now beloved relative, returned, as she would hope, to. forgive and allow for the dreadful mistakes of premature judgement) evinced the liveliest marks of unfeigned tenderness My Brother !exclaimed the Countess, -"you have pardoned

I feel you have pardoned, the delusion which has cost you so dear, attained a noble character, and barbarously struck at your life ; yet if any natural reluctance remain, listen, I entreat you, to my exculpation."

(To be concluded in our next Number.)

-yes, I feel

ON THE FAVOURITES OF PRINCES.

It is related of Clermont Tonnere, bishop of Noyon, a thorough-bred courtier, but yet the proudest man in France of his genealogy, that when Louis XIV. one day expressed to him his surprise that so few names of his family were to be found in the lists of officers of the crown, he replied, “ It is, Sire, because my ancestors were too great to be the servants of yours.” Louis XIII., whose own greatest acquisitions at the age

of seventeen were beating a drum and blowing a trumpet, was captivated with the address of Luynes in training butcher-birds to hawk at sparrows, and raised him to the highest offices of state. To his feeble and melancholic character, a favourite who could entertain him was so necessary, that Cardinal Richelieu, who was really king in every important exertion of power, found it ncessary to supply him with a minion of his own chcice, though at the hazard of being undermined by him. The individual vices and follies of the Roman emperors may be traced in the description of men whom they honoured with their especial favour. Thus, Nero, who was an eminent drainatic amateur, made his cheif intimate of a famous pantomimical actor: and Commodus, whose passion was the amphitheatre, was happy only in the company of gladiators and athletecs. Whatever additional qualities the favourites of profligate princes possessed, they were sure, however, to be equal to their masters in profligacy; for vice can never be at ease in the society of virtue.

It was not all the discipline of adversity, nor the obligations of gratitude to faithful servants and to a whole loyal nation, that could recover the depraved mind of Charles 11. from his attachment to panders and buffoons, or inspire him with a single permanent feeling of the honour of a man or the duty of a sovereign. What, indeed, can be expected from one who has habituated himself to the society of persons whose influence over him must ever depend upon fostering his vicious propensities, and alienating him from every serious and laudable pursuit? We often see the effects of such a training in private life, and they must be. still more prejudicial in a station which has no superior.

The Montespans, Maintenons, and Pompadours of France, were for a long series of years main springs in the administration of that country; and by their intrigues influenced the nomination of generals and ministers, and avenged their sex of the unpoliteness of the Salic law. In this country we have not asyet been much under the influence of this class of favourites; for our sovereigns have mixed too little sentiment with their amouts to give them much weight in their serious deliberations.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

The late Sir William Jones in his fragments of Ancient Persian Literature, has a translation from the Sage Philpa (whom some have confounded with the Grecian Æsop) it is to this effect.

A Dervise planted a young tree in a small but pleasant island, he fenced it round and defended it from the tempest; the Tree grew a pace, and spread its branches to a great distance, in the Spring they were covered with the sweetest blossoms, in the Smmer with fruit in abundance, such as was delectable to all men, and now the Tree was left to itself, in hope after so much pain and care, it might become a general benefit; but the evil spirit Muriddobad came and inundated the place where the Tree vegitated, and the fumes from the filthy water made the Tree sickly, but these waters were not of a continuance, they disappeared at the sun's approach anct returned with the evening star; they soon however sapped the root, and the body shrunk from the bark, the arms drooped, the blossoms faded, and the fruit dropped before its time, and all the pains, cost, and care the Dervis bad taken proved in vain, bereft of its nutricious spirit, the Tree faded, and the sweet birds of the air forsook its branches, the trunk'dies, is cut down by the indignant messenger of Brama, cast into the fire, and is heard of no more.

As we are no where favoured with an explication of this fable, I have undertaken to supply the defect, and fear not fully to illustrate the Sage Philpa.

A wise and indulgent parent leads his son at an early age to the sages, they instruct him in all things necessary to forni the accomplished man, and at a mature age returned bim to his kind progenitors full of the flowers, and the fruits of learning. The youth receives his patrimony, and taking foot in a new soil is left to himself, he is surrounded by flatterers and companions only remarkable for dissipation, and, who teach him to become a drunkard; here the evil spirit comes upon him, and inundates his senses, the fumes of the foul waters make his body sickly, reason is discarded, the practice becomes habitual, the fruits of learning obtained withi so much care, expence, and trouble, are neglected and

L

fall useless away; at the sun's approach he goes to rest, and only rises with the evening star, his root is såpped by the order of things, and the acquirement of his learned Muse are obliterated, as the gay birds of air fly from the withered branches, so do the affections forsake him, for how can we look, even with respect, on a son, a brother, or a father, who so unwisely forsakes sobriety, the first ornament of bumane nature, for the intoxicating cup of Circe, and like the companions of Ulysses degenerate to the ways of the swine; such beings in time become their own executioners, or they provoke the messenger of Brama to cast them down where they are heard of no more.

Notwithstanding the foregoing strictures, I am not so fastidious, as to deny the cup of comfort to my fellow-man, youth with prudence may mingle it with his pleasures, age has a right to demand it; and totally to reject it, is in my firm opi. nion, to become ungrateful to him who has set all the good things before us.

• Usus habet laudem, crimen abusus habet." The use of any thing is laudable—the abuse only criminal. Seven-tenths of the nations which surround the globe, pose sess these sentiments, and the most rational live up to them; from the earliest period of record, mankind have indulged in the cup of cheerfulness : the Egyptians under their great King Bousirus, boast of being the inventors of fermented liquors, yet they abhored Inebriation, and to shew the detestalion towards the vice, they describe it in their Hierog!yphics by a sow wallowing in the mire. Noah planted a vineyard, Lot followed his example but made an improper use of its influence. The first Grecians who were a colony from Egypt covered their island with the vine, they found it cxhilirating, and it was their friendly custom to meet the wcary stranger in the gate and to refresh him with its potency

As

merry as a Greek” is a well known saying to this day, and a temperate en• joyment of the flask continues to be the delight of their descendants; wine they brought to their gods, and Saturn the oldest of their divinities took it in abundance-beside (as wc are told) strong waters drawn from the richest spices to warm and to cherish his cold bosom, but we never read of his Inebriation. Jupiter had his Falernum, and Bacchus was seldom seen without his cup and his bunch, the Turks it is true were forbidden the use of it, not from any dislike to the thing

« AnteriorContinuar »