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father was John Baptist Benoni, a copper-foupder. He stopped but & Genoese, established at Palermo. little while here, where, however, he
A few months after the birth of was protected by a Cardinal, and the faid Joseph, his father died sud. went to France with his wife, denly; his sister was then two In this state of affairs, from the years of age. They were both rer time Balsamo left Palermo, his rem ceived into the care of their grand- lations had no intelligence of him father D. Joseph Bracconieri, my for several years. As I was aç father, who considered them as his Naples in 1773, upon business, i own children; and particularly Jo- walked out one day, after dinner, to feph, who was given all the educa. the Royal Palace, and happened to tion necessary to enable him to be. see a barber of Palermo, named come the support of his widowed David Larocca, whom I knew. Hamother and his sister.
ying asked him whence he càme! he My father died in 2754; Balsamo told me, he had arrived a few days remained under the care of his mo- ago at Naples, and that he had been ther, who endeavoured to make travelling in Ruffia, England, Spain, him a religious, and made him France, and all over Italy. Being wear the habit of the Brothers of excited by curiofity, I asked him if Charity. After the necessary pre- he ever met in his travels with my parations, he was sent to Caltagi- nephew He pretended at first not ponnie, to become a noviciate, to know him ; but, at last, willing
But having no taste for a reli- to furprise me, he engaged me to gious life, he became desirous of accompany him, and conducted me Tenouncing his habit. His mother to a house opposite the Royal Thea. seeing him one day in a secular tre. I was astonished on entering dress, and at the same time not ir to see Balsamo presented to me, wishing to lose him, but only to feel I was juft going to chide Larocca some chastisement, sent him to the for fooling me, when Balsamo told P. P. Capuchins, to be confined in me, that he had engaged him in their convent. As he became trouble. his service as valet de chambre. fome to these religious, they would After mụtual compliments, Balsamo not keep him, but drove him out. begged to wait till he brought me His turn for disobedience increased, his wife Lorenza. In half an hour and his relations were forced to a. after, he returned with his wife, in bandon him.
a handsome equipage, with servants, Being under no controul from his and conducted me to see a house friends, and at liberty, he contrived which he had hired that very day. to persuade a goldsmith, named Astonilhed at his magnificençe, and Vincent Marano, that he would still more at hearing him called the discover å treasure to him, provi. Marquis de Pellegrini, I became ded he would advance a certain reserved, and would not accept of sum of money to purchase some the offer he made me to lodge in valuable drugs to form a compo- his house ; but, on his confiding to Sition for the discovery of the said me the idea he had of going to Pa treasure. Marano having procured lermo, provided he could obtain him the money, he fled to Calabria, from the King a general pardon, where he was stripped by some of that he might return into his native his accomplices, and obliged to go country, and endeavour to live to Rome : he married in that city quietly and honestly, I requested a young person named Lorenza, the protection of the Prince of Bodaughter of a man of wealth, a tera, who had the goodness to give
Anecdotes of Count Caglioftro.
195 me a letter, in his own hand, to his had hardly appeared when it was fon, the Prince of Pietra Perfia, withdrawn ; that it was full of that he might aslift Balsamo with fables, insolence, and written by his influence and intereft. On ob- an enemy of Count Cagliostro. I taining this letter, I set out for Pa- substitute to you for it a Memoir, lermo with Balsamo and his wife, where he is defended against the both of whom I lodged with myself. imputations laid upon him, and
Here they remained seventeen which is very interesting, because days, after which Balsamo, tired of it contains a detail of his life, and the good advice I daily gave him, his detention in the Bastile." without any ceremony, or acquaint- My friend at Paris lent me this ing me, went to another house, Memoir, and I gave it to my browhich he hired, in order to be at ther, requesting him to trànslate it full liberty, and under no depend- into Italian. I will add, finally, ance upon me.
that having remarked in this MeMarano, at my desire, did not moir, that Count Cagliostro calls troubļe him while he was in my his wife Serafina Feliciani, although house, but when he saw him abroad the name of Balsamo's wife was he made a complaint to the Prefi- Lorenza, I suppose that he has dent Airoldi, who feized and im- made use of the name of one of his prisoned Ballamo.' The Prince of aunts, and that of his mother ; bePietra Persia being desirous of ho- cause the wife of D. Malter Bracnouring the recommendation of his conieri, my brother, and uncle to father, went to the President and Balsamo, was named Serafina, and got Balsamo released, on condition her mother Felicia, from which he that in 24 hours he would leave Pa, must have taken by 'adoption the lermo. Balsamo agreed to the con- two names Serafina Feliciani. dition, and embarked on board a So far for the illustration of truth, vefsel for Malta with his wite; and I conclude, after staying a few days, embarked 1. That Jofeph Balsamo was for Italy.
born at Palermo, June 2. 1735, Since this period, I heard nothing and baptized at the cathedral. of Balsamo, nor desired to know a- 2. That he is the fun of Peter ny thing of such a character: it was Balsamo. told me, besides, that Balsamo com, 3. That his mother, ą widow, plained of me as being concerned is still living, poor, and deaf for with Marano in putting him in pri- some years past, and that her name fon, because he had left my house is Felicia. without my consent.
4. That her sister, widow of the In 1785, the French Gazettes an- late J. Baptift Capirammino, is still nounced that there was at Paris living, and called Mary Ann. fome affairs going on, in which was 5. The nearest relations of Bala mentioned this Count Cagliostro, samo at Palermo, are the said Mal. who was sliut up in the Baftile; and ter Bracconieri, my brother, and being desirous, for the reasons al. myself, Antony Bracconieri. ready given, to know if this Count Balsamo is of the middle fize, Cagliostro, was Joseph Balsamo, I lively eyes, black hair and eyewrote to a merchant at Paris to brows, broad face, brown com. procure me the book which gave a plexion, with a large and round history of his life. This merchant nose. answered, that the little work Dona Lorenza, his wife, is hand
fome, with delicate features, fair deposed, and which I confirm by my complexion, blue eyes, brown hair, fignature, broad visage, a small aquiline nofe,
(Signed) and a middle stature.
ANTONIO BRACCONIERI. This is the whole, which I have Palermo.
Account of a New Tragedy entitled VIMONDA. Written by Mr Mac
HIS Tragedy was presented to dant of the family, way.laid and af
al, Hay-Market, London, on Wed- finds, that all his guilty labours were nesday the 5th of September ; the rendered ineffectual by the successfable of which is nearly as follows: ful prowess of Melville, who had CHARACTERS.
defeated his hopes of gaining the Dundore, Mr BENSLEY ;
heart of Vimonda, by securing its affections for himself. Dundore
there. , Bernard, Mr AICKIN; Rothsay, Mr KEMBLE;
fore finding his old associate in ini. Seyton, Mr JOHNSON;
quity Bernard, informs him of his Melville, Mr BANNISTER, Jun. intention to impose upon the tender Vimonda, Mrs KEMBLE ;
credulity of Vimonda, by accusing Alfreda, Miss WOOLKERY.
Melville of having murdered her
father; desiring him, however, to Vimonda, the daughter of Earl prepare a deadly draught to assist Rothsay, in the utmost grief for the his purpose, if other measures should untimely death of her father, and, be frustrated. In consequence of in pious respect to his memory, has this intention, Dundore deludes erected a monument in honour of the unsuspecting innocence of Vihis virtues, upon which is deposited monda into an apprehension that his sword, the favourite of his hand, Melville is the murderer of her and the instrument of many a war- father, intreating her to accuse him like atchievement. Vimonda is to his face, and pledging himfelf, in Itrongly attached to Melville, who case he denies his guilt, to appear as had signalized his valour in rescuing her champion, and prove, by the her from the hands of some lawless decision of Heaven, his criminality ruffians, just at the moment when in a single combat. Thus urged, they were preparing to bear her Vimonda charges Melville, with the off. The merits of Vimonda equally murder, folemnly conjuring him to endear the heart of Melville ; but answer equivocally : Melville, struc while they meditate the completion with horror at such a supposition, of their happiness by marriage, the vents his surprise and agony in gecastle in which Vimonda resides is neral exclamation ; which Vimonda disturbed every night by a preter- considers as a mode of fhrinking natural appearance, which is fup- from the question, and leaves him. posed to be the fhade of Earl Roth- under a persuasion of his guilt. It fay. It appears that Dundore, the is discovered, however, that the nephew of Rothsay, aspired at the Earl of Rothsay had furvived the possession of the lands, and daugh- wounds of the affassins, and, by a ter of the Earl, and had, in secret secret passage to the castle, had reconfederacy with Bernard, a depen- ally appeared in person round its
Account of the Tragedy of Vimonda.
197 precincts, when he was supposed tulates with him on his attacking an only to have been an apparition. unarmed man, but Melville gives During one of his nocturna lwalks him his own sword, and seizes that he meets Alfreda, the female confi- of Rothsay which was deposited dant of Vimonda, to whom he re- upon the monument. A contest then veals himself, and learns from her, ensues, and Dundore, defeated, dies that she had accompanied Melville in in all the agonies of a perturbed the disguise of a page, though now conscience. Vimonda being assured unknown to him the appeared as by Alfreda, who had accompanied the friend of Vimonda, While Dun- Melville when he found the sword dore, in the presence of Vimonda, of Rothsay, his poffeffion of which is reproaching Melville with his hor- had given some colour to the charge rid offence, and daring him to a of Dundore, of Melville's innocence, hostile decision, Rothsay, unable any feels the utmost agony in the conlonger to suppress his feelings and sciousness of having so far persecuremain in concealment, rushes for- ted a meritorious lover ; and at last ward, and reveals himself, to the her grief rises to so violent an amaze of Vimonda, and the confu- excess, that it produces madness, fion of Dundore, who, however, which terminates in her death. Melsmothers his anxiety, and expresses ville, more tortured by the forrowhis happiness at finding Rothsay still ful condition of Vimonda, than by alive. Though Rothlay had fortu- any apprehensions of the effects of nately survived, it was obviously the the poison he had taken, attends design of the assassin that he should her in her dying mor: ents, expecdie, and the rencounter between ting his own dissolution; but has the Dundore and Melville is therefore mortification to find that Bernard, still to take place, that, by the in- fhocked at his former depravity, terposition of Providence, innocence and determined to assist the villanmay be protected, and guilt punish- ous purposes of Dundore no longer, ed. The night before the intended had formed the draught of the most combat, while Melville, at the place innocent ingredients. At this pewhere the monument is erected, is riod of misery, Rothsay, in the lamenting the cruel fufpicions of Vi- midst of his afflictions, refolves to monda, he is interrupted by the ar- fpend the remainder of his days in rival of Dundore, who tells him, a cloister; and rewarding the amiable that though he was disposed to meet fidelity of Alfreda, by assigning to him in arms the next morning, to her all his pofseffions, the piece conascertain the real perpetrator of the cludes. horrid deed, Vimonda, deeming The story is purely the work of Melville guilty, judged him unfit to the imagination, but unites great inmeet a rightful knight in honour- terest with perfect simplicity of faable contest, and had therefore sent ble. The author feems to have had him a mortal potion, that he might the ancient drama in view when he end his miserable life, and escape constructed his plot, and to have from farther disgrace. Melville aimed at keeping it unembarrassed, feels the utmost agony in hearing and free from unnecessary complithis message from the object of his cation of incident. The business of tendereft affections, and determines the play rises naturally and graduto avail himself of her cruel present; ally to its climax, and ends in a but, before he drinks it, he deter- manner extremely affecting. The mines to avenge himself on his false characters have no strong feature accuser, Dundore. Dundore expof- of originality, but are well prefer
ved and discriminated. Vimonda The Tragedy was prefaced by a is drawn with dexterity, and the Prologue written by the Author, in womanith weakness of her mind de- which, in good lines, he avowed licately described. Dundore is a that his piece was the offspring of defigning villain, likely to take ad- imagination, and neither founded in vantage of such a character, and history, legend, or romance. - The pursues his purpose with remorse Epilogue was the production of Mr less lteadiness, till the author, with Mackenzie, the author of the Man ftrick poetical justice, makes him of Feeling and very pleasantly fall a victim to the sword of ven- laughed at the principal incident of geance by the hand of Melville, who the piece, by saying, that the Ladies is well contrasted with Dundore, were not to be terrified by Ghosts and presents great virtue and gene- now-a-days, but they chose to deal rosity. The diction of this tragedy with fpirits composed of flesh and is neat, poetical, and nervous. Se- blood. veral of the images are described The tragedy was repeated on with great felicity of expreffion, Thursday and on Friday for the As. and the language in general speaks thor. the pen
of a master.
The Fountains.-A Fairy Tale. By Dr Johnson.
Felix qui potuit boni
derfully pleafant to hear him in the Fontem vifere lucidum. Boethius. morning. AS
S FLORETTA was wandering in a Floretta, with tears in her eyes, repti
meadow at the foot of plinlim- ed, that he had better have been deyourmon, the heard a little bird cry in such cd by the hawk than die for want of a note as she had never observed be. water, and that she would not save him fore, and looking round her, saw a love- from a less èyil to put him in danger of ly, goldfinch entangled by a lime-twig, a greater : she therefore took him into and a hawk hovering over him, as at her hand, cleaned his feathers from the point of seizing him in his talons. the bird-lime, looked upon him with
Floretta longed to rescue the little great tenderness, and, having put his bird, but was afraid to encounter the bill to her lips, disinisléd him into the hawk, who looked fiercely upon her air. without any apparent dread of her api He flew in circles round her as the proach, and as the advanced seemed to went home, and perching on a tree beincrease in bulk, and clapped his wings fore the doors delighted them a while in token of defiance. Floretta stood de- with such fiveetness of forg, that her liberating a few moments, but seeing mother reproved her for not putting her mother at no great diftance, took him in the cage.' Floretta endeavourcourage, and snatched the twig with ed to look grave, but filently approved The little bird upon it. When the had her own act, and wished her mother disengaged him The put him into her more generosity. Her mother gueired Lofom, and the hawk flew away. her thoughts, and told her, that when
Floretta fhewing lier bird to her mio fhe was older she would be wiser, ther, told her from what danger the Floretta however did not repent; had rescued him : her mother, after but hoped to hear her little bird the admiring his beauty, faid, that he would next morning singing at liberty. She be a very proper inhabitant of the little waked early and listened, but no goldgilded cage, which had hung empty finch could she hear. She rose; and since the farling died for want of wa. walking again in the same meadow; ter; and that he should be placed at the went to view the bush where she had chamber-windows for it would be won- seen the lime-twig the day before.