Imágenes de página

barism in a bottle of claret, there is as much of it “ Plenitude ! by my soul, Sir Cavaliere,” cried in a corked as in an uncorked one.”

Mr. Talcranagh, “and a trifle, I think, to spare. “Sir," replied mildly Puntomichino, “I could One of them a few days ago did what a king of point out to you a Russel of the Italian school, and Great Britain and Ireland would not dare to do, it is no other than this, who received unusual civili- and which, if the first potentate on earth had ties in England; and of all those gentlemen there done in London, he would have been kicked down who treated him with attention and kindness, of the stairs for his impudence. The exhibition of all with whom he dined constantly, not a single pictures at your Academy was announced as openone, or any relative, was ever invited in his house ing to the public at ten. His Excellency entered even to a glass of stale barleywater or sugarless alone, and remained in the principal apartment lemonade.”

until two, the doors of which were locked to others. “ Cavaliere,” said I, “we more willingly give If it had been possible for him to have acted so invitations than accept them : I speak of others, among us, he would have been tossed in a blanket not of myself, for I have never been tempted to till the stars blinked upon him; the people dine from home these seven years : yet, although would have perfumed his frill and ruffles abundI am neither rich nor convivial, and hardly social, antly with home-made essences, would have added I have given at least a hundred dinners in the new decorations to his waistcoatful of orders, and time, if not superb, at least not sordid : and those would have treated his eagles with more eggs than who knew me long ago, say, · Landor is become a they could swallow.” miser : his father did otherwise ?."

Puntomichino for a time was silent, and then “Cappari !” exclaimed Puntomichino : "this said placidly, “Believe me, sirs, our government, whole family, with thirty thousand crowns of which would be a detestable one for the English, income, has not done a ninetieth part of it within is an excellent one for us. Every day in London the memory of man.”

| brings with it what to a stranger looks like a “Faith! then," interrupted Talcranagh, “it rebellion, or at best a riot : no mischief is done must have come into the Russels by a forced thereby. Your strength, which causes this irreguadoption. The Russels of England are of opinion, larity, sustains you : but weak bodies bear little right or wrong, that the first thing are good fermentation.” principles, and the next, good cheer. I wish, sir," Wisely thought and well expressed,” said said he, looking mildly and somewhat mournfully Mr. Talcranagh. “I am convinced that if we had at me, “I had not heard you say what you did not a riot now and then in Ireland, we should be about not dining from home. I began to think mopish and sullen as the English, or insincere well of you ; I know not why; and I doubt not and ferocious as the French. And I have observed, still, God forbid I should, that you are a worthy Signor Cavaliere, that, strange as it may appear, and conscientious man. As for that other, I whenever there has been much of a riot there has thank him for teaching me what I never should been sunshine. Smile as you will, Mr. Landor, have learnt at home, that a fellow may be a good I swear to the fact.” patriot with a very contracted heart, and as much To which I answered, “ Your assertion, Mr. ingratitude as he can carry to market. Why! Taleranagh, is quite sufficient : but is it impossible you might trust a Correggio across his kitchen- that the fine weather may have brought together ehimney on Christmas-day; ay, Signor Punto a great concourse of people to the fair or festival, michino ?

and that whiskey or beauty or politics or religion * Gentlemen,” said our host, “under the least may have incited them to the exertion of their vindictive of Princes we may talk as loudly as we prowess ?" please of liberty, which we could not do without “ There are causes that we know,” replied he, fear and trembling when we were in the full enjoy- “and there are causes that we know not. Inquiry ment of it. What are you pondering so gravely, and reflection are sensible things; but there is Mr. Talcranagh ?”

nothing like experience, nothing like seeing with “Woe!” replied he, “woe to the first family one's own eyes. We must live upon the spot to that ever dines yonder! Let them each take a judge perfectly and to collect evidences. Philosoi bottle of eau de Cologne, against the explosion of phy ought to lead us, but only to a certain point:

mould from the grand evolution of the tablecloth. there we leave her, and joy go with her. I have Now, concerning your Ministers, there are some seen impudent rogues in Dublin, and have fancied things not entirely to my mind, neither : your that the world could not match them : now what Prince, I dare to say, knows nothing about think you of a set of fellows, with coats without a them."

collar, who take us by the hand, ånd say with the Puntomichino looked calmly, and replied, gravest face upon earth, “The elements shall be “Our Ministers are liberal, my young friend. elements no longer,' and strip them one after anThey have indeed betrayed in succession all the other of their title-deeds, as easily as Lord Redsovrans who employed them, yet they let every whiskers stripped a royal Duke of his last curtain man do his best or his worst : and if you are and carpet. It is enough to make one grave to robbed or insulted, you may insult or rob think on this abuse of intellect. Do you know, again. All parties enjoy the same plenitude of Signor Cavaliere, we have lately had people among power."

us, and learned ones, who doubted the existence of the Trojan war, on which chronicles are | He was in his sixty-ninth or seventieth year when founded.”

he went a second time to Paris, and never found “ Sir,” remarked Puntomichino," the doubt out that women are made continent by our is not of recent origin. Eberard Rudolph Roth ages more often and more effectually than by attempted in 1674 to prove from three ancient their own." coins that Troy was not taken. What, if the “Well, that never struck me," said Mr. TalIliad should be in great measure a translation ? cranagh. I was here startled by some musical Many of the names might lead us to suspect it: accents from a sofa behind me. Puntomichino such as Agamemnon and Sarpedon, which are cried, “What are you about, Magnelli ?" "I oriental ones with dignities prefixed : Aga and must go,” replied he, "to the English Minister's. Sha, which the Greeks and Romans, not possess. He is composing an opera : he has every note ing the shiboleth, could pronounce no otherwise. ready and only wants my assistance just to put Thus they wrote Sapor, the same name (with the them in order; which I shall have accomplished title preceding it) as Porus. Aga seems indeed in three weeks, by going daily, and taking my to have migrated into Greece among the first dinner and supper with him.” Pelasgi, and designates in many things what is On this he left the room. “ These musicians," excellent, as in åxados, ảyaantos, and several said Puntomichino, “are people of no ceremony. proper names, as Agamedes, Agasicles, Agathar- He entered, as usual, without a word, threw himcides; but Memnon is not hellenic.”

self upon the sofa, sate half an hour, and the first Signor Cavaliere, I cannot keep up with you we heard of him was the hum of a dozen notes. on your Turkish horse,” cried aloud Talcranagh, His observation on parting is very similar to "which is better for any business than the road. one from a gentleman at my next-door, a worthy Upon plain ground nearer us, the acutest men creature, and fond of chess. “Why so much may be much mistaken even after long experience. embarrassment, Signor Gozzi? It is not emI assure you, I have found grossly inaccurate the barrassment,' answered he calmly, but reflecfirst piece of information given me by a very cau- tion : I can move my man in a moment: I am tious old traveller. He mentions the honesty only thinking where I may put him.' 'Ah! of the Savoyards and the thievery of the Italians: Signor Gozzi !' said a friend of mine who was now here have I been a for safe and sound, present, “if Ministers of State would think and have not lost a hair. I had not been twenty- about the same thing as long, they would four hours in Savoy when they had the meanness dispose of places more wisely than they do in to steal my hatband. In future I shall be per- general.”” suaded how illusory are sketches of national "As for systems," said Mr. Talcranagh, “come, character."

Signor Cavaliere, you have weighed them well. " That a traveller,” said the Cavaliere, “may I have not patience to talk about them. Conreceive a wrong opinion of events and things, clusions are drawn even from skin and bones ; after even a deep study of them, and with as much eyes, noses, teeth; they will soon come (saving knowledge of the world as happens to most men, your presence).” I myself have a proof in my late uncle Fontebuoni. “I know not what they will come to," was the On that marriage, the best fruit of which was Peter timely reply of the Cavaliere ; " but I can mention Leopold, he was sent into France, to announce as wonderful a fact as the sunshine elicited by the event to the Court of Versailles : and after shilelahs. My father was a physiognomist, and the revolution, when the Directory was established, when Lavater first published his work, “Now,' he resolved to revisit the country of pleasure and cried he, rubbing the palms of his hands together, politeness. He resided there one month only; men begin to write again as they should do.' long enough, he protested to me, for any man He insisted that a man's countenance, in all its in his senses. 'I have heard the same thing, changes, indicated, his virtues or vices, his capauncle,' said I, ' and that not only politeness is cities or defects. The teeth, among other parts, swept away, but that the women are become were infallible indexes; they were in the human most indecent and wanton.' •Nephew Punto- visage what consonants are in the alphabet, the michino,' he replied, “in regard to politeness great guides, the plain simple narrators. Amid what you have heard is indeed too true; but, his apophthegms was, “Never trust a man with with all my hatred and abhorrence of the present a twisted tooth.' In fact, of all I had ever seen system, I am obliged in conscience to declare and of all I have ever seen since under that de that the women are more correct in their morals scription, not one has proved worthy of trust. than they were formerly. A heart is to be I inquired of my father with submission, whether touched only by a diamond pin ; a head is to be age or accident might not alter the indications. turned only by a peruke à la Lucrèce worth ten "By no means,' exclaimed he emphatically; ' if louis. A compliment did formerly: if one knelt the indications are changed, the character is it was uncivil not to return the condescension changed. God, before he removed the mark, by something as like it as possible. This he removed the taint.” He observed that where the said at dinner, with his tooth-pick in his fingers, teeth turn inward, there is wariness, selfishness, wandering and flitting here and there for its avarice, inhumanity; where they turn outward, quarry, over the wold of his hard smooth gums. there is lasciviousness, prodigality, gaming, glut


tony. I then doubted these indications, and fingers rapidly through the hair over his foreimagined that a part of the latter was taken up head, exclaimed; “Why! how! what! do you against a priest, not indeed in high reputation for talk in this tone and manner? Did not you nor sobriety or continence, who had offended my your father flay the devil alive? Did not you father in a tender quarter. My father had erected spigot him nor singe him ?" a stile for the convenience of his peasants; but the “I was at school: my father," said the Cavaliere, inscription was so prolix * he was forced to “took his wife to Siena; proof enough that he engrave the conclusion of it upon the church. resented the injury. In our country, as you know, porch. The Latin, as the priest acknowledged, every lady of quality has her cavaliere serviente. was classical ; yet he requested it might be It serves to distinguish the superior order from removed to our dovecote, which was farther off, the lower, and belongs to none, legitimately, and not by the side of any road. The exo- excepting those who by wealth or services have teric teeth of the reverend gentleman by some obtained the liberty to stick their knee-buckles unknown accident received a blow, which ad- on their coats with a tag of scarlet. My father, justed them between the extremes; and my as you may suppose, was indignant that a priest father was asked in joke, whether he had a out of the gates, neither a canonico nor a maestro better opinion of his spiritual guide since his di casa, should beget his children, and aspire, as improvement in dentition. 'Indeed I have,' he he would have done by degrees (for impudence answered gravely; ‘for so sudden and so great is never retrogessive) to conduct his lady to her a change, whether brought about by the organic carriage. I have many books in which is the mutations of the frame, or by an irresistible stress, text written with his own hand, 'Never trust a with which certain sentiments or sensations may man with a twisted tooth ;' but I have searched bear upon it, must be accompanied by new powers, in vain for any such sentence as, ' Trust a mar greater or smaller, and by new qualities and pro- with an untwisted one.' His enthusiasm seems

pensities. Some internal struggle may in length to have cooled from the time that he found a 1 of time have produced an effect not only on the scholar so capable of his place. Another of my

fibres, but through them on the harder part of father's maxims was, 'Open a man's mouth and the extremities.' The favourable opinion of my look whether his under-jaw be uneven, with a father was carried to the priest; who lamented curvature like a swine's, which curvature is (he said) no dispensation of Providence by which necessarily followed by the teeth, and, discoverhe conciliated the better sentiments of so enlight- ing these, you will infallibly find him swinish ened and charitable a man. He was soon a daily in one way or other: you will find him, take visiter at the house ; entered into the studies of my word for it, slothful, or gluttonous, or selfish. his Excellency, meditated on his observations, I have observed few such who were not slothful, praised them highly, and by degrees had the and never one who was not both selfish and glutcourage to submit to so experienced a master a tonous.' 'In the latter case, father,' said I, “it few remarks of his own. He pursued them will not be necessary to open his mouth for farther : and I should blush to relate, if all him. I may philosophise across the table, findFlorence did not know it, that my stepmother, a ing there all the instruments adapted to the Foung lady of twenty-four, aided him too deeply process of investigation.' in his investigations, and confirmed my father,

• • It would not demonstrate to you,' added my although not exactly by working the problem as father, “howincorrigible is the nature of such men. he would have recommended, that an internal Goffrido Piccoluomini is of the conformation struggle may produce an effect not only on the I have described; and his parents, who themselves fibres, but through them on the harder part of love good living, and who are liberal to excess, the extremities. Then too became it public, that attempted to divert at a riper age the tendency another husband had been the holy man's dentist, they were unable to conquer in his childhood. in consequence of too close an application to simi- Many means were resorted to, and failed. He had lar studies in his house."

a cousin at Perugia, an heiress, rich, playful, beauAt the end of which calm narration, up started tiful, and accomplished. Several families were at Mr. Talcranagh, and several times pushing his variance, because the elder son of one had been

preferred to the elder of another, this in the morn* Lestan inscription on a stile should surpass the reader's ing, that in the evening; and there were only two faith, here is one On a prince changing horses at a Villa, to things in which they agreed : first, that she was the intent, as it says expressly, that all men and nations an angel of Paradise ; secondly, that she was very end ages should know it : " Honori Ferdinandi III. Aust: wrong in not fixing her choice. To quiet these qui ad veterem Etruriæ dominationem redux in hoc animosities, her father, whose health was declining, tantisper substitit, dum rhedæ itinerariæ regalis substi- resolved to join his brother Guido, the father of tueretur, qua urbem principem inter communes plausus Goffrido, at the baths of Lucca. Goffrido was et gaudii lacrimas introiret; herisque ob faustitatem beckoning to a boy who carried a basket of trout eventus

dignitatemque sibi locoque ab hospite magno im- upon his head, when the carriage drove up to the alloquii gratique animi significatione declaravit ; Marchio door. He stood before it, his eye this moment on Petrus Robertus Capponius ad memoriam facti postgenitis the trout, that moment on his cousin. The boy ornnibus tradendam."

had retreated a step or two, when he caught him

[ocr errors]

with his right hand by the coat, and opened with one, transferred it to his, and gave her two the left the coach-door. He had not seen Leopol- others. His mother said, laughing, Goffrido, I dina since she was a chubby ruddy child. There see no bruise ; let me look. He blushed deeply; are blossoms in field and garden, which first are he lost his presence of mind; he could not support pink, and which whiten as they expand : Leopol- the glance of surprise which his change of countedina was like one of these. Her face alone had nance alone had excited in his cousin, nor the retained its plumpness: she was rather pale and idea of yielding to so light a temptation : he slender. At sight of Goffrido, who still held the left the room. The old people sat silent: Leoboy's skirt, she not merely smiled but laughed; poldina was afflicted, for she loved him. She too she would however have put her hand before her retired soon after; and, being alone, began to face, for she had been educated by a French lady revolve in her memory her whole acquaintance of high rank, when she recollected that she must with him; and this revolving of hers cast up give it to her cousin, who now held out his. Never many similar things against him. Finally, her had he felt the force of admiration to such a thoughts wandered as far as Perugia, and dwelt degree: his mouth was open : his teeth, white as for a moment, in the chain of ideas, on a little ivory, but unlucky in their curvature, looked like boy who, a few years before, had fought a battle a broken portcullis which would not come down. with a stouter for having taken a pear from her He actually loosed the fisher-boy's coat, and almost and bitten it before she could catch him. She had forgotten, in the midst of his compliment, to remembered that, when she would have taken desire he would go into the house ; which he did, it back and eaten it, her champion cried, No, the first of the party.

Signora Leopoldina, the thief has bitten it; I “I am incapable of giving such descriptions as will bring you another instead ! Poor Anto

1 would suit a novel or romance, and must therefore nino! sighed she, what made me think of the do injustice to the young people. Goffrido is again ? really a fine young man, blooming in health, and "He had not been one of her lovers : how could addicted to no pleasures but those of the table, he have been ; she was scarcely eleven years old, which he thinks the most solid of all, and takes he only fourteen ; beside, he was the son of the especial care shall not be the least durable. These parish-priest, and what is more scandalous, the however by degrees he divided awhile with more acknowledged son. The father had been reproved visionary and exalted. He failed in no kind of by his bishop, and threatened with suspension attention to his fair cousin, and, when her appetite unless he denied it publicly. My Lord ! answered seemed to flag a little, looked out for whatever the priest, my passions on this one occasion over. was choicest at table, presented it to her with grace came my reason! The mother of the child, cruelly and disinterestedness, and pressed it on her atten- treated by her family for my transgression, sank tion with recommendations the most anxious, and under the double weight of shame and sorrou. with solicitude the most pathetic. Spring had Take my poor infant, cried she: teach him, 0 passed away, long as it lingers in this delightful | unhappy man, to love God.. as well as I thought region, when some moral reflections, I know not I did ! and she expired in my arms. I have from which first, induced the fathers to devise a educated the child to virtue ; the best reparaunion: and never were two children more obe- tion of my fault : falsehood, my lord, would be dient. If my father wishes it, will is mine, said none. Goffrido. Dear sir, you have instructed me in 'Leopoldina, on her return to Perugia, walked my duty: dispose of your Leopoldina, was the often on the field of battle .. a more important answer of his cousin. They agreed to remain one not only to her but to us, if I may judge by together at the baths until the vintage, at which the interest I seem to have excited, than that time they must be at Perugia, and the cere other in the vicinity where Hannibal vanquished mony should be performed. It rarely happened the Romans. Antonino, she thought, avoided her: now that either had a bad appetite; and if either she had sometimes seen him, and fancied he had had, the other did not observe it: for security seen her. At last she was certain he had; for while had taken place of solicitude, and tenderness had she was talking with an old woman, she perceived made room for good-humour. The more delicate the old woman's eyes to wander from her toward fruits are seldom conveyed in perfection up these the parsonage, and heard a window-blind close. mountains: they are generally bruised and broken. She turned round. Another time will do, said Goffrido, observing this, and corroborated in his the old woman. I must say he had patience observation by Leopoldina, rode manfully to Mar- enough : he has little to give me, but he brings it lia, bought a basketful of the most lovely peaches, me himself when I can not walk, or when it rolled up each separately in several fig-leaves, and rains ; and he comforts me as much by smiling returned for dinner. Surely some evil Genius and laughing as another could do by pray watches the Anti-Vestal fire of our lowest concu- ing. piscence, and renders it inextinguishable. Gof- " I should like to look a little at Leopoldina's frido presented the peaches to Leopoldina, and teeth,' added my father, ‘for she is a most singular she took, whether by choice or accident, the finest. girl. Would you believe it? she is grown at last Her lover, seeing it in her plate, fixed his heart as decisive as any in the city: she has declined the upon it, and saying, You have taken a bruised visits of all her lovers, and has declared to her

parents that if she ever marries it shall be An- a forest walk, in which, while you are delighted tonino.'”

with the healthy fresh air and the green unbroken This Conversation is reported in a manner dif- turf, you must stop at every twentieth step to fering from the rest. The meaner of us have extricate yourself from a briar. You acknowledge spoken but seldom. A conversation with a young that you have been amused, but that you rest Irishman of good natural abilities, and among no willingly, and that you would rather take a walk race of men are those abilities more general, is like in another direction on the morrow.

ANDREW HOFER, COUNT METTERNICH, AND THE EMPEROR FRANCIS. Metternich. Who are you, man? I hear you Hofer. Excellent sir, I do not ask so much. have brought some intelligence from Tyrol. Be Metternich. A little money, if I could dispose of brief; I have little time for audiences, and am it, should not be wanting ... but... surprised that you should have required one, Hofer. Pardon me, sir, an interruption to the although you mountaineers are somewhat used to current of your kindness. I have grain and wine liberties. What, in few words, have you brought under a certain rock I could mention, with two from your country?

| hundred crowns, and my freehold may be valued Hofer. This.

at twelve hundred more, and I have children who 1

Metternich. No enigmas: at the court of Vienna are brave and healthy, who love their father and we understand no other than plain language. fear God.

Hofer. Your Excellency commanded me to be Metternich. You want something, and it is brief: I was. This is the heron's feather which neither money nor promotion. I believe I am I moved merrily over the Alps, when not an eagle's as acute as most people, yet here I confess my

was stirring. If the slaughter of thirty thousand dullness.

enemies is worth a recompense, I come at the Hofer. If I have devoted my little property, i instigation of those who followed me, to ask one. which is always dearer to the possessor than a great

Metternich. I expected it: never was an audi- one; as every shrub and hillock is familiar to him, ence asked of me, of any other minister, which and the scene of some jo ality, some tenderness, did not begin or end so. But, friend, many years or some kindness ; if I have hazarded and exposed of war have exhausted the treasury: England is my life in all places and seasons, for him whom penurious : and we have innumerable young men, we both are serving, grant me only a cell or a of high rank and great promise, disappointed in dungeon in this city. I have a country to defend, their hopes of preferment: beside, who ordered I have a family to educate, I have duties to teach you to take up arms?

and to perform ; and your Excellency knows that Hojer. My oath of allegiance, the voice of my the French police has traced me into the Austrian country, my hatred of the French, and my contempt states and has demanded that I should be delivered of the Italians, by whom principally our towns and up. Never shall this happen. I could not previllages were garrisoned.

serve the dominions of my master, but I will preMetternich. You would fain be another William serve his honour. Little did I ever dream of Tell.

prisons : to us Tyrolese they are horrible as hell, Hofer. As willingly as William Tell, now among and like hell the abodes of crime only: but he the saints in heaven, would, if he were living, be whom I have sworn to obey must do nothing unanother Andrew Hofer. We are creatures too worthy of his name and station. Rather would I humble for jealousy; we have neither rank nor waste away my strength in this dreary asylum ; beauty, neither silk hosiery nor powdered cawl ; rather would I live among the unholy and unjust ; we write no poems, challenge no club for attention, rather would I, if such be God's ordinance, lose and solicit no clerk for preferment.

the blossoming of my brave lads at home, which Metternich. I have found your name in the is worth a thousand times more, not only than all French gazettes, and you have just now men- the future, but than all the past of life. There are tioned it, I think, but really I quite forget what it those about them who will tell them of me, and may be.

there are places to take them into, on the cliffs Hofer. Andrew Hofer.

and in the valleys, in many a copse and craggy Metternich. Such is the tenderness of the Em- lane, where my name, summer or winter, will peror my master for those who have served him sound in their ears right well. faithfully, that, although you are no longer his Metternich. Mr. Hofer, I cannot enter into these subject, yet, as you are a person of known bravery discussions. It appears by your own acknowledgand of some repute in your county, if you will ment that there will be little loss on either side. only change your name and enter into the service Your children will be taken care of, you say, as an Austrian, I myself will venture to mention whatever may happen, and a trifle at most can you as worthy of the earliest promotion, and, be the damage to your affairs. What then do within three or four years at furthest, I entertain you miss ? the best-founded hopes that you may be made a Hofer. The sight of my native hills, my homecorporal.

stead, my garden-plot of sweet herbs, the young

« AnteriorContinuar »