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belief a very sincere, in conduct a most defec- as they show themselves, encrusted with all the tive one: but if any ratiocination led me away, a dirtiness they contract in public life, in all the fugitive from my father's house, and deaf to the debility of ignorance, in all the distortion of prereclamations of my dearest friends, still what judice, in all the reptile trickery of partisanship, could so harden me, as that I should turn into who would care about the greater part of what are ridicule one who had warned me of danger, and called the greatest ? Principles and ideas are who had offered to accompany me in adversity ? my objects : they must be reflected from high and I leave him without thanks; I abandon him with low, but they must also be exhibited where out regret; and am I never to be reminded of his people can see them best, and are most inclined innocence and gentleness, but when hunger or to look at them. fortune has led me, "nothing loth,” to the “warm English Visiter. You, by proper attention, or precincts” of a pigeon-pie? Afterward I hear of even by abstinence from attack, might have gone him insulted by the ignorant, persecuted by the out among the commissioners to America. bigot, dragged before the judge, delivered to the Landor. I go out nowhere: here I live, here I executioner. What then if this person, whom die perhaps. A sea-voyage of very few days, al(say I know no more of him) I know to be the though I suffer no sickness, makes me weary of purest, the gentlest, the most beneficent of men, life itself. What a situation is that, in which, should be ready to die, nay, should have died, for next to the sight of port, a tempest is the thing me! Do I want a godhead to shake my heart at most desirable! I would not be embarked two this ? Humanity, at the report of it, feels it months, to possess the kingdom of Montezuma through all her fibres, and drops on the earth in united with that of Aurungzebe. tears.
English Visiter. You appear to have no ambi. Landor. Preserve this character : foster and tion, at least of this kind : you live upon a fifth of encourage these thoughts, which must render you your income, willingly or unwillingly, and live happier and better than any other can do. No- handsomely and hospitably: what do you want thing of envy will follow them; much of gaiety then ? may; particularly if they assist you in recollecting Landor. That which I told you before , . to of what materials our modern greatness is com- become a king's friend. Peace, freedom, indeposed, and that the only thing in which monarchs pendence for nations, these shall buy me : and, if now imitate God, is in forming their first men nothing but the humiliation of their betters can out of the dust. Better stuff was required for win the hearts of rulers, I would almost kiss their court-equipage in ages esteemed far more barba- hands to obtain them. Had avarice or ambition
We had then our knights of the pink or guided me, remember I started with a larger the lily or the daisy ; pleasant, alert, companion- hereditary estate than those of Pitt, Fox, Canning, able, jovial; at present we have knights of the and twenty more such, amounted to; and not eating-house, baronets of the whiskey-bottle, lord- scraped together in this, or the last, or the preprovosts of the letter-press, and lords of session at ceding century, in ages of stockjobbing and pecuthe gazette and magazine. Certain hands, patient lation, of cabinet-adventure and counterfeit nobi(you would swear) of everything but a glove, are lity. My education, and that which education armed with clubs and cudgels that seem cognate works upon or produces, was not below theirs : with them; and certain eyes are peeping forth yet certain I am that, if I had applied to be made from their lattices at every inlet of literature, a tide-waiter on the Thames, the minister would that those who enter without the watchword may have refused me. In the county where my chief be well smitten or well splashed. Formerly titles estate lies, a waste and unprofitable one, but the were inherited by men who could not write ; they third I believe in extent of any there, it was renow are conferred on men who will not let others. presented to me that the people were the most Theirs may have been the darker age ; ours is the lawless in Great Britain; and the two most enduller. In theirs a high spirit was provoked; in lightened among the magistrates wished and ours proscribed. In theirs the bravest were pre-exhorted me to become one. It would have been eminent; in ours the basest.
a great hindrance to my studies; yet a sense of English Visiter. One objection to your Imagi- public good, and a desire to promote it by any nary Conversations is, that you represent some sacrifice, induced me to propose the thing to the living characters as speaking with greater powers duke of Beaufort, the lord-lieutenant. He could of mind than they possess, vile as they are in have heard nothing more of me, good or evil, than conduct.
that I was a studious man, and that, although I Landor. It can not be expected, by those who belonged to no society, club, or party, and never know of what materials the cabinets of Europe sat in my life at a public dinner, I should oppose are composed, that any person in them should his family in elections. The information, however reason so conclusively, and with such illustrations, probable, was wrong. I had votes in four counas some who are introduced. This, if it is a blem- ties, and could influence fifty or sixty, and perhaps ish in a book, is one which the book would be many more; yet I never did or will influence one worse without. The practice of Shakspeare and in any case, nor ever give one while Representation Sophocles is a better apology for me than I could is either cheat or coaxer. The noble duke declined offer of my own. If men were to be represented my proposal.
These bells recall my attention from what is English Visiter. The death of Ferdinand must personal and from what is worthless.
be felt as a general and great calamity, thus fixing, English Visiter. How they clatter and jingle ! as it does, or strongly checking, the levity of the The ringers are pulling every bell-rope in the Florentines ; a people far indeed from cruel, whole city as fast and as furiously as they can. the least so perhaps of any in Italy, where none
Landor. The sound of one only, the largest in deserve the name; but the most selfish, the most the place, tolling slowly at equal intervals, makes ungrateful, the most inconstant. A ruler of the a different impression on the hearer. We are Romans, sick and weary of their baseness, wished impatient of these, which are rung in the same they had but one neck. I have often wished the manner to announce a festival : instead of impa- Florentines had as much as one heart among them. tience at the others, we wait in suspense for every To-day I think my wish is accomplished. stroke, and the pulse of the heart replies to it. Landlor. Although there is hardly one of them No people but the English can endure a long who would not with whatever ignominy flee from continuation of gravity and sadness : none pay the death, were flight possible, yet the appearance of same respect to the dead. Here not only the it in others has little terror, little awe.
The reapoorer, but householders and fathers of families, son is, the sight is familiar, and unaccompanied are thrown together into a covered cart; and by solemnity or decorum. The priests and family, when enow of them are collected, they are carried even when the wealthy and distinguished are off by night, and cast naked into the ditch in the carried to their last home, walk rapidly along with burial-ground. No sheet about them, no shroud the bearers of the body, and seem only to be thinkexternally, no coffin, no bier, no emblem of mor- ing how they shall soonest get it out of the way, tality; none of sorrow, none of affection, none of and do some other business. hope. Corpses are gathered like rotten gourds English Visiter. Religion in fact does not deand cracked cucumbers, and thrown aside where mand much anxiety from us for those who sleep; none could find if any looked for them. Among and Philosophy is indifferent whether the pace people in easy circumstances, wife, children, rela- with which the defunct are carried to the grave be tives, friends, all leave the house when one of the quick or slow. family is dying: the priest alone remains with Landor. Christianity is so kind, that one obhim : the last sacrament solves and sunders every jection to it, the worst indeed and the weakest, is human tie. The eyes, after wandering over the the impracticability of performing all the kindness altered scenes of domestic love, over the silent it enjoins. It demands no anxiety; it demonwastes of friendship, are reconciled to whatever is strates on the other hand how every one may be most lugubrious in death, and are closed at last removed. Our English burial service is the most by mercenaries and strangers.
impressive thing to be found in any religion, old My children were playing on the truly English or recent: it is framed on the character of the turf before the Campo Santo in Pisa, when he to people, and preserves it. I have seen every other whom is committed the business of carrying off part of clerical duty neglected or traversed; but the dead, and whose house is in one corner, walked I never saw a clergyman who failed in this, up to them, and bade them come along with him, when he consigned his parishioner to the grave. telling them he would show them two more such As for philosophy, if our philosophy tell us any. pretty little ones. He opened the doors of a cart- thing which shocks or troubles or perplexes our house, in which were two covered carts: the humanity, let us doubt it, and let us put off the larger contained (I hear) several dead bodies, stark- examination of it a long while. naked: in the smaller were two infants, with not English Visiter. Did you know the Granduke? even a flower shed over them. They had died in Landor. I am the only Englishman in Florence the foundling-hospital the night before. Such was who did not attend his court, and the only one their posture, they appeared to hide their faces one he ever omitted to salute. from the other in play. As my children had not English Visiter. Upon my word, you might been playing with them, this appearance struck have expected it: and yet I hear he received the neither : but the elder said, “ Teresa ! who shut exiles of Naples, and, when it was told him that up these mimmi? I will tell papa. Why do not his Neapolitan Majesty could not be present at it they come out and play till bed-time?"
the few days he was here, if such rebels were The “mimmi” had been out, poor little souls ! admitted, he replied, " It would be hard if kings and had played . . till bed-time.
had not as much liberty as their subjects." English Visiter. And papa, though he could not Landor. Equitable, humane, incomparable alter the thing, has been collecting a rod in every prince! Whatever you hear good and gracious of walk of his, in high-road or by-road, for those him, you may well believe. I saw him first at whose negligences and inhumanities are greater in Pisa, where he resided in winter, without pomp greater matters; which rod some years hence will and state, and walked about the streets, and in scourge many baeks, and be laid on by many the country, with his son or any other friend. The hands, amid the shouts of nations.
Pisans, accustomed to meet him every day, noticed Landor. So be it ! although he who tied the him only as they notice a brother or father: he twigs be never thought of; although he be cast drew no crowd about him. At the extremity of before his time into the cart-house.
the principal square is an ancient church, dedi
cated to Saint Catharine; and in this church there with us in our regrets : your mind is abstracted, happened to be a festival. As I lose no opportu- your ideas and thoughts absorbed : you want stunity of hearing music where people are silent, pendous men, prodigies of genius. observing the red silk festoons float over the Landor. Not I indeed, my friend: I want church-door I went in. There were few present: honest ones : and Ferdinand was both honest and within the rails I saw only the officiating priests, wise. If his wisdom did not fly off perpetually in the Granduke, and Savi the professor of botany, sparks and splinters, it was only the better and who had entered with him, was seated by him, the more useful for it. and spoke to him from time to time. The service The greater part of geniuses may be measured being finished, the Granduke bowed with pecu- by pocket-rules : others require a succession of liar courtesy, and only to one person; it was in triangles, must be surveyed from stations upon the direction where I stood. Two or three days mountain-heads, and the exact computation of afterward, a worthy priest who had thrown aside their altitude is to be determined but after some his gown and had taken a uniform, in the course ages. of conversation with me, said gravely, “ But really, Of these Alps and Ararats, in the various remy dear frind, we may extend too far our preju- gions of the world there may be five or six perhaps. dices and dislikes. If you could be prevailed upon The heavy stick their poles in them, clamber up, to go but once to court, you would find him the best and protest they see nothing extraordinary: the soul in the world. Savi tells me you did not lighter one, more disappointed still, cries, “I return the salute of the Granduke."
thought they were above the clouds ! however, My heart sank within me, deeper than ever any I will cut my name upon the summit, and break courtier's did, at the charge of inattention : for it off something." has more room to work in, and takes it all. Fer- Florentine Visiter. I was about to mention dinand still continued to notice with his usual that Ferdinand was not indeed a subject for tricondescension and affability my wife and little gonometry. In abilities he was on a level, or boy, whom he met every day in some place or little more than on a level, with the greater part of other, but always turned his eyes from me. mankind: but I believe that no man living had
Nevertheless I persevered in repairing my fault, so accurate a judgment where judgment is of most in my own eyes at least. I elevated my hat above importance. His sense of justice and right was my head long before I met him, and passed with perfect. It was perfect from an exquisite fibre out a look toward him.
and most delicate tact, and from an early and He soon forgave me, or forgot me: which uninterrupted practice of it. Sovrans are thought answered the same purpose.
not to have the whole of their apanage, unless Princes are more offended at a slight inattention they have some embossed pieces of wit placed than at almost the worst thing you can do or say beside them. Ferdinand was not facetious; on or write against them. A dead thorn or the the contrary, he was rather grave, and would not smallest pebble may hurt or molest a Wellington have fathered the best joke in the world. And for a moment, according to the part it acts upon : truly I know not how it happens, but we Florenand I, who amid the powerful of the earth am notines, who are famous for feigning all other things, better, may have pained in my ignorance a ten. never feign wit for anyone. derer bosom than beats among the surviving English Visiter. Your Machiavelli, I think, can masters of mankind.
not be fairly accused of doing it; who, wishing May Leopold, who applies his studies to the to attribute a few smartnesses, practical and the history of his country in order to write it fully and oretical, to Castruccio Castracani, rather than faithfully, illustrate by his life the last pages of it, invent them himself, went back to the ancients and, after a longer course, be succeeded by a son for them, and poured them into his havresac dry as virtuous and affectionate !
as date-fruit. A long silence followed. I was little disposed Florentine Visiter. Valets and chamberlains, to converse, or my visiter to go away. We heard and other attendants on Ferdinand, have related a voice of inquiry at the ante-chamber door, and I to their friends and acquaintances many of his started to give orders that no person should be sayings, which would seem witty and sharp, if admitted, when there stood before me a worthy good nature did not cover them from point to man, who had offered my family a window in his hilt. The other day, as you know (for I rememhouse yesterday, to see from it the procession of ber you laughed heartily at it), his remark was Corpus Domini. After expressing the hope that excellent. The wit was, like the ananas, sharp, no accident or indisposition had prevented it, sweet, refreshing, beautiful; and it was safely “You have heard, no doubt, the distressing news," tangible from its seasonable ripeness. added he. “ Even those who were unfriendly to English Visiter. Sir, our friend Landor here is Ferdinand and his government, lament his loss, a fond lover of wit, but, like many fond lovers, is and speak becomingly of his character.”
without the object of his affections. I am sure English Visiter. We are pained at hearing ill he will gladly hear the thing over again, if you of the living, and at hearing good of the dead : will favour me by giving us it. of the recently dead at least.
Florentine Visiter. When the only son of Florentine Visiter. You do not appear to unite! Marchese Bartolomei had taken a wife without
the consent of his family, the father, as you may sentence of condemnation. Let him rest where suppose, was indignant. He ran to Palazzo Pitti, he is, and be, like others, amenable to the laws." demanded an audience of the Granduke, and was Landor. At my arrival on the continent, it readmitted. After he had particularised the whole tained among its ruins two public men of worth, affair, with comments, no doubt, in abundance, Kosciusko and Gianni : the one I had seen in “Well, my friend, how can I serve you ?” said his England, the other I visited in Gonoa. He was Highness; “what can I do in the business ?” in his ninetieth year: an age to which no other
* Highness ! it is against the law," answered minister of king or prince or republic has attained. Bartolomei.
But the evil passions never preyed on the heart of “My dear marchese, now the thing is done, and Gianni : he enjoyed good health from good spirits, can not be undone or altered, would it not be better and those from their only genuine source, a clear to be reconciled to the young people ?"
conscience. Accustomed, as I had been, to see “ Never, never, never, while I have breath in chattering mountebanks leap one after another my body.”
upon the same stage, and play the same tricks “ Patience! my good Bartolomei! Consider they had exploded, first amid the applauses and a little ! reflect a moment! pray of what age is afterward amid the execration of the people, I was your son ?”
refreshed and comforted by the calmpess and “Old enough to be wiser.”
simplicity of this venerable old man. Occasionally “We all are; people say so at least : and he displayed a propensity to satire, not the broadyet.
faced buffoonery and washy loquacity of his nation, “He is near upon eighteen.”
but the apposite and delicate wit which once “A mere boy: unfortunately for him just one sparkled in the better societies of Athens and of remove beyond boy’s chastisement. I hope you Paris. He has left behind him a history of his would not punish him, as matters stand.” own times, which never will be published in ours. “I came for justice, Highness !”
If any leading state of Europe had been governed “ The laws, you say, will give it : you shall have by such a minister, how harmless would have been it; do not doubt it. Be calm; be comforted; the French revolution out of France, how transithink again upon it.”
tory in. Patient, provident, moderate, imperturb“I have thought again and again and more able, he new on all occasions what kind and what than enough about it. I am resolved to punish intensity of resistance should be opposed to viohim."
| lence and tumult. “Let him have her then. Come Bartolomei, Florentine Visiter. I will adduce two instances, I am going to my piano-forte : would it amuse in which my friend here will correct me, should I you?”
anywhere fall into an error. Ricci, bishop of “ Highness ! I take my leave."
Pistoja and Prato, had excited the indignation of The last of his public acts admitting to view his diocesans, by an attempt to introduce the the gait and whole gesture of his character, was prayers in Italian, and to abolish some festivals displayed by him about a month afterward, that and processions. The populace of Prato, headed is, about a month ago. A person now in Florence by a confraternity, broke forth into acts of rebelhad been expelled by their Holinesses of the Sa- lion: the bishop's palace was assaulted, his life cred Alliance, from France, Spain, and Piedmont, threatened : the church-bells summoned all true and perhaps from other kingdoms. He came believers to the banner : the broken bones of hither without a passport, and was ordered by the saints were exposed, and invited others to be president of the buon governo to leave the city. broken. Leopold, on hearing it, shocked in his Disconsolate, desolate, desperate, he resolved to system of policy, forgot at the moment the mildpresent a memorial to the Granduke. “From the ness of his character, and ordered the military at various states I have passed through, I can show hand to march against the insurgents. Gianni nothing," said he, “but orders to leave the coun- was sent for: he entered the instant this comtry.” The mild prince sent immediately for the mand was issued. “What disturbs your Highness?" president of the buon governo, who thinking, on said he mildly. such occasions at least, that expedition was best, “ You ought to have been informed, Gianni," would have banished the stranger. “If he is, or answered the Granduke, “that the populace of if you think him to be, a bad subject,” said Ferdi- Prato has resisted my authority and insulted Ricci. nand, “it is your office to watch him narrowly. My troops march against them.” Would you drive him out to save trouble ? Shall “I have already despatched a stronger force the whole earth be interdicted to him because he than your Highness has done, which by your perhas been troublesome in one part of it, or sus- mission must remain in the city.” pected in another? If he were worthy of impri- “On free-quarters until the madmen are quiet. sonment, there is little doubt that he would have But how could you collect a stronger force so been imprisoned; or if of death, that he would instantaneously?" have been executed. They permit him to live, “Instead of two regiments, I despatched two and would leave him no place to live in. He must crosses ; instead of cannon and balls and powder, be somewhere. To hunt and pursue the poor a nail-box, a hammer, and a napkin. If reinforcecreature through the world, is worse than any ments are wanted, we can find a dice-box and a
sponge at Corsini's, on good security. At this revenues from the territory are little more than
Landor. What reed or rush, in its rottenest The maximum or assize had been abolished by plight, but serves for the spawn of our aristocracy Gianni : lands and provisions rose in value : the to stick on! Let us leave the thievish sister of people was discontented, broke into his house, the Rey Netto, and return to a prince who had drank his wine, cut his beds in pieces, and carried nothing in common with him but the baptismal off the rest of his furniture. Leopold, who had name. It was feared by the friends of an eloquent succeeded to the empire, and was residing at pleader, whose conduct in the parliament of Naples Vienna, decreed that the utmost severity should gave no party satisfaction, that, at the instigation be exercised against all who had borne any part in of the Austrian or French ambassador, he would this sedition. It was difficult to separate the more be excepted from the asylum granted here to the guilty from the less, as every man convicted of Neapolitan constitutionalists. Whereupon, aldelinquency might hope to extenuate his offence though I seldom speak on politics, I could not by accusing his enemy of one more flagrant. refrain from saying in the presence of a courtGianni, who could neither disobey nor defer the lady, “Constitutionalists are unpardonable : we mandate of the emperor, engaged Commendatore Englishmen have abandoned them in Sicily to the Pazzi to invite some hundreds of the people to a sword and dungeon, and we have deluded and banquet in the court-yard of his palace.
betrayed them in Naples and in Spain : their ruin Now while the other families of those our Flo- comes in all directions from us : yet in regard to rentines, who in ages past had served the bustling this gentleman, I can not believe he will be exlittle city, were neglected for their obscurity, pelled from Tuscany for thinking with every wise shunned for their profligacy, or despised for their and honest man of his country. I will add, of avarice and baseness, that of Riccardi was still in Europe. True, he expressed his thoughts better esteem with the citizens for its splendid hospi- than others: but it is as unreasonable to dislike a tality, that of Pazzi for its patronage of the people. man because he is eloquent, as it would be to like The invitation was unsuspected. They met, they one because he is a stammerer.” feasted, they drank profusely ; every man brought It was mentioned to the Granduke, not in malice, forward his merits; what each had done, and what but as the best thing or among the best said the cach was ready to do, was openly declared and day before. “Dice bene” was his answer. carefully recorded. On the following morning, English Visiter. I never could discover the before daybreak, forty were on the road to the reason why people in authority should exert more galleys: but most of them were soon released. The power in other words should give themselves people is never in such danger as from its idol. more trouble) in molesting and plaguing their
English Visiter. Scarcely anything is more in- fellow-creatures than in helping them. This is teresting than the history of this central hive of too common in the world, indeed almost general; honeyed and stinging little creatures, your Flo- and I may say with hardly an exception in those rentines. Although they have now lost their who have risen to high station from obscurity. original figure and nature for the most-part, and Florentine Visiter. I would not voluntarily possess not even their own lily to alight on, yet illustrate your thesis, if the reflection did not fall they hum, and show wonderful instinct. They upon another admirable feature among his who were not created for the gloom of Dante, but they now is lying under the canopy of death. are alive and alert in the daylight of Petrarca and Our archbishop, three years ago, ordered his six Boccaccio. They live under a government not best horses to be harnessed for the richest of his oppressive, nor troublesome, nor exacting; and state-carriages, went in it to the palace, remarked in this warm security they inform us that there is to the Granduke that Lent was approaehing, that in Italy a petty state governed by a woman, who luxury was enormous, that immorality, was uniconstantly sends after the Opera to the innkecpers versal, and that nothing could arrest it but a rigid of her city, and demands a portion of what has observance of the ancient fasts, which had of late been spent among them within the day by strangers. times been grievously neglected. In fact, it pained If many carriages have stopped at their doors, in him to report it, the Florentines were known, in passing through the place, the same visit is made, that holy season, to eat flesh ! the same tax imposed. She has forbidden the “The fault is in great measure mine," said exportation of pictures, offering to purchase them Ferdinand, “who have enabled them to do it. at the value: she has taken several to herself, and Immorality, which I hope is not so universal as has never paid for them. Is it not as proper for your lordship thinks, must be discountenanced the Saints of the Holy Alliance to exercise the and checked. Let you and me try . , legumes." duties of high police in such instances, as against The archbishop, the fattest man in Florence, or the public, where great nations, and such as were perhaps in Italy, and accused of excesses which go never subject to them, rise unanimously and de- beyond the stomach a little, reddened at the inmand a reform of government? England main- sinuation, and took his leave. tains a minister at the court of this woman, whose I could recount (for memory in hours like these