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And calmly can Pietra smile-concealing,
As if forgotten, vengeance, hate, remorse,-
Deep in his soul concentrating its force;
power exalt the bosom all its own ? The days roll on, and still Bianca's lot
Seems as a path of Eden. Thou might'st deem
To wake her soul from life's enchanted dream;
Seems with some deep mysterious cloud o'ercast.
The love whose glow expression's power surpassed ? Lo! on Pietra's brow a sullen gloom Is gathering day by day, prophetic of her doom ! Oh! can he meet that eye of light serene,
Whence the pure spirit looks in radiance forth, And view that bright intelligence of mien,
Formed to express but thoughts of loftiest worth Yet deem that vice could desecrate such fane?How shall he e'er confide in aught on earth again ? In silence oft, with strange, vindictive gaze,
Transient, yet filled with meaning stern and wild,
Then turns away, and fixes on her child
Of the blue deep which bathes Italia's shore,
Grey rocks, with foliage richly shadowed o'er,
The green Maremma far around it spread
Of brooding sadness o'er the scene is shed.
Mid founts, and cypress-walks, and olive-groves:
And still around the sea-breeze lightly roves ;
The summer air, deceit in every sigh,
Thy sires, Pietra, dwelt, in days gone by ; And strains of mirth and melody have flowed Where stands, all voiceless now, the still abode.
And thither doth her lord, remorseless, bear
Bianca with her child-his altered eye
While his dark spirit seals their doom—to die;
Its blue transparence with the skies, the deep,
Scarce murmurs as it heaves, in glassy sleep,
Decked with young flowers the rich Maremma glows;
And the fresh myrtle in exuberance blows; And far around, a deep and sunny bloom Mantles the scene, as garlands robe the tomb. Yes ! 'tis thy tomb, Bianca! fairest flower!
The voice that calls thee speaks in every gale,
Bids the young roses of thy cheek turn pale,
Daughter of beauty! in thy spring-morn fading !
Of lingering death, which thus thine eye are shading ! Nerve, then, thy heart to meet that bitter lot, 'Tis agony-but soon to be forgot! What deeper pangs maternal hearts can wring,
Than hourly to behold the spoiler's breath Shedding, as mildews on the bloom of spring,
O'er infancy's fair cheek the blight of death ? To gaze and shrink, as gathering shades o'ercast The pale, smooth brow, yet watch it to the last ! Such pangs were thine, young mother! Thou didst bend
O'er thy fair boy, and raise his drooping head,
Keep thy sad midnight-vigils near his bed,
thee-on thee !- who couldst no aid supply. There was no voice to cheer thy lonely woe
Through those dark hours;-to thee the wind's low sigh, And the faint murmur of the ocean's flow,
Came like some spirit whispering—“ He must die !"
But thou, devoted ! hast not long to weep;
And thou shalt share thine infant's holy sleep.
But ask not, hope not, one relenting thought
From him who doomed thee thus to waste away ;
Broods in dark triumph o'er thy slow decay,
When thou, bright victim ! on his dreams shalt rise
A martyr's shrine, be hallowed in his eyes !
Young sufferer! fades before thee. Thou art lone--
Thine hour of death is all affliction's own!
Through joyous Italy resounds no more;
Fairer than aught in summer's glowing store.
Softly it came, to give luxuriance birth;
And bor them their summons from the earth!
O lost and loveliest one! adorns thy grave,
The dew-drops glisten, and the wild flowers wave--
* “ La voilà, telle que la mort nous l'a faite !"
Bossuets Funeral Oration on the Princess Henrietta. + This poem was written several years since, and intended for immediate publication, but withheld, on account of a coincidence of subject between its story and one chosen about the same time by a popular writer.
CHAPTERS FROM THE NOTE-BOOK OF A
AMONG the triAing grievances and petty misfortunes to which the pedestrian in London is exposed, I know not if there be any much more annoying, than being perpetually saluted and accosted by persons whose faces are either altogether unknown, or, if known, almost entirely forgotten. Independently of the thousand and one other objections which I have to this, the eternal tax which it imposes upon one's time seems quite sufficient to justify my abhorrence of it. If I am at all singular in my opinion on this subject, I must surely be of a very curious temperament; for it appears to me quite impossible that any one can be found who will not readily unite with me in condemning the prevalence of the practice. Can there be a greater nuisance than to be compelled to carry back one's memory over an indefinite length of time, to endeavõur to find something that may assist in discovering who it is to whom one is indebted for the silent acknowledgment of a bow, or the more familiar, though respectful, inquiry as to one's health ? So long as the inconvenience is confined to the former, it is merely negative, and therefore may be more easily endured; but when it extends to the latter, it becomes a positive evil, to suppress which every man is bound to render assistance. There are, indeed, occasions on which the annoyance does not stop even here, but when the assurance of some finished coxcomb threatens to overwhelm you with a torrent of loquacity upon subjects which, to you, are totally indifferent, and respecting persons about whom you feel not the slightest interest. How frequently have I deprecated the fulfilment of the prophecy to which Horace so pathetically alludes !
Instat fatum mihi triste, Sabella
Si sapiat, vitet, simul atque adoleverit ætas.
everely from the annoyance of which I am complaining, as that to which I have the honour of belonging
the lawyers. The truth of this assertion will be apparent to every man who reflects, for a single instant, on the infinite variety of persons with whom, day by day, with scarcely any intermission, we are brought into contact and communication. Attorneys, attorneys' clerks, plaintiffs, defendants, prosecutors, and witnesses, are so numerous, and follow each other in such rapid succession, that all attempts at individualizing appear to me utterly hopeless; at least, as far as I am concerned, I can with truth affirm that, in those which I have made, I have failed twenty times in proportion to every one in which I have succeeded. Memory of faces is considered to be peculiarly a regal qualification. Alexander the Great is reported to have known the name of every man in his army; and some of our own royal family have been said never to forget a person to whom they have been once introduced. I am sure I
envy most unfeignedly the possessors of so rare a gift; there are few qualities more useful, and scarce any, a deficiency in which is more likely to give offence. There are very few men who can endure with equanimity the consciousness of having been forgotten: a failure in recollection is construed into a personal insult; and many, who have been previously friends, or, at all events, well-wishers, have, from such a circumstance, been converted into foes. The accident which has awakened this train of thought in
mind has brought with it to my recollection circumstances so singular in their nature, - so far removed from the ordinary transactions of life,-as well to deserve a place among those memorials which I am thus endeavouring to rescue from oblivion.
It is now about six months ago that, walking down Oxford-street, I turned rather hastily round the corner that leads into Tottenham Court-road; while, at the same moment, a well-dressed man, who was passing in the contrary direction, pushed somewhat violently against me. The apparent rudeness of the man's manner attracted my attention towards him; and a momentary glance sufficed to convince me that there was about him that indifference to giving offence, and that readiness to resent any remonstrance upon his conduct, which would render him at once an object both to be feared and shunned by every quiet and peaceable pedestrian. My turning round caused him to do the same. For a single instant there was, in his face, that expression of vulgar defiance which seemed rather to joy than grieve at having caused pain to another; but the next moment, and before I had time either to turn away from, or to address him, he respectfully pulled off his hat, begged my pardon for having unintentionally offended me, and passed on. The act of raising his hat gave to me a sight of his features: the moment I saw them, I felt persuaded of that of which the sudden alteration in his manner convinced me still more forcibly, that they were not altogether unknown to me. Who he was, where, and upon what occasion, I had seen him, I tried in vain to recollect. I turned round a second time, to endeavour to assist my memory by another view of his person--but he was gone. He had evidently walked at the very top of his speed for the purpose of avoiding my recognition. I could just distinguish his figure among the crowd passing onwards towards St. Giles's Church; and, for a single instant, he turned his head, as if to ascertain whether he was watched. Probably, his
eye informed him that I was looking after him; for in another moment his head was averted, and I lost sight of him altogether. The man's countenance was so remarkable, that I could not feel satisfied until I had used every endeavour to recal to my memory where I had previously seen it. All my attempts, however, were fruitless; and I was continually vexing myself on account of the badness of my memory, until succeeding events gradually wore away the impression which had been made upon my mind, when, a few days ago, nearly in the same place, I again met the same individual. He was walking with a female companion, and I caught sight of him some time before I reached him. This second opportunity accomplished for me that which I had previously so anxiously attempted in vain; it recalled to my recollection every circumstance connected with the man,—who he was
-when, where, and the occasions upon which I had previously become acquainted with his person.