Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

After seizing Oliver, and putting intercession of his own family or counhim to the most cruel tortures, without trymen, he wrote to the Duke of Milan, extracting from him any thing but re- reminding him of services rendered to peated protestations of his total igno- that prince by his father, and urging rance of the transaction, the Council of him to exert his powerful influence with Ten cited his master Foscari before the government of Venice, to obtain a them, and treated him in the same bar- remission of his sentence. This letter barous and unjustifiable manner. His was intrusted to a merchant journeying assertions of innocence, while under from Canea to that capital, who, inthe endurance of the rack, were but stead of forwarding it, as he had faithslightly attended to by his merciless fully promised to the Duke on his arri. judges. “They convinced (says Dr. val at Venice, treacherously laid it be Moore the court of his firmness, but, fore the chiefs of the Council of Ten. by no means of his innocence." Still, It should here be premised, that, by however, they could not sentence to the laws of the Venetian Republic, its death the son of one of the noblest subjects were strictly enjoined, under families in Venice, without something the severest penalties, from applying like a legal proof of his guilt. They secretly, or otherwise, for the protecaccordingly satisfied their thirst of ven- tion of foreign princes, in any matters geance for the assassination of their col- referring to the decisions of their own league, by banishing him to Canea, in Court of Judicature. The consequence the Island of Candia.

of the infringement of this edict in With the Romeo of our immortal young Foscari, was, that he was immepoet, banishment from his family and diately remanded from Candia, and infriends would appear to have been carcerated in the prison for state crimconsidered by Foscari as a punishment inals at Venice; from whence, by an to which death had been preferable ; unwarrantable stretch of the prerogaalthough we do not learn that he left tive of his judges, he was once more behind him any fair Juliet, whose lam- brought up to be put to the torture, in entations embittered still farther a doom order to elicit from him the motives by already sufficiently severe. We trust, which he had been actuated, in addreshowever, that his Lordship will, with sing the Duke of Milan. his usual discrimination, have supplied In answer to this inquiry, he declare a feature which could not fail of con- ed, that, conscious of the perfidy of his ducing, in an important degree, to the messenger, as well as of the punishinterest of his tragedy, for, as he himself ment that would, in all probability, solo has sagaciously remarked of women, low his offence, in endeavouring to " All know, without the sex, our sonnets

conciliate the good offices of a foreign Would seem unfinish'd, like their untrimm'd bon

prince ; he had, in a fit of despair, adnets."

dressed the Duke of Milan, as he foreBut, to proceed with our relation : saw that it would occasion his removal 66 The unfortunate youth (says the au- to Venice ; the only opportunity that thor of Zeluco) bore his exile with was ever likely to be afforded him of more impatience than he had done the obtaining an interview with his relarack; he often wrote to his relations tives and friends; a consummation and friends, praying them to inter- which he professed he most ardently cede in his behalf, that the term of his desired, although it were only to be banishment might be abridged, and that purchased by his death. he might be permitted to return to his This act of filial piety availed him family before he died. All these ap- but little with his inquisitors. He was plications were fruitless; those to whom ordered back to Candia, there to remain he addressed himself had never inter- in close confinement for the space of fered in his favour for fear of giving one year; besides which, his banishoffence to the obdurate council, or had ment from Venice to that place, was interfered in vain."

made perpetual, and a threat held out At the end of five years' exile, have to him, that if he solicited again in any ing given up all hope of return thro' the way, either directly or indirectly, the

[ocr errors]

aid of foreign princes, his imprisonment grief of the unhappy father still more should only terminate with his life. acute, who was well aware how fruit

The father of Foscari had filled the less would be his endeavours in his office of Doge for thirty years ; but, son's behalf. Unable to support the notwithstanding the influence which so anguish of a separation under such disexalted a situation ought to have created tressing circumstances, the old man for him with the Senate, in a case of sunk into a state of insensibility, from such flagrant injustice as the condemna- which he did not recover until the ves. tion of his son, (without any proof, or sel, that was to bear his son once more even reasonable grounds for suspecting into exile, had spread its sails for Canhim of the offence which had been laid dia. The grief of his aged consort has to his charge,) he was upable to obtain been movingly described by those who from the council any remission of the have taken upon themselves the record young man's punishment. He, how- of this melancholy history. The overever, visited his son in the place whelming misery of these unfortunate wherein he was confined during his parents, interested, at length, one or stay at Venice, and deploring in the two of the most powerful senators; who most moving terms, his inability to applied with so much earnestness for serve him, exhorted him to bear with the pardon of the young Foscari, that fortitude the evil, however severe and they were on the point of accomplishundeserved, for there was no remedy. ing their object, when information arri. The scene of Foscari's interview with ved from Candia,that the noble-hearted his parents, for his mother was also youth had expired in prison, a few present at this meeting, has, we doubt months after his return. not, been pathetically dwelt upon by it was not until some time had elapsLord Byron. Ilis son replied, (says ed that the real murderer was discoverDr. Moore,) that he was incapable of ed. Nicholas Erizzo, a Venetian of attending to the advice of his father, high rank, being a few years afterwards that, however others could support the upon his death-bed, confessed that in dismal loneliness of a prison, he could revenge for a supposed affront,put upon not; that his heart was formed for him by the senator Donato, he had friendship and the reciprocal endear. committed the assassination for which ments of private life, without which his Foscari had, in a great measure, undersoul sank into dejection worse than gone the penalty. death, from which alone be should look Before this disclosure took place, for relief, if he should again be confin- the sorrows of the aged Doge were at ed to the horrors of a prison ; and, an end. He died a few months after melting into tears, he sunk at his fath- his son. Although he is said to have er's feet, imploring him to take.com- relied confidently upon the innocence passion on a son who had ever loved of his child, it is much to be deplored him with the most dutiful affection, and that he did not live until the odious who was perfectly innocent of the stigma, which had been attached to his crime of which he was accused; he name and memory, was thus effectually conjured him by every bond of nature removed. and religion, by the bowels of a father Such is the story which Lord Byron and the mercy of a Redeemer, to use is said to have employed in the conhis influence with the council to miti- struction of one of his forthcoming gate the sentence, that he might be sa- tragedies. It is a subject which, howved from the most cruel of all deaths, ever deficient it may be as it respects that of expiring under the slow tortures variety of incident, is nevertheless of a broken heart, in a horrible ban- much more worthy of poetical illustraishment from every creature he loved. tion than the tiresome fretfulness of This affecting appeal rendered the the superannuated Doge, Faliero.

Lit. Gaz.

LORD BYRON, IN A NOTE TO THE TWO FOSCARI, SAYS :“ In Lady Morgan's fearless and excel- equally absurd with that sincere production, Jent work upon “ Italy," I perceive the ex- calls upon the “ legislature to look to it," pression of “ Rome of the Ocean" applied as the toleration of such writings led to the to Venice. The same phrase occurs in the French Revolution : not such writings as “ Two Foscari.” My publisher can vouch Wat Tyler, but as those of the “ Satanic for me that the tragedy was written and sent School." This is not true, and Mr.Southey to England some time before I had seen knows it to be not true. Every French Lady Morgan's work,which I only received writer of any freedom was persecuted; Volon the 16th of August. I hasten, however, taire and Rousseau were exiles, Marmonteb to notice the coincidence, and to yield the and Diderot were sent to the Bastille, and a originality of the phrase to her who first perpetual war was waged with the whole placed it before the public. I am the more class by the existing despotism. In the next anxious to do this as I am informed (for I place, the French Revolution was not ochave seen but few of the specimens and those casioned by any writings whatsoever, but accidentally) that there have been lately must have occurred had no such writers evbrought against me charges of plagiarism. er existeil. It is the fashion to attribute evI have also had an anonymous sort of threat. ery thing to the French revolution, and the ening intimation of the same kind, appar. French revolution to every thing but it's ently with the intent of extorting money, real cause. That cause is obvious--the gosTo such charges I have no answer to make. ernment exacted too much, and the people One of them is ludicrous enough. I am could neither gire nor bear more. Without reproached for having formed the descrip this, the Encylopedists might have written tion of a shipwreck in verse from the narra their fingers off without the occurrence of a tives of many actual shipwrecks in prose, single alteration. And the English revoluselecting such materials as were most stri- tion-(the first, I mean)—what was it ockingGibbon makes it a merit in Tasso casioned by? The purilans were surely as “ to have copied the minutest details of the pious and moral as Wesley or his biogra. Siege of Jerusalem from the Chronicles." pher? Acts-acts on the part of governIn me it may be a demerit, I presume ; let ment, not writings against them, have causit remain so. Whilst I have been occupied ed the past convulsions, and are tending in defending Pope's character,the lower or to the future. ders of Grub-street appear to have been as- I look upon such as inevitable, though no sailing mine : this is as it should be, both revolutionist: I wish to see the English conin them and in me. One of the accusations stitution restored and not destroyed. Born in the nameless epistle alluded to is still an aristocrat, and naturally one by temper, more laughable: it states seriously that I with the greater part of my present pro* received five hundred pounds for writing perty in the funds, what have I to gain by " advertisements for Day and Martin's pa a revolution ? Perhaps I have more to lose 4 tent blacking!" This is the highest com- in every way than Mr. Southey, with all his pliment to my literary powers which I ever places and presents for panegyrics and areceived. It states also " that a person has buse into the bargain. But that a revolution been trying to make acquaintance with is inevitable, I repeat. The government may * Mr. Townsend, a gentleman of the law, exult over the repression of petty tumults; * who was with me on business in Venice these are but the receding waves repulsed « three years ago, for the purpose of ob and broken for a moment on the shore,while "taining any defamatory particulars of my the great tide is still rolling on and gaining

life from this occasional visitor." Mr. ground with every breaker. Mr. Southey Townsend is welcome to say what he knows. accuses us of attacking the religion of the I mention these particulars merely to show country ; and is he abetring it by writing the world in general what the literary lower lives of Wesley? One inode of worship is world contains, and their way of setting to merely destroyed by another. There never work. Another charge made, I am told, in was, nor ever will be, a country without a the “Literary Gazette" is, that I wrote the religion. We shall be told of France again : notes to “ Queen Mab;' a work which I but it was only Paris and a frantic party, never saw till some time after its publication, which for a moment upheld their dogmatic and which I recollect showing to Mr.Sothe- nonsense of theopbilanthropy. The church by as a poem of great power and imagin- of England, if overthrown, will be swept ation. I never wrote a line of the notes, away by the sectarians and not by the scepnor ever saw thein except in their published tics. People are too wise, too well informform. No one knows better than their real ed, too certain of their own immense imporauthor, that his opinions and mine differ tance in the realms of space, ever to submaterially upon the metaphysical portion mit to the impiety of doubt.-There may be of that work; though in common with all a few such diffident speculators, like water who are not blinded by baseness and bigot in the pale suubean of luuman reason, but ry, I highly admire the poetry of that and they are very few; and their opinions,withhis other publications.

out enthusiasm or anpeal to the passions, Mr. Southey, too, in his pious preface to can never gain prosels es-unless, iudeed, a poem whose blasphemy is as harmless as they are persecuted-ihat, to be sure, will the sedition of Wat Tyler, because it is increase any thing.

Mr. S. with a cowardly ferocity, exults I am not ignorant of Mr.Southey's calamover the anticipated “death-bed repen. nies on a different occasion, knowing them tance" of the objects of his dislike; and in- to be such, which he scattered abroad on dulges himself in a pleasant “ Vision of his return from Switzerland against me and Judgment," in prose as well as verse, full of others : they have done him no good in this impious impudence. What Mr. S.'s sensa. world; and, if his creed be the right one, tions or ours may be in the awful moment they will do bim less in the next. What his of leaving this state of existence neither he death-bed" may be, it is not my province

I presume, with most men of any reflection, ker, as I must do with mine. There is some I have not waited for a “ death-bed" to re- thing at once ludicrous and blasphemous in pent of many of my actions, notwithstand- this arrogant scribbler of all works sitting ing the “ diabolical pride" which this piti. down to deal damnation and destruction fui renegado in his rancour would impute upon his fellow creatures, with Wat Tyler, to those who scorn him. Whether upon the the Apotheosis of George the Third, and whole the good or evil of my deeds may pre- the Elegy on Martin the regicide, all shuffled ponderate is not for me to ascertain; but, together in his writing desk. Ope of his as my means and opportunities have been consolations appears to be a Latin note from greater, I shall limit my present defence to a work of a Mr.Landor, the author of " Ge. an assertion (easily proved, if necessary,) bir," whose friendship for Robert Southey that I, “in my degree," have done more real will, it seems, “ be an honour to him wben good in any one given year, since I was twen- the ephemeral disputes and ephemeral repty, than Mr. Southey in the whole course of utations of the day are forgotten." I for his shifting and turncoat existence. There one neither envy him “the friendship," nor are several actions to which I can look back the glory in reversion which is to accrue with an honest pride, not to be damped by from it, like Mr. Thelusson's fortune in the the calumnies of a hireling. There are others third and fourth generation. This friend. to which I recur with sorrow and repen- ship will probably be as memorable as his tance; but the only act of my life of which own epics, which (as I quoted to him ten or Mr. Southey can have any real knowledge, twelve years ago in “ Eoglish Bards'') Por. as it was one which brought me in contact son said " would be remembered when Howith a near connexion of his own, did no mer and Virgil are forgotten, and not till dishonour to that connexion nor to me. then." For the present I leave him."

SINGULAR ADVENTURES OF. M. ARAGO.

Literary Gazette.

DURING the last war, the two ed his dress for that of a peasant of the

French Mathematicians, Biot and island, and escaped to Palma. Here Arago, travelled, with the permission he found the ship which had brought of England and Spain, to make experi- him to the island, and concealed him ments for the purpose of measuring an self in it. He at the same time sucarc of the Meridian. Biot happily re- ceeded, through some brave men of the turned to France; but Arago, before crew, in regaining his mathematical inhe succeeded, encountered some singu- struments, which he had been obliged to lar adventures.

leave on the mountain. But new terHe was in Majorca, on the Mountain rors awaited him in this disguise. Eide Gallazzo, concluding his labours af- ther through fear or treachery, the Spater which he intended to return to Paris, nish Captain of the ship quite unes. when suddenly there arose a distur- pectedly refused to protect Arago any bance among the people of the island. farther, though he had always shown 'They fancied that Arago's instruments, bimself his friend; he also refused to and particularly the fire signals which take him back to France; entreaties, he gave to other observers employed at promises, reproaches-nothing would Ivica, were intended to invite their ene- avail. In this great immergency, the my the French to the Island, and to chief commander of the island fortushow them the way. Arago suddenly nately took the part of Arago, but heard the dreadful cry all round could not save bim at that time, but by 6 Treason! Death !" Theassault upon confining him as a prisoner in the forMount Galazzo instantly commenced, tress. While Arago was obliged to but its cause fortunately perceived the remain here several months his life was imminent danger. He quickly change sometimes in the greatest danger. The

fanatical Monks attempted several unfortunate piece of news awaited times to bribe the guards and murder poor Arago. The former Dey of Althe prisoner. The Spanish mathema- giers, his friend, had been killed in a tician, Rodriguez, his fellow labourer commotion and another ruler chosen. and faithful friend, who never quited For this reason the party of the new his side, was his deliverer. This wor. Dey examined the ship with suspicious thy man would not rest, till he had ob- rigour, and the heavy trunks of Arago, tained, by his representations against which contained his mathematical inthe injustice of the unacountable mal- struments, were immediately seized : treatment of an innocent person, the li- for what else could they contain but berty of his friend, and at the same gold? Why else should they have been time permission for him to go over to so carefully secured, if they were not Algiers in a small vessel of his own. filled with sequins ? He was obliged to

In Algiers, Du Bois Tainville, at leave his instruments in the hands of the that time French Consul, kindly re- Algerines. A new misfortune was adceived him, and took means to put him ded to this. How could he make a on board an Algerine merchantman, three days' journey to Algiers by land that he might return to France. At among a savage and highly irritated first every thing went according to his people ? Courage and presence of mind, wishes. The ship approached Mar. however, saved him. He disguised seilles, and Arago, with the fairest himself in the Turkish costume, and hopes, already found himself in the har. went under the protection of a greatly bour. But, at the same moment, a esteemed priest of those parts, who Spanish privateer attacked the ship, conducted him, with some others, took it, and brought it to Rosas on the through inhospitable mountains and Spanish coast. Arago might still have dreary deserts, and after overcoming been liberated, as he was entered in the many threatening dangers, arrived at ship's books as a German merchant ; last in safety at Algiers. How was Du but, unfortunately, he was recognized Bois Tainville astonished to see his to be a Frenchman by one of the sai- countryman suddenly again, in a Turklors, who had previously been in the ish dress, whom he had long fancied to French service, and was, with his com- be at Marseilles. He took up his cause panions, thrown into the most dreadful with the greatest zeal, found means to imprisonment. But when the Dey of have the chests returned, which no Algiers heard of the insult to his fag, longer interested the Algerines of Bouhe immediately demanded the ship, its gie, as they had found brass instead of cargo and crew, to be instantly return- gold, and kept the “ Adventurer against ed, and in case of refusal, he threaten- his will,” as the opportunities of sailing ed to declare war against the king of to France were, at that time, as rare as Spain. This had the desired effect. dangerous. Thus another six months The ship and the crew were liberated, pased. At last Du Bois was recalled by and Arago sailed for the second time to Buonaparte, to France. He began his Marseilles, without in the least doubt- voyage, accompanied by Arago, for the ing his safe arrival ; he already saw the third time to France. But they scarcetown, the ship once more steered to- ly saw Marseilles, when an English wards the harbour, when suddenly a fleet appeared, which ordered them to furious north-west storm arose, and return to Minorca, as all the French drove it with irresistible violence to- harbours were at that time in a state of wards Sardinia. How hard a fate! blockade. The ships accompanying The Sardinians were at war with the Du Bois obeyed; only the one on Algerines. A new imprisonment a- board of which Arago was embraced a waited them. The commander there- favourable fresh breeze, and ran into fore resolved to seek refuge on the coast the harbour with all sail spread. The of Africa. Though they were so dis- services of Arago were duly appreciattant, he succeeded. He run in to the ed in his country; and he was honorharbour of Bougie, three days' voyage ably rewarded by a situation in the from Algiers. But here another very Astronomical department.

3G ATHENEUM VOL. 10.

« AnteriorContinuar »