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The Marquis interposes, and urges the necessity of his grandson's accompanying him to Italy. The good Count implores him also to remain and seek' happiness in their mutual reunion; but the Marquis only answers by inviting his host in turn to Naples. He refers him to Leonhard for the charms of that bewitching country, and asks his grandson if he does not long to visit it. The youth, awaking as from a reverie, breaks out into the following beautiful passage :
This morning early did we climb yon rock
Marq. He whó but hears may know-thou art a painter.
No more of this !
Marq. Be silent, I command chee.
Oh! be moved
Well, in time
Leon. ob, aye! thou'lt be entreated.
Oh! he is welcome!
Had but one gitt to add-a faithful friend! The youth flies to acquaint his master with the joyful tidings—but the proud Marquis strictly enjoins st crecy as to their names and ralik, until the arrival of the expected messenger from Naples. The disappointed Leonhard promises to contine himself to taking the votes of his mother and the painter, whether they do not prefer remaining in Switzerland. He is desired to sumá mon the latier to an interview with his grandfather.
During his absence, the old Marquis complains of the influence acquired by the painter over his grandson's mind, and speaks disparagingly of genius, as wholly dependent on wealthy patronage. He acknowledges, however, bis pride in attaching to him so celebrated an artist as Spinarosa, and announces his intention to set him a task which will put his vaunted skill to the test. The Count readily anticipates it to be the picture of his sightless daughter.
Count. A masterpiece indeed! but could he borrow
Heaven's radiance in yon eyes' extinguish'd shrine. The father despairs of even partial success, as Camilla has positively refu. sed ever again to sit for her picture. The Count says,
Count. Ob I were I but a painter ! and mine easel
Ha! Sir Count,
Count. The heart will live, even 'neath the sable pall
The Count proceeds to unfold, in a narrative whose beauties we reluctantly compress, that soon after the death of his mother, (by whom he was left an infant,) his father again married, and hail a second son, with whom, not withstanding the partiality of a stepmother, he grew in fraternal concord and af. fection. We cannot resist these sweet lines :
Count. I was a child of grief-a sorrowing cypress
No mother! yet in mutual love we grew ! The old Count, feeling his end approaching, had summoned both his sons, and informed thein of his intentions regarding their future prospects. Two offers had been made him ou their account. That of the band of Marquis Sorrento's heiress for the one--and for the other, the Grand Cross of the Teutovic Order. His love of justice, and knowledge of their characters, had determined him to choose as the bridegroom, and supporter of the fainily honours, his eldest son, (the present Count,) while the rash and headlong Con. rad, to whose fiery temper he would fear to commit the happiness of his friend's daughter, is to assume the cross. The Marquis naturally exclaims,
Marq. What dost thou tell me? Wherefore did he change
By him 'twas never changed.
The narrator proceeds to say, that his father being soon after seized with mortal illness, it fell to the lot of the Countess to write the letters of mutual acceptance; and that urged by pardonable maternal partiality, she substitue ted her own son's name in the marriage contract. The good Count himself thus excuses her.
Count. Is there a mother can forego the hope
Marq. Fatal exchange! fatal alike to all!
Count. I saw my brother's love-illumined glance,
A grave for my dead hopes—and took the Cross ! This noble victim of fraternal generosity, (for whom we hope the reader begins to feel an adequate interest,) goes on to relate his presence at his brother's wedding, and the deep emotion he experienced on witnessing the touching beauty, and tearful reluctance of the bride.
Count. A voice rose whispering in my soul —" Perchance
Oh! were she not
Count. And what if on yon sightless orbs I gaze
Marg. Well do I know one-hard to be attain'd,
Then by a father's blessing It soon were ratified ! The dispensation, though not actually arrived, is-from the great interest exerted to procure it-hourly expected; and the ambitious parent already views the desirable alliance as concluded. But the lover, rendered timid by years of suffering, hints that the costliest, as well as most important treasure, yet remains unattained- the love and consent of Camilla. For these the Marquis hastily and confidently answers, and the Count would fain be persuaded.
Count. Dost think she loves me ? Once I hoped it too,
Open'd before me-Ah! but Lore is more ! The father's reiterated assurances that she has no will but his, encourage these bright anticipations.
Count. O hasten, blesseil moment, when mine own
Marq. Thy prayer may be fulfill'd-by skilful men
It hath been said, if e'er some mighty shock
The pall of darkness may be rent aside! They are interrupted by Leonhard, who enters, followed by the Painter, and joyfully exclaims,
Leon. Grandfather / we remain ! alike my mother
Count. (Embracing him.) Mine own Leonhard !
Forgive the youth's impatience
Marq. Nay, ye are most welcome. He then again tenders cold and stately gratitude to the tutor of his grande son, and hinis at pecuniary reimbursement. The Painter spurns the latter, while he accepts the proffered hand of the Marquis, as an earnest that his cares have been appreciated. The kind Count invites him, as a beloved and valued member of the family circle, to remain with him, if not summoned elsewhere by ties of country.
Paint. My country is with thee-for there alone
Count. Thou speak'st our language as it were thine own.
Paint. I prize it highest--for the German tongue
No! dearest master!
I dare not yet reveal it! The Marquis now alludes to the works which, in the leisure and solitude of the castle, may be achieved by the Painter.
Paint. Yes! if God will-much shall be finish'd here.
What the veil shrouds--will be, as now-a dream. On the proposal to paint Leonhard's blind, yet beautiful mother, the artist demurs, exclaiming,
Paint. Had I but once the living spirit hail’d,
Oh! ye may traće Its angel footsteps, ev'n though half effaced ! The artist, admonished that he must catch the likeness unknown to his fair subject, steadily refuses to attempt it on such terms; but suggests that her son may possibly procure his mother's consent to sit to himself. This Leonbard gladly undertakes, bespeaking his master's cheerfully accorded counsels and assistance.
We have next a téte-à-tête scene between the artist and his noble host, in which the former modestly questions his own right to form one of so privileged a family cirele; while the other eagerly acknowledges the joint claims of kindness, worth, and genius, The Painter, urged by a spirit of independence, insists on depositing in the Count's hands those ample fruits of his past laa bours, which he had laid up with the view of assisting his pupil's indigent relatives; and the Count, with true delicacy of mind, grants, though reluctantly, a request whose motive he appreciates. The artist further bespeaks indul. gence and sympathy
Paint. Think not, if oft my upward eye explore
Count. Fear not! I'll understand thee.
We are quits
0! happy thou,
Let this solemn hour
Count. Loved, say'st thou ? -Aye!
Then does the sable Cross
And that love shall bind
(They embrace, and exeunt.
We have been thus diffuse in these earlier scenes, (comprising, notwithktanding their length, only the first act of this immeasurable drama,) that the requisite interest might be awakened for the subsequent incidents by a full developement of the generous and noble characters of the Count, the artist, and his pupil, all so finely conceived, and so brightly contrasted with the commonplace votary of wealth and ambition in that of the Marquis.
The nexi act is about to claim the sympathy of the reader for another per