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not cause me to doubt their presence, particularly as I did see upon the screen a great number of coins offered for the repose of the martyrs' souls. I threw down some soldi, and thus enthralled the sacristan. If the signor cared to see prisons, he said, the driver must take him to those of Ecelino, at present the property of a private gentleman nearby. As I had just bought a history of Ecelino, at a great bargain, from a second-handbookstall, and had a lively interest in all the enormities of that nobleman, I sped the driver instantly to the villa of the Signor Pacchiarotti. It depends here altogether upon the freshness or mustiness of the reader's historical reading whether he cares to be reminded more particularly who Ecelino was. He flourished balefully in the early half of the thirteenth century as lord of Vicenza, Verona, Padua, and Brescia, and was defeated and hurt to death in an attempt to possess himself of Milan. He was in every respect a remarkable man for that time, – fearless, abstemious, continent, avaricious, hardy, and unspeakably ambitious and cruel. He survived and suppressed innumerable conspiracies, escaping even the thrust of the assassin whom the fame of his enormous wickedness had caused the Old Man of the Mountain to send against him. As lord of Padua he was more incredibly severe and bloody in his rule than as lord of the other cities, for the Paduans had been latest free, and conspired most frequently against him. He extirpated whole families on suspicion that a single member had been concerned in a meditated revolt. Little children and helpless women suffered hideous mutilation and shame at his hands. Six prisons in Padua were constantly filled by his arrests. The whole country was traversed by witnesses of his cruelties, – men and women deprived of an arm or leg, and begging from door to door. He had long been excommunicated; at last the Church proclaimed a crusade against him, and his lieutenant and nephew —
more demoniacal, if possible, than himself— was driven out of Padua while he was operating against Mantua. Ecelino retired to Verona, and maintained a struggle against the crusade for nearly two years longer, with a courage which never failed him. Wounded and taken prisoner, the soldiers of the victorious army gathered about him, and heaped insult and reproach upon him ; and one furious peasant, whose brother's feet had been cut off by Ecelino's command, dealt the helpless monster four blows upon the head with a scythe. By some, Ecelino is said to have died of these wounds alone; but by others it is related that his death was a kind of suicide, inasmuch as he himself put the case past surgery by tearing off the bandages from his hurts, and refusing all medicines.
ENTERING at the enchanted portal Of the Villa P , we found ourselves in a realm of wonder. It was our misfortune not to see the magician who compelled all the marvels on which we looked, but for that very reason, perhaps, we have the clearest sense of his greatness. Everywhere we beheld the evidences of his ingenious but lugubrious fancy, which everywhere tended to a monumental and mortuary effect. A sort of vestibule first received us, and beyond this dripped and glimmered the garden. The walls of the vestibule were covered with inscriptions setting forth the sentiments of the philosophy and piety of all ages concerning life and death; we began with Confucius, and we ended with Benjamino Franklino. But as if these ideas of mortality were not sufficiently depressing, the funereal Signor P had collected into earthern amphorae the ashes of the most famous men of ancient and modern times, and arranged them so that a sense of their number and variety should at once strike his visitor. Each jar was conspicuously labelled with the name its illustrious dust had borne in life; and if
hers. She repeated the first lines, ed sign of a swan, - and the name something about a lamb; but neither “Scott's Swan Hotel.” I walked a nor I remembered them.
considerable distance beyond it; but a On the walls of the chancel there are shower coming up, I turned back, enmonuments to the Flemings, and paint- tered the inn, and, following the mised escutcheons of their arms; and along tress into a snug little room, was served the side walls also, and on the square with a glass of bitter ale. It is a very pillars of the row of arches, there are plain and homely inn, and certainly other monuments, generally of white could not have satisfied Scott's wants, marble, with the letters of the inscrip- if he had required anything very fartion blackened. On these pillars, like- fetched or delicate in his potations. I wise, and in many places in the walls, found two Westmoreland peasants in were hung verses from Scripture, paint- the room with ale before them. One ed on boards. At one of the doors was went away almost immediately; but the a poor-box, an elaborately carved little other remained, and, entering into conbox of oak, with the date 1648, and the versation with him, he told me that he name of the church - St. Oswald's — was going to New Zealand, and expectupon it. The whole interior of the edi- ed to sail in September. I announced fice was plain, simple, almost to grim- myself as an American, and he said that ness, - or would have been so, only a large party had lately gone from herethat the foolish church-wardens, or abouts to America ; but he seemed not other authority, have washed it over to understand that there was any diswith the same buff color with which they tinction between Canada and the States. have overlaid the exterior. It is a pity; These people had gone to Quebec. He it lightens it up, and desecrates it hor- was a very civil, well-behaved, kindly ribly, especially as the woman says that sort of person, of a simple character, there were formerly paintings on the which I took to belong to the class and walls, now obliterated forever. I could locality, rather than to himself individhave stayed in the old church much ually. I could not very well underlonger, and could write much more stand all that he said, owing to his proabout it, but there must be an end to vincial dialect; and when he spoke to everything. Pacing it from the farther his own countrymen, or to the women end to the elevation before the altar, I of the house, I really could but just found that it was twenty-five paces long. catch a word here and there. How
On looking again at the Rothay, I long it takes to melt English down into find I did it some injustice ; for at the a homogeneous mass! He told me bridge, in its present swollen state, it that there was a public library in Grasis nearer twenty yards than twenty feet mere, to which he has access in comacross. Its waters are very clear, and mon with the other inhabitants, and a it rushes along with a speed which is reading-room connected with it, where delightful to see, after an acquaintance he reads the “Times" in the evening. with the muddy and sluggish Avon and There was no American smartness in Leam.
his mind. When I left the house, it Since tea, I have taken a stroll from was showering briskly; but the drops the hotel in a different direction from quite ceased, and the clouds began to usual, and passed the Swan Inn, where break away, before I reached my hotel, Scott used to go daily to get a draught and I saw the new moon over my right of liquor when he was visiting Words- shoulder. worth, who had no wine nor other inspiriting fluid in his house. It stands July 21. - We left Grasmere yesterdirectly on the wayside, a small, white- day, after breakfast, it being a delightwashed house, with an addition in the ful morning, with some clouds, but the rear that seems to have been built since cheerfullest sunshine on great part of Scott's time. On the door is the paint- the mountain-sides and on ourselves. We returned, in the first place, to Am I question whether any part of the bleside, along the border of Grasmere world looks so beautiful as EnglandLake, which would be a pretty little this part of England, at least -- on a piece of water, with its steep and high- fine summer morning. It makes one surrounding hills, were it not that a think the more cheerfully of human life stubborn and straight-lined stone fence, to see such a bright, universal verdure ; running along the eastern shore, by the such sweet, rural, peaceful, flower-borroadside, quite spoils its appearance. dered cottages, - not cottages of gentilRydal water, though nothing can make ity, but dwellings of the laboring poor ; a lake of it, looked prettier and less di- such nice villas along the roadside, so minutive than at the first view ; and, in tastefully contrived for comfort and fact, I find that it is impossible to know beauty, and adorned more and more, accurately how any prospect or other year after year, with the care and afterthing looks until after at least a second thought of people who mean to live in view, which always essentially corrects them a great while, and feel as if their the first. This, I think, is especially children might live in them also. And true in regard to objects which we have so they plant trees to overshadow their heard much about, and exercised our walks, and train ivy and all beautiful imagination upon; the first view being vines up against their walls, - and thus a vain attempt to reconcile our idea live for the future in another sense than with the reality, and at the second we we Americans do. And the climate begin to accept the thing for what it helps them out, and makes everything really is. Wordsworth's situation is moist and green, and full of tender life, really a beautiful one; and Nab Scaur instead of dry and arid, as human life behind his house rises with a grand, and vegetable life are so apt to be with protecting air. We passed Nab's cot- us. Certainly, England can present a tage, in which De Quincey formerly more attractive face than we can, even lived, and where Hartley Coleridge in its humbler modes of life, – to say lived and died. It is a small, buff-tint, nothing of the beautiful lives that might ed, plastered, stone cottage, immedi- be led, one would think, by the higher ately on the roadside, and originally, I classes, whose gateways, with broad, should think, of a very humble class; smooth gravelled drives leading through but it now looks as if persons of taste them, one sees every mile or two along might some time or other have sat the road, winding into some proud sedown in it, and caused flowers to spring clusion. All this is passing away, and up about it. It is very agreeably situ- society must assume new relations; but ated, under the great, precipitous hill, there is no harm in believing that there and with Rydal water close at hand, on has been something very good in Engthe other side of the road. An adver- lish life, - good for all classes, while tisement of lodgings to let was put up the world was in a state out of which on this cottage.
TN the porch that brier-vines smother, I At her wheel, sits Mona's mother.
0, the day is dying bright! Roseate shadows, silver dimming, Ruby lights through amber swimming,
Bring the still and starry night.
Sudden she is 'ware of shadows
From the slowly sinking sun, -
Till the two seem just as one!
Every tell-tale wind doth waft her Little breaths of maiden laughter.
0, divinely dies the day! . And the swallow, on the rafter,
In her nest of sticks and clay,–
Twittering soft the time away;
Round her nest of sticks and clay.
“ Take, my bird, O take some other
Eve than this to twitter gay !" Sayeth, prayeth Mona's mother, To the slender-throated swallow
On her nest of sticks and clay; For her sad eyes needs must follow Down the misty, mint-sweet hollow,
Where the ruby colors play
With the gold, and with the gray. “Yet, my little Lady-feather,
You do well to sit and sing,” Crieth, sigheth Mona's mother. “If you would, you could no other.
Can the leaf fail with the spring ?
When the sap begins to run ?
With her body full o' the sun ?
Therefore, you do well to sing. Up and o'er the downy lining
Of your bird-bed I can see
But alas ! my bird, for me!”
In the porch with roses burning
All across, she sitteth lonely.
O, her soul is dark with dread ! Round and round her slow wheel turning, Lady brow down-dropped serenely, Lady hand uplifted queenly, Pausing in the spinning only
To rejoin the broken thread, Pausing only for the winding, With the carded silken binding
Of the flax, the distaff-head.
All along the branches creeping,
Go the blue-birds and the brown;
Droppeth head in winglet down. Now the rocks rise bleak and barren
Through the twilight, gray and still;
Clappeth close his horny bill.
Weaveth zigzag lines of light,-
O’er and o'er with vapors white.
Swinging on the wind so low,
Through her fingers, soft and slow.
Dim they grow with tears unshed;
Ah ! the day is dead, is dead;