Графични страници
PDF файл


“Signor, I do not see how this volutionary treason. Oh! thought I, atrocious act of villany, committed I am just come across a band of conon the persons of an unprotected wi- spirators, and with that I consulted dow and her family, could possibly with my comrades. Our first thought have been investigated without my was of going for more assistance, but presence, when I am one of the prin- hearing little noise, we decided it was cipal witnesses to bear testimony to better to enter the cottage at once, and the entire transaction. The assem- see what was going on, for fear they bling of the people together is only the would have time to escape. With at natural consequence of such an act, I knocked at the door, and while waitand as a testimony of tbe interest they ing for it to be opened, we heard a feel in the sorrow of the Signora Avel. shuffling of feet, as if people were trying linni, and the horror caused by the to hide themselves.” death of her boy."

“Very likely, Leichenstein ; go on. “You are prejudging the matter, Sig. You are generally sharp enough in nor,"exclaimed the commissary, "and these matters." giving the affair a very different ap- “Oh, trust me, Signor ; I never pearance from the version I have heard. leave them much chance of escaping However, we shall listen to the story my

hands. The instant the door was of the member of our force who ef- opened by a little boy, I rushed in, and fected the first arrest of the prisoners. found the two prisoners there. The Prosecutor, stand forward, and give youngest one was burning a piece of me an account of this affair."

paper, which she held in her hand, and The order was immediately complied she seemed quite frightened at my apwith, and the leader of the three ruffians, who had caused the death of the “ Have you got the paper? No boy, with his face bound up, and his doubt it contained some treasonable arm in a sling, for the purpose of mak- matter." ing his injuries appear greater than No, Signor, she was too quick for they were, stood forward to comply me, it was nearly burnt before I had with the command of his superior. time to enter. I thought it better to

“So, Leichenstein," exclaimed the arrest them at once, and a hard recommissary, who appeared well ac- sistance they made. I searched the quainted with the ruffian, “it is to cottage in every part, but could find your tender mercies the prisoners are nobody, and all my threats would not indebted for their arrest ?”

make them tell me in what corner the “Yes, illustrissimo Signor,"answered other persons whom I had heard running the ruffian, with a grim smile; “ I have away had secreted themselves. I bad done good service to the state by ar- scarcely got the prisoners outside, and resting them, for, Signor, you will now was thinking what was best to do, find out the whole history of a conspi- when I saw the cottage bad caught racy I am sure was concocting at their fire, and a person, whom I recognised house, when I and my two comrades afterwards as the Signor Porro, came who were with me, disturbed them." out of it, followed by two or three

A conspiracy, Leichenstein! We others, who made their escape." must examine this minutely, for there “ Why did you not arrest them? is more in it than I thought of. Tell You are much to blame for not doing me the particulars of the case.”

Só.” As I was traversing the country “I was trying to do so, when the last evening, Signor, seeing that all Signor Porro told several peasants who was quiet, I approached near the cot- had collected on the spot, to take away tage of the prisoners. As I came near, our arms and hold us fast while the I heard a voice singing a song, and other persons got away. In doing so, was startled, on listening attentively, the little boy of the elder prisoner was by the words which breathed nothing killed on the spot in the scuffle.” but treason against the government, “ And this is what you call an atroand threats against the person of our cious act, Signor Porro, in resisting Emperor."

the legal authority of the government "What was the song,

Leichenstein?" officers ?" “I am sure I cannot tell, Signor, I deny, Signor, the truth of this for I never had a fancy for music; fellow's statement, and the instant he but I am sure the song was full of re- has concluded I will demand your permission to tell my version of the matter, of the cottage, as he saw me enter it, and I feel convinced you will soon to save the poor innocent girl before change your opinion of this brutal out- you from the flames this fellow's brurage.

tality had condemned her to; but I “ Be it so; but matters look as yet deny emphatically being in the cottage very suspicious. Go on, Leichen- when he arrived." stein."

Is there any back entrance to the “I have little more to relato, Signor. cottage, Leichenstein ; and did you see After having kept us in their clutches the Signor Porro enter it after you had for some time, the Signor Porro or- left it?" dered the peasants to give us back our « There is no back entrance, illusmuskets, and then told us he would trissimo ; and I will swear Signor take care of the prisoners, and if we Porro never entered it after I had did not leave the place immediately, left." worse would come of it to us. With " Liar !" exclaimed the Baron Pi. that, seeing they were too many for us, naldi, giving loose to the indignation we thought it better to leave, and come he felt. Have you no shame and no to the city, to tell your illustrissimo the fear for your eternal salvation?" whole transaction.”

• Signor Baron Pinaldi, if you at“ You did right, Leichenstein, and tempt to intimidate the witness, I will acted with your usual prudence.”. order you into custody. I cannot per

“Signor,"exclaimed Porro, address- mit a perversion of justice. Perhaps ing the commissary, and with difficulty you were in the cottage at the time, suppressing his anger, “ will you per- and among the persons

who e8mit me to ask the comrades of this caped." fellow, who can tell so plausible a tale, " I was neither in the cottage nor a few questions, and I will soon con- near it until a few minutes before it found him in the falsehoods he has took fire; and I am not a person acuttered."

customed to have my word doubted, “I cannot permit anything of the answered the baron, while a smile of sort, Signor Porro, however willing I supreme contempt curled his haughty might be to oblige you. The evidence lip. of this worthy and diligent member of “ Then am I to understand neither our force is sufficiently clear and ex- my testimony nor that of the Baron plicit to require no other testimony to Pinaldi will be received ?" demanded prove the truth of his assertions. Every Porro of the commissary. day I find the people are becoming more “ Most decidedly not,” responded and more unruly; and it is high time the commissary; "you being among the officers of government should put the accused, and the Baron Pinaldi aside their leniency, assert the strong among the list of the suspected, all I arm of the law, and put down those can permit-and I am exceeding my revolutionary tendencies so dangerous strict duty-is to allow you to inake to the peace of society."

any observation you think fit." • How can it be expected a people “ I then protest, Signor, in the name will remain calm spectators if they are of common humanity, against my evito see their roofs burnt before their dence being rejected ; and I will eyes, and their children butchered, appeal to the highest tribunal, the without provocation? I am prepared Court of the Emperor, to see whether with evidence to show a murder has this act of atrocious brutality is to be been committed, and not only was I passed over without just punishment. present nearly the whole of the time that I accuse the prosecutor, and I desire the facts he has deposed to occurred, my words to be taken down, of wilfully and which the fellow has knowingly committing perjury to screen his own falsified, but there were also present ihe guilt. I furthermore accuse bim of Baron Pinaldi and a number of other setting fire to the Signora Avellinni's reputable witnesses."

cottage; of endeavouring, by fastening - Take care, Signor- take care; you her daughter's door and binding her to are implicating yourself. You do ad- a bedstead, to prevent her escape from mit being present in the cottage when a horrid death, and lastly, in the preLeichenstein arrived ? ”

sence of a number of witnesses, who are “I admit nothing of the sort. It here ready to offer their testimony, of is true the fellow saw me come out murdering her son without the slightest provocation. This, and more, higher quarter,” answered the comSignor, I am ready to prove on missary, with a sinister smile. oath."

Vouchsafing no answer to thisimplied “Your appeal to another tribunal, threat, Porro turned to say a few words Signor, will not terrify me from per- of comfort, if language could bring forming my duty. I act upon instruc- any, to his nurse and her daughter tions; and your accusation against a - Be assured Teresa," he exclaimed, tried member of our force, is without speaking to her in words which fell proof."

pleasingly on the ear, and calling her “Signor, you are but playing with by her Christian name, “I will never my words. How can I prove my asser- rest until I see you, dear nurse, and tions when you refuse to accept the my kind sister, as I have often called evidence of competent witnesses ?” your daughter, liberated from the pri

“ To receive the evidence of persons son you are so unjustly condemned to. taking part in resisting the authority Think others with far greater troubles of government, and insulting and mal- are suffering still greater punishments treating its officers, is a direct viola- than yours; and the God in whom we tion of the law. I have but a duty to trust will as surely bring down on the perform, and although a painful one, head of the villain who has robbed you it may be, especially where you take an of present happiness, a terrible punishinterest in the accused, Signor Porro, ment." yet it must be discharged. Signora and Tears were the only answer be obSignorina Avellinni, you are, upon the tained ; and with a heart full of bitterevidence of one of our officers, found ness and indignation, he turned from guilty of singing treasonable songs, and the hall. Descending the staircase, folsuspected of harbouring suspicious per- lowed by his friends, and passing before sons in your residence; you are, there- the body of troops drawn up in the fore, condemned to a year's solitary court, he appeared in the street. His confinement. The sentence would presence was the signal for a thou. have been much more severe was it sand “ Vivas !" His mournful counnot in consequence of the interest tenance, however, and stern looks, so taken in your behalf, and because I different from his usual smiles, soon believe you bave been led to commit silenced the warm greetings, and told these crimes without reflecting on the the fate of Signora Avellinni and her punishment which is sure to follow the daughter. A person near Porro incommittal of such heinous offences. quired of one of his friends what had Leichenstein, have the prisoners re- become of them, and soon the words moved, and carefully guarded by a “ They are condemned to a year's sosufficient force to their place of con- litary confinement,” spread from lip finement."

to lip. Then arose from an hundred “ You condemn, then, the Signora voices the vent of long-suppressed Avellinni and her daughter without feelings, and shouts of “La Vendetta ! allowing them to utter a word in their La Vendetta!" echoed through the own vindication. Remember, Signor, streets, and were carried in startling they are not without friends.”

notes to the ears of the magistrate. "I am satisfied of their guilt, and The ebullition of popular feeling it is useless to continue a painful scene wanted but a voice to direct it to the wbich has lasted too long. My time Throne of Vengeance ! is of more value than hearing speeches, For a moment Porro gazed with which would avail nothing in my de- conflicting feelings on the crowd, and cision."

then uttering a few words to those “Farewell, Signor, the bour will around him, they dispersed in every come when the innocent shall be direction, trying to ally the popular avenged. I have learnt, the first day tumult. Short was the struggle, but I have seen my native town for many they were successful; the love for his a month, a bitter lesson—justice is im- family prevailed, and the crowd dispossible for the weak and unpro- persed on every side; but still was tected."

borne to the ear, uttered by some “And I, Signor, only regret it will straggler, the words " La Vendetta!”. be my duty to report your words to a ominous sound of the coming storm!



" Italy is crushed; but her heart still beats with the love of liberty, virtue, and glory: she is chained, and covered with blood; but she still knows her strength and her future destiny. She is insulted by those for whom she has opened the way to every improvement; but she still feels she is formed to take the lead again: and Europe will know no repose till the nation which, in the dark ages, lighted the torch of civilisation with that of liberty, shall be enabled herself to enjoy the light which she created."-SISMonor's Italy.

« Well, your

On the evening of the day of the • Have a care, Porro, lest you find, condemnation of the Signora Avellinni in your hot zeal, a dungeon for yourand her daughter, in a handsomely self." furnished room, in the Palazzo Porro, “ There is scarcely any fear, Baron; were seated two individuals, the Baron for either my appeal to Marshal RaPinaldi and the young heir of the fa- detsky, or the one to the Emperor, is mily honours. The latter had evidently certain of success." been writing, for the pen was still in

mind is an elastic one, bis hand, as he placed before the for- to cling to a broken reed. Rather mer a letter he had just concluded. turn it to the contemplation of reality

• Read it, caro Pinaldi, and sec than let it rest on a slippery foundawhether you approve of what I have tion." stated. You will perceive I have but “ The reality ! where does it exist ? told the simple facts of the case, and To me everything is uncertain. But offered a few comments on the excite- a few days ago, and I left the gay cament naturally created by such a pital of France, with feelings uncloudcrime passing without due punishment ed by a single care—all was bright and on the perpetrators of the outrage.”. full of joy. To-day, how different!

Glancing his eyes rapidly over the My mind filled with doubt, and contents, he returned the letter to thoughts I cannot fathom ; I would Porro, exclaiming at the same time- express them, yet cannot do so.

Tell “ It is useless, my young friend- me, dear Baron, you who are full of your labours will be all in vain. A the world's experience, what means decision made by a commissary was this sudden change - this uncertainty never known to be revoked, however will ?” unjust it way have been, so long as “ It is the spring from youth to the victims were Italians. Cease,

manhood the bitter lesson we learn therefore, I repeat — your efforts are when, for the first time, we find the fruitless. The only hope for Signora world is not what we have fondly Avellinni and her daughter, is, to look dreamt. When, instead of endless forward to the period when they will joys, a path strewed with flowers of see again the face of heaven-and that love, misery, care, and cruelty, rise will never be until their punishment before the heart's fountain, dashing is completed."

away the hopes of years, and leaving " Never be ! I tell you, Baron, behind memory as

our only friend their punishment will never last a furt- and consoler. Thus, Porro, was it night.

with you. You left your land with “Not last a fortnight! Why, caro but the reminiscences of friendship amico, if you accomplish such a mira- and happiness

too young or too cle, I shall believe you have the magic heedless to notice the showers, and wand of the sorceress, whom I read of you have returned with riper age to when a child, who turned all into find all is not gold that glitters.' gold."

The dream of youth is dispelled, the “I can neither perform a miracle, work of manhood must begin.” nor have I such a wand; but I can • Come when it will, I am prepared, tell you what I ossess, Baron: an after last night's work and this mornarm that can strike, and a voice that, ing's, for all. Even now, with


first if it speaks, will arouse here, on the bitter lesson scarcely past, I almost territorial possessions of our family, think my thoughts have wandered too five hundred kindred souls, to break far from home, too far from the claims asunder the chains forged by an ini. my country demands at the hands of quitous proceeding."

her sons. Be it my task now to

[ocr errors]

make up for the forgetfulness I have grasping and universal dominion, pershown."

mitting no opposition to its will, and * You have shown none, Porro, and asserting the world to be its veritable you are accusing yourself unjustly. empire - Protestantism, giving to It was last evening I endeavoured to every person a will of his own, and rouse in your heart the love of coun. leaguing itself with Progression. The try, the feelings which must sooner or last is essentially the friend to changelater evince themselves either in favour the former opposed to any innovation of freedom or leagued with despot- whatever. Fighting their battles prinism; but I little thought at the time, cipally in England, Germany, and in while doing so, of the deed you were Switzerland, hitherto, they have at $0 soon to be a spectator of, and which length sat down in Italy to contend would require no art or statement of for supremacy. Absolutism, with Camine to call them intoimmediate action. tholicity, are now triumphant here; it In this I see the hand of Providence. should be our task - the effort of Yesterday my words fell coldly upon Italy—to separate them.” your ears; your native scenes were " But how is this to be effected ? not sufficient to make your heart's To me the way appears so beset with blood move with indignation at the difficulties, that to achieve it by peacetyranny of Austrian's thraldom. This able means seems an impossibility.” night you require no prompting from “Not by peaceable means: you are me to tell you what is the duty, the so far right, Porro, for force is the only sacred duty, the heir of the princely way open to success. These contendhouse of Porro owes to himself and to ing elements—these impersonations of his country. If you wish me to speak two spirits, the Evil and the Good plainer - to point out that duty in are now at our doors.

We want clearer terms, to utter the ideas which to divide the body and the spirit have filled my mind, and the mind of from the former, so that the grave can others - I will do so; ay, even if it be receive the dust, the judgment, the to show you how the liberation of your wreck! To accomplish this, we must nurse and her daughter can be accom- analyse well the feelings and position plished with safety to yourself and of our class--the wishes and hopes of your father.”

the people. Through every change, “ Speak to me, Baron. Point out we shall find the Italian nobility rehow my nurse's freedom can be ac- taining one peculiar feature of their complished; for bear this outrage I class — the inherent pride of birth. will not, even if I sacrifice half of Of this I shall speak presently. Exmy fortune in effecting her liberation.” actions, contentions, and their own

“ Listen, then. You observe, if vices, have rendered them the ghost you cast your glance attentively of their former selves. The power of over the face of society in Europe, the Colonna, the Visconti, and the there have been two opposing in- Orsini, no longer exists but as a tale of terésts at work for years past — the history. Yet, impoverished as they one, Progression, the other its oppo. are, and reduced in strength, they form site-Absolutism. The first has been no contemptible body, if they could be gradually and silently creeping along,

united for one purpose.

The Lomalmost unseen and unknown - heard bardo-Venetian nobility, treated with of, but not felt; seen, but not under- contumely by the proud Autocrat of stood. The other bas reared itself in Austria, would listen with complathe face of all, boldly and without cency to any plan of action which scruple - its very boldness constitut- might offer to them the hope of ameing its extraordinary success; but yet, lioration ; and their pride, properly with it, an overweening confidence in worked upon, would act as

a safean inward power that does not really guard, and conduct even to rebellion. belong to it. For the first, if properly To arm them, however, there is wantconducted, there is certain success — ed the voice of the leader. The timid, for the latter, if no retrogression take the irresolute, the indolent require the place, sure destruction. With these example, the deep bray of the hound, opposing elements there are to be to follow the chase.” found two spirits also antagonistic- “ And where is this leader to be the one, Catholicity; the other, Pro- found?” asked Porro. testantism. Catholicity assuming a The people," continued the Baron,

« ПредишнаНапред »