Imágenes de páginas

outrage. Again, should he challenge torrent, and the bridge, by which his opponent,--for the Count was de alone it could be crossed. Nothing ficient, neither in skill, nor in that could be more easy, than, before the vilest of all qualities which has ob- youth's return, to remove a few of tained, through prejudice, the name the transverse planks composing the of virtue-mere courage; still the platform, and the hapless passenger consequences, as regarded the aver- would drop unseen, unheard, into sion of Adelaide, would be the same, the gulf beneath-the planks being while the issue might prove fatal to restored, the secret of his fate would the contriver. No other method then remain concealed from all. remained, but to take off Theodore The evening sun shone brightly, by some secret means.

with “farewell sweet," as the Count, In order to mature his purposes, too faithful to his purpose, repaired he determined himself to be a wit- to his lurking-place. Not long after, ness of the lovers' second interview. Theodore was seen advancing with The sun was just sinking beneath ardent and impatient steps-possibly the western horizon, when he beheld unconscious of every thing but the

Theodore hasten along the narrow and delight of meeting Adelaide : nor half-overgrown pathway across the were his anticipations disappointed. deep ravine, and enter the summer- Scarcely had he attained the walk house. A few minutes after, Ade- leading to the pavilion, when she laide appeared in an opposite direc- appeared, and both entered. The tion, proceeding from the castle. Count eyed the place with a look of Still lurking amid the underwood, savage joy, as the couching tiger the Count continued to expect the glares upon the prey now within its termination of their conference. At spring. As darkness advanced, he length the youthful pair were seen proceeded to remove the boards, advancing from the pavilion. They which he had previously loosened, approached so close to the spot where from the fatal" bridge, leaving a the Count lay concealed, for he had yawning chasm in the narrow footway come nearer, on purpose to overhear over the deepest part of the abyss. their discourse, that he caught the In the mean time, the lovers were softness of Adelaide's voice, in a sub- delighting themselves with prospects dued manner, urging her lover to of future happiness, which now, insuffer in patience, adding, in such deed, seemed no longer delusive. accents, as a ministering angel would Theodore had that day received letemploy to sooth the troubled soul, ters from the Prince de the " My father is not inexorable, and French commander, whose life he the interest of those friends whom saved in Switzerland. This geneyou mention I know to be great : at rous friend had not forgotten the oball events, the happiness of another ligation, and had so represented the interview awaits use we meet again matter to his Sovereign, that Theoto-morrow.” The sounds were now dore's little estate was not only reindistinct, but the Count had ob- stored, but the King had invested tained the desired information. He him with the honour of knighthood, continued to watch their motions. and farther offered him an honourTheodore accompanied Adelaide till able rank in his army. Theodore nearly within view of the castle ; could now have no objection to acthen bidding a hasty adieu, he cept of these favours, and the only struck into a more secluded path, remaining difficulty was to obtain which conducted to the bridge across the consent and forgiveness of his the ravine, and thence to the cottage uncle. Of this Adelaide did not where he had fixed his temporary despair, as she believed her father abode.

had also received letters to the same The Count now exulted in the import, for he had that day, for the certain prospect of accomplishing his first time since his departure, mendesigns. The lovers were to meet on tioned the name of Theodore ; saythe succeeding eve. Theodore had ing," he was happy to hear, for his but one way to pass ; total darkness own sake, that the youth had not actwould then involve the bed of the ed so dishonourably as he had been

led to believe." It was therefore ret, built on the very verge of the determined that Theodore should rock on which the castle stood, and immediately request an interview where two windows overlooked the with the Baron, and that Adelaide stream*. At this moment something should expect the result in the pa- white, floating on its surface, caught vilion.

the eye of Theodore. A sad presenThe interview between the rela timent seized his mind,-he rushed tives was cordial; many things, from the apartment, descended the however, were to be explained, and rocks with fearful rapidity, and considerable space elapsed in the clasped the body of the lifeless Adeconference between Theodore and laide. his uncle.

What words can describe the franAdelaide, in the interval, could not tic grief of the bapless lover, or the feel composed, while her happiness speechless sorrow of the aged parent! was thus at stake, and her future life Happily the sufferings of the latter trembling on the point of decision. were of short duration. He died beTired of repose, she began to pace fore the morning rays dawned on his the small apartment included within wretchedness. the circuit of the pavilion. Motion Three days did Theodore watch of body, she thought, gave her mind the beloved remains, in silent and ease, and she continued her walk in solitary woe. On the fourth, the the open air. In this state of anxie- funeral obsequies were solemnized. ty, every place was alike indifferent, When the last of the hallowed mould and every spot equally well known. had been placed upon their graves, Without surprise, then, for it was at and when the crowd of mourners was no great distance from the summer now lessening, “ Hast thou at last house, she found her steps had been broken?” exclaimed the youth, speakunconsciously directed to the rustic ing for the first time, and laying his bridge. The fresh air will cool hand on his heart, as he sunk upon my feverish brow," thought she, and the ground. Then, in scarcely auadvanced. Her light foot was heard dible accents,

Lay me,

said he, for a moment on the platform-it “ by Adelaide,” and expired. ceased--a faint and convulsive shriek The wretch who had occasioned all -a heavy plunge sounding for an those calamities had' alone been instant, above the roar of the torrent, privy to his own machinations. But told the fate of the young and lovely the confession of the Baron's domesvictim.

tic, whom he had seduced to act as a The Baron and Theodore were spy, was sufficient to implicate him now reconciled. Every thing had in suspicion. The Count was therebeen explained to the old man's sa fore arrested, and, agonized by retisfaction. “But where is Adelaide?” morse, at last voluntarily confessed said he, with impatient satisfaction his guilt. Between his sentence and in his accents ; why does not she execution, however, Reason deserted partieipate in the happiness of this her throne ; a raving maniac, he moment?" “I go to call her," said survived many years, a fearful exTheodore; my

cousin waits in the ample of the effects of crime, and pavilion.” They were at this time enduring a punishment more terrible in a recess formed by a corner tur than death itself.

This recess was pointed out to the writer-commands a full view of the stream, and is at no great height above it.

Beatrice Cenci,

Whose picture hangs in the Barberini Palace at Rome.

il tristo quadro
Di supplizio, di rossor.
D'innocenza, di terror. Gianni.

be ;


THEY shew you there a sweet Italian face, She hath no haughty look, nor could it
And Sadness sits enshrin'd in gentle eyes,
Whose piteous look no time shall e'er ef- She was the meekest child of misery.

Within no palace gay, or crimson'd room, Dark is their shade, but there no lustre But in the echoing dungeon's dripping.

gloom, It once had been, when heart to heart A famous painter sketch'd that lady there, replies ;

(Guido his name, you've heard of him, The care-worn cheek is now most deathly perhaps,) pale;

At midnight hour by torches' smoky As tender lilies o'er the rose prevail,

glare ; Withering the soonest ;-down upon her Upon the morn, before few hours would brow

lapse, And shoulders hang neglected wreaths of For awful doom that maiden did prepare ; hair

And when that moment came-- the hour. Of glossy black, which grief doth not al. of death, low

Before the thousands of assembled Rome, To curl or braid, (for these she hath no Who wept for one so young, and held care ;)

their breath, They fall upon a robe of dismal white,- She met with smiles her drear, imperious A turban of the same doth bind her head, doom, And seems like day-light rising o'er the For her there was no refuge but the night.

tomb ! A fated victim to the altar led,

A dreadful deed was by her breast con. Deck'd out she seems,-a hapless bridal- ceiv'd, day

A father's blood was by that daughter Perchance ; in spite of all those marks of shed, woe,

(Oh ! look again, for some have scarce 'Tis yet a lovely face in sad array,

believ'd.) From which I lack'd the pow'r to turn The timid deer will turn, which tremaway,

bling fled But gaz'd for long; and when I thought Before the panting hounds, and, despe

rate, try I came again, and stood as I before A furious vengeance on the huntsman's Had done, and knew not why I thus did life, 50,

Although a moment next, and it must Such was the secret spell this picture die

Beneath another's quick avenging knife. So then I question'd him who stood be- And such was she whom you do now beside,

hold ; In careless mood, the keeper of the hall, Goaded to frenzy by a wretched sire, What that fair face could in that dress She could not flee-his crime must not betide ?

be told ; And why so pale, and hair-dishevell'd all ? And let no mortal ever dare inquire ; He said, “ That portrait was not meant Enough for us to know, that wrong more

deep, Of lover's eyes, or flatter Beauly's pride; No thought of man could on another It asks but pity, and expects no praise ;


to go,

bore ;

for gaze

heap !”



“ Damnant quod non intelligunt."-Cicero. This being what a certain celebrated periodicalist would call “ a review, atory age,” it can scarcely be expected that critics, whether British or foreign, should escape being criticised; nor, in fact, is it expedient or right that they should. These self-constituted and arbitrary dispensers of praise or censure do not always find it convenient to favour their readers with the grounds upon which they applaud or condemn, and are often inclined to rely more upon strength of assertion than force of argument, and to supply the want of solid information by a sly sneer or a paltry sarcasm. This is an evil under the sun, but it carries with it its own remedy. The same engine which is often made subservient to the dissemination of prejudice, illiberality, and error, is equally potent to diffuse justice, liberality, and truth. The question, therefore, - Quis custodiet ipsos custodes ?-is answered in the only way in which the true friend of his country can ever approve.

Not doubting that the Editor of the “ British Critic" will readily allow to others the liberty he has long practised himself, I beg leave to remind him of the 3d Article in the number of that publication for June 1823, bearing to be a review of a work lately published, called the “ Cambridge Tart, and containing the following sentence : “ As it is, we shrewdly conjecture, that some enemy from the illegitimate Academies north of Tweed, or, perhaps, from one of the many royal, metropolitan, or literary institutions, which are hourly endeavouring to push our venerable mothers from their stools, has amassed this spurious assemblage of dullness, and palmed it, with an evil intent, upon the world, solely to detract from the fair reputation of our misused parent.” Now, it is merely with the words “ illegiti. mate Academies north of Tweed" I have to find fault, leaving the “ Cambridge Tart” to those whose appetites it may suit.

That there are numerous Academies in the northern part of Great Britain is notorious; but, that all or any of them are illegitimate, I am yet to learn. The term Academy, in its modern acceptation, is a very indefinite expresa sion; being sometimes applied to the incorporations of learned men; at others, to the hop-skip-and-a-jump of a village dancing-master; nay, we have them of all grades and distinctions, as may be easily known, by looking at the advertisements in any newspaper in the months of January and July. There are preparatory Academies, finishing Academies, equestrian Academies, dancing Academies, drawing Academies, medical Academies, carving Academies, with many others. Having used such a latitude of expression as “illegitimate Academies," I may perhaps be pardoned should I not fix it upon the species meant to be designated. But if the reviewer mean the Universities of Scotland, (the word Academies is printed in italics,) he has gone most gratuitously out of his way, to cast a sneer upon the institutions of a country where learning is cheaper and more generally diffused than in any other part of Europe. But this attack need not to be wondered at in a Review long notorious for all that is illiberal, exclusionary, and bigotted. Are all the students and loungers at Cambridge so highly gifted, and deeply learned, as to be utterly incapable of having given to the world this sour tart, which has not only set the critic's teeth on edge, but considerably ruffled his temper? or has Scotland hitherto proved so barren of genius, that it should immediately and naturally present itself as the foster-parent, at least, of the person who is the compiler of “ this spurious assemblage of dullness ?” What right has he to assume that enmity exists in the “ Academies north of Tweed” to Cambridge or Oxford ? 'perhaps he knows that provocation has been offered sufficient to make enemies of them ; of this, at

least, he may be assured, that the Universities of Scotland steadily pursue their course, without regarding his praise or censure. Conscious, as they must be, of the immense benefit they have been of to mankind, they are not likely, either to relax in their exertions, or be deterred from pursuing the path they have marked out for themselves, by the flippant and groundless assertions of any author, whether anonymous or avowed. Now, the epithet

illegitimate," as applied to “Academy,” must mean unlawful. By what process of reasoning does the writer of this article arrive at the conclusion, that the Academies, as he terms them, north of Tweed, are illegitimate or unlawful? Can he prove them to be illegal incorporations, or combinations of men for an illegal purpose ? No--for they have all been repeatedly recognised, not only as lawful associations for a most useful and meritorious end, but as Universities ; and that not only by the Sovereigns and Parliament of Scotland, before the Union of the two kingdoms, but since, by many Acts of the Parliament of Great Britain. Had there been any thing spurious or illegitimate in their constitution, would his present Majesty, during his late visit to the northern part of the island, have received their addresses in the same manner he does those of Oxford and Cambridge, on the throne ? So much for the illegitimacy of these learned bodies! It must be allowed, there is a wide difference between the ancient and modern acceptation of the term Academy. The Axæðhpels, or Aradenia, of the Greeks, from which the Latins took their Academia, the French their Académie, and we our word Academy, was, as every one knows, a villa or garden near Athens, where Plato and his disciples held their philosophical disputations ; but the moderns have applied the term generally, to signify a society of learned men, instituted for the improvement of any art or science. The first modern Academy is supposed to have beeu established by Charlemagne, on the recommendation of Alcuin *, and was composed of the chief wits of the court, and of the Emperor himself. Almost all the nations of Europe have Acadernies : there are several in Italy and France, and we have“ the Royal Societies” of London and Edinburgh, and the “Royal Irish Academy,” besides the Academies of painting and music. The principal Academies have been arranged according to the subjects for the promotion of which they were instituted + : As, Ist, Medical Academies, the Colleges of Physicians; the Society of the Naturæ Curiosi of Germany, that at Palerino, another at Vepice, and one at Geneva ; the Societé d' Emulation at Paris, and many others on the Continent : 2d, Chirurgical Academies, as the Colleges of Surgeons of London, Edinburgh, and Dublin, and the Chirurgical Academy of Paris : 3d, Ecclesiastical Academies, as the one at Bologna instituted for instruction in divinity and ecclesiastical history: 4th, Cosmographical Academies, as the " Argonauts” at Venice : 5th, Academies of Sciences : 6th, Academies of Law: 7th, Academies of History: 8th, Academies of Antiquities : 9th, Academies of Belles Lettres : 10th, Academies of Languages; 11th, Academies of Dancing: 12th, Academies of Painting : 13th, Academies of Architecture : 14th, Academies of Politics : 15th, Naval and Military Academies, as those at Woolwich and Sandhurst. (Riding-schools are also frequently called Academies.). Now, in Scotland there are Academies, or, in other words, incorporations or societies for the cultivation of literature and the sciences,--and those, too, highly celebrated throughout the civilized world; as the “ Royal Society" of Edinburgh, the “ Antiquarian Society, the “ Royal Medical Society," and the “ Royal Physical Society” of Edinburgh, the “ Wernerian Society," the “ Natural History Society,” the “ Speculative Society,” &c. $; and at Perth there is an institution for the

According to Vossius, our celebrated countryman Alcuin caused also the Universities of Tours and Soissons to be founded.

+ An institution, called “ The Edinburgh Academy,” is at present being erected in the New Town of Edinburgh, as a seminary preparatory for the University ; but, as a Royal Charter has been applied for, and now, in all probability obtained, this cstablishment will not hereafter be ranked, even by the most thorough-paced courtier, among the “ illegitimates." Vide Encyclopædia Britannica.

Ş Vide Encyclopædia Britannica.


[ocr errors]


« AnteriorContinuar »