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war to avoid France and its frontiers, as well death, constantly refusing the pecuniary aid
as the troops, who rendered the roads impas- which had been pressed on him. He had dissable. This necessity for attending to detail, played the most brilliant valor—that of France and taking, almost every instant, a new reso during the war, and an unchangeable gaiety
lution, was utterly insufferable. His health, in the midst of reverses. He was anxious to instead of improving, often obliged him to stop, visit Rome, that he might find a relative, while he longed to arrive at some other place, whose heir he expected to become; and wish
or at least to fly from where he was. He tooked for a companion, or rather a friend, with the least possible care of his constitution ; whom to make the journey agreeably. accusing himself as culpable, with but too Lord Nelvil's saddest recollections were great severity. If he wished still to live, it attached to France; yet he was exempt from was but for the defence of his country. the prejudices which divided the two nations.
“My native land,” would he sigh" has it One Frenchman had been his intimate friend not a parental right over me ? but I want pow- in whom he had found an union of the most er to serve it usefully. I must not offer it the estimable qualities. He therefore offered, feeble existence which I drag towards the sun, through the narrator of Count d'Erfeuil's to beg of him some principle of life, that may story, to take this noble and unfortunate young struggle against my woes. None but a father man with him to Italy. The banker in an could receive me thus, and love me the more, hour informed him that his proposal was the more I was deserted by nature and by fate." | gratefully accepied. Oswald rejoiced in ren
He had flattered himself that a continual dering this service to another, though it costi change of external objects would somewhat him much to resign his seclusion; and his redivert his fancy from its usual routine ; but he serve suffered greatly at the prospect of findcould not, at first, realize this effect. It is ing himself thus thrown on the society of a necessary, after any great loss, to familiarise man he did not know. ourselves afresh with all that had surrounded He shortly received a visit of thanks from us, accustom ourselves again even to familiar the Count, who possessed an elegant manner, faces, to the house in which we live, and the ready politeness, and good taste; from the daily habits which we must resume: every first appearing perfectly at his ease, Every soch effort jars fearfully on the heart; and one, on seeing him, wondered at what he had nothing so multiplies them as travelling from undergone: for he bore his lot with a courage one scene to another.
approaching to forgetfulness. There was a Oswald's only pleasure was exploring the liveliness in his conversation truly admirable, Tyrol, on a horse which he had brought from while he spoke of his own misfortunes ; though Scotland and who climbed the hills at a gallop. less so, it must be owned, when extended to The astonished peasants began by shrieking other subjects. with fright, as they saw him borne along the " I am greatly obliged to your Lordship,” precipice's edge, and ended by clapping their said he,"for transporting me from Germany, hands in admiration of his dexterity, grace, of which I am tired to death." “ And yet," and courage. He loved the sense of danger. replied Nelvil," you are universally beloved It threw off the weight of grief and recon- and respected here.” “I have friends, inciled him for the instant with that life which deed, whom I shall sincerely regret; for in he thus seemed to rescue, and which it would this country one meets none but the best of have been so easy to lose.
people : only I don't know a word of German, and you will confess that it were a long and tedious task to learn it. Since I had the illluck to lose my uncle, I have not known what to do with my leisure : while I had to attend on him, that filled up my time; but now the four-and-twenty hours hang heavily on my
hands.” “The delicacy of your conduct toCHAPTER III.
wards your kinsman, Count,” said Nelvil,
" has impressed me with the deepest regard Ar Inspruck, where he stayed for some for you. “I did no more than my duty. time, in the house of a banker, Oswald was Poor man! he had lavished his favors on my 1 much interested by the history of Count d'Er- childhood. I could never have left him, had feuil
, a French emigrant, who had sustained he lived to be a hundred; but 'tis well for him the total loss of an immense fortune with per- that he's gone; 'twere well for me to be with fect serenity. By his musical talents he him," he added, laughing, "for I've little to had maintained himself and an aged uncle, hope in this world. I did my best, during the over whom he watched till the good man's I war, to get killed; but since fate would spare
me, I must live on as I may." "I shall congra-
rive his fortitude, yet pliancy of character?
The Count then agreed on the hour for setting forth next day, and with a graceful bow, departed. After the mere interchange of civilities with which their journey commenced, Oswald remained silent for some hours; but perceiving that this fatigued his fellow traveller, he asked him if he anticipated much pleasure in his visit to Italy. "Oh," replied the Count, "I know what to expect, and don't look forward to the least amusement. friend of mine passed six months there, and tells me that there is not a French province without a better theatre, and more agreeable society, than Rome; but in that ancient capital of the world I shall be sure to find some of my countrymen to chat with; and that is all I require. "Then you have not been tempted to learn Italian?" "No, that was never included in the plan of my studies," he answered, with so serious an air, that one might have thought him expressing a resolution founded on the gravest motives. "The fact is," he continued, "that I like no people but the English and the French. Men must be proud like you, or wits like ourselves; allself happy appears wiser than he who suffers. the rest is mere imitation." Oswald said nothing. A few moments afterwards the Count renewed the conversation by sallies of vivacity and humor, in which he sported with words and phrases most ingeniously; but neither what he saw nor what he felt was his theme. His discourse sprang not from within, nor from without; but, steering clear alike of reflection and imagination, found its subjects in the superficial traits of society. He named twenty persons in France and England, inquiring if Lord Nelvil knew, them; and related as many pointed anecdotes, as if, in his opinion, the only language for a man of taste was the gossip of good company. Nelvil pondered for some time on this singu-you have known wound less than do the sorlar combination of courage and frivolity, this rows of my heart." "The sorrows of the contempt of misfortune, which would have heart! ay, true, they must be the worst of all: been so heroic if it had cost more effort, in- but still you must console yourself; for a senstead of springing from the same apathy sible man ought to banish from his mind whatwhich rendered him incapable of deep affec- ever can be of no service to himself or others. tions. "An Englishman," thought he, "would Are we not placed here below to be useful have been overwhelmed by similar circum- first, and consequently happy? My dear NelWhence does this Frenchman de- vil, let us hold by that faith."
D'Erfeuil was every way mild, obliging, and free; serious only in his self-love, and worthy to be liked as much as he could like another; that is, as a good companion in pleasure and in peril, but one who knew not how to participate in others' pain. He wearied of Oswald's melancholy; and, as well from the goodness of his heart as from taste, he strove to dissipate it. "What would you have?" he often said: "Are you not young, rich, and well, if you choose? you are but fancy-sick. I have lost all, and know not what will become of me ; yet I enjoy life as if I possessed every earthly blessing.' "Your courage is as rare as it is honorable," replied Nelvil; "but the reverses
The Count gave no attention to Italy, and rendered it almost impossible for Oswald to enjoy it. D'Erfeuil continually disturbed his friend's admiration of a fine country, and sense of its picturesque charm: our invalid listened as oft as he could to the sound of the winds, or the murmur of the waves; the voice of nature did more for his mind than sketches of coteries held at the foot of the Alps, among ruins, or on the banks of the sea.
His own grief would have been less an obstacle to the pleasure he might have tasted than was the mirth of d'Erfeuil. The regrets of a feeling heart may find relief in a contemplation of nature and an enjoyment of the fine arts; but frivolity, under whatever form it appears, deprives attention of its power, thought of its originality, and sentiment of its depth. One strange effect of the Count's levity was its inspiring Nelvil with diffidence in all their relations with each other. The most thoughtful characters are often the easiest abashed. The giddy embarrass and over-awe the contemplative; and the being who calls him
neath the portico, the soul delights to recall its purest of emotions-religion-while gazing at that superb spectacle, the sea, on which man never left his trace. He may plough the earth, and cut his way through mountains, or contract rivers into canals, for the transport of his merchandise; but if his fleets for a moment furrow the ocean, its waves as inefface this slight mark of servitude, and it again appears such as it was on the first day of its creation."
Lord Nelvil had decided to start for Rome on the morrow, when he heard, during the night, a terrific cry from the streets, and hastening from his hotel to learn the cause, beheld a conflagration which, beginning at the port, spread from house to house towards the
All this was rational enough, in the usual sense of the word; for d'Erfeuil was, in most respects, a clear-headed man. The impassioned are far more liable to weakness, than the fickle; but, instead of his mode of thinking securing the confidence of Nelvil, he would fain have assured the Count that he was the happiest of human beings, to escape the infliction of his attempts at comfort.stantly Nevertheless, d'Erfeuil became strongly attached to Lord Nelvil. His resignation and simplicity, his modesty and pride, created respect irresistibly. The Count was perplexed by Oswald's external composure, and taxed his memory for all the grave maxims, which in childhood he had heard from his old relations, in order to try their effect upon his friend; and astonished at his failing to van-higher part of the town. The flames were quish his apparent coldness, he asked himself, reflected afar off in the sea; the wind, inAm I not good-natured, frank, brave, and creasing their violence, agitated their images popular in society? What do I want, then, to on the waves, which mirrored in a thousand make an impression on this man! May there shapes the blood-red features of a lurid fire. not be some misapprehension between us, The inhabitants, having no engine in good rearising, perhaps, from his not sufficiently un- pair(1), hurriedly bore forth what succor they derstanding French?” could; above their shouts was heard a clank of chains, as the slaves from the galleys toiled to save the city which served them for a priThe various people of the Levant, whom commerce had drawn to Ancona, betrayed their consternation by the stupor of their looks. The merchants, at the sight of their blazing stores, lost all presence of mind. Alarm for property affects the mass of men almost as much as for life, without awakening that desperate energy of soul which will find and try every resource.
The shouts of sailors have ever something dreary in their sound; fear now rendered them still more appalling. The mariners of the Adriatic were clad in peculiar red and brown hoods, from which peeped their animated Italian faces, under every expression of dismay. The natives, lying on the earth, covered their heads with their cloaks, as if nothing remained for them to do but exclude the sight of their calamity. Reckless fury and blind submission reigned alternately, but no one evinced that coolness which redoubles our means and our strength.
An unforeseen circumstance much increased the sensations of deference which d'Erfeuil felt towards his travelling companion. Lord Nelvil's state of health obliged him to stop some days at Ancona. Mount and main conspired to beautify its site; and the crowd of Greeks, orientally seated at work before the shops, the varied costumes of the Levant, to be met with in the streets, give the town an original and interesting air. Civilisation tends to render all men alike, in appearance if not in reality yet fancy may find pleasure in characteristic national distinctions.
Men only resemble each other when sophisticated by sordid or fashionable life; whatever is natural admits of variety. There is a slight gratification, at least for the eyes, in that diversity of dress, which seems to promise us equally novel ways of feeling and of judgment. The Greek, Catholic, and Jewish forms of canto of Childe Harold, but without acknowledging whence worship exist peaceably together in Ancona. Their ceremonies are strongly contrasted; but the same sigh of distress, the same petition for support, ascends to Heaven from all.
* Lord Byron translated this paragraph in the fourth
the ideas were borrowed :—
The Catholic church stands on a height that overlooks the main, the lash of whose tides frequently blends with the chant of the priests. Within, the edifice is loaded by ornaments of indifferent taste; but, pausing be
"Roll on, thou dark and deep blue ocean-roll!
Time writes no wrinkle on thine azure brow-
Oswald remembered that there were two hatchets, to cut down the gate which confined English vessels in the harbor: the fire-engines these hapless men, who instantly spread themof both were in perfect order: he ran to the selves about the town, rushing to their merCaptain's house, and put off with him in a boat, |chandise, through the flames, with that greedito fetch them. Those who witnessed this ness of wealth, which impresses us SO exclaimed to him, "Ah, you foreigners do well painfully, when it drives men to brave even to leave our unhappy town!" "We shall soon death; as if human beings, in the present return," said Oswald. They did not believe state of society, had nothing to do with the him, till he came back, and placed one of the simple gift of life. There was now but one engines in front of the house nearest to the house, at the upper part of the town, where port, the other before that which blazed in the the fire mocked all efforts to subdue it. So centre of the street. Count d'Erfeuil ex- little interest had been shown in this abode, posed his life with gay and careless daring. that the sailors, believing it vacant, had carThe English sailors and Lord Nelvil's serv- ried their engines towards the port. Oswald ants came to his aid, for the populace remained himself, stunned by the calls for aid around motionless, scarcely understanding what these him, had almost disregarded it. The conflastrangers meant to do, and without the slight-gration had not been early communicated to est faith in their success. The bells rung this place, but it had made great progress from all sides; the priests formed processions; | there. He demanded so earnestly what the weeping females threw themselves before their dwelling was, that at last a man informed him, sculptured saints; but no one thought on the natural powers which God has given man for his own defence. Nevertheless, when they perceived the fortunate effects of Oswald's activity-the flames extinguished, and their homes preserved-rapture succeeded astonishment: they pressed around him, and kissed his hand with such ardent eagerness, that he was obliged by feigned displeasure to drive them from him, lest they should impede the rapid succession of necessary orders for saving the town. Every one ranked himself beneath Oswald's command: for, in trivial as in great events, where danger is, firmness will find its rightful station; and while men strongly fear, they cease to feel jealousy. Amid the general tumult, Nelvil now distinguished shrieks more horrible than aught he had previously heard, as if from the other extremity of the town. He inquired their source; and was told that they proceeded from the Jews' quarter. The officer of police was accustomed to close its gates every evening; the fire gained on it, and the occupants could not escape. Oswald shuddered at the thought, and bade them instantly open the barriers; but the women, who heard him, flung themselves at his feet, exclaiming, "Oh, our good angel! you must be aware that it is certainly on their account we have endured this visitation; it is they who bring us ill fortune; and if you set them free, all the water of the ocean will never quench these flames." They entreated him to let the Jews be burnt with as much persuasive eloquence as if they had been petitioning for an act of mercy. Not that they were by nature cruel, but that their superstitious fancies were forcibly struck by a great disaster. Oswald with difficulty contained his indignation at hearing a prayer so revolting. He sent four English sailors, with
the Hospital for Maniacs! Overwhelmed by these tidings, he looked in vain for his assistants, or for Count d'Erfeuil; as vainly did he call upon the inhabitants: they were employed in taking care of their property, and deemed it ridiculous to risk their lives for the sake of men who were all incurably mad. "It will be no one's fault if they die, but a blessing to themselves and families," was the general opinion; but while they expressed it, Oswald strode rapidly towards the building, and even those who blamed involuntarily followed him. On reaching the house, he saw, at the only window not surrounded by flame, the unconscious creatures, looking on, with that heart-rending laughter which proves either an ignorance of all life's sad realities, or such deep-seated despair as disarms death's most frightful aspect of its power. An indescribable chill seized him at this sight. In the severest period of his own distress he had felt as if his reason were deserting him; and, since then, never looked upon insanity without the most painful sympathy. He secured a ladder which he found near, placed it against the wall, ascended through the flames, and entered, by its window, the room where the unfortunate lunatics were assembled. Their derangement was sufficiently harmless to justify their freedom within doors; only one was chained. Fortunately the floor was not consumed, and Oswald's appearance in the midst of these degraded beings had all the effect of enchantment; at first they obeyed without resistance. He bade them descend before him, one after the other, by the ladder, which might in a few seconds be destroyed. The first of them complied in silence, so entirely had Oswald's looks and tones subdued them. Another, heedless of the danger in which the least delay must involve Oswald and himself,
was inclined to rebel; the people, alive to all the horrors of the situation, called on Lord Nelvil to come down, and leave the senseless wretches to escape as they could; but their deliverer would listen to nothing that could defeat his generous enterprise. Of the six patients found in the hospital, five were ready safe. The only one remaining was the youth who had been fettered to the wall. Os wald loosened his irons, and bade him take the same course as his companions; but, on feeling himself at liberty, after two years' bondage, he sprung about the room with frantic delight, which, however, gave place to fury, when Oswald desired him to get out of the window. But finding persuasion fruitless, and seeing that the fatal element was fast extending its ravages, he clasped the struggling maniac in his arms; and, while the smoke prevented his seeing where to step, leaped from the last bars of the ladder, giving the rescued man, who still contended with his benefactor, into the hands of persons whom he charged to guard him carefully.
Oswald, with his locks disordered, and his countenance sweetly yet proudly animated by the perils he had braved, struck the gazing crowd with an almost fanatical admiration; the women, particularly, expressed themselves in that fanciful language, the universal gift of Italy, which often lends a dignity to the address of her humblest children. They cast themselves on their knees before him, crying, _66 Assuredly thou art St. Michael, the patron of Ancona. Show us thy wings, yet do not fly, save to the top of our cathedral, where all may see and pray to thee!" My child is ill, oh cure him!" said one. "Where," added another, "is my husband, who has been absent so many years? tell me!" Oswald was longing to escape, when d'Erfeuil, joining him, pressed his hand. "Dear Nelvil!" he began, "could you share nothing with your friend? 'twas cruel to keep all the glory to yourself." "Help me from this place!" returned Oswald in a low voice. A moment's darkness favored their flight, and both hastened in search of post-horses. Sweet as was the first sense of the good he had just effected, with whom could he partake it, now that his best friend was no more? So wretched is the bereaved, that felicity and care alike remind him of his heart's solitude. What substitute has life for the affection born with us for that mutual understanding, that kindred sympathy, that friendship, formed by Heaven to exist but between parent and child? We may love again; but the happiness of confiding the whole soul to another, that we can never regain.
OSWALD sped to Rome, over the Marches of Ancona, and the Papal States, without re-. marking or interesting himself in anything. Besides his melancholy, his disposition had a al-natural indolence, from which it could only be roused by some strong passion. His taste for the arts was not yet developed; he had lived but in England and in France ;* in the former, society is everything,-in the latter, political interests nearly absorb all others. His mind, concentrated in his griefs, could not yet solace itself in the wonders of nature, or the works of art.
D'Erfeuil, running through every town, with the Guide-Book in his hand, had the double pleasure of making away with his time, and of assuring himself that there was nothing to see worthy the praise of any one who had been in France. This nil admirari of his discouraged Oswald, who was also somewhat prepossessed against Italy and Italians. He could not yet penetrate the mystery of the people or their country,-a mystery that must be solved rather by imagination than by that spirit of judgment which an English education particularly matures.
The Italians are more remarkable for what they have been, and might be, than for what they are. The wastes that surround Rome, as if the earth, fatigued by glory, disdained to become productive, are but uncultivated and neglected lands to the utilitarian. Oswald, accustomed from his childhood to a love of order and public prosperity, received, at first, an unfavorable impression in crossing such abandoned plains as mark the approach to the former queen of cities. Looking on the scene with the eye of an enlightened patriot, he censured the idle inhabitants and their rulers.
The Count d'Erfeuil regarded it as a man of the world; and thus the one from reason, and the other from levity, remained dead to the effect which the Campagna produces on a mind filled by a regretful memory of those natural beauties and splendid misfortunes, which invest this country with an indescribable charm.
The Count uttered the most comic lamentations over the environs of Rome. "What!" said he, "no villas? no equipages? nothing to announce the neighborhood of a great city? Good God! how dull!" The same pride with which the natives of the coast point out
-*This alludes to a previous tour; in his present one, Oswald has not approached France. His longest stay was in Germany.-TR.