Imatges de pàgina

any change in the tricks which he has been principles, and tended to give them firmness taught, or the routine in which he has been and stability. Party made him an eloquent accustomed to move; but an experience, debater ; experience made him a liberal liberal and enlightened, which bears the statesman, and, welcomed by the voice of testimony of ages and nations, and collects his sovereign and the people, he became a from it the general principles which regu- high-minded and patriotic minister. Of his late the mechanism of society. Though domestic and foreign policy we have alparty introduced him into the senate, the ready spoken. Had not Mr Canning taken constitution of his mind, as he became his seat in the cabinet on the death of the matured in years, preserved him in the Marquis of Londonderry, the measures happy medium between the extremes of contemplated by that nobleman would, no party violence. As a minister, he was doubt, have been persevered in by his col. neither behind nor before the age in which leagues. Then insurrection acts, banishhe lived; therefore, he was not disposed to ments, and all the rigour of an inquisition, drag backwards by his antiquated opi- must have gone on, till they could go no nions, nor to impel it forward to measures farther, and desolation closed the drama. of change for which it was unprepared. The late policy was wholly Mr.Canning's; Mr. Canning was not naturally a man assented to, and supported in some degree, prone to extremes. Circumstances and by Lord Liverpool, but contemned by most inexperience placed him at the ultra point of those who went out of office on Mr. of despotism. He was a violent tory at Canning's appointment to the premiership. the beginning, but he lived in a country Some of those measures were suggested of freedom, where liberal principles were long ago by members of the then opposidiffused. By these he was insensibly in- tion, and portions of them were carried fluenced, but he was never hurried by his through parliament by Mr. Huskisson and feelings into visionary schemes and ex Mr. Peel; but the spirit of the policy was periments. He had no natural alliance Mr. Canning's, and he was supported in either with the tory or whig aristocracy, these his measures by the opposite side, and he dreaded popular frenzy and delu- now with and in administration. sion. Determined to uphold the constitu “The literary productions of Mr.Canning tion, he would have contemplated with are merely specimens of his attainments, horror any attempt to alter its basis or and the natural bent of his mind. He change its character. When he found never intended that they should form the that the toryism of his youth threatened basis of his reputation. He was the best the subversion of this glorious fabric, he writer in the Anti-jacobin, the best essayist abandoned its ultra peculiarities. He con- in the Microcosm, the master spirit in the sidered power as a trust reposed in him for Loves of the Triangles, and a satirist not the public good. Instead of growing des- inferior to Gifford in his New Morality. potic in proportion to the elevation to In fact, he was every thing he chose to be. which he was gradually raised by the Lord Byron did not err when he said, voice of the people, and the favour of his Canning is a genius, almost an universal sovereign, he exhibited the rare example one ;-an orator, a wit, a poet, and a of increasing moderation and liberality. statesman.' His views enlarged with his sphere of in “One other liberal testimony, the tones of fluence; and when he reached the summit which, like melancholy yet sublime music, of his ambition, he was prepared to wield have been wafted to us from across the the powers of the state with the strenuous Atlantic, to soothe and exalt us at the same arm of a man formed for the times in which moment, and we have done. It is that he appeared destined to act so conspicu, fine eulogy on our departed statesman, ous a part. He conciliated his former po- pronounced in congress by the President litical opponents, and, without yielding to of the United States, Quincey Adams, Esq. their dictation, availed himself of their He was a Briton through and through. assistance. He was not properly a whig, British in his feelings, British in his aims, but he was not unwilling that a strong in- British in all his policy and projects. It fusion of whiggism should neutralize the made no difference whether the lever that leaven of toryism, when he saw that its was to raise them was fixed at home or fermentation was likely to endanger the abroad, for he was always and equally safety and prosperity of his country. If, British. The influence, the grandeur, the as a statesman, his mind was not of the very dominion of Britain were the dream of his highest order, he was incomparably the boyhood; to establish them all over the best man of business, and the most effective globe, even in the remote region where public orator of his age. The long con the waters of Columbia flow in solitude, cealed, but sudden ebullition of the hatred formed the intense efforts of his riper of his former colleagues was highly favour- years. For this he valued power, and for able to the development of his genuine this he used it. Greece he left to her

melancholy fortunes, though so much alive young person of gentle birth but of indifto all the touching recollections and beau- ferent estate, which caused him to be more ties of that devoted land, because the favourably regarded by Bianca than her question of her escape from a thraldom so father desired, who had set his heart upon long, so bitter, and so unchristian, was a matching her with a certain wealthy merTurkish and European, not a British ques- chant of Palermo. The power of a parent tion. For Britain's sake exclusively, he in those days being much more despotic took the determination to counteract France than in our temperate times, poor and the Continent in Spanish America. wretched girl was finally compelled to So, for Britain's sake he invariably bestow her hand on the merchant, wherewatched, and was as invariably for coun upon Tebaldo instantly took leave of his teracting the United States. He had saga- country, and with a hopeless passion at city to see into the present and latent heart wandered over Europe. resources of our commercial, our naviga As soon as she was married, Bianca was ting, our manufacturing strength. Upon taken by her husband to his country the knowledge of these, actual and pros- house, which was situated on the seapective, he took his measures; and if we coast, towards Gigenti, his chief delight may or do think that they were not always being to watch the ships, as they fared to wisely taken, since true liberality in the and fro on their mercantile embassies, intercourse of nations is in the end apt to whereas they only recalled to Bianca the prove true wisdom, still he took them in a small white sail which had disappeared spirit that was British.

with the unfortunate Tebaldo. This pros• Those who knew this highly gifted pect of itself was sufficient to aggravate man more nearly, testify that his inter- her melancholy, but her residence on the course in the relations of private and sea-shore was yet to expose her to still social life was as attractive as his public greater miseries. career was brilliant and commanding. I at It was not uncommon in those days, for it has been as brief as brilliant does out the Barbary cruisers, those hawks of the recal the pathetic exclamation of Burke, Mediterranean, to make a sudden stop

What shadows we are, and what shadows upon our coasts, and carry off with them, we pursue !'-He ascended to the pinnacle besides other plunder, both men and of all his earthly ambition only to die !! " women, whom they sold into slavery,

amongst the Moors, in default of ransom. In this manner, making a descent by night when Mercanti was absent at Palermo,

they burnt and plundered his house, and LINES ON MADNESS.

took away Bianca; whose horror you may

well conceive, when by the blazing light Oft, at midnight hour,

of her own dwelling, she was carried off Madness, I've mused beside thy bow'r : by such swarthy barbarians, whose very The walls preclude the human sight,

language was a sphynx's riddle to her, The roof alone receives the light;

and might concern her life or death : From the living tomb, Thro' the silent gloom,

and then embarked upon a sea of fire; Faintly darts a sickly gleam ;

for there happened that night a phenomeThe nightly taper sends a beam,

non not unusual in the Mediterranean, To mark the chamber of dismay, Where, removed from light of day,

namely, the phosphorescence of the The tortur'd wretch is bound;

waters, which whether caused by glowNo parent, friend, or consort nigh,

ing marine insects, or otherwise, makes No soothing hand, no pitying eye;

the waves roll like so many blue burning The clanging whips resound, The horrid keepers' frown is there,

flames. Those who have witnessed it, The shrieks of rage, and pain and fear.

know well its dismal appearance on a Opiteous was that moan !

gloomy night, when the billows come And now, a deeper groan

and vanish away like fluxes of pallid fire, Succeeds—the struggle of imprisoned breath, The long drawn note of agonizing death. and withal so vapour-like and unsubstan

tial, that apparently the vessel, or any gross corporal substance, inust needs sink

into its ghastly abyss. With such a dreary THE TWO LOVERS OF SICILY. scene, therefore, and in the midst of those

tawny-coloured infidel Moors, with their

savage visages and uncouth garments and In the Island of Sicily, there lived a glittering arms, 'tis no marvel if Bianca beautiful girl called Biancafiore, whose thought herself amongst infernals and father was a fariner of the imposts in that the demons of torture on the sulphureous kingdom; she had several lovers, but the lake. happiest one was Tebaldo Zanche, a On the morrow, which scarcely brought

any assuagement of her fears, they had upon the lady was set at liberty, and to lost sight of Sicily, and at last she was her unspeakable joy, by the hands of her disembarked at Oran, which is an African own beloved Zanche ; yet when they report, over against Spain. Meanwhile membered the final consequence of her Tebaldo was landing at Palermo, where freedom, the brightness of their delight he learnt, with a renewal of all his pangs, was quenched with some very bitter tears. the fate of his beloved mistress. Forget. The generosity of their natures, however, ting all his enmity, therefore, he repaired triumphed over these regrets, and with presently to Mercanti, to concert with him sad-hearts, but full of virtuous resolution, how to redeem her out of the hands of the they re-embarked together, in a Genoese accursed Moors; a proceeding which he carrack for Palermo. would not have paused for, had fortune And now their evil fortune still pursued put it in his power to proceed instantly to them, for falling in with a Sallee rover, her ransom.

although they escaped a second capture by The merchant lamenting his years and the fast-sailing of their ship, they were infirmities, which forbade him to go in chased a long way out of their course into search of his wife, Tebaldo readily offer- the Straits of Gibraltar, and the wind turned himself to proceed in his behalf; add- ing contrary, increased towards night to a ing, “ that it was only through the violent tempest. In this extremity it repoverty of his means that he had not quired all the tenderness of Tebaldo to sailed already at his own suggestion ; but encourage Bianca, whose low-spirited conthat if Mercanti would furnish him with dition made her more fearfully alive to the the requisite sums, he should hope to re- horrors of the raging sea ; which, indeed store the unfortunate Bianca to his arms.' roared round them as if the watery desert The merchant wondering very much at had hungry lions of its own, as well as this proposal, and asking, what securities the sandy wastes of Africa, but ten times he could offer for such a trust

more terrible; the ship's timbers, besides “ Alas!” quoth Tebaldo, “I have straining as if they would part asunder, nothing to pledge for my performance, and the storm howling through the cordage except an unhappy love for her, that like the voices of those evil angels, who, would undergo thrice-told perils for her it is believed, were cast into the dreadful sake. I am that hopeless Tebaldo Zanche, deep. who was made so eminently miserable by When the daylight appeared, there was her marriage : nevertheless, I will forgive no glimpse of any land, but the ship was that, as well as all other mischances, if I tossing in the centre of a mere wil. may but approve my honourable regard demness of sea, and under the pitch-black for her, by this self-devoted service. There and troubled clouds, which were still are yet some reasonable doubts you may driving by a fierce wind towards the well entertain of my disinterestedness and south. The sails were torn into shreds, fidelity on such a mission, and I know and the mariners, ignorant of where they not how to remove them; but when you were, let the ship drift at the mercy of the think of the dangerous infidels in whose unmérciful elements, which slacked not hands she now is, I have a hope that you their fury because the prey no longer remay bring yourself to think her as safe at sisted, but assaulted the helpless bark with least in mine.

unmitigated rage. The passionate Tebaldo enforced these It could be no great wrong of Tebaldo arguments with so many sincere tears and Bianca, if, at such a time, they exand solemn oaths, and, besides, depicted changed one embrace together in everlastso naturally the horrible condition of the ing farewell. They then composed themlady amongst the Moors, that at last the selves to die calmly as became them, in merchant consented to his request, and each others company ; not with any vain furnishing him with the proper authorities, shrieks or struggles ; but heroically, as the generous lover, with a loyal heart, they had lived and loved. Thus sitting towhich designed nothing less than he had gether in a martyr-like mood, and listening professed, set sail on his arduous adven to the awful rushing of the waters across ture.

the deck, they heard a sudden noise overLet us pass over the hardships and dan. head, which caused Tebaldo to look forth, gers of such an enterprize, and above all and, lo! there were the drunken mariners its cruel anxieties, the hopes which were putting off from the ship's side in the longraised at Tunis being wrecked again at boat, being beguiled to their fate by a Alyiers, till at last he discovered Bianca glimpse of land, which none but their examongst the slaves of a chief pirate at perienced eyes could yet discover. HowOran, who, despairing of a ransom, began ever, they had not struggled far with their to contemplate her as his own mistress. oars, when three monstrous curling bilTebaldo's bargain was soon made ; where- lows, a great deal loftier than any of the

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rest, turned the boat over and over, wash- lovers had little cause to complain. Their ed out all the poor gasping souls that were solitary condition, however, and the metherein, whom the ensuing waves swal- lancholy of Bianca, led to many little lowed up one by one, without letting even acts of fondness from Tebaldo, which their dying cries be heard through the were almost as painful to exchange as to bewildering foam.

withhold. It was no wonder, then, if After this sacrifice, as though it had sometimes in the anguish of his heart, appeased the angry Deity of the ocean, some expressions of impatience burst from the storm sensibiy subsided ; and in an his lips, to which she answered with her hour or two, the skies clearing up, Tebal- tears. do perceived that they were off a small At last one day, when they were sitting solitary island--the ship soon after strik on a gusty rock, which overlooked the ing upon a coral reef, about two hundred sea, they both turned at once towards each fathoms from the shore. The skies still other, with adverse faces and so despairing frowning with a rearward storm, Tebaldo a look, that they cast themselves by comlost no time in framing a rude raft, with mon consent into each other's arms. In spars and empty barrels ; upon which the next moment, however, forcing themplacing Bianca, with such stores and im- selves asunder, Tebaldo began as follows, plements as he could collect, he paddled whilst Bianca corered her face with her towards the shore, where they landed hands :safely upon a little sandy beach.

“ I can bear this cruel life no longer ! Their first act was to return thanks to better were we far apart, as when you God for their miraculous preservation : were living in Sicily, and I roaming for after which they partook of a repast, that unattainabie peace all over the world. after their fatigues was very needful, and The restraint of distance was dreadful but then ascended a gentle sloping hill, which involuntary, and nothing so painful as gave them a prospect of the island. It this Your tears flow before my sight, was a small, verdant place, without any yet I must not kiss them away withont human inhabitants; but there were mil. trembling, nor soothe your audible grief lions of marine birds upon the rocks,"as upon my bosom--nor mingle my sighs tame as domestic fowls, and a prodigious with yours, though we breathe the same number of rabbits; the interior country, limited air, and not in a distant clime. We besides, seemed well wooded with various were made for each other, as our mutual trees, and the ground furnished divers love acknowledges ; and yet here, where kind of herbs, and some very_gigantic there be none besides ourselves, we must vegetables, together with many European be several and estranged. My heart is flowers, the transportation of which to torn asunder by such imperative contrasuch desolate and insular places is a dictions. Methinks there be but us two mystery to this day.

real creatures in the world, and yet the The weather again turning boisterous, horrible phantom of a third steps in bethey took shelter in a rocky cavern, which tween and frowns us miserably apart! Oh, the kind hand of Nature had scooped out Bianca! I am crazed with doubts I dare so commodiously, that it seemed to have hardly to name; but if fate did not mean been provided with a foresight of their to unite us in revocation of its former wants. Thus, with their stores from the cruelty, why should we be thus thrown

ip, they were insured against any great together, where there are none besides ? ipresent hardships,but one. Many un

As eternal a bar as was set up between us, ucky lovers, I wot, have sighed for such is now, fixed between you and your husan island, to take refuge in from the band ; nature herself, by this hopeless stern-hearted world ; yet here were two separation, divorcing you from all other such fond persons in such an asylum, ties... God knows with what scrupulous betwixt whom fate had set up an eternal exactness I have aimed at the fulfilment bar! Such thoughs as these could not of my promise—but it were hard to be but present themselves very sorrowfully to bound to an impracticable solution. It the minds of Tobaldo and Bianca ; never were true we might not thus think of each theless he served her with the most tender other in Sicily—but we meet here as if and devoted homage, and as love taught beyond the grave. If we are, as I believe, him, contributed, by a thousand apt con in the forlorn centre of the vast ocean, trivances, to her comfort and ease. what reasonable hope is there of our re

In this manner suppose them to spend demption ?-Since then, we are to spend five or six days—the cave being their the rest of our days together in this place, shelter, and Tebaldo, by fishing, or fowl we can wrong no one, but redress a great ing, or ensnaring the conies, providing a wrong to ourselves, by the stricter union change of food; so that, excepting the of our fates, which are thus far already original hardship of their fortune, the married together, until the tomb."

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The miserable Bianca wept abundantly gaze he had already fixed in the distance at this discourse; however, she begged -for, doubtless, they would rather have that Tebaldo would not mention the sub- remained as they were till they died, than ject for at least seven more days, in which return to the separation which awaited time she hoped God might save them them in Sicily :- however, the ship still from such a step, by sending some ship approached with a fair wind, and at last to their succour. She spent almost all put out a pinnace, which made directly this interval in watching from the coast, towards the island. but still there came no vessel, not so Aud now Tebaldo became a bitter conmuch even as a speck on the horizon, vert from his own arguments, confessing to give her any hope of return, Tebaldo that it was better to breathe only the same then resuming his arguments, she an. air constantly with Bianca, than to resign swered him thus :

her companionship to another ; neither “Oh, my dearest Tebaldo ! let us did she refuse to partake in his regrets ; rather die as we have lived, victims of and more tears were never shed by any implacable fate, than cast .any reproach exiles on the point of returning to their upon our innocent loves. As it is, no one native land. With heavy hearts, therecan reprove our affection, which, though fore, they descended, hand in hand, like violently controuled, we have never dis- the first pair of lovers when they quitted avowed"; but it would kill me to have to their paradise, to whom, no doubt, these blush for its unworthy close. It is true sad Sicilians inwardly compared themthat in one point we are disunited, but selves, as they walked lingeringly to meet there is no distance between our souls. the boat, which belonged to a vessel of We may not indeed gratify our fondness Genoa, and had been sent to obtain a by caresses, but it is still something to supply of wood and water. The mariners bestow our kindest language, and looks, wondered very much at their appearance, and prayers, and all lawful and honest and especially at Bianca, who wore a fanattentions upon each other ; nay, do not tastical cap, made of rabbit skins, with a you furnish me with the means of life and cloak of the same motley fur, to defend every thing that I enjoy ? which my heart her from the sharp sea air ; and as for tells me must be a very grateful office to Tebaldo, his garments were as motley as your love. Be content, then, to be the hers, being partly seaman's apparel and preserver and protector, and the very partly his own, whilst his beard and muscomforter of my life, which it is happiness taches had grown to a savage length. enough for me to owe to your loving The sailors, however, took them very hands. It is true that another man is my willingly on board, where they inquired husband, but you are my guardian angel, eagerly concerning Mercanti; but aland show a love for me that as much sure though the captain knew him well, passes his love as the heavenly nature is having often carried his freightages, he above the earthly. I would not have you could give no tidings of his estate. He stoop from this pitch, as you needs must promised, notwithstanding, to touch at -by a defect of virtue and honour ; still, Palermo ; whether the ship made a very if you insist, I will become what you wish; brief passage, to the infinite relief of the but I beseech you consider, ere that deci- lovers: for now, after all their misfor. sion, the debasement which I must suffer tunes, they were about to return to the in your esteem. Nevertheless, before same miserable point where they began. such an evil hour, I hope God will send Bianca, therefore, spent the whole time oi some ship to remove us, though, if I might the voyage in grieving apart in her own prefer my own sinful will before His, I cabin, not daring to trust herself in sight would rather of all be dead."

of Tebaldo; who on his part, at the prosThe despairing lovers at these words pect of their separation, after such an wished mutually in their hearts, that they intimate communion of danger and dishad perished together in the waves that tresses, was ready to cast himself into the were fretting before them,—when Bianca, sea. looking up towards the horizon, perceived Suppose them, then, arrived at Palerthe masts and topmost sails of a ship, mo, where Tebaldo, with a sadder heart whose hull was still hidden by the con than he had foreseen, proceeded to comvexity of the waters.* At this sight, plete his undertaking, by rendering up though it had come seemingly at her own Bianca to her husband. He repaired, invocation, she turned as pale as marble, therefore, to the house, and inquired for and with a faltering voice bade Tebaldo Mercanti ; whereupon, being shewn into observe the vessel, which with a death-like his presence

I am come,” said he, “ to render up * See the Embellishment, illustrative of the my trust, and would to God that my life above, p. 17.

were a part of the submission. I have

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