Imatges de pÓgina

burghers of these towns we owe the art of printing,—the revival of painting, the discovery of the mariner's compass, with all its attendant train of benefits,-a New World, and the passage, by sea, to the East. These we owe to the traders of Flanders, and of the Italian cities.

For what are we to thank the feudal barons of France and England? Ignorance, craft, cruelty, and superstition, were all the seed they sowed; and the crop was proportionably barren. They produced, however, a great number of very respectable 'robbers and pyllers,' fellows whose merit consisted in the bullying bravery of highwaymen, combined with something less than the honesty of a modern pickpocket. Ignorant and barbarous themselves, they seized routes of mules,' laden with the produce of other people's skill and industry; and these are the sort of men whom we are told to admire, duly despising the race who did no more for humanity than to confer on it all that we at this day consider as giving to it value, and refinement, and beauty. It is not too much to say that we owe all these to the merchants of Bruges and Venice, of Ghent and of Genoa, of Brussels and of Florence. As for the knights and barons, they could neither read nor write; they could only give and receive dry blows, and foul language.


[Description, interspersed with reflection, requires-as in the following example,-attention to change of tone, the reader passes from the one to the other; the former marked by the moderate force, middle pitch, and lively rate,—the latter, by softer, but graver, and slower utterance.]

Here,* unmolested,-through whatever sign
The sun proceeds, I wander. Neither mist,
Nor freezing sky, nor sultry, checking me;
Nor stranger intermeddling with my joy.
Even in the spring and playtime of the year,
That calls the unwonted villager abroad,
With all her little ones, a sportive train,-
To gather kingcups, in the yellow mead,
And prink their hair with daisies, or to pick
A cheap but wholesome salad from the brook,-
These shades are all my own. The timorous hare,-
Grown so familiar with her frequent guest,—

* Referring to a shady walk, a favourite resort of the poet.



Scarce shuns me; and the stockdove, unalarm'd,
Sits cooing in the pine tree, nor suspends
His long love-ditty, for my near approach.
Drawn from his refuge in some lonely elm,
That age or injury has hollow'd deep,
Where, on his bed of wool and matted leaves,
He has outslept the winter, ventures forth
To frisk awhile, and bask in the warm sun,
The squirrel,-flippant, pert and full of play:
He sees me, and, at once, swift as a bird,
Ascends the neighbouring beech; there whisks his brush,
And perks his ears, and stamps, and cries aloud,
With all the prettiness of feigned alarm,
And anger insignificantly fierce.

The heart is hard in nature, and unfit
For human fellowship, as being void
Of sympathy, and therefore dead alike
To love and friendship both, that is not pleased
With sight of animals enjoying life,

Nor feels their happiness augment his own.
The bounding fawn, that darts across the glade,

When none pursues,-through mere delight of heart,
And spirits buoyant with excess of glee;

The horse, as wanton and almost as fleet,
That skims the spacious meadow, at full speed,
Then stops and snorts, and throwing high his heels,
Starts to the voluntary race again;
The very kine, that gambol at high noon,
The total herd, receiving, first, from one
That leads the dance, a summons to be gay,
Though wild their strange vagaries, and uncouth
Their efforts, yet resolved, with one consent,
To give such act and utterance as they may
To ecstacy too big to be suppress'd :-
These and thousand images of bliss,
With which kind Nature graces every scene,
Where cruel man defeats not her design,
Impart to the benevolent,-who wish
All that are capable of pleasure pleased,-
A far superior happiness to theirs,-
The comfort of a reasonable joy.

Miss Landon.


Scene,-the Senate-house: Speakers,—Gonsalvi, Castruccio,* Nobles, Attendants; the Senators in session: to them enters Gonsalvi.

[See remarks introductory to EXERCISE XXX.]
Gon. Henceforward Florence claims your fealty ;f
She will secure you in all ancient rights,
Immunity, and privilege: her sword
Will stand between ye and your enemies.
For this, a yearly tribute must be paid
Of twenty thousand florins.

Noble. Our treasury's low, my lord.

And so is ours,
Exhausted by the late vexatious war,—
Noble. Urged by the Count Castruccio, not ourselves.
Gon. It must be paid.—


Gon. [Rising.]

Well, well,

The goldsmiths round our market-place are rich:
The citizens, too, better being poor,

As more obedient,-right that they should pay
The penalty of their rebellious spirit.

I leave you till to-morrow, when I bring
The treaty ready for your signatures,

And will receive your homage and your oaths. [Exit.]
Noble. Homage and tribute !-these are bitter words,-
Less bitter than the Castrucani'st sway!

To day must fix his fate. What is his doom? Several Nobles. Death!

Noble. The noise approaches! look ye to your swords,
Delay is fatal:-let Castruccio die!

[While yet speaking, Castruccio enters armed and attended,— having been rescued by the people.]

*Pronounced Castroocho :-ch as in church.

The Senate of Lucca, actuated by envy of the patriot chief Castruccio, had imprisoned him, and proposed submission to the sway of the Florentines, their enemies.

Pronounced Castroocânee's.


Not yet, not by your hand! Thanks, gentlemen, For an indifferent lodging. I have learned That prisons tenanted with thoughts of death, Are not a punishment to order lightly; Therefore ye shall not fill my vacant place. Noble. The game is yours.-I, for one, ask not mercy. Cas. And therefore worthier to have unasked. Ye do mistake me, signors: all my thoughts To you are grateful ones. But for your rash And ill-advised attempt, I had not known How true the love on which my power is built, How strong the cause the people trust with me! Gon. [Re-entering.]

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must demand some escort; for the streets
Are filled with people, and unwillingly
Would I shed blood.-What! Castruccio here?

Cas. Ready to give the Count Gonsalvi* audience,

And ask, what are the terms he brings from Florence? Gon. With these, the representatives of Lucca,† I have arranged our treaty.


On what terms?

Gon. That ye submit yourselves, and pledge your faith,
True vassals unto Florence; and each year
Remit your tribute,-twenty thousand florins!
Tribute and homage!-Can they sink so low,
Men who have met ye bravely in the field?
Now hear me, Count Gonsalvi: Lucca rather
Would see her walls dismantled, than consent
To yield such base submission.

Gon. These are her chiefs;-in their consent she yields.


You see that they are silent.-By my voice
Does Lucca speak: she would be glad of peace,
An equal, sure and honourable peace :-

To terms like these, she has but one reply-defiance.

Gon. Florence will teach you better in the field!

This to your conqueror? not three weeks have passed
Since, in the field we met. I think you found
More service from your spurs than from your swords.

*Pronounced Gonzalvee. † Pronounced Lookka.

Gon. 'Twas an unlucky chance of war.
lord; there was a higher cause,-
Your army came,


Not so, my
The right against the wrong.
A mercenary and a selfish band,
Some urged by false ambition, some for spoil.
No noble motive, noble impulse gave,

Ye were aggressors, and ye fought like such,
I tell you, Count, with not a third your numbers
I chased your flying hosts within your gates.
Gon. I came not for a boast but for an answer,-
War or submission?


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Cas. War or submission! sad such choice and stern:
Vast is the suffering-great the wrong of war!
But, and all Lucca speaketh in the words,-
Rather we take the suffering; and the wrong
Rests on the oppressor's head, than we submit:
Not while one hand can strike on Lucca's side,
Not while one stone is left on Lucca's walls,
Will Lucca stoop beneath a foreign yoke.
Ye only fight for conquest or for spoil:
We for our homes, our rights, our ancient walls!
The sword is drawn.-God be the judge between us '

Gon. Have ye no other answer?


Gon. I take your answer.-War, then, to the death!-[Exit.] Voble. Are ye not rash in this? how weak our state, Compared with Florence!

None;-Cesario is your escort to the gates.

Twice have we met them in the open field,
Each time they fled before us. Oh! my friends,
If I may call ye such, we are not weak
Who have our swords, and urge a war
Just in the sight of Heaven. Our weakness lies
In our dissensions, in the small base aims
That disunite us from the common cause.
Lucca were strong, had Lucca but one heart;
Why should ye be mine enemies? I seek
Yours in the general good. I stand between
Ye and a people whom ye would oppress.
Know ye not, love has stronger rule than fear?
A country, filled with tyrants and with slaves,
What waits upon her history?-crime and shame!

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