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importance to the shock George's nerves had experienced; but in after
life, Sir Henry always thought, he could date many fatal symptoms from
that hour of intense excitement.

Delmé was in Rome two days; during which period, his depositions, as
connected with Santado, were taken down; and he was informed that his
presence during the trial would not be insisted on.

Delmé took that opportunity again to consult his medical friend; who
accompanied him to Storta, to visit George; and prescribed a regimen
calculated to invigorate the general system.

He directed Delmé not to be alarmed, should the paroxysm return; and
recommended, that during the attack, George should lie down quietly - and
take twenty drops of Battley's solution of opium in a wine glass of water.

As his friend did not appear alarmed, Delmé's mind was once more
assured; and he prepared to continue their journey to Florence, by the
way of Perugia.

Punctual to his time, the new vetturino - as to whose selection Sir Henry
had been very particular - arrived at Storta; and the whole party, with
great willingness left the wretched inn, and its suspicious inmates.

There certainly could not be a greater contrast, than between the two

Vittore Santado was a Roman; young - inclined to corpulency - -oily
faced - plausible - and a most consummate rascal.

Pietro Molini was a Milanese; - elderly - with hardly an ounce of flesh on
his body - with face scored and furrowed like the surface of the hedge
pippin - rough in his manners - and the most honest of his tribe.

Poor Pietro Molini! never did driver give more cheering halloo to
four-footed beast! or with spirit more elate, deliver in the drawling
patois of his native paesi, some ditty commemorative of Northern liberty!
Honest Pietro! thy wishes were contained within a small compass! thy
little brown cur, snarling and bandy-legged - thy raw-boned steeds - these
were thy first care; - the safety of thy conveyance, and its various
inmates, the second.

To thee - the most delightful melody in this wide world, was the jingling
of thy horses' bells, as all cautiously and slowly they jogged on their
way: - the most discordant sound in nature, the short husky cough, emitted
from the carcase of one of these, as disease and continued fatigue made
their sure inroads.

Poor simple Pietro! his only pride was encased in his breeches pocket, and
it lay in a few scraps of paper - remembrances of his passengers.

One and all lavished praise on Pietro!

Yes! we have him again before us as we write - his ill-looking, but easy
carriage - his three steeds - the rude harness, eked out with clustering
knots of rope - and the happy driver, seated on a narrow bench, jutting
over the backs of his wheelers, as he contentedly whiffs from his small
red clay pipe - at intervals dropping off in a dose, with his cur on his
lap. At such a time, with what perfect nonchalance would he open his large
grey eyes, when recalled to the sense of his duties, by the volubly
breathed execration of some rival whip - and with what a silent look of
ineffable contempt, would he direct his horses to the side of the road,
and again steep his senses in quiescent repose.

At night, Pietro's importance would sensibly increase, as after rubbing
down the hides of his favourites, and dropping into the capacious manger
the variegated oats; he would wait on his passengers to arrange the hour
of departure - would accept the proffered glass of wine, and give utterance
to his ready joke.

A King might have envied Pietro Molini, as - -the straw rustling beneath
him - he laid down in his hairy capote, almost between the legs of his
favourite horse.

To do so will be to anticipate some years!

Yet we would fain relate the end of the Vetturino.

Crossing from Basle to Strasbourg, in the depth of winter, and descending
an undulated valley, Pietro slept as usual.

Implicitly relying on the sure footedness of his horses, a fond dream of
German beer, German tobacco, and German sauerkraut, soothed his slumbers.

A fragment of rock had been loosened from its ancient bed, and lay
across the road.

Against this the leader tripped and fell.

The shock threw Pietro and his dog from their exalted station.

The pipe, which - whether he were sleeping or waking - had long decked the
cheek of the honest driver, now fell from it, and was dashed into a
thousand pieces.

It was an evil omen.

When the carriage was stopped, Pietro Molini was found quite lifeless. He
had received a kick from the ungrateful heel of his friend Bruno, and the
wheel of the carriage, it had been his delight to clean, had passed over
the body of the hapless vetturino.

Ah! as that news spread! many an ostler of many a nation, shook his head
mournfully, and with saddened voice, wondered that the same thing had not
occurred years before.

At the time, however, to which we allude - viz., the commencement of the
acquaintance between our English travellers, and Pietro; the latter
thought of anything rather than of leaving a world for which he had an
uncommon affection.

He and Thompson soon became staunch allies; and the want of a common
language seemed only to cement their union.

Not Noblet, in her inimitable performance of the Muette, threw more
expression into her sweet face - than did Pietro, into the furrowed lines
of his bronzed visage, as he endeavoured to explain to his friend some
Italian custom, or the reason why he had selected another dish, or
other wine; rather than that, to which they had done such justice the
previous day.

Thompson's gestures and countenance in reply, partook of a more stoical
character; but he was never found wanting, when a companion was needed for
a bottle or a pipe.

Their friendship was not an uninstructive one.

It would have edified him, who prides himself on his deep knowledge of
human nature, or who seizes with avidity on the minuter traits of a
nation, to note with what attention the English valet, would listen to a
Milanese arietta; whose love notes, delivered by the unmusical Pietro,
were about as effectively pathetic as the croak of the bull frog in a
marsh, or screech of owl sentimentalising in ivied ruin; and to mark
with what gravity, the Italian driver would beat his hand against the
table; in tune to "Ben Baxter," or "The British Grenadiers," roared out
more Anglico.

There are two grand routes from Home to Florence: - the one is by Perugia,
the other passes through Sienna. The former, which is the one Sir Henry
selected, is the most attractive to the ordinary traveller; who is enabled
to visit the fall of Terni, Thrasymene, and the temple of Clitumnuss The
first, despite its being artificial, is equal in our opinion, to the
vaunted Schaffhausen; - the second is hallowed in story; - and the third has
been illustrated by Byron.

"Pass not unblest the genius of the place!
If through the air a zephyr more serene
Win to the brow, 'tis his; and if ye trace
Along the margin a more eloquent green,
If on the heart, the freshness of the scene
Sprinkle its coolness, and from the dry dust
Of weary life a moment lave it clean
With nature's baptism, - 'tis to him ye must
Pay orisons for this suspension of disgust."

Poor George Delmé showed little interest in anything connected with
this journey. Sir Henry embarked on the lake above, in order to see the
cascade of Terni in every point of view; and afterwards took his
station with George, on various ledges of rock below the fall - whence
the eye looks upward, on that mystic scene of havoc, turbulence, and
mighty rush of water.

But the cataract fell in snowy sheet - the waves hissed round the sable
rocks - and the rainbow played on the torrent's foam; - but these
possessed not a charm, to rouse to a sense of their beauty, the sad
heart of the invalid.

Near the lake of Thrasymene, they passed some hours; allowing Pietro to
put up his horses at Casa di Piano. Sir Henry, with a Livy in his hand,
first proceeded to the small eminence, looking down on the round tower of
Borghetto; and on that insidious pass, which his fancy peopled once more,
with the advancing troops of the Consul.

The soldier felt much interested, and attempted to impart that interest to
George; but the widowed husband shook his head mournfully; and it was
evident, that his thoughts were not with Flaminius and his entrapped
soldiers, but with the gentle Acmé, mouldering in her lonely grave.

From Borghetto, they proceeded to the village of Torre, where Delmé was
glad to accept the hospitable offer of its Priest, and procure seats for
himself and George, in the balcony of his little cottage. From this
point, they looked down on the arena of war.

There it lay, serene and basking in the rays of the meridian sun.

On either side, were the purple summits of the Gualandra hills.

Beneath flowed the little rivulet, once choked by the bodies of the
combatants; but which now sparkled gaily through the valley, although at
intervals, almost dried up by the fierce heat of summer.

The lake was tranquil and unruffled - all on its margin, hushed and
moveless. What a contrast to that exciting hour, which Sir Henry was
conjuring up again; when the clang of arms, and crash of squadrons,
commingled with the exulting shout, that bespoke the confident hope of the
wily Carthaginian; and with that sterner response, which hurled back the
indomitable spirit of the unyielding, but despairing Roman!

Our travellers quitted the Papal territories; and entering Tuscany, passed
through Arezzo, the birth-place of Petrarch; arriving at Florence just
previous to sunset.

As they reached the Lung' Arno, Pietro put his horses to a fast trot, and
rattling over the flagged road, drew up in front of Schneidorff's with an
air of greater importance, than his sorry vehicle seemed to warrant.

The following morning, George Delmé was taken by his brother, to visit
the English physician resident at Florence; and again was Delmé informed,
that change of scene, quiet, and peace of mind, were what his brother
most required.

George was thinner perhaps, than when at Rome, and his lip had lost its
lustrous red; but he concealed his physical sufferings, and always met
Henry with the same soft undeviating smile.

On their first visit to the Tribune, George was struck with the Samian
Sibyl of Guercino.

In the glowing lip - the silken cheek - the ivory temple - the eye of
inspiration - the bereaved mourner thought he could trace, some faint
resemblance to the lost Acmé. Henceforward, it was his greatest pleasure,
to remain with eyes fixed on that masterpiece of art.

Sir Henry Delmé, accompanied by the custode, would make himself
acquainted with the wonders of the Florentine gallery; and every now and
then, return to whisper some sentence, in the soothing tones of brotherly
kindness. At night, their usual haunt was the public square - where the
loggio of Andrea Orcagna presents so much, that may claim attention.

There stands the David! in the freshness of his youth! proudly regarding
his adversary - ere he overthrow, with the weapon of the herdsman, the
haughty giant.

The inimitable Perseus, too! the idol of that versatile genius, Benvenuto
Cellini: - an author! a goldsmith! a cunning artificer in jewels! a founder
in bronze! a sculptor in marble! the prince of good fellows! the favored
of princes! the warm friend and daring lover! as we gaze on his glorious
performance, and see beside it the Hercules, and Cacus of his rival Baccio
Bandanelli, - we seem to live again in those days, with which Cellini has
made us so familiar: - and almost naturally regard the back of the bending
figure, to note if its muscles warrant the stinging sarcasm of Cellini,
which we are told at once dispelled the pride of the aspiring
artist - "that they resembled cucumbers!"

The rape of the Sabines, too! the white marble glistening in the
obscurity, until the rounded shape of the maiden seems to elude the strong
grasp of the Roman!

Will she ever fly from him thus? will the home of her childhood be ever as
dear? No! the husband's love shall replace the father's blessing; and the
affections of the daughter, shall yield to the tender yearnings of the
mother's bosom.

We marvel not that George's footsteps lingered there!

How often have _we_ - martyrs to a hopeless nympholepsy - strayed through
that piazza, at the self same hour - there deemed that the heart would
break - but never thought that it might slowly wither.

How often have _we_ gleaned from those beauteous objects around, but
aliment to our morbid griefs; - and turning towards the gurgling fountain
of Ammonati, and gazing on its trickling waters, have vainly tried to
arrest our trickling tears!

Chapter VIII.


"There is a tomb in Arquà: rear'd in air,
Pillar'd in their sarcophagus, repose
The bones of Laura's lover."

* * * * *

"I stood in Venice on the Bridge of Sighs."

How glorious is the thrill, which shoots through our frame, as we first
wake to the consciousness of our intellectual power; as we feel the
spirit - the undying spirit - ready to burst the gross bonds of flesh, and
soar triumphant, over the sneers of others, and our own mistrust.

How does each thought seem to swell in our bosom, as if impatient of the
confined tenement - how do the floating ideas congregate - how does each
impassioned feeling subdue us in turn, and long for a worthy utterance!

This is a very bright moment in the history of our lives. It is one in
which we feel - indubitably feel - that we are of the fashioning of
God; - that the light which intellect darts around us, is not the result of
education - of maxims inculcated - or of principles instilled; - but that it
is a ray caught from the brightness of eternity - that when our wavering
pulse has ceased to beat, and the etherialised elements have left the
baser and the useless dust - that ray shall not be quenched; but shall
again be absorbed in the full effulgence from which it emanated.

Surely then, if such a glorious moment as this, be accorded to even the
inferior votaries of knowledge - to the meaner pilgrims, struggling on
towards the resplendent shrines of science: - how must _he_ - the divine
Petrarch, who could so exquisitely delineate love's hopes and story, as to
clothe an earthly passion, with half the attributes of an immortal
affection: - how must _he_ have revelled in the proud sensations called
forth at such a moment!

It is the curse of the poet, that he must perforce leave the golden
atmosphere of loftiest aspirations - step from the magic circle, where all
is pure and etherial - and find himself the impotent denizen, of a sombre
and an earthly world,

It was in the early part of September, that the brothers turned their
backs on the Etrurian Athens. Their destination was Venice, and their
route lay through Bologna and Arquà.

They had been so satisfied, under the guidance of their old vetturino,
that Sir Henry made an arrangement, which induced him to be at Florence,
at the time of their departure; - and Pietro and Thompson were once more
seated beside each other.

Before commencing the ascent of the Appennines, our travellers visited the
country seat of the Archduke; saw the gigantic statue executed by John of
Bologna, which frowns over the lake; and at Fonte-buona, cast a farewell
glance on Florence, and the ancient Fiesole.

As they advanced towards Caravigliojo, the mountains began to be more
formidable, and the scenery to lose its smiling character.

Each step seemed to add to the barrenness of the landscape.

The wind came howling down from the black volcanic looking ridges - then
swept tempestuously through some deep ravine.

On either side the road, tall red poles presented themselves, a guide to
the traveller during winter's snows; while, in one exposed gully, were
built large stone embankments for his protection - as a Latin inscription
intimated - from the violence of the gales.

Few signs of life appeared.

Here and there, her white kerchief shading a sun-burnt face, a young
Bolognese shepherd girl might be seen on some grassy ledge, waving her
hand coquettishly; while her neglected flock, with tinkling bell, browsed
on the edge of the precipice. As they neared Bologna, however, the
scenery changed.

Festoons of grapes, trained to leafy elms, began to appear - white villas
chequered the suburbs - and it was with a pleasurable feeling, that they
neared the peculiar looking city, with its leaning towers, and old
façades. It is the only one, where the Englishman recals Mrs. Ratcliffe's
harrowing tales; and half expects to see a Schedoni, advancing from some
covered portico.

The next day found them in the Bolognese gallery, which is the first which
duly impresses the traveller, coming from the north, with the full powers
of the art.

The soul of music seems to dwell in the face of the St. Cecilia; and the
cup of maternal anguish to be filled to the brim, as in Guide's Murder of
the Innocents, the mother clasps to her arms the terrified babe, and
strives to flee from the ruthless destroyer.

It was on the fourth morning from their arrival in Bologna, that they
approached the poet's "mansion and his sepulchre."

As they threaded the green windings of vine covered hills, these gradually
assumed a bolder outline, and, rising in separate cones, formed a sylvan
amphitheatre round the lovely village of Arquà.

The road made an abrupt ascent to the Fontana Petrarca. A large ruined
arch spanned a fine spring, that rushes down the green slope.

In the church-yard, on the right, is the tomb of Petrarch.

Its peculiarly bold elevation - the numberless thrilling associations
connected with the poet - gave a tone and character to the whole scene. The
chiaro-scuro of the landscape, was from the light of his genius - the shade
of his tomb.

The day was lovely - warm, but not oppressive. The soft green of the hills
and foliage, checked the glare of the flaunting sunbeams.

The brothers left the carriage to gaze on the sarcophagus of red marble,
raised on pilasters; and could not help deeming even the indifferent
bronze bust of Petrarch, which surmounts this, to be a superfluous
ornament in such a scene.

The surrounding landscape - the dwelling place of the poet - his tomb facing
the heavens, and disdaining even the shadow of trees - the half-effaced
inscription of that hallowed shrine - all these seemed appropriate, and
melted the gazer's heart.

How useless! how intrusive! are the superfluous decorations of art, amid
the simpler scenes of nature.

Ornament is here misplaced. The feeling heart regrets its presence at the
time, and attempts, albeit in vain, to banish it from after recollections.

George could not restrain his tears, for he thought of the dead; and they
silently followed their guide to Petrarch's house, now partly used as a
granary. Passing through two or three unfinished rooms, whose walls were
adorned with rude frescoes of the lover and his mistress, they were shown
into Petrarch's chamber, damp and untenanted.

In the closet adjoining, were the chair and table consecrated by the poet.

There did he sit - and write - and muse - and die!

George turned to a tall narrow window, and looked out on a scene, fair and
luxuriant as the garden of Eden.

The rich fig trees, with their peculiar small, high scented fruit, mixed
with the vines that clustered round the lattice.

The round heads of the full bearing peach trees, dipped down in a leafy
slope beneath a grassy walk; - and this thicket of fruit was charmingly
enlivened, by bunches of the scarlet pomegranate, now in the pride of
their blossom.

The poet's garden alone was neglected - rank herbage choking up its
uncultivated flowers.

A thousand thoughts filled the mind of George Delmé.

He thought of Laura! of his own Acmé!

With swimming glance, he looked round the chamber.

It was almost without furniture, and without ornament. In a niche, and
within a glass case, was placed the skeleton of a dumb favourite of

Suddenly George Delmé felt a faintness stealing over him: - and he
turned to bare his forehead, to catch the slight breeze from below
redolent of sweets.

This did not relieve him.

A sharp pain across the chest, and a fluttering at the heart, as of a bird
struggling to be free, succeeded this faintness.

Another rush of blood to the head: - and a snap, as of some tendon, was
distinctly felt by the sufferer.

His mouth filled with blood.

A small blood-vessel had burst, and temporary insensibility ensued.

Sir Henry was wholly unprepared for this scene.

Assisted by Thompson, he bore him to the carriage - sprinkled his face with
water - and administered cordials.

George's recovery was speedy; and it almost seemed, as if the rupture of
the vessel had been caused by the irregular circulation, for no further
bad effects were felt at the time.

The loss of blood, however, evidently weakened him; and his spasms
henceforward were more frequent.

He became less able to undergo fatigue; and his mind, probably in
connection with the nervous system, became more than ordinarily excited.

There was no longer wildness in his actions; but in his thoughts and
language, was developed a poetical eccentricity - a morbid sympathy with
surrounding scenes and impressions, which kept Sir Henry Delmé in a
constant state of alarm, - and which was very remarkable.

* * * * *

"What! at Mestré already, Pietro?" said Sir Henry.

"Even so, Signore! and here is the gondola to take you on to Venice."

"Well, Pietro! you must not fail to come and see us at the inn."

The vetturino touched his hat, with the air of a man who would be very
sorry _not_ to see them.

It was not long ere the glittering prow of the gondola pointed to Venice.

Before the travellers, rose ocean's Cybele; springing from the waters,
like some fairy city, described to youthful ear by aged lip.

The fantastic dome of St. Mark - the Palladian churches - the columned
palaces - the sable gondolas shooting through the canals - made its aspect,
as is its reality, unique in the world.

"Beautiful, beautiful city!" said George, his eye lighting up as he spoke,
"thou dost indeed look a city of the heart - a resting place for a wearied
spirit. And our gondola, Henry, should be of burnished silver; and those
afar - so noiselessly cutting their way through the glassy surface - those
should be angels with golden wings; and, instead of an oar flashing
freely, a snowy wand of mercy should beat back the kissing billows.

"And Acmé, with her George, should sit on the crystal cushion of glory - and
we would wait expectant for you a long long time - and then you should join
us, Henry, with dear Emily.

"And Thompson should be with us, too, and recline on the steps of our bark
as he does now.

"And together we would sail loving and happy through an amethystine sea."

During their stay in Venice, George, in spite of his increasing languor,
continued to accompany his brother, in his visits to the various objects
of interest which the city can boast.

The motion of the gondola appeared to have a soothing influence on the
mind of the invalid.

He would recline on the cushions, and the fast flowing tears would course
down his wan cheeks.

These, however, were far from being a proof of suffering; - they were
evidently a relief to the surcharged spirit.

One evening, a little before sunset, they found themselves in the crowded
piazza of Saint Mark. The cafés were thronged with noble Venetians, come
to witness the evening parade of an Austrian regiment. The sounds of
martial music, swelled above the hum of the multitude; and few could
listen to those strains, without participating in some degree, in the
military enthusiasm of the hour.

But the brothers turned from the pageantry of war, as their eyes fell on
the emblems of Venice free - the minarets of St. Mark, with the horses of
Lysippus, a spoil from Byzantium - the flagless poles that once bore the
banners of three tributary states - the highly adorned azure clock - the
palaces of the proud Doges - where Faliero reigned - where Faliero
suffered: - these were before them.

Their steps mechanically turned to the beautiful Campanile.

George, leaning heavily on Sir Henry's arm, succeeded in gaining the
summit: and they looked down from thence, on that wonderful city.

They saw the parade dismissed - they heard the bugle's fitful blast
proclaim the hour of sunset. The richest hues of crimson and of gold,
tinted the opposite heavens; while on those waters, over which the

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