« السابقةمتابعة »
THE itir YCK PUBLIC LIBRARI
ASTOR. LENOX AND
DUBLIN: PRINTED BY ALEX. THOM & Sons, 87 & 88, ABBEY-STREET.
At the foot of the hill on which stands gination is needed to trace the kindred. the Campidoglio at Rome, and close In every gesture, in their gait, even in beneath the ruins that now encumber the careless ease of their ragged drapthe Tarpeian rock, runs a mean-look- ery, you can mark the traditionary ing alley, called the Viccolo D'Orsi, signs of the once haughty citizen. but better known to the police as the With a remnant of their ancient "Viccolo dei Ladri,” or “Thieves' pride, these people reject all hired ocCorner"—the epithet being, it is said, cupation, and would scorn, as an act conferred in a spirit the very reverse of slavery, the idea of labour; and, of calumnious.
as neither trade nor calling prevails Long and straggling, and too narrow amongst them, their existence would to admit of any but foot-passengers, seem an inscrutable problem, save on its dwellings are marked by a degree the hypothesis which dictated the of poverty and destitution even greater popular title of this district. But than such quarters usually exhibit. without calling to our aid this explaRudely constructed of fragments taken nation, it must be remembered how from ancient temples and monuments, easily life is supported by those satisrichly-carved architraves and finely- fied with its meanest requirements, cut friezes are to be seen embedded and especially in a land so teeming amidst masses of crumbling masonry, with abundance. A few roots-a and all the evidences of a cultivated handful of chestnuts-a piece of black and enlightened age mingled up with bread-a cup of wine, scarcely more the squalor and misery of present costly than so much water—these are want.
enough to maintain existence; and in Not less suggestive than the homes their gaunt and famished faces you themselves are the population of this can see that little beyond this is acdreary district; and despite rags, and complished. dirt, and debasement, there they are- About the middle of this alley, and the true descendants of those who over a doorway of sculptured marble, once, with such terrible truth, called stands a small statue of Vesta, which, themselves “Masters of the World.” by the aid of a little paint, a crown of Well set-on heads of massive mould, gilt paper, and a candle, some pious bold and prominent features, finely- hands had transformed into a Mafashioned jaws, and lips full of vigour donna. A little beneath this, and on and sensual meaning, are but the base a black board, scrawled with letters of counterfeits of the traits that meet the unequal size, is the word “Trattoria," eye in the Vatican. No effort of ima- or eating-houge. YOL LI.NO, CCCI.
Nothing, indeed, can be well further and delicately-formed fingers even from the ordinary aspect of a tavern more strongly still, proclaim her of than the huge vaulted chamber, almost gentle blood; her dress is of the destitute of furniture, and dimly light- coarsest woollen stuff worn by the ed by the flame of a single lamp. A peasantry, but little cuffs of crape few loaves of coarse black bread, some show how, in all her poverty, she had wicker-bound flasks of common wine, endeavoured to maintain some semand a wooden bowl containing salad, blance to a garb of mourning. The laid out upon a table, constituting all man, whose age might be fifty-seven that the place affords for entertain- or eight, is tall, powerfully built, and ment. Some benches are ranged on although encumbered by the long dress either side of the table, and two or of a friar, shows in every motion that three more are gathered around a little he is still possessed of considerable iron tripod, supporting a pan of lighted strength and activity. The closely cut charcoal, and over which now two hair over his forehead and temples figures are to be seen cowering down give something of coarseness to the to the weak flame, while they con- character of his round full head; but versed in low whispers together. his eyes are mild and gentle-looking,
It is a cold and dreary night of De- and there is an unmistakable goodcember; the snow has fallen not only nature in his large and thick-lipped on the higher Apennines, but lies mouth. thickly over Albano, and is even seen If there is an air of deference to his in drifts along the Campagna. The companion in the way he seats himwailing wind sighs mournfully through self a little distance from the "brazier," the arches of the Colosseum and there is, more markedly still, a degree amongst the columns of the old Forum, of tender pity in the look that he bewhile at intervals, with stronger gusts, stows on her. it sweeps along the narrow alley, "I want to read you the petition, wafting on high the heavy curtain Mrs. Mary,” said he, drawing a small that closes the doorway of the Trat- scroll of paper from his pocket, and toria, and leaving its occupants for the unfolding it before the light. “'Tis time in total darkness.
right you'd hear it, and see if there's Twice had this mischance occurred; any thing you'd like different—any and now the massive table is drawn thing mispleasing you, or that you'd over to the door, to aid in forming a wish left out.” She sighed heavily, barricade against the storm.
but made no answer. He waited for “Tis better not to do it, Fra Luke," a second or two and then resumed : said a woman's voice, as the stout
« ?Tisn't the like of me-a poor friar, friar arranged his breastwork. “You ignorant as I am-knows well how to know what happened the last time write a thing of the kind, and, morethere was a door in the same place.” over, to one like him ; but maybe
“Never mind, Mrs. Mary," replied the time's coming when you'll have the other; "they're not so ready with grander and better friends." their knives as they used to be, and, "Oh, no, no!" cried she, passionmoreover, there's few of them will be ately ;'“ not better, Fra Luke-not out to-night.”
better ; that they can never be !" Both spoke in English, and with an 'Well, well
, better able to serve accent which told of an Irish origin; you,” said he, as though ashamed that and now, as they reseated themselves any question of himself should have beside the brazier, we have time to intruded into the discussion; "and observe them. Faint as the flicker of that they may easily be. But here's that flame is, it is enough to show the writing; and listen to it now, for that the woman belongs not to the it must be all copied out to-night, and land where now we see her. Scarcely ready for to-morrow morning. The above forty years of age, but looking cardinal goes to him at eleven. older from the effects of sorrow, her There's to be some grandees from regular features and deeply-set eyes Spain, and maybe Portugal, at twelve. bear traces of once beauty. Two The Scottish lords come after that ; braids of rich brown hair have escaped and then Kelly tells me he'll see any beneath her humble widow's cap, and that likes, and that has letters or pefallen partly over her cheeks, and, as titions to give him. That's the time she tries to arrange them, her taper for us, then; for ye see Kelly doesn't like to give it himself: he doesn't Geraldine, now in glory with the know what the Prince would say, and saints, implores your royal favour for how he'd take it; and natural enough, the orphan boy that survives her. he'd not wish to lose the favour he's Come from a long way off, in great in by any mistake. That's the word distress, mind and body, she has no he said, and sure enough it sounded a friend but your highness and the strange one for helping a friend and a Virgin Mary—that was well known countrywoman; so that I must con- never deserted nor forsook them that trive to go myself, and God's my judge, stood true to your royal cause--and if I wouldn't rather face a drove of the being in want, and having no shelter wild cattle out there on the Campagna, nor refuge, and seeing that Gerald than stand up before all them grand himself, with the blood in his veins people!". The very thought of such that he has, and worthy of being what an ordeal seemed too much for the your royal highness knows he is.' poor friar, for he wiped his forehead “That's mighty delicately expresswith the loose cuff of his robe, and for ed, ye see; not to give offence,” said some minutes appeared totally lost in the friar, with a most complacent reflection ; with a low sigh he at last smile at his dexterity: resumed: "Here it is, now; and I made
“ Hasn't as much as a rag of it short, for Kelly said, “if it's more clothes under his student's gown, nor than one side of a sheet, he'll never a pair of shoes, barring the boots that look at it, but just say “Another time, the sub-rector lent him ; without a my good friend, another time. This shirt to his back, or a cross in his is an affair that requires consideration; pocket; may at a minute's warning I'll direct Monsignore to attend to it.' be sent away from the college, by When he says that, it's all over with reason of his great distress-having you,' says Kelly. Monsignore Bargalli no home to go to, nor any way to hates every one of usScotch, English, live, but to starve and die in nakedand Irish alike, and is always belyingness, bringing everlasting disgrace on and calumniating us; but if he reads your royal house, and more misery it himself, there's always a chance that to her who subscribes herself, in he may do something, and that's the every humility and contrite submisreason I made it as short as I could.” sion, your royal highness's most
With this preface, he flattened out dutiful, devoted, and till death release the somewhat crumpled piece of paper, her from sorrows, ever attached serand read aloud :
vant, “ To his Royal Highness the Prince
• MARY FITZGERALD.' of Wales, the true-born descendant of “I didn't put any address,” said the House of Stuart, and rightful heir the Fra, "for, you see, this isn't one to the Crown of England, the humble of the genteelest quarters of the town. and dutiful petition of Mary Fitz- Here they are, Mrs. Mary-here gerald, of Cappa-Glyn, in the county they are !” cried he, suddenly, and Kildare, Ireland
while he spoke, the hasty tramp of “Eh, what ?” cried he, suddenly; many feet, and the discordant voices for a scarcely audible murmur pro- of people talking noisily, was heard claimed something like dissent or cor- from without. rection.
“Sangue dei Santi !" shouted a “I was thinking, Fra Luke," said rude voice, “is this a fortress we have she, mildly, "if it wouldn't be better here, or a public tavern?” and, at the not to say of Cappa-Glyn.' 'Tis gone same instant, a strong hand seized away from us now for ever, and, the table in the doorway and overand
whelmed it on the floor. “What matter; it was your's once. The fellow who thus made good Your ancestors owned it for hundreds his entrance, was tall and muscular, and hundreds of years; and if you're his stature seeming even greater from not there now, neither is he himself the uncouth covering of goat-skins, where he ought to be.”
which in every conceivable fashion The explanation seemed conclusive, he wore around him, while in his and he went on :
hand he carried a long lance, termin“County Kildare, Ireland. Ay! ating with a goad, such as are used May it please your illustrious royal by the cattle-drivers of the Camhighness, the only sister of Grace pagna.
'A hearty reception, truly, Signora “If I mistake not,” said Fra Luke, Maria, you give your customers, “these papers are worth more than cried he, as he strode into the middle double their weight in gold. They of the chamber.
treat of very great matters, and are “It was as a barrier against the in the writing of great people." storm, not against our friends “Per Bacco! they shall never bring
Ha, you there, Fra Luke !” me to the galleys, that I'll swear, shouted the other, interrupting him, cried the herdsman. "Popes and while he burst out into a fit of coarse Princes would fret little about me laughter. “Who could doubt it, when they gained their ends. There, though ; wherever there's a brazier, on with them, Fra. If I see you steal a wine-shop, and a pretty woman, one of them inside those loose robes there you will find a Frate! But of yours, by the blood of the martyrs, come in, lads,” added he, turning I'll pin it to your side with my po
more towards the doorway; niard.” here are only friends--neither spies “You mangy, starved hound of a nor Swiss amongst them.”
goatherd," cried Fra Luke, seizing the A ragged group of half-starved massive iron tongs beside him; " do wretches came now forward, from you think it's one of yourselves I am, one of whom the first speaker took a or that I have the same cowardly small leathern portmanteau that he heart, that can be frightened because carried, and threw it on the table. you wear a knife in your sleeve. May
“A poor night's work, lads," said Í never see glory, if I would'nt clear he, unstrapping the leather fastenings the place of you all with these ould around it; but these travellers have tongs, ay, and hunt every mother's grown so wary now-a-days, it's rare son of you down the alley." The sudto pick up any thing on the Campag, den spring forward as he said this, na; and what with chains, bolts, and seeming to denote an intention of acpadlocks around their luggage, you tion, so appalled his hearers that they might as well strive to burst open the rushed simultaneously to the door, door of the old Mamertine Prison and, in all the confusion of terror, fled yonder. There's no money here, boys into the street, the herdsman making --not a baiocco-nor even clothes, use of all his strength to cleave his nothing but papers. Maladizione bé way through the rest. on those who ever taught the art of “Think of the Vendetta, Fra Luke! writing !-it serves for nothing but to They never forgive !" cried the wosend brave men to the galleys." man, in a voice of anguish. “I knew he was
courier,” said a “ Faix, it's more of the police, I'm small decrepit-looking man, with a thinking, Mrs. Mary,” said the friar. long stiletto stuck in his garter, "and “You'll see, them fellows will be off that he could have nothing of any use now, to bring the Swiss guard. Burn
the papers as fast as you can ; God “Away with the trunk, then; throw knows what mischief we're doing, but it over the parapet into the ditch, and we can't help it. Oh, dear! isn't it make a jolly blaze with the papers. a sin and a shame? Here's a letter, Ah, Signora Maria, time was when a signed Alberoni, the great Cardinal guidatore of the Campagna seldom in Spain. Here's two in English, and came back at night without his purse what's the name-Watson, is it? No; filled with sequins. Many a gay silk Wharton, the Duke of Wharton, as I kerchief have I given a sweetheart, live! There, fan the coals ; quick, ay, and many a gold trinket, too, in there's no time to lose. Oh, dear, those days. Cattle-driving would be what's this about Ireland ? I must but a poor trade, if the Appian Way read this, Mrs. Mary, come what may. did'nt traverse the plain.” While he 'Cromarty says that the P- regrets spoke he continued to feed the flame he did'nt try Ireland in place of Scotwith the papers, which he tore and land. Kelly persuades him that the threw on the burning charcoal. “Heap Irish would never have abandoned his them on the fire, Fra, and don't lose cause, for any consideration for themtime spelling out their meaning. You selves or their estates.' That's true, get such a taste for learning people's any how,” cried the Fra. “And that secrets at the confessional, you can't as long as he only wanted rebellion, restrain the passion,”
and did not care to make them loyal