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not cause me to doubt their presence, more demoniacal, if possible, than himparticularly as I did see upon the self — was driven out of Padua while screen a great number of coins offered he was operating against Mantua. Ecefor the repose of the martyrs' souls. I lino retired to Verona, and maintained threw down some soldi, and thus en- a struggle against the crusade for nearly thralled the sacristan.
two years longer, with a courage which If the signor cared to see prisons, he never failed him. Wounded and taken said, the driver must take him to those prisoner, the soldiers of the victorious of Ecelino, at present the property of a army gathered about him, and heaped private gentleman near by. As I had insult and reproach upon him ; and one just bought a history of Ecelino, at a furious peasant, whose brother's feet great bargain, from a second-hand book- had been cut off by Ecelino's command, stall, and had a lively interest in all the dealt the helpless monster four blows enormities of that nobleman, I sped upon the head with a scythe. By some, the driver instantly to the villa of the Ecelino is said to have died of these Signor Pacchiarotti.
wounds alone ; but by others it is reIt depends here altogether upon the lated that his death was a kind of suifreshness or mustiness of the read- cide, inasmuch as he himself put the er's historical reading whether he cares case past surgery by tearing off the to be reminded more particularly who bandages from his hurts, and refusing Ecelino was. He flourished balefully all medicines. in the early half of the thirteenth century as lord of Vicenza, Verona, Padua, and Brescia, and was defeated and hurt to death in an attempt to ENTERING at the enchanted portal possess himself of Milan. He was in of the Villa P , we found ourevery respect a remarkable man for selves in a realm of wonder. It was that time, - fearless, abstemious, con- our misfortune not to see the magician tinent, avaricious, hardy, and unspeak- who compelled all the marvels on which ably ambitious and cruel. He sur- we looked, but for that very reason, vived and suppressed innumerable con- perhaps, we have the clearest sense of spiracies, escaping even the thrust of his greatness. Everywhere we bethe assassin whom the fame of his held the evidences of his ingenious but enormous wickedness had caused the lugubrious fancy, which everywhere Old Man of the Mountain to send tended to a monumental and mortuagainst him. As lord of Padua he was ary effect. A sort of vestibule first remore incredibly severe and bloody in ceived us, and beyond this dripped and his rule than as lord of the other cities, glimmered the garden. The walls of for the Paduans had been latest free, the vestibule were covered with inscripand conspired most frequently against tions setting forth the sentiments of the him. He extirpated whole families on philosophy and piety of all ages consuspicion that a single member had cerning life and death ; we began with been concerned in a meditated revolt. Confucius, and we ended with BenjaLittle children and helpless women mino Franklino. But as if these ideas suffered hideous mutilation and shame of mortality were not sufficiently deat his hands. Six prisons in Padua pressing, the funereal Signor Pwere constantly filled by his arrests. had collected into earthern amphora The whole country was traversed by the ashes of the most famous men witnesses of his cruelties, - men and of ancient and modern times, and arwomen deprived of an arm or leg, and ranged them so that a sense of their begging from door to door. He had number and variety should at once long been excommunicated ; at last the strike his visitor. Each jar was conChurch proclaimed a crusade against spicuously labelled with the name its him, and his lieutenant and nephew – illustrious dust had borne in life; and if one escaped with comparative cheerful- while the wretched prisoner knelt in ness from the thought that Seneca had prayer, a trap-door opened and precipidied, there were in the very next pot tated him down upon the points. of the cinders of Napoleon to bully him knives, from which his body fell into back to a sense of his mortality.
the Bacchiglione below. In the next We were glad to have the gloomy cell, held by some rusty iron rings to fascination of these objects broken by the wall, was a skeleton, hanging by the the custodian, who approached to ask wrists. if we wished to see the prisons of Ece- “ This,” said the guide, “was anothlino, and we willingly followed him in- er punishment of which Ecelino was to the rain out of our sepulchral shel very fond.” ter.
A dreadful doubt siezed my mind. Between the vestibule and the towers “Was this skeleton found here?” I of the tyrant lay that garden already demanded. mentioned, and our guide led us through Without faltering an instant, without ranks of weeping statuary, and rainy so much as winking an eye, the custobowers, and showery lanes of shrub- dian replied, “ Appunto.” bery, until we reached the door of his I t was a great relief, and restored me cottage. While he entered to fetch the to confidence in the establishment. I am key to the prisons, we noted that the at a loss to explain how my faith should towers were freshly painted and in per- have been confirmed afterwards by comfect repair ; and indeed the custodian ing upon a guillotine-an awful instrusaid frankly enough, on reappearing, ment in the likeness of a straw-cutter, that they were merely built over the with a decapitated wooden figure unprisons on the site of the original tow- der its blade - which the custodian ers. The storied stream of the Bac- confessed to be a modern improvement chiglione sweeps through the grounds, placed there by Signor P-- Yet and now, swollen by the rainfall, it my credulity was so strengthened by roared, a yellow torrent, under a corner his candor, that I accepted without hesof the prisons. The towers rise from itation the torture of the water-drop masses of foliage, and form no un- when we came to it. The water-jar was pleasing feature of what must be, in as well preserved as if placed there but spite of Signor P— , a delightful yesterday, and the skeleton beneath it Italian garden in sunny weather. The - found as we saw it - was entire and ground is not so flat as elsewhere in perfect. Padua, and this inequality gives an ad. In the adjoining cell sat a skeleton ditional picturesqueness to the place. - found as we saw it - with its neck But as we were come in search of bor- in the clutch of the garrote, which was rors, we scorned these merely lovely one of Ecelino's more merciful punishthings, and hastened to immure our ments; while in still another cell the selves in the dungeons below. The ferocity of the tyrant appeared in the custodian, lighting a candle, (which penalty inflicted upon the wretch whose ought, we felt, to have been a torch,) skeleton had been hanging for ages went before.
as we saw it-head downwards from We found the cells, though narrow the ceiling. and dark, not uncomfortable, and the Beyond these, in a yet darker and guide conceded that they had under- drearier dungeon, stood a heavy oblong gone some repairs since Ecelino's time. wooden box, with two apertures near But all the horrors for which we had the top, peering through which we come were there in perfect grisliness, found that we were looking into the and labelled by the ingenious Signor eyeless sockets of a skull. Within this P- with Latin inscriptions. box Ecelino had immured the victim
In the first cell was a shrine of the we beheld there, and left him to perish Virgin, set in the wall. Beneath this, in view of the platters of food and goblets of drink placed just beyond the Not so many ladies are to be seen as reach of his hands. The food we saw at the caffè in Venice, for it is only in was of course not the original food. the greater cities that they go much to
At last we came to the crowning hor- these public places. There are few sturor of Villa P— , the supreme ex- dents at Pedrocchi's, for they frequent cess of Ecelino's cruelty. The guide the cheaper caffè ; but you may nearly entered the cell before us, and, as we always find there some Professor of gained the threshold, threw the light the University, and on the evening of of his taper vividly upon a block that which I speak, there were two presstood in the middle of the floor. Fixed ent besides our abbate. Our friend's to the block by an immense spike driven great passion was the English language, through from the back was the little which he understood too well to venslender hand of a woman, which lay ture to speak a great deal. He had there just as it had been struck from been translating from that tongue inthe living arm, and which, after the to Italian certain American poems, lapse of so many centuries, was still and our talk was of these at first. as perfectly preserved as if it had been Then we began to talk of disinguished embalmed. The sight had a most cruel American writers, of whom intelligent fascination; and while one of the horror- Italians always know at least four, in seekers stood helplessly conjuring to his this succession,-- Cooper, Mrs. Stowe, vision that scene of unknown dread, - Longfellow, and Irving. Mrs. Stowe's the shrinking, shrieking woman dragged Capanna di Zio Tom is, of course, unito the block, the wild, shrill, horrible versally read; and my friend had also screech following the blow that drove read Il Fiore di Maggio,-“The Mayin the spike, the merciful swoon after flower.” Of Longfellow, the “Evanthe mutilation, — his companion, with geline" is familiar to Italians, through a sudden pallor, demanded to be taken a translation of the poem ; but our abinstantly away
bate knew all the poet's works, and one In their swift withdrawal, they only of the other Professors present that glanced at a few detached instruments evening had made such faithful study of torture, - all original Ecelinos, but of them as to have produced some intended for the infliction of minor and translations rendering the original with comparatively unimportant torments, remarkable fidelity and spirit. I have and then they passed from that place before me here his brochure, printed of fear.
last year at Padua, and containing ver
sions of “Enceladus,” “Excelsior," "A III.
Psalm of Life,” “The Old Clock on
the Stairs," “ Sand of the Desert in an In the evening we sat talking at the Hour-Glass,” “Twilight,” “Daybreak," Caffe Pedrocchi with an abbate, an ac- “The Quadroon Girl,” and “Torquemaquaintance of ours, who was a Profes- da," – pieces which give the Italians a sor in the University of Padua. Pe- fair notion of our poet's lyrical range, drocchi's is the great caffè of Padua, a and which bear witness to Professor granite edifice of Egyptian architecture, Messadaglia's sympathetic and familiar which is the mausoleum of the propri- knowledge of his works. A young and etor's fortune. The pecuniary skeleton gifted lady of Parma, now unhappily no at the feast, however, does not much more, published only a few months trouble the guests. They begin early since a translation of “ The Golden in the evening to gather into the ele- Legend"; and Professor Messadaglia, gant saloons of the caffè, — somewhat in his Preface, mentions a version of too large for so small a city as Padua, another of our poet's longer works on - and they sit there late in the night which the translator of the “Evangeover their cheerful cups and their ices line” is now engaged. with their newspaper and their talk. At last, turning from literature, we
spoke with the gentle abbate of our “And those tortures and the prisons day's adventures, and eagerly related are all " that of the Ecelino prisons. To have “ Things got up for show. No doubt, seen them was the most terrific pleas- Ecelino used such things, and many ure of our lives.
worse, of which even the ingenuity of “Eh!” said our friend, “I believe Signor P- cannot conceive. But
he is an eccentric man, loving the hor"We mean those under the Villa rors of history, and what he can do P- ."
to realize them he has done in his pris“Exactly."
ons." There was a tone of politely sup- “But the custodian, how could he pressed amusement in the abbate's lie so ?” voice; and after a moment's pause, in Our friend shrugged his shoulders. which we felt our awful experience slip- “ Eh! easily. And perhaps he even ping and sliding away from us, we ven- believed what he said." tured to say, “You don't mean that The world began to assume an asthose are not the veritable Ecelino pris- pect of bewildering ungenuineness, and
there seemed to be a treacherous qual“Certainly they are nothing of the ity of fiction in the ground under our kind. The Ecelino prisons were de- feet. Even the play at the pretty litstroyed when the Crusaders took Pa- tle Teatro Sociale, where we went to dua, with the exception of the tower pass the rest of the evening, appeared which the Venetian Republic converted hollow and improbable. We thought into an observatory.”
the hero something of a bore, with “But at least these prisons are on his patience and goodness; and as for the site of Ecelino's castle ?”
the heroine, pursued by the attentions "Nothing of the sort. His castle in of the rich profligate, we doubted if that case would have been outside of she were any better than she should the old city walls."
A STORY IN THREE PARTS.
PART II. DICHARD got through the follow- cate and more constant than the gross N ing week he hardly knew how. exhilaration of his old habits. There He found occupation, to a much great was a kind of fascination in adding er extent than he was actually aware hour to hour, and day to day, in this of, in a sordid and yet heroic strug- record of his new-born austerity. Havgle with himself. For several months ing abjured excesses, he practised temnow, he had been leading, under Ger- perance after the fashion of a novice : trude's inspiration, a strictly decent he raised it (or reduced it) to abstiand sober life. So long as he was at nence. He was like an unclean man comparative peace with Gertrude and who, having washed himself clean, rewith himself, such a life was more than mains in the water for the love of it. easy; it was delightful. It produced He wished to be religiously, supera moral buoyancy infinitely more deli- stitiously pure. This was easy, as we have said, so long as his goddess these doubts by subjecting his resolusmiled, even though it were as a god- tion to a course of such cruel temptadess indeed, -as a creature unattaina- tions as were likely either to shiver it to ble. But when she frowned, and the a myriad of pieces, or to season it perheavens grew dark, Richard's sole de- fectly to all the possible requirements pendence was in his own will, -as flim- of life. He took long rides over the sy a trust for an upward scramble, one country, passing within a stone's throw would have premised, as a tuft of grass of as many of the scattered wayside on the face of a perpendicular cliff. taverns as could be combined in a sinFlimsy as it looked, however, it served gle circuit. As he drew near them he him. It started and crumbled, but it sometimes slackened his pace, as if he held, if only by a single fibre. When were about to dismount, pulled up his Richard had cantered fifty yards away horse, gazed a moment, then, thrusting from Gertrude's gate in a fit of stupid in his spurs, galloped away again like rage, he suddenly pulled up his horse one pursued. At other times, in the and gulped down his passion, and swore late evening, when the window-panes an oath, that, suffer what torments of were aglow with the ruddy light within, feeling he might, he would not at least he would walk slowly by, looking at the break the continuity of his gross phys- stars, and, after maintaining this stoical ical soberness. It was enough to be pace for a couple of miles, would hurry drunk in mind; he would not be drunk home to his own lonely and blackin body. A singular, almost ridiculous windowed dwelling. Having successfeeling of antagonism to Gertrude lent fully performed this feat a certain numforce to this resolution. “No, madam,” ber of times, he found his love coming he cried within himself, “I shall not back to him, berest in the interval of fall back. Do your best! I shall its attendant jealousy. In obedience keep straight.” We often outweather to it, he one morning leaped upon his great offences and afflictions through horse and repaired to Gertrude's abode, a certain healthy instinct of egotism. with no definite notion of the terms in Richard went to bed that night as which he should introduce himself. grim and sober as a Trappist monk; He had made himself comparatively and his foremost impulse the next day sure of his will ; but he was yet to was to plunge headlong into some acquire the mastery of his impulses. physical labor which should not allow . As he gave up his horse, according to himn a moment's interval of idleness. his wont, to one of the men at the staHe found no labor to his taste ; but he ble, he saw another steed stalled there spent the day so actively, in the me- which he recognized as Captain Sevchanical annihilation of the successive ern's. “Steady, my boy," he murhours, that Gertrude's image found no mured to himself, as he would have chance squarely to face him. He was done to a frightened horse. On, his engaged in the work of self-preserva- way across the broad court-yard totion, - the most serious and absorbing ward the house, he encountered the work possible to man. Compared to Captain, who had just taken his leave. the results here at stake, his passion Richard gave him a generous salute for Gertrude seemed but a fiction. It (he could not trust himself to more), is perhaps difficult to give a more and Severn answered with what was at lively impression of the vigor of this least a strictly just one. Richard obpassion, of its maturity and its strength, served, however, that he was very pale, than by simply stating that it dis- and that he was pulling a rosebud to creetly held itself in abeyance until pieces as he walked ; whereupon our Richard had set at rest his doubts of young man quickened his step. Findthat which lies nearer than all else to ing the parlor empty, he instinctively the beart of man, - his doubts of the crossed over to a small room adjoining strength of his will. He answered it, which Gertrude had converted into