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lady with whom he read Tasso, beside of the leading citizens of his adopted city, the chivalrous music of the “ Jerusalem applied to the Executive for his appointDelivered,” learned to appreciate mod- ment as United States Consul at Genoa. ern knighthood; and the scholar to whom There was a singular propriety in the he expounded Dante, from the political request. Having passed and honored chart of the Middle Ages, turned to an the ordeal of American citizenship, and incarnation of existent patriotism. Not being then a popular resident of the city only by the arguments of Gioberti, the which gave birth to the discoverer of this graphic pictures of Manzoni, and the continent,-familiar with our institutions, terse pathos of Leopardi, did he illustrate and endeared to so many of the wise and what Italy boasts of later genius; but brave in America and Italy,— illustrious through his own eloquent integrity and through suffering, a veteran disciple and magnetic love of her achievements and martyr of freedom — he was eminently faith in her destiny. The savings of a representative man, whom freemen years of patient toil were sacrificed to
should delight to honor; and while it the subsistence of his poor countrymen then gratified our sense of the approwho came hither after bravely fighting priate that this distinction and resource at Rome, Venice, Milan, and Novara, should cheer his declining years, we are to have their fruits of victory treacher- impelled, now that death has canonized ously gathered by aliens. Infirmity, con- misfortune and integrity, to avail oursequent upon early privation and the selves of the occasion to rehearse the inunhealed wounds of long-worn chains, cidents and revive the lessons of his life.* laid the stalwart frame of the brave and Underlying the external apathy and generous exile on a bed of pain. He apparently frivolous life of the Italian uttered no complaint, and whispered not peninsula, there has ever been a reso of the fear which no courage can quell lute, clear, earnest patriotism, fed in the in high natures, that of losing “ the glo- scholar by memories of past glory, in the rious privilege of being independent”: peasant by intense local attachment, and yet his American friends must have sur- kindled from time to time in all by the mised the truth; for, one day, he re- reaction of gross wrongs and moral privaceived a letter stating that a sum, fully tions. Sometimes in conversation, oftenadequate for two years' support, remain- er in secret musing, now in the eloquent ed to his credit on the books of a mer- outburst of the composer, and now in the chant, - one of those mysterious provis- adjuration of the poet or the vow of the ions, such as once redeemed a note of revolutionist, this latent spirit has found Henry Clay's, and of which no expla- expression. Again and again, spasmodic nation can be given, except that “it is and abortive émeutes, the calm protest a way they have” among the merchant of a D'Azeglio and the fanaticism of an princes of New York. By a providential coincidence, surgical skill, at this * It is to be lamented that Foresti had not juncture, essentially improved his phys- anticipated our purpose with that consecuical condition ; but it became indispen- tive detail possible only in an autobiography. sable, at the same time, that he should ex
“Le Scene del Carcere Duro in Austria," writes
the Marquis Pallavicino, change our rigorous clime for one more
la storia del Ventuno. Un uomo potrebbe congenial ; and he sailed five years ago scriverla e svelare molte infamie tuttavia ocfor Italy, taking up his residence in Pied- culte del governo Austriaco. Quest' uomo mont, where dwell so many of the emi- è Felice Foresti. Il quale abbandonò gli agi nent adherents of the cause he loved, Americani per combattere un'altra volta, and where the institutions, polity, and
guerriero canuto, le gloriose battaglie dell' social life include so many elements of
Italico risorgimento. Il martire scriva: e la
sua penna, come quella di un altro martire, progress and of faith. It was now that
Silvio Pellico, sarà una spada nel cuore dell' those who knew him best, including some Austria."—Notes to Spielbergo e Gradisca.
non sono ancora
Orsini, sacrifices of property, freedom, der the arcades of Bologna every other and life,- all the more pathetic, because face wears the yellow beard of the North ; to human vision useless, — have made yet the family portraits in the vast palknown to the oppressor the writhings of ace-chambers, the eyes and dialect of the the oppressed, and to the world the arbi- people, the monumental inscriptions, åntrary rule which conceals injustice by im- nounce an indigenous and superseded posing silence.
The indirect, but most race ; their industry, civil rights, properemphatic utterance of this deep, latent ty, and free expression in art, literature, self-respect of the nation we find in Al- and even speech, being forcibly and sysfieri, whose stern muse revived the terse tematically repressed : while in the mounenergy of Dante; and in our own day, tains of Savoy, the streets of Turin, and this identical inspiration fired the melan- the harbor of Genoa, the stir and zest, choly verse of Leopardi, the letters of the productiveness, and the felicity of Foscolo, the novels of Guerrazzi, and national life greet the senses and gladden the tender melody of Bellini. Recent the soul. Statistics evidence what obserliterature has exhibited the conditions vation hints ; Cavour wins the respect of under which Italian Liberals strive, and Europe ; D'Azeglio illustrates the inspithe method of expiating their self-de- ration which liberty yields to genius; votion. The novels of Ruffini, the let- journalism ventilates political rancor; deters of the Countess d'Ossoli, the rhetoric bate neutralizes aggressive prejudice ; of Gavazzi, and the parliamentary re- physical resources become available ; talports of Gladstone, the leading reviews, ent finds scope, character self-assertion ; the daily journals, intercourse with politi- Protestantism builds altars, patriotism cal refugees, and the personal observa- shrines ; and genuine Italian nationality tions of travel, have, more or less defi- has a vital existence so palpably renitely, caused the problem called the proachful of circumjacent stagnation, ru“ Italian Question” to come nearer to in, and wrong, that no laws or material our sympathies than any other European force can interpose a permanent obstaexigency apart from practical interests. cle to its indefinite extension and saluMoreover, the complicated and dubious tary reign. aspect of the subject, viewed by transat- In his first youth, Foresti imbibed the lantic eyes, has, within the last ten years, creative spirit breathed into the social been in a great measure dispelled by and civic life of Italy by Napoleon's vicexperimental facts. That Italy needs
That Italy needs tories and administration ; it was at that chiefly to be let alone, to achieve inde- vivid epoch when the military, political, pendence and realize a noble develop- artistic, and literary talent of the land, so ment, civic, economical, and social, ev- long repressed and thwarted by superstiery intelligent traveller who crosses the tion and despotism, broke forth, that his Austrian frontier and enters the Sardin- studies were achieved. We have only ian state, knows.
to compare what was done, thought, and A greater contrast, as regards produc- felt in the Peninsula, during the ten years tive industry, intellectual enterprise, re- between the coronation of Bonaparte at ligious progress, comfort, and happiness, Milan and his overthrow at Waterloo, no adjacent countries ever exhibited; with the subsequent dearth of national constitutional freedom, an unrestricted triumphs in every sphere, and with the press, toleration, and public education on inert, apprehensive, baffled existence of the one hand, and foreign bayonets, es- the Italians in the grasp of reinstated pionage, and priestcraft on the other, ex- and reinforced imbecile, yet tyrannic govplain the anomaly. In Venice the very ernments, to appreciate the feelings of a trophies of national life are labelled in a young, well-born, gifted citizen, when sudforeign tongue, the caffès of Milan re- denly checked in a liberal and progressive sound with Teutonic gutturals, and un- career, and remanded, as it were, from the bracing atmosphere of modern civilization Brunswick dynasty, whence descended and enlightened activity, to the passive, the royalty of England. The city dates silent endurance of obsolete feudalism. its origin from the fifth century, when It was the inevitable and deliberate pro- its marshy site gave refuge from the purtest against this wicked and absurd re- suing Huns, and the ambition of its rulaction which gave birth to the political ers gradually concentrated around the organization of the Carbonari ; wherein unpromising domain those elements of the noblest men and the wisest princes ecclesiastical prestige, knightly valor, arof that day enrolled themselves; and the tistic and literary resources which eninefficiency of whose far-reaching, secret, riched and signalized the Italian cities of and solemn aims can be accounted for the Middle Ages. Enlightened, though only by the fatal error of trusting in the capricious patronage made this halting. magnanimity of an order born to hered- place between Bologna and Venice, Paitary power, and overlooking, in their dua and Rome, the nucleus of talent, enmunicipal fraternities, the vast impor- terprise, and diplomacy, the fruits wheretance of the more scattered, but not less of are permanent. But there are two capable and patriotic agricultural class. hallowed associations which in a remark
Foresti was born at Conselice in the able degree consecrated Ferrara and enFerrarese. Few American travellers lin- deared her to the memory of later genger in Ferrara. Fresh from the more erations : she gave an asylum to the perimposing attractions of Florence or Ven- secuted Christian Reformers, and was the ice, this ancient Italian city offers little home and haunt of poets. It is this recin comparison to detain the eager pil- ollection which stays the feet and warms grim; and yet to one cognizant of its the heart of the transatlantic visitor, as history and alive to imaginative associa- he roams at twilight around the venerations, this neglect might increase the ble castle “flanked with towers,” traces charm of a brief sojourn. It is pleas- the dim fresco in a church Giotto deco ant to explore the less hackneyed stories rated, reads “Parisina” in Byron's parof history and tradition, to enjoy an iso- aphrase near the dungeons where she lated scene fraught with grand or tender and her lover were slain, or gazes with sentiment, to turn aside from the tram- mingled curiosity and love on the chirogpled highway and the crowded resort, to raphy of St. Chrysostom, the original listen to some plaintive whisper from the manuscripts of Tasso, Ariosto, and GuariPast amid the deserted memorials of its ni, or the inscription of Victor Alfieri in glory and grief. Such a place is Ferra- the Studio Publico. It is because Calvin
The broad and regular streets and was here sheltered, and Olympia Morathe massive palaces emphatically declare ta found sympathy and respect, because its former splendor; and its actual de- the author of “ Jerusalem Delivered” cadence is no less manifest in the grass- here loved, triumphed, and despaired, grown pavement of the one and the and the author of the." Orlando Furioso" crumbling and dreary aspect of the oth- so assiduously labored for his orphaned er. It requires no small effort of fan- family, the exacting Cardinal Ippolito, and cy, as we walk through some deserted the cause of learning, and strung a lyre by-way, wherein our footsteps echo audi- which has for centuries vibrated in the bly at noonday, to realize that this was popular heart and fancy,- because, in a the splendid arena where the House of word, Ferrara contains the prison of TasEste so long held sway, limited in extent, so, and the home of Ariosto, who called but in its palny days the centre of a bril- her “città bene avrenturosa,” as did Tasliant court, a famous school of pictorial soni the “gran donna del Po,”— that the art, the seat of a university whose fame desolate old city is revived to the imagidrew scholars from distant Britain, and nation, with its hundred thousand peowhose ducal family gave birth to the ple, its gay courtiers and brave knights, the romance of its feats of minstrelsy of this mysterious revolutionary combinaand arms whereat noble beauties and im- tion in and around Ferrara. The latter mortal bards assisted, and Art, Chivalry, shrank from extreme measures, and was Learning, Church, and State held festi- content with an oath of retraction ; but val with the Muses to adorn and perpet- the Austrian government gave instant uate the transient pageant, the loveliness, orders to the chiefs of police, both there and the rule, - otherwise since consign- and at Venice, to arrest those whom the ed to the monotonous record of vanished perjured Count Villa named as adherents pomp and arbitrary sway.
of Carbonarism. The decree was executWhen Napoleon fell, Foresti was a ed with military force; and, without warnstudent at the University of Bologna, ing, preparation, or even a parting interwhence he returned to his native capital, view with their families and friends, the after obtaining the degree of Doctor of suspected were hurried off to the Piombi, Laws. His earliest forensic labors, like that Venetian prison so graphically dethose of our young advocates, were in the scribed by Pellico. All correspondence defence of accused criminals; and, lim- and personal intercourse was denied. ited as is this sphere, he must have dis- Meantime, an ingenious and persevering played unusual maturity of judgment and investigation went on, to ascertain the natural eloquence, to have received suc- scope of the enterprise thus summarily cessively the eminent appointments of baffled, the means proposed, and the inProvisory Assistant Judge in the Court of dividuals implicated. To complicate still Justice of Ferrara, Supplementary Pro- further the situation of the victims, in fessor of Eloquence and Belles Lettres other quarters the flame they had sein the Lyceum, and Judge of the Peace, cretly fed burst forth conspicuously; Naby virtue of which latter office he crossed ples and Piedmont were in arms; and the Po to practise at Polesino,— wisely Austria conceived an alarming idea of preferring the Austrian to the Papal juris- the national spirit she had partially condiction. In Crespino, in the province of travened. The rigor of espionage towards Rovigo, in the Lombardo-Venetian King. the imprisoned and their friends increasdom, Fore$ti was made Prætor under the ed; the prosecution was insidiously proEmperor's warrant. Coincident with this longed; privation and solitude, vigilance recognition of his judicial knowledge and and suspense were made instruments for skill, was a kindred appreciation on the subduing the resolution and invading the part of his liberal and patriotic country- confidence of the captives; they pined men; they beheld in the vigorous and in desolation, ignorant of their fate, undisciplined mind and generous heart of informed of the welfare of those most Foresti, in his civic wisdom and courage, dear to them, without resources of dethe representative and ally they sought in fence or consolation, except what the this portion of their beautiful and unhap- strength of individual character yields ; py land. To disseminate the principles physically weakened, morally isolated ; and secure the coöperation of Venice be- sometimes roused from sleep and bewilcame the special office of the Carbonari dered with questions; at other times told leaders of Ferrara, and they had only to they were to die, that some companion reveal the high and holy object they cher- had confessed, or that some loved one ished, to one who so well knew the wants had ceased to exist; -- and all these criand woes of his country as Foresti, to ses of feeling and anxiety, of surprise and enlist his adventurous sympathy. The despair, induced with a fiendish deliberdelicate and difficult mission, fraught with ation, to startle honor into self-betrayal, the dearest prospects of Italy, was nearly wring from exhausted Nature what conconsummated, when a treacherous col- scious rectitude would not divulge, or league revealed to the accredited agents agonize human love into inadvertent disboth of Austria and the Pope the system loyalty.
At length their fate was decided. Fo to which he was about to fall a sacrifice. resti's companion in prison was the son The jailer returned, bringing a book and of a judge of Ferrara ; and, one Novem- a bottle of wine, for which he had asked; ber midnight, their conversation was in- a few tears were shed, a prayer for forterrupted by the unexpected entrance of giveness breathed, and then he plunged the jailer, who bade Foresti follow him. a knife into his breast; the blade broke; The hour and the manner of the offi- he shattered the bottle at his side and cial convinced both him and his comrade swallowed the fragments, and then fell that his sacrifice was resolved upon; they bleeding and exbausted on the straw. embraced, and he left the cell to find If left long alone, life would have ebbed himself strictly guarded by six soldiers. away; but, probably in anticipation of This nocturnal procession marched si- such a catastrophe, the officer ere many lently through the vast, lonely, and mag- hours revisited the cell to put chains upon nificent rooms of the Ducal Palace to the the prisoner. Discovering his condition, door which leads to the Bridge of Sighs: a surgeon was called, remedies were apit was the old road to destruction,—the plied, and two Austrian sentinels carried mysterious process, made familiar by nov- Foresti into the presence of the judge. elists and poets, by whịch the ancient It was scarcely dawn; the venerable and and sinister republic made more fearful courteous, but inflexible representative the vengeance of government. As the of the Emperor expressed solicitude and unfortunate youth passed through a laby- sympathy; a secretary and physician, rinth of gloomy corridors, he recognized with the guard and their prisoner, conthe haunts of the ancient Inquisition; the fronted each other by the dim light of atmosphere was clogged with damp; mois- two candles. Irritated by the conventure dripped from the stones. A dungeon, tional politeness of this arbiter of his deslighted only by a lamp suspended from tiny at such a crisis, having vainly sought the vault, and narrow, humid, and unfur- death, and bitterly conscious of the long nished, except with a pile of straw and outrages perpetrated under the name of a rude table, proved the dreary goal of justice, Foresti burst forth into stern intheir heavy steps. Left to his own reflec- vectives, and boldly declared his liberal tions, Foresti contemplated his prospects sentiments, his allegiance to the princiwith deliberate anguish ; that he had ples for the sake of which he thus sufferbeen found guilty was apparent; if the cd, and his absolute enmity to the usurpfact of his direct agency in initiating the ers of his country's freedom. The Cavaoath of self-emancipation, the sacred com- lier Mazzetti treated this overflow of pact of national self-assertion in the Aus- emotion as the ebullition of a youthful trian dominions, had transpired, he felt mind, romantic and intrepid, but unreathat his prominence as a judicial officer, sonable ; he professed the sincerest pity and the firmness with which he had re- for so gifted and brave a youth, lamented fused to explain the purposes or betray his delusion, painted in emphatic words the associates of this memorable league, his want of gratitude and allegiance, made him the most probable victim of treated his political creed and organizaextreme measures, should one be chosen tion as chimerical, and wound up by infrom the Carbonari of Ferrara. At that forming Foresti that he was condemned period of his life he entertained the opin- to die on the public square of Venice, ion that suicide was justifiable to avoid and that nothing would save him but a an ignominious death at the hands of ar- complete revelation of the true plan, arbitrary power. Believing his fate sealed, rangements, and members of the secret he gave a few moments of tender remi- conclave to which he belonged. Threats niscence to his dead mother and his liv- and blandishments failed to move the ing father and sisters, to the dreams of prisoner; he was silent, accepted his his youth, and the patriotic aspirations doom, and was remanded with two al