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before the tribunal. But I induced him to suspend this order, by pledging myself that you would listen to my solicitations. Be therefore obedient, and show yourself repentant. It will cost you but a slight effort; only two words! Give me but the names of the Carbonari, and you will be free.'
'Caleffi uttered not a syllable.
'Perhaps your sufferings or your fears be the cause of your
'No! no! I feel no pain, and chains have no terror for me.'
'So much the better. Now listen. Give me either the list or the names that it contained; you know them, for they were the names of those who paid into your hands their monthly contributions. The government is daily acquiring fresh information in relation to the Carbonari. Take heed lest shortly we be able to dispense with any disclosures you may have to make; for should you delay you will gain nothing by them. Now is the time for you to speak. What do you
Caleffi was silent.
Think, my dear Califfi, of your own interests, not of those of the Carbonari. They, when arrested, as will be the case shortly, will be submitted to the ordeal of a legal inquiry, will confess all; and your silence, however praiseworthy, will only be laughed at by them. They will of course only look to their own safety. You should do likewise.'
Caleffi returned no answer.
Answer me, at least; I repeat, you shall have a full pardon, and beside, a pecuniary reward. What you say shall remain a secret. pledge my honor to this. What more do you want?
I wish nothing, for I have nothing to reveal.'
'But you know well that the Counts Tommasi, Raspi, the Marquis of Conorrici, the Counsellor Ferrarini, were
'I have never seen those persons, and I know not who they are. I am a poor plebeian, and have nothing to do with the nobility or the lawyers.'
The persons mentioned by Ondedei were in reality some of the chief officers of the Carbonari; but they were suspected by the government only from their well known liberal sentiments. Tommasi afterward became an informer, and Ferrarini was pardoned by Pius VII. Of the remaining two, one was tried and condemned by the Austrian government, and the other is at present an exile in France. So you will disclose nothing?'
'I have nothing to disclose.'
go, miserable youth! What shall I say to your wife?!'
Say to her that I love her, that I recommend my children to her care, and that I have no reason to fear.'
Nay, so far from it, you have reason to rejoice, if you will only follow the Cardinal's wishes and mine. I will in the mean time see that have a straw-bed, a coverlid, good food, and that you be removed. To-morrow you shall walk in the corridor, and breathe the fresh air.'
'I have need of nothing, and ask for nothing; nevertheless, I thank you for your good intentions.'
'Good night, Caleffi.'
The door closed, and the next day he was treated as had been promised by the director of the police, who was again foiled and misled.
IRON-hearted man! Yet remember that even iron may be rendered pliable. However, I must have recourse to other measures. Can it be possible that my efforts will not be crowned with success? It cannot be! I certainly shall not fail. How important will not my services appear in the eyes of my sovereign? The discovery of a conspiracy! Honors, wealth, nothing will be beyond my reach! What brilliant prospects! But I see I must work with increasing diligence and perseverance: all the better. The more glorious will be my triumph. And then again, why talk of virtue and firmness? Mere words! Ah, Caleffi! I have had to deal with men infinitely your superiors in rank, in character, and in education. Men who from lions I have seen become lambs. Yes, yes! You also will become so docile that I shall be able to handle you with impunity. I have yet in reserve some powerful weapons with which to overcome you. To work, then!'
Thus reasoned the depraved Ondedei, while at the same time he concealed his anger and malignity under the appearance of perfect good nature.
This same night he re-visited Caleffi ; the soldiers remaining in the corridor, while with a light in his hand he crept into his prisoner's cell.
Ah! how do you find yourself, my dear Caleffi?' he exclaimed. 'I trust your last night was passed more agreeably than the preceding ones, for I see that the gaoler has provided you with those comforts and indulgencies which I promised: give me your hand.'
But why do you act thus? I have Your wife is at liberty, and is She sends her love to you, and ad
Caleffi extended it not. 'What! still gloomy and silent? some pleasing intelligence for you. now at home with her children. vises you to confide in me.
'She is free, say you? And is so, perhaps, as an especial favor! In case you do not deceive me even in this, let me tell you that you have done an act merely of justice. What has she ever done, pray, to justify her imprisonment?'
Pshaw! pshaw !
these are useless reflections, my dear Caleffi : you know that in the eyes of our rulers the public safety is the one all-important object. Reason and justice, you must be aware, enter into the support of this vital interest.'
'I know nothing about such things.'
'True!-you are right. It is wrong even to meddle with politics; particularly for a poor man like you. But now that you have committed yourself, (as I confess I have since an early period,) it becomes requisite that we should mutually assist each other, and at least save ourselves and our cousins, the Carbonari. A time will come when we shall again be able to further the grand object of our society."
'I do not understand you.'
'Give me your hand, Caleffi, and you will at once comprehend my meaning.' So saying, he took hold of Caleffi's hand, and with the middle finger touched him three times upon the palm.
'What does this mean?' said Caleffi. 'Cousin,' said Ondedei, embrace me. pered the commissioner.
What means this mummery?' exclaimed the prisoner. Faith, Hope, Charity!' cried the treacherous magistrate, with much earn
Ondedei, who in 1815 had become an apostate from the society of the Carbonari, wished to make Caleffi believe that he was still zealous in support of, and faithful to, its principles. Hence he prostituted to his purpose the word 'Cousin,' which was the term of fraternity among the Carbonari, as he did also the two first above-mentioned expressions. These being called 'pass-words,' and the latter sacred,' and all of which were conventional terms, used by the members to recognize and greet each other.
What do you mean?' said Caleffi. You are amusing yourself, Sir, at my expense.'
By no means, my dear cousin; I wish you to understand that I have been a Carbonaro for many years, and that at heart I am still one. I have accepted the office of director of the police with the sole object of furthering the views of the society in any way that may offer; and to do which I would even lay down my life.'
Caleffi was silent.
It is true,' resumed Ondedei, 'that I have not been admitted into the society as reorganized last year, nor is it by any means requisite that I should be. The chiefs of our central body at Naples well know that I am entirely devoted to their interests. They advised me not to avow myself a member of the reformed society, in order to be the better able to discover and thwart the plans of the government against it. Have I not acted wisely, Caleffi ?'
Caleffi returned no answer.
'Now,' continued Ondedei, ' in this sudden and unlooked-for commotion, I find myself ignorant of the names of the reformed Carbonari, and of course know not what step to take for their advantage. Give me therefore only their names, and you will see whether or not I shall be able to manage matters quietly, as well as to save them.' Caleffi was silent.
And at least, if you do not know the names of all, give me those of the leaders. It is against them that the displeasure of the government is principally directed, and we must render it futile.'
Come! be quick! Time passes. From one instant to another we are in danger of the Cardinal's discovering them, and then it will no longer be in my power to save them. The Cardinal, who after all is a good natured man,' continued the commissioner, may perhaps, in consideration of your disclosures, be induced to proclaim a general pardon, and that without in the slightest degree compromising you. You would be instantly set free, and be held in high estimation by the Cardinal and our cousins. I am certain this would be the case; but most assuredly not, if the legal inquiries which have already com
menced be continued. A stop, however, would be put to these, immediately upon your making the disclosures.'
'But I tell you that I know nothing about the matter.'
'See! I will at once arrange matters so that you shall receive a lucrative appointment. You know that the police always has places at its disposal.'
'Yes! Honorable employments truly!'
• Understand me. I mean some private situation.'
'I want none. I have one already, and that suffices me.'
'All very well; but I will better your condition. There take these;' and pulling from beneath his cloak two rouleaus of coin, he was about to place them in Caleffi's hand, when the latter, raising himself up, exclaimed:
What are these?'
They are two rouleaus of gold, each containing double Napoleons. Give me the names, and you may instantly return to your own house, and use them for the benefit of yourself and family. Every thing will remain secret. To-morrow all will be forgotten. Our cousins will be safe, and with the money you will be able to enjoy yourself for more than a year.'
Caleffi made a gesture expressive of anger, and of extreme contempt.
'And,' continued Ondedei, as to the fate of the Carbonari, if you will not trust me, accompany me to the Cardinal, and you shall receive from his own lips a promise that every thing shall be buried in oblivion.'
'I do not wish to go any where, except to my wife and children.' 'And so you shall: I myself will accompany you to them, and be a witness of the embraces and congratulations with which a husband is greeted when reunited to his family. Speak, Caleffi! and quickly, a few of the names.'
'What names? I know none.'
'The names of the leaders of the Carbonari.'
I know not who the Carbonari are.'
'Then you will not speak?'
'I have nothing to say.'
'So you are determined to ruin
'I have no cousins.'
'You refuse, then, both freedom, money, and employment.' 'I do not refuse my freedom.'
'And should you be tried and condemned!'
I have nothing to fear on that score, for I have committed no crime.'
'Reflect well upon what you are doing, for now I leave you, and shall not return. The tribunal must henceforth act in the matter.' 'I care not.'
'Farewell, Caleffi! I go.'
'Do as you think proper.'
'Will you disclose nothing?"
'Caleffi stretched himself out, and covered his head with the clothes.
'Caleffi, for your own sake, for the sake of your wife and children,
for the welfare of our companions, the Carbonari, speak, I beseech you!'
Caleffi remained covered, and answered not.
Ondedei regarded his imperturbable prisoner with mingled admiration and rage. He paused, and added:
I hope, at least, Caleffi, that you will not betray me to the government as a Carbonari, for what I have disclosed to you in the fulness of my confidence.'
'I am no spy!' exclaimed Caleffi.
Ondedei trembled, and muttering between his teeth, abruptly left the dungeon.
WHILE Ondedei had been striving to obtain a confession from the husband, an inferior officer of the police, with the like ill success, was using every possible artifice which craft and malignity could devise, to wring one from the resolute and unshaken wife. She was confined, as we have said, in her house, and guarded by several soldiers. Frequently during the day and night she was harassed by threats, promises, and falsehoods, with the view of forcing her to reveal what had been secreted in the mysterious oven, covered by the picture. The only answer, however, which could be obtained from her was, 'I know nothing about it.'
She knows nothing about it,' said the Cardinal.
Well, then, we must put a stop to the proceedings. It is possible, after all, that this woman may be entirely ignorant of her husband's secret. And if she were not, why should we, Mr. Commissioner, oblige a wife to disclose any thing that might injure the partner of her bosom? It would be inhuman to do so. I will not stain my hands with so dark and foul a blot. Withdraw your soldiers from her house, and leave her in quiet with her children.' The sixth day had then elapsed, and his orders were obeyed.
During the proceedings which we have described, the Cardinal D'Arezzo experienced those feelings of impatience and remorse, which the commission of injustice calls forth in those who are yet alive to the workings of conscience.
It is an immutable law of our nature, that the intensity of good and evil passions diminishes in proportion to their duration. Moreover, the Cardinal was not a depraved man. Whoever should have read his character in the lineaments of his countenance, would have clearly traced indications of benevolence, though little of intellect.
His features were massive, yet his whole bearing was impressed with that certain degree of dignity which results from an artificial and effeminate education. His deportment conveyed the idea of good fellowship, while it in no way derogated from his pretensions to nobility, which were founded on his descent from an ancient Sicilian family.
Having also been regularly ordained a priest, which is not the case with every Cardinal, he was imbued with those mild and benevolent feelings which the religion of Christ does not fail to produce, when it is professed in sincerity, and with zeal. Moreover, his long and eventful life had been marked by a serious misfortune, which had left it