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Souls nursed in freedom; but that law of gold,

That glad and golden law, all free, all fitted, Which Nature's own hand wrote — what pleases is permitted

Then among streams and flowers,

The little winged Powers
Went singing carols without torch or bow;

The nymphs and shepherds sat

Mingling with innocent chat
Sports and low whispers, and with whispers low,

Kisses that would not go.

The maid, her childhood o'er,
Kept not her bloom uneyed,

Which now a veil must hide,
Nor the crisp apples which her bosom bore;

And oftentimes, in river or in lake,
The lover and his love their merry bath would take.

'Twas thou, thou, Honor, first

That didst deny our thirst
Its drink, and on the fount thy covering set;
Thou badst kind


withdraw Into constrained awe, And keep the secret for their tears to wet;

Thou gatherdst in a net

The tresses from the air,
And mad'st the sports and plays

Turn all to sullen ways,
And putt'st on speech a rein in steps a care.

Thy work it is — thou shade that wilt not move-
That what was once the gift, is now the theft, of love

Our sorrows and our pains,

These are thy noble gains.
But oh, thou Love's and Nature's masterer,

Thou conqueror of the crowned,

What dost thou on this ground,
Too small a circle for thy mighty sphere?

Go, and make slumber dear

To the renowned and high;
We here, a lowly race,

Can live without thy grace,
After the use of mild antiquity.

Go, let us love
No truce allow, and life soon disappears.
Go let us love: the daylight, dies, is born;

But unto us the light
Dies once for all, and sleep brings on eternal night.

since years



(From "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage.")

I stood in Venice, on the Bridge of Sighs;
A palace and a prison on each hand :
I saw from out the wave her structures rise
As from the stroke of the enchanter's wand :
A thousand years their cloudy wings expand
Around me, and a dying Glory smiles
O'er the far times when many a subject land

Looked to the winged Lion's marble piles,
Where Venice sat in state, throned on her hundred isles !

She looks a sea Cybele, fresh from ocean,
Rising with her tiara of proud towers
At airy distance, with majestic motion,
A ruler of the waters and their powers :
And such she was; her daughters had their dowers
From spoils of nations, and the exhaustless East
Poured in her lap all gems in sparkling showers.

In purple was she robed, and of her feast
Monarchs partook, and deemed their dignity increased.

In Venice, Tasso's echoes are no more,
And silent rows the songless gondolier;
Her palaces are crumbling to the shore,
And music meets not always now the ear:
Those days are gone but Beauty still is her
States fall, arts fade — but Nature doth not die,
Nor yet forget how Venice once was dear,

The pleasant place of all festivity,
The revel of the earth, the masque of Italy !

But unto us she hath a spell beyond
Her name in story, and her long array
Of mighty shadows, whose dim forms despond
Above the Dogeless city's vanished sway;
Ours is a trophy which will not decay
With the Rialto; Shylock and the Moor,
And Pierre, cannot be swept or worn away

The keystones of the arch! though all were o'er,
For us repeopled were the solitary shore.



[JOHN ADDINGTON SYMONDS, English man of letters, was born October 6, 1840; graduated at Balliol College, Oxford. He wrote “ Introduction to the Study of Dante" (1872); “Studies of the Greek Poets" (1873-1876); “ The Renaissance in Italy” (six volumes, 1875–1886); “Shakespeare's Predecessors in the English Drama" (1884); “Life of Michelangelo" (1892); several vol. umes of poetry ; translated Benvenuto Cellini's autobiography; etc. He died April 18, 1893, at Rome.)

THE history of the Medicean family during the sixteenth century epitomizes the chief features of social morality upon which I have been dwelling. It will be remembered that Alessandro de' Medici, the first Duke of Florence, poisoned his cousin, Ippolito, and was himself assassinated by his cousin Lorenzino. To the second of these crimes Cosimo, afterwards Grand Duke of Tuscany, owed the throne of Florence, on which, however, he was not secure until he had removed Lorenzino from this world by the poniard of a bravo. Cosimo maintained his authority by a system of espionage, remorseless persecution, and assassination, which gave color even to the most improbable of legends. But it is not of him so much as of his children that I have to speak.

Francesco, who reigned from 1564 till 1587, brought disgrace upon his line by marrying the infamous Bianca Capello, after authorizing the murder of her previous husband. Bianca, though incapable of bearing children, flattered her besotted paramour before this marriage by pretending to have borne a

In reality, she had secured the coöperation of three women on the point of childbirth; and when one of these was delivered of a boy, she presented this infant to Francesco, who christened him Antonio de' Medici. Of the three mothers who served in this nefarious action, Bianca contrived to assassinate two, but not before one of the victims to her dread of exposure made full confession at the point of death. The third escaped. Another woman, who had superintended the affair, was shot between Florence and Bologna in the valleys of the Apennines. Yet after the manifestation of Bianca's imposture, the Duke continued to recognize Antonio as belonging to the Medicean family; and his successor was obliged to compel this young man to assume the Cross of Malta, in order to exclude his posterity from the line of princes.


In the Time of the Medicis Photogravure from the painting by C. Becker

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