Page images

carrying News of her to his Highness in his Closet as heretofore, which was the only private Opportunity likely to occur. One Day, passing through one of the Antechambers, with a Heart full of Sorrow, I saw Guarini coming along, and got out of his Way, having no Mind to speak to an old Enemy of Tajso's; but, to my Surprise, he took me by the Sleeve and drew me aside, saying with an Air of great Trouble, "What is this I hear of our Friend? Can his great Mind indeed have given Way? or has he, as some of his warmest Admirers dread, committed some fatal Imprudence?"

"Neither one nor the other, believe me," said I emphatically, "his Enemies, and they alone, have to answer for it." And was hastily moving off, but he still detained me.

"You lay an Emphasis on Enemies," said he, "as if I were one of them, but God forbid I should feel Aught but Concern and Sorrow for a noble Mind so cruelly oppressed. Rivals we once were, I grant you, but the Race between us has long surceased, and even

[ocr errors]

if it were not six, my Heart would at this Moment be melted with Pity."

"Signor Guarini!" cried I, "these Feelings do you Honour!" and I grasped his Hand with Energy. A Tear shone in bis Eye, and I felt my own moisten.

Just then, the Duke passed by, with several Gentlemen, and catching Sight of me, paused a Moment and said, "What ails you?"

"Sir! fir!" cried I, almost carried out of" myself, " have mercy upon Tajso, in Captivity and Solitude!"

"In Captivity, but not wholly in Solitude," replied he, with something like a little Kindness in his Eye, " Giulio Mofti now has Access to him, and spends whole Hours in his Cell, listening to his Recitations and writing to his Dictation; in short, doing all that can mitigate his Sorrow. He has also been removed to a Cell above-ground, where he can stretch his Limbs and see the Sun, and flourish like a Geranium in a Pot!"

The Admiflions as well as Solaces contained in these few Words, filled my Heart so full,

that I could not proffer a Word, and the Duke, smiling, passed on. He, in the Plenitude of Health and Prosperity, to whom Air and Liberty were such common and vulgar Things as hardly to seem worth remembering, to speak of One to whose very Existence they were essential, and who had been so ruthlessly deprived of them, as flourishing like a Geranium in a Pot!

For my part, I wonder how People can put Flowers in Pots, or Birds in Cages, or snare Fishes with Hooks, or set large Birds to pursue small Ones, or in short, find Pleasure in any Cruelty whatsoever. But I know my Sentiments are peculiar.

'Veloces Pedes eorum ad effundendem Sanguinem?

All this While, strange to say, dear Madama Leonora never made one single Inquiry about Taffb, but desisted entirely from Anxiety about him, as well as concerning all mundane Things, and stayed her Thoughts entirely upon God. It was a blessed Thing for her that her Mind took this Turn, since there was no good News for her, and I never ceased congratulating myself on having brought about that Interview, so soothing and beneficial to them both, which A^nything turbid and tumultuous within themselves might so completely have robbed of all Comfort, but which, under the chastening Influences of Sanctity and Self-control, shed a mild Ray of Light on their last terrestrial Intercourse.

She had now a thousand pretty Thoughts about the World to come, and told me how she dreamed of Angels and of Christ, and how she beheld the heavenly Mansions already occupied by this and that Saint, and saw others busily erecting and fitting up by eager loving Hands, for those that would soon need them, the Lord Jesus superintending all;—and how there were Clusters of little Children flocking about in every Quarter of Heaven, and, as they grew up in spiritual Stature, being instructed by guardian Angels in all heavenly Knowledge; and what joyous Parties were setting forth

on Explorations to this and that Planet, and how others were harping and hymning Strains impossible to describe, such was their exquisite Melody! and others, deep studying Books of divine Lore written by Angels, under the immediate Dictation of the Holy Spirit, and others, plunged deep in Thought, revolving eternal Mysteries, and learning the why and wherefore not only of the minutest Events of their own Lives, but of Things that had occurred from the Foundation of the World. Others, in Attitudes of Adoration, seeming as though every Faculty and Sense were absorbed in beatific Raptures; others, eagerly waiting at Heaven's Gate for the arrival of some loved Spirit on Earth; others, just re-united, in an Ecstasy of Bliss. I declare it made my Head spin Sometimes to try to follow her, and at last I gave it over, contenting myself with the Conviction that God gives his dear Children superordinary Supports and Revelations under superordinary Trials, which we must not aspire to under the common Events of Life. Notwithstanding which, the

« PreviousContinue »