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meno minacciante della mia, mi precedesse nel sepolcro.” This is translated in the American work ; " The only idea which alarmed me was the possibility that my unfortunate friend, whose health was ruined, though his danger seemed less imminent than my own, might precede me to the tomb.” But the English translator has it ; " The sole idea which tormented me, was the possibility of this excellent friend also being snatched from me ; his health having been much broken, so as to threaten his dissolution ere my own sufferings drew to a close.” (p. 186.)
In the 78th chapter, “Io m'aspettava di vederlo volgere la finezza del suo ingegno ad indagini sconvenienti,” is rather inelegantly translated ; “ I imagined that we should soon discover him putting out his feelers to induce us to make imprudent disclosures.” (p. 188.) The American translator has it ; “ I expected to find him employing the acuteness of his mind in unbecoming investigations."
There is no need of bringing forward other instances of inaccuracy in the English translation. It is not our object to criticize that work ; but to give an answer to the inquiry so often repeated, “Why should a new translation of Pellico be made ?” We presume we have said enough already, to show, that the American translation, having been made more at leisure, and with great critical minuteness and accuracy, does more justice to the original, and deserves, better than the first version, to stand as the representative of Pellico in the English language.
The volume which we have named in company with “ My Prisons," at the head of this article, is, we believe, the first translation into English which has appeared, of Maroncelli's “ Additions." This work forms a valuable accompaniment to Pellico's, as it contains many details of great interest respecting the prisoners of Spielberg, and gives us more satisfactory information with regard to the causes of their arrest. Indeed, upon this point Pellico is entirely silent, remarking that, like an ill-treated lover, who keeps aloof from his mistress, he shall leave politics where they are, and speak of other things.
The volume consists of a biographical notice of Pellico ; notices of several individuals mentioned in “My Prisons, with further particulars of the sufferings at Spielberg ; and an Appendix, containing an account of the massacre of Prina ; notices of the Counts Porro and Confalonieri ; of the Conciliatore," a periodical, conducted by Pellico and others at Milan; the principles which it defended, and the fate of the individuals connected with it ; and, finally, a program of Maroncelli's unpublished works, with a few short poems of his composition.
The Appendix is highly interesting, as giving us a hasty view of the political state of Lombardy, for some years before the arrest of Pellico and the others, and forms a good introduction to “My Prisons.” As a picture of the beautiful uprightness and justice of Austrian policy, it is worthy of attention ; and, as we are fond of expatiating on the virtues of that enlightened government, we shall endeavour to lay before our readers, in a few words, the history of the manner in which it gained possession of Lombardy, after the downfall of Napoleon. While Eugene Beauharnais was waiting at Mantua, in the expectation that the Senate of Milan would proclaim him king of Lombardy, Count Ghislieri, Aulic Counsellor of the Austrian Emperor, came furtively to Milan, and at the house of one of the old adherents of the House of Austria, formed a conspiracy with several of the rich Lombard proprietors, to attack the Senate on the day when it was proposed to take the vote in favor of Eugene, and intimidate the members from proceeding, by the murder of the minister Prina, and then, before the nomination of Eugene, and before the Senate could recover from its panic, to proclaim the Emperor of Austria as sovereign in Lombardy, and thus win back this fine country to slavery and desolation. The infamous plan proved but too successful. On the appointed day, a vast number of peasants, who had been summoned by the Lombard proprietors from their estates, came flocking to the city. “The mountains about Como,” says Maroncelli, ," and those that surround Lago Maggiore, and the plains opposite, poured forth in torrents the inhabitants of their villages and shores ; a savage, threatening multitude, who may well have asked one of another, “What crime is it they would buy of us?'" This ferocious mob, having received their watchword from Ghislieri, rushed to the Senate-house, and not finding Prina there, ran to his mansion, seized him, dragged him through the streets, and murdered him. The only persons who dared to oppose them were the Counts Porro and Confalonieri, who mounted their horses, rode into
the midst of the mob, and endeavoured, by reasoning with them, to check their fury. Finding arguments of no avail, they hastened to Pino, general of the military forces, and besought him to interfere ; but motives of prudence restrained him. As a last resort, they applied to the curate of San Fedele, and implored him to appear in procession with the host. “ But,” says Maroncelli, “ the curate was of a poor spirit. He did not feel the mission, and refused ;” and the mob pursued their fiendish work.
The Senate was dissolved, and a regency nominated. The first act of the regency was to appoint three commissioners; Baron Trecchi was sent to Lord Bentinck at Genoa ; Confalonieri to Paris, where the allied sovereigns then were ; and Porro to the Austrian camp beyond the Ticino, to treat with the General Bellegarde. Here he was immediately made prisoner, but had the good fortune to escape soon after. As soon as Bellegarde had arrested him, he broke up the camp and put his troops in motion for Lombardy. Confalonieri's reception by the Austrian Emperor at Paris was not much more favorable. His Majesty was greatly astonished, that bis former subjects in Lombardy should dare to think of independence. “Go,” said he to Confalonieri, “and say to them that new rights are added to the old ones. While I speak, my armies have reconquered them, and thus they are doubly my property.” His words were true; and thus was Lombardy again subjected to the hated tyranny of Austria.
Porro and Confalonieri returned to Milan, to wait in patience for the time to come, when their country should be able again to throw off the yoke, and to endeavour by silent and gentle means to regenerate her. They did every thing in their power to encourage letters, arts, schools, and manufactures, by great personal exertions, and large expenditures in importing foreign machines and improvements of various kinds, with workmen to teach their use.
One of the most important steps which they took in order to accomplish their purposes, was the establishment of a periodical work called the Conciliatore," of which Silvio Pellico was the editor. The objects of this journal were ostensibly literary and scientific. Men of eminence were engaged to write for it both in Italy and foreign countries, and it appears to have been conducted and supported with great ability. The account which Maroncelli gives of the writers who contributed to this paper, the subjects discussed, and the principles of criticism advocated in it, is extremely interesting. It seems, when we are reading the list of fine geniuses whose talents were elicited by this journal, as if the veil which Austrian tyranny has thrown over the mind of Italy were for a moment withdrawn, to show us the brilliant lights which would beam upon the world if that gifted nation were but free. Alas ! this light shone but as the blaze of a meteor, and triple darkness followed its extinction. The journal was continued till 1820, subject to the censorship, when this power was used so arbitrarily that nothing was left of the articles but the title and signature ; which of course, amounted to a complete interdiction, and the journal ceased to exist. The insurrection of the Constitutionalists at Naples took place a few months afterwards, and, being easily quelled, had no other effect than to heighten the rigors of Austrian tyranny. This was displayed in the most signal manner, in the arrest of many of the writers in the Conciliatore. Pellico, as Editor, was peculiarly obnoxious; he was seized by the police of Milan, in October, 1820, and underwent the long and dreadful imprisonment, of which he has given us an account in his extraordinary book. It does not appear from Maroncelli's account of the “ Conciliatore,” that politics were treated of to any extent in it; and, as it was constantly subjected to the censorship, it is certain that nothing very obnoxious to the Austrian government can have appeared on its pages. Maroncelli says of the journal; “ It was a logical school of liberty. The Austrian government called it a conspiracy ; and it is most true, that, in a certain sense, every honest effort for social amelioration is a conspiracy ; a conspiracy of the good against the bad, a conspiracy prescribed by the Gospel against all error, prejudice, and iniquity.” This however, was enough to alarm Austria ; the objects of the
; journal were to make the nation wiser, better, and happier, and gradually lead it on to that degree of intelligence, which prepares the way for freedom.
The objects of the Austrian government are to render the nation more ignorant and more miserable, and to carry it back, step by step, to the dark ages of oppression and slavery. The power of evil conquered.
In giving an account of the “ Conciliatore,” Maroncelli introduces his chapter on “Cor-mentalism,” which is replete with elevated and fine thought. We regret that the language is so technical, as to repel many, and we are the more sorry, be
cause there seems to be a prevailing disposition in many writers of the present day, to fall into the habit of using numerous expressions which do not belong to the “ language of humanity.” This is a decided error in judgment and taste. That there is, that there must be a gradual change in language cannot be denied; the vocabulary of Chaucer, for instance, would not be comprehensive enough to express all the ideas of the nineteenth century; but it is a mistake in any writer to anticipate such a change. No mind can be so much in advance of the age, as to require a separate vocabulary ; and as a matter of taste, as well as kindness to readers, it would seem better occasionally to use a little circumlocution, if necessary, than to depart from the language of the age. The proper source of new words is the general usage of society, where all language has its origin ; and, as language was spoken before it was written, so all new words should be allowed to come into vogue in the same way ; that is, to be authorized by general use before they appear in writing. We have made these objections, that we may speak with more unrestrained praise of the chapter on Cor-mentalism in all other respects ; as it abounds in lofty and correct views, and deserves to be read with deep attention. We are sure that any reader who will overcome the technicalities, and comprehend the piece, will be well rewarded for his pains.
The remarks on Cor-mentalism were elicited by the question, which was proposed to the writer ; “Which have done most honor to the human mind, the productions of the classic or those of the romantic literature ?" The writer first endeavours to show the great superiority of Christian literature (or Christian art as he calls it, including poetry and the fine arts,) in its origin, the means it employs, and the ends it has in view, over Pagan art; that is, the poetry and fine arts, anterior to Christianity. Pagan art, he says, is material, referring only to outward forms ; it wants the elevated spirit which comes from the Christian religion ; it is contented with imitating nature; “the art and the artist have attained their highest excellence, when the bird pecks at the painted grapes, or when the Athenian would withdraw the veil to behold the lady it conceals.”
The Pagan is a selfish being; he views the universe as made for himself alone, placed at his command, and fit only for his use; instead of lifting up his soul to comprehend the vastness of creation, he endeavours to bring down the universe VOL. XLIV. — No. 94.