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sonage—the blind and interesting Camilla, who is introduced as having yielded to her son's importunities, and sitting to him for her picture, amid the assembled family group
The Marquis in the foreground renews with the Painter a former conversation respecting Italy, which, though without admitting it as yet to be his native country, he acknowledges having visited. He enquires about the few'remaining artists of a degenerate age, and felicitates Spinarosa on having so early in life acquired such transcendent fame. The Painter sadly replies,
Paint. Let none call happy one whose art's deep source
What dost thou mean?
1 hat gave it being ! Camilla, from whose eyes their wonted fillet had been removed while sitting to her son, (but whose face had till now been averted from all the rest of the group,) now beckons to her attendant Julia, to replace the covering, and then hastily rising, exclaims,
Cam. No more, my son ! I can no longer stem
Aye, my daughter !
Cam. Let me not interrupt thee-Master, tell
Paint. Gladly, fair lady-only I could wish
Dost thou think
War! did it leave them homes?
(Lays her hand on her heart. Paint. If there it rage-there will ere long be peace!
Cam. Oh, my poor eyes ! O lead me to the air,
When have I felt thus sad ? Away, away! When she is gone, the Count asks the Painter if he had said too much of his interesting guest, and if he does not feel attracted towards her by resistless sympathy. He answers, that he could scarce account for the deep emotion he had experienced on her taking his hand, and returning her maternal thanks for his care of her son. A thousand slumbering ideas had seemed to revive with her voice, and had left him absolutely speechless, which he the more regretted, as her eyes could not supply the failure of words.
Leonhard now springs up in discontent from the easel, ard declares himself too much of a novice to be able to do justice to his blind parent. The Count remarks that he has made her ten years too old. The Painter's judge ment is more favourable, though he has never yet seen Camilla without the bandage, which so materially alters her expression ; but Leonhard is aware of his own failure, and exclaims,
Leon. No! not my beauteous mother-but a wan
And faded image doch you canvass bear !
Paint. If summer thou wouldst paint, thou must not rob
A true, yet lovely picture ! The Count expresses himself most dissatisfied with the expression of the eyes. The Painter, as if inspired, says,
Paint. Methinks I feel it—though I never saw them!
Leon. (Impatiently.) Ye all are right-but whither shall I turn
Paint. Aye! 'twas a masterpiece-but well I know
Leon. What Genii ? Tell me?
Give them not a name !
Leon. Indeed ? And wherefore do they now desert me?
Paint. A spirit doth stand near thee! Alial love!
Unfinish'd rather than its bent oppose ! The Count and Leonhard unite in imploring Spinarosa to finish the picture. The Marquis enters, and adds his voice to the general dissatisfaction, thus,
Marq. Yes! ye are right! Its very truth is painful,
Bids him when read-in tenderness efface them. All once more unite in imploring the artist to breathe animation into his pupil's work; the Count thus pleads,
Count. In the baronial hall of this old castle
Paint. Well! give me yonder pencils,
O take me with thee,
'Tis but joy
A mother's joy
Oh! durst I hope!
Would it were so,
Count. Another ! earlier known and earlier loved !
Spare me suspense-unveil the mystery. The Marquis then narrates that he had, in consequence of the early death of his wife, confided the youth of his daughter to his sister, the abbess of a convent in Naples, hoping, by the strict seclusion of the cloister, to secure to his future son-in-law ihe undivided affections, as well as hand, of his youth. ful bride. These parental solicitudes had been frustrated by an unforeseen accident. The celebrated painter Solimena, having been employed by the puns to paint an altar-piece for their chapel, had furiher promised to their importunities to retouch a faded Madonna, said to be by a great master ; but had contented himself with devolving the task on one of his pupils, a young German artist, named Leny, by whom it was admirably performed, though, to the surprise of every one, the restored Madonna proved the very living image of the Marquis's daughter, whose affections, as well as likeness, the young painter had contrived to steal.
This unfortunate, though innocent attachment, had only been just discovered as the bridegroom arrived, and sufficiently accounted for the maiden's tearful reluctance, the cause of which the Marquis (not very characteristically we should say) did not conceal from her husband. In answer to the Count's question, if he had ever seen the young artist, the Marquis answers-Never ; that he had been indignantly driven from Naples by his noble rival, and he had never since inquired about him. The Count, to whom this carly history is a sad death-blow, has only to enquire its connexion with the present. Marq.
Believe me, Spinarosa's coming,
Ye did but pluck
At least I tell
Count. He who knows Love defies him not so lightly ;
What! will ye draw
I love, and Love will teach what it requires ! They are interrupted by Leonhard, who announces that his mother is about to join the family-group perfectly unaware, of course, that it is the Painter, and not her son, who is to take advantage of it to complete her picture. She thus affectingly summons Leonhard from his supposed occupation.
Cam. Art there, my son ? Leave painting for a while,
Leon. Yet none the farther from thy heart.
These agitating reminiscences make Camilla complain of heat. The Mare quis avails himself of it to advise laying aside her fillet. She complies, (unaware of the presence of the stranger artist,) and he begins his task-at first with composure—by degrees, with slight marks of surprise-at length, with all the tokens of lively and increasing emotion, which may be supposed to attend even dubious recognition of a beloved object. Camilla thus addresses her son, whom she supposes engaged at the easel :Cam. Yes, yes! I'll let thee paint me--that no blank
thine ancestral hall. But ah !
Not dare ! and why,
Ah, but I'm blind !
Leon. O were my lips but warm enough to kindle
Treasure their warmth,
Castellun. (Entering.) A messenger is come to Signor Burg
'Tis the Spring's
Take me with ye too,
Marg. Nay, nay, remain—I'll lead him to thy chamber. [Exeunt. The Count, with whom and her faithful Julia, Camilla now supposes herself alone, thus sorrowfully addresses her :
Count. Is the voice dear that calls thee from my side,
When winter flies-
And spread fond pinions ?
Cam. Have ye not heard- I know ye have the tale
Is't then to die
Nay, not to die.