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will be necessary to plead to the charge, and al- | addressed the Council. “Most noble Seniors! can though the Council may not yet lake evidence this Council admit the evidence of so vile a wretch against you ; your person must be secured.” Turn- as this assassin? One who has already confessed ing to Guisseppo, he continued : The Council to crimes of so great a magnitude that they will will hear your defence."

sink his soul to the utmost depths of perdition? Guisseppo scanned, (as well as the dim light of One who has endeavored 10 cast on this noble Coun. the council-chamber would permit,) the counte-cil of Sicily's best blood, crimes which, if true, nances of the different members of the court. He would cry aloud to heaven for vengeance? Where, saw at once he was doomed, and he determined to Seniors, is your proof? Only this criminal, already leave on their memories a lasting impression of in your minds condemned; for, most noble Seniors, himself. Stepping into the centre of the council- you have produced no other." chamber, facing the Count De Palermo, with a Johnston was silent, the Count De Palermo made firin voice he thus addressed him :

a sign to the Sereno, who stepped in front of JohnMost noble Count De Palermo, to you I have ston and held up a cloak. The act of the watchman appealed for mercy. When you, with fawning flat- completely confused the Englishman, who became tery and sweet words, tempted me to crime and at once alarmed and agitated. He exclaimed, caused these hands to be bathed in the heart's

Seniors, the marriage contract forbids a 'Cicis. blood of your brother, I was not backward in ful-beo.' I call for the marriage contract.” Turoing filling your desires. Ah! Senior Count, methinks to Constantine, he demanded of him the marriage the same demon smile that shone over the dying contract. The Count De Palermo informed Johnbody of your kinsman is now a forerunner of my ston his plea would be accepted, but continued by sentence. You struck not the blow it is true, but observing that the time-honored customs of Sicily your gold gave it force, ha! ha! ha! Senior would not be forgotten. “This custom," conCosmo grant that favor to me now, which you tinued the Count, “ of having a Cicisbeo, originated promised over the dying body of your most beau- with the crusaders, a holy lure, cemenied by purity tiful and angel wife. Shake not your head, Senior and the cross. If then this custom has been for Cosmo, I to be sure opened the passage for her once violated, you, sir Englishman, will have the pure soul to depart and leave your loathed em- benefit of the circumstance. Senior Constantine braces, but the tempting promises of your deceitful produce the contract, that we may examine it." tongue and gold strengthened the arm which gave The Count slowly opened the contract and read it. the death blow. Ah! meihinks I see your hands He was silent some time after perusing it. Then grasping your wife's delicate throat to prevent her turning to Constantine, at the same time handing spirit passing out the right channel. Senior Pe. him the paper, remarked : “ This contract forbids naro! do you look coldly on me too? Where is the a Cicisbeo." Johnston's face once more brightened, affectionate embrace given to your " dear Guis- but Constantine seizing the paper, and now becomseppo," when your father had lived too long and his ing agitated in his turn, exclaimed, “ Ha! Senior, money bags haunted your heated imagination? I saw this contract previous to its being sealed, and Are you all bent upon my destruction ? Is this hand it allowed a Cicisbeo. May it not bave been al. no longer serviceable ? Or do you fear that a brother, tered? Seniors, I will relate an ancient legend, wife, or son, may use me in the same kindly office ? which cansed all contracts to be printed under the Seniors, I am not guilty of this murder; (pointing authority of the Government. A young and jealto Juhnston) there stands the assassin. 'Twas his ous nobleman altered a marriage contract and was promises, his gold that did it. Ah! my lord Eng. detected; since which time, they have been printed lishman, do you shudder! Guisseppo Muerto will by authority of the Government only: the letters not die alone, most noble Palermo." I appeal to the by a chemical process are dyed into the parchment, War Council."

and cannot be wholly erased. If any erasures are This rough defence, delivered with all the vehe-attempted, a sponge moistened with vinegar and mence and gesticulation of an excited Sicilian, ap- the original writing. I request the contract may

wiped over the parchment will immediately restore peared to have a very serious effect with the Council. The Count Palermo was for some moments

be tested." silent, and appeared to be glued to his seat: he

The Count received the parchment from Conmade several efforts to rise from his chair. At

stantine and tested it according to his suggestion. last, livid with passion, he turned to Johnston and

“ Here it is. The word appears, .Cicisben,' exinformed him that the appeal of the wretch, Guis

claimed the Count. Senior Englishman, you are seppo, must be complied with, and both would be

ordered to appear with Guisseppo Muerto, as an brought before the War Council.

“ But, sir Eng

accomplice in the murder he stands charged with, lishman, this Council will hear and record any de

to be tried by the laws of Messina, and if guilty, to fence you may wish to make."

be executed, according to our custoins, in secret." Johnston, agitated and pale, his lips quite livid, Council followed him. At the moment of leaving

The Count left his seat, and the remainder of the

the council-chamber he turned to the guard and Jing the stiletto from her hand, threw her upon her told them to take the prisoners hence.

knees, exclaiming, “Now, vile wretch, prepare to Guisseppo knew the force of these remarks. make your journey to the shades, screech forth Turning to Johnston and making a most profound your last «ave,' treacherous hell-cat, and die.” bow, he said, “We are likely to visit the shades Every nerve and muscle of Guisseppo appeared together, my lord Englishman."

affected and convulsed; he lifted the stiletto, and Johnston turning to the guards begged them not only awaited the fulfilment of his last command, to allow the assassin to kill him by his taunts be- before he plunged it into her heart. But the latter fore his time. Guisseppo laughed, and turning to coolly replied, “How brave old Guisseppo is! leave the apartment with the guards, sarcastically my death is your death; release me one moment replied, “Let the gentleman follow.”

and I promise lo set you at liberty." Guisseppo appeared astonished, not only at her coolness, but

at her remarks also. He at once released her. CHAPTER X.

On rising to her feet she said, “ Listen, Guisseppo, The cell in which Guisseppo was placed commu- you once did me a service, you saved me from this nicated with the council-chamber, through which Cosmo; he would have executed me for a sorceany of the members could pass, each having a secret ress; take this cloak and signet ring; you then key. Guisseppo, on arriving at his cell, threw him- can pass the sentry in safety ; leave me your old sell carelessly on the floor and was in a few moments cloak; now haste, haste.” asleep; nor did he awake until the morning light shone “Thanks, thanks, good Ercola; but stop, will into the narrow window of his cell. Slowly rising you not be endangered ?" from his hard bed, and surveying the room, he men- “No, po; I have provided for that. Haste to tally soliloquized, “ These are pleasant apartments my hut, where you will find my son Fraola." forsooth, but I gave the Council a hard thrust, Guisseppo wrapped himself in the cloak, look the which they will not be likely to place among their ring, and handing the stiletto to Ercola, he left the records. I am to be arraigned before the War prison. “Ah! exclaimed Ercola, Senior Cosmo Council, some secrets will then be disclosed by old is to be here soon to make all sure. Beware Se. Guisseppo, which will make my judges and former nior; you have a woman's wits to encounter.” A employers blush. Let me see; there is the Count slight noise here arrested her attention. She De Neapole, the devil take him, he is as savage as quickly concealed herself behind one of the pillows a tiger and as brave as a lion, and has no more con- which answered the double purpose of supporting science than Ercola, the witch of Ætna, who told the roof, and having prisoners chained to it. Senior me I would die a natural death. Then there is Cosmo entered the cell cautiously muffled in his Senior Cosmo, a precious villain with a chicken- cloak; he called in a low voice for Fraola, and was heart, who would send me from this chamber a answered by Ercola, who assuined the voice of her much shorter way to purgatory than by the Coun

“Fraola, is it done?” enquired the Count. cil.” Guisseppo had progressed this far in his “ If so come this way, I have something else to soliloquy, when he heard a slight noise near him, communicate to you." Ercola advanced a step, and turning, he discovered a person close by, muf- and perceiving Cosmo feeling in his bosom, stopped fled in a cloak. Believing it to be one of the a moment and replied, “I am here, Senior Cosmo, Council, he drew himself up to his full height and come near Senior, I will whisper something to you." stood ready to defend himself. “Who are you? Ercola advanced, and ere Cosmo could accomplish one of the Council I suppose, speak.”

his object she buried her stiletto between his shoul“ I am,” replied the person, " in the eyes of the ders. Cosmo drew his stiletto and stabbed at ranworld a fiend."

dom, exclaiming, “I am murdered, there is dim“Friend, enemy, or devil, what is your busi- ness in my sight, good heaven forgive me," and he ness ?" demanded Guisseppo.

fell back without a groan. Ercola took from his “I am Ercola, the witch of Ætna.” At this finger a ring and passed by the secret passage out announcement Guisseppo for a moment appeared of the prison, leaving Cosmo wrapped in the cloak to be overcome with rage. At the top of his voice of Guisseppo. he exclaimed, “Out, vile sorceress, you are a false prophetess. Where is your "easy death bed?' Do

CHAPTER XI. these cold floors resemble downy feathers ? are these clanking chains the soothing words of friends ? We must now convey the reader to the cell in Out upon thee !"

which Johnston was confined. The two prisoners "Guisseppo,” replied Ercola, “your old enemy, the had been confined about two in the morning. The Senior Cosmo, employed my son to assassinate you excitement and fatigues of the trial had so comin this prison ; he gave him his signet ring and this pletely overcome Johnston that he fell asleep almost stiletto; but I have undertaken to do the deed for instantly on taking possession of his miserable cell. him.” Guisseppo sprang towards her and wrench-'Nor did lie awake until the hand of his friend Wes


Vol. X-87

ton was placed upon his shoulder to arouse him. suaded his friend to let him assume his dress, and He started in alarm, exclaiming “Hah! the demons take charge of the boat. At the time appointed are here,” but on becoming fully aroused, his as- Johnston arrived in Sera; he looked along the quay lonishment was doubly increased by discovering his and recognized his friend's boat by the streamer. friend. His first expression was, “Good heaven Looking around, he saw by the faint light of the what do I see! my friend! Weston, oh! that you moon a solitary boatman. Addressing him in Itashould see me, thus manacled, a criminal.” Wes- lian, he said, “ Ah, good boatman, 'St. George' ton enquired if he was prepared to die? “ Death, attend you, is the wind fair, and your saint propiWeston ? death? the grave ? Oh horrible, to die tious ?" in a foreign land, a criminal, side by side with a Guisseppo, smothering his feelings, replied, "Yes, base assassio, one who during his whole life has my lord, the wind is fair, and my saint propibeen an eternal drinker of blood ! oh! my friend, tious." a few short hours and the sun of my life sets! nor “Well, I am glad to hear it, then haste, good have I prepared myself for an eternity of darkness boatman, time is precious.” and annihilation, neither have I had time to reflect Johnston was struck with the constant repetiwhether the opening of the secret door of eternity tion of his words, and testily remarked, “Come will be as we are taught to believe, an entrance friend, cast loose your boat, then ply your oar, gain into torments everlasting-beginning without end, the offing, spread your sails to the propitious breeze, the spirit writhing and sinking in torments far be- and have a quick trip to Palermo." yond the extension of thought, forever seeking Guisseppo could no longer control his passion, repose, yet finding naught but accumulating des- but suddenly seizing Johnston by the throat he pair.” Here he clenched his hands and sank on threw him upon the ground, drew his stiletto, held his knees. His friend touched him on his shoulder it a moment suspended over his head, and asked and told him he could save him.

him through his teeth, “ My lord, do you recog“ Me,” he exclaimed, " oh! save me! Weston. nize my face ? Prepare to follow Gerald De CheMy heart quails at death, I am not prepared to meet veta.” an offended Supreme Being. I cannot bear the The Englishman had merely time to esclaim, thought of being 60 suddenly thrust into eternity. " villain,” before the stilelio of Guisseppo was Oh! save me,

if you can! How can you do it? buried in his breast. Guisseppo immediately arose, Look at the solidity of these prison walls, and these and Johnston in his dying agony drew a pistol and massive chains."

fired at random. The ball lodged in the side of “Johnston, my dear friend, be composed, I have Guisseppo, who staggered and fell across the gunseveral swift horses between here and the village wale of the boat, along side of the quay, dragging of Sera. At the quay you will see a boat waiting Johnston with him who sank into the bay. The with a streamer flying, having on it my family's report of the pistol drew the attention of Fraola, coat-of-arms. Say to the boatman, St. George; he who immediately sprang to his feet, and finding will understand you; lake that boat, go 10 Palermo, Guisseppo wounded and dying conveyed him to his the packet for Malta will by that time be ready to mother's hovel. sail, she is now in port. Once in Malta under the The Count De Cheveta and family immediately English flag, the devil take the Sicilians. Here after the death of Gerald, returned to their country are the tools to take off the irons. Your trial be- seat, and upon the conviction of Johnston, commufore the Council would not have taken place before nicated the circumstance to Ada. The assassina. to-morrow; by that time you will be coasting it. tion of her cousin by her husband, and the incarceI have arranged my liberation with our Consul, ration of the latter deprived her of her reason. and will be in Palermo in time to see you safe on She remained a few days in a state of stupor, nor board. Now farewell, and haste, recollect the could the skill of the best physicians, and the kind watchword, 'St George.''

and constant attentions of her father, mother and The witch, Ercola, lived near the foot of Mount brother arouse her. Heart broken and emaciated Ælna, but having been compelled to reside on she breathed her last, singing the favorite song the estate of the Count De Cheveta, her son Fra-taught by her to her cousin when a child. A simple ola had, through the kindness of Gerald, procured white marble cross only marks the spot of her ina boat and become a fisherman. It was ihis boat terment, and near it stands the plain tombstone of Weston had engaged for Johnston. Guisseppo im- Gerald De Cheveta, with the following inscription, mediately on his release, fled to Ercola's temporary Gerald De Cheveta assassinated.” Constantine rendezvous, and there learned from Fraola, that took the place of his father at the Councils

, while his boat had been engaged to take an English lord, the latter retired to the village of Sera, to spend, escaping from Messina, to Palermo. Guisseppo at as he justly remarked, “The remains of a disaponce suspected it to be Johnston and easily per-| pointed old age.”

the Legislature, during its last session, were enaTHE COLONIAL HISTORY OF VIRGINIA. bled to perform such an act of justice, as to lend

B B Minor TO THE Legislatore OF VIRGINIA :

fifteen thousand dollars to the Medical College of

Richmond, at a time, too, when they were raising In the last number of the Southern Literary the taxes of the people. Hence arose the applicaMessenger, the proposition was made to your hono- tion of the Colleges of the State for Legislative rable body, 10 send an agent to England to procure aid. With their application, the present proposisuch materials as her archives might afford for the tion is not intended to interfere ; but they can wait History of our State. In resuming this important if necessary until this paramount object is first acsubject at this time, we must ask your indulgent complished. The Literary Fund, then, not only attention, since it will be entirely out of our power furnishes the requisite means; but its very nature to devote much time to the arrangement of our re- and objects seem to point to the attainment of the marks. We are forced to write currente calamo ; first work of Literary interest, a full and suitable but it is a source of great encouragement to reflect, bistory of the State. The children of the State that the subject is one which so strongly commends are taught to read in the primary schools. This is itself, as scarcely to require any studied exposition. a provision made by their liberal parent, whom they

No claim is preferred for originality in the plan soon learn to love and revere. They are inspired proposed. It has often been suggested, and has with a thirst for knowledge: they learn with avimet the approbation of nearly every one to whom dity the chronicles of other times and other lands ; it has been mentioned. Indeed it lies upon the but when, alas ! they turn to enquire for the history very sorface of utility, and, as already shewn, has of her, who has provided for them all this enjoybeen profitably embraced by other States. If the ment and all this mental improvement, they find present effort, however, to induce your honorable with astonishment and regret, that there is none to body to imitate such landable examples, be crowned give them. They can only be told of a few inwith success, it will be a cause of no little pride complete and for the most part inaccessible books, and rejoicing to us to share in the credit of effect- or pointed to the mutilated records, which it were ing so desirable an object. It has been truly said, a life-labor to explore. How il chills the affec

tions to be thus denied what is often so eagerly “ That man is not the discoverer of any art who first says the thing; but he who says it so long and sought! Nothing can so elevate patriotism as to so loud and so clearly, that he compels mankind to have the mind filled with the history of one's nahear him.

Other persons had noticed live State. A common school bistory of Virginia the effect of coal-gas in producing light, but Win- should be put into the hands of every child who is sor worried the town with bad English for three educated at the public expense. Scholars and citiwinters, before he could attract any serious atten- zens more liberally educated would require a work tion to his views. Many persons broke stone before Macadam, but Macadam felt the discovery

more elaborate and extended. But neither has as more strongly, stated it more clearly, persevered yet been written, nor can it ever be until the docuin it with greater tenacity, wielded his hammer, in ments are procured from the mother country. The short, with greater force than other men, and final- want of them has already deterred many who would ly succeeded in bringing his plan into general use." have undertaken the task and has entirely defeated

Whether the present application shall be success the efforts of those who have attempted it; whilst ful depends upon your sense of its value and im- States as young as Kentucky, the daughter of Virportance. We pledge ourselves to persevere in it, gioia, Illinois, Tennessee and others have already but hope to be relieved from the necessity of " wor-their complete histories. rying you with bad English, for three winters." Having pointed out the means of defraying the We know that this is a period of taxation and in- expense of the plan proposed, and presented the debtedness, but the appropriation requisite for the foregoing general remarks in support of it, we will object herein proposed will neither increase the proceed to a more definite view of the subject, by taxes nor the debt of the State, whilst it so nearly enforcing the following propositions : concerns the honor and lofty character of Virginia, 1. Every independent State should have a comas to demand immediate action. Her early heroes plete set of its public records, and a history fairly are without a monument, long periods of her gov. and impartially embodying them. ernment without a record, and her annals imper- This might be taken for granted. It results from fect and unknown. Whilst this condition of things the nature of public transactions, from the plain is so eloquently appealing to her rulers, her Lite- necessities of society and the demands of its memrary Fund, after supplying all the demand for pri- bers; from the known wishes, wants and practice mary Education and for other accustomed purposes, of every civilized community. Fame demands a is annually overflowing. After every ordinary perpetuity; virtue and heroism their monuments; draft has been made upon it, a yearly excess from and ambition the stimulus, which the Hope of transits income of some $13,000 returns to become a mission to future ages alone can impart. The part of its permanent capital. Hence it was that'progress of society and the mere sequence of events

must, in every land blessed with letters, neces- colonies to the king of England, has also written a sarily require a record.

history of Virginia, from the settlement to the year 2. Virginia has no history worthy of the name, 1725. and there are many and great breaches in her pub- Mr. Jefferson says, “he is agreeable enough in lic records.

style and passes over events of little importance ;" The Colonial History of Virginia extends through and Burk says, that “although more diffuse than a period of one hundred and sixty-nine years, from Beverly and more graceful and correct, he has little 1607 to 1776. The gallant Capt. Smith, whose more of detail." There are also extant a brief bisliterary seems little less conspicuous than his mili- tory by Hamer, and a few pamphlets. These, with tary spirit, was the earliest historian of Virginia; one exception are the only printed histories of the but his work comes down only to the year 1624. ancient Colony; and they have long since disapIt was written in pursuance of a resolution offered peared from the shelf of the bookseller, and are to by himself, in the council, that some one be appoint- be found in comparatively few libraries. Besides ed to prepare a memorial of what had transpired covering so little space, all do not contain an adein the Colony. Whereupon he was requested to quate memorial of the periods through which they undertake the task.

extend. If such a history was needful then, in the begin- The only remaining History of Virginia is that ning of events, how much more so now, when so of Burk, Jones & Girardin, in 4 vols. 8 vo-pubmuch is past that needs to be perpetuated. Mr. lished in Petersburg, 1805–16. Of these, we shall Jefferson says of Smith, “ he was honest, sensible venture to speak freely our own opinion; and surely and well informed; but his style is barbarous and no work of the same extent, that aspires to the dig. uncouih. His history, however, is almost the only nily of history is liable to so many and so great source from which we derive any knowledge of the objections. Mr. John Burk, a native of Ireland, infancy of our State.” Burk says, “Smith's is a is the author of the first three volumes, which consort of Epic History or romance, where the author, tain a treatise on navigation and maritime dislike Ossian, recounts his achievements in the spirit covery in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, a which he fought. His narrative, however, occa- long disquisition about the Indians, which was insionally discovers much good sense and raises no tended for a history of the United States and which inconsiderable interest. It is moreover the ground he could not forbear to stick in, and a general hiswork of succeeding histories, and is valuable as a tory of the Colonies, besides the History of Virpiece of rare and curious antiquity.” But this his-ginia, many portions of which are meagre in the tory, rare, curious and truly valuable as it is, com- extreme. A striking instance of this occurs in the prises the incidents of only seventeen years. A third volume, where he devotes only eleven pages gentleman of this state, of indefatigable research, to the events of nineteen years, from 1723 to 1742. has lately discovered in a Northern Library another This meagreness was produced partly by the imwork of Capt. Smith, published in 1608, which of possibility of procuring better materials and partly course contains the events of only one year. by inactivity in research and in availing himself of

The Rev. William Stith, a native of Virginia, the records within his power. He seems even to and President of William and Mary College, has delight in the opportunity of abandoning his subject also written the history of the colony for the space and expatiating at large in some wider field. He of about twenty years. Of him Mr. Jefferson says, has fully carried out the idea expressed by himself: "he was a man of classical learning and very “A correct History of Virginia," says he in the exact, but of no taste in style. He is inelegant. Preface to his first volume, “would be the history therefore, and his details often too minute to be of North America itself, a portion of the globe, tolerable."

which enjoying the invaluable privilege of selfBeverly, also a native, has written the history government, promises to eclipse the glory of Rome of Virginia from the first propositions of Sir Wal- and Athens.” One of these rhetorical flourishes, ter Raleigh to the year 1706. He errs on the for which he is not a little notable, appears to please opposite extreme from Stith, comprising ninety-nine him more than a historical fact. His style is very years in a fraction of the space which Stith devotes defective and entirely unsuited to historical writing. to twenty. Burk says, “Beverly is a mere annalist He abounds with errors, and enjoys a singular of petty incidents, put together without method, facility of leaping over difficulties and solving and unenlivened by any of the graces of style. doubts. Then, almost entire provinces of history He is moreover the apologist for power, in which are neglected, or only alluded to, and you may respect also, he differs essentially from Stith, who peruse his whole writings and have no conception on all occasions displays a manly contempt and de- of the growth and progress of the colony and of its fiance of injustice and tyranny."

most important internal regulations. Sir William Keith, a Governor of Pennsylvania, The fourth volume is a continuation by Skelton and the same, we think, who proposed a most arbi- Jones, a Virginian, and Louis Hue Girardin, a trary and insidious scheme of oppression over the Frenchman. Jones' portion is very short and hard,

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