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example of his divine Master had sunk into the heart of this affectionate being ?

Even Pellico, though his devotional exercises are unfolded to us in the first volume, with a frankness somewhat startling, accustoms us ere long to the novelty, and we feel that this is not done in the spirit of religious display. We have read religious journals, – so called, - printed and published for the world to study and admire, professing to reveal the inmost sins, sorrows, and compunctions of the soul, its most sacred communion with itself, and, — worse yet, — with the Deity,where on every page glared such vanity, spiritual pride, and arrant self-deception, - we will not say hypocrisy, - that we turned from the record sick at heart. Such are not the disclosures of the open-hearted, enthusiastic, guileless Pellico. We see that he tells all because concealment was not in his nature, or what is better, to set forth and illustrate the truths of which he speaks in his brief and manly preface. We give the preface entire, for there is nothing better written in the whole book.

“Have I written these Memoirs to gratify my vanity by speaking of myself? I hope not. And as far as one may judge in his own case, it appears to me that I have had better motives, - that of contributing to the comfort of the unhappy, by making known the evils I have borne, and the consolations I have found attainable under the greatest misfortunes ; that of bearing witness, that in the midst of my long sufferings, I have not found human nature so degraded, so unworthy of indulgence, so deficient in excellent characters, as it is commonly represented ; that of inviting hearts to love much, to hate no human being, to feel irreconcilable hatred only towards mean deceit, pusillanimity, perfidy, and all moral degradation ; that of repeating a truth well known but often forgotten; that both religion and philosophy require an energetic will and calm judgment; and that without the union of these qualities, there can be neither justice, nor dignity, nor strength of principle.”

The passage, “bearing witness, that, in the midst of my long sufferings I have not found human nature so degraded, so unworthy of indulgence, so deficient in excellent characters as it is commonly represented,” — reminds us of another fact we would recommend to the attention of him who loves to depreciate human nature. Bandied from jailor to jailor, brought into close contact with the myrmidons of a despotic government, with turnkeys and sentries and the whole race of under-strappers to authority, the very beings most prone to abuse the

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power which they find little chance to exercise but in tormenting, what testimony does the prisoner bear as to the dispositions manifested towards him? Alike among his countrymen under the sunny sky of Italy, and in the bleak land of strangers, he finds kindness, pity, sympathy everywhere. The accents of compassion fall even from the lips of the rough Illyrian peasant, as the desolate band of state prisoners passes him on its way to a ten years' purgatory in Spielberg. • Arme Herren!(“poor gentlemen !”) he exclaims, and the carriage-wheels roll on; but that single expression of human sympathy bas sunk into the hearts of the wretches cut off from life's tenderest ties. “State prisoners !” The very word is thought to speak of highly-advanced civilization! There is no Spielberg among the unpolished inhabitants of the South Sea Islands; the crisped sons of Africa are too far behind the enlightened empire of Austria to dream of the uses that may be made of Piombi and Pozzi!

The lesson taught on every page of these volumes is one of which a free people do most need to be reminded. To boast of liberty is one thing, to enjoy it with a proper sense and estimate of liberty, is another. To detest tyranny is one thing, to watch against its insidious approaches is another. It may come gliding over the sea,spumante salo,” like the serpents that involved Laocoon in their deadly folds ; it may steal from behind the inceuse-clouded altar; it may wear a tiara, and as it lifts the keys of St. Peter, more significant of sway than the proudest sceptre, millions may wake from their dream of security to learn that a new world has sunk into bondage, when the throne of Rodolph of Hapsburg is tenantless, and the chains of the Inquisition have ceased to clank on the soil of Europe. It is well, therefore, that vivid pictures of despotism, as it exists at the present day in other countries, should be set before us from time to time, to be contemplated in strong contrast with the widely different state of things among ourselves. Despotism is a fearful word, in all ears; but we venture to say few readers will lay down these volumes without a more vivid conception of its terrible results than before.

There is another commonplace truth so beautifully exemplified in the narrative of Pellico, that we cannot pass it over. To cultivate the intellect and the affections is allowed to be a very sure mode of cultivating happiness in all ordinary modes of existence. Ten years in carcere duro," offer rather an

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extraordinary mode of existence, it is true; unless perchance to him who is so happy as to be born under the paternal” Austrian government ; (see Captain Hall's “ Skiinmings”;) but even under circumstances the most wretched that can be imagined, how was the lot of Silvio Pellico and his companions modified by their intellectual acquirements and the lovingness of their dispositions? It is true the very tastes they had acquired at first aggravated their woe. The scholar without books! without pen and ink! The fond son and brother forbidden to hold the slightest intercourse with the beings who best loved him! the mind pining for its accustomed intellectual food! the heart thirsting for social intercourse with kindred hearts ! and this too when the frail body was indeed a clog on the soul with its own unsatisfied wants, its pains, its shattered nerves, its wasted flesh, its aching bones! How did the experiment terminate ? Behold the inexhaustible resources with which God has endowed that mysterious thing, the spirit that is in man! Behold, ye who find so many apologies for indolent neglect of study! ye who are misanthropes because ye can find no one worthy of your love! Read the account these imprisoned scholars give of their hours allotted to study in the forlorn dungeons of Spielberg; read of their intense mental exercises ; peruse the sweet melancholy verses composed by Maroncelli at an hour which to most men would seem strangely chosen to invoke the Muses, -- while waiting for the amputation of a limb whose disease bad been induced by imprisonment. Did not these men find resources in literature when its fountains had been barbarously shut from them? The fertilizing stream had flowed over their minds, and the soil yet bore and blossomed in the season of drought.

Then for the affections; that very susceptibility of enjoyment from social intercourse, that ardor in his attachments which seemed to render Silvio Pellico the man of all others least calculated to endure separation from his fellow creatures, what did they do for bim when the hour of trial came? They taught him to derive happiness from such intercourse as he could hold through his grated window with a deaf and dumb boy. It had pleased God to place barriers between one of these sufferers and the rest of creation ; the poor child could hear no one, he could speak to no one. Man had striven to shut out the other from all social intercourse. Yet these two beings held communion together; they loved each other, and their solitary VOL. XXI. – 30 8. TOL. III. NO. II.


destinies were cheered. A man of colder and sterner temperament would have swept away the ants that came trooping to his window, and crushed the spider that had “hung its tapestry” upon his walls; Pellico fed them, and they were an amusement, an occupation, a source of pleasure to one who had been placed there that he might forget what pleasure was. That very passion for benevolent action which led him, with a credulous simplicity worthy of the Primrose family, into such marvellous charity towards the reprobate Julian, claims something more respectful than a smile from us, if we remember that his excellent feelings would probably have sought their objects with more discrimination, if not cramped and confined within prison walls. Was it not noble, instead of being swallowed up in the selfish consideration of his own helplessness and misery, thus to wage war against infidelity and vice with the spirit of an exulting crusader going forth armed at all points ?

The triumphs of friendship, charity, and all good, amiable, and pious feelings are recorded throughout these books in the best possible way, simply by stating facts. In the same way is most terrible, damning witness borne against tyranny; as at the day of judgment, when the voice of human oratory will be hushed, when there shall be no eloquence of accusation or defence, when our deeds alone shall appear for and against us at the unearthly tribunal. With few comments, with no vituperative declamation, under the very inspection of a censorship, a bare narrative is here published of transactions that thrill us with virtuous indignation against oppression and cruelty. What reflections are excited by these few words! After the release of the prisoners, they were in the magnificent avenues of Schönbrunn, still in charge of officers, when “the emperor passed, and the commissary made us retire, that the sight of our emaciated countenances might not sadden bim!” What then if the potentate could but once have awakened from his luxurious midnight sleep, and beheld the whole ghastly throng of state prisoners drawn from their dungeons and congregated about his couch, with their heavy irons, their famine-stricken faces, their diseases, their gaunt despair, their raving madness, their dying agonies!

We are glad that Americans may read a translation of this popular work from an American pen. There is an ease and spirit in it which show both familiarity with the Italian, and fine command of our own tongue; the last being an acquirement which equally deserves the name of an accomplishment. There are no awkward idioms left in the midst of a flowing period, as if the translator did not know what to do with them; yet the whole tone of thought and feeling is so foreign, so characteristic of the ardent Italian, that we feel assured the very spirit of the author is there.

The second volume is interesting as connected with the first; though with all our partiality for the amiable and much enduring Signor Maroncelli, we cannot but observe incorrect taste and a rambling turn of mind in his prose style. His philosophy, as set forth in his long treatise on “ Cor-mentalism,” is of a school to which we do not belong. We have found in this essay many fine words, many positions laid down of imposing sound, many passages that brought to mind the famous piece of Aristophanes, entitled “The Clouds.” Lest some modern Socrates should liken us to the satirist of old, who laughed because he could not comprehend, we forbear further comment on matters high above us. We only wish that the accomplished translator, whose own writings evince so much clearness of intellect, could have translated her author's meaning into intelligible common sense as ably as she has turned his Italian into English. We could not construe the 163d page, nor the following passage, for all the honorary degrees of all the colleges in Christendom.

“God is substance, for he is the only self-existent being. Creation is a form of this substance. God is goodness, truth, poetry. Creation is beauty, is art; is the mirror that reflects the goodness, truth, and poetry, which are the divine essence. Substance and form are not separate, but constitute a unity: form is a condition of space and time; substance is absolute.”

Something, perhaps, may be said for the teachers of the “New Science.” They have exalted notions of the Deity, of human nature, of the love and charity which should be the distinguishing characteristics of the Christian character. So far as their doctrines are at all intelligible and practical, they apparently tend to good, and produce good effects on the individuals embracing them. But we may say as much of Swedenborgianism, of Quakerism. However the fact may be explained, these two denominations are remarkable for the number of excellent characters they produce in proportion to their numerical strength. Yet our sober understandings will not suffer us to become Swedenborgians or Quakers. We

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