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"At length some relaxation of vigilance having opened a prospect of escape, this courageous woman persuaded three of her companions to attempt it with her. In this enterprise these four women all succeeded, enfeebled by disease as they were, and without money or passports, at a distance of between two and three hundred miles from the Austrian and Prussian frontiers.

"At the commencement of the present year, profiting by the scene of riot and drunkenness to which the saint's-day of the protopope of the convent had given occasion, they effected their escape. Leaping down a high wall into the snow, they alighted in safety, and immediately fell on their knees in thanksgiving. They then separated, to facilitate their flight. The superior, in the midst of all the severity of the season, was driven to hide for days together in the woods, without other food than berries, or any thing to quench her thirst but the snow. Once, driven to extremity, she knocked at the door of a wealthy-looking house, and being received with veneration by its owner, was provided with money, provisions, and a correct map of her route. She crossed the frontier disguised as a shepherd; but even then was not in security, as the cowardly government of Prussia gives up even its own subjects to the Czar.

"It was not until she had reached Posen, in the midst of a Polish population, that she felt in security; and here she had unobtrusively withdrawn to a convent of the sisters of charity, but she was considered too precious, as a living testimony of the horrors daily perpetrated in that Golgotha which the frontier of Russia encircles, to be left in her retirement. With her scars, wounds, and personal evidence, she has been wisely forwarded to Paris, where a deputation recently waited on her, to express their sympathy with her cruel treatment. From thence she proceeded on the 10th of October to Rome, where she was received in the most distinguished manner by the pope and cardinals. In Posen she had been joined by the sister Wavrzecka, and shortly afterwards learned that the other two had in like manner escaped the pursuit of the Russian authorities, and been safely forwarded by the zeal of the inhabitants to the Austrian frontier."

Rambles in the United States and Canada, &c. BY RUBIO. Lon

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WITH one word of protest against its vulgarity and vicious temper, we leave this weak and worthless production to sure oblivion. Excessive tenderness towards the faults of the Americans is not among our besetting sins; but we cannot say of the United States, as of Rubio's pages, that there is nothing good in them from one end to the other.

FOREIGN CORRESPONDENCE.

FLORENCE, Nov. 3rd. 1845. THE anniversary of our flood! This time twelvemonth, dear Mr. Editor, or somewhat later, I was writing to you of drowned streets, ruined merchants, and dismal looks on all sides. This autumn, thank Heaven, our beautiful Florence presents a very different appearance, though a few croakers will persist in asking after every heavy shower that may occur, how many inches the river has been observed to rise; but we enjoy our sunshine and bright skies and laugh at them. Truly this Italian autumn has reminded one of Fanny Kemble's beautiful lines to the American autumn. We may say with her,

"Thou comest not in sober guise

In mellow cloak of russet clad ;
Thine are no melancholy skies,
Nor hueless flowers, pale and sad.

But like an emperor triumphing

With gorgeous robes of Tyrian dyes,

Full flush of fragrant blossoming

And glowing purple canopies.'

And as fate has kindly willed it, the peculiar beauty and brilliancy of the season is witnessed and enjoyed by an unusually large concourse of our migratory countrymen. The police-returns a few days since showed that there were then in Florence no fewer than between twelve and thirteen thousand English! We always expect rather large coveys about this time of year, but the throng this season is unprecedented. They swarm in the streets, in the theatres, in the churches, in the salons, in the galleries. Had they not the unmistakable 'cachet' which stamps them British' ineffaceably imprinted on every lineament and gesture, they might still be known by the unfailing accompaniment of Murray's red guide-book,-but a blind leader of the blind, be it said, en passant, for both the volumes on Northern and Central Italy are as imperfect and unsatisfactory as those on Germany are excellent.

However, Murray's red books are de rigueur, and it is difficult to traverse a street in Florence without encountering half a score of them. Their owners all are forming the most favourable notions of our climate, and will be ready on their return to swear that winter in Italy is a joke, and wintry blasts unknown. No Florentine, native or adopted, will undeceive them in the pleasing delusion, for it is here as it should seem, an universal law to assure every Englishman, who may chance to encounter wintry weather here, that such an occurrence is unprecedented within the memory of man-that there never was such a season before, and never will be again. I trust for the credit of our bella Firenze that the weather may not change before a good portion of our twelve thousand visiters have left us. But I have passed too many winters here not to know how very likely it is that any morrow may change our baskings to shiverings, and send our astonished countrymen scudding across the Piazza di Duomo before a wind which seems capable of cutting an oak in half. Atramontana,' with a fall of snow on the Apennine-and hey presto!— il bel cielo d'Italia is a poet's dream; and brick floors, fireless rooms, and wind-admitting doors and windows become most unpoetic and rheumatic realities. Meanwhile, all are buzzing about as gay as summer flies, and as busy. Cerito is here, too, dancing at the Pergola, where, to complete the delectation of our visitors, La Barbieri is singing in a style which would have long since caused her to be taken from us by London and Paris, had she wherewithal to charm the eye as potently as she does the ear. Here we judge singers by the latter organ.

Literature is, as usual, showing that it is alive by painful and laborio heavings under the superincumbent weight of censorships and obstacles

sorts, like the imprisoned giant under Etna; fighting the good fight bravely and perseveringly against all the odds that can be brought against it. But the amount of perseverance, of courage, of faith and hope, which can hope even against hope, needed for the maintaining of the struggle, can scarcely be adequately estimated by any save those who have the opportunity of watching these matters de près. And to one who does so watch the agonies of fettered intellect in Italy, the almost desperate game is truly heart-sickening.

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Paolo Emiliani Giudici, has nearly completed his History of Literature in Italy. As it is published in fascicoli, after the manner so prevalent now in Italy (more so even than elsewhere), the portion finished is already before the public. Two chapters of the work, amounting to 164 octavo pages, touching Dante and his era, have been printed separately by the publishers as a preface to an edition of the poet which they were bringing out. But alas! the censorship of the Papal government has discovered thirty-two propositions in it of erroneous tendency.' Naples, &c., of course, follow the decision, and the work is excluded from more than half its market, and the people from the benefit of something like sound criticism, and a just appreciation of the great men of their brighter day. In literary criticism,' says the writer of an able article on Italian literature in the Westminster Review' of October 1837, in literary criticism all here is truly void * * *. Criticism is dumb.' Since this was written she has more than once given indication that she was neither dead nor sleeping,-and has endeavoured to raise her voice. And here we see the result. For nearly a century the Dantescan criticism of Italy, as seen in the sterile labours of dilettante academies has been the scoff and byword of Europe. The endless and objectless multiplication of such empty dissertations, disputes on readings, and word-catching verbiage, as formed the staple of Italian Dantescan labours until quite recently, was deemed by the rulers of Italy a safe and harmless employment for the leisure and intellect of her literati. As long as none of the great and suggestive lessons with which the life, writings, character, and opinions of the mighty exile are pregnant, were drawn from the study of them, all was well, and benevolent princes were well content to patronise courtly academies whose elegant scholarship busied itself only with words, and whose well-bred learning dreamed not of seeking beneath them for ideas which might disturb the placid dulness of their gentle literature. But another class of scholars has arisen. 6 Major rerum nascitur ordo.' And lo! Dante and Dantescan studies are found to be no longer the safe ground of intellectual tilting matches they were once deemed to be. The less that is said about him the better! The best consolation one can suggest to the author of a work thus excluded is the consideration that its admission into the Papal States would have been an irrefragable proof of its worthlessness. Yet it is a heart-sickening and up-hill course-that of a literary man who has any pretensions to be called such in Italy.

I have seen the first volume of Signor Giudici's work on the History of Italian Literature, from which this unfortunate preface to the 'Divina Comedia' was extracted, and I can promise you. Mr. Editor, that when completed it will be well worth your notice. It may seem perhaps, to English readers familiar with the names (and nothing more) of Crescimbeni, Gimma, Quadrio, and Tiraboschi, that a new history of Italian literature was hardly needed. But I have sufficient faith, if not in the critical acumen, yet at least in the idleness of the readers of this our railroad-going epoch, to feel quite assured that a very cursory inspection of the works of these worthies of the eighteenth century would suffice to convince all who have any wish to inform themselves on the matter of Italian literature, of the necessity of a guide on the subject rather more adapted in matter and in manner to the wants of a somewhat thinking though ever hurrying generation.

Foreign Correspondence.

521

Crescimbeni was an ‘Arcadian,' and may be, indeed, deemed the father of all the Arcadians, as he was the first 'Custode' of the institution. This will be sufficient to enable those who have any knowledge of the Italian literature of the eighteenth century to form a sufficiently accurate estimate of his history. It is an enormous magazine of laboriously collected puerilities. Of the true essence and nature of poetry Crescimbeni was as profoundly ignorant as it is well possible for a lettered man to be. Poeta fit non nascitur' must have been his motto, or at least his creed. And the making of a poet and of poetry he deemed might be accomplished by the observance of a set of minute wordregulating receipts. And truly this method was so successful, that such a brood of 'poets' was formed from the worthless materials lying fallen in the dolce far niente of Italian life, as utterly overwhelmed the unfortunate Arcadian chronicler, who deemed all equally worthy of a place in his temple of fame, yet found himself utterly unable to accommodate so numberless a band even in the capacious limits of his weighty volumes. The expedient that he adopted in this distress is worth mentioning, as it is probably not generally known, and as it serves pretty well to indicate the value of his often quoted work and the calibre of the writer's mind. He had recourse to a lottery!!! He placed some thousands of names in an urn, and in the presence of Carlo Doni and Vicenzo Leonio, to guarantee fair play, he drew out a certain number, and of these composed the contemporary part of his history. A legally attested document, recording the fact was deposited in the Arcadian archives!!! We were aware that Fame sometimes was subject to optical delusions, but we never before heard of her wilfully shutting her eyes, and calling on blind Fortune to award her crowns for her. 'Such,' says Signor Giudici, 'is the history of Crescimbeni. When I recollected the reputation it enjoyed, I concluded that few had looked into it, and none perhaps examined it. But very many, from that sheep-like tendency to follow each other, that seems inherent in human nature, have cited it, and even still continue to do so-even still, when the sad experience of facts, and the example of the rapid progress of other nations ought to have freed us from our pernicious literary vanities.'

Gimma, the second of the above-named writers, was an encyclopedic philosopher, according to the meaning of the term in his day-the beginning of the eighteenth century. He had an immense reputation among his contemporaries. But having found out, as Signor Giudici says, 'how much easier a thing it is to write of every thing than of one thing only,' he conceived the idea of a vast work on the history of the entire cycle of human knowledge in Italy, from Adam to the end of the seventeenth century. And when he had amassed in sundry huge volumes all he could collect on this enormous topic, he issued them as a specimen of the mighty work that might be expected from him when completed in its entirety. Humanity was, however, mercifully spared this infliction, and poor Gimma died in travail.

Quadrio in his history of every poetry of every nation, and of every age, gives a list of antediluvian poets, and sets down Adam as the writer of the first canzone, which, according to the learned historian, may be found at the present day among the psalms attributed to David. The reader will hardly then expect from the exceedingly erudite Quadrio, a history adapted to the reading wants of 1845.

Tiraboschi's great work, useful and even indispensable as it is, as a book of reference, is the production of a pedant, of a profoundly learned, and indefatigably industrious one; but still a mere pedant, adapted admirably by his nature and qualifications for the compilation of a chronicle, but utterly incompetent to the composition of a history. Moreover, the utility of his work is diminished, and all its proportions distorted by certain prejudices, which were also, in a great measure, those of his day. He worshipped Petrarch. The mightier mind of Dante he could neither appreciate nor comprehend; still less had he

any idea of setting forth or hinting at the influence which that truly creative intellect exercised on the eras which succeeded his own, not only in the world of literature, but in every department of human life. And when a literary history reveals nought of all this,' cries Signor Giudici, 'what consolation are a dozen pages filled with an indifferent attempt at investigating biographical minutiæ ?'

I believe a translation of Signor Giudici's volumes is in progress; and I cannot doubt that they will be thankfully received in England.

The first volume of a work 'On the History, Theory, and Practice of Animal Magnetism' has just made its appearance here, and is making rather a sensation in our little literary world. It bears on its title page the name of 'Professore Lisimaco Verati;' but this is understood to be a nom de guerre, and the name of the real author is a profound secret. But the principal point of interest in the matter is the fact of the volume having passed the ordeal of the censorship. That it should have done so is attributed to two circumstances; firstly, to the insertion of the following notice on the fly-leaf. The author declares that he has treated the subject of this work purely as a philosopher; nor does he draw from it, nor ought his readers to draw from it, any the least argument contrary to the holy doctrines of our Catholic religion, of which he professes himself a venerator and follower.' And whenever any thing too startling to the faithful occurs in the text of the work, he puts a foot-note to say, 'Please remember the declaration on the fly-leaf.' This mode of maintaining one set of opinions, as a pure philosopher,' and holding another as a good Catholic, is amusing enough, and it must be owned extremely convenient in a country blessed with a censorship. It is to be hoped that the example may be followed. But the clergy are already screaming open-mouthed, and it is feared that the too lenient censor may find himself obliged to recall his licence. If so, adieu to the author's forthcoming other four volumes. The second circumstance, supposed to have assisted this somewhat flimsy and transparent device of sweetening a whole volume of heterodoxy with one big lump of orthodoxy thus put in after it was composed, in passing Professor Verati's book, is the fact that the censor is known, despite his ecclesiastical faith, to be an enthusiastic receiver of the doctrines of Mesmerism. Valeat quantum. It is to be supposed that he also has his official opinions and his own private conscience for home use quite separate.

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It is very manifest, however, that several of the Italian governments, especially ours here, and even Austria in Lombardy, are inclined to relax in the matter of censorship, and others similar, far more than Rome is inclined to permit. No symptom of amelioration, no glimmer of penetrating light is there visible-with the exception of the occasional lurid flashes of reiterated revolt. The wonderful pertinacity with which she utterly refuses all amendment, hugs each abuse which it is sought to rend from her, and flies in the face of the enlightened sense and opinion of progressive humanity, with an audacity, now in the day of her weakness and decrepitude, more blindly, desperately daring than she ever ventured on even in the days of her prime, is truly astonishing, and can be explained only on the principle of quem Deus vult perdere prius dementat." The soberest and gravest of those who have the misfortune to live under her sway, are convinced that no purification, save that of fire, fire which shall utterly consume the entire frame work of her present fabric, can avail to amend or render her endurable by mankind. Europe may depend on it, the last day of the temporal dominion of Rome's bishop is near at hand. The late revolt was but a false start-a premature outbreak of some of the hotter spirits, whom the more formidable leaders of the contemplated insurrection were unable to restrain, till what appeared to them a fitting moment. It was a mere flash in the pan. The real discharge of the piece will come presently, probably in somewhat less than twelve months. And in printing

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