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Hence we may, perhaps, infer that Berni was married, although his biographers say nothing on the subject: he seems to speak with all the sad conviction of experience. He probably did not make a very domestic husband, and the reader will, no doubt, be mistaken if he supposes from the line-"To have one dirty hand, the other clean"-that the nuisance to Berni was having a dirty hand the cold, raw, uncomfortable sensation of a clean hand, must have been that to which he objected. He has a special chapter on the advantages of being dirty, written" with all the fervour of strong love."

When Italians, Quadrio, Tiraboschi, Mazzuchelli, &c. mention Berni as a writer of poesie giocose, they invariably couple with him Giovanni Mauro, and some notice of him must not be here omitted, although we are not inclined, in point of learning, humour, or facility of versification, to put him on a level with Berni. In severity of satire, in loftiness of tone, and sometimes in depth of reflection, he exceeded him; but Mauro was too apt to dilate and expand, and did not keep closely enough to his subject. When treating a paradox, he not unfrequently breaks out in a higher strain of poetry, as in the following apostrophe to Rome, in his Capitolo in praise of Famine.

"Ye noble hills, ye ruins that of old

Have seen those men whose deeds are faintly told,
O'er which I trample, thoughtless of my way!
Ye mighty spirits of an elder day,

Hear ye my song, and let no due applause
Be wanting here-I plead in Famine's cause!
Fain would I see among the piles around,
Or rais'd by ancient art, or skill profound
Of modern times, some mighty temple rear'd
For Famine's worship, now but idly fear'd;
Where all her honours might be justly paid
Through thousand years of sunshine and of shade.
Peace, Fortune, Piety have temples high,
In every realm their votaries multiply;
But Famine has no fane and no regard,
First in desert and latest in reward."

It must be owned that these lines are hardly of a piece with the rest of the poem, which is often weak, diffuse, and rambling.

Mauro has an entertaining chapter addressed to Pietro Pontesecchi, to dissuade him from taking so much physic, which (passing over many other claimants to notice, ancient and modern, for brevity's sake) brings to mind a humorous production by Pignotti, a comparatively recent author, who was successful in many different kinds of writing, but whose name, at least as a poet, is little known in this country. He seems to have entertained a strong dislike to physic and physicians, and consequently, perhaps, died at a very advanced age. The production we refer to is a satire upon the medical profession, and it is called "Death and the Doctor," but it will be observed that Pignotti takes care to introduce a salvo for physicians at the end, lest possibly he should stand in need of a salvo from physicians at his end.

"Grim Death one day, fatigued with slaughter
Of human kind in every quarter,

Peers, beggars, and the Lord's anointed,'
Resolv'd that toil no more should grieve him,

And that some person, to relieve him,
Prime Minister should be appointed.

For, as he every day grew older,
The weight lay heavy on his shoulder;
Of part he meant to make disposal:
He therefore issued proclamation,
That candidates for such a station

Should in due time send their proposal.

In which they should not fail to mention
On what was founded their pretension
To hold an office so important.

With hope meanwhile they all might warm them,
Till he in council should inform them,

Whom he preferr'd, and so make short on't.
The claims were numerous, as expected:
On the day nam'd they were collected,
And for the issue many trembled.
All the Diseases there were present:
Well might their breathing make unpleasant
The hall where they were so assembled.
All these the Plague was at the head of,
Whom some have seen and more have read of,
From top to toe most foully spotted.
Consumption was not far behind him,
And Dropsy had a place assign'd him;
In short all took their seats allotted.
'Twixt Rheumatism and red Fever
Sate one who'd been a gay deceiver,
His nose by full one-half diminished :
He made a French bow on advancing,
And though he limp'd, he feign'd it dancing,
In all respects a courtier finish'd.
As soon as Death his throne ascended,
Their breathing was almost suspended
To listen what he might deliver.
Then rolling round his empty sockets
He pull'd some papers from his pockets,
And gave a hem that made them shiver.
Because he saw an empty seat there,
And wonder'd that he did not meet there,
One of his Council most respected :
No other than the sage Physician,
Who had not sent in his petition
To be for such a post selected.

Death said in voice the most tremendous,
Why did not the Physician send us

His claim? his absence is the oddest.

Far more than War or Plague he slays men:
The proverb 's true, I find, that says men
Of highest merit are most modest.
Shall he, that so incessant labours
To rid all folks of friends and neighbours
By me remain thus unrewarded?
No he alone shall be Prime Minister.'-
Th' assembly at the word was in a stir
To find their merits disregarded:
The trump Tartarian loud proclaim'd it.
At first though the Diseases blam'd it,

They own'd the Doctor's claim the greater.
Rage not, Physicians !—I speak merely
Of the old school-the new are really

Not Ministers of Death, but Nature."

And thus we conclude, although many other productions of this class are pressing for admission. It is necessary to put some limits to an article, the materials for which are drawn from so many volumes of choice Italian poetry, that had we written five times as much, the subject would not have been exhausted. As it is, there are not a few authors of poesie giocose whose names even we have not been able to mention, and of those of whom we have spoken our notices are necessarily imperfect. C. R.

THE COFFIN-MAKER.

I AM the most miserable being on the face of the earth; and what to me is worse to bear than the misery itself, no one will believe, no one will sympathise with it. I have done my duty as far as the weak and wavering resolutions of mortality will allow. I have been faithful and industrious to my employer; an affectionate and devoted son; I have never wronged poor or rich of a penny; I have secured a competency by my own labour, depending on no one, and receiving the bread of sloth from no one. My neighbours respect me; my master praises me; my mother, poor old soul! thinks me a phoenix, a hero, a specimen of the perfection to which human nature can be wrought by care and education. My old schoolmaster is constantly boasting that I owe my advancement in life to having been placed by him at the head of my class when older boys stood below me. Many love me, many admire me, all trust me: and yet-I am miserable!

While I was yet a little infant, I recollect watching my father, who was a carpenter, when he was at work; begging for shavings, bits of wood, nails that had been thrown aside as unfit for his purpose, and any other trifle I thought he could spare. To unite these irregularlyshaped materials, to cut and shape the fragments of wood, and form little awkward-looking useless boxes, was my great delight. I had a box for my chips, a box for my nails, and a box for my two knives, which were at first my only tools, but to which my father afterwards added a gimlet and old hammer. I used also occasionally to make things for my schoolfellows, and was much delighted at overhearing the master say to the rector one day, pointing to a little clumsy desk: "Tom Collins made that without any assistance from his father."

I recollect that my father loved me very much, and that I was his favourite out of seven children: that strangers used to notice me and make me small presents of money, and that my mother and the women who used to gossip and drink tea with her, were loud in praise of my beauty. I was much coaxed too by my brothers, (most of whom were grown men,) and my sister Sarah would never stir without me. I was, as my companions termed it," a lucky fellow." I was never ill, never in disgrace, never beaten in a fight: if an old gentleman dropped his cane, I was sure to be there to pick it up; if an eager huntsman lost his hat, while engaged in the sport, I was standing breathless at the next gap to present it to him. If a poor woman's goose or hen strayed, I was always the person who found it and brought it back to her; if the crippled and infirm old man who kept the turnpike at the end of the village, was too deaf to hear the wheels of a carriage in time, I was there to fling open the gate, and stand waiting for the toll; and often when I have been so employed, a smile and a sixpence have reached me from the carriage window, with a half-heard exclamation, caught as the wheels rolled away in the distance. I was appealed to when there was any suspected unfairness in a game at marbles. I was chosen from among my companions as the trusty bearer of a basket of fine fruit to the rector's lady, or a petition for redress from some petty grievance, to the squire. I was a very happy child; every one loved me, and I heartily loved everybody; rich or poor, it was all alike to me; I felt as cheer

March.-VOL. XXXIV. NO. CXXXV.

T

ful and contented when I helped a sickly, cross girl, who lived next door to us, to sweep out her bed-ridden mother's room, as when my mother dressed me in my best to go and drink tea with the rector's little boys; an honour which, in my early childhood, was often conferred upon me. I never walked through the village without a kind word or nod from every open door I passed. "Come in here, Tommy, and let us look at your rosy face," was the address of a comely matron, sitting at her little round table with four gossips, all talking together. "Oh Tom Collins, do come and hold baby a minute, while I get Richard some dry things against he comes home," was the speech of some young and anxious wife, whose eye was directed to the lowering heavens, while she dandled her child at the door. "I say, Tom, will you come in and mend grandmother's spinning-wheel ?" shouted some urchin who was probably himself the cause of its requiring my skilful hand. "Oh Tom! dear Tommy Collins!" mournfully and coaxingly entreated a little girl who stood leaning over the garden gate of one cottage; " do be kind, and read one chapter in the Bible to my aunt, for she scolds me so much, and says I stammer and spell my words so, that I can't read for crying; and she's almost dying, I am sure she is ;"-while, " Halloo! Tom! we want you on the top of the hay-rick here!" assailed my ears from another quarter, drowning with a cheerful shout the lingering tones of complaint I had been listening to. And all these things I generally found time to do; not, perhaps, exactly in the order set down, but to the perfect satisfaction of all parties; and found time besides to present a slice of gingerbread or a ripe apple in exchange for a kiss from Violet Wells, a little girl, daughter to the nurseryman, who, while shy to every one else, used to twitch me by the pinafore as I passed, and say "Have you got anything to-day for me, pretty Tom Collins ?"

My father died; my sister Sarah went into service in a neighbouring county-town; my brothers dispersed different ways; the house and shed, with all my father's tools, were sold, and my mother worked early and late to continue my schooling, and save up money enough to apprentice me to some profitable trade. In these hopes she was, however, disappointed. An idle scheming man, who had been a friend and favourite companion of my father's, persuaded her to lend him almost all the money she had hoarded for this purpose; and failing in his speculations, went to America without repaying her a single farthing. This was a great blow to us; and to add to our misfortunes, the kind old rector (who had always promised to assist me in my onset in life) died. The living was given to a clergyman too rich or too proud to attend to the duties of the situation; and a poor curate was put in, who for a sixth part of the sum paid to his employer, preached a sermon twice on Sundays, and buried or baptized the inhabitants, according as was required of him; but with five children and a sickly wife, it was impossible for him to afford assistance to the villagers as his predecessors had done. The old man at the turnpike ceased to receive his weekly allowance and broken meat from the parsonage; the bedridden woman who lived next door to us could no longer send her pale whining girl to beg a little brandy, or tea and sugar, to comfort her heart; and my mother with a heavy sigh expressed her conviction that I should have to go

out as a day-labourer after all. To me however, full of youth, hope, and strength, things wore a less discouraging aspect. I knew that it was customary to pay a fee on being bound apprentice, but I did not see that it was necessary. I was perfectly acquainted with my father's trade, and thought it not unlikely that many men would be glad of so able-bodied an assistant. I wrote to my sister Sarah begging her to see what might be done in the town where she was at service, affirming that I never wished to eat a meal which I had not fairly earned, and that I would willingly promise to remain a certain number of years in the service of my employer, which was all that could be gained by binding me apprentice. My sister Sarah's answer was as follows:

"DEAR TOM:

"This comes hoping my mother and you are well. As to your wish to engage with some master in a trade such as father's, I have done what I could; or rather Henry Richards (a very decent young man and very kind) has made inquiry for me. Most of the persons he applied to, laughed at that part of your letter where you promise to stay with them, and even Henry Richards smiled when he read it. I am afraid you will not think we have been very successful. There are no carpenters in the town except very poor men; all but the very rough part of my father's work is done by cabinet-makers and upholsterers, and Henry Richards tried very hard to persuade one of these to take you, but they refused for no other reason that I could learn, except that it was unusual (your way of offering yourself) and that plenty of clever apprentices and workmen could be had, without making it a matter of favour. This is very discouraging, but there is one man who would very willingly engage with you, on your own terms; and said your letter was the letter of an honest spirited lad, which was a great pleasure to me after the others had sneered so at it; but his trade is a disagreeable one; so much so that I intended not to have mentioned it to you, but Henry Richards advised me by all means to tell you, and then you could judge for yourself. I had almost forgot to say what the man's trade was. He is a coffin-maker.

"Ever your truly affectionate sister,

"SARAH COLLINS."

Dark be the memory of the day when, full of the buoyant hope and fearlessness of youth, and smiling inwardly at my sister's prejudice against the name of the trade I was about to follow, I left my kind old mother and the little village where I was born, never again to know what real happiness was. The last person I saw was Violet Wells. She was waiting for me at her father's gate, and as I drew near, dashed away the tears which dimmed her eyes, and gave me a smile of welcome. I bounded forward, and, taking her hand, I said "Come, Violet, you are not surely going to send me away sadly; when you should rejoice that I have now a chance of earning my bread and supporting my mother who has so long toiled for me." "No, I ought not, and I am not exactly sad, but I was thinking of the days when we were little children together and used to play in my father's garden," and a half sob concluded the sentence. "Why then, Violet, you should say to me as you used to do, 'Have you got anything for me to-day, pretty Tom Collins ?" She turned her slim figure away from me with a blush and a laugh, but her countenance darkened again immediately. "And I was thinking that in the town where you are going, there may be many other girls quite as pretty as I am, and better scholars, and more to your liking, Tom; and that

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