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Filippo, Duke of Milan, and that for a day or two he would reside at the palace of his loving cousin Niccolo the Third, whose secretary attended at his elbow in mock submission. This Fool, we are told, had an extraordinary faculty in disguising his voice and features. Having sent for the superior of the monastery, he addressed him in the Neapolitan dialect, and with a face of the most astonishing gravity. He expatiated on his love and veneration for the order of St. Francis, then mentioned it was his custom to hear the mass for the dead four times a year in one of their churches, and that as the morrow was one of those days, he requested they would perform it, at the same time ordering the secretary to disburse thirty ducats to the brethren, and to instruct the household of his loving cousin to prepare an excellent dinner for them after the mass. He then took leave, while the friars bowed down to the ground, scarce able to restrain their rapture at the thoughts of the money and the feast. Next day no provision was made for dinner in the monastery, and the Fool again appeared and attended the mass; at the end of which he repeated his princely orders to the secretary. As dinner-time drew near, a servant was despatched to the friars, requiring the assistance of three or four lay-brothers, as the number of dishes was so great, and as the prince wished one half of them to be placed on the table at once. The lay-brothers, on their arrival at the palace, were desired to wait awhile in an apartment, when the door was locked upon them. Gonnella then, in his motley, ran off to the monastery, and had the satisfaction of seeing all the fraternity seated at table in the refectory, vehemently impatient for dinner. Mercy on us!" he cried out, "what a feast is preparing for you!"- "But when is it coming?" roared out the hungry mouths. "It's almost ready," answered Gonnella; "and the cooks are only waiting to know if you would like the pidgeons stewed with truffles or green peas."—" Oh! truffles! truffles! by all means!" they exclaimed in chorus. "And then there are some delicate chicken-turkies, basted with marrow,-shall they be stuffed with chopped lobsters or fried sweetbreads?" This was a question not so easily decided. There was much demur, much smacking of lips. At last, however, as opinions were divided, the superior gave his casting vote in favour of chopped lobsters. To their utter discomfort, the Fool, instead of returning with all speed to the cooks, began to describe the many other dishes, and dwelt so long on the delicious ingredients of a particular pasty, that they jumped up in a fever of tantalization, and pushed him out of the refectory with orders for truffles and chopped lobsters. Gonnella kept them for another long hour, in exasperated hunger, before he released the lay-brothers in the palace; when he coolly desired them to return to their superior, hoping, forsooth! there was bread and garlick, and enough of both, in the monastery, and to assure the reverend brotherhood it was the indirect intention of the Prince of Bissignano to send the ducats and the dinner, but that the superior, in his learning, well knew how to take the will for the deed, quia voluntas pro facto reputatur.

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It is melancholy that such a Fool should die. There is too sad a contrast between the laugh of life and the stillness of death. A philosopher is supposed to have made up his mind on the subject, and we lose him, as it were, on his own conditions; nor can we weep greatly at the final exit of a tragic actor,—we have wept enough at him, and

he seems used to it. But when a blithe spirit is driven hence, wrenched from existence in the midst of its wild merriment, one hour a being of delight, and the next a loathsome clod, who is not startled into sorrow at the change? The fall of a sparrow is as disastrous as that of a nightingale, yet which do we lament? Gonnella's death was not only sudden, but strange and dreadful. We record the several circumstances that led to it as briefly as possible. A painful story need not be dwelt upon, and any comment, in this instance, is surely unne


For a long time the marquis had been afflicted with a quartan ague. His physicians applied their usual remedies in vain, and they knew but of one more, which none among them had the boldness to administer,it was to throw him into a cold bath, without previous notice, confiding fully as much in the momentary panic as in the efficacy of the water. Gonnella, who had secretly listened to their consultations, resolved, for his master's sake, to run the hazard; and soon after, walking alone with the marquis by the side of the Po, he pushed him over the bank into the river, where he had contrived that two fishermen should be in readiness to save him. Then, having first seen him taken out of the stream and placed in their boat, he hastened out of the States, well aware of the danger of remaining there if the consequences should prove unfavourable. He escaped to Padua, where he heard of the complete recovery of the marquis, whose ague-fits never returned after that extraordinary remedy; but at the same time the astounding news arrived of Gonnella's having been convicted of leze majeste, insomuch as he had laid violent hands on the person of his beloved sovereign, even to the imminent peril of his life, and that therefore the said Gonnella was declared a traitor, banished for ever from the States, and sentence of death was pronounced in case he should presume to set foot on Ferrara ground. All this did not deter him from entering the city, in the hope of being again taken into favour. He was impelled to this by the love he bore his master, the joy he felt at his being restored to health, and the consciousness of having acted not only with a good intent but with good fortune. Yet to smooth the way to an immediate reconciliation, he paid his visit in character,—with a jest. He arrived in a cart, standing on a pile of Paduan earth, and when the officers came to arrest him by order of the marquis, he pleaded his feet were not upon Ferrara ground.* This objection was instantly overruled by dragging him down from the cart upon the actual territory. The officers then conducted him to prison, informed him he had not an hour to live, and that there was no hope of mercy. Immediately a confessor appeared to prepare him for death, and Gonnella was led forth into the public square for execution.

Though the Marquis was convinced his jester had acted entirely from the kindness of his heart, and though he felt grateful towards him for the cure he had effected, yet he acceded to the sentence of banishment passed by his council, partly to uphold the inviolability of a

*This witty evasion has, under similar circumstances, been followed, and with better success, by Quevedo, Lord Rochester, and at least one more,—a Frenchman, whose name we forget.

sovereign's person among his subjects, but chiefly to frighten Gonnella by way of retaliation for the panic he himself had endured. As soon as he heard his favourite had returned, this childish desire to retaliate caused him to issue orders for his immediate death, with secret instructions to the executioner, which were carried into effect in the following manner. When the poor fellow laid his neck upon the block, expecting the stroke of the axe, a bucket of water was dashed upon his head. The people, who had gathered in the square to witness the execution, could not restrain their sighs and tears, for every one loved Gonnella; but when they saw his punishment was no more than a dash of cold water, they gave vent to the loudest shouts of joy and laughter. Soon these shouts subsided into the dreary silence of grief, -fear had done its worst,-he was dead!

We are told the marquis for a long time suffered the deepest sorrow at his loss, accusing himself bitterly. He ordered a pompous funeral, and the body was conducted to the grave attended by all the clergy of Ferrara; nor was any circumstance omitted that could evince his respect for the memory of Gonnella.


A SILVER Fountain with a changeful shade
Of interwoven leaves and blossoms made;
The leaves that turn'd the light to emerald green,
While colour'd buds like rainbows shone between :
And on the southern bank, as if beset

With ocean pearls, grew the white violet;
Above there stood a graceful orange-tree,
Where Spring and Summer dwelt in amity,

And shared the boughs between them,-one with flowers
Its silver offering to the sunshine hours;

The other with its fruit, like Indian gold,

Or those bright apples the last lover roll'd
In Atalanta's path and won the day—
Alas! how often gold has led astray!

The shadow of old chestnut trees was round-
They were the guardians of the hallow'd ground;
The hunter in his chase had past it by,

So closely was it screen'd from curious eye.

On the bank opposite to that, where strew'd
Sigh'd the pale violets' sweet multitude,
There was a little Grotto, and like stars
The roof was set with crystal and with spars
Trembling in light;-it needed much their aid,
For at the entrance the dark branches play'd
Of a lone cypress, and the summer-day
Was changed to twilight as it made its way.
It is Egeria's Grotto. Her bright hair
Has left its odour on the fragrant air;
The echo of her step is lingering still
In the low music of the lute-toned rill;
And here the flowers are beautiful and young
As when beneath her ivory feet they sprung.
Ay, this made Love delicious as a dream,
Save that it was too constant but to seem-

No time to tire, gone almost soon as seen;
Known but by happiness, that it had been-
A shade, but such a shade as rainbows cast
Upon the clouds, in its first beauty past-
A mystery, such mystery as the breath
Lurking in summer sweetness on a wreath,
Which we would but enjoy, but not explore,
Too blest in the pleased sense to desire more.
And thus if Love would last, thus must it be-
A wish, a vision, and a fantasie.

L.E. L.


"Mais que tous les dyables," dist Panurge, "ont faict les paoures dyables? Ne sont ilz assez meshaignez les paoures dyables? Ne sont ilz assez enfumez et perfumez de misere, les paoures haires? Jen suys fort scandalizé."-" Je," dist frère Jan," ne men soucie dung bouton. Ilz mesdisent de tout le monde : si tout le monde mesdict deulx, ie ny pretendz nul interest."-RABELais.

APPLYING the words to authors, which the veracious historian of the authentic Gargantua, and the no less authentic Pantagruel, makes Panurge apply to certain orders of monks, we are quite disposed to agree with him that they are sufficiently "meshaignez" by the critics, weekly, monthly, and quarterly, and sufficiently "enfumez et perfumez" with the notices laudatory or vituperative of their brethren, to escape the general contempt which is always involved in the charge of poverty. Even if we should not exactly grant poets and prosers (as they may be styled ka oxnr) to be, as the learned Panurge saith, "les deux hemispheres par la gyrognomonicque circumbiliuagination desquelz, comme par deux filopendoles cœliuages, tout lantonomaticque magrabolisme homocentricalement se tremousse,"-we are still of opinion that these two classes of the irritable race are sufficiently important to deserve a defence at our hands from a charge which they do not merit : and so far from agreeing in the scornful indifference about their fate, avowed by Friar John, we feel an interest about them almost equal to that which would be felt by one of their own number: though we must confess there is much truth in what that pious person says with regard to their practice of abusing all the world, wherefore (be adds) it is quite natural that all the world should abuse them.

It is not very difficult to see from what arose the vulgar opinion of the poverty of authors. Bad authors have been always poor-as it is quite fair that they should be: upon the same principle that bad painters, or bad architects, or bad boot-makers, or bad carpenters, or bad any things, have been and always must be poor: for the rule applies equally to tables and tragedies, sermons and shoes. Bad writers have always existed in a much greater number than good: and their works being most deservedly neglected, or as deservedly ridiculed, they complained very loudly and very absurdly-they were unfit for writing, therefore they refused to turn bricklayers-they lived in poverty, and died in want, because they persisted in writing books which nobody would read; and the worse writers they were, the more of course they cried out about the injustice with which they were treated, and the poverty to which they were condemned. Mr. D'Israeli has composed

two corpulent volumes about their "Calamities," to which we shall presently recur-and the history must be allowed to be sufficiently melancholy-though any reader of that diligent compiler's "Calamities of Authors" cannot fail to be convinced, that all the miseries of all these gentlemen arose from their having mistaken their vocation-that they were either utterly bad writers, or prodigal persons who would have ruined themselves under any circumstances-and that a history of the calamities of incapable tailors, or inept shoemakers, may be made up by some one belonging to these classes of operatives, which shall contain as pathetic pictures of the public neglect or condemnation of their works, as Mr. D'Israeli has assembled in his collection of calamities.

The wits and satirists of the age in which these bad writers lived, (for their misery, like their existence, was always forgotten in the next) found their poverty an excellent subject for mirth and ridicule; and extending it to the whole tribe of authors, they consecrated to their use for ever

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To say nothing of the Greeks, Horace, Martial, Chaucer, Ariosto, Cervantes, Spenser, Shakspeare, Butler, Milton, Molière, Dryden, Boileau, Prior, Swift, Congreve, Addison, Le Sage, Pope, Gay, Arbuthnot, Voltaire, Johnson, Fielding, Smollett, Rousseau,-comic writers, poets, epigrammatists, satirists, novelists, wits-all have joined in representing authors as poor, for the sake of the jests that have since set many a table in a roar. But let our readers recur to our list, and they will see that the names of those who have thus held up authors to ridicule are the most successful whom the Muse has "admitted of her crew," that they are among the most eminent names in ancient and modern literature; that they all lived in comfort, and some even in opulence; that those who were not rich, were poor from causes totally independent of their literary vocation: and let it be remembered that no complaint has ever been made in prose or rhyme by any author, of the general poverty of his tribe, except for the sake of pointing a jest, or heightening a picture.

We might easily be long and dull upon this theme, but we refrain. We have said enough to introduce our proofs of the comfort or affluence in which authors have lived since the earliest days of authorship: and we beg here to premise, that we shall consider the profits arising to authors from places or pensions obtained on account of their works, as the legitimate profits of their writings.

We trust our readers will excuse us for omitting all investigation into the private circumstances of Hermes Trismegistus, the inventor of the Egyptian Statutes at Large; of Cadmus, the inventor of the Greek letters, and consequently the cause of the introduction of birch into English schools; of Amphion, Orpheus, and other great poets of those days; and even of Zoroaster, the hero of many a novel and some pantomimes. We say, we trust our readers will pardon us for omitting all notice of these gentlemen, seeing that we write this article in a country town in France, where we have access to few books of any kind, and to none at all regarding their works or auto-biography. The most fastidious admirer of antiquity, we are persuaded, will be satisfied with such a respectable age as that of Hesiod and Homer, which Feb.-VOL. XVI. NO. LXII.


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