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of strong mental agitation, which presaged unfavourably for the result of a single combat, where skill and coolness have such decided advantages over rage and fury. Egidio, as one who, certain of himself, wished to conquer him in courtesy, was the first to salute; the other scarcely returned to it, but speedily preparing himself, and motioning his companions to retire, drew his sword. The chances, however, were unequal. "Prince Frederick had been reputed the first swordsman in Milan, so that whosoever should measure weapons with him might consider his doom fixed. Hence, having the greatest confidence in himself, he had, for some time past, neglected the foil, and retained not that agility so necessary before an active adversary. Egidio (which Frederick had no suspicion of) was not only equal, but far superior to him ; and preparing to engage in a combat whence one alone, by the conditions, could depart alive, regretted that he was thus forced to bathe his hands in the blood of Gertrude's brother, but there appeared no alternative.
• He uncloaked calmly; signed likewise to his followers to withdraw, and unsheathed his rapier; but lowering the point and turning to his adversary, said, “My presence here may prove to you that I'm no coward, and your being alive (since three days past your threats were known to me), may shew that neither am I the wretch you call me; but if we are to combat on generous terms, I command my followers, should I fall by your hand, to let you depart in peace, and to keep silence until you've safely past the confines of the Duchy; if it so please you, I pray you do the like by me.”
«« Villain,” fiercely replied Frederick, “my vengeance shall but anticipate justice ; but should you kill the son of Prince , save yourself as best you may;" this said, he stept forward to his guard. The Prince was strong limbed, powerful, and muscular, but inclining to that fulness of body which precludes the long continuance of any great personal exertion; Egidio, tall, well proportioned, and of great agility. Frederick's first thrusts, therefore, were bold and resolute, those of Egidio, dexterous and quick; the former had the advantage in strength, whilst the latter, more skilful, always intent on parrying the thrusts, and wielding his weapon with matchless dexterity, watching an opportunity when he deemed his opponent sufficiently exhausted, assumed the offensive. But Frederick, at that moment pressed on so desperately, that he would have past the steel through and through Egidio, had not the other, by a fortunate movement, received the point in the fleshy part of his right side, wounding the Prince, at the same time, in the left arm. Then commenced a new assault, in which the first, too much weakened to renew as he began, sought, by de. fending, to repose himself; but Egidio, redoubling his attack, and advancing with a home thrust, catching Frederick's sword under his arm, planted the point in his breast with such dexterity, and rushed forward with such violence, that on his enemy's falling, it appeared as if he, ungenerously profiting thereby, had purposely fallen upon him. The Prince's bravos ran quickly to separate them; Egidio's also came up; but the former seeing him arise, and draw forth' his sword reeking with blood from his adversary's body, were witnesses of the fairness of the combat and of their master's miserable end. Egidio, turning to his companions, said, guard the body; watch diligently that neither of these two stir hence till midnight; then return to execute my orders. You, (addressing the others) VOL XIII.
will bear testimony that I came here summoned, and that the contest was fair, and honourable ; take these pieces for your trouble ; and, giving them some money, he slowly pursued his way to Monza: when he reached the town, the bells were knelling for the dead.'--vol. i. pp. 44—48.
Egidio and Gertrude, accompanied by Anguillotto, (a trusty follower of the former), fly the Milanese territory, cross the Po with difficulty, and, after incurring many dangers, and constantly alarmed by the dread of being overtaken, or recognized, pass from Bologna to Florence. Here Egidio represents himself as a Mantuan Count, travelling with his lady, enters into society, sees every thing worth notice in the city, and visits the studios of the artists ; in the house of one of whom (Pietro Tacca) he meets with Carlo Dolce, who, young as he then was, had already begun to excite attention. .At the same moment a modest youth, apparently not more than twelve years old, entered silently with downcast eyes, bashfully hesitating to advance. He held something under his coat.
16 Come, come forward, my little Carlo," said Tacca; “ take courage, and do not be alarmed at these gentlemen who make allowance for your age. Your picture of Signor Giovanni dei Bardi was somewhat stiff, the one of Ximenes better, and I trust you'll always go on improving."
• “ An it please God and the most Holy Virgin, pains shall not be wanting on my part."
" " What novelty have you ?”
«« Here it is, Signor Pietro, but I am ashamed to shew it to a great man like you ;” and he displayed on a small piece of canvass, the Adoration of the Wise Men.
• When Tacca had examined it, “ Bravo, little Carlo,” said he, “ Bravo, you deserve a cup of chocolate.” : " I'm greatly obliged to you ; but these luxurious beverages are not for a poor boy like me.”
- Study, work on, and you'll become as great as Signor Giovanni was. And for whom is the picture?”
«« For his highness, Prince Leopold.”
6“ Do you think five-and-twenty crowns too much? I have been two months about it.”
"“No, it is not too much; but don't ask more, for I'm certain his highness will make you a present. Moderate prices please the dilettanti ; and giving reputation to the artists keeps them always employed, whilst high prices create distaste, and prejudice them.”
Having listened attentively and bowed assent, Carlo was about to take his leave. « Don't go away, little Carlo, wait for the chocolate (and as he wished to excuse himself)- no, no, he added, I insist on your staying, so sit you down.”
* The chocolate came; little Carlo, who held the picture in one hand, and his hat in the other, was at a loss what to do with either. Coupling the hat and picture, he held them in his left hand; but bis embarrassment increased, when cakes being brought with the cup, he found it was necessary to manage both. Chocolate he had never tasted, for he was poor, and left an orphan with many brothers; he seldom went out; and except his master, fellow pupils, and some Benedictine monks, knew no one in the world. He placed the hat upon the floor on one side; the little picture behind his back on the chair, and took the chocolate ; but, on beginning to sip it, he burnt his mouth,'--vol. i. pp. 235–238.
In the subsequent introduction to the famous Galileo, the Professor has shewn much tact and cleverness :
They entered the chamber with the silence and veneration suited to a holy place. The window was a little closed; but the light, though faint, shone on the countenance of that venerable old man; who was sitting up in bed, dressed in a close vest of dark cloth, a loose furred gown, whose lining of celestial blue time had somewhat faded, thrown over it, and a white kerchief round his neck. His majestic forehead was uncovered, never even in the depth of winter was he accustomed to sleep otherwise; his eyes sparkled with the most brilliant lustre, although the sinking eyelids began to indicate what nature threatened ; the bed covering was of green serge; green also were the bedstead and the frame-work above the pillow. On the left they heard the ticking of a pendulum clock, that pointed to the hour with an arrow; to their right was a telescope on a box-wood stand, placed on the top of a large chest; and at the head of the bed, hung a picture, beautifully representing Jesus in his mother's arms; a present from his dear friend Cigoli. His hands rested on the bed covering, whereon lay an open book; while Pandolfini, introducing Egidio, was repeating the phrases usual on presenting a stranger to a man of merit, the latter admired in extasy the imposing features of the sublime searcher into nature's mysteries; the cheeks a little fallen from age, the forehead furrowed by long study and deep thought, the eyes used to gaze upon the heaveos, the lips whence flowed, as from a perpetual fountain, eloquence and science. Egidio, next turning his attention to the plainness of the bed in which he slept, the unfurnished state of the apartments, and the humble chairs around it, mentally exclaimed ; “ How insignificant appear here the most gorgeous vanities of the earth.” '-vol. i. pp. 272, 273.
Egidio visits the Signora Barbara Albizzi, wife of a Florentine gentleman, whose fame he had heard highly extolled, and of whom, after the first interview, he becomes suddenly and deeply enamoured. Persevering in this new and hopeless passion, which arouses Gertrude's jealousy and makes her miserable, he is waylaid on returning late one night from the Albizzi palace, by assassins sent in quest of him by her father, and taken up for dead; he is confined by his wounds, and tenderly nursed by Gertrude, until the plague (for the professor obsequiously stepping in Manzoni's track must needs introduce the plague) breaks out in Florence; when she is taken ill and conveyed to the Lazzaretto, where Barbara Albizzi is also lying. They both recover, and Egidio and Gertrude are obliged to remain in Florence during the singular quarantine, which, under the immediate direction of the Grand-duke, succeeded the termination of the plague.
Scarcely had the sun mounted the horizon on the morning of St. Roch, when twelve heralds, on horseback, setting forth from the Petti Palace, proclaimed with their trumpets, throughout the six districts of the city, the strict beginning of the quarantine, and the severest punishments to those who broke it. All houses were shut up, the churches closed, commerce suspended, the magistrates no longer assembled, public places abandoned, streets left desolate ; the feeble echo of the distant trumpets, and the trampling of the cavalry, alone were heard; these dying away, and a long and universal silence succeeding, the great and populous city appeared forsaken and deserted. In vain, columns, statues, and monuments, attested the works of man; and whosoever should have then arrived, would have imagined himself traversing the streets of Herculaneum or Pompeii, had not sounds from that holy instrument which, from the tower's height, marks the duties of religion, and the wants of society, given token of life. At those sounds, hundreds of carriages, starting from six stations, and spreading through the city, carried food to the imprisoned inhabitants. Stripped of their silk and velvet cushions, the most elegant equipages, so ost subservient to luxury and show, had been generously appropriated by their owners (the Grand-duke setting the example) to the public use. Two gentlemen in every street were appointed to keep order; six of the most distinguished senators presided in the six districts over the duties of the gentlemen. The distribution begun, the Grand-duke, affording a memorable instance of paternal charity, descending, surrounded by his courtiers, visited'each quarter, watched everywhere,-everywhere animated the zeal of his deputies in labours so meritorious and novel. He stopt at the poorest houses, spoke courteously and pleasantly, re-assured by his firmness, and consoled by his commiserating kindness. The distribution to the people being finished, at a fresh sounding of the bell were opened the shops furnishing the necessaries of life. During the short period set apart for the purpose, one person from each house, having a certificate of health, wearing a waxed garment, and forbidden to hold intercourse with the sellers, was permitted to go out and purchase. At the third stroke houses and shops were again closed. The regulations of the first day were renewed for forty others, without variation; only the order and rapidity of distribution increased with practice, as did the diligence and zeal in the hopes of success.
• And that, to the supplying the necessities of humanity, the succours of religion might not be wanting, the priests went about on festivals, and heard the sacramental confession upon the thresholds ; the sacrament for the devout and sick followed shortly after. The former assembled at the tinkling of the little bell, and the latter were brought in the arms of their relatives to receive it in the street. Mass was then celebrated in the principal and inferior thoroughfares, and from the doors and windows all listened attentively; but each day, a litile before sunset, the priest, the ministers, and curates of every parish, forming in procession, and halting at the heads of the streets, called also, with their little bell, the faithful to the Rosario. : * At the windows of every habitation, as well from the sumptuous palaces as from the humbler dwellings, great and small, servants and masters, were seen kneeling with uplifted hands; and when the ministers of the Lord, after having preached upon the mysteries of the Redemption, and applied them to the case of the present scourge, began to pray,-responses thundered in chorus from the entire population. Spectacle extraordinary and anique ! to behold at the same hour, in every part thereof, a whole city, converted into a temple under the vault of Heaven, communicating with the Deity by prayer.' -— vol. iii. pp. 146—150.
Egidio lingers in Florence, and Gertrude, suspecting Barbara Albizzi to be still the cause, consults a reputed sorceress, which leads to their servant being stopped at one of the city gates, and finally to their arrest and discovery. Egidio is thrown into prison, and Gertrude sent to a convent, there to await the sentence of the church. Gertrude's father, whom death has, meanwhile, deprived of every other member of his family, urgently prays the Archbishop Borromeo to intercede for her; and orders arrive, requiring them to appear in Milan. Egidio, crossing the Apennines, is rescued by Anguillotto and the bravos, with whom he plans to liberate Ger, trude from her escort, at the moment of their crossing the Po, and the catastrophe approaches.
"At that moment a musket-shot is heard, and a small bark with three armed men on board, is seen sailing towards them. Gertrude then raising her eyes, and seeing Egidio, who stood foremost, in eagerness to board, gave a shriek, which echoed in bis inmost heart. Their mutual miseries, their common dangers, and their hopes, united them, and both at once remembered the night passed in the ferryman's cottage. The shot having alarmed the horses, the Swiss, holding the bridles by the left hand, grasped with their right the carbines slung across their shoulders, and, called to arms by their officer, prepared to sustain the reputation of Swiss courage. At the signal fired, a four-oared boat from the opposite side, without any appearance of containing more than the rowers, bounded rapidly over the water in the same direction as the bark. Francesco first perceived it, but doubt and fear keeping him silent, the Swiss who faced the bark had no intimation of the other danger, until Anguillotto, when within pistol-shot, springing up with Siboga and his companions, cried out to them to surren der; and catching hold immediately afterwards of the ferry-boat, during the confusion of the Swiss, distracted by the horses and Egidio's threats, afforded Gertrude the opportunity of rushing towards her lover ; who, holding a pistol in his right hand, and a dagger in his mouth, was in the act of boarding. The Swiss commander, being the nearest, aimed a mortal thrust, which would certainly have slain him, had not a shot from Anguillotto's pistol stretched the unfortunate Helvetian on the deck. The mules of the Lettiga rearing at this juncture, and one of the Swiss having turned to assist his officer, while the other two were engaged in defending themselves from Egidio (who, however, abstained from using his fire-arms, for fear of injuring his followers), Anguillotto succeeded in seizing Gertrude, half dead with terror, and letting her fall, rather than descend, into the boat beneath. But the Swiss, finding his officer dead, and doubly infuriate at Gertrude's escape, heedless of peril, threw himself on Anguillotto ; and clinging to him, shouted to his companions to kill him. Anguillotto, twisting like a snake, disengaged himself; but, stooping to recover a poniard he had dropt, was again more firmly grasped by the other; whereupon, seeing no readier way of freedom, he jumped into the river, dragging the Swiss along with him. Surprise, the shock, and fear, made the Swiss loose his hold ; and the water, filling the cumbrous dress, and adding to the weight of a heavy, clumsy person, ignorant of swimming, he