I pray

Aretina sings

what is truly.great, yet as frequently burst scene of the play, describing the revels of into raptures at the clumsiest appeals. It the prodigal: is far otherwise with those passages of a

finer grain – those delicate hair-strokes “ Silisco. Off with these viands and this of felicitous thought and finished expression, wine, Conrado; which to be apprehended at all must be Feasting is not festivity: it cloys fully appreciated. By many poetry is liked The finer spirits. Music is the feast best for the accidents with which the That lightly fills the soul. My pretty friend, noblest poetry is most willing to dispense. Upon the troubled waters of this world.

Touch me that lute of thine, and pour thy voice In its ininost essence it reveals itself but to

Aretina. What ditty would you please to those who prefer the distant flute-tone

hear, my Lord ? to the rattle of wire and wood, and enjoy Silisco. Choose thou, Ruggiero. See now, most the odour that floats upon the breeze. if that knave ...

The scene of A Sicilian Summer is chiefly Conrado, ho! A hundred times I've bid thee at Palermo, where Silisco, Marquis of To give what wine is over to the poor Malespina, in the prodigality of youth- About the doors. ful spirits and vast wealth, fills his old pal

Conrado. Sir, this is Malvoisie ace with a perpetual revel. His generosity

And Muscadel, a ducat by the flask. and his magnificence make him the delight

Silisco. Give it them not the less; they'll of the young; but the old prognosticate and better it went to enrich a beggar's blood

never know; his speedy ruin, a catastrophe not the Than surfeit ours; - Choose thou, Ruggiero! less probable because the young nobleman,


I! after the fashion of the time, is merchant I have not heard her songs. too. He charters a ship to Rhodes, mort- Silisco.

Thou sang'st me once gaging the remaining portions of his estates A song that had a note of either muse, to three Jews. Spadone, the captain of Not sad, nor gay, but rather both than neither. the ship, conspires to betray at once his What call you it?

Aretina. I think,
He is to sink

Lord, 'twas this. employer and his crew.

Silisco. his vessel on his return, and escaping in

Yes, yes, 'twas so it ran; sing that,

thee. a boat with his fellow-conspirators, to secrete amid the catacombs, near the

I'm a bird that's free sea shore, the jewels and ingots of gold

Of the land and sea, which he has brought from Rhodes. In the

I wander whither I will meantime Rosalba, daughter of the king's

But oft on the wing, chamberlain, Count Ubaldo, comes from

I falter and sing, Procida to Palermo, accompanied by her

Oh fluttering heart, be still, chosen friend Fiordeliza. The revels at

Be still, Silisco's palace are soon given exclusively

Oh fluttering heart, be still. on her account, Fiordeliza being wooed at

I'm wild as the wind, the same time by Ruggiero, the friend

But soft and kind, of Silisco, though the severest censor of his

And wander whither I may, waste. Count Ubaldo has, however, con

The eye-bright sighs, tracted Rosalba to Ugo, Count of Arezzo,

And says with its eyes, the wealthiest of the Sicilian nobles, de

Thou wandering wind, oh stay, siring to preserve her from spendthrifts and fortune-hunters, and seeing nothing amiss

Thou wandering wind, oh stay. in a bridegroom of between sixty and seventy years. At the king's entreaty Ubaldo relents so far as to say that he will

Manager. Now, had she clapp'd her hand not insist on his danghter's engagement if Count Ugo can be induced to forego it, and in the first verso, which says, “Oh fluttering if Silisco is able, on the return of his ship, to redeem his lands of Malespina, impledged 1st Player. And at “Oh stay ” had beckoned to Ugo.

Silisco is not less successful in his thus, or thus suit, and Rosalba promises to be his, if, 2d Player. And with a speaking look .


But no

- she could not; through a change in her father's purpose,

It was not in her. she should find herself free. She leaves her

Silisco. You'll not take the gold ! lover, at his own prayer, till All Saints'

Wear this then for my sake; it once Day, to work upon her father's will.

adorn'a As an illustration of Silisco's character, The bosom of a Queen of Samarcand, we shall make an extract from the second And shall not shame to sit upon this throne.

Oh stay,

upon her heart



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Aretina. My heart, my Lord, would | Yet must my eyes be something worse than prize a gift of yours,

Were it a pebble from the brook.

And see the thing that is not, if the hand

What ho ! Of Nature was not larish of delights
Are not the players in attendance ? Ah! When she was fashion'd. But it were not well
A word or two with you, my worthy friends. To blazon her too much ; for mounted thus
1st Girl. Why, Aretina, 'tis the dia- In your esteem, she might not hold her place,

But fall the farther for the fancied rise. Was sold last winter for a thousand crowns. For she has faults, Silisco, she has faults ; 2d Girl. A princely man!

And when you see them you may think them 3d Girl. In some things; but in others He's liker to a patriarch than a prince. Than I, who know, or think I know, their 1st Girl. I think that he takes us for

scope. patriarchs,

She gives her words the mastery, and flush'd
He's so respectful. - Vol. iii. p. 5–7. With quickenings of a wild and wayward wit,

Flits like a firefly in a tangled wood,
The reader will have discovered that the Though beautiful to look at.”.

Restless, capricious, careless, hard to catch,

Vol. iii. p. 13. prodigal is neither a sensualist nor a mere trifler. His nature has strength and move

The ment in it, and it is only the edge of the

young Countess lands, and Silisco's wave that breaks into froth and loses itself. fate is changed. It is thus he ruminates:Yet his heedlessness tends to worse than the loss of his lands, as is intimated by the re

“ Hope and Joy, ply of Fra Martino to a friend who has My younger sisters, you have never yet found it impossible to refuse him aid in his Of a slim sunbeam, and you never shall ;

Been parted from my side beyond the breadth difficulties :

Already it is loosen'd, it is gone,

The cloud, the mist; across the vale of life
“Give thou to no man, if thou wish him well, The rainbow rears its soft triumphal arch,
What he may not in honour's interest take; And every roving path and brake and bower
Else shalt thou but befriend his faults, allied Is bathed in colour'd light. Come what come
Against his better with his baser self.”

I know this world is richer than I thought

By something left to it from paradise ; We shall next introduce our readers to I know this world is brighter than I thought, the heroine of the play, and to Fiordeliza. Having a window into heaven. Henceforth They are coming from Procida, and Silisco Life hath for me a purpose and a drift.”— Vol. waits on the sea-shore with Ruggiero, to iii. p. 17. receive them. The friends converse of their expected guests :

To return to our analysis of the story:

The venture of the merchant-prince prom· Ruggiero. In the soft fullness of a rounded ises success. In good time his ship re-apgrace,

pears in the offing. All day long it is Noble of stature, with an inward life

watched from the harbour tower by one of Of secret joy sedate, Rosalba stands,

the Jews. Then its treacherous captain, As seeing and not knowing she is seen,

Spadone, executes his plot. About sunset,
Like a majestic child, without a want
She speaks not often, but her presence speaks, Writs are immediately sent out by the Jews

the good ship Maddalena suddenly sinks.
And is itself an eloquence, which withdrawn,
It seems as though some strain of music ceased against Silisco, who dies for refuge to the
That fillid till then the palpitating air

catacombs on the seaside. Spadone has alWith sweet pulsations; when she speaks indeed, ready lodged his booty there.

His two ac'Tis like some one voice eminent in the choir,' complices watch for him in a boat outside; Heard from the midst of many harmonies but on the appearance of Ruggiero, who is With thrilling singleness, yet clear accord. walking on the shore, they take to their oars. So heard, so seen, she moves upon the earth, Spadone commits his booty to his mistress Unknowing that the joy she ministers

Aretina, and leaves her, with directions to Is aught but Nature's sunshine.

send him word as soon as he can safely reSilisco.

Call you this
The picture of a woman or a Saint ?

turn. In an agony of terror at the crime When Cimabue next shall figure forth

of which she has just heard, Aretina meets The hierarchies of heaven, we'll give him this

Silisco, and is on the point of telling him all To copy from. But said you, then, the other

she has learned, when Spadone, who has Was fairer still than this ?

lurked near them, stabs her. He endeavRuggiero.

I may have said it ; ours to kill Silisco also; but after a short I should have said, she's fairer in my eyes. combat, falls covered with wounds. Silisco,

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not knowing with whom he has been en-| rhythmical than that of verse. At last, word gaged, drags him out of the cave, leaves him is sent to her by her father that he who in at the door of Gerbetto, the king's physi- name only has been her husband has died cian, who lives on the beach, and again se- at Jerusalem, and that she must return to cretes himself. Ruggiero learns soon after Palermo, there to do homage for the lands from the lips of a half-drowned sailor, sole that have now become her own. She obeys ; survivor of the Maddalena's crew, the vil. but before her has returned a pilgrim, Buonlany by which the rest have been destroyed. aiuto, from the Holy Land. The pilgrim is His eye has already been attracted by the Silisco, who, on hearing that Count Ugo signs of guilty terror with which the mate had set out upon a journey, the hardships and boatswain fled at his approach; he leaps of which could scarcely be surmounted by into a boat, and with the help of the rescued the young and strong, had accompanied him sailor gives them chase.

in disguise, and saved his life in numberless Rosalba finds herself thus deserted by dangers. Silisco bas returned in time to see her lover, and loses in his ruin all hope of Aretina, who tells him just before her death a changed intention on the part of her fath- that it was from jealousy, as well as fear,

She still resists the marriage with that Spadone had stabbed her, and that the Count Ugo, till assured by Gerbetto, on the treasures carried off from the wreck had not, word of the dying Spadone, that. Silisco as he supposed, been lost at sea, but were had been faithless to her, and bad induced buried in the catacombs. The last scene Aretina to be false also. She then consents unravels all the threads of a plot very skilto wed Count Ugo. Silisco lies hid on the fully woven. It is iŋ the royal palace of lands of Malespina, which have now passed Palermo. The king sits on his throne, surinto Ugo's hands. He is there joined by rounded by his court, when Rosalba advanRuggiero, who, after giving chase for a night ces at her father's command to receive inand day to the fugitives, saw them go down vestiture of Count Ugo's lands. Is it cerat sea, as he supposed, with Silisco's lost tain, the chief justiciary demands, that the treasures, and had then himself languished Count has made no will? Gerbetto, who at in fever for months on the coast of Calab- the king's command had attended Count ria. Ruggiero resolves to make an effort to Ugo, and was with him at his death, preprevent the marriage; but it has already sents the will of the deceased Count. It taken place before his tired horse can bear provides that his possessions shall devolve him to Palermo. The evening, however, of on Rosalba if she remains single ; but that the marriage-day is kept with mask and pa- if she marries they shall pass to the pilgrim geant. Ruggiero attends the festival, and Buonaiuto. That pilgrim is Silisco. His removing his mask, arraigns the bride for her suit is not long resisted by Rosalba. Rugfalsehood. Her reply brings out the state- giero, who had been cast off by Fiordeliza, ment made by the dying. Spadone respect- and vindictively pursued by the king, in ing Aretina, which Ruggiero at once con- consequence of unfounded jealousies, futes, revealing the crime of Spadone, of stands forth at the same moment, and which Silisco's ruin had been the conse- with Gerbetto’s aid refutes the charges that quence.

In the midst of the grief of the had been brought against him, receiving bride, and her father's anger, the aged from the king pardon and restitution, and bridegroom displays a magnanimity tor from Fiordeliza a gift that he values yet which none had given him credit. He de- more. clares that he can never recognize as valid There are many dramatic writers whose an engagement contracted under such cir- powers are rendered nugatory by the want cumstances, and that the calamity which of one great gift – a light hand. The gift has befallen them is the punishment of his may seem a slight one, but its absence soon own sin. On the death of his first wife, he proves its importance. As a specimen of it had vowed to go on a pilgrimage to the we will quote the following: Holy Sepulchre. Upon that pilgrimage he goes forth at once, and alone.

Fiordeliza. Let me alone, I say; I will Rosalba, quitting the court, takes refuge not dance. in the castle of Malespina. There she lives

Rosalba. Not if Ruggiero ask you ?

He indeed! in a seclusion, partaken only by her friend

If the Colossus came from Rhodes and ask'd Fiordeliza. The maiden solitude of the friends is a charming idyll of rural life, rich

Perhaps I might. in fancy, quaint in humour, and set forth


Come, Fiordeliza, come ; chiefly in that finer more and delicate

I think, if truth were spoken, 'tis not inach prose, the cadence of which is hardly less You have against that knight.




Fiordeliza. Not much, you think? | To look upon the lands that you have lost. Well, be it much or little, 'cis enough;

Silisco. To look upon the days that I have He has his faults.

lost, Rosalba. Recount me them ; what are Ruggiero, brings me less; and here I thought ther ?

To get behind them ; for my childhood here Fiordeliza. I'll pick you out a few; my Lies round me. · But it may not be. wallet: first,

He's grave; his coming puts a jest to flight That very childhood bitterly upbraids
As winter doth the swallow.

The manhood vain that did but travesty,

Something else, With empty and unseasonable mirth,
For this may be a merit; jests are oft Its joys and lightness. From each brake and
Or birils of prey or birds of kind unclean.

Fiordeliza. He's rude; he's stirring ever Where thoughtless sports had lawful time and
with his staff

place, A growling great she-bear that he calls The manly child rebukes the childish man; Truth.

And more reproof and bitterer do I read Rosalba. The rudeness is no virtue; but In many a peasant's face, whose leaden looks for love

My host the farmer construes to my shame.
Of that she-bear, a worser vice might pass. Injustice, rural tyranny, more dark

Than that of courts, have laid their brutal
Fiordeliza. He's slow, - slow as a tortoise, hands

On those that claim'd my tendance; want and
He was run over by a funeral.

Rosalba. He may have failings; but if And injury and outrage fill’d my lands,
these be all,

Whilst I, who saw it not, my substance threw
I wonld that others were as innocent. To feed the fradulent and tempt the weak.

Fiordeliza. Oh, others ! Say, then, who ? Ruggiero, with what glittering words soe'er

Nay, others — all; We smear the selfishness of waste, and count
I wish that all mankind were innocent. Our careless tossings bounties, this is sure,
Fiordeliza. Thou art a dear well-wisher of Man sinks not by a more unmanly vice

Than is that vice of prodigality
And, in a special charity, wishest well

Man finds not more dishonour than in debt."
To that good knight Silisco. What! dost

- Vol iii. p. 42.
blush ?
Rosalla. No; though you fain would make

In those self-reproaches we find the de-

No! What's this, velopment of that better life which dawned That with an invisible brush doth paint thee on Silisco when he first met Rosalba. The red?

change thus worked in him is a very differWell, I too can be charitable, and wish ent one from that imputed to beauty by Silisco were less wicked.

dramatists whose moralizing vein is often at Rosalba.

Is he wicked ?
Flordeliza. Is waste not wickedness ? and dramatists who reform a rake by a virtuous

least as dangerous as their immoralities;
know'st thoy not
The lands of Malespina day by day

woman's smile, and confirm the rickety virDiminish in his hands?

tue thus produced by the grace of matriRosalla.

True, waste is sin. mony :-
My mother (and no carking cares had she,
Nor loved the world too much nor the world's

“ Since that eve
In many a vigil of her last sick-bed

When, as you landed in the dimpled bay
Bid mc beware of spendthrifts, as of men

From Procida, I help'd you from the boat,

And touch'd your hand, and as the shallop That seeming in their youth not worse than


Embolden'd by your fears I . pardon
Would end not so, but with the season change;
For time, she said, which makes the serious soft,

I should not make you to remember more, -
Turns lightness into hardness.— Vol. iii. p 22. But since that moment when the frolicsome

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This theme is resumed in a later part of Toss'd you towards me, – blessings on their the play, when Silisco, to escape his creditors, flies from the court and takes refuge on I have not felt one kindling of a thought, the lands of Malespina. It will serve as an One working of a wish but you were in it; illustration of that deep moral seriousness The rising sun, that striking through the lat

tice which underlies the gayety of this play:

Awaken'd me, awaken'd you within me; Ruggiero. Why hither? It can bring you The darkness closing shut us up together : little joy

I saw you in the mountains, fields, and woods ; your voice,


Flowers breathed your breath, winds chanted | Men's spirits from the deep ; that pain may

And Nature's beauty clothed itself in yours. Be glorified, and passion flashing out
Then think not that my life, though idly led, Like noiseless lightning in a summer's night,'
Is tainted or impure or bound to sense, Show Nature in her bounds from peak to
Or if incapable of itself to soar,

chasm, Unworthy to be lifted from the dust

Awful, but not terrific. By love of what is lofty.” – Vol. iii. p. 25. Manager.

True, my Lord :

My very words ; 'tis what I always told them. Corruption is not cleansed by the mere Now, Folco, speak thy speech. beauty of purity, for it has filmed the eye Thatby a language of familiar lowness


'Tis a specch that sees purity. Silisco's refinement of

Enhances what of more heroic vein nature is indicated by his forbearance:

Is next to follow. But one fault it hath :

It fits too close to life's realities, “ Pardon me,

In truth to Nature missing truth to Art; I should not make you to remember more."

For Art commends not connterparts and copies,

But from our life a nobler life would shape, He becomes at the end but that which Bodies celestial from terrestrial raise, potentially he was from the beginning. And teach us, not jejunely what we ate, Rosalba had not failed to detect the inner But what we may be when the Parian block strength that lurked beneath the outward Yields to the hand of Phidias.” – Vol. iii. p. 7. lightness :

The criticism of Silisco on the histrionic “ Three long days had past

art is applicable not less to the art poetic, (Long though delightful, for they teem’d with and its suggestions were never more needed thoughts

than in our day. We live in a “ fast age,” As Maydays teem with flowers) since I had but if " he that runs may read,” it is to first

be feared that he will prefer what is written Beheld him, standing in the sunset lights,

in the largest and coarsest characters, to Beside a wreck half-buried in the sand

what requires a more steadfast attention. Upon the western shore. I see him now A radiant creature with the sunset glow

Loud words, big words, odd words, will rec

ommend themselves more than the unob Upon his face, that mingled with a glow Yet sunnier from within. When next we met trusive witcheries of common

66 words felt 'Twas here, as you have said; and then his in the fulness of their import.” But what mien

the eye takes in as quickly as the advertiseWas lighter, with an outward brightness clad, ments that adorn a railway station, it forFor all the Court was present; yet I saw gets no less rapidly. The poetry that lasts The other ardour through.” — Vol. iii. p. 77. is that which embodies thoughts, but so

embodies them that they sink at once upon The following passage embodies Mr. Tay- the slumbering feeling and wake it into lor's philosophy of art, His poetry, and life. But the thoughts wbich have this especially this play, may be considered as a talismanic power must be something more practical exemplification of it.

than striking, or even original thoughts.

They must be true thoughts. Thoughts Silisco. We'll have the scene where Brutus of a lower class may be had in any numfrom the bench

bers, thick as the "motes that people the Condemns his son to death. 'Twas you Rug- sunbeam,” and darken what they so people,

giero, Made me to love that scene.

but they are barren thoughts. Manager. I think, my Lord,

The extracts we have given are not We pleased you in it.

sufficient to illustrate the singular variety Ruggiero. Oh, you did, you did; of this play, but we can find room for only Yet still with reservations: and might I speak one

It should be premised that
My untaught mind to you that know your art, Lisana is the daughter of Gerbetto, the
I should beseech you not to stare and gasp king's physician. The king has formed an
And quiver, that the infection of the sense attachment to her, and pursues it with all
May make our flesh to creep; for as the hand the unscrupulousness that belongs to abso-
By tickling of our skin may make us laugh

Lisana, however, has been
More than the wit of Plautus, so these tricks
May make us shudder. But true art is this, betto when he follows Count Ugo on his

committed to the care of Ruggiero by Ger-
To set aside your sorrowful pantomime,
Pass by the senses, leave the flesh at rest,

pilgrimage. Defying the king's displeasure, And working by the witcheries of words Ruggiero has saved Lisana by withdrawing Felt in the fulness of their import, call her from court when its snares are closing

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