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ing convent. Another party proceeded to the prisons, and set the prisoners at liberty, while Cardinal Filomarini, Archbishop of Naples, à prelate highly respected by the populace, and indeed all ranks, vainly endeavoured to appease them; lie was told that peace could not be restored unless the Viceroy would give an instrument in writing, properly signed and sealed, to grant a release from taxes of every kind : a paper to this effect was produced, but was not attended with the desired effect. The good Archbishop, finding all his efforts useless, retired to his palace, and the insurgents proceeded to pull down the religious house in which the Viceroy had taken refuge, but by means of a ladder, he escaped over a garden-wall, and reached the castle of St. Elmo in safety. Thus, by the oppression of a bad minister, or the crimes of the inhabitants, Naples, the third city in Christian Europe, for beauty, extent, and population, which eleven hundred had been saved from the horrors of military execution by the mercy of Belisarius, was in the power of a frantic multitude, spreading fire and devastation in different quarters. Each man carrying a faggot at his back, and a flaming torch in his hand, they marched through the streets in military array; set fire to the dogana or public granary, an immense pile of building full of corn, the whole of which was quickly consumed ; destroying in their blind fury this salutary provision against a scanty harvest, the dread of famine was added to the horrors of conflagration. The Viceroy was censured for not crushing the commotion at its commencement; he haped, by mildness and lenient measures, to sooth the people's minds, and, at an early period, had abolished the oppressive taxes, ordering the loaf which used to weigh twenty-two ounces, to be augmented to thirty-two, without increasing the price; but in this, as in other cases of popular revolt, pacific measures were considered as the effects of fear rather than of good will. The insurgents being joined by every necessitous, bold, and bad man in Naples and its environs, by banditti, robbers and freebooters, they amounted to a hun dred thousand men, and unanimously chose Massaniello for their general; marching through the streets, he declared by sound of trumpet, that the Spanish government was dissolved, divided his followers into regiments and companies, appointed patrols and watch-words for the night, and ordered the great market-place, La Vinaro, and the Porta Nolana, to be the place of rendezvous. The Duke of Arcos, at that time Viceroy, thinking himself no longer secure in the castle of St. Elmo, retired in the night to Castelnovo, with the nobility, clergy, and principal citizens, having first ordered all the powder in the magazines to be moistened ; he surrounded the castle by a broad deep ditch, and a parapet of earth and faggots; the streets leading to the fort were barricadoed, and cannon placed at every avenue; the religious orders walked in procession, the cardinal offered up public prayers; the host, the head, and the miraculous liquefying blood of Saint Januarius were devoutly brought forth. A submissive message being sent to Massaniello, desiring to know what would satisfy the people, he received the Viceroy's messengers, clothed in armour, holding in his hand a sword unsheathed, and sitting on a horse richly caparisoned : having quieted the clamorous execrations of the multitude, he pointed out the various and abominable oppressions of the Spanish administration, and thus proceeded : “ Had the city been burnt to ashes, and our tyrants perished in the flames, it would have been only an act of justice; have not our friends, our wives, and our children been buried in dungeons, to satisfy cormorants and contractors, who fatten on the spoils of the public; have not the fruits of the earth, so bountifully bestowed on us by Providence, been rendered artificially scarce, for the purpose of putting money into the pockets of those who are already wallowing in abundance ? But it is better to amend than to destroy, and it is fairly justifiable to take power out of the hands of those who have abused it. I demand, in the name of the people of Naples, a perfect and entire restitution of all the privileges granted to this city by King Ferdinand and the Emperor Charles the Fifth, whose glorious arms are cut on a stone over my door. I require that the Viceroy, the collateral council of state, and the nobility, by oath, and a public instrument, binding themselves and their successors, shall ratify the charter; that the clerk of the market, and the capo populi, shall be actually nominated by the people, without any interposition of the Viceroy ; that no tax of any kind sħali be laid without the consent of the last mentioned officer, and that a refusal to pay taxes, laid on against his will, shall not be considered as treason. Such are our demands, and we will rather die than recede from them, and may God save the faithful people of Naples; but a cruel and perfidious government, who have almost starved us, never shall prosper."
An instrument drawn up to this effect, signed and sealed, was prepared, and in addition to the conditions already specified, Massaniello further insisted that the elect of the people, in all public proceed. ings, should be considered as possessing, and be actually allowed, as many votes as the whole of the nobility; that the multitude should not disarm till the King of Spain had ratified the terms, and that a copy of the present treaty should be cut in large letters, on marble, and be set up in different parts of the city. The popular leader had been prevailed on, with considerable difficulty, to change his fisherman's dress for a splendid habit, crying out as he put it on, “I am only a poor fisherman.” Having dismissed the deputies to report his answer to the Vice. roy, and appointed a meeting to ratify the treaty in the great church, it was read aloud in that place, the people signifying their consent by loud acclamations. At the door of the cathedral he received an invi. tation from the Duke of Arcos, to favour him with an interview, to which Massaniello consented; in the way to Castelnovo, the streets were strewed with palm and olive branches, the windows, balconies and roofs of the houses, crowded with spectators, and hung with rich tapestry, while the fisherman was saluted from every quarter as the deliverer of his country; young men and maidens, with garlands of flowers, and in loose white robes, celebrating his praises, and joining the procession with vocal and instrumental music. When they reached the gate of the castle, the guard received and saluted Massaniello as a general officer, and the captain on duty informed him that the Viceroy waited his pleasure in the chamber of audience. Making a slight bow to the officer, he turned to the people, and moving his sword as a signal for silence, thus addressed them: “My dear companions and countrymen, let us offer up our prayers to God for the recovery of our liberties; we shall no longer groan under unfeeling task-masters, but enjoy the fruits of our industry without hateful collectors. I see that your countenances are enlivened with joy, and who would not be glad on an occasion like the present; some of you, I understand, can scarce believe it to be anything but a dream ; indeed, my friends, it is no delusion. Behold in my hand the precious pledges of the blessings we have recovered; these are the charters of the Emperor Charles the Fifth, and of Ferdinand. I have been accused by some of having selfish motives for the conduct I have pursued, and that it is on this account I display the advantages that have been procured. I appeal to you, my Lord Archbishop, and to the Viceroy's secretary, who stands near the Cardinal, whether I did not, early in the present business, refuse a pension of two hundred crowns a month, which was offered me on condition that I would undertake to dissuade the people from asserting their rights! (The prelate and secretary confirmed what he said.). I will not puzzle you with a long speech, but shall conclude with giving you two pieces of advice,—not to lay down your arms till the confirmation of your privileges arrives from Spain, and not to place too much confidence in the promises of courtiers. I am now going to speak with the Duke of Arcos, and shall probably return in a short time; but if you do not see me safe and at liberty by seven o'clock to-morrow morning, you may take it for granted there has been treachery, and will of course take such methods of revenge as you may judge necessary.”
Massaniello was then conducted to the Duke, with whom he had a long audience, and from the castle repaired to his own house, where he received the congratulations of the principal inhabitants of the city. For seven days, during which period he was absolute master of the lives and fortunes of all in Naples, and had he ordered thousands to have been put to death, or the city to have been upset from its foundations, it would have been instantly done! during the whole of the time, he had conducted himself with a prudence, regularity, and foresight, as praiseworthy as it was unexpected; but whilst he was thus enjoying that first, best pleasure of power and influence, the consciousness of having exerted it for the welfare of mankind, this popular leader was afflicted with a malady, which levels the proud lord of the creation with the meanest reptile he crushes on the ground. From fatigue of body and mind, as he scarcely allowed himself the necessary refreshments of food and sleep, or, as was suspected, but never proved, from the effect of intoxicating drugs infused in his liquors, symptoms of frenzy and madness appeared; he treated his friends and associates with insolence, outrage, and abuse; tore his clothes from his body, and rode, with a drawn sword, furiously through the streets, wounding and killing many persons. The Neapolitans beheld the deplorable state of their favourite with deep regret, and after receiving assurances from the Viceroy, that whatever he had promised should be sacredly performed, and that their privileges should remain inviolate, they declared that Massaniello was no longer their general: the council
, fearing the most dreadful consequences from a madman at the head of a mob, sent a military detachment with orders to put him to death. The unfortunate fisherman had been haranguing the people from the pulpit of the great church, in an incoherent mixture of reproach, justification, and penitence, for he perceived he had lost the confidence of his followers ; from the church he was conducted into an adjoining cloister, struggling in the agonies of disease, madness, and despair; hearing his name mentioned, he turned quickly round, saying, "Is it me you look for, my people; behold, I am here." The soldiers at the instant discharged their muskets, and he dropped on the pavement, exclaiming with his last breath, “Ah! ungrateful traitors."
A magnificent funeral followed his death; the reign of the fisherman is still handed down among the lowest classes of Naples, by popular tradition; and the modern Lazzaroni, alternately excited by superstition, hunger, and sedition, dwell with enthusiasm on the short but splendid triumphs of Massaniello. The obnoxious taxes in a short time again were levied, and again produced ineffectual resistance; so unavailing are attempts at amendment in governments radically defective in their forms; where the voice of the people is not concentrated by a representative body, organised, frequently meeting, tempered by precautionary formality, and cooled by deliberate delay; the guardians of the public purse, and, subject to an aristocratic as well as an executive check; endued with legislative power : such an assembly, secured from corruption, at some moment more auspicious to human integrity, seems to be the best protector of rational freedom against popular as well as regal despotism.
! ANNIHILATION, far preferable to everlasting punishment; vet a late writer is of a different opinion. Describing the heroine of her tale as suffering under the agitations of love on its first accession, she thus proceeds: "" The walks were melancholy, and the company insipid; everything seemed altered, but it was herself who was changed; yet, though she found herself less happy, she felt that to enjoy the happiness she had lost, she would not again be reduced to the being she was before. Thus does the lover consider the extinction of his passion with the same horror as the libertine looks upon annihilation; the one would rather live hereafter, though in eternal punishment, than cease to exist." Nothing can be more opposite to fact, feeling, and every day's experience; I never yet knew a wicked man, and I have had intercourse with a few in my time, who would not merely have preferred a state of nonexistence to everlasting punishment, or even the awful risk of it, but have earnestly and eagerly desired it.
It is precisely on this principle that ancient and modern freethinkers have persuaded, or have endeavoured to persuade themselves of the mortality of the human soul. A short illustration of this opinion, founded on the conduct of suicides, some of which have presented themselves to the eye,
and have come home to the bosom of the editor of these pages, may be seen in the latter part of the article CORONER.
ANNIUS, JOHN, a Dominican friar of the fifteenth century, a learned man, and an impostor, who excited considerable attention by asserting that he had discovered the works of many ancient authors which have been generally considered as lost; he pretended to have recovered Berosus, Manethon, Archilochus, Cato, and Fabius Pictor. Literary men received his intelligence with doubt and suspicion : for the purpose of supporting what he had said, he published a book, the title of which is, Antiquitatum variarum volumina XVII, a venerando sacre theologiæ, et prædicatorii ordinis professore Johanne Annio. Like
persons of a similar description in modern times, he was not without patrons and believers ; relying on their credit, or his own assurance, he did not condescend to give any particular account of the manner in which he became possessed of these remains of antiquity; in a short epistle, addressed to his brother, which is not prefixed to, but in the latter part of the copy before me, Annius contents himself, but not his readers, by saying that he brought them with him from Mantua. There is nothing in the work he published but what any dexterous well read man might easily have produced ; in addition to this internal evidence, there were strong collateral circumstances which rendered his being a deceiver extremely probable. He had endeavoured to convince the inhabitants of Viterbo, the place of his birth, that it was originally an Egyptian colony, at least two thousand years older than Rome; to prove what he said, he brought forth several inscriptions, bearing every appearance of antiquity, and which had been dug up in the environs of that city; by the confession of an accomplice in the fraud, he had himself previously deposited them in the earth. Annius was master of the sacred palace during the pontificate of Roderigo Borgia Lenzoli, who exalted the authority, but disgraced the name of Pope, under the title of Alexander the Sixth; he was also patronised by Paulus de Campo Fulgoso, a Roman cardinal: the general answer, given by his abettors to those who ventured to doubt the authenticity of the pieces in question, was, that it was impossible for an individual humbly endowed, to fabricate that which is equal to the most precious remains of the Augustan age. This argument has been made use of by the defenders of Chatterton and the encouragers of the Shakspeare forgery, but it will not bear examination ; each impostor having exhibited considerable art, industry, and extensive reading. That the fabrications, in either instance, made any near approaches to Augustan literature, is easier said than proved.
The work of Annius has often been printed; at Rome in 1498 ; at Venice, and at Antwerp, in 1552. The book I am now perusing has not any place mentioned in the title, but must have been published at Paris, from a short address, prefixed to it by the learned printer, Jodocus Badius, to Gulielmus Parvus, Petit, or Little, who, I believe, was afterwards Bishop of Troyes, and dated 1512. In this short but curious preliminary piece, Badius observes, that God thought two great lights sufficient for the heavens, but that he has scattered many bright luminaries on the face of the earth; of these the most refulgent is Thomas Aquinas; among the stars of a second magnitude, Annius of Viterbo ought not to be forgotten. This printer was rallied by one of his