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Doré; Essays Biographical and Critical, by by Her Majesty Victoria.
by W. W. Lord-Plays and Poems, by
Libraries - Communications for the “K&-
A Town Eclogue–The Academy of Design,
Spring Exhibition-Phonographic Poetry-
ver's Architectural Instructor-Haswell's
A Leaf from the Century Papers—A Morning
in the Studios—Church-Elliott-Hicks-
Kensett-Lang-A great Pest--Five Pounds
Reward-Model Criticism-Short Answers
to Long Letters.
June - Church's Niagara - Barbison - Sack
and Sugar–The Parks of Cincinnati. 664
- Dickens's Works for Little Folks. 3922 loth to leave us—The necessities of Wintor
Fowler's American Pulpit-Mrs. Sigour. Day in New York-Balls, public and pri-
Young New York-M. Thalberg-Darley's
Wandesforde's Picture of Florence Nigbt.
An oid Adage-The Love of Art-justinus
pers—Elliott's New. England History-08- tivate Society-The great Cities of Europe
and their Charms—The Arts of Europe-
Dullness of American Society-There is no
want of Liberality in America-Everybody
wants the Opera-Difficulties in the way-
548 Why is this ?—The Enterprising Mr. Stra.
kosch-An Opera can be established in Now
York—The début of Madame de Wilhorst
-Wallack's Theatre and Miss Matilda
Marbles—The Crystal Palace, and what we
COMMENTS ON CURRENT MATTERS. - Con. of things-Balls vs. Processions, Spectacles,
gress was openod last month-Some Revo- etc.—Dancing Women-Christendom eman.
getfulness of our Tradesmen, Mechanics,
I Magazine of Literature, Science, and Art.
VOL. IX.—JANUARY, 1857.—NO. XLIX.
ITALIANS IN AMERICA.
N urbane violinist from Como, who was such a violation of the current philo
led the orchestra in the theatre of sophy of life, such a free, irresponsible, my native town, first revealed to me the genial exception to the general rule, Epicurean side of life. My elders of that it fairly bewildered me ; and all the that austere community, were anxious answer I could obtain, when trying to plodders; they did everything by rule; solve the problem by catechising my å thrifty, grave set, whose ideal was re- respectable fellow-citizens, was, " He's spectability, and their universal test an Italian.” Happy race, thought I, excommon senso-formalists, utilitari- empt from care, children of nature, livans, who eat, walked, transacted busi- ing by music! But there was ness, married and died, with little ap- more specimen of the nation among us, parent emotion, and in a perfectly whose demeanor quite contradicted my decent but extremely uninteresting theory. Every afternoon he passed way. Sometimes a vague idea Alitted our house, looking so melancholy and across my overtasked brain, that there abstracted that it made one pity his was another kind of life somewhere on beautiful little greyhound, who followed earth; and, as a child, I wished myself as if afraid to gambol. That slender and Mungo Park, with that amiable negress sad figure was a perfect contrast to the singing to me in the African desert, round, chirping musician; and even the Crusoe's man Friday, milking goats, or tinkle of his dog's silver bells was foreven poor Belzoni, half-smothered in eign to merriment. One day, when the mummy-dust in an Egyptian cata- hush and gloom of an impending thuncomb at least, that I might try another der-storm made our quict street more mundane sphere ; but it was the jolly deserted than usual, he went by with a violinist who, apart from books, con- shadow, deeper than the heavens wore, vinced me there was an absolutely en- on his pale forehead, and the dark eye joyable vein in the mere act of living, a below seemed alive with the latent fire way to take things easy, a possible art of a mad resolve ; he ascended the of being happy. He used to breakfast in granite steps of a mansion, where we a flowered robe de chambre at ten hnd often seen him keeping vigil in the o'clock, chat, by the half hour, with any summer moonlight; it was the home of one who would stop with him at the a fair, wealthy pupil, whom he had street corner, take zestful pinches of wooed in vain; the servant hesitated to souff, pat boys on the head, laugh at admit him; he rushed by, ascended to mere trifles, look in at shop windows, the lady's boudoir, demanded again to nibble lumps of sugar, pet a canary, know her final answer to his irresistible and, every night, flourish his bow with a passion, was once more calmly but good-will that was magnetic. All this firmly denied, placed a pistol to his
breast and shot himself dead. His corpse shake off the irritating load of unprostretched on the floor, with the little vided labor; and there is no class of dog crouched upon the breathless emigrants, who, from their want of chest, and moaning piteously, was & adaptation, strong home attachments, spectacle not to be erased from a young and inability to cope with a new climate and appalled heart. This early experi- and foreign habits, claim such ready ence of the actual comedy and tragedy sympathy. Among the large intermeof human life, identified both, to my im- diate class, between the contadini and agination, with Italianls. Years after, the highly cultivated, this natural inaptiin their beautiful land, the manners, the tude, sensitiveness, and ignorance of incidents, the associations and the the world, produce some ludicrous conliterature expanded and confirmed this trasts of character and circumstances, impression. ‘I witnessed their demon- they often prove the most difficult peostrative habits, the gestures of the mar- ple to help, the most amiable of market-place, the language of the passions, plots, as a few sketches of my prothe emotional temperament, the ardor, iégés will illustrate : the sensibility, and the exaggeration so Dottore brought municipal certificharacteristic of that home of genius, cates, heavy with seals and faded ribbeauty and woe. I found the glow of his- bons, and chirography attesting his cotory and art in the living men and wo- ragio during a pestilence in the little men around me : Salvator's wildness, town of the Roman states, where his Machiavelli's cunning, Raphael's ten- life hitherto bad glided on serenely derness, Tasso's romance, Dante's between monotonous provincial bounds. gloom, Alfieri's pride, Boccaccio's luxu. Swarthy, melancholic, and sensitive, he ry of sensation, Titian's radiant color, wore only black--not even a blanched Bellini's sentiment, Petrarch's grace, collar relieving the solemn costume; yet visible on the bright surface or lithe, nervous, agile, brooding, and shadowy depth of actual life; and under- martyr-like, he looked unutterable woe stood why, on this soil, the great poet of from his dark, gloomy eye to his fitting our common nature sought the dra- smile and deprecating motion—a genmatio story and the impassioned char- tle cross between Machiavelli and Wer acter, whereon to graft his matchless ther. For his narrow experience and conceptions. Hence, in the more re- delicate organization the political crisis strained and uniform life around me, I had proved too great a trial. Sent to cannot pass unbeeded any remnant or the Roman assembly, because of his pritoken of that ardent clime. Even the vata worth, the bold words of the Tripoor organ-grinder is to me a pilgrim umvir and the fierce valor of Garibaldi, from the land of song, and the image. the noise of bombs, the glitter of French vender a "missionary of art;" frescos bayonets and the sacrifice of patriots, and maccaroni breathe of Rome and were too much for nerve and heart; he Naples; an old master, or the sem- stole off with the earliest fugitives and blance of one, inspires reverence, and succeeded in reaching America unthe tenor who is 80 ridiculously jealous scathed; but a thousand fears purof the prima donna, the basso who is so sued him/he was jealous of his wife boastful of his hunting achievements, left behind ; jealous of his brother exiles; and only shoots sparrows, and blows jealous of his new patrons ; of Austrian off bis fingers; and the barytone who spies; of encroaching poverty ; of the has such a conceit of his horseman. law, and the Pope. He had a habit of ship and rides like a goose, excite a cer- stepping quickly aside, as if in danger of tain sympathy—they are so like chil- A shot ; of gliding stealthily; of glancing dren in the dwarfed manhood of their furtively-he acted like a man with nation's civic infancy, dashed to sub- blood-hounds on his track and a price serviency by ill-fortune, and elated to on his head, and this unconscious becomplacent self-confidence by success. trayal of an apprehensive mood in an
Italian refugeer, without resources American city, was & most affecting or education, suffer, here and else- token of the keen and cruel despotism where, the worst penalties of expa- be had tried to brave and vainly escaped. triation. The recent appeal of nine His
presence was like
“ coming Tuscan peasants to the municipal au- events," and “cast a shadow before." thorities of New York, exposes the He would sit for hours, silent, dark, fraudulent means resorted to abroad, to almost reproachful, in gay drawingrooms, and amid cheerful company. his humor, he responded, in a lofty and He grew tremulous when liberal opin- deprecating tone, “Signor, sono sol. ions were ascribed to him, repudiated dato.” Had he been the commandant of the Italian movement as a mistake, a fortress, and myself his prisoner, he identified Mazzini's doctrines with fa- could not have stood more thoroughly on naticism, lamented his own credulity, his professional dignity. Although Carlo and heartily wished himself uncom- Alberto's army had long since ceased promised as of old, in his little house to exist, he spoke of it as if entrenched in the pontifical states. The difficul- near by, and himself absent on leave. ty in securing classes for Il Dottore was, All this time the poor fellow was destithat he gave young people the blues. tute, and his ostensible motive for very They began by sympathizing with the frequent visits was to obtain pupils. melancholy exile, but soon finding him Those I succeeded in finding, soon grew inaccessible and suspicious, the lesson weary of his military reserve and aubecame a penance, and the soft bas- thoritative pronunciation, and regarded tard Latin' fraught with Dantesque as- him as a frigid Thaddeus of Warsaw; sociations of darkness and doom. his malo pupils feared a challenge, his
Every week, Il Dottore came to me female a catastrophe, so intent,palert, with an injured air, and declared he official, and resolute was his air. He should withdraw from this and the would bow stiffy upon entering the other pupil-acquired with no little dif. room, place himself squarely in a seat, ficulty-because convinced that he was fix his eyes, fold his arms, hear the lesemployed merely from pity; another son as if it were an indictment for treabe renounced for the reason that they son, correct an error sternly, and, with differed in political opinions; a third "grim-visaged war" on his brow, seem showed too much levity ; a fourth was every moment about to chant, in a deep anti-Catholic. One day he abruptly took bass voice, Suoni la tromba! Nervous his leave, saying he should go to Iowa, students were discomfited, and when and cultivate the soil. I ventured to they resigned this ungenial tuition, and hint that bis delicate frame was inade. ventured some excuso or sympathizing quate to rude labor; that his small sav- word with the quarter's payment, the ings would not purchase land enough; giovane soldato would thrust the cash that his education and tastes would uncounted into his breast-pocket and not coalesce with hardy and illiterate gravely reply-Sono in esiglio ; vivo per neighbors : be was deaf to such reason- la patria mia ; addio! and march forth ing, and, with visions of Cincinnatus, like the leader of a forlorn hope about Ferney and Vaucluse, went forth to see to storm an entrenchment. When his castle in the air vanish before the France and England declared war chills, fever, and isolation of a wet prai- against Russia, he came to me with an rie.
Extra Sun in one hand, and an AmeriMy next prolégé was of the species can passport in the other, refusing to be militaire. He had served under Guer- seated; and, with his napless bat under azzi in Tuscany, and delivered critical his arm, and his high stock buckled dissertations upon that unfortunate pa- tighter than ever, announced his intentriot's conduct, as technical and verbose tion of embarking for Turkey the next as Uncle Toby's
on the famous seige of day, to join the Allies. In vain I repreNamur. He affected brief sentences, sented that this measure would bring no made copious use of phrases rife among advantage to his country. He complasoldiers, and had the air of a man cently informed me that when Russia fresh from camp. He wore a faded was subdued, the Italian regiments blue coat, buttoned up to the chin; his would instantly proceed to take Rome, head was always erect, his gesture ab- bring King Bomba to a court-martial, rupt, his eye stern, and his intonation and force Sardinia to declare a republic; that of one accustomed to call the and, with this programme sonorously roll or echo an order. His very buon enunciated, he gave me a military salute giorno was exploded from under his and disappeared forever. fierce moustache. If I ventured an Then came the Avocalo, who had made opinion on the state of Europe, be a figure at the bar of Venice in his youth, answered by army statistics ; if I sug- and helped overhaul the treacherous argestod a diversion, an acquaintance, chives of Austrian rule, when that romanor a book that did not chime in with tic city fell into the hands of the revolu
tionists. He had what De Stael attributed invincible obstacle or an irreconcilable to Gouverneur Morris, l'air très imposant; wrong. Solemnly, earnestly, and thrillhis iron-gray hair and lofty forehead, ingly spoke the Avocato : “ Per tre broad chest, deliberate carriage and dis- mesi, Signore, che io sono stato attacato a tinct, emphatic speech, seemed to assure quel collegio, mi hanno dato brodo a me that an exile of the rational school pranzo tre volte soltante." During had now appeared. There was no im- three months, sir, that I have been conpulse in his manner, look, or words; nected with that college, they gave me every idea he expressed was a formula; soup, at dinner, but three times!" even words of mere courtesy were ar- There is still an evident inkling of the ranged like a proposition; all he had feudal sentimentof dependence in the redone and intended to do—from a pro- lation between Italian peasants and heregramme of civil government to the ditary landowners; and it is very imchoice of a lodging, from a system of pressive to an American to recognize this tuition to the tio of a cravat-was logic. feeling in such of the humbler class as ally-stated. Instes the exuberant, become either his employés or prolégés. random blood of “Young Italy," here, The appeal to “excellenza's protezione" I thought, was an old-fashioned formal. is strange to republican ears, and the ex. ist, whom it was only requisite to put in pectations thereby cherished quite roa satisfactory traek, and be trould jog mantic; but, the sentiment, if striking on prosperously. This view was en- from its novelty in Italy, is almost lucouraged by the definite aim and sonsi- dicrous, from its contrast to popular die expectations of the poor Avocato, babits and the prevalent self-reliance in whose scrupulously clean, but throad- New York. I readily forgave, therebare, apparel binted too plainly the fore, the surprised grin of the waiter need of immediate employment. He who bebeld my first interview with proposed to find a situation as teacher Zanetti—a comical-looking fellow, half of languages in a college, and there was contadino and half exquisite, with a that in his manners and appearance dash of the harlequin and
a smattering of which carried with them a strong re- all accomplishments, gyratory, rhetorical commendation for such an office. Let- and poetic. He wore a conical hat, a ters were, accordingly, written, profes- slashed velvet coat, a very, gay vest, sors consulted, testimonials forwardedsomewhat tarnished, a glittering brooch, and interest made in every quarter ; at and elaborate watch-chain-exhibiting last came an offer from Michigan, terms, altogether the kind of flash poverty that situation, and prospects all that could be instantly reveals a continental origin. hoped for, and I soon had the pleasure He led by the hand a little boy, arrayed to know that my dignified and argu
in silk of varied tints, with a smutched mentative friend was installed in a re- face and a brilliant eye. The pair looked spectable and sufficiently lucrative post. like actors fresh from the foot-lights ; A few months elapsed, when he made the father was about to drop on his his appearance once more, better dress. knees as be proffered a begrimed letter ed, more robust, and a little more lofty of introduction, addressed, as he reverin his air ; bis salutation was, as usual, entially declared, to the Americano elaborate and exact; when conclud. amico d'Italia, whom he considered ed, he spoke of the weather, the last his unica speranza in a land whose lannows from abroad, and other incidental guago he could not speak, and where, topics, and, upon my inquiring the prob- having just landed with only six dollars, able time of his absence from the col- an invalid wife, and this carissimo bamlege, he smiled sarcastically, and re- bino, he confidently expected to gain marked that he had left never to return. fame and fortune, his illustrissimo proI ventured to ask if there was any better tettore to provide for him, meanwhile ! place in view ? “None whatever." Here was a now dilemma—the Italian ** And pray, signor, may I inquire why Monsieur Tonson once more under a new you gave up so desirable a ineans of metamorphosis; a foreign cross between subsistence after the trouble we had in Skimpole and Micawber. In a few procuring it?" He drew himself up, days he brought me a circular to transraised his band gracefully, and assumed late, which would have done honor to that overwhelming look with which law- the ingenious eloquence of the latter ; yers adduco final testiinony or clinch an so nicely were mingled in its composiargument. I was prepared to hear of an tion, the plea of domestic love and want,