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ment and sophistry current in the dark days that closed the eighteenth century.

The count and Mr. B. were at last obliged to bring their interview to a close, as we were to reach Spolito that night. I had listened to them in deep disgust, but from a curiosity to ascertain the extent to which the minds of men can be perverted by false and wicked notions of political liberty. It was consoling to remember that the whole was moonshinethat Italy, not able to govern herself, was well kept in check by foreign powers that the Pope was safe at Rome, guarded by ten thousand French, and Radetzky at Milan, heading a perfect army of civil, quiet Austrian soldiers, whose name was Legion-that the laws were respected, the towns thriving, the land cultivated, no Italian allowed to carry arms, and, most of all fortunate, that Mr. Mazzini and his admirers were far away in the north, with as little chance of really upsetting the peace of Italy by their detestable cabals, as Ledru Rollin has of succeeding Louis Napoleon on the throne of France. Foligno, we learned, is strangely subject to earthquakes, which have created great alarm from their constant recurrence. I cannot investigate the scientific causes, but I can plainly see that all this country, for some distance on the other side of Perugia, has a wild calcareous aspect, indicative of all sorts of commotions among the elements. The lake of Thrasimene, too, rising in a dry plain, à propos to nothing as it were, and neither feeding nor receiving any considerable rivers, may that not, too, be of volcanic origin? The day was now drawing to a close, and I neither saw the Flammian Way which we had now entered, nor "the sweetest wave of the most living crystal" ascribed to the classical Clitumnus, which, however, I fancy, must be an excessively insignificant brook, from the general aspect of the country. The temple, too, of the River God was passed unheeded by, for, truth to tell, we were in great trepidation about our luggage, and eagerly watching the back of the carriage out of the window, lest the boxes fastened on behind should be cut off. I cannot at all agree with Dickens, who declares, in a similar position, "that he should really have felt obliged to any one for taking them away." I was not so stoical, and strained my neck to overlook my property. The vetturino got so exceedingly nervous as the darkness increased, that I was heartily glad to find ourselves safely arrived at Spolito. Our whole road from Foligno had been along a level tract, skirting the base of lofty mountains, which in the morning we must traverse. High before us we had long seen the lights of Spolito, and were quite uncertain whether we were looking at the stars or any meaner light-a question settled at last by the real Simon Pure, the stars themselves appearing and showing by their brilliancy their heaven-born origin.

The inn at Spolito is extremely comfortable, and the people civil. We were, of course, preceded by another vetturino-our driver having a magnanimous habit of sacrificing us to all comers, by pertinaciously taking the lowest place in the road-so we only came off second best in accommodation, and dined in a sort of outer chamber. I was extremely amused by the process of bed-making, the performers consisting of two great women and a very small boy, who marched in a sort of procession in and out each room, the little boy shaking up the bed-a monstrous effort for such a dwarf-while the tall females stood by as spectators, only condescending themselves to spread the sheets.

"startling facts" enough to form a pamphlet. What a queer, downright practical man he was, Mr. B., always grappling with some positive evil, or planning some positive reform. Romantic, dreamy Italy-where one is lulled to mental slumber amid the memories of the past, and forgets the present altogether as much as is compatible with a luxurious state of actual enjoyment-was the last place for such a work-a-day spirit as his. Indeed, he never could have supported the dreamy inactivity of such a life had his mind not been perpetually occupied with the approaching revolution, and its practical results on the country and population, to say nothing of his constant observations and speculations about the meat at various places, of which particulars I really believe he kept a diary, chronicling his remarks as others put down their ideas about scenery or pictures. At Foligno-which, by the way, is a pretty thriving little town, with two or three handsome buildings, and a most abundant market, all the animal and vegetable riches of the district being displayed in the grand Piazza as we passed through-at Foligno, then, Mr. B. encountered a friend and congenial spirit in the person of Count M., known currently as the "Red Count," who chanced to be travelling from Rome to Florence. To tell how these two men retired to the inn, and how and in what spirit they discussed the affairs of Italy, would be impossible. The Italian, fiery, voluble, and eloquent, discoursed like a railroad; while Mr. B., under the influence of strong excitement on his favourite theme, threw off all British morgue, and with staring eyes and loud voice proclaimed the near liberation of Italy-the plans Mazzini had confided to him about regaining Rome-the probability of a recurrence of the Sicilian Vespers the certain murder and massacre of every "stoled priest and robed friar," together with a thousand other horrors. The "Red Count" received these sanguinary communications with ecstasies of delight; fond of anarchy, as his name denoted, he anticipated with rapture the rivers of blood about to flow to purify and invigorate the thirsty land. "I,” said he, in furore, "will also grasp the sword. I will shed the blood of the stranger and oppressor of our dear country. I was compromised in '48, when tyranny triumphed; but when once more liberty spreads her banner over my country, we will have no political measure, but we will have their life!" To my astonishment, Mr. B. fully concurred in these wild and horrid sentiments; nor could I have imagined two men, outwardly humane and pleasing in person and manners, nourishing such murderous projects, did I not know from former experience the extent such sentiments can go, and the distortion of judgment that ensues when men actually fancy themselves saviours and regenerators of their country, while conspiring murder and anarchy.

It was under similar hallucinations that Marat and Robespierre called themselves liberators of France, while they drew her heart's blood, and would positively have annihilated her population, had the knife they loved so well not been timely directed against themselves. The rabid state of the Italian revolutionists is perfectly dreadful. Ever of a violent and excited nature, once roused on this subject they become very wild beasts in language, sentiment, and, occasion offering, in action. In their opinion, to murder the clergy, the foreign soldier, or the political opponent, is an act of justice agreeable to Heaven and dear to Italy, be it in open rebellion or by private treachery; and many otherwise good and really conscientious persons avow these sentiments, and justify them by every argu

ment and sophistry current in the dark days that closed the eighteenth century.

The count and Mr. B. were at last obliged to bring their interview to a close, as we were to reach Spolito that night. I had listened to them in deep disgust, but from a curiosity to ascertain the extent to which the minds of men can be perverted by false and wicked notions of political liberty. It was consoling to remember that the whole was moonshinethat Italy, not able to govern herself, was well kept in check by foreign powers that the Pope was safe at Rome, guarded by ten thousand French, and Radetzky at Milan, heading a perfect army of civil, quiet Austrian soldiers, whose name was Legion-that the laws were respected, the towns thriving, the land cultivated, no Italian allowed to carry arms, and, most of all fortunate, that Mr. Mazzini and his admirers were far away in the north, with as little chance of really upsetting the peace of Italy by their detestable cabals, as Ledru Rollin has of succeeding Louis Napoleon on the throne of France. Foligno, we learned, is strangely subject to earthquakes, which have created great alarm from their constant recurrence. I cannot investigate the scientific causes, but I can plainly see that all this country, for some distance on the other side of Perugia, has a wild calcareous aspect, indicative of all sorts of commotions among the elements. The lake of Thrasimene, too, rising in a dry plain, à propos to nothing as it were, and neither feeding nor receiving any considerable rivers, may that not, too, be of volcanic origin? The day was now drawing to a close, and I neither saw the Flammian Way which we had now entered, nor "the sweetest wave of the most living crystal" ascribed to the classical Clitumnus, which, however, I fancy, must excessively insignificant brook, from the general aspect of the country. The temple, too, of the River God was passed unheeded by, for, truth to tell, we were in great trepidation about our luggage, and eagerly watching the back of the carriage out of the window, lest the boxes fastened on behind should be cut off. I cannot at all agree with Dickens, who declares, in a similar position, "that he should really have felt obliged to any one for taking them away." I was not so stoical, and strained my neck to overlook my property. The vetturino got so exceedingly nervous as the darkness increased, that I was heartily glad to find ourselves safely arrived at Spolito. Our whole road from Foligno had been along a level tract, skirting the base of lofty mountains, which in the morning we must traverse. High before us we had long seen the lights of Spolito, and were quite uncertain whether we were looking at the stars or any meaner light-a question settled at last by the real Simon Pure, the stars themselves appearing and showing by their brilliancy their heaven-born origin.

an

The inn at Spolito is extremely comfortable, and the people civil. We were, of course, preceded by another vetturino-our driver having a magnanimous habit of sacrificing us to all comers, by pertinaciously taking the lowest place in the road-so we only came off second best in accommodation, and dined in a sort of outer chamber. I was extremely amused by the process of bed-making, the performers consisting of two great women and a very small boy, who marched in a sort of procession in and out each room, the little boy shaking up the bed-a monstrous effort for such a dwarf-while the tall females stood by as spectators, only condescending themselves to spread the sheets.

VENEDEY'S HISTORY OF THE GERMAN NATION.*

ONE of the acknowledged wants of the day, and one which we are afraid it must be left to the coming man, or Mr. Macaulay's New Zealander, to satisfy, is a fair and impartial history of Germany, describing the rise and fall of the empire without arrière pensée or clannish spirit. It is not from the lack of attempts which have been made from time to time in every possible tone and tendency-reactionary, republican, national, and partisan. But can the most sincere admirer of German literature allow that he has yet come across an impartial history of Germany, enabling him to decide as to the causes which have led to the present abject condition of Germany, when compared with the glories of the middle ages? In default of this desirable consummation we are forced to put up with such fare as German littérateurs periodically dispense to us, and from this point of view we have no hesitation in asserting that Mr. Venedey's history, of which two volumes have already appeared, and which is evidently a labour of love to him, is one of the completest works which the German student can consult, if he desire to make himself practically acquainted with the history of a kindred people.

But the great charm, to our minds, which Venedey's work possesses, is that he sedulously avoids those laboured disquisitions about nothing to which the Teutonic mind is so predisposed, and contents himself with describing, in a lively and readable form, the various events of German history which have had an influence on its destiny. And it is a subject deserving serious consideration, when we reflect that the Germanic tribes were destined, under Providence, to fill up the gap occasioned by the dissolution of the Roman Empire. Two objects, however, had to be fulfilled-namely, the regeneration of the nations composing the Roman Empire, and, at the same time, the self-preservation of the German nationality. This regeneration the East German migratory tribes had pre-eminently undertaken, and fulfilled their mission, in a great measure, in the kingdoms they had conquered. The destruction of Rome, the repulsion of the Huns into Asia, and of the Saracens to Africa, were the first successes of the Germanic race, and they were sufficient to prove the youthful energy of the Teutonic element. At the same time, Italy, Spain, France, England, and from England a new world, were regenerated by the Germans and their descendants. The mission of preserving and fostering Germanity was rather the property of the Western Germans; and one of the Teutonic tribes-the Anglo-Saxons-has been enabled to maintain the vigour of the German race in its entirety until now, and has even been enabled to transfer it to a new world. In fact, the whole past of Europe is so closely connected with that of the Germans, that it is impossible to write any history without referring pre-eminently to the distinguished part the Teutons have played in the history of our own country and that of the affiliated nations.

And, of a truth, the history of Germany is one of the finest romances

*Geschichte des Deutschen Volkes von den ältesten Zeiten bis auf die Gegenwart. Von Jacob Venedey. Vols. I. and II. Berlin: Franz Duncker.

to which the curious student can refer. He will find in it the perfectness of chivalry, the most interesting details of the mutual relations of lord and vassal, and the most curious description of the intrigues which eventually led to the practical dissolution of the Germanic Empire. The extraordinary change which has come over the condition of the German Empire, from the period when the emperor first displayed his weakness in yielding to the pretentious claims of the higher nobility, and granting them fiefs which were a direct encroachment upon his prerogative, is most suggestive, and should serve as a warning to every potentate who has a large empire to administrate.

The

The sudden alteration in the condition of Germany is, however, fully deserving attention, and it is worth while inquiring how it occurred that a nation once so great has ended by becoming so small. gradual increase of the higher dukes in power and authority could not, of course, escape the notice of the emperor, and the discontent of the nation should have drawn his attention to the danger he was incurring by allowing the dukes to render themselves independent at his expense. The condition of the German nation was beginning to grow anomalous at the time when the dukes commenced becoming powerful, and the result was that the emperor, hopeless of success in any attempt at subduing the dukes, and at the same time keeping in check a nation rent asunder by internal faction, ended by allowing himself to be regarded as a puppet, and contented himself with the nominal authority which the title gave him.

The greatest blow given to the imperial authority was that which the Emperor Barbarossa produced. Although the most autocratic of monarchs, from his very autocracy he sapped his own power. Rendered furious by the opposition of the Milanese, and determined on checking the rebellion, he drove his army into Italy. After repeated attempts to check the rebels, in which his army melted away like mist before the sun, the dukes, when tired of war, quietly went home for the winter, perfectly prepared, if they had no better engagement, to return again with the swallows. But while nominally obeying the emperor-for none dared resist his impetuous order -they were the while consolidating their power at home; and when the pressure was taken off them by the death of the great hero, they enforced their claims on his weaker successor, and ended by becoming de facto independent, although all the while most faithful vassals of the holy Roman Empire. The character of Frederick Barbarossa has been very variously judged. While one party claim him as the king by divine right, and the greatest Imperator Germany ever saw, others are equally severe, and aver that the Emperor Frederick was the harshest tyrant that any age ever produced. The latter party argue that the pertinacious attempts to check the liberty of the Italians were merely the insulting displeasure of a great king, who denied that laws were made for him, and thought any opposition was the greatest crime which a subject could commit. We are of the opinion that much may be said on both sides, and are inclined to coincide with our author in the credit he gives to his august emperor. He has evidently come to the conclusion that the heroes of the middle ages are not to be judged by the criterion of the present day; and, this allowed, Frederick Barbarossa was indubitably a very great man, and much in advance of his age. The far-sighted policy which induced him to

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