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and by the existing political discontent and excitement. The work is in a dramatic form, the thwarted loves of a couple of young physicians supplying the thread upon which, though gaining little additional interest, are strung a variety of scenes, representing successively, the effects, ludicrous or serious, of the terror created by the fearful disease amongst the higher classes of Parisian society ;-the atrocities produced amongst the lower and uneducated orders by the strange notion they had conceived that the cholera was a vonentity, and all the symptoms characterizing it, the result of poison administered, no human creature can imagine why, by the government, to the people ;--the horrible ravages of this pestilential malady ;—the liberality of the rich, and the heroic self-devotion to the loathsome service of the cholera hospitals of women of all ranks and degrees, from the high-born coquette of the brilliant salon, to those degraded beings whom it is usual now-a-days delicately, and most truly, (if somewhat affectedly in the way of generic nomenclature) to designate as unfortunate females. In the course of these scenes the exaggerated opinions of most of the various parties distracting Paris are happily illustrated; the fanaticism, both political and religious of the Carlists,-or, more properly, the Henriquinquistes, for none are represented as wishing the re-enthronement of the abdicated Charles X.-the extravagancies of the St. Simonians, the innumerable and contradictory absurdities of the populace, &c. &c.

The work, we need hardly state, is decidedly liberal ; both the beroes are, to say the least, Freethinkers in religion, and the fervent Republicanism of one of them, Ferdinand, a medical student on the point of obtaining his diploma, is placed in the most favourable light; but bis virulent and bitter philippics against the wealthy are blamed and corrected by his more philosophic friend, Dr. Edward, and Casimir Perrier, as the representative of the established government, is fairly portrayed, as honestly, if mistakenly, zealous for the good of France. Our English feelings have, indeed, during the perusal of these pages, been some little revolted by the pretty, mirthful pleasantry with which the young physician relates the forcible mode of bis summons by the agonized wives, husbands, and children, of cholera patients, whom he either finds dead or is unable to save ; but to censure this, would be to censure French nature for not being English, and we mention it merely to prepare the readers of M. Eugene Roch's curious publication for what will probably prove as disagreeable to them as it has to us, not in the exercise of our critical office.

Art. XVI.--1. Folchetto Malaspina, Romanzo Storico del Secolo XIlmo.

dell' Autore di Sibilla Odaleta. 3 Tom. 12s. Milan. 1830. 2. Preziosa di Sanluri, ossia i Montanuri Sardi, Romanzo Storico, dell'

Autore di Sibilla Odaleta. 3 Tom. 12mo. Milan. 1832. THESE novels give us no cause to recall or regret one word of the judgment we some years since pronounced upon the author (Signor Varese). They display, with much of the improvement to be expected from a writer early deemed so promising as to rank next to Manzoni, the same merits and the same faults as his former works. Here likewise, we have scenes painted with dramatic force, vivid portraitures of by-gone times, and considerable power of writing; and here, too, we find the great inequality, the singular infelicity in managing a story of wbich we before complained, together with a strange, seeming unconsciousness of the use of love in romance. Let us not, however, be misunderstood. We do not mean to say that Folchetto Malaspina and Preziosa di Sanluri are not duly and respectively in love; in love they both are wben first we meet with them, and in love they remain till we take leave of them at their several bridals ;-—what we mean is, that for any thing much affecting the story, except upon one occasion, and certainly for any thing we are made to care about the matter, they might nearly as well be fancy free. Both stories, nevertheless, deserve notice, and we propose giving such an abstract of them as may enable the reader to understand our objection. We begin with Folchetto.

Every body knows that in the twelfth century some of the wealthy Lombard cities endeavoured to emancipate themselves from their depeodence upon the German, then called the Holy Roman Empire, animated, we fear, quite as much by ambition and mutual hatred, as by a genuine love of liberty. Milan, striving to substitute her own for the Imperial yoke, was at the head of these confederated cities, of which Tortona, her faithful ally, was one of the feebler members. In and near this last town, the scene of our novel is laid, during the struggle against Frederic Barbarossa. But this insurrection against the Emperor is not the sole, scarcely the chief, object of Tortonese politics. Milan is endeavouring to subject Tortona to herself; Tortona desires to shake off, not to change her bonds; the middle and lower classes are struggling to free themselves from feudal oppression, the nobles to maintain their privileges; and Opizzone Malaspina, Signora della Lunigiana, the opulent head of that family of which our hero is an impoverished scion, is plotting the acquisition of power out of the general confusion, and employs the unsuspecting Folchetto as bis instrument. Folchetto is the leader of the popular party, and is, moreover, in love with Leonilla de' Calcinara, the promised bride of Guglielmo degli Uberti, the leader of the Nobles. A proposal of Opizzone to marry Folchetto's sister, Alice, produces a scene between the brother and sister, in which the gentleman's arbitrary notions of the implicit obedience due from sisters and daughters, however conscant with the opinions of the times, do not awaken our sympathy with his own course-of-true love, thwarted, as it is, by the choice of friends. Alice having timidly declared that she cannot marry Opizzone, disappears from ber father's castle; and the greater part of the first volume is dedicated to the search after her.

This search introduces us to a new—shall we say trade or profession? quite new to us, although it should seem then, and long afterwards, common in Sardinia, to wit, that of the Accabaduri, a name derived by our author from a corruption of the verb accoppare, to knock on the head. In Sardinia, it appears, the tender compassion of the young and healthy towards the infirm, from age, accident or disease, manifested itself in effectually abridging their sufferings. But as sons, husbands, or wives, might not always relish performing this peculiar office of charity with their own hands, it became the especial business of the Accabaduri, who, from the repulsive character of their avocation, soon constituted a separate caste as well as trade. There were not, bowever, sick and aged people enough to support the whole race by knocking them on the head, so that the Accabaduri were compelled to vary their occupations, and the women employed themselves as well in mourning the dead with floods of mercenary tears, and improvisoed chaunts of praise and regret, as in fortune-telling. A woman of this class has wandered from Sardinia to the neighbourhood of Tortona, and is an important personage in our story. Thirsting for human blood, in vengeance for a son who had fallen by the hands of justice, she yet serves and saves Folchetto, in compliance with a vow she had made, when he once rescued ber from impending death. By the Accubaduri's help, Folchetto learns that his rival in politics and in love bas deluded Alice by a false marriage, and he formally challenges Guglielmo, at a banquet of the nobles, his own personal adversaries, wbich be visits, amidst their bacchanalian revelry, for that express purpose. We shall give a sketch of the duel scene, as one of our author's lively pictures of old manners and feelings. It must be premised, tbat Guglielmo is a coward as well as a profligate, and that one of his confidential dependents bas undertaken to bring him off scathless from his unavoidable duel with the dreaded Malaspina.

The lists are prepared, with an altar at one end, and are surrounded by eager spectators. The judge of the combat takes bis seat, mass is said, the arms of the combatants are consecrated, and the sacrament is administered to the two deadly foes. During all this time the wrathful gloom of Folchetto, and his battle-godfather, Opizzove, are contrasted to the airy undauntedness of Guglielmo, which somewhat surprises his battle godfather, Guido Anfosso, who bad entertained some misgivings touching his friend's valour. Opizzone now accuses Guglielmo, to the judge, as the betrayer of Alice ; Guido rebuts the charge, and the champions severally swear to the truth of their godfathers' words, as well as to their being unaided by magic. They then arm and take their places.

“ But still Guglielmo hesitated to throw down Folchetto's glove, an indispensable form. He gazed anxiously around, and only now did Guido discover in him symptoms of dismay. He was approaching to encourage him, when he suddenly saw his eye flash with its preceding brightness, as he boldly flung down the glove. exclaiming, “ Malaspina, there is thy glove.' At the same time he closed his vizor, drew his sword, and stepped two paces back, to take room. Rapid as were these movements, they were slow to Folchetto's, who scarcely saw his glove touch the ground ere he had spruug back, brandishing his sword, and stood on guard. Already were the marshals of the lists stoop. ing to remove the interposed olive branches, and unclosing their lips to cry • The field is open,' when, at the far end of the esplanade, appeared one who drew all eyes to himself, and staved the encounter.

This was an old man, tall and gaunt, whose hollow cheeks bespoke the long and painful privations of his corporeal frame. He wore a ragged russet tunic, furnished with a small hood, and girt round his loins by a chain interwoven

with points. His naked foot was guarded from thorns and Aints by a mere sole, fastened on with a leather strap. In his hand he bore a gilded reliquary, which, with outstretched arm, he held on high, towards the combatants. He hurried onwards, with a speed far beyond what his age and aspect promised. He shouted aloud, · Hold, wretched youths, hold ! In the name of Him who died for you on the cross, hold !' So speaking he reached the two champions, breathlessly rushed between them, and placed the reliquary upon the yet unpassed line of separation drawn by the heralds."

Even the fiery and injured Folchetto dares not resist the interposition of the hermit and his reliquary; and the lawful, the religion-sanctioned duel is per force suspended, if not altogether prevented. To obviate this last disaster, or at least its annoying results to bis vengeance, Folchetto publicly insults Guglielmo in church, in presence of the clergy, with the bishop at their head, the nobles, and the people. Guglielmo, in return, attempts to surprise and murder bis enemy; is foiled by the intervention of the Accabadura, and being dismissed unharmed by Folchetto, repents and turns hermit. His marriage had been broken off by bis seemingly tame endurance of a blow, and Leonilla is shut up in the convent, wbere, it now appears, Alice had concealed ber slame. Then follows the siege of Tortona by Frederic, and Folchetto's heroism in its defence. The town at length capitulates, the terms being inviolability to the convents, and a safe departure to the inhabitants. Upon bis way home, Folchetto learns from the Accabadura that the convents are to be sacked, and hurries back, just in time to rescue his sister, his mistress, and his mistress's father. He marries Leonilla, and Alice takes the veil.

The other romance introduces us to a country hitherto, we believe, unexplored by the novelist, and, in truth, scarcely known to us through the more legitimate channels of the historian and the traveller-we mean the island of Sardinia. Preziosa de Sanluri is not, however, the first Sardinian novel extant, this same fertile anonymous author baving, two years ago published 11 Proscritto, Storia Sarda ; wbich Proscritto we have diligently laboured to procure, in the idea that the two Sardinian Tales might conjointly merit a more regular analysis, and afford us the means of giving somewhat methodized account of Sardinian men, women, and ways. But Il Proscritto does not appear to bave visited England, and we will not withhold the fair sister from our reader's acquaintance, during the time it might take to fetch the brother from Milian. We shall therefore dispatch Preziosa as we bave Folchetto, merely observing that the Sard mountaineers strongly resemble our own Scotch Highlanders, although in a yet ruder state.

The story is briefly this-an insurrection against the Aragonese conquerors of the island has failed; the insurgents are routed and dispersed, and the Viscount di Sanluri, one of the leaders, bas been unable to carry off in his fight bis daughter Preziosa. The damsel is snatched from the bands of the victorious Aragonese soldiery by another insurgent leader, Sigismondo, Capo-tribù, or chief of the Gocean mountaineers, and brought for safety to another mountain tribe, that of Genargento, wbo had remained neutral in the recent conflict, and amongst whom he therefore judges she may be safe. In the rescue and transportation the youthful pair bave fallen in love ; Sigismondo leaves Genargento to go in search of the Viscount, but gets an ague by sleeping in a swamp, and passes the greater part of the two little volumes on a mat under accabadura doctoring. Preziosa, foolishly enough, quits her mountain asylum for a convent; on ber way to which she is taken prisoner, upon an accusation of having, by spells, killed the Aragonese Viceroy's son, whom, in fact, three accabaduri bad amused themselves with frightening to death. It should be said that Preziosa, whose birth had cost her mother's life, whose wet purse had died, and who bore on her arm a mark resembling a death's head, is generally esteemed an unlucky person, if nothing worse. She is tried, condemned, and sentenced to be burnt, but indulged with permission to prove her innocence through the ordeal of cold water, by leaping from a high rock into the sea. This indulgence saves her, though not exactly according to law; for Sigismondo, who has by this time recovered, contrives to leap with her, and swims with her to a boat awaiting them, under favour of a tumult which Nura, the capo-tribù of Genargento, excites, in avenging his son, previously shot by an Aragonese soldier. A change of kings in Aragon, and of viceroys in Sardinia, puts an end to the danger of the lovers.

We think these two short sketches may show the reader of what abundant interest both subjects were susceptible, had the author understood, like Manzoni, to make the most of his riches. But it must not be concluded from our criticism, that the tales are not worth reading. Far from it. We think them calculated to afford much gratification, especially to those who love a graphic representation of unaccustomed manners. Both abound in striking scenes, and we must now attempt to give some idea of one of the mountain scenes in Preziosa. Unluckily they are too long to extract whole, and must needs lose in compression. We take the funeral of the slaughtered heir apparent of Genargento.

The wounded youth is brought by his comrades to die at his father's door, and there breathes his last amongst bis friends, and Preziosa, called from her bed by the sound of lamentation, hurries forth, and beholds the tribe assembled round the dead body.

The unhappy father, recovering from a long stupor, had seated himself beside his son's corse, had bathed his bony finger in the curdling gore, and drawn therewith a few symbolical lines upon his dagger. These were equivalent to a solemn oath to procure the slain that consolation, in virtue of which death loses half its terrors in the eyes of those fierce and superstitious mountaineers. Revenge was to them what the honours of sepulture were to the Heathen."

The deceased was placed in a tent on the mat, which bad been his bed when alive, and there watched by some of his friends and followers, during the preparations for the obsequies. Towards the evening of the third day the whole tribe, whose chief he was born to be, assembles, the men clad in black sheepskins, the women with their heads wrapped in yellow cloths, surmounted by black billets.

“ The corse was laid on a bier, outside of the paternal cottage, the face and breast exposed, the remainder of the body tightly folded in a grave cloth.

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