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the same impulse; and reverencing, instinctively and habitually, the same holy usages, by them such omission is as impossible as violation, and equally would be felt as sacrilege. The First Scene of the Fourth Act is very beautiful; and, till it is broken in upon by the bewilderment of appearances betokening life-in-death, full of a sad repose. Diana's descrip
tion of Ginevra laid out for the bier you have read; and there is something at once characteristic and touching in what she and Olympia say to one another of the divine power of music, while hearkening to the Miserere Hymn of the choristers. 'Twas to have been a joyous week—with maskers, and serenades, and tournament; and Ginevra, had Agolanti allowed, was to have surveyed the spectacle from windows now blind! "Farewell, sweet soul! death and thy patient life
Have so well match'd, I scarce could think
Fiordilisa had noted appearances all night about the lips, and feared that her lady might be but in a trance; and Giulio, under direction of Da Riva, visits the vault, but no Ginevra is there. She has indeed arisen from the dead, and is wandering all alone by herself in her grave clothes, through the midnight, along the silent and the noisy streets.
A Room in AGOLANTI's House in Flo
rence. AGOLANTI discovered looking out of an open window, and then quitting it. Sound of lutes in the distance.
Ago. That sound of homeward lutes which
Out of my restless bed, to feel companion'd with
For some few passing moments, was the last To-night in Florence. Not a footstep more Touches the sleeping streets; that now seem witch'd
With the same fears that walk around me still,
Ready to greet me with unbearable eyes. All air seems whispering of me; and things visible
Take meaning in their shapes, not safe to know.
Oh, that a masculine and religious soul Should be thus feeble! And why? what should I fear?
My name has worship still; and still will
If honourable wealth and sacred friends
With spirit so swelling as outstrain❜d her life.
Oh, every man's infirmities, more or less,
I could have given for one, for but one look
And given the shrine, near which her dust is laid,
New glorious beams of paintings and of gold, Doubling its heaven to the white angelical
For which, they say, the sovereign Holiness Himself will thank me. And yet, thus, even thus,
I feel, a shudderer at the very silence, Which seems preparing me some angriness. I'll close the window ;' and rouse Ippolito To read to me in some religious book.
[Going towards the window, he stops and listens.
What was it? a step? a voice?
Gin. (is heard outside) Agolanti ! Francesco Agolanti! husband!
Ago. (crossing himself and moving towards the window) It draws me, In horror, to look on it.-Oh God! I see
There is something there-standing in the moonlight.
Gin. Come forth, and help me in—Oh help me in!
Ago. It speaks! (very loudly.) I cannot bear the dreadfulness!
The horror's in my throat, my hair, my brain!
Detestable thing! witch! mockery of the bless'd!
Hide thee! Be nothing! Come heaven and earth betwixt us!
[He closes the shutters in a frenzy, and then rushes apart.
Oh God! a little life;-a little reason;→ Till I reach the arms of the living.-Ippolito!
Tonio! Giuseppe! Lights! Wake Father Angelo ! [He staggers out.
Rond. Ob, earth and heaven! art thou ? Gin.
Fear not to look on me. Antonio ! I am Ginevra-buried, but not dead, And have got forth and none will let me in. Even my mother is frighten'd at my voice, And I have wander'd to thy gentle doors. Have pity on me, good Antonio,
And take me from the dreadful streets at night.
Rond. Oh, Heaven! Oh all things
terrible and beautiful!
Art thou not angel, showing me some dread sight
Of trial and reproof? Or art thou indeed Still living, and may that hand be touch'd with mine?
[She has held out her hand to him. Gin. Clasp it, and help me towards thy door; for wonder,
And fear, and that long deadly swoon, have made
Me too a terror to myself, and scarcely
Rond. (moving slowly, but eagerly,
Infold us, night and time, if it be vision! If not-if not
[He touches her hand, and clasps her to his heart.
It is Ginevra's self, And in Antonio's arms -She faints! Oh, sweetest !
som not altogether heartless, but as bad, or worse, intensely selfish, from which they come not of themselves in a flow of sorrow, cast up from the troubled depths-but all is shallow and superficial; and we "pity neither him nor his grief." In the other, we hear a wounded spirit holding communion with nature, and momentarily partaking of her peace-momentarily, and no more-for the hours of his anguish will, we feel, never make up to him another year.
"Thou and I
Are thus unhoused alike, and in no home. The wide earth holds us both." Dismal bewilderment of the widowed soul in the disappearance called death!
Then the behaviour of the men in the sudden presence of the apparition! Little or no love for her had
there ever been in Agolanti's heart; for if there had, it would have ming led with his fear, and there would have been no horror of such voice calling on him in such words
"Francesco Agolanti! husband!"
After the first affright—he would have known in his heart that her ghost-if ghost it were-" that something there, standing in the moonlight"'-came not to harm-not even to upbraid-but to forgive and to bless. He could never have known what pity was, who recognised not the prayer of one yet mortal
"Come forth, and help me in—Oh, help
Wicked even in his remorse for wickedness, he has no faith in Ginevra's voice.
"Detestable thing! witch! mockery of the bless'd!"
And materialist as he is, though he knows it not, he believes that he can, by bolts and bars between it and his soul, shut out an immortal spirit.
"Love casteth out fear ;" and so it was with Antonio. He had been meditating on the mystery of death-and had his own vision of Ginevra, disembodied, but yet visible; and he hears her voice syllable his name as it used once to do on earth-when they were happy long ago. Whatever it is, it is something blessed-something sent from heaven. Too beautiful to be any other being but Ginevra-her mortal or her immortal self!
And to whose door first went Ginevra on her leaving the vault? She says to Antonio
"Even my mother is frighten'd at my voice,
And I have wander'd to thy gentle doors."
No mention of her husband. It is not till Antonio says to her"Myself will bear thee to thy house, thy husband,
Laying a heaven on his repentant heart;' that she tells he had driven her from his "shrieking doors." But she sought not refuge with Antonio's mother, till her own had been frightened at her voice-and as "none would let her in," she came last of all to her lover's house. That is purest nature.
Ginevra exercises the most diffithe most efficacious of all the virtues— cult, the most comprehensive, and patience; which, for ever inwardly blessing the heart wherein it broods, for ever keeps effusing outwardly a celestial calm, of which at times troubled natures are made to partake whether they will or no, while the war of passion is subdued into noiseless peace. Did we say for ever? Nay, there is no perfection beneath sun, moon, and stars, nor yet among them; and even Ginevra's sweet, sad, submissive, and resigned selfa Christian lady indeed-an Italian Roman Catholic Christian lady-hath not perfect patience; and even in her blood, the same being purely human, her the less, but the more-that temwe have seen-nor therefore loved per could quicken the pulse, till her pale face for a moment flushed-halfanger, half-shame, yet not even for that moment without the look of sorrow-and then fixed again into its colourless beauty, betokening, though none are to be seen there now, that few so young had shed such multitudes of unpitied tears.
The law of divorce is different in different countries; but for eighteen hundred and forty years marriage has been a holy thing in Christendom, and those whom God hath put together let no power on earth put asunder-save under sanction of concience, the controller and the legislator whom all the peoples of the earth must obey-in order that they may not perish but have everlasting life. The grave, where husband and wife who lived in love come to lie at last,
is their marriage-bed, and its curtains will be drawn to let in the day. Them death divorces not-though for a little while there is a survivor among these our shades, waiting for the reuniting night. Burial without death, relieved not this Ginevra from bonds her husband had unhallowed; she brought them back with her from the vault the wife walked in her grave-clothes to her husband's house, beseeching to be let in; and had not the fear that is in wickedness then dimmed Agolanti's eyes, he had seen it was a spirit yet in the flesh; and had he taken her to his bed, that bed might never again have been so unhappy-it might have been peaceful-in an awful gratitude, even blest. "Begone, thou horrid mockery!"- and Ginevra was his wife no
Then ensues an interview in Antonio's house, between him and Agolanti; and of the husband it cannot be said that
"Consideration like an angel came, And whipt th' offending Adam out of him ;" for he is, without change of an atom,
the old man.
Remorse he must have felt, but he was incapable of penitence. He is as much the prey as ever of all manner of mean suspicions, nor does a single syllable of tenderness for Ginevra escape his lips. He had adorned, indeed, the shrine "with glorious beams of painting and of gold;" but no gratitude is in his heart now to the God of mercy and of judgment. He is not ashamed to declare, that he believes Antonio has dishonoured his wife, even in her grave-clothes!
Rond. 'Tis false.-Be calm. Let both be calm, nor startle
Feminine ears with words. Wait in this room,
Here, on the left, awhile; I'll bring herself
To look upon thy speech, if so it please her;
If not, my mother, sir,-you have heard of her,
From whom, so help me God, I never yet Beheld her separate.
Ago. I demand. Rond.
A life!-Might you say one word to me at parting?
Gin. Antonio!—may your noble heart be happy.
[She clasps her hands, and speaks with constant vehemence, looking towards the audience. Alas! alas! Why was that one word utter'd To bear down the last patience of my soul, And make me cry aloud to Heaven and misery ?
I am most miserable. I am a creature That now for fifteen years, from childhood upwards,
Till this hard moment, when the heavens forbid it,
Have known not what it was to shed a tear, Which others met with theirs. Therefore
Did learn to hush themselves, and young, grow dry.
For my poor father knew not how I loved
Nor mother neither; and my severe hus