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sionary labor treated of in the first part of may be excused on the ground, to use a our article, has awakened our sympathy, | form of speech which it is to be hoped and we feel in taking leave of him that it neither he nor we will ever require again, is not quite enough to thank him for what that there has no work lately issued from he bas done, without expressing a wish | the press which has deserved a little centhat he would do more. And if we have, sure more, or could bear a great deal so in speaking of his book, made the propor- well.
G. W. P. tions of blame too great for the praise, it
EZZELINO DA ROMANO, SURNAMED “THE CRUEL.”
A CHARACTER OF THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY.
It is well known that the tragedy of our hero, describes in a certain part of the Romeo and Juliet owes its origin to inci- infernal regions a lake of boiling blood, dents which took place in the city of from which the heads of such monsters of Verona, when
cruelty as Dyonisius of Sicily and Alexan“ Civil broils, bred of an airy word
der Pherous are seen to emerge, only howBy Capulet and Montague, disturbed
ever to be pierced by the arrows of CenThe quiet of the town.”
taurs ranging on the banks. While he is
looking at them the sage Chilon his guide, These rival factions were a subdivision pointing to one of them, says: "Seest of the two grand parties known as the thou those horrid features, overshadowed Guelphs and Ghibellines. Verona thus by dark locks ?” 'Tis Ezzelino. divided was the first stage where Ezzelino da Romano, one of the most notorious "E quella fronte che ha il pel cosi' Nero characters of his age, appeared before the
E' Azzolino." world. By historians he is represented as
INFERNO, Canto XII. a man of no ordinary energies, but who by
It cannot but prove interesting to have turning them to evil became the scourge a brief sketch of a person handled so of his cotemporaries, and the execration unmerciřully by such celebrated authoriof posterity. Tradition describes him as ties, more especially as his chronicle furthe most cruel of tyrants, and the poets of nishes an idea of matters and things during Italy have treated him still worse. Ariosto the thirteenth century, in the leading sums up his character by calling him a son events of which he bore a prominent part. of the Devil, who did so much mischief
Ezzelino da Romano, so called from the that Marius, Sylla, Nero, and Caligula may name of the village where he was born, be considered as merciful when compared began to rise into importance about the to him.
year 1225, when, uniting himself with “Ezzelino immanissimo tiranno
Salinguerra, a famous desperado chief of Che fia creduto figlio del Dimonio
those days, he appeared in Verona to reinFarà troncando i sudditi tal danno force the Montecchi, who had just driven E distruggendo il bel paese Ausonio out of the city Count Richard di San BoniChe pietosi appo lui stati saranno fazio, head of the Cappelletti or Guelphs. Mario, Silla, Neron, Cajo, ed Antonio."
The good services rendered by Ezzelino to ORLANDO FURIOSO.
this faction, gained him, in Verona, a little Dante, though a fellow-Ghibelline of power, which he increased by his subtlety
and boldness. He had frequent opportu anew by the election to the office of Govnities of signalizing himself on account of ernor of Giustiniani, a patrician of Venice, the unceasing broils between the cities of who not only recalled the exiled nobles, Lombardy and the Marca Trevigiana, torn but received into the city Count Richard by numerous factions, each division of of San Bonifazio, head of the Capulet facwhich was headed by some warlike noble, tion. The jealousy of the Montecchi at or ambitious adventurer, desirous to in this occurrence can be easily imagined. crease the fame of his house, and enlarge Ezzelino and his old associate, Salinguerra, the number of his adherents. His first blew the coals; and at their instigation, care was to expel from Verona the nobles and with their assistance, Giustiniani was who adhered to Count Richard, reducing driven from the town, and the Count, with their palaces and towers to ashes.
several of his adherents, was thrown into We find him soon after on horseback, at prison. The principal part of the Count's the head of his Veronese, crossing the faction took refuge in the castle of San country in the direction of Vicenza.- Bonifazio, where they elected a Governor, Through the assistance of his brother, Al- and implored the help of the commune of berico da Romano, who had some little Padua. Every device they could think of power there, he entered the place, and the was tried by the Paduans to coax or terriVeronese war-cry terrified the unwary Vi- fy Ezzelino and Salinguerra into the liberacentines, who flew to arms and fought des- tion of Count Richard, but in vain. They perately in the streets and thoroughfares. and the Marquis of Este, with other friends Although the forces of Padua soon came of the imprisoned nobleman, even begged to their assistance, Ezzelino defeated them that holy and learned preacher, Friar Anwith great slaughter; and having created thony of Lisbon, better known afterwards Alberico Governor of Vicenza, he returned under the title of St. Anthony of Padua, to Verona proud of having detached a city to induce the Veronese to set the Count from the Guelph party.
free. Willing to do anything that might The Paduans, however, had not to wait lead to restore peace among brothers, long for an opportunity of retaliating upon the good saint proceeded to Verona, and Ezzelino. He had got into his possession tried both reason and entreaty with the the castle of Fonte, allied to the Paduans, chief men of the city, showing them the but they fell upon him with such determi- direful consequences which would ensue nation that he was compelled, much to his from their refusing to release a prisoner confusion, to retreat before their superior obtained by means which they knew themforces.
selves to be fraudulent and unjust. His They got word soon after, that he had exhortations were cast to the wind on accaused the city of Treviso, which had count of the state of exasperation in which named him its citizen, to take arms and all minds were at the time, so that after proceed against the Bishops of Feltre and doing all that lay in his power, he left them, Belluno, and that, putting himself at the and returned again to Padua. head of the Trevisans, he had taken those The effect of this unchristian obstinacy two little towns. The Paduans exhorted was, that not only the forces of Padua the citizens of Treviso to get rid of Ezzeli- and the Marquis of Este poured into the no, and not having succeeded, they formed territory of Verona, but even Modena and a league against him with the Patriarch of Mantua were drawn into their side of the Aquileja and the Marquis of Este, and quarrel. Several towns and castles were marched towards Treviso, setting fire to reduced to ashes, and the tide of war rolled everything they found on the way. Fel on to the very gates of Verona. Blind atre and Belluno were finally given up to tachment to a favorite leader, and factious the aggressors, and Ezzelino was obliged enmity, may account for many outrages to to go and create mischief in some other one who understands the state of Italy in quarter. He owed thenceforth a grudge the middle ages, when every man was a to the Marquis Azzo D'Este, which time warrior, every warrior's country was the did not make him forget, as we shall see. town of his birth or adoption, and every
The old dissensions of Verona had not town's code of honor the principles of its subsided yet, and they were stirred up | petty prince or baron. But even these
meagre excuses cannot palliate the conduct | elements which, mingling together, formed of Ezzelino. He respected no laws, and every man, and predominated over him cared for no standard, but served in the by turns. capacity of leader, man-at-arms, or cut The Pope elevated to the honor of Envoy throat, the master whose influence he could Apostolic, and endowed with ample faculuse to the best advantage for the accom- ties, Fra Giovanni da Vicenza, of the order plishment of his private ends.
of St. Doininic, a man of acknowledged In the year 1232, Frederic II., Emperor sanctity and persuasive eloquence, charging of Germany, was in Ravenna. Having him to represent to the jealous cities of done his utmost on several occasions to Lombardy, with words of heavenly unction, sow dissension among the Italian common the grievous sins and the injury to their wealths, and show his ingratitude towards native land ensuing from their detestable the Pope, by whom he had been crowned, brawls, and to exhort them to sincere rechanging his tact with every change of pentance, and to the maintenance of the fortune, but still getting worse as he grew brotherly love nearly forgotten amongst older, this monarch deemed it his interest them. Friar John was soon upon the field in the present year to maim and disable, of battle. So great was the fame of his as far as possible, the cities of Lombardy, virtue and eloquence, that the inhabitants which had formed a confederacy against of Padua turned out in their best clothes him.
to receive him ; and having met him on Ezzelino was among the foremost to the road between their city and Monselice, aid, by his counsel and his arm, this plot taking him up with great devotion, they designed for the ruin of his native country; put him on their carroccio or war-chariot, and the foreign tyrant was so much pleased and drew him fairly into the town with with his advances, that he subsequently loud demonstrations of joy. The good rewarded his zeal with the hand of an ille- friar spoke to them, and afterwards to gitimate daughter. One of the first acts their troublesome neighbors, with such of the infamous Ezzelino was to imprison effect that even the Montagues of Verona Guido da Rho Podesta, or Governor of promised to behave themselves better in Verona, with the judges, and give the city future ; and the wicked Ezzelino himself into the hands of the Count of Tyrol and swore to do all the holy father had ordered other officers, who, accompanied by a hun for their greater good. Several of the dred and fifty horsemen, besides a hundred cities, at the suggestion of Friar John, cross-bow men, took possession of Verona gave liberty to those of different factions in the Emperor's name. The reward of who were confined in their prisons, and the traitor was the captaincy of a foreign made away with such parts of their statforce, at the head of which he resisted utes as had been the cause of civil contenthose of the confederates who opposed tion. Encouraged by the beneficial effects him, sacking and burning their towns and of his mission, and desirous to give stastrongholds, besides giving them a warm bility to the peace which had been obreception whenever they showed their faces tained, Friar John, in accordance with the in the territory of Verona.
principal chieftains and councils of the Division became so rife in Lombardy, towns, appointed a day upon which all the and the two parties of the Imperials and communes should meet, for the general Confederates so violent against each other, good and tranquillity. He chose for the that Pope Gregory IX., who had changed rendezvous an extensive plain near the his residence from Avignon again to Rome, river Adige, four miles from Verona. and succeeded in quelling dissension there, A great day for the cities of Lombardy resolved to try to open the eyes of the was the Feast of St. Augustine, August Lombards upon the danger to which the 28th, 1233. The cities of Verona, Manwhole country was exposed by their inter- tua, Brescia, Vicenza, Padua, and Treviso, minable feuds. The manner in which the had poured out their warriors in arms, Pope set about completing his wise and and all their people-men, women, and pious purpose, is characteristic of those children-in their gavest attire. Each times when respect for religion, feudal fa- population was preceded by the carroccio naticism, and warlike passions were the tastefully and gaudily arranged.
This carroccio was a large chariot on four | but thrown into the town, by means of a wheels, surmounted by a mast, on the top machine, the carcase of a donkey as a comof which was a golden apple, or some other pliment to the inhabitants. The peace was device, and was destined to bear the stand- mutually promised, agreed to, and stipuard of each little commonwealth. The lated by all parties, and the awful sentence chariots were decked with precious cloths of excommunication fulminated against of different colors. They were greatly in him who should be the first to destroy so use in the thirteenth century, forming as it holy a work. were the palladium of each town, whose Friar John witnessed the successful reinhabitants it preceded to the field, and sult of his mission with unbounded satisby whom it was defended at every peril; faction, and gratitude to God, who had for it was a lasting dishonor to a town to effected it. That the peace might be still lose its carroccio in battle. Sometimes the better established, he proposed to the aschieftain addressed his feudsmen from it, sembled parties the marriage of Adelaide and sometimes even mass was celebrated daughter of Alberico da Romano, whose on a portable altar erected upon it. (Vide brother Ezzelino was the most conspicuous Sismondi, and Muratori Delle Antichità among the Ghibellines, to Prince Rinaldo, Italiane, Tom. I. P. 2, page 198.) son of the Marquis of Este, chief of the
Multitudes had come to the great as- Guelphs. This proposition was applauded sembly from cities more distant than those by all, and the articles of the peace were mentioned above. The inhabitants of Bo- inscribed and signed in a document which logna, Ferrara, Modena, &c., appeared un- is still extant. (Vide Muratori, Antiq. armed, preceded by their bishops, and Ital.) walking bare-foot in sign of penance. The Friar John had certainly arranged matmost celebrated chieftains of the day were ters satisfactorily amongst the different on the ground, and most conspicuous populations which had listened to his adamongst them the Marquis of Este, the dress on the banks of the Adige ; and had Signors of**Comino, Ezzelino da Romano, they been left quietly to themselves they and his brother Alberico. According to would no doubt have remembered and the chroniclers of the day, the number of kept his good advice. But many of the people present was more than four hundred chieftains had only feigned a desire for a thousand, and no less than ten bishops. peace which would have deprived them of
Such a spectacle had rarely been seen their favorite adventures, and the rich spoils in Italy before, and the circumstances of which were their object. Hence it is that such an extraordinary assemblage must they only waited for a plausible pretext to have inspired the worthy Dominican destroy the universal reconciliation which preacher with no common eloquence. had apparently been effected. New diffiFrom a platform sixty feet high, he har- culties began to arise very soon, and only angued his immense audience, exhorting a few days passed before several of the them in the name of God and the Holy cities broke off from the compact at the Father to give to each other the kiss of instigation of these malicious advisers, and peace, and forswear those fatal brawls only a few months elapsed before all Lomwhich tended only to exhaust and weaken bardy was again in a blaze. their country, until it became an easy prey It was in vain that the good Dominican to the watchful invader.
made every effort to compose these new His words had an immediate effect upon dissensions.' In vain did he reason with every heart. The Ghelph chieftain em the turbulent princes, and urge them to braced the Ghibelline whom he had met maintain the stipulations so solemnly on the field of battle, and armed to the agreed upon at the famous meeting. teeth, three days before; the Capulet kissed | Finding everywhere a deaf ear turned to the cheek of the Montague whom he would his remonstrances, and seeing all his athave run through the body, the preced-tempts fruitless, he retired to his convent ing week, for "biting his thumb” at him; in Bologna to meditate upon the instability and even the people of Vicenza settled all of human affairs. If the pious father, quarrel with the Florentines, who the year through human weakness, had allowed previous had not only besieged their walls, some little sentiment of self-complacency
to arise in his heart at the time of his great strengthen the German ranks. A number speech, and its wonderful effect upon the of Saracens had likewise been enlisted in multitudes, he learned a lesson upon human his pay. But those who seem to have nature, which must have been extremely attracted the greatest share of admiration useful to him in his after-life. It is unfor were a band of English warriors, armed at tunate that he did not dictate in a form to all points and mounted on richly caparibe preserved, the oration which he had soned steeds. They presented themselves delivered to the Lombards, which must to Frederic, offering him at the same time have been a rare specimen of popular elo a large sum of money as a token of friendquence, and his meditations upon the ship from bis kinsman Henry III. They sequel of events that followed it, which were gallant fellows, these Island Knights, would be probably no less instructive and and would have liked better, although they entertaining.
said but little, to deal their blows on French The only document relative to those ex- mail, than to spend their lives in sacking traordinary circumstances, which has been and burning Italian hamlets, in the cause handed down to posterity, is a letter of and quarrel of a foreign prince. Pope Gregory IX. to Friar John, wherein The imperial army, after having reduced he expresses his entire satisfaction with his the surrounding country to a howling praiseworthy exertions, and consoles him desert, sat down before Brescia strong in for their signal and utter failure to effect number, and well provided in the different what they were intended for.
machines of siege then in use, the Emperor The quarrelsome Lombards paid dearly being firmly resolved not to withdraw from very soon after for violating promises so the place before having planted the Gersolemnly made; and the chief cause of the man standard on the towers of its citadel. misfortunes which befell them, was the in He had, however, no easy bone to concorrigible Ezzelino. This turbulent spirit tend for. The Brescians were distinguishcould find no pleasure in a peaceable state ed among their neighbors for enterprise of things, so unlike that of his younger and perseverance, and understanding well days. His first iniquitous act was to create that from Frederic and Ezzelino they had a renewal of civil war in Verona. But not no mercy to hope for, they determined to satisfied with so small a scheme of mischief, fight to the last for their beloved city, and he engaged in a far more perilous and trea- at least sell their lives at a price not soon cherous enterprise by writing to Frederic to be forgotten. While the hostile army II. Emperor of Germany, exhorting him to was advancing, they had furnished the town pass the Alps, and enter into Lombardy, with all the stores necessary to sustain a at the head of a powerful army. Frederic lengthened siege. It discouraged them in was not slow in following the advice of his some measure, to think that they were faithful adherent.
totally deprived of the warlike machinery He resolved to carry war into the very which rendered the beleaguering army heart of the country, to urge on and en- doubly formidable. But they were forcourage its progress by his presence on tunately delivered from this exigency by the spot, and to strike at once at the an occurrance which they considered as a strongest bulwarks of the national party. special interposition of Providence in beWhatever advantages his cause might have half of their just cause. obtained in Lombardy, the two important Some of their people, while foraging in cities of Milan and Brescia were yet un the vicinity for provisions, had entrapped conquered, and their resistance to all the a Spaniard on his way from Germany toformer efforts of his faction rankled in the wards the imperial camp, and brought him mind of the proud Emperor. By the ad prisoner into Brescia. This traveller was vice of Ezzelino he determined, upon his discovered to be a man of great acquirearrival in Italy, to attempt first the capture ments in various branches, but above all a of Brescia as the easier to overcome of thorough adept in the art of constructing the two obnoxious cities.
all manner of engines of war offensive and A florid army bearing the imperial defensive, and in the science of equipping standard entered Verona in 1238. Several and directing them, whatever their shape cities of Italy had sent their forces to or calibre. His new entertainers were de