« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
theme, notwithstanding the garb in which | horror-struck. I saw several bands of it was veiled, always preserved its dis- desperate robbers, who had been rooted tinctness and individuality so completely, out of Lombardy, and confined here, under that I knew not which to admire most, the energetic sway of the French governthe performer or the composer. Now he ment. seemed as if suddenly possessed by some Leaning against one of the pillars of the strange spirit; the passages rolled forth wall, his eye directed toward the sun, with such fire and facility that I began to which had not yet ascended above the doubt the correctness of my ear.
From high roof, stood a young man, apparently the lowest deep the player sprang to the about twenty-five, who looked the very loftiest height, and there displayed the picture of wretchedness. He was pale magical flute-tones of his instrument, in- and haggard ; his eyes were deep sunk in terrupting them immediately after with his head; a prominent aquiline nose, a the rolling passages of the full bass, and high forehead, raven hair in wild disorder, thus scorning all difficulties, he performed and a long neglected beard, gave him a incredible achievements. You will disbe- ghastly aspect. Yet the expression of lieve, and say that to the hopeless prison-deep 'sorrow, depicted so visibly in the er's melancholy mood, at the hour of fine, though sharp lines about his soft night, the common assumed the impor- mouth and hollow, emaciated cheeks, imtance of the supernatural. No, my friend, parted a singular interest to his counteI have myself played the violin, (though I nance. I gazed long at this strange, atshall certainly never do so again,) and I tractive man; he seemed not to observe was quite capable of judging of what me, but still kept looking upward, as if he I heard. An adagio, under such cir- were longing for the sun. Suddenly obcumstances might well have made a serving the jailer, he rose, and advanced deeper impression than usual upon me, hastily towards him. “I beg of you earnbut it is incredible that these wild, des- estly, old man,” said he, in Italian, “to be pairing passages, these grotesque, bold more lenient.” “Not at all,” replied the old flights from the lowest to the highest man harshly—“'tis no use.
And if you notes, and back again, should have had do not keep quiet at nights, I will tear such an effect on one who, like me, be your last string in two." So he is the perlieved himself standing at death's door, former, thought I, and advanced toward had they not been so surpassingly beau- him. Suddenly I heard my name protiful. The strains ceased-but in memo- nounced behind me. It was the gendarme ry's ear they are ringing yet; yes, my de- of yesterday. “Suivez moi,” said he firmsire to hear them again was even greater ly. There was nothing left for me but to than my wish to regain my liberty. obey. Before the door a coach was stand
Day broke. We heard the beat of a ing, in which we seated ourselves, and soon drum. I climbed up to my grated win- arrived in front of a splendid house. My dow. A company of soldiers was march-companion was as silent as the grave. We ed out in the court-yard ; three prisoners quitted the carriage and ascended the stood before them. The officer motioned, steps. We waited a long time in an eleand they marched away, The fate of gant ante-room. At last the door of a these men excited in me the most sorrow- side apartment was opened, and a voice ful interest. The jailer presently opened exclaimed, “Entrez !" What a pleasant
I inquired of him respecting surprise! I was standing before General them. “In one hour,” said he," they K., who four years before lay severely are no more; they are suspected of trea- wounded at my father's house in Berlin, son ; Germans and Tyrolese, they are be- where, though an enemy, he had experilieved to have aided the rebels.” These enced the most generous treatment. “My words were my death-doom. I heard young friend,” said he, “what a folly you them with a shudder, though I maintained have committed ! Were it not that I hapmy composure. " It is now the hour pen to command this station, you would when the prisoners are allowed to take not be liberated. You are free?" “ And the air in the court-yard," said the jailer, my friends ?" “ Are free also.” “ A thou" will you go down ?” We went.
sand thanks." Hush, hush, I am still
your debtor. Yourself and your friends tone, perfect mastery of his instrument; will be my guests to-day. But to-mor- still
, only a metallic brilliancy, not the row you must leave, as I resume my march, Aash of a soul-revealing eye. Now Bailand your longer stay might yet produce lot commenced. The full, energetic sounds serious results. Your passports to Hol- which he evoked, recalled my recollection land are prepared.”
powerfully to the past. A noble enthuIn an hour, my two friends and myself siasm gave life to bis execution. He were seated together in a carriage. swayed the tones like a monarch, but my
captive ruled them like a god. At last Rode appeared. His fine, spiritual fea
tures, his delicate but noble countenance, No. II.
prepossessed me strongly in his favor. He
began. Yes, there is an affinity between Paris, April 13, 1814. them; he bears within his breast a preM. to-day wrote me the following note: sentiment of my former companion, which " Your adventures with the virtuoso in deeply moved me. His expression seemed, prison, and your eager desire to meet him to my thoughts, like a noble marble statue, again, are romantic affairs ; but, like all ro- combining dignity and grace. Ardor and mance, only a distempered dream. I was pathos; that subdued by the restraining speaking on the subject to Lafont; he measure, this strengthened and increased laughed and said, 'I hope to be able to by the strong hold of power. At the mocure this hallucination, and to quench this ment when I first heard him, he seemed unsatisfied desire, by playing at a violin to me to surpass my mysterious friend, concert in his presence.' I took him at but my longing for the latter soon returnhis word. This evening he will fulfil his ed, and I felt the most eager desire that promise ; and to ensure the result which he could only be permitted to know all he anticipates, I liave also invited Baillot, that I was now hearing from Rode. But Kreuzer, and Rode. Can you desire any- his chainless spirit winged its flight to thing more? It is needless to add, that I loftier heights, and penetrated to lower expect you to be present.
depths; he scorned the sway of earthly You may imagine how much this invi- powers. He soared aloft to other spheres, tation interested me. For four years I and the wondrous melodies which there had been to hear the violinists of every penetrated his deeply agitated soul, he city, in wbich our troops had been quar- gave back in tones everlastingly imprestered, yet without finding even the shadow sive. of my ideal. Now, when the memorable Such were my feelings during the conbut stormy time of the campaign was past, cert. After its conclusion, M. introduced I was to listen to the four most celebrated me to the celebrated performers. Commasters in the world. I was almost sad mon politeness required that I should for the fate of my ideal. With a beating praise their performances, and who could heart, I entered the gorgeous saloon. But have forborne to do so? I was silent rethe elegant costumes of the gentlemen, the specting my captive companion. But Labrilliant toilettes of the ladies, were soon font, to whom M. had related the circumforgotten ; my dungeon in Milan rose stance, began himself to interrogate me clearly before me, as I thought of one on the subject. I wished to evade and tone that seemed to emanate from another cut short his inquiries, but in vain. I world. The concert began. Lafont was therefore told the story, and they all, the first performer. The most finished with the exception of Rode, at once beexecution—a clear, silvery tone-in an- gan to smile; but when I narrated and dante as in allegro; grace itself ; still only described some technical difficulties of exa beautiful miniature compared with the ecution which I had heard, Lafont exinexpressible charm of that romantic, claimed, “Oh! you're jesting at us." In strangely illumined picture which was pres- fine, they would not believe me. I beent to my soul. Next Kreuzer played. came offended, took my hat, and left. Sparkling were his passages, like a wreath Just as I reached the threshold, I reof diamonds; bold strength, full, clear marked that some one immediately fol
It was Rode. “Sir,” said | compelled me to leave the city. Since he, “is your narrative true, upon your that period, I have heard nothing of this honor ?" I assured him that it was. “I wonderful genius.
But I am much believe you,” said he. “I am convinced obliged to you; for the sensation was inthat there is but one man living who cor-describable, and I had endeavored to im. responds to the description of your cap- prove my style by imitating that hearenly tive. When I was a young man, dwell melody. Yes, I am indebted, for the ing in Genoa fifteen years ago, I was greater part of my fame, to this unknown, going home late one evening; I suddenly vanished genius." I stood in astonishheard a violin, the enchanting tones of ment before the great artist who had thus which filled me with astonishment. At spoken so modestly and so justly. I first I could not tell whence this charming could not forbear telling bim, that I had music proceeded, but I soon found that a found, in his performance, some touches young man, almost a boy indeed, who of that magical beauty with which the was standing on a low garden wall, with unfortunate prisoner had captivated my his face turned toward a dimly lighted heart. Only' it seemed to me that Rode window, was eliciting the heavenly melo- had but heard the commencement, the dy from his instrument. I stood as if first forebodings of that strange spirit, spell-bound to the spot. I well knew, while I had seen bis wings in full developat the time, that my own accomplishment. We parted. I have a hope. Evments as a musician were nothing, but | ery genius must make his power felt in here were mysteries unveiled, of which I the world. Unless a cruel destiny has had not before suspected the existence. shattered the precious frame in which this Motionless, and concealed by the shadow intellect was lodged, it must yet, at some of a willow, I listened to the prodigy. future day, fill every heart with rapture. The moon just then emerged from the clouds that had obscured her, and shone full on the young violinist's form. The boy's features resembled those which you
No. III. have described, only the milder graces of youth softened the expression of his re
Berlin, March 30th, 1829. markable countenance. His strains ceased; After a long sojourn in the North, I ara female form appeared at the window, rived here about half-past eight. “What whence something was thrown down be- is going on in the theatre to-night, waitlow. In an instant I heard a voice ex- "Nothing of interest; but you claim; “ Traditore pol diavolo.” At the should go to the concert, sir. A violinsound of these words, the boy sprang ist”-“I am tired of violinists."
“ But quickly from the wall into the street, then this is really a prodigy. The critic Rellsdarted down a by-path, and was out of tab has worn out his pen in writing his sight before I could recover from my as- praises. Look at the Zeitung newspaper.” tonishment. Immediately afterwards, a Very good; what is the name of this head appeared above the wall, and long prodigy?” “His name is--I shall rememcontinued curses and imprecations follow- ber it directly--an Italiano--“What? an ed. The light in the window was extin- Italian ?” "Yes, it begins with P." guished. That the whole was a love ad- “With P., I must go to the concert. venture, was too clear to admit of any Where can I obtain a ticket ?” doubt. After the lapse of a few minutes, over the way; that is all you have to I advanced from my hiding-place. As I do.” I went at once; the hall was so was approaching the wall from which the crowded that I found it impossible to enboy had leaped so quickly, I trod upon ter ; so, like many others, I was obliged something which I found to be the bow of to remain in the vestibule. The tutti of a violin, that he must have lost in his de- the last piece was ended; now comscent. I have it yet; it is marked P. menced a solo, a Polacca. “It can be no At that time I hoped, by means of it, to other," I exclaimed. How well do I find out the young violinist; but on the remember those tones ! They lie deep in very next day, the pressure of hostilities my heart, beyond the power of oblivion.
- Just go
some one near me,
But what a wonderful performance! Are “Now he plays on the G string,” said there two-three-playing? Never be
He began. Good fore did I hear anything like it. I can God ! is it possible? That melody I have scarcely believe my own ears. Oh! that certainly once heard before. They are I could but catch a glimpse of him. But the self-same tones, which years ago, in'tis useless, a dense crowd is besieging the spired, comforted, animated me, and, as if doorway. I will at least lose not a single they descended from heaven, diffused a rasound." He ended-thunders of ap- diance through my darkened soul. As the plause echoed through the hall. But I company before me separated, I saw the was unable to see the performer, as the pale, melancholy countenance, the deep whole company rose from their seats for sunken eyes, the long wild locks, the tremthe purpose of catching a sight of him. bling, emaciated frame. It was he. Thus Could I have done so, my eager curiosity after the lapse of nineteen years, the man would then have been gratified, while of was enabled to solve the enigma which had the crowds around me, not a single hearer filled the soul of the youth with strange, could possibly experience emotions similar mysterious emotions, and which, like a to mine. No one, certainly, could know shrouded figure, would have accompanied the nature of my reminiscences. I wait- him forever, had he not been permitted ed with impatience the second appearance to lift the veil. It was removed. I of the wonderful performer. At last- | heard, I saw-Paganini.
MEMOIRS OF MY YOUTH.*
How frequently our taste in books, tiled roofs of the village. I said to mychanges! In boyhood, I was extremely self, 'I can never again journey by this fond of Byron, books of voyages and road; I can never again turn my eyes travels, Cook's, La Perouse, Riley's Nar- in this direction. This spire, this hill, rative, Robinson Crusoe, The Arabian this roof, these walls, will reproach me Nights; now, where I read one page of all my life with having bartered them Byron, I read fifty of Cowper's; but I away for a few bags of crown-pieces ! have not in many years met with a book And these worthy inhabitants! And these so delightful, so suited to my taste as these poor, but honest vine-dressers, who are my recollections of my youth by Lamartine— foster-brothers, and with whom I have the sweet style and eloquence of which passed my childhood, eating the same remind me strongly of Rousseau. It has bread at the same table ! What will they all the elegance, facility, fluency, and say? What will become of them when golden cadence of poetry. His theme is they are told that I have sold their vines, “ fluent as the sea,
and from his their meadows, their roof trees, their cows mother he imbibed the habit of
and their goats; and that a new pro
prietor, who knows them not, who loves “ Reviewing life's eventful page, them not, will perhaps change to-morrow
And noting ere they fade away, their whole destiny, rooted like my
this ungrateful but natal soil ?'” Lamar
tine wishes to sell so much of the properAfter his mother's death it becomes ne- ty as will produce an hundred thousand cessary that Milly, the homestead of the francs, and he sends for one of those perfamily should be sold, and the proceeds sons who purchase property in the mass in divided into five shares. It was to pass order to sell it again in smaller lots, to into unknown hands, and here it was that see if it could be accomplished. The Lamartine had hoped to end his day. gentleman arrives at Milly, and they walk He borrowed money and retained the about the grounds to see what could be property, but this was merely putting off most conveniently detached from the rest, the evil day, which came at last, when it to be divided into lots within reach of the was necessary to yield or sell. Lamartine means of purchasers in the neighborhood, . says he attempted in vain to delay. “If “Sir," said he, extending his arm, and time has wings, the interest of borrowed and cutting the air with a sweep, as a capital has the rapidity and weight of a surveyor portions off the land, " there is a locomotive." “I was overwhelmed with lot which might easily be sold together, grief. I looked around me in my anguish; and which will not greatly disfigure the I made my decision; then I altered the remainder. “Yes,” replied I, “ but that is resolution I had taken. I gazed from the vineyard which my father planted in afar with despair at that little, gray spire the year of my birth, and which he ever on the slope of the hill, the roof of the enjoined on us to retain in memory of house, the clump of linden trees, which him, as being the best portion of the doare seen from the road, peeping above the main, and as having been watered with the
* Memoirs of my Youth. By A. DE LAMARTINE. New York: Harper & Brothers, 82 Cliff
St. 1849. Les Confidences. Raphaël, Pages de la Vingtième Année, par M. de Lamartine. New York: D. Appleton et Compagnie, 200 Broadway: Philadelphia : George S. Appleton. Les Confidences. Contidential Disclosures, by Alphonse de Lamartine. Translated from the French by Eugene Plunkett. New York: D. Appleton & Co, Philadelphia : George S. Appleton.