« PreviousContinue »
done, for future trial. The cases are according to the moral conviction of the serious in which imprisonment before judge on the merits of the case, as trial is warranted. Immediately on the established by legal proof. Absent arrest being made, a brief preliminary witnesses are fined ; witnesses preexamination is had, to ascertain that a sent, should there be an adjournment, wrong person has not been seized, and are detained : the oath administered a formal warrant must now be pro- is exactly according to the English duced. A rational system of bail is form ; questions may be suggested by established, applicable to cases not in- any judge, or by the advocates on either famous. The celebrated habeas corpus side, but must always be put through act of England is explained. In award- the president. The previous examinaing punishment, the time during which tions are referred to only for the purthe accused may have been imprisoned, pose of contradiction. When the court previous to the trial, is taken into withdraws, in Camera di consiglio, to account.
deliberate privately, it cannot separate “ Before we enter upon the subject of until final judgment is given. The the fourth book, I may remark that the accused, if acquitted, cannot be tried a pains taken to prepare the case for second time. Should an equal number trial, and ensure the punishment of of judges declare for a different meaguilt, far exceed the system prevailing sure of punishment, the lesser must be in England_most certainly in Ireland. inflicted. There is no appeal from this We have excellent laws, but the guilty court, by either side, except to the constantly escape the punishment of Court of Cassation. This last and their crimes, by the careless and hasiy highest court, established in 1838, by manner in which the preliminary in- the reform then effected, consists of five quiries and preparations for the trial judges, a majority of whom decide; and are made. The whole system of crown its jurisdiction relates to the right approsecutions might, on the Tuscan plication of the law, all forms, and principle, be thoroughly reformed; and clashing of jurisdiction, but it does not if coercive laws are to be shunned, the decide upon the merits in fact, The existing laws should be carefully and forms are precise in proceedings for vigorously enforced. But more, per- great crimes before il Corte Regia. The haps, depends in the preparation for the accused may select his advocate from trial, than in the mode of conducting it amongst the number attached to that in court. In Tuscany, both depart- court; if he does not, or cannot, an ments of the public business, in the ad- advocate will be assigned to defend him." ministration of criminal justice, are filled by officers capable and responsible; There are peculiarities in relation and the result is that crime, which is to the competency of witnesses, which not scanty, is punished with certainty, are worthy of observation. Parents although the code is the most humane
and children, husband and wife, stepand gentle in Europe. Death is very seldom inflicted. Moderate punishments, bited from giving testimony each
parents and step-children, are prohiapplied with certainty, are supposed to be sufficiently efficacious in the repres
against the other; and the same rule sion of serious crime."
extends to some other relationships, if
the parties are living under the same Previous to the public trial, the
roof. This rule is sought to be juscase is submitted to a tribunal called
tified on the law of nature, as well as " la camera di accuse," which dis
the civil law. We may remark that charges the same functions as our own code adopts a similar rule, in grand jury. Neither the parties nor
the case of husband and wife, upon counsel are heard, but the whole pro
the ground of public policy. The cess and inquiries are laid before the
Tuscan rule, however, admits of a court, which decides, in three days, very extensive qualification in cases by a plurality of voices, whether the of serious premeditated crimes and accused is to be put on trial, or libe- homicide, it one has injured some rated. If the case be fit for trial, it
other member of the family, and it be goes
before the court “di Prima not possible to procure evidence elseIstanza,” the proceedings of which
where. We may also observe that are thus stated :
the evidence of informers is received
under restrictions very similar to those “ The trial is public; all the wit
known to our own laws, but the judge nesses on both sides are in attendance, has the power of interrogating the acand the advocate for the prisoner has cused. The exact punishment awarded the last word, after which the tribunal by the code must be pronounced, but pronounces judgment, which is to be it is requisite that the judges should
be unanimous in awarding capital exile. The apostate would be excluded punishment; and if there be a dis- from offices requiring particularly a sentient voice, as is almost universally
Roman Catholic; consequently, they the case, the next punishment in the could not practise the law, or be judges, scale is awarded.
or wear the religious habit of Saint While there is so much to admire in
Stephen's. They might, however, fill this code, there is one subject of cri
every other office ; but, in civil affairs,
the laws of common right relative to minal jurisprudence that presents a heretics would be applicable. Capital melancholy and discreditable contrast,
punishment, prescribed by the law of betraying all the bigotry and intole
1795, appears to be only applicable to rance of the religion from which it heresiarchs, a class of people almost springs, and the leaven of the Inquisi. imaginary, according to our present tion, of which it is the last bequest to
customs. Therefore, the laws are Florence. We allude to the law in re
framed rather in terrorem than to be lation to heresy. Mr. Whiteside put a for
executed. In fact, there is no law in mal case to an eminent advocate, asking Tuscany that punishes private opinion,
but, at the same time, we have no law • • What species of liberty, as re- that permits a Catholic openly to progards religion, exists in Tuscany--may fess a different religion.' a Tuscan change his religion, and continue to dwell in his native country, and
By far the most characteristic poroccupy any situation which he may tion of Mr. Whiteside's work is his vi. have before held under the govern- gorous assault upon Mr. Roscoe's hisment?' The answer is highly interest- tory of the Medici.
Never did knight ing— The Catholic religion is the pre- in olden times more chivalrously addominant religion in Tuscany. Preach- dress himself to defending innocence ing against this religion, seeking to sow
and redressing wrongs, than does our sects, and to separate the faithful from
author to demolish the eulogies of the the church, is a crime which, according
Medicean biographer, to vilify the chato circumstances, may be punished either with exile or capital punishment.-(Law
racters and impugn the motives of each of the 5th July, 1782; law of 30th Nov.,
and every member of these lordly and 1786, article 60; law of 30th August, magnificent merchants. The affair is 1795, article 9.) Our legislature, how- absolutely brilliant, and one is almost ever, includes principally in heresy, the seduced by the liveliness of his humour, disturbance of social order. Hence, the pungency of his burlesque, and the with us, there cannot exist presumed incessant play of his verbal artillery, heresy for non-observance of religious to assent to all that he advances, and precepts-nor may the private opinion believe that the Medici, despite of all of each individual, as regards religion, be inquired into. The inquisition being
the imperishable memorials of their ge
nius, learning, and ability, were the abolished, the precepts of reason come
heaviest curses that Providence ever into operation; therefore, not by appearance, but by the actions, are inward
inflicted on Tuscany. That Mr. Rosthoughts judged of. Hence, a person coe has magnified their merits, and excannot be reputed a heretic from out- tenuated their faults, few who read ward signs, ercept he obstinately main- and judge for themselves will now tains heretical propositions, and refuse to deny. At the same time, we believe submit to the judgment of the church. their faults were, in a great measure, Much less can any civil law be applied those of the age and country; and we to injure the temporal interests of here.
are convinced that their vigorous rule, tics, except it be formally declared that the person against whom such application
though it infringed on the popular
liberty, advanced Florence—that their of the law is demanded is guilty of heresy. It is certain, however, that Tuscans,
wealth and commerce aggrandised her born Catholics, are not permitted to
-their learning and taste adorned her, abjure the Catholic religion, and pro
and their name, with all its deprecatfess another. If this took place, the ing accompaniments, is associated incriminal punishment could not exceed separably with her palmiest memories.*
* We cannot think highly of the enthusiasm of him who could wander through the treasures of the “Pitti," with his heart filled with “hatred, malice, and all uncharitableness," against those whose taste and munificence so largely contributed to its riches. We hope the author's stomach, rather than his heart, was in fault when he “fell foul” of the Medici, as Smollett did of their Venus, for which he was 80 sharply rallied by Sterne." "I will tell it to the world,' said Smellfungus. * You had better,' said I, ‘tell it to your physician.'”
Indeed, too depreciating an estimate same route-by Civita Castellana, and of those “ upstarts from the counting- through the Campagna di Roma. house ” had been previously made by “Dulce est desipere in loco." Every Mr. Forsyth, in a concise and eloquent traveller is entitled to be eloquent or contrast with Leopold, to render this poetical, according to his taste, as he attack by Mr. Whiteside needful. But catches the first sight of "Imperial, the truth is, “our learned friend" has peerless Rome.” For once, then, we evidently been retained in the cause shall let each describe his sensations, by his prejudice, or his pure love of a From the summit of the Hill, Mr. Geale scrimmage—and we view him accord. first catches sight of the Dome of St. ingly, as we have often before done Peter's, the Mole of Adrian, and the with delight and admiration, throwing, yellow Tiber, in the glory of an Italian as an advocate, all the vigour of his sunset : eloquence and his intellect into the case which he was bound to sustain. " The " What a tide of reflections occupy History of the Medici,” says he, " is as
the mind what emotions stir the heart, interesting as a fairy tale.” As told by on first beholding Rome. There is not Sismondi, it is more-it is as interest- only grandeur in the sight, but in the ing as a reality. As travestied by Mr.
thought that we behold her; we feel as if Whiteside, with admirable and quaint brought us hither to ponder amidst
ennobled by the destiny which has humour-a humour that we would say
scenes so renowned and sacred. Rome, was all his own, but that it reminds us
still seated on her seven hills, stretched forcibly of Gilbert à-Becket's “Comic
away before us; the city—the vicissis History of England”-it is a most fe- tudes of whose fortunes involve the hislicitous specimen of that dashing, tory of our race; the fruitful mother of slashing nisi-prius speech to a jury by heroes; the imperial mistress of the which we have, many a time and oft,
world; exalted by the loftiest achieveseen him invest sober truth with an air ments of valour and patriotism; and of irresistible ridicule, and laugh a
adorned by the most varied and concase out of court. Let any one take
summate genius; till, degenerate and up Sismondi's chapters, in his “History
self-enthralled, she became the victim of
the sanguinary crimes and lust of power of the Italian Republics,” which nar
which she herself had engendered. No rate the history of the Florentine re
other city on earth has been the theatre public during the time of the Medici,
of such events, or suggests the same and compare them with Mr. White
associations, Who can behold it for side's clever sketch, and he will not be the first time unmoved? The statesless surprised at the wholesale appro- man—the philosopher and man of letters priation of the very language of the -the disciple of Luther or Calvin_all matter-of-fact Genevese, than he will
alike regard it with the deepest interest, be amused at the dexterity with which, although with the feelings which belong by the change of a single phrase, or
to their different characters; but it is the introduction of a sly word or two,
the devout and believing in infallible
Rome who behold her with one common the adroit advocate contrives to mould facts to his own views, and suggest in
feeling of enthusiastic veneration, and
enter her gates with exultation as the ferences which will help to
carry a • Holy City, hallowed by the blood of verdict."
martyrs, and the residence of the fisherFrom our author's onslaught upon man and his successors." the Medici, we turn, with unmixed gratification, to his valuable sketch of Mr. Whiteside thus moralizes :the life and labours of one whose character no eulogist can overdraw, and “I stood on the Campagna, the mofrom whose sterling and practical vir. ment it was possible, to behold the glo. tues no tongue can detract. If the be- rious dome of St. Peter's. The view of nefits which Florence derived from the some broken monument was interrupted Medici have been largely alloyed, as by the strange figure of the Italian shepdoubtless they have been, the vast and
herd, clad in sheep-skin, tending his beneficial reforms of the illustrious
flock; or the stranger figure of the Leopold have brought unmingled bless
mounted peasant, muffled in his cloak, ings, and raised Tuscany to its pre
and with pointless spear driving the
buffaloes before him. sent prosperous condition.
“I passed the site of the ancient Veii, And now “Farewell to Florence.”
and near those fields which Cincinnatus Our tourists both entered Rome by the cultivated with his victorious hands. It
seemed as if I traversed a plain showing city of the Cæsars, is so favourable to still traces of a civilization and grandeur those early impressions, as by the which had been swept away by a whirl- Porta San Giovanni-no time so imwind, or scattered by an earthquake.
pressive as a full-mooned midnight “Surely this approach to Rome teaches the most awful lesson of the vicissitude Naples the colossal arches of the Aqua
On the right stretches away towards of human things ! “At the Milvian Bridge I stop to
Crabra, and then turning to the left, gaze with reverence on the yellow Tiber,
the gently rising ground carries the here a noble river, rolling through gar
eye to where Constantine's Christian dens and plantations. I remembered Temple, St. Giovanni in Laterano, the historic associations connected with rears its stupendous façade, solemn the spot-Cicero and Cataline, and the and vast, in the ghostly midnight. fearful narrative of Sallust--the victory Passing on through the ancient city, of Constantine over Maxentius, estab- the Colosseum starts up before you, a lishing Christianity in the world. In
spectre of decayed glory, with its giant such a place, a crowd of great events rush at once into the mind, and agitate ing one above the other in a triple gal.
limbs and graceful tiers of arches, ris. the soul with various and conflicting feelings. I look up, and behold upon
lery, while the broken masses of light the mighty dome of St. Peter's, the flood through them in full radiance, cross triumphant over the power of the leaving portions plunged in black obscuCæsars. Crossing the Tiber, a spacious rity; and so, with the mind full of oldroad passing through imposing suburbs, world thoughts, and the spirit elevated conducts in a straight line of two miles and solemnized, you reach the Forum to the Flaminian Gate.
-yes, the old Forum, disentombed from “Poets, undaunted patriots, heroes, the ruins of earthquakes, disentangled emperors, conquerors of the world, have
from all modern associations, and, like trod this path. Their power, but not their glory has passed away, for their history
the corpse of Lazarus, stript of its is written in characters ineffaceable.
cerements, and standing forth vital and
erect. Frequent arches, columns, tem** Still to the remnants of their splendour past,
ples—all speak of old Rome. Shall pilgrims pensive, but unwearied, throng.'
" Ben molti archi e collonne in piu d'un segno “Still are we taught by their wisdom,
Serban del valor prisca alta memoria." animated by their eloquence, exalted by their chivalrous courage, educated in
And the words of Ghedini involuntatheir learning, and fired by their genius. rily rise to our lips :I stop before the venerable walls of Rome—they tell a wondrous history;
" Queste le mura son cui trema e inchina,
Pur anche il mondo non che pregia e ammira, I enter "the City of the Soul,” forget- Queste le vie, per cui con scorna ed ira ful of what is passing around me- Portar barbari re la fronte china ; burning thoughts will here inflame the E questi che v'incontro a ciascun passo
Avanzi son di memorabil opre." coldest heart; I peopled the streets with the famous men of the mighty republic, and fancied I beheld a race of Well, but we are not going to comheroes. Coriolanus, haughty Scipio, mit poetry or topography; therefore, stern Brutus, the eloquent Gracchi, gentle reader, we commend you to one great Pompey, 'triumphant Sylla,' and of the very best guides you can have their various fortunes were vividly be- through the Eternal City, whether fore me."
your walks be by moonlight or by day,
right a-head from the Porta del Popolo The first sight of Rome is an era in to the Porta San Sebastiano, from the every traveller's existence : he feels Vatican to Santa Maria Maggiore ; himself, as it were in bodily presence, or if you be disposed, which we associated with the past, a denizen of think far the better way, to divide the commonwealth of the Cæsars. He the city into districts, and go melooks rather to see the prætor or the thodically to work, after having first edile, the chariot or the mounted had a few days of indiscriminate reknight, than the red-stockinged cardi- velling everywhere. In this last plan, nal, the sleek, black-cassocked priest, Mr. Whiteside's book is admirable, and the burly, rope-cinctured friar, or we rejoice to find he is about to conCampagna peasant, in his picturesque fer on the British public a translation attire, half sylvan, half bandit. To of a most excellent and delightful toour own thinking, no approach to the pography of Rome; we mean, of course, Rome of our boyish memories, the that of Canina. At the same time,
we are not sure that in matters of taste he is as safely to be depended on ; and we would rather incline to trust ourselves to Mr. Geale, where the beautiful and imaginative are the subjects of our investigation. The former has a cultivated mind, but we are not much impressed with his natural gift of appreciating as acutely as a more delicate and finer organization, such as the latter seems to possess, can do. We have read with great pleasure Mr. Geale's descriptions of the Forum, the Capitol, the Colosseum, and of many of the pictures and statuary at Rome ; and we felt that he recalled our own thought, and realised our past impressions, with more vividness and pictorial power than his bolder co-labourer.
In the last room on the ground floor of the Palazzo Barberini, the eye of every visitor is arrested by the strange yet painful fascination of a solitary portrait. It is from the divine pencil of Guido Reni; it is the loveliest, the most wretched of her sex. What man ever looked upon the face of Beatrice Cenci without a rush of feelings, conflicting, undefinable--pity, indignation, horror, almost sickness—as the story of her sufferings and her woes rises to his memory. “Oh, wonderful magician !"-As Propertius said of one who painted the god of love, so may we more truly exclaim of Guido,
Nonne putas miras hunc habuisse manus ?" How well canst thou shake and subdue the heart with thy tiny wand, tipped with the mimic pigment! Look at the tender, girlish loveliness of that countenance—its noble, yet haggard beauty; its gentle, melancholy abandon ; the languid dejection, expressed in the head turned aside and slightly upwards ; the pallor of that oval face, save where the faintest flushing tinges the cheek; the forehead, clear and smooth as if chiselled from veinless marble; the sad eye of rich hazel, with its swollen lid ; the small, full red lips, slightly apart in relaxed langour, as if yet tingling from the torture_look at that visage where is blent, with marvellous power, the trouble of affliction with the calmness of innocence_look at all this, man of crime and of passion, and be unmoved if you can! Who is there that knows not the main incidents of this fearful story? The muse of Shelley has given it to fame, though Italy
long struggled to suppress it; and more recently, a writer in a contemporary periodical gives a different version. Each puts forward a plausible claim for the authenticity of his narrative: Shelley assures us his was copied from the Archives of the Colonna Palace. Mr. Whittle asserts his information is taken from a manuscript which he discovered in a private library at Rome, and which he supposes was written by her confessor. Mr. Whiteside is too inquisitive a spirit to be satisfied with either, and institutes his own inquiries, which result in procuring a Florentine book, professing to be the “History of Beatrice Cenci, which he conjectures to have been written by the jurist Ademollo. This narrative is given at length, and differs in many respects from both the former ; but it has much about it that bears the stamp of truth, and commends Beatrice more than ever to our pity and admiration. It is, indeed, a tale of harrowing interest, and its simple and unstrained statements move us far more than the tragedy of the poet. There is one piece of evidence, to us of irresistible weight in favor of Mr. Whiteside's version: the lovely face which Guido has bequeathed to the world could never have meditated parricide, or, were that even possible, could not have retained its impress of touching innocence after the conception of the crime.
We have some clever descriptions of men and manners, things holy and unholy, in Rome, from both our guides. Mr. Geale gives us a good sketch of the late pope's visit to St. Peter's in lent, and the doings during the holy week.
Mr. Whiteside presents us with a very lively but somewhat too ludicrous a picture of the pope in conclave with his cardinals, on the occa. sion of creating a new member of the sacred college. We cannot quite agree with him in the farcical view he takes of these ceremonies. Democri. tus would have made quite as quizzi. cal an affair of a royal coronation or christening, the installation of a Knight of the Garter or St. Patrick, or an ordinary court levee ; and yet sober, sensible people can go through these matters without a sense of the ridiculous, or the slightest tax on their gravity. Here is a sketch of the celebrated Padre Ventura, done to the life: