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In the terrible scene which follows, she are brought in expecting to find him sane, begs to know why he has done this, till they behold only a shrieking madman. she faints—he urging her to confess, From this time he becomes incurably stanches the wound to give her time to re- insane, generally sitting motionless with pent—she revives-he shows her the let his eyes riveted to one spot for days toter—she reads it, and prays Heaven to gether, except when he hears the voice spare him when he shall know the truth-- of his wife, which always throws him into alas ! her love manifests it already, and he | a paroxysm of raving. It is after one of these rushes forth distracted, even while her eyes paroxysms that, without speaking to any are closing.
one, he is seen to go into his painting room; We will hasten rapidly to the end of the he continues to do so month after month, tale, for there is no greater injustice to an till he finishes the picture described in the author than to present extracts from the introduction. He then disappears for most passionate parts of his story, or dull more than a year, and is finally found in the edge of the reader's curiosity by a dry the cottage where the traveller has seen and minute skeleton of his plot.
him, whence no entreaty will induce him Fialto meets Maldura that very night, to depart. Rosalia, to be near him, beand receives the reward of his villany. comes a boarder at a neighboring convent. Maldura too begins to taste the wages | Maldura’s repentance is sincere; he beof sin in an overwhelming sense of self-comes a brother of this convent, and dies condemnation. Rosalia is soon discov- there two years before the traveller's visit, ered by the frightened servants; the old having procured the picture to be near house-keeper finding her still warm, sends him, that he might be always reminded for a surgeon, who pronounces the wound what a mind he had blasted. not mortal ; she is enjoined not to speak-! This is the sum of the manuscript given not even to inquire for her husband; days by the Prior to the traveller. Two days and weeks pass by, and she slowly recov- after the venerable father calls him to aters. When Maldura hears of her recovery, tend the death-bed of Monaldi, to whose it takes somewhat from his great agony of closing hours Heaven has mercifully grantremorse. But he had still blasted Monal- ed an interval of reason. He there sees di's peace--perhaps his life-for Monaldi Rosalia kneeling by her husband's bedside, has been searched for in vain ever since and the solemn scene which follows finthe dreadful night. Hence he is still loaded ishes, as with a sublime hymn, the tragic with guilt, and can only avoid himself by drama of their love and sorrow. mixing in the world and travelling from We would not have the reader suppose city to city.
that such a synopsis, and the scattered exAt length, losing his way in the country tracts it contains, can convey a true idea near Naples, he espies a hut among the of this affecting story; but this may neverruins of an ancient tomb: there he finds theless serve to enable us to interest him Monaldi, a wretched maniac. He causes in a few observations naturally suggested him to be conveyed to the nearest village by it; and, which will be much better, and procures aid, and himself attends him they may excite his curiosity to read it. till at length he is restored and hears that Indeed, if we were certain it would proRosalia lives. (Rosalia and Landi had duce the latter effect, we had rather quit been sent for meanwhile, and await the the subject here, and leave the book to the physician's permission to see him.) But opinions of ladies and scholars; for it is in the same conversation that Maldura, not easy to analyze beauties and point out whom he still looks upon as his old friend, particular excellencies in works which we tells him of his wife's recovery, he mani- love as wholes. Just as lovers are unable fests so much gratitude that Maldura is to tell what separate feature or attribute of overpowered by the might of conscience, form or motion, most warms their hearts that will not be relieved till he has con- in gazing on their mistresses, whether it fessed all his guilt; and this he does with be the jetty ringlet, the ruby lip, the such an impetuous torrent of self-reproach sparkling eye, the rosy smile, the graceful that it kindles again the fire in Monaldi's, gesture, or the silvery voice; so it is with brain, so that when Rosalia and her father books which touch the same 'invisible fin
isher :' it is not the style alone, the lan- | as an unique in our literature—a short guage, the thought, the fancy, or the pas- story of love, ambition, revenge, and jealsion, but the general character, compound- ousy, highly dramatic and picturesque, ed of all these and speaking through them, yet embodying thought enough to give it as the soul of the lover's mistress speaks rank with Rasselas or any similar producto him through her charms, that reaches tion in the language. Though written in the depth of sympathy. Monaldi is to be the form of a tale, it has all the condenloved, in brief, it may be said, because it is sation of a tragedy; every page hurries a delightful old-fashioned tale, full of re- | along the action, and every page teems flection, observation, philosophy, charac- also with suggestive reflection. Its style ter, pictures, true affection-all excellent is pure, and finished with the most extreme qualities; because it charms the reader care; yet it is also perfectly natural and and draws him onward, so that when it is
| easy. begun it presses to be gone through with ; ! There is never a word out of place, or because it takes him into a new and beau- / a word too much, and yet it flows with a tiful region, a modification of one that was delicious music, that changes with the already familiar, a peculiar Italy, wherein passion, as it could only have changed the real and the romantic are brought into under the guidance of natural emotion. actual harmonious contact; because it is It has a peculiar rhythm, and though it is told in a pure simple style, that often rises so admirably sustained that the ear soon to the most passionate eloquence; because becomes quite unconscious it is following Rosalia is so lovely and so truly intellectual aught but the accent of the simplest prose a lady; or to sum up all in one, as Be which could be written, yet any judge of atrice does her love to Benedict, “ for all style will see that this needs more care these bad parts together,” or simply be- to restrain it within its required limits than cause not to like it is impossible.
the poetry of such a writer as TennyIt may readily be conceived why such a son for example, or any who pitch their tale should be neglected by the novel work upon a level admitting the most readers of to-day, who only read Mr. Bul- astonishing incongruities of expression. wer for excitement, Mr. James out of habit, Refinement shows itself no less in style and Madame Sand for reasons not to be than in thought and mode of treatment; understood : for all such readers, Monaldi the soul of a true artist manifests itself in is too broadly based on common sense and all that it does; and its sensitive discrimiright thinking ; its passion is too lofty and nation is as evident in its manner of expresreal; it is altogether too quietly wrought, sion as in its course of thought and fancy. the coloring is too rich and delicate, the Some writers at the present time, in detone too deep. It is like a fine old paint- spair seemingly of expressing themselves ing, that might hang for years in a row of in a style sufficiently nice for their overFrench daubs and attract no eye-glasses, nice conceits, abandon the attempt, and tin-tubes, or parvenu ecstacies.
put on the mask of some strange affectaBut there must be many readers who tion. Carlyle formerly, in the Life of are better capable of understanding and Schiller, and other things, wrote in a very relishing what is good in novels and tales, careful rhetorical style ; but it was a cold and who will be glad to discover one that one, and finding that he had not the time has food in it. There must be many who to be so elaborate, and not having the were great lovers of good stories in early manliness to be natural, he determined, in youth, but have long since, they fancy, the true spirit of a wrong-headed misanexhausted that department so as to be thrope, to attempt to please the world no unable to find anything they can read. / more, but thenceforth to defy custom and Some remember Godwin, others Scott, and be independent. Among our writers of they have a few old favorites among these, less strength of intellect than he, how and one or two others, which, for want of many we have who have followed the same newer, they content themselves with re- course! In poetry, we have abundant reading at long intervals. To such as examples among our transcendental minthese, our article is especially addressed ; nows on both sides the water. In prose, and to them we would commend Monaldiwe have our Jerrolds, and nearer home, our regular manufacturers of base coin, be felt a long way off, and at last it dies who make a trade of passing counterfeit away with the lofty grandeur of an old good writing.
Handelian cadence. How far this effect is Indeed, we have so many such, and the to be attributed to the pure style, as apart general vice of carelessness in style so from thought, it is not necessary to ask affects our hasty-writing age, that the very ourselves, since if the style had not much purity and neatness of the style of Monaldi to do with it, and did not much assist the will at first appear so striking as to seem other, the effect could not be so complete. strained and obtrusive. Yet if we turn This conclusion is certainly one of the suddenly from several weeks of the ordi- finest instances of the power of natural nary current of newspapers and other reserve in the language. such writing of the hour, which every one How admirably suited is this simple, reads, (except those whose necessities pure, and elevated style, to the tone and oblige them to write it,) to the pages of passion! We can fancy that a superficial any of our prose classics, Addison or Gold reader of trash should take up the book, smith for example, the same effect will be | and after running over a page or two, perceived. The first impression of a pure throw it, with a flippant sneer at its style is therefore, under such circumstan “purism ;" there is a great variety of readces, no sure test. We must go on at first ers among the educated as well as uneduwith an effort, till we become lost in the cated, who are not at all up to the appreauthor; and if we can become so lost, and ciation of such writing and such thinking, at the same time still have the conscious- not from any fault of theirs, but because ness of a pure and graceful flow of expres- | the providence of Heaven did not furnish sion ever present with us, harmonizing them with the requisite susceptibility. For with, not obstructing, the growth of emo all such, Monaldi will be too “ slow” a tion, is not this a higher enjoyment than book; they will want something more to lose all consciousness of style whatever ? dashy and steaming; they will require It of course must be; for it is bringing stories where the passion overpowers the into play another faculty of our nature ; judgment, and sometimes runs riot with pleasing, not lulling, the critical discern- | the intellect, in order to be stirred up thorment, while the imagination pursues her oughly ; they cannot conceive a mind so lofty flight; it is directing our air voyage constituted that it shall take on, in the over a diversified champaign, rather than production of a work of art, a higher life over a desolate sea, or a region of shape through its whole substance-in its reason, less clouds.
its apprehension, its invention, its emotion, But the style of Monaldi, though pure, its consciousness. is not rigid; it bends to the story, and this But there is a smaller class who can shows how naturally it must have been relish all forms of art, from simple fairy written. In the opening chapters, it is stories, where the eye only is amused with quiet and reflective, suited to the tone of pictures, to lofty tragedies, like Hamlet or the thoughtful character-drawing with Macbeth, where the whole soul is brought which the piece commences; as it goes on, into activity, and made to experience, as we have a vivid epigrammatic dialogue ; | Coleridge says, “a sense of its possible then the most passionate scenes, all built / greatness.” upon the original reflective back-ground, These will not fail to be delighted with which is ever coming in, like a prevailing the beautiful consentaneousness of the style harmony, to sustain the unity of the tone. and thought, particularly in the opening Finally, nothing can be finer for harmony chapters of Monaldi. The extracts we of style with the thought and with its have given may be sufficient to make this previous level, than the conclusion. There, excellence somewhat apparent; but in the where there was so much temptation to be entire book it is one of the most striking falsely eloquent, the author has so reso- qualities, and shows how perfectly natural lutely preserved the dominant tone, that is the purity and restrained elegance of the very melody of the sentences almost diction which the lovers of a showy rhetgives an effect that we are approaching a oric will be ready to cavil at. For, as the concluding harmony; the end begins to style is elevated, pure, and simple, so is the thought; we refer to the abstract, dry that we come back to old, common, and light, the naked offspring of the intellect. universal views of human nature, with reThere is not a page that is not laden with freshed and clearer insight. Hence all the observations which seem to be the last fruit great artists and thinkers dwell forever of experience. Observe the introduction among great solemn truths, the same that of the two characters in the opening chap-were known ages ago, but which they, ter: there is more genuine truth evolved each one, discern afresh, with a vision so in those few paragraphs, than would fur- keen that they cause others to fancy they nish forth a whole swarm of our modern see them also, and thus hold them forever waterflies, “spacious in the possession of in the world's eye. The superficial artists dirt"-our transcendental literary Osrics, I and thinkers fly off into unclassified spewho only “get the tune of the time, and cies and singularities, and cannot dilate the outward habit of encounter; a kind themselves to a comprehension of what is of yesty collection, which carries them grand and eternal_their little optics will through the most fanned and winnowed not contain so wide a field of vision. opinions; and do but blow them to their Hence there are many well-disposed pertrial, the bubbles are out.” Yet there is sons and very fair judges of every-day no affectation of profundity in Monaldi; | books, who will not be able to discover the not a thought which does not strike the excellence of the thought in Monaldi. Just mind as so simple and obvious, it seems as the style will seem to some too still and wonderful that it should not have been so careful, so to these, the reflections will apexpressed before. We read with a con- pear too obvious and not sufficiently fine. stant assent, ever unconsciously murmur- | They will stumble upon ideas that never ing, “How true!" When we bring the entered their minds before, but which come crude and formless metaphysics of such in so naturally that they will fancy tbem writers as George Sand and Bulwer upon to be familiar visitors; others which they the retina of the fancy, at the same may see are new, will yet appear so easy moment with this true philosophy, their that they will not deem them worthy of reimpression is so faint and evanescent, it spect; in a word, they will not be able to does not in the least affect its previous appreciate the thinking they will meet with image; they do not obstruct the radiance here, because they will not be able to lift of such thinking any more than the sub-themselves up to it. As when among a stance of a comet hides the light of the party of grasping and cajoling speculators, sun. For here we see that the purpose comes in a gentleman of refinement and is not display, but an earnest impulse to reserve, they fancy he is afraid of them, know the truth and hold it fast. This and even the women often thus despise one quality of character, joined to a sensitive who could devour forty thousand of their organization, leads its possessor, through husbands and brothers while waiting for observation and reflection, to great ultimate bis breakfast-so when the thoughts of truths, which are real discoveries. And such an one are spread on paper, there these discoveries, when they are original, are coarse, vain, weak heads enough to are expressed in such a way as they never smile and say to themselves, “ This is can be when they are acquired ; the writer | harmless stuff!” speaks with a guardedness of phraseology The truth is, there is a great majority and a positive assurance of tone which of minds in the world who never can unshows that he has thought the matter over derstand anything but hard knocks; that and over, held it in his mind, carefully is the reason we are obliged to take so considered it, applied it in practice, and much pains with our laws, and our conwatched its operation ; in short, that it is stitutions, to keep them in order. All these a part of himself and not a mere excur- cannot appreciate any kind of art, let them sion of his thinking faculty, or a flow of try ever so much; they can only know conventional ideas. This is the individuals what is told them : they have not the art ization of thinking. This is original sense. How many such can any artist thought. This is the fruit of life treasured call before his mind's eye! The conceited and given to the world.
newspaper critic, who treats you as an inAnd the result of all such thinking is, | ferior all the while you are making a butt
of him ; the solemn doctor of divinity, who been beloved, have hated and taken resits at a concert and nods approval, while vengé; hope deserted me, then came rethe artists are whispering what hollow solution ; stung by the world's injustice, I brass he is, under his very nose! Society turned at bay, and made me a name is full of such examples; and a sensitive among men; now I have found no rest, man who has the humble soul of a true and I am willing to give up my life, for I artist must be prepared to meet “the believe in the mercy of Heaven.” But spurns that patient merit of the unworthy each particular of his experience he would takes,” with a cheerful fortitude that looks communicate in a large, simple, comprewithin for its reward. A great, pure soul, hensive way, that would include all variethat was born a worshipper of truth, is as ties of its kind, and hence would be intelmuch alone in the moiled rabble of the ligible to every living being. This would common world, as if it had dropped from certainly be as great thinking as can be some planet nearer the sun.
conceived. And still if such an individual We have often fancied that if the whole were to arise and address the world in that range of thought were gone over, of which manner, we cannot suppose that he would the mind is capable, and all thoughts con- be understood and reverenced as a teacher, sidered with reference to their origin-that No--not for years. The crowd would then we might arrive at some simple ori- | still move on, amusing itself with metaginals, fewer in number than the material physical bubbles, while the prophet would elements, which should contain the germs only have credit for attempting to teach it and roots of them all. Thus the plain what it knew already. view of human character and motive set! We have quoted largely from those forth in the Holy Scriptures might be seen parts of Monaldi which contain criticism of to be not only true, but the most profound painting, not only because anything on that that can be taken ; and those torsos of subject from its author must be read ancient ballads, which abound in all litera with interest, but more for their evident intures, might be seen to have survived the trinsic merit. The criticism is of that sort wrack of time, not by the result of accident, which sinks into the mind and is never forbut from their originating in greatness and gotten. There is hardly a technical word being thence adapted to the highest as well in it, but yet it goes at once to the very as lowest conditions of being. For it is as root of the matter. It deserves to be much as the most honest and earnest treasured along with Mozart's humorous seeker after truth can do, to conquer the oracular decisions in music. * Still there downward inclination to profundity, and is nothing in it hard to be understood, and when we consider how many there are who any reader who does not comprehend its have no scruples, but are ever anxiously main purport at a glance, may rest asendeavoring to astonish their fellows in this sured he never will; he may feel its truth wise, what wonder is it that generation in a higher and wider sense as he lives on after generation should be kept wandering and grows in experience, but the essence of in dark mazes and crooked ways, when, if the distinctions is as manifest in a moment they would but look upward, they might as they ever can be. For they are walk in the direct beams of the eternal great simple truths, as obvious as the pressun! If one could experience all, could go through all the joys, sorrows, love, hope,
* For example :-"Your symphony is too much grief--all that ever was, or can be suf
crowded, and to hear it partially or piecemeal, fered, and come out of it with a still un would be, by your permission, like beholding an blenched resolution, what ideas, what forms
ant hill. I mean to say as if Eppes, the devil, were
in it: Some compose fairly enough with other peoof thought and expression, may we sup ple's ideas, not possessing any themselves; others, pose such an one would use in addressing
who have ideas of their own, do not understand
how to treat and master them. The last is your his race-supposing his memory perfect
case ; only do not be angry, pray! But your song and his mind capable of grasping and rend has a beautiful cantabile and your dear Fraenzl
ought to sing it very often to you, which I should ing asunder the veil of his spirit ? What
like as much to see as to hear. The coda of the could he say more than, “ I have lived; I 1 minuet may well clatter or tinkle, but it will never have lain down and gat me up day by day : | produce music; sapienti sat. I am not very expert
il at writing on such subjects; I rather show at once I have eaten and drank ; I have loved and how it ought to be done." Letter to the Baron V