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follows of the mighty Eastern princes who fell before it. Mambrino, invulnerable in his enchanted vermilion armour, his turban surmounted by a crown, and his shield displaying a wounded lion with this device, "I know who wounded me, and I never forgive," stands a while amazed to see Rinaldo mowing down his troops "like a countryman plying his scythe in a green meadow," ably seconded
by Lelius and Malagigi. But at length he comprehends the critical nature of the situation, and comes forward himself to defy the champion of Clarice; and a fight ensues which the poet likens to one between an elephant and a lion. Rinaldo's dexterous and rapid movements give him at first an advantage over his ponderous antagonist :—
The giant, amid thousand strokes, at List
Yet soon his limbs their strength, his eyes their sight
Fearing his cruel death, her own disgrace,
Clarice stands gazing on her lover dear,
And as she views his combat's changeful case,
So change her look and heart from hope to fear:
Now deadly pallor covers all her face,
Now colours bright and roseate there appear,
Like as, while frosts keep from the spring retreating,
March skies show gleams of light and dark clouds fleeting.
—Canto xii. 60-62.
At last Rinaldo wins the day; and Mambrino lies on the ground, stupefied, although unwounded, by his blows. To cut the laces of his helmet and then sever his head from his body would seem only the work of a few moments. But those few moments cannot be spared. The vast host prepares to rush down, and the choice is left to the knight between love and vengeance. Seeing that he cannot secure both, he wisely gives Clarice the pre
ference; and at once placing her behind him on Bayard, bids her intrust herself fearlessly to one to whom her honour is dearer than his own life. Even so, however, their escape seems doubtful; so numerous are the foes who try to intercept it. But Malagigi is determined that his cousin shall not have parted with the honour of slaying the gigantic Mambrino for nothing. He hastily mutters a charm, and sprinkles some magic
drops on the advancing soldiers; when they instantly begin to fight with one another. Rinaldo, amazed beyond measure, recognises his sorcerer kinsman by his handiwork, and at once implores him to reverse his spell, nor thus ignobly destroy such brave and noble warriors.
The wizard consents, and, turning thrice to the east and thrice to the west, once more pronounces words of power, and scatters herbs of occult virtue. Forthwith the Saracens desist from their mutual blows, and rush with one accord towards Rinaldo; but between them and him arises a wall of fire which makes their assault impossible, and which even the paladin, though eager for the conflict, finds that he cannot traverse.
Malagigi V>ids him come at once to his own sumptuous castle, which is near at hand, and look forward to renewing the combat on a fast approaching day, when there shall be none to impede its being fairly fought out. For Mambrino's troops are but the advanced-guard of that great invasion of France by the Moslems, whereof Ariosto sang. Rinaldo's -work will for many a long day be in the tented field; and the short breathing-time left cannot be more wisely employed than in securing the hand of Clarice. To such union the lady, disabused by her knight of her wrongful suspicions of his fidelity, consents; all the more gladly, we may suppose, from her painful experience of the perils of her unprotected position. And so the poem ends with the joyful wedding of Rinaldo and Clarice; with the young poet's affectionate farewell to them and to the little book, the companion of his brief leisures from severer studies by the banks
of the Brenta; and with its respectful dedication to his patron the cardinal, and to Bernardo Tasso, that dear and honoured father, to whom his son gladly acknowledges that he owes any merits which it may possess.
Doubtless the death of the giant Mambrino would have formed a more imposing close, than does his mere overthrow, to the story. But here, as elsewhere, its author was hampered by respect for the work of his predecessors. Nor can his invention have felt otherwise than straitened throughout by the fertility of Ariosto's, so that he must all along have seemed to himself a mere gleaner in a very thoroughly reaped field; driven to ghastly sources of interest, like the corpse of the murdered Clytia, by finding all the sunnier spaces already preoccupied.
Like the 'Amadis' and the 'Floridante' of Bernardo, the 'Binaldo' of Torquato Tasso is after all but an arrow shot at a near mark from the bow which, in the hands of a mightier master, had amazed the world by the distance reached by its feathered messengers, and the force with which they had been speeded to their goal. No wonder therefore, that, despite the very considerable charm of its versification, and of its, on the whole, pleasing stories, of its "lively and delicate descriptions, of its numerous and often original and striking comparisons,"1 the ' Rinaldo's' popularity proved short-lived, and that the poem was little remembered among its author's greater successes. It wants the fibre of which great poems are made. It is too purely and simply a love-tale to satisfy the mind of any but a very young reader; while as an episode in that vast epic of Charlemagne and his twelve peers, at which the medieval poets laboured, and of which Ariosto himself only produced a brilliant fragment, it is of disproportioned length.
It was by a reverse process to that which he here employed that Tasso a few years later made himself famous; by constructing a solid framework for his loveepisodes out of the real story of the First Crusade, and by subordinating the private joys and sorrows of individuals, in the necessary degree, to that public enterprise which stirred the heart of Christendom so powerfully. But the 'Rinaldo' is interesting as marking one of the steps by which its author arrived at the 'Jerusalem Delivered.' It contains the first sketches of several finished pictures in that great poem. It shows the extent to which classic influences
had already begun to affect his composition. Its mythologic allusions, ill as they fit its story; its regular development—for its intended conclusion is early announced, and to that conclusion most of its incidents contribute; and its episodes derived from the ancient poets,—all alike foreshadow that blending of things new and old, of the classic with the romantic school, which were to strike every reader in Tasso's great epic. And besides acting as the harbinger of the poem by which it was to be itself eclipsed, the ' Rinaldo' seems to predict its own writer's destiny. Like his own hero, he was to be guided by Love into the forest where the dews are tears and the boughs are stirred by human sighs. But, alas! he was doomed to wait longer there than he, before the bright gleam appeared in the distance to announce that the deliverer was at hand.
THREE DAYS WITH JUVENILE OFFENDERS IN FRANCE.
"Ttiey manage these things better in France," has long been a saying, if not actually a belief, with many persons in England. Now, whether we accept this aphorism to its full extent or not, it is undoubtedly true in a limited sense. A comparison of any undertaking or institution in the two countries is almost sure to be fruitful to both. But even if it were not, it is certain it cannot fail to be interesting. Such must inevitably be the character of any attempt to trace the efforts of our neighbours among difficulties with which we have struggled ourselves. It is in this belief, and knowing that the reformatory and industrial school question is now occupying a good deal of attention in Great Britain and Ireland, that I offer to the readers of 'Maga' the following account of what I saw and heard of that subject during a recent visit to France.
One day last summer, armed with a large official letter, I made my way to the Ministry of the Interior in Paris. Of course the cabman did not know the road, and of course the passer-by of whom I inquired in my best French turned out to be a Cockney. Once arrived, however, I found no difficulty in sending up my credentials to M. le Ministre's "particular secretary," and was forthwith shown into a waiting-room that formed a pleasant contrast to the English counterpart, with its tasteful decorations of cocoa-nut matting, pewter ink-stands, and dirty blotting-paper. Here, to begin with, were busts of Diane and Apollon, chairs and a sofa (as comfortable as such things ever are in France), and an imposing picture of a naval action
hung upon the wall. A dark, impatient man was pacing up and down, evidently very nervous about the object of his visit. Blue-uniformed attendants flitted occasionally to and fro. At last I was shown up to the particular secretary—quite the usual type in the usual room, but the appointments less solid and more domestic-looking than in Whitehall. "The Minister had not come yet. My answer should be sent to the hotel." However, just as I was bowing out, a bell rang loudly, and the secretary bolted, asking me to wait a minute. On his return, ho took me to the Minister's room. This was a very smart apartment—ormolu clocks, gilt candelabra, heavy curtains, Utrecht-velvet chairs, and what looked like a good copy of a large Venetian picture at the far end of the room. I thought to myself that the office-keepers at the Home Office would stare if they saw this huge undraped lady among the Secretary of State's solemn bookcases. Presently, with quick steps, like a man of business on the stage, enter a little man, who looked as if he had sat up very late the night before. Giving me a hasty bow, he mastered the contents of the official letter, and in a few jerky sentences recapitulated my wants. I said, "Oui." He then ran off in a similar style what he would do for me. I said, "Merci." Thereupon M. le Ministre dashes off a letter, and some sand on to it. I say "Merci" again, and also "Bon jour." At the last moment the statesman relaxes a little, and says "he hopes I can find my way out." I assure him I can, and exit with a largo brown despatch addressed to the Director of Prisons.
On reaching the haunts of that official, it appeared that he was ill, and his Deputy was out. So a polite clerk showed me to the room of the latter, and left me alone with a wreathed bust representing the French Republic, and the 'Journal Officiel.' Fortunately the 'Journal' contained good reading, for the Deputy was long in coming. First, a "scene" in the Chamber, on the question of secular education, a "Reactionary " objecting to the children in some Department being taught a song, the refrain of which was—
"Let's make piites
To support his case, the "Reactionary " called the Government " atheists and barbarians," the Ministers replying with hoots. Secondly, an official letter from the Minister of Agriculture to the Director of Woods and Forests, setting forth in magnificent language how forests could not possibly do well themselves, or be of any service to humanity, except under a republic.
At last the Deputy returned, and was politeness itself. He informed me that there were three kinds of "Etablissements penitentiaires." "Maisons d'education," under women, for young children. "Colonies penitentiaires," which take juvenile offenders (persons under sixteen) who have been acquitted as having acted "sans discernement," or whose judicial sentence if carried out would have been less than two years' imprisonment. "Quartiers correctionels," for sentences that would have been over two years, and for incorrigibles from the "Colonies."
Some of the establishments are under Government management, others are private. As there were
only two Government schools for young children, and these a long way from Paris, I was obliged to give up any idea of visiting a specimen of that class. It was, however, arranged that I should see a Government "Colonie" at Douaires, and a "Quartier" at Rouen, which would give me a sight of the two principal species, corresponding to our reformatory and industrial schools. The Deputy was also anxious that I should have a talk with the secretary of the Societe de Patronage des Jeunes Detenus at Paris. To this I assented, and we parted, after he had promised to send the letters of introduction to my hotel.
The following day I called upon the last-named official at the Society's establishment in the Rue Mezieres. All the children were out, so there was nothing to see; but we had a talk about the work of the institution to the following effect: The society was formed for the purpose of taking into its own hands children committed in the Department of the Seine, either to a " Colonie " or a " Quartier." This it effects by inquiry into all the cases that come to La Roquette, where the committals of the Seine are sent before being shipped off to the various institutions in the provinces. If, after careful investigation, the Society decide to undertake a particular case, they are allowed, by special arrangement with the State, to remove it to their own premises. The child is then brought up by the Society, some member of which becomes his "patron." The "patron" finds him a place as soon as he is ready for it, and acts in all respects in loco parentis, visiting him in the guise of a relative, and watching his career till he is established in life. No difficulty is experienced in placing out the children in Paris;