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him.-We are informedi that at the age of thirteen he took the habit of a novice in the Monastery of Cartagirone, where he gave early indications of a depraved mind, defacing the records of martyrology and substituting the names of some naughty females for those of the saints. Having fled from the monastery and returned to Palermo, he associated with the most thorough scape.graces ; he carried messages between lovers and embezzled the presents with which he was entrusted, forged a will-was accused of murdering a friar, defrauded a monk, and having pretended to a certain silver-smith, that he knew where a treasure was hidden, and having procured some money " on account” from his dupe, he directed him to a cave where he was cudgelled by some associates of Balsamo disguised as devils. The silver-Smith threatened to assassinate him and he fled from Palermo, betook himself to Messina, where he met Althotas and proceeded with him to Alexandria, where they practised the art of adulterating raw silk. From thence to Rhodes where chemistry was the pursuit, and then to Malta, where they worked in the laboratory of Pinto, the grand master. Having gone to Naples where he was accused of female violation, he left for Rome where he married Lorenza Felichiani. now come to many pages of allegations imputing to him the basest and most thoroughly infamous proceedings of obtaining money by the charms of his wife, and these practices are stated with circumstantial exactness to have been followed in various parts of Italy, Spain, and Portugal. We next find him in London, and are informed that here he induced another foreigner to assist him in promoting and afterwards detecting an assignation between Signora Balsamo and a Quaker, by which means he extorted one hundred pounds from the duped broad brim. The confederate having pressed for a share of this money, Balsamo made excuses for some days, but in the mean time left in his friend's way some well counterfeited topazes, which the other stole, and decamped with his worthless booty : on the authority of the inquisition, we are told that Balsamo had numerous amours with English ladies, but the writer adds, that inasmuch as he was by no means a handsome man, it is extremely probable the ladies were old and ugly. He next visited France, where his wife manifested a preference for another man, and was confined as a disorderly character, at her husband's instance, in the prison of St. Pelagie, whilst he manufactured a water supposed to preserve the freshness of the
human skin, professed alchymy, and cheated “ an illustrious personage" of five-hundred Louis; he then with his wife left Paris, arrived at Brussels, and after travelling through Germany and Italy, arrived again at Palermo.
In the further account of Cagliostro's travels there is little or no variety, but the most suspicious exactness of details; his inquisitorial biographers profess to trace him on from Palermo to Malta, thence to Naples, Marseilles, Barcelona, Alicant, Cadiz, and London. Here his ordinary avocation of forgery, fortune-telling and miscellaneous swindling, are diversified by the introduction of freemasonary, the institution of a new system, and a complete reforin of the existing one, in which we are told that he made great progress : he is also represented as cheating a certain Mrs. Fry of sixty-two small diamonds and a gold box, by undertaking to soften the diamonds and weld them all into one magnificent gem. From London to the Hague, Brussels, Venice, Mittau, St. Petersburgh, Frankfort, and Strasburgh, and finally to Paris, his progress is noted by the scribe of the inquisition with a particularity perfectly astonishing if true. The affair of “The Diamond Necklaces is noticed only to adopt as correct all the imputations thrown out against Cagliostro, and to give us the assurance of his guilt, and that he would certainly have been convicted, but for his wily conduct in corrupting his guards at the Bastille, and concucting with his fellow prisoners statements which misled the court. It is worthy of remark, that in the work to which we refer, the Prince of the Church, the Cardinal de Rohan, is never named, he is only mentioned as “the victim" lured to the brink of ruin, by love, ambition and freemasonrywhat a frightful trio for a Cardinal to encounter!
After his escape he resided some days at Passy, about a league from Paris, and we are gravely informed, that there, he initiated some fine ladies into freemasonry, that one of them forfeited her reputation with our hero, and that she was a very ugly American, (un Americana brutissima.)-He left France for London, where in 1786 he published “a letter to the French people," dated the 20th June in that year, in which he predicted “ that the Bastille would be destroyed and its site become a public highway :" of the authenticity of this extraordinary letter there is no doubt; the prediction was verified exactly by the events which commenced July 14, 1789.
But the fearful fact of being believed to be a freemason
threw all the eñornities imputed to Cagliostro into a comparative insignificance, and of his participation in the proceedings of the mystic craft the Holy Inquisition had no doubt. As to the Egyptian masonry, they have put forward manly documents from which we extract the obligations of a gentleman and a lady. We have heard of an Irish lady having been concealed in the case of a clock, whence she overheard the secrets of a lodge, but if she had the good luck to have met Cagliostro, he would have initiated her into masonry without subjecting her to such inconvenience.
“In Egyptian masonry no religion is excluded. Jews, Calvinists, Lutherans, or Catholics, are all admissible, provided they believe in the existence of a God and the immortality of the soul, and have been initiated in ordinary masonry. Men elevated to the degree of Master are denominated · Ancient Prophets.' The women are termed Sybils.' The oath of the former is as follows:– I promise, pledge myself, and swear never to reveal the secrets which may be communicated to me in this Temple, and implicitly to obey my superiors.' The female oath is longer :- I swear in presence of the great, eternal God, in that of my mistress and of all persons who Dow hear me, never to reveal or make known, write, or cause to be written, whatever may here happen before my eyes, condemning myself, in any case of imprudence, to be punished according to the laws of the Great Founder and of all my superiors; I equally promise the most exact observance of all the other commands which are imposed upon me; love towards God, respect to my sovereign, veneration for religion and the laws of the state, love of my associates, an attachment without reserve to this order, and an implicit submission to its regulations and laws as they shall be communicated to me by my mistress.'"
Whether our hero was or was not a freemason we presume not to pronounce, but we close by giving the judicial announce. ment of his fate :
"The deliberative judgment upon his destiny was before persons full of humanity and clerical benignity, for such are the council of the Holy Inquisition; and the definitive judgment was reserved for the Great Píus the Sixth, who, in his glorious pontificate, has known. well how to unite in himself the characteristics of a just and merciful prince. He did not wish the death of a sinner, but rather to leave him a future field for true contrition. It was therefore resolved, not merely in reference to the case of Joseph Balsamo, but also as regarding fully the interests of justice, equity, and prudence, of re. ligion and the public tranquillity, not merely of the Pontifical State, but of the entire world, that Joseph Balsamo, the accused, having confessed and heen convicted of many offences, is obnoxious to the censures and punishments promulgated against formal Heretics, Dogmatizers, Heresiarchs, masters and followers of magical superstitions, and also to the censures and punishments set forth as well
in the Apostolio constitutions of Clement the Twelfth as in those of Benedict the Fourteenth, against those who in any manner favor and promote the society and conventicles of Freemasons, which con. stitutions are announced in the edict of the Secretary of State against such as may offend in the premises in the Pontifical dominions. In the exercise of our special mercy we commute the punishment of delivering him over to the secular authority ; (that is the punishment of death) to perpetual imprisonment in some one of our fortresses ; such custody to be strict, and without hope of further pardon, and there let him abjure his formal heresy, and be absolved from ecclesiastical censures on performance of a salutary penance."
There is no further trace of Joseph Balsamo, otherwise Count Cagliostro, who, if he has not sufficed "to point a moral,” has, under the imaginative genius of Dumas, served “To adorn a tale."
ART. VI.--ANCIENT MANUSCRIPTS OF TRINITY
COLLEGE (DUBLIN) LIBRARY. The Codex Montfortianus : a Collation of this Celebrated MS.,
with the Text of Wetstein, and with certain MSS. in the University of Oxford. By the Rev. Orlando T. Dobbin, LL.D., T.C.D., M.R.I.A. London: S. Bagster and Sons. 1855. We have never acquiesced in the appellation of Silent Sister said to be bestowed upon our University by the proud Establishments of another Country. We think that the Alumni of Trinity College Dublin have laboured not ingloriously in many regions of literature and in most of those of Science. There is however one department in which we are ready to confess that there exists on the part of our venerable seat of learning a culpable silence : the manuscript treasures bequeathed to us by the industry of past ages have been suffered to lie on its shelves unpublished and almost unknown. Since the days of Usher and Ware it is surprising how little
has been done to illustrate the ancient documents which the libraries of this country contain. And yet what country with the exception perhaps of Italy, can supply richer materials to the antiquarian, or the critic? There is the Book of Dimma a noble manuscript of, we believe, the 7th century, whose text of the Gospels could not but prove interesting to the biblical student, while the ecclesiastical forms of prayer which it contains should throw much light on the history of the Irish Church.—There is older still we believe in time as it is certainly more wonderful in execution—the Book of Kells or Gospels of St. Bridget, a volume whose elegance of character and brilliancy of illustration excited the wonder of Cambrensis in the 12th, as it has done that of Westwood in the 19th century. Need we mention the Book of Armagh—itself a treasure and a history-which we are told the munificence of the present Primate is about to add to the MS department of the College—or the Gospels of St. Patrick, the same probably which Pope Pelagius presented to the Saint with relics of Saints Peter and Paul previously to his departure for this country, and which contains, as Petrie justly surmises, “the oldest copy of the Sacred Word now existing." We could add other manuscripts open to the inspection of the curious in the Library of Trinity College or in the Museuins of our Public Institutions; but while we admit that the politeness of the Custodians has made those documents visible, we regret that they may be yet looked upon as inaccessible to the generality of scholars, and we are forced to confess that the reproachful complaint addressed to our countrymen by Sember in a particular case, was justified in its widest sense and might be repeated in the instance of nearly every MS. we possess—“Mirum est viros doctos ejus insulæ nondum in clariori luce collocasse hujus codicis historiam.
Fortunately there is some indication that better days are about to dawn upon us. The gentlemen who are engaged in preparing for the press a digest of the Brehon Laws will, we doubt not, impart to the public much that has hitherto been confined to mouldering parchments; the Ancient Music of Ireland is about to be rescued from oblivion, and of the ardour and successful energy with which our biblical manuscripts are about to be explored, we have a sufficient earnest in the volume lately published by Dr. Dobbin from these sources