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OF FICTION, POETRY, HISTORY, AND GENERAL LITERATURE. No. 52.
SATURDAY, JUNE 27, 1835. Price Two-Pence.
ERIAG OF HAYTI. rible, was placed in a larger room with [ALTHOUGH the following narrative is some light, and which had a grated doubtless a leetle heightened, the chief window overlooking the country. The features are probably authentic; it is two condemned men were . • manacled given as a fact in all its details by a with chains on their feet and hands. It Jamaica paper.
As one of the many was announced to each that their exeillustrations of the remark of the old cution would take place in three days, Greek philosopher--a remark which and a sufficient provision of bread and every whiskered dandy and simpering water was given them, which was to miss supposes to have been first uttered last until the fatal moment arrived. by Lord Byron (or Birron, as his Lord. Each of the prisoners had meditated ship affectedly called himself )-namely, escape. Dardeza, who had been perthat “truth is stranger than fiction.”] mitted to receive the visits of his friends,
had obtained some instruments to faci. SOME months since, a mulatto, named litate his project, but without vigour Eriag, of Port-au-Prince, was and address, was soon discouraged by demned to death for the assassination his fruitless essays, and had fallen into of a merchant of Hayti. A few days despondency.
He waited with most after, a young Portuguese was sentenced painful dread the appearance of the to the same fate for having stabbed his gaoler. Eriag, more vigorous, more mistress in a fit of jealousy. The two daring, did not despair. From the criminals were confined in the same pri- position of his cell, he reckoned that one son, but each had a separate cell. Eriag, of the walls was the boundary of the whose strength and ferocity were the prison, and if he could effect an opensubject of much dread, occupied an ing, he might get into the open counobscure dungeon in which the air pene- try. He commenced his work, and to trated throu
a small ating which prevent the noise being heard, and to overlooked the staircase of the prison; soften the stones, he threw water on the no ray of light entered into his cell. cement, and with the chains that were Dardeza, whose crime was less hor- on his hand scratched against the walls.
He deprived himself of sleep, and never ble. A terrible dispute arose between for an instant quitted his work. From the two-the file was in the hands of time to time the gaoler would come to Dardeza; he would use it; Eriag threw the grating, and, with a lantern, would himself on him to wrest it away.
A see that his prisoner was safe. But mortal combat ensued. Eriag, being Eriag kept an attentive ear, and when the the strongest, threw his enemy. Dargaoler came he would find Eriag lying deza saw himself vanquished; but, that near the hole, pretending to sleep. Al neither might be saved, he dragged himready was the wall very deeply pierced; self to the window, and would have but how thick was the wall ? Eriag thrown out the instrument. Eriag prewas ignorant what he had to do; he did vented him. “ You shall never have it,' not even know what time remained to cried the frantic Dardeza, and, making the hour of execution. However, he a violent effort to disengage himself made a last trial, and with clenched from the hands of his adversary, he teeth he attacked the wall.--He is put the file in his mouth and swallowed saved !—the stones give way—the wall it. At this sight Eriag sunk exhausted ! is pierced !--but alas! the wretch was it is done, he must die. Dardeza, overdeceived in his idea of the situation of powered by the efforts he had made, lay the place. It is not the pure air and extended on the ground like one really fresh country which meets his eager dead; the file he had swallowed was enbreath and look, through the opening he tangled in his throat-he was suffocathas so painfully effected. He perceives ing. Suddenly a horrid idea came over only another cell, feebly lighted by the Eriag. He threw himself on Dardeza, pale glimmering of a lamp; he heard seized him violently by the throat to heavy sighs-he calls in a loud voice. strangle him; dashed his head forcibly It is the cell of Dardeza. In a short against the walls, plunged his hand in time these two unfortunates approach his throat, tore open his chest, and even, each other. Eriag communicates his in the still beating breast of the unfortudesign to Dardeza, and, learning that his nate, he sought by the pale light of the window overlooked the country, he ima- lamp the precious instrument of safetygined their flight was a thing effected : he drew it forth in blood-soon he is at but how many days had passed ? How work—his chains fall; then, with the many hours were there still remaining linen of Dardeza he made a kind of line, him to live? He asked Dardeza, who which he attached to a bar of the winhad been able to count both hours and dow. He let himself out; but, arrived days, and found that the night which to the extremity of the line, he cast his had commenced was their last, and that eye below him—an abyss of more than the morrow's sun would light them to thirty feet was still left. However, he the gallows. Far from dispiriting did not hesitate; his fall was broken by Eriag, this dreadful news only redou- a platform on which he rolled; then he bled his courage.
Dardeza seconded fell on a pavement; but all is not yet his efforts, and the two uniting their over'; he found himself surrounded by energies to widen the hole made by a high wall, which it was still necessary Eriag, it was soon large enough to to climb. At the moment he was admit him into the cell of Dardeza. searching for the place where ascent was The latter had received from a friend a easiest, a watch-dog attacked him. Eriag file to break the bars from his window. met him, and, fearful lest his barkings The presence of Eriag animated him; should be heard, he thrust his hand into he seized the file, the two set to work, his mouth and strangled him; but in and they had soon separated several bars the midst of his convulsive pangs the of the grating: The opening was large dog bit off his thumb. There was no enough to admit them, and, if they time to lose, day was beginning to could effect a leap of sixty feet, their dawn. Eriag chose his spot, and soon escape was assured.
It remained only the harassed and mangled murderer was to file the chains which attached their at liberty. At break of day the gaoler feet and hands. But this would be still sought the criminals to lead them to the a work of time—the night was advanc- gallows—he found only a horribly mutiing, the day about to appear.
The lated corpse! The alarm was given; precious resource, the file, could not proclamations issued for the apprehenserve both at the same time. If one sion of the criminal; but the traces of only used it, scarcely would there have blood near the dog, and the thumb, been time to break his chains, and with were still there; it was ascertained the the weight of them flight was impossi- right hand of the murderer was muti.
lated, and these details were published. CARDINAL PETRALIA.
CHAP. IV. he stopped near a small hut and demanded refreshment, thinking that the rumour of his escape could not have preceded him there. An old negress All secondary factions were merged in who inhabited the hut gave him food. the two great parties of France and He was on the point of quitting her, Austria. The Austrian cardinal had in when Caro, the brown son of the old his pocket the veto of Vienna, and the woman, arrived from the town, and im- French cardinal that of Paris. mediately told the news he had heard. Several candidates had been already Eriag thrust his hand still deeper into rejected, and the votes had centred upon his bosom, but the rapid glance of Caro two eminent names, but both too powercaught the movement. The brave young ful for the one ever to surmount the man rushed towards Eriag, tore off his other. The electors were sixty in numcloak, and perceived the bloody wound. ber; consequently forty votes assured Eriag sprang rapidly to a hatchet, which the election. The rivals constantly obwas in a corner, and threw himself on tained thirty votes each, for a week toCaro, who was only armed with a heavy gether, without being able to advance a stick. Caro adroitly parried the blow step further. Had the balloting lasted aimed at him. The axe of Eriag glided for six months, the number of thirty down his adversary's club, and cleft the would regularly, twice a-day, have been skull of the old negress, who had run to drawn from the inflexible urn. protect her son. At this sight Caro The High Penitentiary had not even threw himself upon Eriag, and at a blow felled him to the ground, leaving him The cardinals began to grow weary. without sense, and hors de combat. He The heat was intense, the cells were then vainly endeavoured to recall his small, and the sacred blood of their mother to life. At the same moment highnesses had already more than once three mounted police officers, who had flowed from the lancet of the funcbeen searching for the culprit in all di- tionary. Besides, the high solemnities rections, arrived, upon this new theatre of Saint Peter approached, and under of his crimes. Immediately Eriag was existing circumstances it was important seized, bound, tied to the tail of a horse, not to disappoint the Roman populace and dragged at full gallop back to the of their pope and their cardinals, for prison. Hardly arrived, Eriag asked they depended upon them; and there is for a bottle of rum and a priest. To no festival for Rome without the tiara the latter he recounted, with horrible and the red robes : a show wanting, was sang.froid, all the details of his escape, an unpardonable offence-panem et inand then swallowed the former at a censes is still the cry. draught. Scarcely had the priest left It was then that the Consistory interhim, when he fell senseless, and on the posed: informed by their spies of all officers entering to drag him to the that passed, the three Sanfédist princes gibbet, he had ceased to breathe. of Italy requested that a Head might
be given to the Church as speedily as
possible. The times were difficult; AFTER all that is said of fame who provisional measures perilous; and imhas it? Baron Munchausen, Robinson piety bolder, and more threatening than Crusoe, and Mother Hubbard. Noble
Nations under its delusions warivalry! to enter the field against the vered in their faith ; and the voice of a latter lady and her dog. Fame !—who sovereign pontiff could alone support the gives it? a snarling, snappish, currish altar. They entreated the Conclave, critic from his chimney-corner. Who above every thing, to watch over the greedily thieves and pilfers it all ? old, safety of the Church, and not to throw weak, bald-headed Time. And this it is, in the holy balance any political or the great vital breath, that keeps the worldly consideration. Passing thence world in motion. This it is that causes to a sketch of the pastor suited to the all this stir and din, that prevents our wants of the flock, they drew the every fellow-beings from becoming melancholy feature of the High Penitentiary, and as rogues on their way to the gallows; guaranteed from such a pope, not only and makes the brain work busily at the a blind submission in the choice of the desk, in the pulpit, and on the senate-floor! bishop, but more an irresistible argu.
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ment-temporal advantages of a nature the unforeseen could alone destroy the to enrich the treasure of the Vatican; chance; but if the unforeseen, that and suggested (remitting entirely to the phantom of ignorance and weakness, Conclave the difficult choice), in conse- ever disturbed his enthusiasm, his cold quence of the rivalries of the Catholic and stern logic repulsed it as an evil courts, and the inconvenience of the dream. Suddenly a mysterious knockveto, to refer it to the arbitration of a ing was heard at the door of his cell, neutral power, whose faith and geogra- and the Camerlingue glided into the phical position secured impartiality. apartment.
This was to name Russia. But the “ My lord,” said he to the Sicilian, Muscovite minister had not waited until “ the Conclave is prolonged beyond the now to mix himself up with the in- term suitable to the interests of the trigues of the Quirinal. Wily as a Church. The flock calls for its pastor, Greek of the Lower Empire, he had Christianity inquires for its head: but regularly communicated twice a-day parties are as yet far from being agreed; with the Conclave.
could some conciliatory path be opened “ You will never be in accord !” thus to them, they would, I am sure, eagerly he wrote to the Camerlingue himself: avail themselves of it. I know but one o should the Conclave last ten years, a man who can effect this miracle, and political pope would not be created.” that man is yourself.”
“ Be our mediator,” replied the Ca- “ Me!” merlingue (under the prompting of the “ Yourself. Let your Highness only Italian princes); “ were you elector, deign to accept the candidature I lay whom should you name?”
at your feet, and all parties will sup“ Your Highness will laugh,' replied port it.” the Byzantine, “but were I a cardinal, “My lord !” replied Cardinal Petra. I should vote for the High Penitentiary. lia, with coldness and dignity, “ I canHe is a saint-I know it; he is quite not-I will not suppose that your ignorant of business I know that too; Highness is laying a snare for me, to but you will be freed from him by give render me the mock of the Conclave,
a good secretary of state. and the by-word of Christendom; but Accept that office, my lord, and you your proposal is so strange, it has so will reign in his name.'
much the air of a joke, that without This overture pleased the Camer- the high idea I entertain of your cha. lingue, who was ambitious, but too racter, I should deem myself insulted.”. compromised in the political world to The Camerlingue scarcely expected aspire in his own name to the chair of such a reception. For a moment he Saint Peter.
was disconcerted; but a priest and a “ The Carbonari,” said the Camer- diplomatist, he soon recovered himlingue to the Conclave, “ are more self. His justification was zealous; he numerous and active than ever : let us launched out into pompous eulogies name a cardinal popular amongst the upon the modesty, piety, and learning people, as the most effectual method of of the Sicilian, all which he either dissilencing them. A popular pope would believed or despised : an atheist himdestroy Carbonarism without drawing a self, he held the High Penitentiary for sword. I propose one who certainly one of the simple and poor in spirit. has not to fear the veto of any power : But he had his part to act, and supI propose the High Penitentiary." ported his character to the end of the
The proposition of the Camerlingue chapter. was received with a smile, but accepted The Sicilian was not his dupe; but unanimously.
he had likewise his part, and to which It remained only to sound the Sicilian he was faithful. He accepted in silence himself on the business, and with this the lying defence, every word of which office the Camerlingue was entrusted. was a triumph; and justifying the fore
Night reigned on the Quirinal. All sight of forty years, was to him a deslept, or at least all were silent. No monstration of his talent. sound was heard but the fall of the crys. “ Dispose of me, my lord,” he said, tal fountain, and the measured tread of bending to the Camerlingue; " dispose the Swiss who was sentinel at the gates of my weakness. But strengthen me of the Conclave.
with your power; illuminate me with Enclosed in his narrow cell, the Sici- your intelligence; lighten, by sharing, lian dreamt of empire. Fortune in the burden with which God overwhelms every aspect seemed propitious to him; me; and if indeed he call me to empire,
deign to be my minister, that the same Etna, and kneeling on the verge of the hand which has smoothed for me the crater, recalled the vow he had made in path to the throne, may guide and pro- the sight of heaven; the terrible vow tect me on it. My lord, will you pro- that was accomplished. mise me this?”
Embarked at Messina, and landed at The Camerlingue took good care not Ostia, he traversed the desert on foot; to refuse; and the one resigning himself again with beating heart he saw the to be pope, the other kindly submitted mighty cupola, and sat down to draw likewise to be secretary of state. So his breath on the ancient pedestal, and they both had what they wanted. a future pope glided at night into Rome
But suddenly starting, as from a like a smuggler, or a thief. dream" No !” exclaimed Cardinal Pe- The convent of Janiculus; the tralia ;
no, my lord ! it cannot be, church of Saint Charles of Borromea ; that heaven destines this heavy burden his first conflict; his first triumph; for my weakness. If my faith be then the exile, and the return; the known, my incapacity is still better forty years of expectation, of isolation, known; it is impossible that a suffrage of concentration, all unrolled beneath can be given to me!”
his eyes in the cell of the Quirinal. “ That is the best reason for uniting It was like a long and stormy night, them,” replied the Camerlingue ; of, which the sun was about to disperse will answer for your election : besides, the clouds and shadows. At length he it is an affair of figures." And he took leave of the past, as of an early unrolled before the Sicilian a list of fifty friend, whom we are quitting for ever, cardinals, whose votes were secured for and the exhilaration of triumph soon him. This was all the sceptic wanted to precluded all return or remembrance. know; he added nothing more. It was a magnificent victory; if the
“ Fifty out of sixty,” resumed the path had been long and wearisome, it Camerlingue, folding up the list; “your but enhanced the delight of the achieveHighness sees now that your election is ment; it was a prize well worth waiting certain. To-morrow you will be pope!” for.
That is to say, I shall be, thought Gradually laying aside the old man, the ambitious vulgar to himself; for he to put on the new man, he felt his mind depended upon being the Mazarin of expand; and so near the sovereignty Rome, and reigning under the name of after so ma indignities and humiliathe devotee.
tions, the old leaven of plebianism which Go-thought the high-minded am- had brooded for forty years in the heart bitious, on his side--you think to give of the Sicilian, fermented beneath the me a master, but Sixtus the Fifth had sun of his fortune.
To-morrow you will be pope! These Midnight struck by the clock of the last words of the Camerlingue still Madona, when the two cardinals sepa- sounded like music in his listening ear. rated.
To-morrow, then, the new era was to What a night for the Sicilian! His begin; to-morrow the Church would election was sure; it was tangible to his have its Gregory, Italy its Procida; totouch. For the veto, he feared it so morrow the dungeons of Rome would little, that he had scarcely ever called it open as by enchantment, and the geneto mind.
rous captives whom persecution had His thoughts reverting from Rome, heaped up there, would be born again to where he was to reign, to Sicily, where light and liberty. he had been a laquais, he recapitulated The Sicilian's heart beat high at the with a glance his whole life. Again he thought of the prompt and truly royal saw the worldly ante-chamber, the cor- amnesty he should accord; and his haprupt theatre, the brutal barracks; he piness enlarged itself to the measure of saw himself a poor deserter, wandering the happiness that all Italy was to enjoy, hungry amidst the mountains of Ma- Meantime the convent bells announced donia; he saw the monk who saved him, to Cardinal Petralia the dawn of his day the cloister that opened for him, Pa. of triumph. Their morning voice relermo and the archbishop ; he read over called him not to himself, but to the again the life of Sixtus the Fifth in the part he had so long acted, and which cell of Petralia, and felt the first tears of drew to its close. He wore his mask ambition silently flow down his burning for the last time; and when the hour cheeks. Emerging from the dust of summoned him to the mass of the Holy study and meditation, he re.ascended Ghost, he repaired to the Pauline Cha