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ing able to explain some items in them, was immediately threatened with a prison. He ran to the palace; he spoke with the King, reminding him of the praises he had bestowed, of the applause of the people, of the beauty of the work, and he adduced his actual poverty as a proof of his honesty; and after this he departed with an easy mind, fancying he discovered in the King's countenance an expression of benevolence and satisfaction. But it was not so ; for accusations and malicious inquisitions pouring in faster than ever, Carasale (without any trial) was shortly afterwards seized, carried to the castle of St. Elmo, and shut up in a dungeon, where he subsisted during a few months on the scanty assistance of his family, and then on the bitter bread of the fiscal. He languished some years in prison, and died there; his children were lost in the obscurity of poverty, and nothing would remain in our days of the name of Carasale, if the excellence and wonderfulness of his works did not keep alive the memory of the unhappy artist.”—Storia del Reame di Napoli, del Generale Pietro Colletta, vol. i.
XVIII. A CURIOUS CUSTOM.
A CURIOUS custom connected with marriage is still kept up by the youths in the parish of Eccles, Berwickshire. Once a year, or oftener, according to circumstances, all the men who have been married within the last twelve
* The theatre of San Carlo was burnt in the month of January 1816, but all the main walls remained ; and as it was reconstructed on the same plan, it may still be considered as the work of Carasale. The interior is now richly gilt, but not lined with mirrors. Our Opera-house is a shabby place compared with it.
month are creeled. This consists in having a creel” or basket suspended to the individual's shoulders, and, while he runs with all his speed from his own house to that of his next new-married neighbour, he is pursued by the unmarried men, who endeavour to fill his basket with stones. The wife following, armed with a knife, strives to relieve her husband of his burden, by cutting the rope which attaches the basket to his person.—New Statistical Account of Scotland, No. iv. p. 59.
XIX. THEODORE BEZA;
FYNEs MoRyson, in his Itinerary, fol, Lond. 1617, part I. b. ii. ch. 4; speaking of Geneva, says,
“Here I had great contentment to speak and converse with the reverend father Theodore Beza, who was of stature something tall, and corpulent or big-boned, and had a long thick beard as white as snow. He had a grave senator's countenance, and was broad-faced but not fat; and in general, by his comely person, sweet affability, and gravity, he would have extorted reverence from those that least loved him. I walked with him to the church, and, giving attention to his speech, it happened that in the church-porch I touched the poor-man's box with my fingers; and this reverend man soon perceived my error, who having used in Italy to dip my fingers towards the holywater, (according to the manner of the Papists, lest the
* A creel is a large basket, the breadth of a man's back: it is attached by a rope to the shoulders, and, when the back is bent, rests upon the hips.
omitting of so small a matter generally used might make me suspected of my religion, and bring me into dangers of great consequence,) did now in like sort touch the poorman's box, mistaking it for the font of holy-water. I say, he did soon perceive my error, and, taking me by the hand, advised me hereafter to eschew these ill customs, which were so hardly forgotten.
XX. MACHIAVELLI AWENGED BY THE
THE following is an amusing bibliopolical anecdote:—A good many years after Machiavelli's death, a certain Jesuit, of the name of Luchesini, published a book, which he entitled “Sciocchezze scoperte melle opere del Machiacelli, dal Padre Luchesini” (“Absurdities discovered in the Works of Machiavelli, by Father Luchesini”). As this title was much too long to put on a label at the back of the volume, the booksellers of that day reduced it to “Sciocchezze del P. Luchesini” (“Absurdities of Father Luchesini"); and by this simple abbreviation punished the monk's insolence.
XXI. REMINISCENCES OF THE MARCHIONESS OF CREQUY.
Four volumes with the above title, recently published at Paris, offer a considerable harvest of amusement to the lovers of anecdotes, and of striking and curious facts and customs. It is known that the Marchioness of Crequy, who died within our times at the age of nearly one hundred, was one of the most celebrated women of her day, as well for the charms of her person, as for the superiority of her mind. The famous Princess of Ursini wrote from Rome in 1722, to the Duchess of Tremouille, her niece, “The young Marchioness of Crequy, appears to me particularly to be distinguished, inasmuch as she is a lady of a really great mind, a woman of wit without impropriety, very original in her conversation, and perfectly regular in her conduct.” Jean Jaques Rousseau said of her, that she was catholicism in a mob, and high nobility in an undress. We present a few extracts from her Reminiscences. Some of them maybe called “more French Bulls,” and classed with the stories already given about the Duc de Laval." “When the Abbé de Matignon was at his uncle, the Bishop of Lisieux's, the cathedral was shown to him, and at the same time the remark was made that it was built by the English; ‘Oh,' said he, with an air of disgust, ‘I could see at once that it was not made here.’” “The same Abbé, some time afterwards, said to Madame de Fronlay, ‘My uncle the Bishop of Lisieux is just dead, thank God! You must make interest with Madame de Maintenon to get me the cordon bleu which my uncle had.” “How old are you?” said she to him. ‘Why, replied he, “I am only thirty-two years old, that is a year less than would be required according to the rules; but you can tell Madame de Maintenon that I ought to be thirty-three years old, for my mother miscarried a year before I was born: I have always reckon
ed, continued he, with the air of a person satisfied with having made an important calculation, “that I was kept back a whole year by that accident.” “When the Princess of Monaco, his sister-in-law, had given birth to her first child, afterwards Marquis of Baux, he was eager to send the news to his brother, who was with the army; but, as he had forgotten to inquire the sex of the child, he excused himself by saying that the child screamed like an angry owl, which had so distracted him that he was quite unable to say whether he was aunt or uncle.” “The Marechale de Noailles corresponded with the Holy Virgin and the Patriarchs. She always deposited her letters in a pigeon-house at the hotel de Noailles; and, as her letters were always answered, it is supposed that her confessor wrote them. She was occasionally a little offended at the familiar tone assumed by the Virgin Mary; “My dear Marechale, in the third line,” said she with a half angry air: “it must be confessed that the term is rather familiar for a little citizen of Nazareth.’” We also find in the Memoirs of Madame de Crequy some portraits of celebrated persons, which, if they are not perfectly just, are at least marked with a piquant vein of hatred or vexation. Such is, for example, that of the renowned Duke de St. Simon: “He was an ugly raven, sickly, devoured by envy, puffed up by ambition, vain, and always perched upon his ducal coronet.” Such also was that of the learned Emilie, Madame de Chatelet, so celebrated by Voltaire: “My cousin Emilie, who was then called Mademoiselle de Treuilly, was three or four years younger than I, but she was at least five or six WOL. II. F