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chains the attention in this gallery, is one of Murillo's master-pieces. Some of the biographers of the Spanish limner, seem to lament that his purpose of visiting Italy was never fulfilled. It would certainly be a cause of just regret, if the obscurity of his lot had doomed him for life, to paint nothing but banners for exportation, and fruit pieces for immediate sale; but since scope was given to his genius at the Escurial, and it was encouraged to a free and happy development at home, we cannot but deem it a happy destiny that prevented him from ever leasing his native country. There is no little error in the prevalent notion, that a true painter, so constituted by nature, is necessarily to improve hy a visit to Italy. On the contrary, numerous instances might be cited, where such a course has been fatal to the individuality of the artist's style. His real force is thereby often sacrificed to a false
Servile imitation frequently supersedes originality. He ponders the works of the old masters too often, only to adopt certain of their peculiarities, instead of being quickened to put forth what is characteristic in himself. Such has, in many cases, been the result with regard to young votaries of art among us, who after giving certain proofs of talent, have gone abroad only to bring home an improved taste, perhaps, but not seldom a far inferior execution. Murillo was a genuine child of nature. He painted, as Goldsmith wrote, from individual inspiration. Who laments that his style is not so elevated as that of Raphael, nor so graceful as that of Correggio? If it were one or the othır or both, he would not be Murillo. What we love in him, is his singular truth to nature-80 fresh and vivid in expression-such a unity of coloring, such a semblance of life! When one stands before his Mother and Child, in the Palace at Florence, does it require much imagination, momentarily to fancy, that the infant is springing from the bosom of its mother into our arms ? There is an almost perceptible motion in its posture, and a look of recognition in its eyes, that haunts us at every step. How often does the traveller in Italy–he who is wedded to that inexpressible charın in life, society and art, which we call nature-lament the paucity of Murillo's paintings! How often does he sigh for a journey into Spain, that he may behold more of them! The picture of which Turin boasts, represents Homer with the laurel wreath straggling round his head, as an improvisatore, and an amanuensis recording his song. The bard appears like a fresh portrait of one of those blind old men so often seen in southern Europe. The singular blandness of such countenances who has not noted? They wear a pensive, but peaceful expression, as if sweet thoughts were cheering their darkness. The light of poetry hovers round the brow. We feel that al. though bereft of vision, the bard sees. The deep things of life are unveiled to his inward gaze. And, then, how plainly the other figure listens ! We soon cease to lament the blindness of the minstrel, in regretting that he is dumb.
A son of Cario Botta, the historian, follows the profession of an engraver in this capital. It is but recently that his justly renowned parent died in poverty at Paris. Five hundred copies of his works, in sheets, were given, as the only recompense in his power to afford, to the physicians who attended his wife in her last illness. This adds one more to the countless anecdotes illustrative of the melancholy lot of authors. But in this instance, the high merit and estimable qualities of the individual, enhance the pain with which every feeling mind must contemplate his fate. It would be a pleasing thought if we, the people of a free and prosperous land, had contributed to the com. fort of one in his declining years, who, when in the full vigor of his intellect, devoted himself, most enthusiastically, to recording the history of our Revolution. The de. tails of the war of independence are chiefly known on the continent through the history of Botta. No single work has served so effectually to establish the fame of that glo. rious event in the minds of Italians. One of the first questions they ask a comer from the New World is, if he has read La Gueria Americana by Carlo Botta? The work is a beautiful monument of the sympathy of one of the gifted of that nation in the cause of freedom ; and happy would it have been, had our government added to the honorary title of citizen, the means of smoothing the venerable historian's passage to the grave. Another of his sons is travelling in Arabia, for the Jardin des Plantes. The father's last literary effort was a transla. tion of a voyage round the world by an American captain, of whom this son was a companion. The latter is about publishing it, and the proceeds, with the hon rable name he boasts, will constitute his paternal heritage.
I could not leave Turin, without seeing the author of Le Mie Prigioni. That beautiful and affecting record
of human suffering has spread the name of Silvio Pellico over the civilized world. The despots of Europe have endeavored in vain to prevent its entrance into their territories ; being well aware, that no harsh invectives against tyranny, no panegyrics in praise of free institutions, however eloquent and insidious, possess a tithe of the power to arouse men to a sense of their rights, which lives in such a calm and simple narrative of one of the victims of their cruelty. How many honest bosoms have glowed withı indignation at the picture this amiable and gifted Italian has painted, of his tortures under the leads of a Venetian prison, and amid the cold walls of the Spielberg fortress! How many have admired the re. sources of intellect, philosophy, and affection, by which the unfortunate prisoner made even captivity captive! His correspondence with his fellow sufferer, his league of amity with his keeper, his reading, poems, and reveries—how do they shed a halo of moral brightness around the gloom of his dungeon! His hope deferred, his ago. nizing suspense, and, at length, his liberation and happy return to the bosom of his family—all related with so much truthfulness and feelivy,—what an interest have they excited in behalf of the innocent object of such cruel persecution! Sharing this sentiment, I was not a liule disappointed to find that Pellico was absent from the group
of Piedmontese literali, who convene every evening at one of the caffés. An abbé, his friend, informed me, that the illness of his father confined Silvio almost constantly at home. Every one remembers the deep affection with which he always alludes to his parents. I
found that the strength of this sentiment was not exagger. ated in his memoirs. His father was rapidly declining with age, and the son only left his bed-side for a few moments to breathe the fresh air. At one of these intervals, I paid him a visit. Pellico is now about thirty-eight years age, small in stature, and wears glasses. His complexion is deadly pale, blanched by the blighting shadow of a dungeon. His brow is broad and high, and his expression serious and thoughtful. He was courteous and affable, spoke with deep emotion of his father, and seemed much gratified at the interest his work had excited in America. Notwithstanding the immense number of copies of Le Mie Prigioni which have been sold on the continent, and that it has been translated into so many languages, the author has derived no pecuniary benefit, except the two thousand francs he received from the original publisher at Turin. He is at present patronized by a rich and liberal Marchesa, who has made him her librarian. He dines almost daily at her table, but resides with his parents. It must be confessed, that the sufferings of Pellico have, in no small measure, subdued his early enthusiasm. Some of the young advocates of liberal principles, in Italy, profess no little disappoint. ment, that one who was so near becoming a martyr to their cause, should have turned devotee. They are displeased that Pellico should now only employ his pen upon Catholic hymns and religious odes. Such objectors seem not to consider the extent and severity of the trials to which the mind of the author has been exposed. They appear, too, to lose sight of the peril of his situation. It