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second act by Tacchinardi is sublime. Generally speaking, Rossini has not the energy, the loftiness, the sublimity of music that stuns, and shakes, the soul:-take one example, the last scene of Don Giovanni by Mozart: Rossini's is the power to penetrate into the remotest depths, and very soul, of harmony; and ever and anon to produce those captivating, melodious, expressive, strains that steal upon, subdue, and fill up, every sense.

Of all the enjoyments of earth, Music is the only one we hope to partake of in heaven-and why? because it is the purest. Other delights have somewhat sensual; some alloy of the grosser particles of human feelings;-Music is pure as the Vestal flames which were kindled only by the rays of the sun; and, when enjoying its power, we approximate something nearer to that heaven where the Deity sits enthroned, and to whom the Angels are ever quiring.

It is Dante, I believe, in his Inferno, who speaks of some one meeting there a melodious songster of the earth, and intreating a strain. While he sings, all the troubled spirits crowd around, forgetting their woes till their jailer drives them back! It was Orpheus's lyre that gained him admission into hell. Pluto and Proserpine shed tears at his melody: the wheel of Ixion stopped: Tantalus forgot his thirst: the stone of Sisyphus ceased to roll: the Furies relented!

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Music is that soft language, or as Petrarch beautifully terms it

Il parlar che nell' anima si sente.

The language of the soul.

Instantaneously it can pierce the heart; can recall the past; can conjure up the delights, and the sorrows, that are gone by; and keep up soft converse in the soul with the best, and purest, affections of the mind.

A few notes shall strike some sympathetic chord within; elicit some fond, heart-entwined, recollections; and, instantly, the friend of our choice, or the idol mistress of our soul, shall be with us, and, as it were, in us, diffusing the pleasingly melancholy remembrances of days that are past; and like a pure spirit, mingling with our present existence. By music, devotion is heightened; passion is assuaged, or excited; affection kindled; hope cherished: the lively dance, and the spirits, are exhilarated; man rushes to battle, and to death, at the sound of martial music:-and it is-" the food of love."

Tell me, ye who can, any sensation so exquisite, so pure, so refined, as the concord of sweet sounds by the side of Her we love; when, forgetting aught else, and all around, we breathe the impassioned soul; and inhale the responsive sigh!

Vallombrosa.-The 28th was given to an excursion to the Abbey of Vallombrosa, a spot which

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Milton is said to have visited, and from which he is supposed to have painted some of the scenic imagery of Paradise Lost. Ariosto alludes to it thus :


Cosi fu nominato una badia

Ricca e bella, non men religiosa;
E cortesa a chiunque vi venia.*

Though the day was remarkably fine, yet as there prevailed at the time we were there an haziness around the distant scenery, we did not ascend the summit of the mountain, nor mount the lesser cliff where is a smaller monastery, distinguished as the Paradisino, from the enchanting landscape it commands. My praise of the scenery must therefore be confined to the ride which leads to the convent, and to the romantic views immediately around it.

It is environed by an amphitheatre of hills, and groves of lofty firs: seclusion, and romantic solitude, form its chief characteristics: with which impression on the mind, I transcribe an effusion, dictated on the spot, by a train of pensive thoughts.

Written at Vallombrosa, 1821.

In these lone shades, where solitude e'er reigns;
Far from the world, and all its sick'ning pains,
Here let me muse, and hush'd be every strife,
Remote from man, and vain, delusive life:

* Vallombrosa, an abbey thus named, equally wealthy, picturesque, and pious; and courteous also to every visitor.


Pensive Thoughts.

Mid scenes which, erst, the classic muse did sing
And Milton soaring with sublimer wing.

Here may the heart, when sadd'ning thoughts inspire,
Flee from mock mirth, and into self retire ;
Friendship betray'd may here some solace find
To heal the wound still rankling in the mind.
Here too may some fond youth of generous mould,
Whose heart responded to the tale he told,
Whose idol mistress to adore was pleasure,
His heart's chief life, and soul's best treasure,
Find a fit place to mourn his hapless lot,
And sigh o'er love profaned and vows forgot.
Some one unfit to feel, just fit to feign,

A mimic love, to give another pain.

Whose fashion-phrase, or mode, or dress more spruce,
Or dashing vice, may offer some excuse

To show the bitter slight, or cold disdain,

Or words of scorn to love that pleads in vain ;
To sink the soul, oppress it more and more,
And bleed the fainting heart at every pore.
Or here, perchance, may flee some maiden true,
Firm of resolve to bid the world adieu ;
Of him she fondly loved, by fate bereft,
No hope, no joy, or peace, to her is left;
To memory's woes she gives the live-long day,
Weeps o'er the past, and sighs her soul away.
Or here may pine some yet more hapless maid
Honour abused, and virgin faith betray'd:
Retirement best suits with wounded pride,

And woe that springs from shame who would not hide?
Like some fair vase of alabaster hue,

Of purest form, and exquisite to view,

If once defaced, deform'd, by hands profane,
Or lustre lost by some foul, tainted, flame,
The beauteous object, late the general pride,
To pity, scorn, neglect, is thrown aside.

But to proceed regularly. This Abbey was founded about the eleventh century by a noble of

Milton at Vallombrosa.


Florence, Giovanni Gualberti, of whom and of his flight from the devil, there remains on record, this curious legend. Being at prayers in the forest, he was attacked by Satan, who pursued him hotly to the brink of a precipice, down which he meant to hurl him. The Saint, on the verge of destruction, touched, or leant against, a rock close by the adamant yielded to the pressure, and admitted his whole body; the devil, in his haste, shot past the rock, and down the gulph, while the Saint got out, and walked home!

But few remains now of this once peopled monastery. From the Padre Forestiero, or Rev. Monk, commissioned to receive strangers, we experienced every kind hospitality, though our visit extended but to two or three hours, and did not afford time to inspect their museum of natural history, nor any other memorable object except the church, which contains a portrait of an English Benedictine Monk of this convent, and who in the last century became famous for his recovery of the art of Scagliola: Father Hugford.

The verses of Milton allusive to Vallombrosa are these:

So on he fares, and to the border comes
Of Eden, where delicious Paradise,

Now nearer, crowns with her enclosure green
As with a rural mound, the champaign head
Of a steep wilderness, whose hairy sides
With thicket overgrown, grotesque and wild
Access denied; and over head up grew

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