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some medicine! why are you now afraid?" Frederick, with a darkening brow, said to the physician, Drink thou half of it, and give me the rest. The physician, conscious of his guilt, pretended to stumble, and spilled the draught. A little remained in the cup, but that little caused death in some malefactors who were forced to drink it.
• When the treason appeared so manifest to the emperor, he was seized with inconceivable and inconsolable anguish of mind; it was heartrending to see one of such lofty rank on earth, so far advanced in age, and till this time unshaken by calamity, bitterly weeping and wringing his hands, and crying,—“ Woe is me! when my nearest friends are thus incensed against me, whom can I trust? Where can I now be secure-how can I ever again be happy ?”' Peter, however, either conscious of the enormous guilt, or desperate because he had no means of proving his innocence, ran, as he was led to prison, with his head against the wall, and died. M. von Raumer thinks, that this story may be true, yet that only the physician, not Peter de Vinea, might be guilty of the design to poison. He is not, however, inclined altogether to acquit the chancellor of tampering in the papal intrigues. It is fair, perhaps, at least it is a temptation we cannot resist, to quote the exculpation of Dante, whom the injured spirit intreats to rescue his memory from disgrace:
Comforti la memoria mia, che giace
Ancor del colpo, che' invidia le diede.' The following is the language attributed by the Ghibelline poet to Peter de Vinea :
* l' son colui, che tenni ambo le chiavi
Del cuor de Federigo, e che le volsi,
Serrando e disserando si soavi,
Fede portai al glorioso ufizio
Tanto ch'i' ne perde le vene è polsi :
Di Cesare non torse gli occhi putti,
Morte commune, e delle corte vizio,
E gl'infiammati infiammar sì Augusto
Che i lieti onor tornaro in tristi lutti.
Credendo col morir fuggir disdegno,
Ingiusto fece me contra me giusto.
Vi giuro, che giammai non ruppi fede
Inferno, xiii. 1. 58.
As As Mr. Cary's version of the passage appears particularly happy, we subjoin it.
I it was who held
Who merited such honour.' Frederick did not long survive. On the 7th of December, 1250, the great antagonist of the papacy died, at the age of fifty-six. He confessed his sins, and received absolution from the archbishop of Palermo. His remains were buried in that city which he had embellished so long with his court; and on the opening of the royal cemetery in 1783, his body was found in perfect preservation, and in imperial attire. Thus, after above five centuries, were two of the calumnies relating to his death refuted, that his body had rotted while he was alive, and that he had, dying, put on the weeds' of the Cistercian order. We share in M. von Raumur's indignation, that the remains of this extraordinary man were not treated with respect—two other bodies were thrown into his coffin. Those who would wish to obtain a just opinion of Frederick, in those parts of his distinguished character which we have been unable to notice, particularly as a legislator, a patron of learning, and founder of universities, will do well to consult the volumes of M. von Raumer. We hasten to the last scene of our tragic drama. At the
of twenty-five died Conrad, the son of Frederick, leaving only the illfated Conradin, with no aid, save in the valour and ability of Manfred, the natural son of the emperor, to protect the throne of Naples against the inexorable hostility of the pope.
The usurpation of the throne by this very Manfred—the crusade excited against him by the pope—the avarice of Charles VIII.-the fatal battle near Benevento, in which Manfred lost his kingdom
and his lise, rapidly crowd the scene; and Conradin is at length left alone to raise once more the battle-cry of the house of Swabia. In the field of Tagliacozzo that cry was heard, never to be heard again; and we shall adopt the language of M. von Raumer to describe the closing scene, in which the destiny of that house drew her pall over the last remains of the Hobenstaufen, on the scaffold of Conradin.
• Conradin was playing at chess when he received the intelligence of his condemnation; he did not lose his self-command, but, with the companions of his misfortunes, employed the short time that was left him in making his will, and in reconciling himself with God by confession and prayer.
• In the meantime the scaffold was raised, in the utmost silence, right before the city, near what was afterwards called the New Market, and the Church of the Carmelites. It appeared as if this place were chosen in malice, to show to Conradin, yet once more before his death, the splendour and beauty of his kingdom. The waves of the sea, which are here as lovely as they are peaceful, flow in as far as this spot, and before the eyes of the spectator spreads the magic circle of Portici, Castella-Mare, Sorrento, and Massa, which surrounds this noblest of bays, standing out more distinct in the dazzling light of the clear southern atmosphere. On the left the dark and lofty summit of Vesuvius suggests to the thought the awful might of nature; on the right the horizon is bounded by the rugged and broken rocks of the Island of Capua, where Tiberius, a worthy rival of Charles of Anjou, held his orgies.
. On the 29th of October, 1268, two months after the battle of Skurkola, the condemned prisoners were led to the place of judgment, where the executioner, with naked feet and bare arms, already awaited them. After King Charles had taken what was considered a place of honour in the window of a neighbouring castle, Robert of Bari, their iniquitous judge, spoke thus, according to his command :-"Ye assembled people! This Conradin, the son of Conrad, came from Germany, as the misleader of this people, to reap a harvest that others had sowed, and unjustly to attack the legitimate sovereign. At first he obtained an accidental advantage ; but by the valour of our king the victor was vanquished, and he who considered himself bound by no laws, was led in bondage before the tribunal of our king, which he had attempted to overthrow. On this account, with the sanction of the church, and by the counsel of the wise and of the learned in the law, sentence of death has been passed upon him and his accomplices, as a robber, a rebel, a disturber of the public peace, and a traitor; and, to prevent all future danger, this sentence must be thus carried into execution in the sight of the whole people."
• As the multitude heard this, to most of them unexpected, sentence, a dull murmur arose, which betrayed the lively emotion of their minds ; but terror still predominated, and Robert of Flanders alone, the king's son-in-law, a man no less comely than noble-minded, sprang forward, and said to Robert of Bari, “How darest thou, audacious and iniquitous villain, condemn to death so valiant and so princely a knight?” and at the same time struck him with his sword with such violence that he was carried away for dead.
The king suppressed his wrath, for he saw that the whole French knighthood applauded the action of the count: yet the sentence remained unrepealed.
Hereupon Conradin requested permission to address the people, and spoke with perfect composure:-“ As a sinner before God, I have deserved death, but here I am unjustly condemned. I appeal to all loyal subjects, to whom my ancestors have shown their fatherly care; I appeal to all the sovereigns and princes of the earth, whether he is guilty of a capital crime who protects his own right and that of his people. And even were I guilty, how dare they thus barbarously punish my guiltless followers, who, owing allegiance to no one else, have adhered to me with praiseworthy fidelity! These words produced emotions of pity in all, but no one would act; and he alone, whose emotions could have had any effect, remained hard as stone, not only against the arguments of justice, but even against those impressions which the rank, the youth, the beauty of the sufferers, made on every one else. Conradin then cast his glove down from the scaffold, to be conveyed to Peter, King of Aragon, as a testimony that he made over to him all his rights upon Apulia and Sicily; the Knight Henry Truchsess, of Waldburg, took up the glove, and fulfilled the last wish of his prince.
Conradin, bereft of all hope of a change in his unjust doom, embraced his fellow victims, particularly Frederick of Austria, then took off his upper garment, and lifting up his hands and eyes to heaven, said, “ Jesus Christ, Lord of all created beings, King of Glory! since this cup may not pass from me, I commend my spirit to thy hands." Immediately he knelt down, and raising himself once again, he said, “Oh, my mother! what anguish am I causing thee!”!--- vol. iv.
After these words the death-blow fell. The blood thus mingled with the earth was the last of the house of Swabia, which had given so many emperors to the West. The Sicilian Vespers exacted a dreadful retribution for this most execrable judicial murder that ever disgraced the anuals of mankind. Had its chief author been involved in the ruin which was brought upon his subjects, it would be difficult to point out an example in which we might more visibly trace the justice of Divine Providence, But the bloody deeds which reddened the soil of Naples could not revive that noble stem, under the shadow of whose branches the kingdom had so long reposed in glory and peace. Charles VIII. warred even upon the dead. After the horrible butchery of Conradin's followers, which we have been reluctant to trace, the bodies, a thousand in number, were not interred in consecrated earth some were hastily buried in the sand of the sea-shore-some, it is believed, in the cemetery of the Jews. The fate of Conradin's own remains is by no means certain.
Art. III.-Autobiography of Sir Egerton Brydges, Bart. ;
per legem terræ Lord Chandos of Sudeley, &c. &c. 2 vols. 8vo. London. 1834. 'HIS is the third attempt which the author has made to
convey to the world a detailed account of his personal and literary career; but, whether or not nature designed him for a poet, she certainly never meant him to be an historian—and vain will be the efforts of any reader to gather from any one of his autobiographies a definite notion even of the chief external events in this gentleman's now long life. By laying together his Recollections, published at Geneva in 1825—his Autobiographical Memoir, dated Paris, 1826—and the present more copious, if not more elaborate performance, something like an accurate outline might perhaps be formed; but who will take so much trouble to clear up what one who writes perpetually, and hardly now ever writes except about himself, has, by such unheard-of haste and carelessness, contrived to leave still in the dark? His style, however, is always easy, often beautiful : his casual reflections are occasionally admirable and his own story, in whatever beclouded fragments he doles it out, has some leading features so pregnant with instruction and warning, that we must take this opportunity of shortly inviting our readers', and more especially our young readers', attention to them. Though we can have no hope to acquit ourselves of this task in a manner entirely satisfactory to Sir Egerton Brydges, we shall begin and conclude it with no feelings towards himself personally, except those of admiration for his natural talents and rich attainments, and sincere and respectful pity for the misfortunes that have darkened round the evening of his days.
We know no example to be compared to this, of the comparative worthlessness to a man (and consequently to his country and posterity) of high intellectual gifts, amiable feelings, varied accomplishments, splendid opportunities, and ceaseless activity, all combined, in the absence of a just appreciation of himself, a rational degree of deference to the judgments of society, clear aims, and orderly diligence. Sir Egerton Brydges was born in the ancient manor-house