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IX. TAYLOR'S Views afoot in Europe
Views afoot; or Europe seen with Knapsack and
NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW.
G. W. Green.
Histoire de Charles-Edouard, dernier Prince de la Maison de Stuart, précédée d'une Histoire de la Rivalité de l'Angleterre et de l'Écosse. Par AMÉDÉE PICHOT, D. M. Quatrième Édition, révue, corrigée, et augmentée de Pieces inédites. Paris: Librairie d'Amyot, Éditeur. 1845 et 1846. 2 vol. 8vo.
As you enter the left aisle of the church of St. Peter's at Rome, the first object which attracts your attention is a marble slab, cut out like the doors of a vault, with two figures on the sides, and three heads in medallion above. In the character of the heads there is nothing very remarkable, although the artist has evidently given to every feature the last touches, as if engaged upon a subject worthy of the highest efforts of his chisel. But in the figures at the sides of the vault-door there is something so sweet and touching, such a mingling of grace and solemnity in their delicate forms and thoughtful countenances, that, as they stand there with their faces cast down and their torches reversed, with an expression rather of sadness than of poignant grief, a feeling of sympathetic melancholy steals over you unawares, and you instinctively raise your eyes once more to see who they were whose last slumbers are guarded by forms of such angelic beauty. Then, perhaps, you will find something more there than you could distinguish at a first glance, — piety, resignation, and somewhat of that sorrow which, however manfully the heart may bear up against it, still leaves traces of the struggle behind. On the tablet above are engraved in golden letters,. - No. 134.
without any other comment than a verse of Scripture, which, for the propriety of the allusion, would have suited any tomb as well, the names of the last three descendants of the royal house of Stuart.
Of two of these, history, of which this great fabric is so full, has but little to record, beyond the weakness and superstition of the father, and the benevolence and purer piety of the younger son. But the elder has left a brighter trace behind him, and for a while bid fair to rival the glories and redeem the errors of his race. Then came a dark cloud, and the name of the Stuarts was blotted out for ever from the page of living history. It is to the heroic, daring, and romantic adventures of this brief though brilliant period that we propose to call the attention of our readers in the following pages.
The year 1721 had opened under happy auspices for the partisans of the Stuarts, for an heir had been born to the throne, and their hopes and affections, so long chilled by the weakness of the father, were turned with double warmth to the son. All the pomp of royal etiquette had been rigorously observed at the birth of Charles Edward. The nobles of his three kingdoms had been summoned to attend on this important occasion; the apartment was crowded with cardinals and prelates; rich gifts were offered around the cradle, and a royal salute from the cannon of St. Angelo showed how deep an interest the Catholic world still felt in the fortunes of a family which had sacrificed a throne to its zeal for the religion of its fathers.
The first years of the young prince were passed under the eye of his mother, to whom he is supposed to have been indebted for that heroic fortitude which was far from being a family trait, and in which his father was so singularly deficient. One of his earliest instructers was the Chevalier de Ramsay, the friend and the pupil of Fénélon. Charles Edward soon spoke English, French, and Italian with equal facility, and displayed very early a decided taste for music. But in other branches, although provided with good masters, his progress was far from being great, and the President Des Brosses, who had frequent opportunities of seeing him in his youth, says that his mind at twenty was by no means so well formed as it ought to have been in a prince of that age. It was not, however, from any want of intelligence, but his
thoughts were elsewhere, and Rome, with all the charm of her arts and the grandeur of her antiquities, could not call them away from their favorite subject of meditation. The presentiment of his destiny seems to have weighed upon him from a child. English travellers were his favorite guests, and England was the favorite topic of his conversation. sail from Gaeta to Naples, his hat fell into the sea. The sailors were for putting about to row after it. "Let it alone," said he; "the waves will carry it to England, and I will some day or other go there for it myself."
When fourteen years old, he followed his cousin, Marshal Berwick, to the siege of Gaeta. The trench was already opened, and immediately upon his arrival he entered it and remained some time there, with the greatest coolness, in the midst of a shower of balls. Next day he went to wait upon the Marshal at his quarters in a house against which the enemy were directing their fire. The walls were riddled with bullets, and his attendants made every effort to prevent him from entering; but in spite of all their entreaties, in which the marshal, too, had vainly united, he persisted in making his visit. All these little traits were carefully noted by his adherents, who repeated them to one another with the fondest anticipations. "Would to God," says Marshal Berwick in a letter to his brother, "that the worst enemies of the Stuarts could have been witnesses of his conduct during the siege. It would have won many of them back again."
From Gaeta he went to Naples, where he produced the same favorable impression at court, by the grace and elegance of his manners, which he had done at the army, by his coolness and intrepidity. The summer following he made a campaign in Lombardy, and two years after visited the principal cities of Upper Italy, in all of which he was received with the honors due to his rank. The next few years must have hung heavily upon his hands, for he had tasted just enough of the excitement of active life to feel the oppression of that monotonous existence where one day passes like another, and at the end of the year one finds himself nearer to nothing but his grave. His passion for music served to while away some portion of the time, and the weekly concerts, in which he played the violoncello and his brother sang, were frequented by men of taste as the best music in Rome. But his favorite amusement was the chase,