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'Has the count recovered?' asked, for the fourth time, a man dressed in black : 'if so, tell the accused to come forward. They placed us along the wall facing the tribunal, where sat, to the left of the president, Salvotti, looking paler and more sinister than ever. The moment of expectation was long and terrible ; but the calm expression of the count, as he turned for a moment towards me, brought back my confidence.
The president made a sign to the secretary to read the sentences. His trembling hands could scarcely hold the fatal paper. He began, but his voice failed him ; and already had Salvotti stretched out his hand to grasp the paper, and himself proclaim the result of his villainous proceedings, when the secretary commenced.
"By the sentence of the imperial commission, confirmed by the supreme tribunal, and sanctioned by his majesty, Count Frederick Confalonieri, convicted of high treason, is condemned to death.' Then he stopped. To enjoy the effect of this sanguinary doom on his victim, Salvotti cast on him a triumphant look; but no symptom of attention was visible on the countenance of Confalonieri. After a long pause, the secretary continued : ‘But the capital punishment, by the inexhaustible clemency of his majesty, has been commuted to imprisonment for life in the fortress of Spielberg.? A shudder arose among the assistants. Confalonieri remained immovable. Some minutes elapsed ere the reading recommenced. 'By a similar sentence, Alexander Andrayne, aged twenty-five years, accused and found guilty of high treason, is condemned to death ; but his punishment is, by the same inexhaustible clemency, commuted to imprisonment for life in the fortress of Spielberg.'
The eyes of Salvotti lighted up with a cruel satisfaction as he said to me: 'I promised you this!' while in those of Confalonieri, which were turned towards me, were seen the most tender compassion. I heard the sentence without emotion. I had suffered so much, that I was careless of life. Previous to our removal to Spielberg, we had to endure the pain and humiliation of exposure on the pillory, loaded with irons, which we could with the greatest difficulty
When placed on the scaffold or pillory, our sentences were read to the assembled populace of Milan. Here, however, we found sympathy. Although the streets were lined with Austrian soldiers, the crowd could not restrain their emotions of pity at the sight of Confalonieri. On him all eyes were fixed, as if to pay him a tribute of respect; and the groans of commiseration uttered by the crowd, warned the police of the danger of continuing the spectacle. We were removed to prison preparatory to being sent to Spielberg.
We were permitted to see our relatives previous to departure. The nature of my interview with my sister may be imagined. I tried to console her. My last words were : 'I'am buried at fiveand-twenty, but my resignation will not abandon me. Under all
circumstances, I hope I shall prove worthy of you.' Confalonieri saw and took farewell of his noble-minded wife.
Under the charge of a strong party, we were removed in carriages to Spielberg. I had the melancholy satisfaction of being in the same carriage with Confalonieri. It was delightful for us, even though captives, to look once more from the carriage windows upon the sun.
Happy, how happy are those,' exclaimed the count, 'who, dwelling in the lovely land on which the sun pours his full tide of genial influence, can taste in peace, under the roof-tree of home, the blessing of its wonderful beams! But we are going to a clime where it shines without warmth, and where it will never enter our miserable cell. I am a child of the glowing south, and the sun is a necessary of my existence.'
As we receded from Milan, the health of the count still more declined ; and at length it was found necessary to leave him by the way, whilst the rest continued their journey. He afterwards partially recovered, and was able to follow on this dismal journey.
IMPRISONMENT AT SPIELBERG. The fortress of Spielberg, which already held in confinement Silvio Pellico and other unfortunate Italians, was at length reached.
The moment we entered the gates of this gloomy receptacle—the prison where my youth, perhaps my whole life, was to pass in suffering-the sergeant of the escort looked at us with compassion, and exclaimed : 'Here, then, we are arrived !! Accustomed as he was to such gloomy scenes, even his voice faltered at the aspect of the fortress, whose name strikes terror through the Austrian dominions. As soon as I got out of the carriage, I turned to look at the place. It was an oblong square, surrounded on every side with buildings, whose narrow grated windows and low iron-studded doors would have filled us with dismay had we been there merely as visitors.
After passing through several dark corridors, we came to a door where two jailers were posted, each with a bunch of keys in his hand. When the door was opened, and I saw before me the dark den in which they were about to entomb me, I could not help exclaiming in agony: 'Merciful God! am I condemned to live in such a place as this?'
Come ; in with you!' cried the jailer, pushing me forward roughly— in with you!' The push was so violent, that had I not luckily seized a bar fixed in the wall, I must have fallen head-foremost on the floor. I turned round to remonstrate against such brutality, but the door was already shut and locked.
I now raised my eyes to the ceiling, and beheld the grated airhole, through which a glimmer of light forced its way. I then surveyed the interior of my cell. A pallet-bed, a pitcher, and a tub formed the whole of the furniture. Used as I was to the nakedness of prisons, and the privation of everything most essential to life, this utter destitution made my heart shrink. I turned round to lean my head against the wall, and two enormous chains, suspended from the iron bar, caught my eye. At the idea that I might be fastened to that bar, and prevented from even scrambling up to the window to inhale a mouthful of fresh air, a cold shudder ran through my frame.
To divert my mind from this horrible thought, I made an attempt to reach the opening which was the object of all my wishes. But my short and heavy fetters rendered this so extremely difficult, that, in spite of the greatest efforts, I was at last compelled to renounce the hope of that solace. Exhausted by fatigue, and overcome by grief, I seated myself on my couch, vainly striving to keep my eyes from gazing on those chains, which, after cramping the deathstruggles of some former victim, were now destined perhaps for me.
These melancholy forebodings were interrupted by the entrance of a prisoner, unknown to me, named Colonel A- ; from which it appeared I was to have a companion. Shortly afterwards an old man, named Schiller, one of the turnkeys, entered, carrying two iron porringers in his hands, and a loaf of black bread under his arm. Having set them down, he made me a signal to eat.
“What!' exclaimed I; “is this to be our fare? Soup garnished with lumps of tallow!-beans cooked in salt and water! Cold, too!' I added, after having tasted two or three, and spat them out again. . It would take the stomach of an ostrich to digest these stones!" I spoke as if the old man could understand me. He only laughed at my gestures; and, taking a long knife from his pocket, he gravely cut the bread in two, giving each of us his moiety; then wishing us a good appetite, left the celi.
Dinner, our only repast for the day, was before us; but we could not, in spite of all our resolution, conquer the repugnance which the vile odour of these dishes, and the filthiness of the porring rs, caused in us. Hunger alone forced us afterwards to touch some portion of this detestable food. The narrowness of the cell prevented my walking ; which I seriously felt, after the twenty days' constraint I had endured during the journey. I was compelled to throw myself, without undressing, on the hard and scanty pallet which formed my bed. The whole night was passed without rest; or, if I did for a moment drop into a slumber, I was soon roused by a clanking of chains, which seemed to proceed from the bowels of the earth. The deep gloom in which we were immured, and the shrill, prolonged cries of the sentinels, who shouted forth every quarter of an hour, produced on my mind a horrible dream. I shuddered with dread; á cold perspiration covered my body; every limb seemed paralysed. I broke through this nightmare by a convulsive effort, and in so doing, fell upon the floor. The colonel, who was lying at his ease on the mattress he had been indulged with, awoke with the noise, and appeared to be affected by my condition.
At daybreak Schiller entered with a breakfast worthy of the dinner-consisting of some water, in which floated a few grains of roasted barley. A short time afterwards I was obliged to relinquish my apparel, in exchange for the uniform of the prison. It consisted of a jacket, half gray half brown; and waistcoat and pantaloons, open on each side to admit our chains, one leg gray, the other brown
-a knave-of-clubs kind of dress, calculated to prevent every chance of escape to the wearer. The cloth and stockings were of the coarsest quality; and so likewise were the heavy boots, which completed our attire. Linen, cravats, handkerchiefs, all were taken from us : we possessed not a single relic of our former condition. It was an alleviation, however, of all this indignity, to find that the hair of the prisoners was not to be shorn, like that of the galleyslaves of Toulon or Brest ; and even the deathblow given to hope by the act of riveting fresh fetters on the legs, was mitigated by the tidings that, thus manacled, the captives would be permitted half an hour's daily exercise in the open air on a platform of the fortress.
This platform was about ten feet long by eight broad. Like the prison we occupied, it had a northerly exposure, and was almost entirely surrounded by walls so high, that for six months of the year not a beam of the sun could reach it. Its aspect was dismal-its atmosphere bleak. Save two or three rose-trees crawling over the wall, and a breast-high peep over the vast panorama beneath, there was nothing to cheer or enliven the prospect.
Here, then, began my long and hopeless confinement. Day followed day without incident. It was a living death. Even, however, in the gloom and misery of my dungeon, there was scope for mental cultivation and the exercise of the affections.
One of my early and most welcome solaces was that derived from occasional and brief intercourse with sharers of my captivity-Silvio Pellico and Maroncelli—the account of whose sufferings has already been laid before the world. One day an old convict, whose office it was to bring and remove the provisions, placed under a jug a small parcel, to which a glance of his eye directed my attention. The door closed, I hurried to gain the packet : it contained a vial of reddish liquid, the stump of a pen, and a letter worded nearly as follows:
“We are ignorant of your names, but your misfortunes and ours are the same, and on this ground we address you. Let us know who you are. Tell us about Italy—about everything. During the two years that we have been here, no news has reached us. Write without fear, and quickly; for we are anxious to hear by what fatal destiny you, like us, have been buried at Spielberg.'
''Tis from Pellico,' I exclaimed, full of joy and emotion at this generous appeal from a man of whom Confalonieri spoke with the utmost warmth of esteem. When I took up the pen to answer him, I felt as if I were writing to an old friend, whom Heaven had restored to me. In a subsequent letter he wrote : ‘God will recompense you for your devotedness and resignation. Put your confidence in Him. You will again see your country and family ; for you are young, and political sentences, though for life, are not always perpetual. I wish that I had the same hope for Confalonieri.'
Of my noble friend Confalonieri I had heard nothing for some time. At length he was introduced to my cell, and I was told he was henceforth to be my companion, instead of the person who had been previously with me. The joy I felt at this intelligence.was materially lessened, when he informed me that all hope of mitigation in his fate had vanished, in consequence of his refusal to criminate his acquaintances.
I attempted to infuse some hope into him by speaking of his countess, and the happy days he would yet spend with her, but he stopped me immediately, saying: 'I can no longer indulge in illusions : my fate is irrevocably fixed. Here my life will end, while my unfortunate Theresa will consume hers in tears.'
Revived by having once more congenial companionship, we res ned our former habits of life. Spring crept on; the days were becoming longer; and we could devote more time to reading the few books allowed us. The kind count would overcome his sorrow and sufferings, to teach me to profit by his wisdom and experience. Light shone upon my mind ; my opinions became more settled ; and I thanked God for having given me a friend so great in heart and knowledge. I stretched myself on my straw, not to court sleep, but to reflect on what I had heard ; and, in spite of the irons which loaded my body, my mind took Alight, and found enjoyments of which kings and the rich are ignorant. More elevated ideas took possession of my heart, and I became prepared to sacrifice all, and forget all, save the dear ones to whom I had cost so many tears.
(Saddened by the increasing illness of Confalonieri, which threw a damp over their mutual studies, a pleasing incident came to the relief of the monotony of Andrayne's existence, in the arrival of an old comrade in affliction, left behind ill at Milan, from whose communications through the wall the fate of his former companion was ascertained—Rinaldini (the light-hearted Brescian, and sharer of his cell) having been sentenced to two years' imprisonment. From Tonelli they also learned the more generally interesting tidings of the death of Byron, whose fall in the cause of freedom came home to the hearts of the captives.
About this period the prisoners endured a great misfortune in the removal of the clergyman who conducted the religious duties of the prison. He was an amiable man, much respected by the unfortunate Italians, in whose fate he sympathised. His successor, Don Stephano, was a man of a different stamp-cunning and hypocritical -a miserable tool of the despot from whom he had received his appointment. Under the mask of religious adviser, his duty was to