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was most zealous in serving the cause saying," Keep your distance-All I of his friend Manente, called upon one shall say at present is, that if you are of the members of the Council, with the true and living Manente, as you whom he was familiarly acquainted, give yourself out to be, you are very and apprized him of his suspicions welcome; but if not, the contrary," that the Magnifico was at the bottom The doctor would then have begun to of all that had happened, adding, that it tell his whole story ; but the Magniwas quite impossible such events could fico cut him short, saying that the have taken place in the midst of Flo- present was not the proper time for it, rence without his connivance. The adding, however, that, at a certain magistrate in question fully adopted hour of the evening he should return, this view of the matter, and having and he would then give him audience communicated it the following morn- in his private apartment, at which time ing to the assembled Council, it was de he had summoned the opposite party termined to send a letter on the sub- to attend him also. ject to Lorenzo himself, (who was Master Manente having thanked then at the baths of Poggio,) request- him, returned to his friend Burchiello, ing his advice and assistance at their who laughed in his sleeve at what he deliberations. The letter was sent ac related to him. All the parties, that cordingly; and the parties (against evening, were punctual in their atnone of whom any specific charge was tendance according to Lorenzo's apexhibited, dismissed for the present, pointment, and were forthwith sumwith a strict prohibition to all of them moned to appear in his private chamfrorn approaching within a hundred ber, where they found him surrounded yards of the street de' Fossi, and from by some of the chief citizens of Floholding any communication with Mon- rence, by all of whom the physician na Brigida, under pain of the gallows, Manente was well known, and very until the question should be deter- much regarded. Before these, both mined.
parties were now again heard, and the The Magnifico, on receipt of the proofs produced on the part of the letter addressed to him by the Council goldsmiths examined, all which exciof Eight, was thrown into fits of laugh- ted the greatest possible astonishment ter, and swore that so exquisite a jest, and perplexity ; but the narrative of so well contrived, and so successful in Master Manente, in particular, could all its parts, had never been known not be heard without its causing insince the foundations of the world were credible diversion and laughter; insolaid. In short, he was absolutely in much that Lorenzo was not satisfied ecstacies of delight and self-approba- till he had made the physician repeat tion. About a week afterwards he re- it three times successively, every repeturned to Florence, and was waited up- tition only serving to increase their on the same day both by Master Manen- delight and merriment, which was not te and by his adversaries, but who nei- at all diminished by the indignation ther of them obtained audience. The which he displayed at the story told next day Manente renewed his visit, by the two goldsmiths, whom he made and found the Magnifico just sitting no scruple of lauding with every term down to dinner, who, on seeing him, of reproach and obloquy. assumed an appearance of the utmost By this time the Vicar made his apastonishment, saying, “In good sooth, pearance upon Lorenzo's summons, Master Doctor, I did not expect that I and, being received with all due reveshould ever behold your face again, rence, took his seat by the invitation having been informed, as of a certain of the Magnifico, upon the bench bety, that you were dead and buried. side him; to whom, when seated, the And even now, I am not well satisfied Magnifico thus addressed himself, whether you are indeed what you ap- , “ May it please your reverence, since pear to be, or somebody else resembling I know that you are already well achim-or, iu fine, some supernatural quainted with the difference which has illusion." The doctor, after again and arisen between these worthy persons, I again repeating that he was not dead, need say no more on the subject, exbut in sober reality the true living cept that, having been appointed by Manente, and none but himself, would the choice of the most honourable have knelt and kissed the hand of the Council of Eight, to be arbiter of that Magnifico; but he motioned him off, difference, nothing more is wanting to
enable me to pronounce judgment but bility of Florence, took his seat on a to ascertain that Master Manente ne- kind of throne, prepared for the occaver died, and that this party whom we sion, before which Master Manente now have before us, is not a mere fan- knelt with all due reverence. While tastic illusion, or walking dæmon ; the in this position, all the forms of exorwhich it is your part to make clear and cism were gone through, and all praymanifest." -“How, and in what man- ers and canticles proper for casting out ner is this to be accomplished ?" cried devils, read over and chanted to him, the astonished ecclesiastic.-" That is and also plenty of holy water sprinwhat I will immediately make known kled, and incense burned around him; to your reverence," answered Lorenzo, and finally, every boly relic in succesand therewith told him that he must sion passed through his hand by the have the assistance of some exorcising attendant servitors, without producing friars, and the use of certain relics, fa- the slightest change of countenance or mous for their virtue in dispelling the other effect perceptible; after which, works of enchantment.--"You have making again a low reverence to the said well," answered the Vicar. “Give Vicar, he demanded his discharge, tome only six or eight days to prepare, gether with a solemn act of recognition and if he then stands the test, you may of his identity. securely set him down for a living Just at this point of time, however, man, and Master Manente in propriâ our old friend Monaco, who, by compersona."--Manente would upon this mand of Lorenzo, had been to fetch have made some observations; but the Nepo the sorcerer, and was present in Magnifico, rising from his tribunal, the church with him, observed that it prevented him, and without further was now time to commence his operaremark, led the way out of the apart- tions. Whereupon Nepo, rushing forment, followed by the gentlemen who ward into the midst of the assembly, were present with him, and who all exclaimed in a harsh and discordant joined with him in heartily laughing voice, “ Draw back, draw back, worat the strange scene they had wit- thy gentlefolks, and make way for me, nessed.
that I may present myself before his The next day, the Vicar, who was reverence the Vicar, and discover the a good and decent Christian, and in truth of this mystery." Upon hearing the odour of sanctity, (dolcissimo reli- which exclamation, and beholding the gioso,) caused it to be proclaimed strange appearance of him who utterthrough the whole bishopric, that all ed it-(who was a man large of stapriests and friars who possessed relics ture and strong-built, of complexion of virtue for casting out devils, should olive-brown, with a bald head, a lean bring them to Florence within six and meagre countenance, a black beard days, to the church of Santa Maria reaching to his girdle, and habited in Maggiore, upon pain of his high dis- rude and fantastic clothing)—all prepleasure. All the country round, no- sent were filled with amazement and thing was now talked of besides this terror, and made way for him withstrange occurrence, and it seemed to out hesitation ; who straightway adthe two goldsmiths, no less than to vanced to the Vicar, and proclaimed Master Manente, an age while these aloud in the words following: “ To matters were in preparation. Lorenzo, the end that the truth may be made in the meanwhile, had summoned to manifest, know ye that Master MaFlorence old Nepo da Galatrona, a re- nente, who is here present, never deputed wizard of the highest celebrity; parted hence; and that all which has and having made him understand for happened to him has fallen out by what purpose he wanted him, kept force of magical art, by virtue of de him in his palace to be ready at the moniacal agency, and by the immediappointed hour. The number of relics ate contrivance of me, Nepo of Galaalready collected, from all the country trona, who am able to command the round, at Santa Maria Maggiore, was devils that they do what and when it quite surprising; and the day of trial pleases me. It was I, therefore, who being at length arrived, and Manente's caused him, while lying asleep in the appearance recorded, they waited only place of San Martino, to be transportthe coming of the Vicar, who, accom- ed by demons into an enchanted papanied by thirty of the principal ec- lace, where, in the manner that he has clesiastics, with many of the first no- already explained to you, I held him
in close confinement, until, one morn- vaalt in which they were given to uning at day-break, I ordered him to be derstand that the reputed corpse had thence again conveyed to the forest of been buried. La Vernia, and there left him. It That same morning Monaco, by the was I, who caused one of my familiar commandof the Magnifico, had brought spirits to assume his corporeal like from the tower of Careggi a cock-piness, and make it appear that he had geon, of colour as black as pitch, the died of the plague; and who finally strongest and best flying bird ever witsuffered himself to be buried instead nessed, and which knew so well how of him ; from whence all these extra- to find its own pigeon-house, that it ordinary events have since proceeded. had more than once returned to it from All these things have I done in scorn Arezzo, and even from Pisa. This of Master Manente, and in revenge for bird he had, unseen of anybody, conan injury once inflicted on me by his cealed within the vault, which he affather, in the Pieve San Stefano, which terwards closed up again so carefully, he inhabited; which injury I was ne- that it seemed as if it had never been ver able to return upon him who had opened for the last ten years ; insocommitted it, by reason of a breviary much that the before-mentioned Sawhich he always carried about him cristan found himself obliged to have next his heart, in which breviary was recourse to his spade and mattock to inscribed the prayer of Saint Cyprian. enable him to remove the earth, and And now that ye may all know the lift the stone from its place ; which he truth of these words I speak to you, had no sooner accomplished, than, to go ye, and open the vault where the the astonishment and dismay of all pretended physician was buried; and present, this black pigeon, which had if ye do not there behold the most un till then remained torpid, seeing the doubted tokens of that which I have light of the flambeaux, was awakened, now delivered to you, hold me for a and flew out of the vault, taking its liar and a juggler, and sever my head course through the air in the direction from my body.'
of Careggi, where, in less than the The Vicar, and all present, had lis- eight part of an hour, it recovered its tened to this discourse very attentive home in safety. ly, while Master Manente, full of in The Sacristan, at sight of this unexdignation and terror, looked at his pected occurrence, was so overcome by supposed tormentor as if he could terror, that he fell backwards, pulling have torn him to pieces, and at the the stone of the sepulchre after him, same time, like one in a dream, the so that he broke his leg in the fall, and by-standers, in like manner, not being was laid up for many days and weeks able to take their eyes off from him. in consequence of the accident. The Whereupon the Vicar, desirous of put holy friars, and the greater part of the ting an end to this strange adventure, attendant multitude, ran back in the laid his commands upon two friars of direction of Santa Maria Maggiore, cry. Santa Croce, and two of Saint Mark's, ing out, “A miracle ! a miracle !” Some that they should go forth with and ex- declared that there had issued forth amine the vault in question ; who, from the tomb a spirit, in likeness of having accordingly set themselves in a squirrel, but with wings. Others af. motion, were followed by many other firmed, that it was a fiery flying dra. friars and priests, regular as well as se- gon; while others, again, would have cular, in great abundance. Nepo re- it, that it was a devil converted into a mained during this time in the church, bat. The greater part, however, agreed, in company with the Vicar and with that it was a little sucking dæmon; Master Janente, who, more and more and there were not wanting those who alarmed the longer he staid with them, were certain that they had seen its were now afraid to look him in the horns and its cloven feet. T'he Vicar, face, their minds misgiving them that and those who remained with him in he was either another Simon Magus, the church, were fully occupied with or at least a new Malagigi. In the the various reports of those who came mean time the deputed triars, with crowding back to them from without; those who accompanied them, had and Nepo, availing himself of this Teached the cemetery of Santa Maria confusion, and secretly favoured by Novella, where they sent for the Sa- Monaco and Lorenzo's servants, slipcristan, and caused him to open the ped away out of doors, and mounting
an excellent hack, which he had left gelo to take charge of the infant, and, standing for him at no great distance, in case of his refusal, the physician came back in safety to his own house, might adopt him ; or, if neither, then in Galationa, almost before his absence that it should be sent to the Innocents : had been discovered.
that the expenses of her confinement No sooner, however, had the Vicar should be entirely defrayed by Michel leisure enough to look round him, Angelo: that Master Manente should, and perceive the flight of the sorcer- in the meanwhile, re-enter into poser, than he began to cry with a loud session of his own house, and have his voice,“ Seize him, seize him, and let son restored to him; and that, at the him be burned for a witch and con- end of the term of her confinement, juror !” But when they were able no- Monna Brigida should return to live where to find him, they were all fully with him, and he be compelled to repersuaded that he had disappeared by ceive her back again, for better or worse, magic. The Vicar then commanded as if nothing had happened to disturb that the relics should be taken back to their conjugal felicity. the places from whence they had been This was applauded by all present brought; and, having dismissed the as a most righteous judgment; wherepriests and monks in attendance, re- upon the two goldsmiths and the phyturned (accompanied by Master Ma- sician returned their thanks with all nente) to the palace of the Medici. due humility, and forth with departed,
Meanwhile, the Magnifico, who had in order to give effect to its provisions. been duly apprized of all that passed, And so complete was the reconciliaand made capital sport of it with a few tion, when all parties perceived that of his familiar acquaintance, when the it was in vain to think of placing matVicar came up to him, calling aloud ters on a different footing, that they for the officers of justice to be sent af- all supped together with Monna Briter Nepo de Galationa, to have him ap- gida that some evening, in the house prehended and burned for sorcery, said of Master Manente, Burchiello bearing to him only, “ Most Reverend Vicar, them company. His reverence the Vilet us, in God's name, proceed coolly in car was the only person among them this business of Nepo; but what say who did not appear to be satisfied, as you as to Master Manente?”-“I say, he had set his heart on making a bonverily," answered the Vicar, “ that fire of the conjuror; but Lorenzo would there is no longer any manner of doubt not listen to him, and answered to all but that this is the very same, and that his solicitations, that it was much bethe never changed this life for another.” ter to pursue the affair no farther, and
"That being the case," rejoined the that, as for Nepo, it was quite in vain Magnifico, “I am now prepared to pass to think of taking him, since he could, sentence, to the end that these unfor- at any time he pleased, render himtunate litigants may at length be ex self invisible, or change his figure intricated from this web of entangle to that of a serpent, or any other animents.” So saying, he sent for the mal, to the certain discomfiture of brother goldsmiths, (who came, al- those who attempted it—a power which though very reluctantly, seeing how was permitted him (doubtless) for some matters were likely to go against them, wise purposes, although such as human and insisted on their forthwith em- reason was unable to fathom; added to bracing the long-lost Manente ; after which, the danger of provoking so great which he gave judgment to the ef- an adversary was by no means to be fect following, (viz.) That for the re- overlooked or despised; all which hamainder of that day Michel Angelo ving duly considered, his reverence, should remain in possession, for the (who was in the main a good-natured, purpose of packing up all the goods easy man, by no means difficult to be and chattels which he had brought persuaded), entered at last into all his with him into the house of the physi- yiews, and declared himself fully concian: that Monna Brigida, with only vinced that it was the best and safest four shifts, besides her gown and pet- course to think no more about it. Inticoat, should withdraw to the house deed, the last of the reasons assigned of her brother Niccolajo, and there re- by Lorenzo more powerfully affected main till she was brought to bed : that the good Vicar than any of the preafter that event had taken place, it ceding; nor could he help being appreshould be in the option of Michel An- hensive that he had already incurred
the chastisement of some grievous ma- for the occasion ; and very frequently lady by his mere proposal for the ar- observed, in allusion to it, that the pear rest of the sorcerer ; insomuch that, which the father eats is apt to set on until his dying day, nobody ever heard edge the teeth of the son-a saying which him, from that time forward, so much passed into a proverb, and has remainas pronounce the name of Nepo, or ed amongst us to the present day. Nor give the least hint of such a person's was be at any time, so long as he liexistence.
ved, undeceived on this subject, al. It is unnecessary to say more with though not only Burchiello, but Loregard to the remaining actors of this renzo himself, as well as Monaco, and eventful draina, than that Lorenzo's the grooms, very often delighted themjudgment was punctually carried into selves and their friends, by recounting execution, and that, Monna Brigida the whole history of this most admihaving, in due time, given birth to a rable of hoaxes. He was, moreover, so male offspring, the worthy goldsmith thoroughly persuaded of the efficacy of acknowledged it, and brought it up as the prayer of Saint Cyprian, in counhis own until his death, which hap- teracting the effects of witchcraft, that pening about ten years after, the boy he not only always carried it about his was then placed in the monastery of own person, as a preservative, but Santa Maria Novella, and in process made his Brigida wear it also. And of time was admitted into that holy (to conclude the worthy doctor lived brotherhood, where he became distin- many years afterwards with his loving guished for learning, and a celebrated mate, in all joy and contentedness, inpreacher, for his acu te reasoning and su- creasing in wealth and in children, gared eloquence known among the peo- and, every year, so long as his life ple by the appellation of Frá Succhiel- lasted, celebrated the festival of Saint lo. As for Master Manente, he never Cyprian, whom he adopted for his own believed otherwise than in the whole tutelary saint, and ever held him in truth of the story fabricated by Nepo the highest veneration.
THE UNKNOWN GRAVE.
Man comes into the world like morning mushrooms, soon thrusting up their heads into
the air, and conversing with their kindred of the same production, and as soon they turn into dust and forgetfulness.-JEREMY TAYLOR.
Who sleeps below? who sleeps below ?
It is a question idle all !-
Say, do they beed, or hear thy call ?
A hundred summer suns have shower'd
Their fostering warmth, and radiance bright;
With piercing floods, and hues of night,
Say, did he come from East,- from West ?
From Southern climes, or where the Pole,
The howling billows as they roll?