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had been exerted in his behalf, an answer
was elicited to the effect, that he might
consider himself happy that it was no worse.
Petitions have often been placed in the hands
of the King, who has replied as usual, "Va
bene! va bene!" Friends and relatives have
appealed to the Sovereign in person, and the
answer has been, "Povero uomo! povero
uomo!" (Poor man!) Yet not one ray of light
has fallen on the path of that solitary wanderer.
It was in the month of December last that a
notice was given that all who demanded
pardon should receive it; a new system of
things was to be initiated, and the sovereign
clemency was exalted by many sycophants.
The poor lieutenant implored his liberty.
Still no answer; again, at the beginning of
this month, thieves and assassins were
liberated from prison by royal decree, in token
of rejoicing at the birth of another Bourbon;
yet no remission of the lieutenant's persecution
has been granted. At a distance from
home and friends, in three several prisons, in
solitary exile, he has dragged on now nearly
nine of the best years of his life.

My tale is one of many hundred stories
of a similar character which might be
narrated in illustration of the mode of government
adopted in the Two Sicilies. Many
people will hesitate to believe it. It is, I
repeat, true, and proves that, in the heart of
Europe, and in the nineteenth century, kings
can reign in defiance of justice and humanity,
while mighty governments are ever ready to
put forth all their strength to crush the
victims when they rise against the authors
of their sufferings.


To be frank and honest, I may as well
confess at once that I am sitting down to
write a selfish article. Junior critics may, if
they like, cast in my teeth that its design is
personal, having reference to my own interests,
rather than general, or directed to the
welfare of the world at large. Be it so; I
accept the observation. The same stricture
will become applicable, in their turn, to those
who are beardless youngsters now. I do not
deny that, being myself neither young nor
old, but what the French curiously call
"between two ages" (as if an individual were
a slice of tongue in a time-sandwich; the past
representing one slice of bread-and-butter,
and the future the other);—I cannot conceal
from myself that, owning to a certain number
of years, I shall soon, if spared, become
certainly aged, and that my tastes and
sympathies promise to coincide with those of the
governor and fogey class, rather than with
those of Cambridge or Oxford men. When
a man myself, in that precocious sense of the
word, I well remember that Mr. Priggins,
fellow and tutor, was considered by us as an
academical bay-tree who had nourished, but
was now in his sear autumnal foliage;
whereas, the much-respected don was only
just entering the prime of life.

One advantage of my own mediæval
position between the juveniles and the seniles
of society is, that it allows me to act as
interpreter between them. There are cases
in which the two opposite camps may not
precisely understand each other; the young
cannot always comprehend the old, because
they have no experience of what old age is;
while the elderly, in spite of their personal
knowledge of youth, are apt to forget that
they were once young themselves.

Let me put a case to you, by way of a beginning,
my adolescent readers and admirers;
for to be the one, is to become the other.
Suppose you had a schoolfellow, a playmate,
a college-friend, a companion in your pedestrian
alpine rambles, a brother-student of the
same art or science; that you had taken
photographs together; that you had hunted rare
butterflies, minerals, or microscopic objects,
with a share-and-share-alike agreement; that
you had drawn, side by side, from the statue
or the living model; that you had followed
the same series of clinical lectures in London
or Paris; that you had, like Helen and
Hermia, sat on the same cushion, embroidering
the same sampler and singing the same song.
Suppose this; and that you were suddenly
informed your bosom friend was shortly to
depart at an indefinite, but not distant day,
for a long, long residence in China or
Australia, and that you were never likely to see
him again;—how would you behave to him,
in such a case? Would you be unkind,
captious, cross-grained, or selfish? No, no;
I am sure you would not. You would do all
you could to pet and spoil him as long as he
remained with you, to make him carry away
with him nothing but grateful recollections
and a thankful memory of his friend still left
in England, who treated him so lovingly as
long as was in his power.

But, my dear young perusers, exactly such
is the state of your relations with every
individual member of the united society of
fogeys, governors, maiden-aunts, old nurses,
worn-out-workmen, and the rest of them.
Their berths are taken, entered, and ticketed
(although the date and number is left blank
to human eyes) on board a ship bound for a
long voyage, whence there is no return.
Will you embitter the unavoidable starting
on that journey by any previous unpleasantness
which you can possibly avoid? By
offensive neglect, by insulting contempt, by
perverse resistance, or by open rebellion? I
am certain you will not. To the hand that
fed you when you could not feed yourself,
to the head that thought for you when you
had no thought of your own, to the heart
that loved you when you were incapable of
loving in return, you will procure all possible
pleasure and satisfaction, before the bell
sounds to give warning that the vessel has