Italian Letters, Vols. I and II : Or, The History of the Count de St. Julian

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(1756 - 1836) ~ Respected Anarchist Philosopher and Sociologist of the Enlightenment Era : His most famous work, An Inquiry concerning Political Justice, appeared in 1793, inspired to some extent by the political turbulence and fundamental restructuring of governmental institutions underway in France. Godwin's belief is that governments are fundamentally inimical to the integrity of the human beings living under their strictures... (From : University of Pennsylvania Bio.)
• "Fickleness and instability, your lordship will please to observe, are of the very essence of a real statesman." (From : "Instructions to a Statesman," by William Godwin.)
• "Courts are so encumbered and hedged in with ceremony, that the members of them are always prone to imagine that the form is more essential and indispensable, than the substance." (From : "Instructions to a Statesman," by William Godwin.)
• "Anarchy and darkness will be the original appearance. But light shall spring out of the noon of night; harmony and order shall succeed the chaos." (From : "Instructions to a Statesman," by William Godwin.)

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This document contains 42 sections, with 36,544 words or 211,084 characters.


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Volume I Letter I. The Count de St. Julian to the Marquis of Pescara, Palermo My dear lord, It is not in conformity to those modes which fashion prescribes, that I am desirous to express to you my most sincere condolence upon the death of your worthy father. I know too well the temper of my Rinaldo to imagine, that his accession to a splendid fortune and a venerable title can fill his heart with levity, or make him forget the obligations he owed to so generous and indulgent a parent. It is not the form of sorrow that clouds his countenance. I see the honest tear of unaffected grief starting from his eye. It is not the voice of flattery, that can render him callous to the most virtuous and respectable feelings that can inform the human breast. I remember, my lord, with the most unmingled pleasure, how fondly you used to dwell upon those instances of paternal kindness that you experienced almost before you knew... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Letter II. The Answer, Naples It is not necessary for me to assure my St. Julian, that I really felt those sentiments of filial sorrow which he ascribes to me. Never did any son sustain the loss of so indulgent a father. I have nothing by which to remember him, but acts of goodness and favor; not one hour of peevishness, not one instance of severity. Over all my youthful follies he cast the veil of kindness. All my imaginary wants received a prompt supply. Every promise of spirit and sensibility I was supposed to discover, was cherished with an anxious and unremitting care. But such as he was to me, he was, in a less degree, to all his domestics, and all his dependents. You can scarcely imagine what a moving picture my palace—and must I call it mine? presented, upon my first arrival. The old steward, and the gray-headed lacqueys endeavored to assume a look of complacency, but their recent grief appeared through their unpracticed... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Letter III. The Same to the Same, Naples Since I wrote last to my dear count, I have been somewhat more in public, and have engaged a little in the societies of this city. You can scarcely imagine, my friend, how different the young gentlemen of Naples are from my former associates in the university. You would hardly suppose them of the same species. In Palermo, almost every man was cold, uncivil and inattentive; and seemed to have no other purpose in view than his own pleasure and accommodation. At Naples they are all good nature and friendship. Your wishes, before you have time to express them, are forestalled by the politeness of your companions, and each seems to prefer the convenience and happiness of another to his own. With one young nobleman I am particularly pleased, and have chosen him from the rest as my most intimate associate. It is the marquis of San Severino. I shall endeavor by his friendship, as well as I can, to make... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Letter IV. The Count de St. Julian to the Marquis of Pescara, Palermo I rejoice with you sincerely upon the pleasures you begin to find in the city of Naples. May all the days of my Rinaldo be happy, and all his paths be strewed with flowers! It would have been truly to be lamented, that melancholy should have preyed upon a person so young and so distinguished by fortune, or that you should have sighed amid all the magnificence of Naples for the uncultivated plainness of Palermo. So long as I reside here, your absence will constantly make me feel an uneasy void, but it is my earnest wish that not a particle of that uneasiness may reach my friend. Surely, my dear marquis, there are few correspondents so young as myself, and who address a personage so distinguished as you, that deal with so much honest simplicity, and devote so large a share of their communications to the forbidding seriousness of advice. But you have accepted the first... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Letter V. The Answer, Naples I can never sufficiently acknowledge the friendship that appears in every line of your obliging epistles. Even where your attachment is rouzed without a sufficient cause, it is only upon that account the more conspicuous. I took the liberty, my dear count, immediately after receiving your last, to come to an explanation with San Severino. I mentioned to him the circumstances in your letter, as affairs that had been casually hinted to me. I told him, that I was persuaded he would excuse my freedom, as I was certain there was some misinformation, and I could not omit the opportunity of putting it in his power to justify himself. The marquis expressed the utmost astonishment, and vowed by all that was sacred, that he was innocent of the most important part of the charge. He told me, that it was his ill fortune, and he supposed he was not singular, to have enemies, that made it their business to misrepresent e... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Letter VI. The Same to the Same, Naples You will recollect, my St. Julian, that I promised to confess to you my faults and my follies, and to take you for the umpire and director of my conduct. Perhaps I have done wrong. Perhaps, though unconscious of error, I am some how or other misled, and need your faithful hand to lead me back again to the road of integrity. Why is it that I feel a reluctance to state to you the whole of my conduct? It is a sensation to which I have hitherto been a stranger, and in spite of me, it obliges me to mistrust myself. But I have discovered the reason. It is, that educated in solitude, and immured in the walls of a college, we had not learned to make allowances for the situations and the passions of mankind. You and I, my dear count, have long agreed, that the morality of priests is to be distrusted: that it is too often founded upon sinister views and private interest: that it has none of that comprehen... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Letter VII. The Same to the Same, Naples Could I ever have imagined, my dear count, that in so short a time the correspondence between us would have been so much neglected? I have yet received no answer to my last letter, upon a subject particularly interesting, and in which I had some reason to fear your disapprobation. My St. Julian lives in the obscurity of retreat, and in the solitude most favorable to literary pursuits. What avocations can have called off his attention from the interests of his friend? May I be permitted however to draw one conclusion from your silence, that you do not consider my situation as critical and alarming? That although you join the prudent severity of a monitor with the candid partiality of a friend, you yet view my faults in a venial light, and are disposed to draw over them the veil of indulgence? I might perhaps deduce a fairer apology for the silence on my part from my new situation, the avocations... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Letter VIII. The Count de St. Julian to the Marquis of Pescara, Palermo My dear lord, Avocations of no agreeable kind, and with which it probably will not be long before you are sufficiently acquainted, have of late entirely engrossed me. You will readily believe, that they were concerns of no small importance, that hindered me from a proper acknowledgment and attention to the communications of my friend. But I will dismiss my own affairs for the present, and make a few of the observations to which you invite me upon the contents of your letters. Alas! my Rinaldo is so entirely changed since we used to wander together among the groves and vallies, and along the banks of that stream which I now see from my window, that I scarcely know him for the same. Where is that simplicity, where that undisguised attachment to virtue and integrity, where that unaccommodating system of moral truth, that used to live in the bosom of my... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Letter IX. The Count de St. Julian to Signor Hippolito Borelli, Messina You, my dear Hippolito, were the only one of my fellow-collegians, to whom I communicated all the circumstances of that unfortunate situation which obliged me to take a final leave of the university. The death of a father, though not endeared by the highest reciprocations of mutual kindness, must always make some impressions upon a susceptible mind. The wound was scarcely healed that had been made by the loss of a mother, a fond mother, who by her assiduous attentions had supplied every want, and filled up every neglect, to which I might otherwise have been exposed. When I quitted Palermo, I resolved before I determined upon any thing, to proceed to the residence of my family at Leontini. My reception was, as I expected, cold and formal. My brother related to me the circumstances of the death of my father, over which he affected to shed tears. He then produced his... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Letter X. The Count de St. Julian to the Marquis of Pescara, Cosenza My dear lord, Every thing that has happened to me for some time past, appears so fortunate and extraordinary that I can scarcely persuade myself that it is not a dream. Is it possible that I should not have been born to uninterrupted misfortune? The outcast of my father almost as soon as I had a being, I was never sensible to the solace of paternal kindness, I could never open my heart, and pour forth all my thoughts into the bosom of him to whom I owed my existence. Why was I created with a mind so delicate as to be susceptible of a thousand feelings, and ruffled by a thousand crosses, that glide unheeded over the breasts of the majority of mankind? What filial duty did I neglect, what instance of obedience did I ever refuse, that should have made me be considered with a regard so rigorous and austere? And was it not punishment enough to be debarred of all the solac... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Letter XI. The Same to the Same, Cosenza My most dear lord, Expect me in ten days from the date of this at your palace at Naples. My mind is now become more quiet and serene than when I last wrote to you. I have considered of the whole subject of that letter with perfect deliberation. And I have now come to an unchangeable resolution. It is this which has restored a comparative tranquility to my thoughts. Yes, my friend, there is a triumph in fortitude, an exultation in heroical resolve, which for a moment at least, sets a man above the most abject and distressing circumstances. Since I have felt my own dignity and strength, the tumultuous hurry of my mind is stilled. I look upon the objects around me with a calm and manly despair. I have not yet disclosed my intentions to the duke, and I may perhaps find some difficulty in inducing him to acquiesce in them. But I will never change them. You will perceive f... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Letter XII. The Same to the Same, Cosenza Why is it, my dear marquis, that the history of my life is so party-colored and extraordinary, that I am unable to foresee at the smallest distance what is the destiny reserved for me? Happiness and misery, success and disappointment so take their turns, that in the one I have not time for despair, and in the other I dare not permit to my heart a sincere and unmingled joy. The day after I dispatched my last letter the duke of Benevento, whose age is so much advanced, was seized with a slight paralytic stroke. He was for a short time deprived of all sensation. The trouble of his family, every individual of which regards him with the profoundest veneration, was inexpressible. Matilda, the virtuous Matilda, could not be separated from the couch of her father. She hung over him with the most anxious affection. She watched every symptom of his disorder, and every variation of his countenance. (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Letter XIII. The Same to the Same, Cosenza Alas, my friend, the greatest sublunary happiness is not untinged with misfortune. I have no right however to exclaim. The misfortune to which I am subject, however nearly it may affect me, makes no alteration in the substance of my destiny. I still trust that I shall call my Matilda mine. I still trust to have long successive years of happiness. And can a mortal blessed as I, dare to complain? Can I give way to lamentation and sorrow? Yes, my Rinaldo. The cloud will quickly vanish, but such is the fate of mortals. The events, which, when sunk in the distant past, affect us only with a calm regret, in the moment in which they overtake us, overwhelm us with sorrow. I mentioned in my last, that the disorder of the duke of Benevento was succeeded by a feebleness and languor that did not at first greatly alarm us. It however increased daily, and was attended with a kind of listlessness and insens... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Letter XIV. The Count de St. Julian to Matilda della Colonna, Naples I will thank you a thousand times for the generous permission you gave me, to write to you from this place. I have waited an age, lovely Matilda, that I might not intrude upon your hours of solitude and affliction, and violate the feelings I so greatly respect. You must not now be harsh and scrupulous. You must not cavil at the honest expression of those sentiments you inspire. Can dissimulation ever be a virtue? Can it ever be a duty to conceal those emotions of the soul upon which honor has set her seal, and studiously to turn our discourse to subjects uninteresting and distant to the heart? How happy am I in a passion which received the sanction of him, who alone could claim a voice in the disposal of you! There are innumerable lovers, filled with the most ardent passion, aiming at the purest gratifications, whose happiness is traversed by the cold dictates of art... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Letter XV. The Same to the Same, Naples I have waited, charming Matilda, with the most longing impatience in hopes of receiving a letter from your own hand. Every post has agitated me with suspense. My expectation has been continually raised, and as often defeated. Many a cold and unanimated epistle has intruded itself into my hands, when I thought to have found some token full of gentleness and tenderness, which might have taught my heart to overflow with rapture. If you knew, fair excellence, how much pain and uneasiness your silence has given me, you could not surely have been so cruel. The most rigid decorum could not have been offended by one scanty billet that might just have informed me, I still retained a tender place in your recollection. One solitary line would have raised me to a state of happiness that princes might envy. A jealous and contracted mind placed in my situation, might fear to undergo the imputation of selfishn... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Letter XVI. Matilda della Colonna to the Count de St. Julian, Cosenza Is it possible you can put an unfavorable construction upon my silence? You are not to be informed that it was nothing more than the simplest dictates of modesty and decency required. I cannot believe, that if I had offended against those dictates, it would not have sunk me a little in your esteem. Your sex indeed is indulged with a large and extensive license. But in ours, my dear friend, propriety and decorum cannot be too assiduously preserved. Our reputation is at the disposal of every calumniator. The minutest offense can cast a shade upon it. A long and uninterrupted course of the most spotless virtue can never restore it to its first unsullied brightness. Many and various indeed are the steps by which it may be tarnished, short of the sacrifice of chastity, and the total dereliction of character. There is no test of gentleness and integrity of heart more obvi... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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VOLUME II Letter I. The Marquis of Pescara to the Marquis of San Severino, Cosenza My dear lord, I need not tell you that this place is celebrated for one of the most beautiful spots of the habitable globe. Every thing now flourishes. Nature puts on her gayest colors, and displays all her charms. The walks among the more cultivated scenes of my own grounds, and amid the wilder objects of this favored region are inexpressibly agreeable. The society of my pensive and sentimental friend is particularly congenial with the scenery around me. Do not imagine that I am so devoid of taste as not to derive exquisite pleasure from these sources. Yet believe me, there are times in which I regret the vivacity of your conversation, and the amusements of Naples. Is this, my dear Ferdinand, an argument of a corrupted taste, or an argument of sound and valuable improvement? Much may be said on both sides. Of the mind justly p... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Letter II. The Count de St. Julian to Signor Hippolito Borelli, Cosenza My dear Hippolito, I have already acquainted you as they occurred, with those circumstances, which have introduced so incredible an alteration in my prospects and my fortune. From being an outcast of the world, a young man without protectors, a nobleman without property, a lover despairing ever to possess the object of his vows, I am become the most favored of mortals, the happiest of mankind. There is no character that I envy, there is no situation for which I would exchange my own. My felicity is of the color of my mind; my prospects are those, for the fruition of which heaven created me. What have I done to deserve so singular a blessing? Is it possible that no wayward fate, no unforeseen and tremendous disaster should come between me and my happiness? My Matilda is the most amiable of women. Every day she improves upon me. Every day I discover ne... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Letter III. The Count de St. Julian to the Marquis of Pescara, Naples Best of friends, Every thing is now prepared for my voyage. The ship will weigh anchor in two days at farthest. This will be the last letter you will receive from me before I bid adieu to Italy. I have not yet shaken off the melancholy with which the affecting leave I took of the amiable Matilda impressed me. Never will the recollection be effaced from my memory. It was then, my Rinaldo, that she laid aside that delicate reserve, that lovely timidity, which she had hitherto exhibited. It was then that she poured forth, without restraint, all the ravishing tenderness of her nature. How affecting were those tears? How heart-rending the sighs that heaved her throbbing bosom? When will those tender exclamations cease to vibrate in my ear? When will those piercing cries give over their task, the torturing this constant breast? You, my friend, were witness t... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Letter IV. Matilda della Colonna to the Count de St. Julian, Cosenza Why is it, my friend, that you are determined to fly to so immense a distance? You call me cruel, you charge me with unfeelingness and inflexibility, and yet to my prayers you are deaf, to my intreaties you are inexorable. I have satisfied all the claims of decorum. I have fulfilled with rigid exactness the laws of decency. One advantage you at least gain by the distance you are so desirous to place between us. My sentiments are less guarded. Reputation and modesty have fewer claims upon a woman, who can have no intercourse with her lover but by letter. My feelings are less restrained. For the anxiety, which distance inspires, awakens all the tenderness of my nature, and raises a tempest in my soul that will not be controled. Oh, my St. Julian, till this late and lasting separation, I did not know all the affection I bore you. Ever since you were parted... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Letter V. The Answer, Alicant I am just arrived at this place, after a tedious and disagreeable voyage. As we passed along the coast of Barbary we came in sight of many of the corsairs with which that part of the world is infested. One of them in particular, of larger burden than the rest, gave us chace, and for some time we thought ourselves in considerable danger. Our ship however proved the faster sailer, and quickly carried us out of sight. Having escaped this danger, and nearly reached the Baleares, we were overtaken by a tremendous storm. For some days the ship was driven at the mercy of the winds; and, as the coast of those islands is surrounded with invisible rocks, our peril was considerable. In the midst of danger however my thoughts were full of Matilda. Had the ocean buried me in its capacious bosom, my last words would have been of you, my last vows would have been made for your happiness. Had we been taken by the enemy a... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Letter VI. Matilda della Colonna to the Count de St. Julian, Cosenza I begin this letter without having yet received any news from you since you quitted the port of Naples. The time however that was requisite for that purpose is already more than expired. Oh, my friend, if before the commencement of this detested voyage, the dangers that attended it appeared to me in so horrid colors, how think you that I support them now? My imagination sickens, my poor heart is distracted at the recollection of them. Why would you encounter so many unnecessary perils? Why would you fly to so remote a climate? Many a friend could have promoted equally well the interests of the marquis of Pescara, but few lives are so valuable as thine. Many a friend could have solicited this business in the court of Madrid, but believe me, there are few that can boast that they possessed the heart of a Matilda. Simple and sincere, I do not give myself away by halves. With a heart... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Letter VII. The Answer, Buen Retiro Ten thousand thanks to the most amiable of women for the letter that has just fallen into my hands. Yes, Matilda, if my heart were pierced on every side with darts, and my life’s blood seemed ready to follow every one of them, your enchanting epistle would be balm to all my wounds, would sooth all my cares. Tenderest, gentlest of dispositions, where ever burned a love whose flame was pure as thine? Where ever was truth that could vie with the truth of Matilda? Hereafter when the worthless and the profligate exclaim upon the artifices of thy sex, when the lover disappointed, wrung with anguish, imprecates curses on the kind, name but Matilda, and every murmur shall be hushed; name but Matilda, and the universal voice of nature shall confess that the female form is the proper residence, the genuine temple of angelic goodness. I had upon the whole a most agreeable journey from Alicant to Madrid. (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Letter VIII. The Same to the Same, Buen Retiro I little thought during so distressing a period of absence, to have written you a letter so gay and careless as my last. I confess indeed the societies of this place afforded me so much entertainment, that in the midst of generous friendship and unmerited kindness, I almost forgot the anguish of a lover, and the pains of banishment. Alas, how dearly am I destined to pay for the most short-lived relaxation! Every pleasure is now vanished, and I can scarcely believe that it ever existed. I enter into the same societies, I frequent the same scenes, and I wonder what it was that once entertained me. Yes, Matilda, the enchantment is dissolved. All the gay colors that anon played upon the objects around me, are fled. Chaos is come again. The world is become all dreary solitude and impenetrable darkness. I am like the poor mariner, whose imagination was for a moment caught with the lofty sound o... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Letter IX. The Marquis of Pescara to the Count de St. Julian, Cosenza I can never sufficiently thank you for the indefatigable friendship you have displayed in the whole progress of my Spanish affairs. I have just received a letter from the first minister of that court, by which I am convinced that it cannot be long before they be terminated in the most favorable manner. I scarcely know how, after all the obligations you have conferred upon me, to intreat that you would complete them, by paying a visit to Zamora before you quit the kingdom, and putting my affairs there in some train, which from the negligence incident to a disputed title, can scarcely fail to be in disorder. Believe me there is nothing for which I have more ardently longed, than to clasp you once again in my arms. The additional procrastination which this new journey will create, cannot be more afflicting to you than it is to me. Abridge then, I intreat you, as much a... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Letter X. The Answer, Zamora My dear lord, It is with the utmost pleasure that I have it now in my power to assure you that your affair is finally closed at the court of Madrid, in a manner the most advantageous and honorable to your name and family. You will perceive from the date of this letter that I had no need of the request you have made in order to remind me of my duty to my friend. I was no sooner able to quit the capital with propriety, than I immediately repaired hither. The derangement however of your affairs at this place is greater than either of us could have imagined, and it will take a considerable time to reduce them to that order, which shall render them most beneficial to the peasant, and most productive to the lord. The employment which I find at this place, serves in some degree to dissipate the anguish of my mind. It is an employment embellished by innocence, and consecrated by friendship. It is the... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Letter XI. Signor Hippolito Borelli to the Count de St. Julian, Palermo My dear lord, I have often heard it repeated as an observation of sagacity and experience, that when one friend has a piece of disagreeable intelligence to disclose to another, it is better to describe it directly, and in simple terms, than to introduce it with that kind of periphrasis and circumlocution, which oftener tends to excite a vague and impatient horror in the reader, than to prepare him to bear his misfortune with decency and fortitude. There are however no rules of this kind that do not admit of exceptions, and I am too apprehensive that the subject of my present letter may be classed among those exceptions. St. Julian, I have a tale of horror to unfold! Lay down the fatal scrowl at this place, and collect all the dignity and resolution of your mind. You will stand in need of it. Fertile and ingenious as your imagination often is in tormenting itself,... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Letter XII. Matilda della Colonna to the Count de St. Julian, Cosenza I rise from a bed, which you have surrounded with the severest misfortunes, to address myself to you in this billet. It is in vain, that in conformity to the dull round of custom, I seek the couch of repose, sleep is for ever fled from my eyes. I seek it on every side, but on swift wings it flits far, very far, from me. It is now the dead of night. All eyes are closed but mine. The senses of all other creatures through the universe of God, are steeped in forgetfulness. Oh, sweet, oblivious power, when wilt thou come to my assistance, when wilt thou shed thy poppies upon this distracted head! There was a time, when no human creature was so happy as the now forlorn Matilda. My days were full of gaiety and innocence. My thoughts were void of guile, and I imagined all around me artless as myself. I was by nature indeed weak and timid, trembling at every leaf,... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Letter XIII. The Marquis of Pescara to the Marquis of San Severino, Cosenza My dear lord, Why is it that a heart feeble and unheroic as mine, should be destined to encounter so many temptations? I might have passed through the world honorable and immaculate, had circumstances been a little more propitious. As it is, I shall probably descend to the grave with a character, at least among the scrupulous and the honest, reproachful and scandalous. Now this I can never account for. My heart is a stranger to all the dark and malignant passions. I am not cursed with an unbounded ambition. I am a stranger to inexorable hate and fell revenge. I aim at happiness and gratification. But if it were in my power I would have all my fellow-creatures happy as myself. Why is the fair Matilda so incomparably beautiful and so inexpressibly attractive? Had her temper been less sweet and undesigning, had her understanding been less delicate a... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Letter XIV. The Marquis of San Severino to the Marquis of Pescara, Naples Joy, uninterrupted, immortal joy to my dear Rinaldo. May all your days be winged with triumph, and all your nights be rapture. Believe me, I feel the sincerest congratulation upon the desired event of your long expected marriage. My lord, you have completed an action that deserves to be recorded in eternal brass. Why should politics be confined to the negotiations of ambassadors, and the cabinets of princes? I have often revolved the question, and by all that is sacred I can see no reason for it. Is it natural that the unanimating and phlegmatic transactions of a court should engage a more unwearied attention, awaken a brighter invention, or incite a more arduous pursuit than those of love? When beauty solicits the appetite, when the most ravishing tenderness and susceptibility attract the affections, it is then that the heart is most distracted and regardless, and the head l... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Letter XV. The Count de St. Julian to the Marquis of Pescara, Livorno My lord, I hoped before this time to have presented before you the form of that injured friend, which, if your heart is not yet callous to every impression, must be more blasting to your sight, than all the chimeras that can be conjured up by a terrified imagination, or a guilty conscience. I no sooner received the accursed intelligence at Zamora, than I flew with the speed of lightning. I permitted no consideration upon earth to delay me till I arrived at Alicant. But the sea was less favorable to the impatience of my spirit. I set sail in a boisterous and unpromising season. I have been long tossed about at the mercy of the ocean. I thank God, after having a thousand times despaired of it, that I have at length set foot in a port of Italy. It is distant indeed, but the ardor of my purpose were sufficient to cut short all intermission. My lord, I trus... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Letter XVI. The Marquis of San Severino to the Marchioness of Pescara, Cerenzo Madam, I am truly sorry that it falls to my lot to communicate to you the distressing tidings with which it is perfectly necessary you should be acquainted. The marquis, your husband, and my most dear friend, has this morning fallen in a duel at this place. I am afraid it will be no alleviation of the unfortunate intelligence, if I add, that the hand by which he fell, was that of the count de St. Julian. His lordship left Cosenza, I understand, with the declared intention of honoring me with a visit at Naples. He accordingly arrived at my palace in the evening of the second day after he left you. He there laid before me a letter he had received from the count, from which it appeared that the misunderstanding was owing to a rivalship of no recent date in the affections of your ladyship. It is not my business to enter into the merits of the disp... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Letter XVII. The Answer, Cosenza My lord, You were not mistaken when you supposed that the subject of your letter would both afflict and surprize me in the extremest degree. The unfortunate event to which it principally relates, is such as cannot but affect me nearly. And separate from this, there is a veil of mystery that hangs over the horrid tale, behind which I dare not pry, but with the most trembling anxiety, but which will probably in a very short time be totally removed. Your lordship, I am afraid, is but too well acquainted with the history of the correspondence between myself and my deceased lord. I was given to understand that the count de St. Julian was married to the daughter of the duke of Aranda. I thought I had but too decisive evidence of the veracity of the story. And you, my lord, I remember, were one of the witnesses by which it was confirmed. Yet how is this to be reconciled with the present catastro... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Letter XVIII. The Count de St. Julian to the Marchioness of Pescara, Cerenzo Madam, You may possibly before this letter comes to your hands have learned an event that very nearly interests both you and me. If you have not, it is not in my power at this time to collect together the circumstances, and reduce them to the form of a narration. The design of my present letter is of a very different kind. Shall I call that a design, which is the consequence of an impulse urging me forward, without the consent of my will, and without time for deliberation? I write this letter with a hand dyed with the blood of your husband. Let not the idea startle you. Matilda is advanced too far to be frightened with bugbears. What, shall a mind inured to fickleness and levity, a mind that deserted, without reason and without remorse, the most constant of lovers, and that recked not the consequences, shall such a mind be terrified at the sight... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Letter XIX. The Marquis of San Severino to the Marchioness of Pescara, Naples Madam, I have just received a letter from your ladyship which gives me the utmost pain. I am sincerely afflicted at the unfortunate concern I have had in the melancholy affairs that have caused you so much uneasiness. I expected indeed that the sudden death of so accomplished and illustrious a character as your late husband, must have produced in a breast susceptible as yours, the extremest distress. But I did not imagine that you would have been so overwhelmed with the event, as to have forgotten the decorums of your station, and to have derogated from the dignity of your character. Madam, I sincerely sympathize in the violence of your affliction, and I earnestly wish that you may soon recover that self-command, which rendered your behavior upon all occasions a model of elegance, propriety and honor. Your ladyship proposes certain questions to... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Letter XX. The Count de St. Julian to Signor Hippolito Borelli, Leontini My dear friend, Traveling through the various countries of Europe, and expanding your philosophical mind to embrace the interests of mankind, you still are so obliging as to take the same concern in the transactions of your youthful friend as ever. I shall therefore confine myself in the letter which I now steal the leisure to write, to the relation of those events, of which you are probably as yet uninformed. If I were to give scope to the feelings of my heart, with what, alas, should I present you but a circle of repetitions, which, however important they may appear to me, could not but be dull and tedious to any person less immediately interested? As I pursued with greater minuteness the inquiries I had begun before you quitted the kingdom of the two Sicilies, I found the arguments still increasing upon me, which tended to persuade me of the inno... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Letter XXI. The Count de St. Julian to the Marchioness of Pescara, Leontini Madam, I have waited with patience for the expiration of twelve months, that I might not knowingly be guilty of any indecorum, or intrude upon that sorrow, which the tragical fate of the late marquis so justly claimed. But how shall I introduce the subject upon which I am now to address you? Where shall I begin this letter? Or with what arguments may I best propitiate the anger I have so justly incensed, and obtain that boon upon which the happiness of my future life is so entirely suspended? Among all the offenses of which I have been guilty, against the simplest and gentlest mind that ever adorned this mortal stage, there is none which I less pardon to myself, than that unjust and precipitate letter, which I was so inconsiderate as to address to you immediately after I had steeped my hand in the murder of your husband. Was it for me, who had so... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Letter XXII. The Answer, Cosenza My lord, It is now three weeks since I received that letter, in which you renew the generous offer of your hand. Believe me, I am truly sensible of the obligation, and it shall for ever live in my grateful heart. I am not now the same Matilda you originally addressed. I have acted towards you in an inexcusable manner. I have forfeited that spotless character which was once my own. All this you knew, and all this did not deter you. My lord, for this generosity and oblivion, once again, and from the bottom of my heart, I thank you. But it is not only in these respects, that the marchioness of Pescara differs from the daughter of the duke of Benevento. Those poor charms, my lord, which were once ascribed to me, have long been no more. The hand of grief is much more speedy and operative in its progress than the icy hand of age. Its wrinkles are already visible in my brow. The floods of tears I have shed ha... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

Chronology

January 05, 2021 ; 5:15:03 PM (America/Los_Angeles) :
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