Chapter 10

Euthanasia’s Narrative.

‘It is strange for one to speak, who never before has uttered the sentiments of her heart. With my eyes I have spoken to the starry skies and the green earth; and with smiles that could not express my emotion I have conversed with the soft airs of summer, the murmur of streams, and the chequered shades of our divine woods: but never before have I awakened sympathy in a human countenance with words that unlock the treasure of my heart.

‘I have lived a solitary hermitess, and have become an enthusiast for all beauty. Being alone, I have not feared to give the reins to my feelings; I have lived happily within the universe of my own mind, and have often given reality to that which others call a dream. I have had few hopes, and few fears; but every passing sentiment has been an event; and I have marked the birth of a new idea with the joy that others derive from what they call change and fortune. What is the world, except that which we feel? Love, and hope, and delight, or sorrow and tears; these are our lives, our realities, to which we give the names of power, possession, misfortune, and death.

‘You smile at my strange words. I now feel livelier emotions arise; and, as is my custom, I try to define and understand them. Love, when nurtured by sympathy, is a stronger feeling, than those breathless emotions which arise from the contemplation of what is commonly called inanimate nature, and of the wondrous and eternal changes of the universe; and, feeling as I do, that if I give it place in my heart, it must bear my whole being away with it, as the tempest bears the rack along the sky, wonder not, dear friend, that I have paused, and even shuddered, when I thought that an unknown power was about to dwell in my soul, which might make it blind to its former delights, and deaf to the deep voice of that nature, whose child and nursling I call myself. But now I doubt no more; I am yours, Castruccio; be my fortune tearful or smiling, it shall be one that will bring with it human sympathy, and I resign that savage liberty of which I was ere while jealous.

‘You have asked me to relate the events of my life; I may say that it is a blank, if you would not hear the history of many a strange idea, many an exalted feeling, and reverie of wondrous change. You left me at Florence the favourite daughter of a father I adored: I was ever near him reading and conversing with him; and if I have put order in my day dreams, and culled the fruit of virtue and some slight wisdom from my meditations, it is to his lessons that I owe this good. It is he who taught me to fathom my sensations, and discipline my mind; to understand what my feelings were, and whether they arose from a good or evil source. He taught me to look on my own faults fearlessly; humbly as a weak being—yet not with mock humility, but with a modest, yet firm courage, that led me to know what indeed I might become. He explained to me the lessons of our divine master; which our priests corrupt to satisfy the most groveling desires; and he taught me to seek in self-approbation, and in a repentance, which was that of virtuous action, and not of weeping, for the absolution of which they make a revenue.

‘Do I speak with vanity? I hope that you do not so far mistake me. I have been a solitary being; and, conversing with my own heart, I have been so accustomed to use the frank language of a knowledge drawn from fixed principles, and to weigh my actions and thoughts in those scales which my reason and my religion afforded me, that my words may sound vain, when they are only true. I do not think then that I could speak with vanity; for I was enumerating the benefits that I received from my father. I read with him the literature of ancient Rome; and my whole soul was filled with the beauty of action, and the poetic sentiment of these writers. At first I complained that no men lived now, who bore affinity to these far shining beacons of the earth: but my father convinced me, that the world was shaking off her barbaric lethargy, and that Florence, in her struggle for freedom, had awakened the noblest energies of the human mind. Once, when we attended a court in Lombardy, a minstrel sang some of the Cantos of Dante’s Divina Comedia, and I can never forget the enthusiastic joy I experienced, in finding that I was the contemporary of its illustrious author.

‘I endeavour to mark in this little history of myself the use of the various feelings that rule all my actions; and I must date my enthusiasm for the liberties of my country, and the political welfare of Italy, from the repetition

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.