MEMOIRS OF A PRISONER OF STATE.
TIIIS work, which is a translation, or more correctly, a very ex- cellent abridgment, from the French, contains a brief notice of its author, ALEXANDER ANDRVANE, by himself ; and a full account of his imprisonment, and examinations by the Austrian authorities, from the time he was arrested in Milan on a charge of conspiracy, until his arrival at the well-known fortress of Spiel- berg,—a prison to which he was condemned for life, partly a victim
to Austrian tyranny, and partly to his own ignorance and foolish enthusiasm.
In his boyhood, ANDRVANIC was a soldier in the army of NAPOLEON. Shut out from the career of military ambition by the peace of 1815, lie plunged into the gayeties of Paris, and became (so he tells us) distinguished by his fashionable follies. Interrupted in his pursuits by an accident, and urged by his sister, he withdrew to Geneva: there for scone years he led the life of a severe student, and became acquainted with several Ita- lians whom the ill-judged outbreaks of 1828 hail driven into exile. One of these refugees was MICHAEL ANGELo Buosimiorri ; by whose ardour M. A NIORVANE was inlisted in the cause', and after various experimental essays in France an a delegate of liberty, he started for Milan to organize a revolt against the Austrians. He departeill charged with letters of introduction, lists of individuals of the right sort, pass-words, ciphers, and the rules, regulations, and objects of the secret society. As be approached Milan, and held conference with the Liberals on the spot, he began to have misgivings of success ; and these doubts were confirmed when he arrived at Milan. He wrote to BUONAROTTI to withdraw from the undertaking ; but before he could get out of the matter, he was arrested, and his portfolio of documents found in his room.
This, nakedly stated, is his own account of the case, up to the time of his arrest. And whatever question may be raised as to his offence in a casuistical point of view, the Austrian authorities could have no reason to doubt about it, ve hen they found amongst his papers lists of suspected persons, cabalisties they could not under- stand, and rules of policy, adopted, M. ANDRVANE says," without meaning" from the crotchets of 1791 ; but subversive, be admits, of all social order (page 103, 4.) Whatever the law might be, Ile was clearly within its peril ; but, not satisfied with him, the Aus- trians began a series of persecutions—some against all sound principles of justice, though the practice is conformable to German jurisprudence—some against humanity itself'. The grand effort of SALVOTTI, the Emperor's Co.ntnissioner, was to procure a con- fession Of ANDRVANE'S accomplices, in order to destroy what they might truly enough fancy was an organized conspiracy. The prisoner was subjected to secret, repeated, and harassing examina- tions, by a very able inquisitor, who spared neither art nor pains to wrest admissions from hitn. Ile was tempted by repeated ofl'ers of pardon ; assailed, we conceive, by a pretended friend in the shape of a Counsellor MINGHINI; subjected at first to solitary confinement, deprived of his books, debarred the use of pen and ink, and part of the time lodged in a dark dungeon. Finding nothing could be made of him, ANDRVANE and the illustrious CONFALONIERI were doomed to death ; but the Einperor of Aus- tria commuted their sentence to itnprisonment for life in Spielberg. A petty vengeance, however, condemned CONEALONIERI, ANDRV= A NE, arid some other person:, arrested on real or suspected grounds, to a public exposure in the pilloq at Milaii, loaded with irons; and this when the most illustrious of the band was in a state of bodily suffering threatening imtnediate death.
The attraction of the volume consists in the minute but ani-
mated and dramatic narrative of these incidents, together with plans contrived to while away the dulness of solitary confinement, and the clever but perhaps exaggerated characters of Skevo-rri, the gaolers, and sonic of ANDRYANEN fellow prisoners. The use of the book is in the sight it gives us of the interior of an Italian state prison, and the working of the Austro-Italian criminal pro- cedure in cases of treason. Its feature is in its unconscious por- traiture of the author—a vain, untaught, inexperienced rung man, going about to liberalize and fraternize the world--a Irench Revolutionist fallen upon an age too late by half a century. If this were a solitary portrait, it would be merely a curiosity; but there is reason to suspect that M. A NDRYANS has many counter- parts in "Young France." A home moral also may be deduced from the whole. Barring accidents, the Governments of Conti- nental Europe seem secure, because those who would advance are the higher classes, and the youthful or the unsuccessful pro- fessors of intellectual pursuits; and these must always be power- less whilst the people are quiescent. In England this is reversed : the higher orders and the middle classes are getting more and more averse to change, from a vague presentiment of coming dangers,—though it is only from well-considered changes they are likely to be staved off; the masses, on the other hand, are organized, active, intelligent, and conscious of their strength, with a growing but smothered feeling of envy and The volume before us would furnish many scenes of melodrap
they were to hear their sentence, whether for death or imprison-
wont, is the best adapted to our purpose. , however, that FORTUNATO PRAM:it has displayed a high degree Iii The door opened, and I entered a lofty and spacious hall, the appearance of of ability, but in the difficult task of reduction. Philosophers tell which at Mitt sight was so solemn that it reminded me of some ancient chapel. us that the solid matter of many bodies is exceedingly small; I might have concluded that it was used for religious cerenionies at present, had the bulk and substance being caused by liquids, capable of being I not perceived an immense chimney with a blazing fire, before which eight or dissipated by evaporation. And Signor. PRANDI has evaporated ten gendarmes were warming themselves. I therefore imagined that the place the wish-wash Monsieur ANDRYANR.
was a kind of cell, where prisoners condemned to death were kept until the moment of execution. Two beds were made up in it—one at the end of the apartment and the other nearer to the chimney ; a round table, clumsily con. ht It. MEDHURST'S CHINA.
structed, was placed in the centre; and near it stood a tall man, who beckoned THE author of this volume has been employed for upwards or me to approach. .. Have you any jewela about you ? " he asked. twenty years by the London Missionary Society as a labourer in " Search me, if you please," I replied ; placing at his disposal the pockets of Eastern missions. The greater part of his time was spent in the
sty coat. Indian Archipelago, amongst the Chinese colonists settled pretty
" You may sit down," he said ; having ascertained that I had neither knife thickly throughout that region. Having in the course of his nor any weapon with which self...destruction could be effected. I preferred experience acquired an accurate knowledge of the customs, opi- walking about, tieing in a state of too great excitement and agitation to remain
stationary ; and paced up and down before the gentlatmes, whose eyes were
constantly upon me. • • • assisted by the liberality of some zealous friends in that city, was I had or a long time been meditating in this gloomy mood, during which my enabled to make a voyage along part of the extensive coast, for courage and resignation had a painful struggle in contending with my recollec- the purpose of communicating with the natives on spiritual sub. tions and regrets, when suddenly the dour reopened and a prisoner appeared, but jects, and distributing translations of the Scriptures and religious he was at too great a distance from me to discern his features. I hastily ad-
vanced towards him, hoping that it might be Confalonieri; but after proceed.
log a few step.. I plainly perceived, from his low stature and insignificant ap- sketch of the British missions, which, though localized in the penance, that I was mistaken. Indian Archipelago, have really looked to China as an ulterior " Signor Borsieri." said the person whose business it was to search the pd. object ; and a general account of the Celestial Empire. loners, " have the kindness to come near." This description of its contents, however, reverses the order of " Willingly," he replied, in a trembling voice; " here I am." the book ; for China, its State and Prospects, in reality stands He approached, and I could then see more clearly the face of the scholar of whose talents the celebrated poet Monti had spoken so highly. His quick eyes first ; and embraces a brief disquisition on its history—an account and his light hair gave to his countenance a youthful expression, which even of its statistics, civilization, government, laws, language, litera- the sufferings of prison had not yet withered. It was evident that toy foreign tine, and religion, as well as a view of the Catholic and Pro. appearance had struck him, and that he wondered how it happened that I testant missions to China. Some of this is the result of observa- formed one of the number who were assembled iii that hall. When I approached thud ; much of it is compiled, but it is the compilation of an able nearer to him, he politely bowed. " We have reached a most anxious and decisive moment," said I ; " for in a man, well acquainted with his subject, and testing and enforcing few more hours our fate will be ascertained." the facts he derives from others by the riches of his experience. " Is it possible that you are one of the condemned ?" he exclaimed with as- Other books upon China contain minuter expositions of each of the
tonishment. heads we have enumerated, and a greater number of facts ; but we
" It is but too true. Alas ! I am, indeed ; notwithstanding that I am a fo- never read a volume that gave a more lifelike view of the Chinese reigner—a Frenchman."
The surprise of Borsieri increased doubly. He inquired from me with much
interest, by what fatality I had fallen into the clutches of the Commission. I condition. We have all heard of the industry of the Chinese, and was going to answer him, when a little gentleman was introduced into the con. the exertions forced upon them by a dense population. But see how demned cell, before whom Bosieri hastened to present himself, saying to me, Mr. MRDHURST impresses the truth ; and this is done disquisition- " Pallavicini, my fellow prisoner." ally, in an endeavour to show that the highest estimate of the I observed with increased attention this newly.arrived person: his stature population is not overrated, and that upwards of three hundred was much below the usual height, but a certain air of haughtiness and decision 40 his deportment and gestures showed that he possessed within his small per- and fifty millions of souls obey the Emperor. • Ma a heart capable of supporting with fortitude the awful solemnity of this ma To the fertility of the soil, we may add the consideration that it is very ex- istent. Whilst he stripped himself of his watches, seals, and rings, he cast tensively cultivated. China contains, as has been before observed, 830,719,360
proud and disdainful looks on the gendarmes. English acres ; and if we allow one.third of this area for hills, rivers, marshes,
" Here," said he, raising his voice, and returning to the visiter the last of his awl waste lands, we shall have 553,812,906 acres for cultivable land. In as-` numerous treasures. " I give it you in order that you nosy remember the Mar- certaining this, however, we are not left to conjecture; as there exists a report
qui, Pallavicini. Well," he added, turning to Boraieri, " here we are ! But made to the Emperor Ken-lung, in the year 1743, of the amount of land then
Confalonieri ? I do not see him. I thought the unfortunate Frederick, whom under cultivation ; according to which it appears, that, reckoning the land be. I have BO much injured, was here. Do you know if he will come soon?" he longing to individuals with that in the possession of the Tartar standards, the
inquired of me. military, the priests, and the literal y, there were at that time 593,598,221 Eng.
is a Frenchman." it appears that more than three-fourths ot the surface are owned and tilled by . " A Frenchman ! Bravo!" exclaimed Pallavicini, stretching out his hand. man ; allowing, accofiling to the highest census, nearly one acre and three " But my friend Castillia is not here !" quarters to each individual. The greatest part of this area is laid out exclusively " What ! then you were with this good Gaetano, whom I love as a brother, the natives make no use of butter or cheese, and very seldom of milk ; the prin- and whom I have destroyed in my anxiety to save him. Ah, were it but pm- cipal animal food is pork, which is generally home-fed ; they have few horses sib,e that be is not to share our fate ! Might we but hope from this delay that for travelling, pomp, or war ; and the only cattle they keep are such as are LB sentence is not severe. Alas, I am deceived, for here he comes." needed in husbandry : hence, there are no grazing farms, no meadows, and very Pallavicini threw himself into the arms of his friend, whom he embraced little pasture; while every acre of ground, capable of cultivation, is turned up
with emotion. Both of them then returned to us. by the spade or the plough in order to afford sustenance for the teeming Mlle- " Do you know whether Coufalonieri will come soon ?" asked Borsieri in a bitants. The few beasts of burden Of of draught which they keep, are either
.. "'And when I think," resumed Pallavicini, leading us into a corner of the sire of amusement. • a a
still more extraordinary, when we consider the tripartite nature for manure throughout the empire.
the translator an Italian refugee. It is not only as a translator