appears under an altogether original form in the episode of Gertrude; irresistibly conducted to the cloister, notwithstanding her insurmountable repugnance, when she could by a single word free herself from such a condemnation, dooming her own self to a sacrifice she detests; yielding without having been conquered; the slave of her very liberty, and the victim to a voluntary fatality! It is not in a rapid sketch that we can give an idea of this singular and altogether novel character. To appreciate its excellence, we must give an attentive perusal.
But Alessandro Manzoni is not only a skilful painter of individual portraits, he excels also in grand historical representations. In that of the plague at Milan, and the famine preceding it, his manner becomes bolder, his touch more free and majestic, without, however, losing any of its exquisite delicacy. When he represents an entire people rebelling against hunger, or vanquished by disease and death, we deeply feel the horror of the picture, at the same ti
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