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firing at them, to keep up his spirits ;—at the same time, and in this horrid state of inactivity or passiveness, he was tormented with a burning thirst, for he had forgotten to provide himself with water—and he never could drink wine.
At length, after some deliberations with his companions, he demanded to speak with General Church, who he believed was in the neighborhood; then to the Duke of Monte Jasi—(he seemed to have had the ancient knight's anxiety, to surrender to none save people of distinction ;) but that nobleman being also absent, he condescended to capitulate with Major Bianchi. On their approach, he addressed the besiegers, and threw them some bread. Major Bianchi assured him that he should not be maltreated by the soldiery, of whom he had killed and wounded so many. He then lowered the ladder, descended from the tower, and presented himself to the major and his troops, with the words, “Eccomi, Don Ciro, Here am I, Don Ciro !"
His comrades then followed him. And how many were these desperate men, who had so long defended themselves against such a force ? They were only threeVito di Cesare, Giovanni Palmieri, and Michele Cuppoli.
Their hands, their faces, their dress, were horribly begrimed by gunpowder and smoke, but there was no appearance of wounds on their persons, and their countenances, particularly that of their daring leader, were firm and resolute in the extreme. The first thing Don Ciro did after surrendering himself to the soldiers was, to beg them to give him water to quench his consuming thirst.
TRAVELLERS AND ITALIAN BANDITTI.
He then delivered the key and desired them to liberate the people of the masseria, who had been locked up all this while in the straw-magazine. He declared that they were innocent, and as they came out of their places of confinement he distributed money among them. He patiently suffered himself to be searched and bound. Some poison was found upon him, which he said he would have taken in the tower had not his companions prevented him.
The besiegers and their captors now marched off for Francavilla. Don Ciro conversed quietly enough all the way with Major Bianchi, to whom he related the principal circumstances of his most extraordinary life.
In prison he was equally calm. He only appeared to be interested for the fate of some of his partisans, or Decisi : he declared that they had been compelled by his threats and their own fears to do whatever they had done, and he entreated that they might not be persecuted.
On being placed before the council of war, presided by Lieutenant-Colonel Guarini, he addressed a speech to that officer, mistaking him for General Church. Among other arguments he used, was this:
“On the day that you, general, with the Duke of San Cesareo and only a few horsemen, reconnoitred Grottaglie, I was there, with several of mine, concealed behind a ruined wall, close by the gate where you entered. I covered you with my rifle, and I never missed my aim ten times that distance! Had not the feelings of mercy prevailed in my bosom, general, instead of being here to judge me, you would have been in your grave. Think of this, Signor General, and let me meet with the mercy I have shown !"
On being informed of his mistake, he insisted on seeing General Church; when this was refused him, he quietly resigned himself to his fate, drily saying, “Ho capito."
” (I understand.) He did not pronounce another word.
After sentence of death was passed, a missionary introduced himself, and offered him the consolations of religion. Don Ciro answered him with a smile, “Let us leave alone all this stuff and prating! we are of the same tradedon't let us laugh at one another !"
On being asked by Captain Montorj, reporter of the military commission which condemned him, how many persons he had killed with his own hand, he carelessly answered, “Who can tell ?--they may be between sixty and seventy.”
As he was led to execution he recognised Lieutenant Fonsmorte, the officer who had been the first to arrive at the masseria of Scaserba with his regular troops. Don Ciro had admired his readiness and courage, and said to him, “If I were a king, I would make you a captain."
The streets of Francavilla, through which he passed, were filled with people; even the house-tops were crowded with spectators. They all preserved a gloomy silence.
On his arrival at the place of execution, Don Ciro walked with a firm step to his fatal post. He wished to be shot standing—but they ordered him to kneel. He did 80, presenting his breast to the soldiers. He was then told that malefactors, like himself, were always shot with their backs to the soldiers ; “It is all the same," he replierl
TRAVELLERS AND ITALIAN BANDITTI.
with a smile, and then he turned his back. As he did 80, he advised a priest, who persisted in remaining near to him, to withdraw, "for," said he, “these fellows are not all such good shots as I have been—they may hit you."
He spoke no more—the signal was given—the soldiers fired at the kneeling priest-robber. Twenty-one balls took effect--four in the head! Yet he still breathed and muttered in his throat; it required a twenty-second shot to put an end to him! This fact was confirmed by all the officers and soldiers present at the execution. The people, who had always attributed supernatural powers to him, were confirmed in their belief by this tenaciousness of life, which was, indeed, little short of miraculous. “As soon as we perceived," said one of the soldiers very seriously, “ that Don Ciro was enchanted, we loaded his musket with a silver ball, and this destroyed the spell."
Thus fell, in 1818, after fifteen years of a most lawless life, dating from his jealousy and first murder, Don Ciro Anacchiarico, of whom little else remains to be said, save that his countenance had nothing at all repulsive about it, but was, on the contrary, rather mild and agreeable; that he was master of a verbose but most persuasive eloquence, though pedantic in his style and over-addicted to classical allusions and inflated phrases the general defects of his countrymen, the Neapolitans.
My next anecdote is of a Spanish robber of a more agreeable character. It is extracted from the work of a recent traveller, from Inglis's “Spain in 1830.” Inglis, in the course of his peregrinations, stopped one night at a posada, or inn, in the south of Spain, and sat down to sup at a sort of table d'hote, with such company as had gathered at the said place of repose and refection. Towards the conclusion of the supper, a guest of no