Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/275

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Gallenga
Gallenga
263

ed Oltremare,' took private pupils, studied English literature, and delivered a discourse which had the distinction of being printed in the 'North American Review.' In January 1838 he gave a course of lectures which afterwards formed the basis of his 'Italy.' Within eighteen months after landing in America, friendless, almost penniless, and ignorant of the language, he had become an accepted contributor to the leading reviews, a successful lecturer and teacher, but he was not satisfied with his prospects. He says, 'Fond as I was of reading, my instincts were not at all literary. ... I had to give up all hope of being a soldier ; but I was still a patriot, a man of action' (ib. i. 295-6). After several efforts to obtain a professorship he came to England on 2 June 1839. He brought letters of introduction, made the acquaintance of Browning, John Kenyon, Crabb Kobinson, Rogers, and Monckton Milnes, found work as teacher and translator, and endeavoured to secure a commission in the army of the Nizam of Hyderabad.

His restless spirit was turned to his native country, and in order to avoid the police he accepted an invitation to live with an English family at Florence, and started from London in April 1840, having made arrangements for the printing of his American lectures in the 'Metropolitan Magazine.' The Tuscan authorities, however, compelled him to leave Florence : he returned to London, and between 1841 and 1842 wrote many articles on Italian subjects for the 'Foreign Quarterly,' the 'Westminster,' and other reviews, and visited Wales. In April 1841 his lectures were reprinted with additions under the title of 'Italy : General Views of its History and Literature in reference to its present state,' 2 vols. cr. 8vo, reprinted in 1846 as 'Italy, Past and Present' (two editions) ; a German translation by J. B. Seybt was published at Leipzig in 1846. Disraeli and Bulwer Lytton praised the book ; the latter said, 'I never saw any approach to such a style in a foreigner before, as full of beauty in diction as in thought.' It was not successful pecuniarily, but it brought the author many acquaintances, among others Leigh Hunt, George Lewes, Tom Hood, Thackeray, and Ainsworth. Mazzini took him to see Carlyle. He declined an offer from Bulwer Lytton to become his private secretary, and started at a day's notice to undertake a professorship of modern languages at King's College, Windsor, near Halifax, Nova Scotia. After fifteen months' absence he returned to London, where he lived from 1843 to 1848. 'With all my distaste for the teacher's trade, I found myself bound to it faster than ever' (Episodes, ii. 147). In 1846 he was naturalised. He wrote a few short stories of Italian life, reprinted as 'The Blackgown Papers' (1846, 2 vols. cr. 8vo), and a novel, recording with some fictitious incidents his own exploits during the political disturbances of Central Italy in 1831, which appeared in the 'Metropolitan Magazine,' afterwards published as 'Castellamonte ' (1854, 2nd ed. 1856, 2 vols., anonymous; the first part was translated in the 'Rivista Contemporanea,' 1857). He married an English lady in July 1847, and then resumed his own name, although that of Mariotti appeared on the title-pages of his books until 1865.

Gallenga was appointed professor of Italian language and literature at London University College in 1848, an unremunerative office which he held until 1859. A second edition of his 'Italy, Past and Present' was projected with chapters on Foscolo, Manzoni, Pellico, Mazzini, and others, forming an additional volume. This appeared in 1848 under the title of 'Present State and Prospects of Italy.' In the year of revolution Gallenga tells us that 'my country called: I must answer her cry. I was Italy's soldier and must join her standards' (ib. ii. 163). He visited Turin, Milan, and Parma, was unsuccessful in his military aspirations, and acted as chargt d'affaires at Frankfort. After an absence of about twenty months he returned to London in October 1849. Cavour called on him in 1852 to induce him to take up his abode in his native state. A trip to Turin in the same year was extended to the Canavese district whence his family had their origin, and he returned with the determination to write a 'History of Piedmont.' This work, his most ambitious literary undertaking, was published in 1855, 3 vols., the first book which came out under his own name ; an Italian version by the writer appeared at Turin in 1856. In 1854 he went back to Italy and was elected, through the influence of Cavour, a deputy in the Piedmontese parliament, for some time acted as correspondent of the 'Daily News' at Turin, and contributed many articles to Italian reviews 'as the censor of the faults and vices of the Italian people' (ib. ii. 267), a course which did not tend to make him popular among his fellow countrymen. His wife died, leaving a son. His enemies brought up the old story of his youthful regicidal attempt, and he found it necessary to return to London in 1857. The following year he was married a second time to an English lady.

His method of teaching was to use no