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Arno, and the groves of Isis and of Cam ; and who with these should combine the keener in
it likewise an advantage in the Italian tongue, in many other respects inferior to our own, that the language of poetry is more distinct from that of prose than with us. From the earlier appearance and established primacy of the Tuscan poets, concurring with the number of independent states, and the diversity of written dialects, the Italians have gained a poetic idiom, as the Greeks before them had obtained from the same causes, with greater and more various discriminations—ex. gr. the ionic for their heroic verses ; the attic for their iambic ; and the two modes of the doric, the lyric or sacerdotal, and the pastoral, the distinctions of which were doubtless more obvious to the Greeks themselves than they are to us. I will venture to add one other observation before I proceed to the transcription. I am aware, that the sentiments which I have avowed concerning the points of difference be: tween the poetry of the present age, and that of the period between 1500 and 1650, are the reverse of the opinion commonly entertained. I was conversing on this subject with a friend, when the servant, a worthy and sensible woman, coming in, I placed before her two engravings, the one a pinky-coloured plate of the day, the other a masterly etching by Salvator Rosa, from one of his own pictures. On pressing her to tell us, which she preferred, after a little blushing and flutter of feeling, she replied—why, that, Sir to be sures (pointing to the ware from the Fleet-street print shops) It's so meat and elegant. Tother is such a scratchy slovenly thing.” An artist, whose writings are scarcely less valuable than his works, and to whose authority more deference will be willingly paid, than I could even wish, should be shewn to mine, has told us, and from his own experience too, that good taste must be acquired, and like all other good things, is the result of thought, and the submissive study of the best models. If it be asked, “But what shall I deem such " thc answeris; presume these to be the best, the reputation of which has been matured into fame by the consent of ages. For wisdom always has a final majority, if not by conviction, yet by acquiescence. In addition to Sir J. Reynolds I may mention Harris of Salisbury, who in one of his philosophical disquisitions has written on the means of acquiring a just taste with the precision of Aristotle, and the elegance of Quintillian.
terest, deeper pathos, manlier reflection, and the fresher and more various imagery, which
Gelido suo ruscel chiaro, e tranquillo
Aure dell'angoscioso viver mio
Pacifiche, ma spesso in amorosa
Alla stagione acerba
give a value and a name that will not pass away to the poets who have done honor to
Hor come un Scoglio stassi,
Piangendo mi baciaste,
Bel Fior, tu mi rimembri
our own times, and to those of our immediate predecessors.
ANNA mia, ANNA dolce, oh sempre nuovo
Hor che'l prato, e la selva si scolora,
Examination of the tenets peculiar to Mr. Wordsworth–Rustic life (above all, low and rustic life) especially unfavorable to the formation of a human diction—The best parts of language the product of philosophers, not clowns or shepherds—Poetry essentially ideal and generic— The language of Milton as much the language of real life, yea, incomparably more so than that of the cottager.
As far then as Mr. Wordsworth in his preface contended, and most ably contended, for a reformation in our poetic diction, as far as he has evinced the truth of passion, and the dramatic propriety of those figures and metaphors in the original poets, which stript of their justifying reasons, and converted into mere artifices of connection or ornament, constitute the characteristic falsity in the poetic style of the moderns; and as far as he has, with equal acuteness and clearness, pointed out the pro
cess in which this change was effected, and the
resemblances between that state into which the reader's mind is thrown by the pleasureable confusion of thought from an unaccustomed train of words and images; and that state which is induced by the natural language of empassioned feeling ; he undertook a useful task, and deserves all praise, both for the attempt