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Saint Peter, who has hitherto been known
For an impetuous saint, upraised his keys,
And at the fifth line knock'd the poet down;
Who fell like Phaeton, but more at case,
Into his lake, for there he did not drown,

A different web being by the destinies
Woven for the Laureate's final wreath, whene'er
Reform shall happen either here or there.

He first sunk to the bottom-like his works,
But soon rose to the surface-like himself:
For all corrupted things are buoy'd, like corks,'
By their own rottenness, light as an elf,

1 A drowned body lies at the bottom til! rotten; it then floats, as most people know.

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Morgante Maggiore.



the version is faithful to the best of the translator's ability in combining his interpretation of the one lan

He was

THE Morgante Maggiore, of the first canto of which guage with the not very easy task of reducing it to the same versification in the other. The reader is rethis translation is offered, divides with the Orlando In-quested to remember that the antiquated language of namorato the honour of having formed and suggested Pulci, however pure, is not easy to the generality of the style and story of Ariosto. The great defects of Italians themselves, from its great mixture of Tuscan Boiardo were his treating too seriously the narratives proverbs; and he may therefore be more indulgent to of chivalry, and his harsh style. Ariosto, in his con- the present attempt. How far the translator has suctinuation, by a judicious mixture of the gaiety of Pulci, ceeded, and whether or no he shall continue the work, has avoided the one, and Berni, in his reformation of Boiardo's poem, has corrected the other. Pulci may be induced to make the experiment partly by his love for, are questions which the public will decide. considered as the precursor and model of Berni al- and partial intercourse with, the Italian language, ot together, as he has partly been to Ariosto, however which it is so easy to acquire a slight knowledge, and inferior to both his copyists. He is no less the founder with which it is so nearly impossible for a foreigner to of a new style of poetry very lately sprung up in Eng- become accurately conversant. The Italian language land. I allude to that of the ingenious Whistlecraft. is like a capricious beauty, who accords her smiles to The serious poems on Roncesvalles in the same language, all, her favours to few, and sometimes least to those who and more particularly the excellent one of Mr. Merivale, are to be traced to the same source. It has never yet been decided entirely, whether Pulci's intention was or was not to deride the religion, which is one of his favourite topics. It appears to me, that such an intention would have been no less hazardous to the poet than to the priest, particularly in that age and country; and the permission to publish the poem, and its reception among the classics of Italy, prove that it neither was nor is so interpreted. That he intended to ridicule

have courted her longest. The translator wished also to present in an English dress a part at least of a poem never yet rendered into a northern language: at the same time that it has been the original of some of the as well as of those recent experiments in poetry in most celebrated productions on this side of the Alps, England which have been already mentioned.

the monastic life, and suffered his imagination to play MORGANTE MAGGIORE.

with the simple dulness of his converted giant, seems evident enough; but surely it were as unjust to accuse him of irreligion on this account, as to denounce Fielding for his Parson Adams, Barnabas, Thwackum, Supple, and the Ordinary in Jonathan Wild,-or Scott, for the exquisite use of his Covenanters in the "Tales of my Landlord."

In the following translation I have used the liberty of the original with the proper names; as Pulci uses Gan, Ganelion, or Ganellone; Carlo, Carlo.nagno, or Carlomano; Rondel, or Rondello, etc. as it suits his Convenience, so has the translator. In other respects


In the beginning was the Word next God;

God was the Word, the Word no less was he;
This was in the beginning, to my mode

Of thinking, and without him nought could be
Therefore, just Lord! from out thy high abode.

Benign and pious, bid an angel flce,
One only, to be my companion, who
Shall help my famous, worthy, old song through


And thou, oh Virgin! daughter, mother, bride, Of the same Lord, who gave to you each key Of heaven, and hell, and every thing beside,

The day thy Gabriel said, "All hail!" to thee, Since to thy servants pity's ne'er denied,

With flowing rhymes, a pleasant style and free, Be to my verses then benignly kind, And to the end illuminate my mind.


"T was in the season when sad Philomel

Weeps with her sister, who remembers and Deplores the ancient woes which both befell, And makes the nymphs enamour'd, to the hand Of Phaeton by Phoebus loved so well

His car (but temper'd by his sire's command) Was given, and on the horizon's verge just now Appear'd, so that Tithonus scratch'd his brow;


When I prepared my bark first to obey,

As it should still obey, the helm, my mind, And carry prose or rhyme, and this my lay

Of Charles the Emperor, whom you will find By several pens already praised; but they Who to diffuse his glory were inclined, For all that I can see in prose or verse, Have understood Charles badly-and wrote worse.


Leonardo Aretino said already,

That if, like Pepin, Charles had had a writer Of genius quick, and diligently steady,

No hero would in history look brighter; He in the cabinet being always ready,

And in the field a most victorious fighter, Who for the Church and Christian faith had wrought, Certes far more than yet is said or thought.


You still may see at Saint Liberatore,
The abbey no great way from Manopell,
Erected in the Abruzzi to his glory,

Because of the great battle in which fell
A pagan king, according to the story,

And felon people whom Charles sent to hell: And there are bones so many, and so many, Near them Giusaffa's would seem few, if any.


Rut the world, blind and ignorant, don't prize
His virtues as I wish to see them: thou,
Florence, by his great bounty don't arise,

And hast, and may have, if thou wilt allow,
All proper customs and true courtesies:

Whate'er thou hast acquired from then till now, With knightly courage, treasure, or the lance, Is sprung from out the noble blood of France.


Twelve paladins had Charles, in court, of whom
The wisest and most famous was Orlando;
Him traitor Gan conducted to the tomb

In Roncesvalles, as the villain plann'd too,
While the horn rang so loud, and knell'd the doom
Of their sad rout, though he did all knight can do,
And Dante in his comedy has given
To him a happy seat with Charles in heaven.


'T was Christmas-day; in Paris all his court
Charles held; the chief, I say, Orlando was,
The Dane; Astolfo there too did resort,
Also Ansuigi, the gay time to pass

In festival and in triumphant sport,

The much renown'd Saint Dennis being the cause; Angiolin of Bayonne, and Oliver,

And gentle Belinghieri too came there:


Avolio, and Arino, and Othone

Of Normandy, and Richard Paladin, Wise Hamo, and the ancient Salemone,

Walter of Lion's Mount, and Baldovin, Who was the son of the sad Ganellone,

Were there, exciting too much gladness in The son of Pepin:—when his knights came hither, He groan'd with joy to see them altogether.


But watchful fortune lurking, takes good heed Ever some bar 'gainst our intents to bring. While Charles reposed him thus in word and deed, Orlando ruled court, Charles, and every thing; Curst Gan, with envy bursting, had such need

To vent his spite, that thus with Charles the king, One day he openly began to say, "Orlando must we always then obey?


"A thousand times I've been about to say,
Orlando too presumptuously goes on;
Here are we, counts, kings, dukes, to own thy sway,
Hamo, and Otho, Ogier, Solomon,

Each have to honour thee and to obey;

But he has too much credit near the throne, Which we won't suffer, but are quite decided By such a boy to be no longer guided.


"And even at Aspramont thou didst begin
To let him know he was a gallant knight,
And by the fount did much the day to win;
But I know who that day had won the fight
If it had not for good Gherardo been:

The victory was Almonte's else; his sight
He kept upon the standard, and the laurels
In fact and fairness are his earning, Charles.

"If thou rememberest being in Gascony,

When there advanced the nations out of Spain, The Christian cause had suffered shamefully,

Had not his valour driven them back again.
Best speak the truth when there's a reason why:
Know then, oh emperor! that all complain:
As for myself, I shall repass the mounts
O'er which I cross'd with two and sixty counts.
""Tis fit thy grandeur should dispense relief,

So that each here may have his proper part,
For the whole court is more or less in grief:
Perhaps thou deem'st this lad a Mars in heart?"
Orlando one day heard this speech in brief,
As by himself it chanced he sate apart:
Displeased he was with Gan because he said it,
But much more still that Charles should give him credit.


And with the sword he would have murder'd Gan,
But Oliver thrust in between the pair,
And from his hand extracted Durlindan,
And thus at length they separated were.
Orlando, angry too with Carloman,

Wanted but little to have slain him there;
Then forth alone from Paris went the chief,
And burst and madden'd with disdain and grief.

From Ermellina, consort of the Dane,

He took Cortana, and then took Rondell,
And on towards Brara prick'd him o'er the plain;
And when she saw him coming, Aldabelle
Stretch'd forth her arms to clasp her lord again:
Orlando, in whose brain all was not well,
As "Welcome my Orlando home," she said,
Raised up his sword to smite her on the head.

Like him a fury counsels; his revenge

On Gan in that rash act he seem'd to take,
Which Aldabella thought extremely strange,
But soon Orlando found himself awake;
And his spouse took his bridle on this change,
And he dismounted from his horse, and spake
Of every thing which pass'd without demur,
And then reposed himself some days with her.

Then full of wrath departed from the place,
And far as Pagan countries roam'd astray,
And while he rode, yet still at every pace

The traitor Gan remember'd by the way;

And wandering on in error a long space,
An abbey which in a lone desert lay,
Midst glens obscure, and distant lands he found,
Which form'd the Christian's and the Pagan's bound.


The abbot was call'd Clermont, and by blood
Descended from Angrante: under cover
Of a great mountain's brow the abbey stood,
But certain savage giants look'd him over!
One Passamont was foremost of the brood,

And Alabaster and Morgante hover
Second and third, with certain slings, and throw
In daily jeopardy the place below.


The monks could pass the convent gate no more, Nor leave their cells for water or for wood. Orlando knock'd, but none would ope, before Unto the prior it at length seem'd good; Enter'd, he said that he was taught to adore

Him who was born of Mary's holiest blood, And was baptized a Christian; and then show'd How to the abbey he had found his road.


Said the abbot, "You are welcome; what is mine
We give you freely, since that you believe
With us in Mary Mother's son divine;

And that you may not, cavalier, conceive
The cause of our delay to let you in

To be rusticity, you shall receive
The reason why our gate was barr'd to you;
Thus those who in suspicion live must do.


"When hither to inhabit first we came

These mountains, albeit that they are obscure,
As you perceive, yet without fear or blame
They seem'd to promise an asylum sure :
From savage brutes alone, too fierce to tame,
"T was fit our quiet dwelling to secure ;
But now, if here we 'd stay, we needs must guard
Against domestic beasts with watch and ward.

"These make us stand, in fact, upon the watch,
For late there have appear'd three giants rough;
What nation or what kingdom bore the batch
I know not, but they are all of savage stuff;
When force and malice with some genius match,

You know, they can do all-we are not enough:
And these so much our orisons derange,
I know not what to do till matters change.

"Our ancient fathers living the desert in,
For just and holy works were duly fed;
Think not they lived on locusts sole, 't is certain
That manna was rain'd down from heaven instead ;
But here 't is fit we keep on the alert in

Our bounds, or taste the stones shower'd down for

From off Iyon mountain daily raining faster,
And flung by Passamont and Alabaster.

"The third, Morgante, 's savagest by far; he
Plucks up pines, beeches, poplar-trees, and oaks,
And flings them, our community to bury,
And all that I can do but more provokes."
While thus they parley in the cemetery,

A stone from one of their gigantic strokes, Which nearly crush'd Rondell, came tumbling over, So that he took a long leap under cover.


For God's sake, cavalier, come in with speed, The manna's falling now," the abbot cried: "This fellow does not wish my horse should feed, Dear abbot," Roland unto him replied; "Of restiveness he'd cure him had he need;

That stone seems with good-will and aim applied."
The holy father said, "I don't deceive;
They 'll one day fling the mountain, I believe."

Orlando bade them take care of Rondello,
And also made a breakfast of his own:
"Abbot," he said, "I want to find that fellow

Who flung at my good horse yon corner-stone."
Said the abbot, "Let not my advice seem shallow,
As to a brother dear I speak alone;

I would dissnade you, baron, from this strife,
As knowing sure that you will lose your life.

"That Passamont has in his hand three darts

Such slings, clubs, ballast-stones, that yield you must, You know that giants have much stouter hearts Than us, with reason, in proportion just: If go you will, guard well against their arts,

For these are very barbarous and robust." Orlando answer'd, "This I'll see, be sure, And walk the wild on foot to be secure."


The abbot sign'd the great cross on his front,
"Then go you with God's benison and mine;"
Orlando, after he had scaled the mount,

As the abbot had directed, kept the line
Right to the usual haunt of Passamont;

Who, seeing nim alone in this design, Survey'd him fore and aft with eyes observant, Then asked him, "If he wish'd to stay as servant?"


And promised him an office of great ease;
But, said Orlando, "Saracen insane!

I come to kill you, if it shall so please

God, not to serve as footboy in your train;
You with his monks so oft have broke the peace-
Vile dog! 't is past his patience to sustain."
The giant ran to fetch his arms, quite furious,
When he received an answer so injurious.

And being return'd to where Orlando stood,

Who had not moved him from the spot, and swinging
The cord, he hurl'd a stone with strength so rude,
As show'd a sample of his skill in slinging;
It roll'd on Count Orlando's helmet good

And head, and set both head and helmet ringing,
So that he swoon'd with pain as if he died,
But more than dead, he seem'd so stupified.


Then Passamont, who thougnt him slain outright,
Said, "I will go, and, while he lies along,
Disarm me: why such craven did I fight ?”
But Christ his servants ne'er abandons long,
Especially Orlando, such a knight,

As to desert would almost be a wrong.
While the giant goes to put off his defences,
Orlando has recall'd his force and senses:

And loud he shouted, "Giant, where dost go?

Thou thought'st me doubtless for the bier outlaid; To the right about-without wings thou 'rt too slow To fly my vengeance-currish renegade! 'T was but by treachery thou laid'st me low." The giant his astonishment betray'd, And turn'd about, and stopp'd his journey on, And then he stoop'd to pick up a great stone. XXXV.

Orlando had Cortana bare in hand,

To split the head in twain was what he schemedCortana clave the skull like a true brand,

And pagan Passamont died unredeem'd.
Yet harsh and haughty, as he lay he bann'd,
And most devoutly Macon still blasphemed;
But while his crude, rude blasphemies he heard,
Orlando thank'd the Father and the Word,-

Saying, "What grace to me thou 'st given!

And I to thee, oh Lord, am ever bound.

I know my life was saved by thee from heaven,
Since by the giant I was fairly down'd.
All things by thee are measured just and even;
Gur power without thine aid would nought be found:
I pray thee take heed of me, till I can

At least return once more to Carloman."


And having said thus much, he went his way;
And Alabaster he found out below,
Doing the very best that in him lay

To root from out a bank a rock or two.
Orlando, when he reach'd him, loud 'gan say,
"How think'st thou, glutton, such a stone to throw?"
When Alabaster heard his deep voice ring,
He suddenly betook him to his sling,


And hurl'd a fragment of a size so large,
That if it had in fact fulfill'd its mission,

And Roland not avail'd him of his targe,
There would have been no need of a physician.
Orlando set himself in turn to charge,

And in his bulky bosom made incision

With all his sword. The lout fell; but, o'erthrown, ba However by no means forgot Macone.


Morgante had a palace in his mede,

Composed of branches, logs of wood, and earth,
And stretch'd himself at ease in this abode,
And shut himself at night within his birth.
Orlando knock'd, and knock'd again, to goad

The giant from his sleep; and he came forth,
The door to open, like a crazy thing,
For a rough dream had shook him slumbering.

He thought that a fierce serpent had attack'd him,
And Mahomet he call'd, but Mahomet

Is nothing worth, and not an instant back'd him; But praying blessed Jesu, he was set At liberty from all the fears which rack'd him; And to the gate he came with great regret"Who knocks here?" grumbling all the while, said he "That," said Orlando, "you will quickly see." XLI.

"I come to preach to you, as to your brothers, Sent by the miserable monks-repentance; For Providence divine, in you and others,

Condemns the evil done by new acquaintance. 'Tis writ on high-your wrong must pay another's; From heaven itself is issued out this sentence; Know then, that colder now than a pilaster I left your Passamont and Alabaster."


Morgante said, "O gentle cavalier!
Now by thy God say me no villany;
The favour of your name I fain would hear,
And if a Christian, speak for courtesy."
Replied Orlando, "So much to your car
I by my faith disclose contentedly;
Christ I adore, who is the genuine Lord,
And, if you please, by you may be adored."

The Saracen rejoin'd in humble tone,
"I have had an extraordinary vision;
A savage serpent fell on me alone,

And Macon would not pity my condition; Hence to thy God, who for ye did atone

Upon the cross, preferr'd I my petition; His timely succour set me safe and free, And I a Christian am disposed to be."

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Your renegado God, and worship mine,Baptize yourself with zeal, since you repent.' To which Morgante answer'd, "I'm content." XLVI.

And then Orlando to embrace him flew,

And made much of his convert, as he cried, "To the abbey I will gladly marshal you:"

To whom Morgante, "Let us go," replied;
"I to the friars have for peace to sue."
Which thing Orlando heard with inward pride,
Saying, "My brother, so devout and good,
Ask the abbot pardon, as I wish you would:

"Since God has granted your illumination,
Accepting you in mercy for his own,
Humility should be your first oblation."

Morgante said, "For goodness' sake make known-
Since that your God is to be mine-your station,
And let your name in verity be shown;
Then will I every thing at your command do."
On which the other said, he was Orlando.

"Then," quoth the giant, "blessed be Jesu,
A thousand times with gratitude and praise!
Oft, perfect baron! have I heard of
Through all the different period of my days:
And, as I said, to be your vassal too

I wish, for your great gallantry always."
Thus reasoning, they continued much to say,
And onwards to the abbey went their way.

And-by the way, about the giants dead
Orlando with Morgante reason'd: "Be,
For their decease, I pray you, comforted,

And since it is God's pleasure, pardon me;
A thousand wrongs unto the monks they bred,
And our true scripture soundeth openly-
Good is rewarded, and chastised the ill,
Which the Lord never faileth to fulfil:

"Because his love of justice unto all
Is such, he wills his judgment should devour
All who have sin, however great or small;
But good he well remembers to restore :
Nor without justice holy could we call

Him, whom I now require you to adore:
All men must make his will their wishes sway,
And quickly and spontaneously obey.


"And here our doctors are of one accord,

Coming on this point to the same conclusionThat in their thoughts who praise in heaven the Lord If pity e'er was guilty of intrusion

For their unfortunate relations stored

In hell below, and damn'd in great confusion,-
Their happiness would be reduced to nought,
And thus unjust the Almighty's self be thought.


"But they in Christ have firmest hope, and all Which seems to him, to them too must appear Well done; nor could it otherwise befall;

He never can in any purpose err :

If sire or mother suffer endless thrall,

'They don't disturb themselves for him or her; What pleases God to them must joy inspire ;Such is the observance of the eternal choir."


A word unto the wise," Morgante said, "Is wont to be enough, and you shall see How much I grieve about my brethren dead; And if the will of God seem good to me, Just, as you tell me, 't is in heaven obey'dAshes to ashes,-merry let us be!

I will cut off the hands from both their trunks. And carry them unto the holy monks.


"So that all persons may be sure and certain That they are dead, and have no further feat To wander solitary this desert in,

And that they may perceive my spirit clear
By the Lord's grace, who hath withdrawn the curtain
Of darkness, making his bright realm appear."

He cut his brethren's hands off at these words,
And left them to the savage beasts and birds.

Then to the abbey they went on together,

Where waited them the abbot in great doubt.
The monks, who knew not yet the fact, ran thither
To their superior, all in breathless rout,
Saying, with tremor, "Please to tell us whether
You wish to have this person in or out?"
The abbot, looking through upon the giant,
Too greatly fear'd, at first, to be compliant.

Orlando, seeing him thus agitated,

Said quickly, "Abbot, be thou of good cheer; He Christ believes, as Christian must be rated, And hath renounced his Macon false;" which hers Morgante with the hands corroborated,

A proof of both the giants' fate quite clear: Thence, with due thanks, the abbot God adored, Saying, "Thou hast contented me, oh Lord!"


He gazed; Morgante's height he calculated,
And more than once contemplated his size,
And then he said, "Oh giant celebrated,

Know, that no more my wonder will arise,
How you could tear and fling the trees you late did,
When I behold your form with my own eyes.
You now a true and perfect friend will show.
Yourself to Christ, as once you were a foe.

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